Learning Self-Approval the Hard Way

Learning the Hard Way. Sometimes that is the only way to get through to ourselves- by taking the harder path, the steeper mountain, the longest mile.

Day 17 of HAWMC is What is a lesson you learned the hard way?

I think I’ve learned many lessons the hard way, as it seems those are the only ways I actually get the new ideas into my pretty, yet thick, skull. Sometimes I crash and burn, only to get up wiser. Sometimes I stumble but regain my footing at the last second. Most of the time I come out ahead, as learning things the hard way makes me stronger.

A lesson learned the hard way was what actual health feels like. Being healthy isn’t just second nature for most people and it certainly wasn’t second nature for me. I have struggled with weight issues, an eating disorder, feelings of self-worthlessness, feelings of guilt, and just downright unhappiness. BUT(!) do you know where I’m at now? Pure love for myself and where I am in my life.

Without all those hard, unpaved roads and lessons I’ve learned while traveling down them, I certain I would not be in the place I am now.

The story of Lori…

You may have read my About Me tab or you might not have, either way, the short story is that I was overweight as a child from the time I hit 5 years old into high school. I was very overweight and I was made fun of. I didn’t like myself or the way I looked. And the summer between my freshmen year and sophomore year in high school I vowed to myself that I would no longer be that fat girl.

I started exercising more, eating less, then exercising even more, and eating even less. I lost 40 pounds during that summer and when I returned to school, people noticed. And this time they noticed me in a positive way. I got compliments and I felt good about myself. I was finally in control of my life. And wouldn’t you know, it only took starving myself, literally, to get there! Joy!

After losing another 15 pounds, quickly, I started to look… a bit too skinny. People still noticed me, but my friends noticed how I looked and commented in concern. They saw it. They saw how thin I was. How boney. Although for years I would look in the mirror and see that fat girl staring back… in disgust.

Paleo Waffles! See, I love food now. 🙂

I’ve been at both extremes in my life and both times I walked some bumpy paths. After college I became obsessed with what true health was and learned that food was not the enemy– my thinking was. Although it was hard to change my thinking habits (especially when it came to how I felt about myself), I did it. What Runs Lori became my writing therapy– I cooked, I ate, I discovered that food was delicious and foods were healthy. Fat (from plants) are our friends :). Slowly, I blogged my way to eating right.

Then came CrossFit and weight lifting.

I fell in love with how powerful (and in control) I felt when I lifted weights. I was strong, competent, powerful, beautiful. It was finally ok not to be the skinniest person in the room! And I’m not sure I can convey how wonderful that felt… feels. *Strong is the new skinny* and don’t you forget it!

Long story short- through the overweight hard lessons, the eating disordered hard lessons, and working on the confidence in myself, I learned self-approval and self love. Without any of those lessons, I wouldn’t appreciate my passions (health, nutrition, and exercise) quite as much, if at all.

I’m grateful for each hard-way learned lesson I’ve had. I enjoy food, I enjoy exercise, I enjoy feeling good and looking good. And yeah, I know I look good. 😉

Happiness is the only way to live, no matter which way you get there.


Wooooo hhhhhooooo, that was a little serious, wasn’t it?

What lessons have you learned the hard way?

3 thoughts on “Learning Self-Approval the Hard Way”

  • Lori we love you!!! just sayin!!!
    we have gone through similar emotional and physical battles like you. and we are finally at the point in our life too where we LOVE ourselves! even our little imperfections, to us we are finally HAPPY!!! it feels great too, to say it and actually feel it.
    more strength training exercises has really helped us get that confidence! so glad you have gotten to this point as well 🙂
    now we just need to celebrate together! somehow we need to find a way to hang out soon!!! we need to live closer

  • Lori you are such an inspiration…I too have had eating disorder issues and overcoming them has been a long an tumultuous journey, but I believe I am almost there. You know why? My mind is healthy now. I’m kinder to myself and I realise that food can be amazing. It’s such a good feeling to have. Thanks for this post

  • “Happiness is the only way to live”–love this!

    So happy for you that you’ve come through so well. Thanks for sharing.

    Just going to write mine now.

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