I am pretty sure that some of you were thinking that I posted my body positive bucket list challenge late, one night and had forgotten that I had put all my biggest challenges out there and ever committing to start ticking them off from my own bucket list. I didn’t forget. I just wanted to make it worth sharing and decided that I was on to something, so started pitching brands to get on board and help achieve my goals for the challenge.
This challenge has been an incredible learning curve for me, and it hasn’t even begun yet. I had to put all these ideas into words, commit to delivering on promises and most of all, put myself out there to be rejected on more than one occasion but to also succeed and win brands over in partnerships that I could only ever dream of. You have to know that I always undervalue myself because I would put so much emphasis on never having studied, so clearly I don’t have the brains to do much more than a 9-5 job, behind a soul-crushing, creativity-stealing desk. So it took a few loving cheerleaders who saw something in me that I didn’t quite see in myself, who pushed me to put together the proposals and get my work out there. Thank you, you know exactly who you are.
And now, for the big news!
I am so ecstatically happy, proud and… [INSERT ALL THE HAPPY WORDS HERE] to finally announce that Curves Walker Drive is a proud sponsor of the Bucket List Challenge. They’ve hooked me up with a year sponsorship to their Curves Complete Program which not only focuses on exercises but a lifestyle change by including meal plans and one-on-one coaching. I knew that I wanted to partner with Curves because they’re a woman-only gym, who focus on empowering women of all shapes and sizes. Gym, is a challenge of its own and I didn’t want to have to worry about some gross man being well… gross. I have heard the stories, I have two stunning sister-in-laws who LOVE and thrive in gym but who have been harassed to the point that they avoid going at certain times. That wasn’t for me, especially as I have always felt that I needed to be a certain size before I could start gymming, that I needed to be fit or have built up stamina – it was never going to happen, especially in an environment that I wasn’t comfortable being in. Knowing that Curves gets me, has created an environment to encourage and build me up and wants me to sign up because they believe I can succeed, well… they’re the confidence I need. Whether Curves chose to be part of the challenge or not, I knew that I wanted their help in reaching my goals and had every intention of signing up regardless, so when they showed interest in the bucket list, I died of excitement.
So why gym, after all, isn’t this about embracing YOUR body? I have spoken about this weird misconception that people hear the phrase “body positive” and immediately think of fat girls who are just using the latest trend as an excuse. I am fat and I also have horrible issues with my body. Sure, my issues are far better than what they were, but I still have triggers that can easily put me into weeks of depression over my rubbing thighs. In my opinion, I don’t believe body positive is a shape or size, it is about learning to love and embrace your body.
Loving your body means to nurture it, too. I don’t nurture mine, I don’t put good things in it and I certainly don’t treat it with the love and respect that it should be. I’ve hated exercise since the beginning of time, I bunked every single sports day and becoming an adult was more of a reason to give up movement. Diets and pills never worked for me because as soon as I took my first bite of a chocolate, all my progress was undone or better yet, I came apart at the seams (quite literally) when I was triggered by comparing myself to everyone else around me. My lifestyle is unhealthy, both mentally and physically and I realized that for this challenge to be a success, I needed to really focus on embracing what body positivity means to me.
I have to live it.
So I put myself out there. It scares me to the point of nausea that I have just signed up to an entire year of gyming at least 4-6 times a week, to sticking to meal plan (albeit a very well-balanced eating plan that even includes KFC options) and having a someone to be accountable to. I am lenient, a pushover if you may, but here – I have a coach and a brand to answer to. And this can’t be taken lightly, this is my personal brand on the line – something I have worked the last 3 years establishing and finally seeming to find my footing.
But here’s the thing. I have played life safe and it has gotten me this far, but I want to start living. I want to run around with Axl and not feel my body limiting me. My son is my legacy, my pride and joy, and this body, MY body created him. It “knitted him in the womb” and gave him sustenance for over 2 years so how can I hate it? I need to learn to love my body, to trust it and to embrace it and I feel that the team at Curves Walker Drive really do understand that.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t one of my short lived weight loss challenges. It isn’t about losing weight, sure it will be a byproduct of my journey with Curves, but it mostly is about nurturing and loving my body.
I will, of course, be sharing more details on the Curves Complete Program as well as keep you up to date on my progress and the rest of my bucket list items. But for now, I just wanted to let you know, today is my first day in gym, they’re going to measure all my jiggly bits and show me how not to kill myself on the very intimidating gym equipment. I am scared, excited and thrilled to be joining the Curves family, so thank you to the incredible and welcoming team who are cheering me on and who thought this idea was worth investing in, I am truly grateful.