Yoga makes me feel strong, free, confident, and EMPOWERED. I’ve learned to accept my flaws through my practice; I’ve learned to love my body; to stand out and dare to be different in a place where you don’t belong…. In all actuality I empower myself, because there is always someone standing behind you saying “you can’t”.
I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I can recall being a little girl and baking with my grandmother; memories that are bittersweet. I’ve been a binge eater the majority of my life. I’ve even found myself sticking my finger down my throat because of the guilt I found after eating food. I loved food; I loved the immediate satisfaction it gave me. Food is where I found my comfort.
Growing up I was very active. I started dance when I was two, I was in the marching band all throughout middle and high school, I obtained a black belt in karate, and even took the chance on trying out for the cheerleading squad after weeks of cheer camp only the have been beaten by another girl… who of course was prettier, thinner, and more popular.
Despite my level of activity my addiction to food was a battle, my worst enemy being sugar. In school I didn’t eat in front of people, because I felt like they were judging me. I would go all day without eating and later I’d find myself sitting in my room alone, gorging myself with snacks I secretly took from the pantry. I would eat, and eat, and eat… sometimes uncontrollability. I couldn’t stop myself. Food was like a drug, a high that my body craved.
The smallest I can recall being was a size 10 in my senior year of high school, after that life began. I married shortly after finishing beauty school, later had two wonderful babies, and found myself fitting tightly in a size 20 jeans. I was devastated, and ashamed of myself. I hid from the world, I hated getting dressed. My family suffered because I wouldn’t go to social events or birthday parties. I didn’t like myself or how I looked. “I felt trapped in my own body”.
As an adult I still struggle with my weight. I have learned to become more conscious of my eating habits and stressors that trigger my binge eating. It is something that I will deal with for the rest of my life. It’s not curable, or the fact I’m just some fat girl who has no control. Mentally, it is exhausting being overly concerned with your weight and how people perceive you.
Beginning my practice in March of 2014, I have had less binge eating episodes and have managed to lose 60 pounds. As a self-taught yogis I find my encouragement and inspiration through social media. I am amazed and beyond grateful for the feedback I have received from my followers. Even on my worst day I can scroll through Instagram and find my motivation to keep going. Sometimes all it takes is it see someone like yourself, doing extraordinary things. Daily, I connect with women all over the world who struggling with their weight and seeking self-acceptance, to hear their stories and offer inspiration, motivation, and encouragement empowers me.
“I’ve been where you are, I’ve lived in the dark and fought your battles. You are strong, you are beautiful, and you are powerful”. – Brittany Richard