So let me be real with all of you…I’ve got fears about raising girls.
How could I not? I have an amazing mother, but I still grew up having to revamp my mind by encouraging more positive thoughts, less hatred of my body, and not idolizing bodies that I could NEVER have. I watched my mother be negative about herself and I watched friend’s mothers do exactly the same. When they said they hated parts of their bodies, I was watching…and it molded my eyes. I could not see truth about my own body or understand the meaning of confidence.
Yet, what do we do when we see something that our parents did and we want to try and fix it? Usually we go too far. Rebelling from what our parents did can do just as much damage.
So I’ve tried to take all emotion out of it, but sometimes that emotion slips in and it just did today…
My daughters got Barbies this Christmas. I know peoples’ fears about Barbie and I honestly never wanted to be that helicopter mom that kept them from Barbies at all. If I try and keep them from Barbies, I’m waging a battle that I just cannot win. There will always be friends that have Barbies. As with all things…if my girls are going to learn about anything, I want it to be learned from Ben and me first.
The ideal body type has morphed into so many different shapes and sizes throughout my life. Somehow I knew as a child…maybe 4th grade or before…that I had bigger legs than other girls. Funny thing is that I was never a chubby kid…not even slightly chubby, yet because of the space that my legs took up, I assumed otherwise. Even at my smallest, my legs were vastly larger than most girls around me.
Apparently in this culture we are supposed to have legs the length of a football field and as thin as ski poles. (not tree trunks, I guess?)
No matter who I compared myself to I was always disappointed. When living in Southern California–a place that in my words is “hell on earth” for anyone with confidence issues–I couldn’t figure out how to get my legs small enough to fit the mold of what was deemed the perfect figure. The more weight I lost, the more cellulite I seemed to have. Funny thing is, my legs seemed the same size no matter how much weight I lost. Duh… Continue reading
I truly thought I was unteachable–that I would never reach a point of happiness with my body. There were just too many dark and twisted thoughts in my brain, too much sadness when I looked in the mirror, and so much obsession of what entered my mouth. I inhaled and exhaled bitterness over how much I had to work to lose a pound or how it came so easily to someone else. I was unteachable, unchangeable, stuck, immoveable, and in other words, a lost cause.
I remember praying one day. “God, if you could just change this one part of my life, I would be so grateful. Yet, I don’t believe. I don’t believe that it can be changed. I feel as though this is just my burden. It feels impossible.”
With every part of my soul…
The soul of the girl that would cry in the mirror…
The soul of the girl that would pinch the fat on the back of her arm…
The soul of the girl that got angry at her big thighs…
The soul of the little girl that was called fatso by her grandmother and by friends on the playground…
I wanted to find peace…no matter what it looked like.
And strangely even with all of the disbelief, changes started happening, but it wasn’t without hard work. I suppose what God gave me instead of just taking it away, was the ability to fight back. I became a warrior in my own skin. This girl who felt so weak, started to drag swords along with her into the fight, even though she felt tired and inadequate. Somehow by dragging my weapons even though I had no idea how to use them, the stance, the technique, all started to come to me. Call it maturity. Call it wisdom.
Call it mostly…
A girl who was simply fed up. Who had despised her body enough and spent too many years unable to help others because she was trapped in a box, full of herself with no ability to see the needs of anyone else.
We all feel ready to give up at some point. We all feel ready to throw up our hands at some point.
It’s not everyday that we feel ready to fight. I grabbed hold of what started to work. I started to feel the change…started to feel the confidence…started to feel the heaviness stripped from my back…somedays it would be tougher than others…somedays I would take steps back…many days I would feel like quitting…but in the end I knew…
There was too much to do to be defined by an appearance. There were too many people to love to keep focusing on myself and the shallowness of what I was on the outside.
There were five main ways I started to battle the brokenness…
*** My eyes were opened to the waste of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years that I was spending on ME. Even though they were self deprecating, they were still taking my focus off of my worth and onto my crap. I couldn’t do anything but feel sorry for myself in those moments and it was a waste of who I was.
*** My eyes were opened to health. My strength was a blessing and not a curse. I had the opportunity to push my body, mind, and soul beyond the box I had painted around me with a hate covered brush. What I put into my body gave me the energy to help others. A bad mood could be as simple as too much sugar and the way my body feels from that…so when I filled it with food that produced energy then I had more ability to give back.
*** My eyes were opened to society’s woman that was making me feel inadequate. My body wanted to be strong and not skinny. I took my eyes off of ideals and focused on an ideal for my body. Skinny wasn’t important when I was working out, but neither was a six pack. If I could keep my body moving and feeling healthy, that was important.
*** My eyes were opened to the obsession of my society–the perfect jeans, the perfect clothes, the tall and slim silhouette, the long straight hair, the skinny thighs, the gap between the thighs, or on the other side, the muscles rippling, the perfectly lean six pack. Either way, our society is obsessed with the look. I had to remind my thoughts of what really mattered. What mattered was my heart. What mattered was that I was taking care of myself. What mattered were others. I started wearing sun dresses and staying away from jeans…my thighs were better that way.
*** I thought of my two little girls and what I wanted them to see as I raised them. I wanted them to see a woman with enough time to love on everyone because she wasn’t so obsessed with herself. I wanted them to see a woman who praises the body for what it can do rather than berates it for what it can’t do. I wanted them to see the beauty that is in this world not the beauty of a face.
