What would cause me to come back to this blog a year and five months after my last post? A comment.
Often when we see comments on any social media, they are cutting, gloating opinions, etc. I am in a couple of social media groups that are 99% women and despite what most would think being in a group of predominantly female, these groups are full of women who uplift, encourage, pray for each other in EVERY comment, EVERY post – not typical, I know. These women are different. And they are my tribe.
So what comment inspired me to dig up this blog site? Let me give some back story:
In our REFIT® classes we have what we call heart-talk at the end of every class. This is a few minutes of sharing, encouraging, motivational and inspirational time and we end in prayer. We do this after every class.
Monday evening’s class of this week was no different, Christi shared some encouragement from a book she is reading. She only read a few things from the Introduction and maybe Chapter One. The book is by Rachel Hollis called, Girl, Wash Your Face. As I listened to her read the excerpts with such passion as one who was touched and experiencing life-changing moments, I was in agreement with them all. I was inspired! Not because what she said were things I needed to hear, but because they are things I think, I say, I believe – and that inspired me.
After class was over a couple of the ladies were talking about a documentary they had recently attended by Rachel and how inspiring it was to them and shared more great points. And then we went our way.
I confess, I had seen this book floating around on Facebook, but I was not familiar with the author. While Christi was reading I remember thinking, “These are all profound statements and I agree 100%, but I don’t think I need to read the book because I already do what she is encouraging.” (I do not mean that in a vainglorious way at all, and besides, I am NOT a big reader. My stacks of books that are yet to be read are proof.) So that was that. I looked forward to hearing more about it from Christi sharing, but had no intentions of getting the book for myself.
Little did we know when Christi was reading those excerpts, the documentary was playing at a nearby theater and one of our regular participants was attending. We noticed she was not in class, but no idea that she was attending the showing – not until the next day.
The next afternoon, our participant posted in our private class group and the words were beautiful. To the point that I actually said, “Wow!” out loud as I read them. I was deeply touched by the words. But this is REFIT! This is who we are as a fitness community. Although her words were ever so encouraging, this is what REFIT is all about and could be said to anyone in this community. Or so I thought.
Sometimes when talking about my fitness instructor life and explaining what REFIT is to others I hear, “Oh, it’s just another fitness format.”
NO, no it is not. It is not JUST another fitness format. As a matter of fact, it is very different, very unique. However, until you experience it there really is no way to describe it to the point that others understand. They have to EXPERIENCE a class to really get it!
When our participant posted the encouraging, flattering words, I took a screenshot of the post and turned around and shared it in our private Instructor group with the announcement that this was yet another example of how REFIT is NOT just another fitness format. After all, this is who we are.
But then. Then the comment. One of our REFIT® Founders commented on it and gave, or perhaps shined the light on, a huge compliment.
When I read her comment, I again was “Wow’d!” and decided that I’d better check out this author and this book for myself. So I downloaded the audio version. I walk five miles almost daily and knew that would be a great time to listen to it without distractions.
This morning as I took out on my walk, I started the audio book. Within a few short paragraphs I was hearing things that had me in tears. Again, not because of the statements being things I needed to hear for self improvement, but because I COULD BE THE ONE SAYING THESE THINGS! These ARE the things I say on the daily. I am pretty convinced that Rachel Hollis and I are twins separated at birth and separated by two decades. She is me. I am her. In many ways, not all.
I continued to listen and started making mental notes of all the ways we are the same person and the ways where we are different. I was in hysterics laughing out loud (it’s a good thing I was on the trail alone this morning), not necessarily because of what she was saying, but how I could relate. Even down to some of the most minute details.
But first, let me share some of the things where we are different or have narrow similarities:
- our age – 20 years apart (I still think we are twins separated at birth)
- She had Bell’s Palsy caused by stress and not taking care of herself, I had obesity from the same causes.
- She has four children, I have one.
- She had multiple siblings, I have one.
- She grew up in the country, I grew up in the suburbs.
- She had a very hard childhood, I did not although I do have my share of mass confusion that began in my teens that I could probably right a book on.
- She has been in therapy, I probably would have had I not found the Lord when I was about to turn 24. I dug deep in the Word and that was my therapy.
Now for the (some hilarious) ways we are alike:
- She’s not perfect, neither am I.
- She loves to boost and encourage other woman, so do I.
- She’s a recovering workaholic, so am I (only add to that a recovering perfectionist.)
- She wants to get in some of their faces and scream, “I refuse to watch you wallow!”, so do I.
- She focus on what is good in life and makes it a point, so do I.
- She has been accused of living the perfect, happy life that others envy, so have I.
