I’m so excited to introduce a new series on our blog and our social media. I’m taking some time to chat with our community members. We are going to be hearing about their journey’s to self love, how that has impacted their lives and how our community supports their journeys.
As women we have so much inside of us and we all have unique stories and we can all learn so much from each other.
So, let me introduce you to our first one – Nadine. Nadine has been a very big part of our community and was one of our first members when we had our West End location and she’s moved onto our Toronto location now that our west end location is closed. Nadine is a special woman and she’s become such a great personal friend of mine and I’m so grateful for this amazing women. So, let’s dive in and hear a little bit about her story.
So, my name is Nadine (obviously) and I am a manager at an accounting firm located in downtown Toronto. My co-workers would describe me as extroverted and outspoken while my friends would describe me as the calm and quiet one (clearly shows that it’s all relative to the personalities that you are around). I would describe myself as loyal, hard working, self aware, someone who loves to laugh but is also a good shoulder to lean on.
Before I walked through the doors at Fitness by Sarah Taylor, which was in March 2018, I had already begun the process of healing and trying to change the negative narrative that had been running the show in my brain for some time. I had gotten a good handle on my anxiety and depression before I came into Fitness by Sarah Taylor but through stress and being on medication for anxiety and depression I had put on 50-60 pounds over the span of a couple of years and didn’t know how to deal with this new body that I had. I was incredibly self-conscious, I was winded going up stairs, I was starting to get joint pain, and I just didn’t feel comfortable in my skin. I didn’t like to be in pictures, I would only wear certain clothing so that it wasn’t so obvious that I had put on weight. While my mind was developing coping mechanisms for my mental health, the insecurity surrounding my body was coming to the forefront and I knew I couldn’t ignore it anymore and I needed to find a place where I could work on that.
I will say though that when I entered into Fitness by Sarah Taylor I went in thinking about purely the physical aspect, I wanted to lose weight and get back to being 150 pounds. I wasn’t necessarily drawn in by the self love, I was drawn in by the fact that it was all women, Sarah was so positive and Sarah looked more like me and didn’t have a 12 pack and those stupid V lines going down to her crotch. Then I filled out Sarah’s intake form and the majority of the questions were asking me how I felt on the inside and didn’t once ask me how many pounds I wanted to lose, that’s when I knew I was in a different place.
I’ve definitely learned to accept my body for the way it is but also to appreciate the fact that even though it may be heavier than what my doctor thinks it should be, it can do a lot! I’ve become proud of it because I had the support of the community telling me that I should be proud of what I can do. The community at FBST is the biggest thing for me. I started at the West End location and my lady loves from that location had me coming as many times as I could throughout the week. I have since made the transition to the downtown location after the West End location was closed and I have made more connections with the ladies that are a part of that community. I absolutely love getting to see what these ladies can do and they never cease to amaze me. They push me to be better and to challenge myself but also help to remind me to have grace on myself when I’ve reached my limit or need to take it easy. I am sad when I am unable to attend class for any period of time and that’s partly because of the benefits of exercise but more so because I don’t get to be around all of their beautiful faces and spirits.
I would definitely say I love myself a lot more and I hold myself in a much different way than I used to. I walk with my head up high and my posture has improved because I’m not trying to disappear so no one sees me. I am proud of what my body can do and I’m happy that I can show other women of all sizes that with consistency you can work up to doing more than you ever thought you would be able to do. I would say that all of this has helped me to be more confident in not only the gym but in life and at work.
I would recommend our community to any woman regardless of their size and regardless of where they are at in their journey to self love. I think FBST is a place where there is no competition among women and instead we encourage each other and lift each other up. There is a spot for all of us so I think that’s an important space for all women to be a part of. As women we are so often pitted against each other so a space where we can build each other up is so important and it’s been really helpful for me and it would be really helpful for all other women.
One tip you would give to someone who was trying to embark on the journey to self love would be to be open to the process and be ready for some walls to break down. It’s a tough process and change is scary but it’s so worth it. Also be kind to yourself and recognize that it’s a journey and it’s not going to happen overnight.
I really love all of the classes at FBST but I love Admirable Arms the most because I’ve never had much upper body strength and over these past two years I’ve seen so much growth from putting in the work so it makes me really happy when I am able to lift heavier weights than before and see how strong I am when I didn’t expect it.
I also love doing pistol squats using the TRX. The TRX bands will make you feel like you can do anything because they help you and your body support your weight and give you stability. I feel like a true badass doing them because I never thought I would be able to get there.