I’ve been married to my husband Brad (not his real name) for almost 8 years. When we met, I had been gaining and losing the same 15 pounds since the end of high school. 15 pounds on my frame (I’m 5’3) has the ability to swing my appearance from cute to pudgy. I met my husband on the dating app Bumble, and whenever I had a profile on one of those match making apps, I always selected ‘average body type’ from the drop down. When I’m not carrying the extra weight, I could almost (almost) get away with choosing the ‘fit / athletic’ option. That’s me - or at least how I see myself.
I was going through some old diaries recently (I’ve been keeping a diary since grade 8) and noticed that the main recurring theme, besides who I was dating at the time, and who my friends were dating, were those 15 pounds. From the time I was a sophomore in high school, I’ve been struggling to shift those 15 pounds around. As I turn the pages of my journals, I’m 16, I’m 22, I’m 27, I’m 32, I’m 36, I’m all of these ages, I’m at all of these different stages of growth and development, I’m exploring this life and hitting all of these milestones, but I was still dragging around this conflict around my weight like a massive boulder that I felt chained to.
There was one entry that really stood out to me. I had been invited to a pool party at a friend's house to celebrate the end of the school year. I was 7 pounds over my goal weight at that time, and even though I really wanted to go to the party, I had decided to go late, after the swimming was over, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with being in my bathing suit. As a result, I didn’t get to say goodbye to a very dear friend, who was moving away to Australia. She left before I arrived, and I never got to say goodbye. I never got to see her again after that.
It occurred to, me as I leafed through the pages of each journal, that the diaries weren’t just a history of what I had said and done, but all of the things that I chose to avoid, hide from and not participate in because of those extra 15 pounds.
The amount of life not lived because of those 15 pounds are the words missing in these journals. How many more lines of life would I have written if I wasn’t pinned down under those 15 pounds?
It reminds me of a story that my mother told me when I was a little girl. The story of the elephant. It goes something like this. There was a baby elephant taken in by a travelling circus. At first, the animal trainer drove a huge spike into the ground and tied the baby elephant to it. Try as she might, the baby elephant could not wander further than the rope tied to the spike would allow. As the elephant grew older (and bigger and stronger) the animal trainer gradually replaced the size of the spike in the ground, each time making it smaller and lighter, until eventually the elephant that had by now grown up to be a powerful, full sized adult elephant was being held in place by a stick not much bigger than a pencil. She had been trained to be held in place, so she no longer tried to move beyond the limited space the rope allowed. She didn’t even try to escape, because in her mind, that stopped being possible when she was just a young elephant.
The first thing that I bought from you guys was a set of 15 lb dumbbells. I didn’t use them to exercise. I used one dumbbell as a door stop for our garden shed, and I have the other one on my desk. I spent a lot of time looking at it sitting on my desk. Now and then I would take it and heft it, experiencing the weight of what 15 pounds feels like. Wrapping my head around how I could have been struggling with this exact amount of weight, remembering all of the times I allowed this weight to hold me back from really living.
Sometimes I would lay down on the floor and place the 15 lbs dumbbell on my chest, allowing myself to be pinned down and trapped by its weight.
Except that I wasn’t trapped, or pinned down. Not really. If I chose to simply move it would slide off of me and fall to the floor. Sometimes I would stand up and allow myself to feel the weight falling off of me. This simple practice was how I programmed my mind to understand that 15 lbs was not going to defeat me any longer. It may sound silly to you, but this was how I initially convinced myself that I was strong enough to overcome these 15 lbs. I was the elephant practicing uprooting the rope attached to the pencil. How could I have allowed myself to be trapped by such an inconsequential weight? In all the ways that I am loving, and kind, and compassionate to others, in all the ways I show up for myself and others in this life, in all the incredible things that I have learned and discovered - how could I have let this pin me down to a life of lowered expectations?
I decided that this elephant was no longer going to be held captive. The second thing that I bought from you guys (besides my weighted vest) was a membership to BodyRockPlus.com. I started with the Beginner Bootcamp 1, then did Beginner Bootcamp 2. Next up came the Intermediate Bootcamp, and then I smashed some of Coach Sean’s workouts. I’ve been going hard at it ever since. I stream 1 workout a day in my living room, and I’m hooked.