- I want to stop here a moment. I had one friend who I knew from childhood who every time we spoke on the phone over the decades would say, “I want your life. You have the perfect life, the perfect house, the perfect husband, go on perfect trips, the perfect job, have everything I have always dreamed of.” I will share that this friend never put herself first for anything, was abused by others at her own allowance and never took care of herself. She died from the side effects of obesity. Even after I conquered my own, and shared with her what to do, how to do it and that it was really easy once you made the decision, she still continued in her own ways and it killed her. I hate that. That is why like Rachel, I sometimes want to get in peoples faces and yell, scream and shake them until they realize…
“You are in control of your own life! God has a plan for your life…I believe in the marrow of my bones that this is true. You are more than you have become. You are utterly in control over what you do with that knowledge. Take responsibility for your own life and happiness. If you’re unhappy, that’s on you.”
- She focuses on what is good, she makes promises to herself and doesn’t break them, she is self-committed, she is a goal-setter, she chooses happiness and is happy 90% of the time, SO AM I!
- She has faults, she has failures, but doesn’t stay there and dwell on them, ditto!
- She peed herself as a child, so did I. (You MUST read her book!)
- Yes, and about the same age. I had dance class after school, so I was in full on leotards and tights under my regular clothes going door to door with a friend to sell a school fundraiser. I had to go so bad, but we were so far from home and I did not want to ask a total stranger to use their bathroom. To add to it, it started pouring down rain and the combination didn’t work and there I stood, on someone’s front porch getting soaked from the skies and soaking my clothes at the same time without a single soul knowing. Thankfully it was pouring so I was wet from head to toe.
- She peed herself as an adult, and yep…you know those dreams where you are sitting on a toilet in the middle of your sleep? Ok, you get the picture.
- She screams, not raises her voice, but SCREAMS at her children, I was guilty of that myself. Even had a friend confess to me years later that she thought I was horrible until she had a child of her own. She called to apologize to me for the things she thought, but never expressed to me.
- She has cellulite, a third boob under her arm and a mole that grows hair, again…ditto.
So what brought me to tears within the first few paragraphs of what she read in the Intro? It was that she wants every woman to know that they are in control of their own life. She refuses to watch that woman wallow.
You see, I’m a very kind and loving person, but I refuse to allow people to fall into pity parties, to self-sabotage, to wallow in their down trodden times. As a result of those facts, I have been thought of as tough, fierce, accused of not understanding or not caring, always being happy and nothing bad ever happens in my life. Those things are not necessarily truths, although some could be more true than others. I stand firm in my beliefs and I believe that we can choose to have a good day or a bad day. God created us a willful beings – with a mind, will and emotions for US to make decisions and choose how we handle situations. We are not puppets on a string that He maneuvers. He gave us our own deciding factors to make choices. We should always make wise ones, should always seek Him in them, but bottom line…we are responsible. Period. Not everyone is receptive of those ideas, even when spoken in love. But that is who I am and I will not waiver from it. Even though I’m an introvert, when it comes to facing someone who is beating themselves up or allowing life’s circumstances to beat them to a pulp, I can get rather bold! Just ask some of my closest friends, but it is always done in love.
When I heard that she is the same way, I felt a wave of relief that it’s ok, I’M ok and that it’s not a bad thing and I’m not alone. It reassured me that seeing life through the eyes of being up, positive and making wise choices and decisions is the path I need to continue on. That is when the tears came.
As I continued to laugh with everything I heard and could relate to her on so many levels, she went into Chapter One. She shared about the two types of people – the ones who are unhappy, discontent, angry, unsettled, frustrated. Then there are those who are happy and enjoying life 90% of the time. As she was talking about the second group I was thinking to myself and wondering what she was going to say next about these people, because I can honestly say I fit into that category. I was waiting for her to say something like, “These people do not really exist, these people are not for real and if you think you are, then you are wrong.” But once again…a sigh of relief to hear her say, “…these people do exist. You’ve seen them. As a matter of fact you are reading a book written by one now.” And yet once again, another similarity. And yet once again, I breathed a sigh of relief in knowing, I’m ok, I am who I am.
So if you are asking the point of this post, it’s two-fold.
First, no matter who you are, no matter if you think you have it all together or you know you do not, you NEED to get this book. I’m not being paid by Rachel to say that, but I’m saying it…GET THIS BOOK. Whether in print, digital or audio…GET IT!
Second, please know that I love you. I want the absolute best for you. I want you to know and understand the fullness of who you are in Christ and I want you to know that you CAN be healthy, lose weight to gain health, make wise choices, all the things. WILL YOU is a different question, but I know you can. So if you have heard me (or hear me say in the future), “Be Taylor Swift and get Frozen” (which is translated as, Shake it off and let it go!) you will know that no matter how stern or fierce or how much roar I have when I say it, I’m saying it in love. I love you!
All because of a comment. A comment by a woman who I admire with the utmost respect on a post from a friend and participant who I recognize as an honest woman who would not say something she did not mean. I’m thankful for the post and I’m thankful for the comment. Had I not received it, I probably would not have downloaded this book and I’m so glad that I did.
And y’all. I’m only to Chapter Four!
You can get your copy here: Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
PS: Am I saying that I am Rachel Hollis caliber? Absolutely not, but I AM Debbi Robertson caliber.