Ra-Ra-Blah: When the Messy and the Beautiful Collide

About a month ago, I wrote a post about my fitness journey. I told you about how I work out almost everyday and how, although it’s hard to squeeze it in sometimes, I usually find a way. Because I’m worth it to myself to put in that effort.

I was all “Ra-Ra-Ree, Come workout with me…”

Well since that post, something in the air has shifted and it has been much harder to find the time. I’ve still worked out most every day, but it’s been harder. Then, this week happened. And I’ve only worked out about one and a half times. The whole week. Not even 2 complete workouts!

This week, my chant is more like, “Ra-Ra-Blah, I don’t feel like it!”

In the midst of beating myself up for my hypocrisy and laziness, I figured out that my body was gearing up to start my period again this week. So maybe that has something to do with it. But that wasn’t really enough of an excuse to satisfy my irritation. So, I continued trying to think about what else could possibly be causing this workout blockage.

I mean it couldn’t possibly just be that life is hard.

It couldn’t be the traveling we did last weekend or the all nighters pulled with my sick baby fighting an ear infection. It couldn’t be that I wake up at 5 am every day and don’t get home til about 6 pm, leaving me with about 2, 3 hours tops, to jump all the necessary hoops to spend quality time with my boys while also making sure they eat something, bathe, and get in bed at a reasonable time to start all over the next day. It couldn’t be balancing random visitation days with a million feelings and a million tasks. It couldn’t be finding out that I have 2 weeks to find a new babysitter for my boys, starting my search for child care all over again from scratch.

It couldn’t be that I’m just tired, and sometimes, two workouts in one week is a victory.

It must be that I’m lazy, and kind of a failure at life.

It’s the period talking, I realize, but those thoughts that sting my brain are there every now and then, and it warrants a discussion. Because I bet you have them too.

I do this thing where I want people to celebrate themselves. I want people to appreciate what they did do rather than beating themselves up for what they didn’t do. I want women to look at their bodies, flaws and all, and see their beauty. I want us to rally together against the need for perfection and to stand in the mirror with our cellulite and stretch marks and bags under our tired eyes and say to each other, “You rock!”

And I do that much of the time. I do it all the time in fact, for you. But for me, that sneaky voice of condemnation and failure and “you’re not good enough” still rears its ugly head sometimes.

I hear other women doing it, and I cringe. It quite literally makes my skin crawl. I can’t stand the dialogue we’ve accepted for ourselves and each other. Our friend looks in the mirror and says, “Ugh…” and we join in and say, “Me too!”

And I fight against it. I fight against it in my writing, in my mind, and in my words. I fight it so hard, for you and for us. But if I’m honest, there are times that I can’t fight that battle for me.

It’s not always that I lose the battle. In fact, most of the time these days, I win it. But if the perfect storm of things happen and the failure thoughts hit me at the wrong time, there are days I don’t fight them. I open my arms and welcome them in like a long-lost best friend. I pull them in close and say, “I know. You’re right.”

I beat myself up for all the things I didn’t do. All the things I missed, forgot, didn’t get to, cried about, or left undone. I start to critique not only what I didn’t do, but also who I often believe I’m not. The old tired lies that rise to the surface at the first sign of weakness in my armor.

You’re not good enough. You’re a failure. You’re doing it wrong. You’re not enough. You’ll never get there.

Whatever is on the other side of those lies for you, I know you have them. We all do. And it’s alright.

It’s alright as long as you don’t start allowing those lies to become your truth. It’s alright as long as you learn to recognize what they are, and remember who you are.

We all have moments of feeling weak. Every super hero has a kryptonite.

Having weaknesses doesn’t make us weak. In fact, it’s what makes us strong. If we didn’t have areas of weakness, we wouldn’t need each other. We wouldn’t need faith. We wouldn’t need God.

If we were strong all the time, perfect all the time, we wouldn’t be human. We wouldn’t be alive.

So today, I’m choosing to allow the “Ra-Ra-Blah.” I’m choosing to embrace my messy AND my beautiful.

I’m tired. I’m emotional. I’m on my period. And life is hard.

I’m still cheering for you. And in a minute, I’ll cheer for myself too. But sometimes we need to allow the weak spots to shine through and join hands with the other imperfect people in our lives and say, “It’s ok. Me too!” And then we gather ourselves up and we keep going.

Because we are not doing this thing alone. We aren’t fighting a one woman battle. We don’t win every minute of every day. But we do overcome. We do rise above. We do learn. We can forgive ourselves and try again the next day. And we can be a friend to each other even when we struggle to be a friend to ourselves.

You rock! Even if you didn’t accomplish everything on your list. You’re brave! Even if you feel scared. You’re strong! Even if you feel weak. You’re beautiful! Even if you didn’t workout and you feel fat today. You’re celebrated! Even if you can’t celebrate yourself right now. You’re amazing! Even if you got a lot of things wrong today. You’re loved! Even if you struggle to believe it.

Hang in there, darling. We’re crazy, we’re messy, we’re beautiful. And we are all in this together.

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