When I started writing this Fitness Revolution blog, I didn't just want it to be another random fitness/exercise blog. I wanted to offer a series of messages designed to help you get past your barriers -- whether they be mental, physical or emotional barriers -- so you can get to a place of better health. I pray I am doing so.
So I saw her again today at the gym. She was tall, brown, lean and had abs of steel. I see her every day at the gym. She's always there... works out minimally it seems, probably because her beautiful body is hereditary. The workouts just keep her in tip-top shape. She probably ran track in high school. She's probably 20 years younger than I am. I caught myself on the verge of envy as guys turned to check her out as she walked by. Each time I see her, she is flawless.
My mind began to run back 20 years ago to a time when I looked like her; when I felt like her. When my body was lean with fresh, dewy skin held tight to my body. Back to a time when I never had to worry about my weight or about working out, for that matter. A time before three pregnancies changed my body and my mind, and one pregnancy that almost killed me. Back to a time before I gained 130 pounds and lost myself. Back to the time before depression almost took my life.
My mind almost took over, and I felt tears welling in my eyes as I watched her do her 4th set of crunches. I couldn't stop watching her in a daze of memories long gone. Then, I remembered.... but God. This baby is just beginning to live. She's not been through 1/10 of the things I've survived and overcome. She's still but a rookie in the game of life. Her body is easy now, her metabolism has not yet betrayed her. Her body is still taut, still unscarred by life.
In that moment, I remembered how blessed I am. I remembered that my beauty is my own. Her beauty is her own. I remembered how to love myself, flaws and all. I remembered that my journey could only have been lived by me. I understood in that moment as we made eye contact and I nodded my salute to her, that I too am beautiful. Flawed, yet beautiful. Damaged, yet beautiful; hurt, yet beautiful.
I am now healed and STILL BEAUTIFUL. You are too. Own it. See beneath your beautiful. Your beauty is intrinsic. It's deeper than what I could see in this young lady from the outside. Remind yourself of your own beauty every day. It's internal. It's your love of self and the way you honor others. The way you shine your light. The way you love yourself enough to get healthier. Your beauty is inexplicably profound. Own your beautiful -- unapologetically.
Chaunda is the owner of The Bella Fitness Group in Lawrenceville, GA. She has lost over 115 pounds and is now a passionate fitness advocate, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a professional singer. Visit her on the web at bellafitnessgroup.com, on Instagram at @bellafitnessgroup and Twitter at @bellafitness09.