You are not impossible. You have more to give to the world than just a heap of bad thoughts and self pity. You have enough strength it just has to be dug out from under the crap people have shoveled onto you.
Worth is yours upon birth, not upon perfection. Take it, find it, uncover it, or discover it.
Nothing is impossible.
It doesn’t matter where you live, what has happened to you in your past, or what stands in your future…you are what you allow yourself to be. You have as much space in front of you as you give yourself to walk, and you have as much height as you are willing to jump. And while my words may sound serious, relax and open yourself up to what’s in store. There’s always something new around the corner. If you want it…it’s there. I promise you.
The other night I went out to look at the milky way. I remember doing this as a teenager on the rooftop of my family home when I needed to think. Yet I haven’t had time to do it for a while.
In Hawaii, even the street lights are a specific type of light so that it won’t interfere with the star gazing. Up on the top of Mauna Kea (the Big Island’s Volcano) is an observatory strategically placed to capitalize on Hawaii’s dark sky. You can be on top of the world…or so it feels. The street lamps in Kona glow a deep orange hue so that it doesn’t negatively effect the research at the observatory, but it will take away the color of your car, so beware…a red car will suddenly look gray and you’ll find yourself trying to get into someone else’s car–I say this with experience. What a weird place to be, in the middle of the Pacific with water on every side, a volcano beneath your feet, and so many stars lighting the night sky.
Life is still life here. I eat things that I shouldn’t, get worried, get irritable, and continue the cycle. My kids get bored and whine that there is nothing to do, and although the weather is very consistent, we found ourselves hunkering down for possibly two hurricanes in a row last week–neither of which hit Kona.
The most important thing I can say about my life is that I feel completely and utterly grateful for this blog, my training, clients, and my readers because of how far Tessa Van Wade Fitness has come. Yet a few months ago my training was exceeding my capacity for time and I found myself having trouble getting the writing in that I wanted to do. You see it’s so important to me to write and do videos. There’s a need out there…not to inundate you with facts about our diet and exercise, but to give quality help for people who don’t know where to begin, people who can’t afford to begin, and for people like me who just like to be real–we all have to find SOME way to keep ourselves healthy.
I hope that I have been able to be a voice for Balance in your lives. I hope that I have encouraged people to drop the unrealistic ideals that we have in our culture, and believe that we can be extraordinary without a six pack or perfectly sculpted calves. I do not find always eating perfect enjoyable, nor do I think we have to.
So because I was finding no time to write and do videos, I was growing frustrated! That’s when we decided to make a change. I had been contacted by someone to manage my Youtube Channel and a manager for the website. This means I get to write and make all my content, it just gets edited and processed by—-NOT ME!
This allows me to train people AND work on my dream.
I want to continue to feed the world with HEALTHY and BALANCED information, I want to work one on one with people and see them reach their goals, and then last but not least, I want to build GET FIT KONA. www.getfitkona.com
My dream is to create a Health and Fitness Resort here on the Big Island. There, I would be able to give families who need to find Balance and health to change their lives who can’t afford it, a chance for a dream vacation and the ability to see change at no cost. This is an absolute dream and little by little we are seeing it get closer and closer.
And I’m happy to have started Get Fit Kona in Hawaii. It will always be the starting place for a dream that I never thought possible.
The other night as we looked at the stars, I thought about what a Big World this is and how big God is. Our dreams are just a small piece of a plan to the creator of the Milky Way. The stars will always be crazy amazing to me. The smell of the flowers will always be intoxicating. The fact that I have gotten used to cockroaches, geckos, and centipedes is shocking. The Aloha Spirit rising with the intensity of the waves is truly amazing. And God created all of these things.
I’ve seen dreams come true for people who just took the motion to go after them. All it takes is to be fearless. Who are we to hold back any part of ourselves? What happens when we let go of control?
So as I go forward, I want to share Kona with you. I want to share Fitness with you. I want to share Balance with you. I want to share with you my struggles to maintain health in this society. I want to share with you stories about the people around me that are doing their best to find happiness and contentment with who they are. This is what Tessa Van Wade Fitness is all about.
So welcome to a new season of Tessa Van Wade Fitness. Please write me and let me know how you would like to be a part of it!
Aloha! A Hui Hou.
I’ve always had a desire to be adventurous. I mean, who doesn’t right? Yet it took me a long time to become a confident enough person to actually embrace this quality in me. In my childhood and teenage years, I was so fearful of what anyone and everyone thought of me that I needed to do things the same as everyone else. It wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve been able to drop the hesitation and jump off that hypothetical mountain.
Mostly, I’m told now that I live in a dreamworld.
Well, why the hell not?
Look…what’s stopping you? If you want to move…move! If you want to jump…jump! And if you want that healthy heart and the awesome body to go with it then…why not?
What’s stopping you? Continue reading
While I was in high school I never had a boyfriend. Not one. Granted I was overweight, so I looked different, but it was more than that. I had zero confidence. I could not talk to boys. There are actually thousands of memories that are rather embarrassing regarding me with boys. I’ll only tell one, at least for this post.
At the end of my freshman year I started cutting out fats in my diet. It worked and I started getting a lot of compliments. I figured that I would take it to the next level and eventually as my freshman year came to an end and the summer began, I was hardly eating during the day (I’m fifteen, it’s sad how quickly this obsession can start). I remember one day in particular, the only thing I ate was a low fat burrito at lunch. I was also working out twice a week. No cardio, just lifting weights. During that time I grew confidence. Continue reading