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Owning my Muscles

For as long as I could remember I wanted to be tiny.

I don’t know why. I just did.

I envied all my skinny friends with small frames and narrow shoulders, tiny waists and thin bump-less legs.

This obsession to have a body type that wasn’t natural for me lead to extreme dieting. I spent all of my teens and 20s hating my body and treating it like crap because it didn’t look the way I thought it should look.

In my 30s, after having kids, I saw my body in a slightly more positive light, appreciating its ability to carry and nurture a child. I learned how to eat better and control calories for weight loss. For the first time in my life I could actually call myself “skinny” and mean it. I was at the lowest weight in my range for height. People saw me as skinny and commented on it often.

Yet I still wasn’t comfortable in my skin.

During these “skinny” years I started moving more.  I knew keeping my calories as low as I needed to maintain my new skinny physique was unrealistic. I started taking group fitness classes, running, and weight training.

To my surprise I progressed in fitness. My miles got faster, I got stronger and this once exercise-hater started to enjoy pushing herself physically.

Then I tried CrossFit.

Constantly varied workouts. Group classes. Friendly competition. Accountability and support.

I was sold.

I’ve been CrossFitting for 3 and half years now. One hour a day, 5-6 days a week, I get sweaty with my friends at the gym and push myself out of my comfort zone a little farther. I honestly couldn’t imagine my life any other way. That hour means the world to me.

I don’t do it to change the way my body looks. I’m not body building or sculpting myself. I’m not pursuing Jennifer Aniston arms or Kim Kardashian’s ass.

I do it because I’m addicted to achieving things with my body I never thought were physically possible for me — the chubby, non-athletic, insecure girl who wanted nothing more in the world than to just be skinny.

I do it because I’m not getting any younger and I don’t want to just sit back and let my body “grow old.” I have 2 boys that I want to explore the world with. Heck, I want to do it with my grandkids too!

For the first time in my life I feel like I’m in the body I was meant to be in — if that makes sense. I have truly moved on from the diet mentality and I didn’t even realize it until I saw this picture of myself yesterday.

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Unlike a few years ago when I cringed at a similar photo when it popped up on my phone, my gut reaction was:

Whoa… look at my arms!

And I didn’t mean it negatively.

I was smiling ear-to-ear and actually said it aloud while showing the photo to my friend proudly.

It took 10 years for this switch to be flipped and now there’s no going back.

I don’t want to go back.

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About Mehmood Esmail

Mehmood Esmail
Hi, I am Mehmood Esmail, there have been severe health issues in my family, like cancer, heart attacks, stroke, kidney stones, IBS, etc. Where we live, in Africa, health facilities are basic. Thus it becomes imperative that we hnow what is happenining to us and how to look after ourselves, and where possible, how to prevent serious illnesses.

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