Those Voices Don’t Know About Me

There’s a song by Akron that really hits me. I love that song. Yeah, here’s why.

A few voices started hanging out in my brain at the first of the year. I hadn’t heard them in ages, so I noticed when they came around. Uninvited.

“Why’d you stop doing cardio? You look like shit! Did you really think you could get away with it? Those cute pants you bought sure don’t look good anymore, do they? You’ll never have nice abs. Christ. You look FAT.”

Come on. You’ve heard voices like that too.

When they first arrived, a few weeks after the holidays, the voices kept a low profile. Trying to sneak in, I think, with little comments here and there. “Hmm, why are you so fat today?”

I started looking at my middle more and more, and found myself listening to the voices more and more. Yes, I decided, I’d gained a few pounds over the holidays.

I started to feel a little down. My workout pants were a little too ultra tight. I wasn’t thrilled about tight anything. It doesn’t matter how much I gained, or how I really looked. Just picture the routine – self flagellation, disrespect, obsession.

Eight or ten years ago – and for most of my life – I would have let the voices take over. Not befriending them, really, but trying to ignore them until they got real loud – yeah, so loud I’d start to despise myself. After awhile I’d start chiming in with them: “You’re right. I look like shit. And it’s all my fault.” Sound familiar?

The problem was that if I gave them even a little time and consideration, they’d start digging in. Some were so entrenched that they became who I thought I was.

But this time, after a short amount of time passed, I saw them for who they really were. Uninvited. Not welcome. Wrong.

Yep, I’d gained a few pounds. But part of that was muscle. Part of it was water weight. And part of it was fat. I had a choice now. I could increase my cardio or buy new pants. It was my choice. My beauty was, and always will be, intact.

I told those voices to just fuck off.

Pushing them down only gives them power. They return again and again until you either agree with them (“yep – I suck”) or you tell them to, you know. Get out.

It’s always nice to get compliments from people, external validation that says, “Hey, I like how you look too.” But the real deal are the compliments to yourself: “You’re beautiful. So damn beautiful.” The song is right.

And that’s the only compliment that will ever really matter.

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Comments

  1. I know those voices all too well!! But you know what they never reflect what others see and what the reality is. You a strong, fit, beautiful woman.

    Cardio is important just because it’s a demension of fitness that’s required, no so much to melt the fat away (though that’s a good side effect) but because your heart is also a muscle and it needs exercise too. It’s about a complete workout!

    Keep on Rocking!!
    Christian recently posted..This is why I runMy Profile

  2. Funny….that voice in my head is often my mother. “Do you REALLY need that extra cookie?” “That’s not a healthy meal to order in a restaurant. Just order a salad…”

    I hate that voice. It breaks down every positive thing I’ve achieved in just one thought.

  3. Great reminder! I’ve been in a slump lately and have been hearing those voices a lot more than usual. Time to let them go!
    Paige recently posted..Mercury- Lead- Phthalates- and Other Scary Things We Might As Well Be EatingMy Profile

  4. Wow! Radical, heart-warming post. It’s beautiful to see how you found the right solutions for dealing with those unfriendly voices. Quite spectacular actually. I wish many women could also make this choice.. the choice to see how beautiful they are regardless of who, what, where, when or how.. But it takes a strong character to admit this and to make that conscious choice all the time. I’m so happy you are full of confidence and great character. We need more women like you in this world.

    You are beautiful! I’m glad you know it. 🙂

    P.S.

    I love the photo too. Badass picture! 😉
    Ines recently posted..I Can Be A Bitch @ The Gym!My Profile

    • Christian: Thank you for writing and always encouraging me!
      Lisa: That story makes me think about how conscious parents have to be about putting voices in kids’ heads. When I was a kid it was “You’re skinny as a rail.” Maybe that doesn’t carry the same stigma as being overweight, but it does still tell a child something’s wrong with their body. Thanks for sharing.
      Paige: Just that conscious decision is powerful :).
      Ines: I so appreciate your kind words. There are so many beautiful, strong women in this community (including you), and I feel so blessed to have met you all. Bad ass – I LIKE it!

  5. I am so crushing on you right now!! you are gorgeous!!

  6. I recently encountered a (very) overweight woman in a public dressing room who hissed at me and muttered loudly, “skinny anorexic bitch” when she saw me admiring myself in a dress in the three-way mirror in the hallway of the dressing room. It crushed me because it brought to the surface all the past insecurities and doubts I’d had when I was younger. The irony of the situation was that I’d actually been weight lifting for roughly six months and never looked better when she said that! I’m neither skinny nor anorexic but healthy and happy. Obviously, when I calmed down and thought about it, the problem is hers and I feel sorry for women who tear others down instead of supporting them. Happy to see that your site encourages women to be strong and proud of it. 🙂

    • That’s crazy overt hater behavior! I’ve felt silent, hostile looks from many, many women over the years but have never actually heard someone say something so scathing and hateful. She has some real issues and I am really, really glad you were able to get a perspective on it. I’ve always been a woman who is for ALL women, but many women just aren’t there.

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