My journey to self love

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This post is very special to me and also very raw and personal. After so many years of looking in the mirror and just hating what I saw, never believing I was good enough or deserving of love. Body positivity is very close to my heart now even though I am back at my heaviest. The difference now is my mindset and my hopes for my daughter.

It used to be so hard choosing an outfit and putting on whatever covered up the most of me. I would wear only baggy sweatshirts and baggy jeans in hopes that nobody would see me. I wondered why others were blessed with slim bodies and I was stuck with this chubby physique. It took an emotional toll on my emotions and later almost took a toll on my relationship. My husband could not understand why I hated a body he loved so much. He would hurt watching me tear myself apart in the mirror. It was then I realized I needed to change my perspective. I cannot describe the feeling of complete raw hatred of my body (though I am sure some people understand). I was always thinking about it instead of enjoying my life. I didn’t know how anyone could love me… I was disgusting. I’d squeeze my fat and look at it with utter disgust. This particularly hurt my hubby and he just couldn’t watch me feel that way.

We would have endless discussions where he would beg me to understand how beautiful I was and how much he loved me. He would ask me why? Why did I feel this way? And I would just say “because”…. And so that got me thinking…. Why?!?! Why DID I feel this way? And oh man did that bring up a ton of emotions. In my first post I discussed how a close family member asked me when I was a young girl if I should really be eating that potato chip. Well it all started there and from that moment on I had an unhealthy relationship with food. At first I ate to spite this person, then my body started changing as a young girl, then life’s stresses happened. And so the spiral went on. I needed to create a better relationship with what I ate. Once I did that food was no longer the enemy.

I took up fitness, lifting, yoga, anything that could help me find myself and learn to love the skin I am in. It was an uphill battle but I was extremely happy to make it to the top. I told myself no matter what, and no matter how I felt, every morning I would look myself in the eye and tell that woman she is beautiful and strong. After so many days I started to truly and deeply believe myself. There is no greater feeling than the feeling of complete love and acceptance of my whole self.

I have made it my mission and goal to touch as many woman’s lives and minds as possible. I want everyone to know how truly beautiful they are and that they are not alone on this life journey. There are tons of strong and beautiful warrior women in their tribe. I want my daughter to grow up with self-love and a strong foundation of confidence. We are the example for our children and if we don’t show our bodies some love our children will notice. Please join me in this mission!

My journey to lifting

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My next topic I want to share with you all is my struggle and journey to lifting. I have done so many crazy programs and tried so many crazy workouts. Usually none of them stick for one reason or another… later I learned the main reason was boredom. It was drilled in my head that cardio loses weight, run run run! Well, I do enjoy taking a run but good lord… I would go to the gym and claim my treadmill never leaving it’s side. I’d run and run while wondering why I was still heavy and the scale wasn’t moving.

I am a really healthy eater and food is not currently my problem and hasn’t been for several years now, so how was this happening? I was doing everything right! …or so I thought. Even when I started personal training there was still a lot of cardio. But this introduced me to… dare I say it… weights! Little by little I built up strength and kept grabbing for heavier weights and challenging myself. My train or even introduced me to an Olympic bar (which is now my mistress). The next challenge, and for me a turning point, came when I was tired of 20 lb dumbbells and a 45 lb Olympic bar. I was at a road block preventing me from further growth. This place couldn’t help me anymore and I yearned to see where I could be. I joined a different gym following my current trainer who knew my goals and wanted to see me grow.
This place had it all, except for the camaraderie and welcoming atmosphere. Sorry if being greeted by beefy dudes grunting in the arm section doing curls is not my cup of tea each day. I also had the same vibe that kept me out of big gyms most of my life… they are watching me and judging. Honestly they probably didn’t even notice me but hey that’s where my mind goes. Anyway, here I was able to grow even further and the possibilities were endless. I thought this was as good as it gets until I found my current gym. Ah Monsters and Machines… where have you been all of my life. Now here is where I really started to blossom! This place became my second home and my family. That is what a gym is supposed to feel like. This place has me addicted to power lifting, and strength training. This time last year I was pretty jacked and looking mighty fine if you asked me!!!

