I have a love/hate relationship with working out, mostly hate though.

The other day as I was on the treadmill counting down the seconds until it finally came to a stop. I was wondering why do I put myself through this torture?  I couldn’t breathe, my legs were burning, and I was sweating like a pig.

While the endorphins I feel afterwards are FANTASTIC, the actual process of working out is terrible. I could tell you that I work out because I want to, but deep down I know that it’s a lie.

I work out because I want to look like society tells me I should.

I work out in hopes of having the impossibly flat stomach, the tiny waistline, the hourglass hips, and the big ol booty. I work out in hopes of looking like the celebrities I see on tv, in magazines, on billboards, and on social media. I work out in hopes of one day looking like the type of women than society has branded as beautiful.

And I know I’m not the only one.

When you look in a mirror, what do you see looking back at you?

Do you see your best qualities? The things that make you special and unique? The things that make you, YOU? Or do you just see your flaws? The things that make you feel self conscious or embarrassed?

A few years ago, when I looked in the mirror, I saw nothing but the negatives. I only saw the things I hated and wished that I could make them go away overnight. I tore myself down when I should have been building myself up.

Now, when I look in the mirror, I see myself in a better light. I see myself as strong and independent. I see myself as someone who is unique and irreplaceable. I see myself as someone who is worth it, someone who deserves the world. 

There are still the days that I look in the mirror and feel gross. And I still go to the gym and workout for the wrong reasons, but it’s a process. It’s a growing process of consciously making the effort to value who I am as a person and to love myself.

Someone once told me, “you will accept the love that you think you deserve”. If you only think the worst of yourself, you’ll allow yourself to accept less than what you deserve. But I promise you, you deserve more.

I may not be the next Miss America and I probably won’t be instagram famous anytime soon but I know that I have so much to offer this world. I know that I am beautiful even if I may not fit the mainstream norms.

I am confident in myself and who I am and I refuse to be apologetic for it. One day I’ll get to the point where I am working out for myself and for the right reasons, but this is a process. I know that I’m fighting an uphill battle, but it’s a battle that I refuse to give up on.




Written by Jazmyn Patterson

Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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