Lies I Told Myself – “Nobody Will Like You If You’re Fit”
“Skinny Bitch.” “Fat Bitch.” Sometimes women are brutally cruel to each other. You know how a lot of people are afraid of failure? Well, I’m one of those people afraid of success. It’s stupid, I know, but for a long time I told myself that nobody would like me if I was too fit.
Perhaps this reverse logic is owed to my experiences attempting to climb the corporate chain, where it was ok to get ahead, but not too quickly, or co-workers would try to stab you in the back.
Perchance this line of thinking comes from my acting days when I competed for jobs against my friends, where my success literally meant their failure, and in that kind of environment it is difficult to be supportive of each other’s victories.
Maybe it goes further back to school days? If you were too smart you were teased relentlessly, as though a target was permanently attached to you.
Each of us is guided in part by a map of our hurts. My map told me, “Don’t be the best you can be, nobody will like you.”
A few years ago, before signing up for my first bodybuilding competition, my friend, Regina, came to my house for a visit. After the kids fell asleep and the men were watching TV, I confessed my fear of not being liked to her over a cocktail and a bag of chips.
And Regina, in her manner that I love her for, said, “That’s stupid, Lisa.”
And you know what? She was right. I’ve made more friends the first year I attempted to be fit than I did the past ten years attempting to be liked. My old friends from home, Jenny, Deirdre and Meghan – they never abandoned me no matter what my weight was. To this day they we send texts and sometimes little notes in the mail encouraging each other, whether it’s fitness related or not. “Don’t give up now, you can do this!”
People at the gym I didn’t even know have wished me luck at my first competition, because they saw how hard I was working for it. Five years ago a man who sometimes helped me load the 50 lb. bar on my back for my walking lunges handed me a Leadership coin. It said in part, “Always ask yourself if you are doing the right things, at the right time, and for the right reasons.” Five years later, I’m still working just as hard, only now I’m encouraging other women to get fit with me.
So if that voice in your head tells you to make yourself small to try to fit in, tell that bitch to shut up.
Try your best at whatever you do. Your real friends will be there for you.
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Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!
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