I love the gear, I love the Coaches, I love the community. I love how real you guys are, but more than anything, I love how you gave me all of the tools that I needed to finally find peace in my body. Once I got my mind around the fact that consistent movement made me strong enough to overcome what was holding me back, the war of the 15 pounds was over.
Getting back to my husband. I’m not sure how much of this he knows about. I use to bitch here and there about my weight, but after I started to Strength Train with you guys, I decided to surprise him with our first ‘fit sex’. As someone that has now discovered ‘fit sex’, I can attest that it is night and day different from what I now call ‘pre-fit sex’. Don’t get me wrong, I had good sex with my husband, but before I started BodyRocking, I didn’t have nearly the same agility or endurance. I could move, but I would get tired, sometimes certain positions would make me cramp up, I was limited, without even really being aware of just how restricted my sexual mobility was. ‘Fit sex’, is the same as ‘fit mowing the lawn’ I suppose, or ‘fit cleaning out the garage’. You are more capable, more powerful, more confident, more present. It’s life and love fully physically awake.
Brad had noticed my fat loss, he saw me working out in the TV room, he knew that something had shifted. After I got comfortable learning the basic Strength Training exercises with Coach Jessie in the Intro to Strength Bootcamp, I started to train with Coach Sean, who incorporates a lot of strength moves in his HIIT classes. That’s when things really started to pop.
I started to see the outlines of muscle tone on my arms, shoulders and legs. My chest was tighter, and my core was stronger and tighter than before I had my kids.
All of this didn’t happen overnight. To be fair, it took me almost 6 months to reach this level - which reminds me of something else my mother says - ‘the best time to plant a tree is now’.
My husband and I have pretty regular sex - usually once or twice a week, but I was still showing up as my ‘pre-fit sex’ self. I felt more attractive, I know Brad was feeling more attracted to me physically (he always tells me that he loves me, but there was a new urgency when we took our clothes off), I could feel his desire for me intensify and this really turned me on.
Sex had been heating up as I started to exercise. After I started seeing the lean muscle tone on my body something woke up in me, and I first explored what having ‘fit sex’ would be like in my journal. I mapped it out, what showing up in my new body might feel like, to let go and give myself full permission to experience the heat and desire and longing that I was capable of, and to truly be sexual without the burden of not feeling at peace with my body.
One Thursday night, when we slipped into bed, I set my intention to show up as the strong, powerful, agile woman I am. My hands found his, and my grip pressed his hands down into the bed.
I straddled him, moving my body in graceful, powerful arcs. I was aware of my strength, my body moving against his. I felt authentically sexy for the first time in almost a decade.
I wish that I could describe the look on his face that night. I’m pretty sure he was thinking, ‘who is this woman, and where has she been hiding’. I had the best sex of our marriage (up to that point) that night, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t think it was too shabby either. It’s the first orgasm that I felt fully present for - I was mentally and physically open to enjoy my body and our lovemaking in a way that I didn’t even realize was possible. I enjoyed sex before. I love it now.
I will end with this. Fitness has the power to transform your body, but it never stops there. When you find your physical strength, it unlocks your mental capacities. You start to see life through a wider lens.
Confidence takes root, and you start to look life in the eyes.
Saying ‘no’ to things you don’t want comes easier, and saying ‘yes’ with courage and determination to things that you want becomes vibrantly possible. Maybe that is why so many people feel intimidated and wait years or decades to start. That was me. So many experiences that I didn’t fully live. No more. Untethered spirits can show the ultimate gratitude for this gift of life, by fully living it. I hope that the pages in your journals are full of life lived, not blank spaces.
Thanks for listening to my story.
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This is such an inspiring story to keep going towards my goals too! Thank you for sharing your story…this is “fuel to my fire” to keep on working towards my goals & achieving them!
What an amazing story!!!
Your determination and consistency allowed you to reach your goals.
I hope to start a new journey also.
Thank you for sharing!!