But in the back of my mind I knew this was about to change and some heavy demons came back in my head. I was pregnant with my first baby, not yet knowing it was a little girl. I knew my body was about to face it’s toughest challenge. I kept lifting until I was about 6 months pregnant when I was told to stop because of my blood pressure. So from December until mid May I was out of commission. I was ready to hit the ground running, and I did. But I realized my life can’t be like that anymore. I now have this beautiful baby girl depending on me, an incredible husband supporting me, and about a thousand things to do each day.

I am finally finding my groove and getting back to lifting, and it feels great!
Anyone have any similar experiences? How did you bounce back? How did you cope with your mental demons?
Stay tuned for my next entry on body positivity and my goals for myself while trying to raise a daughter to love herself the way she is!

Welcome

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Hello there! Welcome to Diapers&Dumbbells! I am so excited to share my wonderful crazy life with you!

First, a little introduction… I am Heather! I am a 27-year-old Mathematician, wife, mom, and fitness lover. I am also a body positivity advocate and want to share my journey to self-love with you all. I have thought long and hard about what my first post would be. I was so excited to start this blog because I have so many thoughts, so many things that need to be shared. So where the start? What better place than the beginning?

When I was a little girl, small & innocent, I had no worries and no confidence issues. But then I got older and started gaining a little weight. Now, it wasn’t that much and I wouldn’t have thought anything of it today if it weren’t for one person, one statement, in front of one large group of people. This person is very dear to me and never meant me any harm, she didn’t know any better as that was how she was taught. But, that doesn’t stop the fact that on my brother’s birthday, (maybe in 2001?) I think I was 10 or 11, in front of all these people (included my brothers friends) this person said “Do you really think you should be eating that potato chip?”. Sounds dumb right? Well not to a girl my age… needless to say, I started questioning my changing body, questioning food, questioning my choices. Before I knew it that confident little girl was in a downward spiral of self loathing. I try not to use the word hate because of the strength that word carries; but I HATED my body… there for I HATED me. At that point everything that made me uniquely beautiful fell crashing to the ground and there was nothing my mom or anyone could do about it. This went on and on and on for sooo many years and I accepted my fate that nobody would ever want to love me or my body.

Now imagine my shock when I left my life in NJ to work and live in VA and met the most amazing person I will ever have the honor of knowing and loving. I would not be where I am today without that man. He saw ME, he accepted ME, he loved (and loves) ME. How? Why? What did I do to deserve him… I mean, look at me? So I did… for the very first time I got up, walked to a mirror, and I looked… REALLY looked. I saw a woman deserving of love and happiness. Deserving of self-love and strength! So I asked myself what could I do to help myself learn to love me? My husband loves me so how will I ever understand that until I love me too? I got a personal trainer the very next day (love you Haley!). The gym asked me what my goal was. They expected to see me write lose weight or be skinny, that’s great and all but to their surprise I wrote self-love, health, and happiness. I think from that moment on they knew I was a winner haha. Well, I lost 50 pounds and gained a ton of muscle, but most importantly I loved myself. I woke up and told that woman she was beautiful every day.

Fast forward to now as there is so much to talk about in between that I need to save some for later. Here I am with roughly 35 pounds back on, a beautiful baby girl, and still practicing self-love! I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t have my days because everyone does. But that is what blossomed into Diapers&Dumbbells, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share with you the roller coaster that is my life!

My greatest hope is to inspire you, support you, laugh with you, and sympathize with you. If there is ever a topic you want my take on please feel free to ask and I will gladly discuss it! Life is not easy, but it is absolutely wondrous and beautiful. We are all in this together and we need to build one another up! I also plan to share my relationship with nutrition, weight lifting, mommyhood, and some things that make me happy as well! (Got to keep it fun)

I will also add, this is a cruelty and negativity free zone… please no unkind remarks. This is a very vulnerable thing for me to do and I always expect some people to be harsh but it is not welcome here. And please remember that I am a Mathematician not a writer or English major so don’t grade my paper 😉

 

Thank you for sharing your valuable time with me and I hope to build a nice community where we can spread a little kindness and support!

 

Heather K Beaudin