Do it. People need to see this.
Nah, I’m good.
*posted at 9:30 pm, October 26, 2020*
“Which version is the stronger, happier, whole, thriving version of Paige? If you guessed the image on the left, you’re wrong. The picture on the right is what I look like in real time. It was taken this morning. The picture on the left was taken 4 years ago. “Oh wow, she’s let herself go”. Ha, maybe. Or maybe I’ve finally discovered myself. You see, the Paige on the left still lived to please others, show up as perfect, and found worthiness in accomplishing what she thought others expected of her. That Paige was also constantly mourning the loss of her dad and trying to hold it together every day. That Paige cried herself to sleep a lot of hopeless nights. The Paige on the right stopped caring what others thought of her. She did the hard work of healing, self-growth, spiritual maturity, and being content with the journey God had her on. The Paige on the right continued to workout, and can run circles around the version on the left. The Paige on the right also enjoyed lots of happy times during a pandemic and it shows! It’s hard to imagine it because the bodies, the makeup, the hair, and lighting may tell you otherwise, but I would choose the version I am today a million times before I would go back to who I was then. Don’t be deceived by the images you see online , or the bodies you see next to you at the gym. The fittest may not be the happiest. The skinniest may not be whole. There is more to who we are than what the outside shows. Still take care of yourself and do your best, but don’t judge your growth simply on physicality.”
Welp! I hit post and walked away. “Dear Lord, that was scary, but I know good will come out of it.” If you want to know how it all panned out…you can see for yourself here.
There were 2 minutes left on the clock that morning before I needed to leave for my workout. I grabbed my phone and snapped that picture of my body you see on the right so I could have a “before” image to reference during my new nutrition plan. Never in a million years did I plan to share that with anyone. As bedtime arrived, I wanted to post some content on my Instagram to promote this week’s habit focus of working out during my #4thQTRchallenge. This throwback picture came to mind because it’s fun, eye catching, and would grab someone’s attention while scrolling.
It wasn’t true, though. While that IS ME, it was me 4 years ago. The me today looks just like this.
I know the effect social media has on women’s brains and self-esteem. It would feel like lying if I shared the best version of myself when I could easily consider this the “worst version” of myself. That’s when it all came together.
THIS IS THE BEST VERSION OF ME!!! Fluffy? Yep, so what! More confident in who I am and who I am becoming? ABSOLUTELY. This version, the 2020 version of me, is the person I’ve fought so hard to become. The personal growth, emotional freedom, forgiveness, and joy that I have today in my fluffy pandemic body is 100x’s better than the stagnant, trapped, resentful, and grieving version of myself in the leaner body. I love who I am, even with a little extra “fun” around the edges. It’s a mindset shift to look at my body and say either, “I am fat” or “I have fat”. It’s a separate entity apart from who I am! Just because I have a mole on my body doesn’t mean I should say, “I am a mole!” hahaha. NO! It’s just a thing, on my body, not an adjective that defines me.
Does this resonate with you? Please find me on Instagram and send me a message. Talking to real people like you and making true connections is wonderful! If you want to keep peeling back the layers to finding your best version, regardless off the fluffy fun that likes to hang out with you, I’ve created a short YouTube video on tips for making exercise help move more than just your body, by shifting your mood and emotions as well. You can watch that below!
Maybe you can recall the exact time in your life when you first had a negative experience with your body-esteem. I share mine on Episode 17 of the Paiges of Life Podcast, “Exercise Moves More than your Body”. It took a horrible experience of getting weighed in weekly on my college cheer team and years of yo-yo dieting before God revealed to me his true purpose for exercise…and it has nothing to do with losing weight! Take a listen here and stick around for some other conversations with me.
If no one has told you yet today, you are gorgeous. You are strong. You are resilient. Your eyes light up when you smile, so do more of that. You are who God says you are…his cherished child who he adores! You are loved enough to die for, and no one…no thing…no weight…and no negative thought will ever change the miracle God created you to be!