In 2021 I learnt how to do a sumo dead lift. But not on the first try. In fact I couldn’t even work out how to bend and keep my back straight at the same time.
I had spent my life avoiding lifting weights… I was worried about how it would make me look – that all the names I was called as a girl who played football… would come true.
I was pretty happy with the person I saw in the mirror… on the surface it seemed. I didn’t realise how tight I was holding onto deep beliefs and thoughts about how much of who I am was attached to my physical appearance.
An amazing mentor of mine asked me a question a number of years ago – ‘Why don’t you wear makeup?’… and it catapulted me into a journey of self-discovery I didn’t know I needed.
Why didn’t I wear makeup? First answer… I cannot be bothered. But also – I did things to avoid ‘being attractive’ as a safety strategy. If I wasn’t noticeable then I was safer than others in the room. I did this at the same time as wanting to shine so bright everyone could see me… but not too bright that maybe people wouldn’t like me. My curiosity into these reflections led me on a path I didn’t REALLY know I needed to go down.
If you follow my Pinterest boards you’ll see bright clothes, and sequins and clashing colours left right and centre. I admired women who wore what they wanted and did not dull themselves down for anyone. I did notice that these women – majority seemed to be in there 50’s – living gloriously as themselves and I wondered why. Why weren’t all women doing, being, wearing whatever they wanted.
I love patterns that clash, and sequins, and glitter, and sunnies that scream ‘SEE ME’! I want to wear these… unapologetically.
I sat with my thoughts for what felt like a long time… well two years… and I slowly pieced together my relationship with myself and why I did the things I did.
I had two things on a physical level that I maybe analysed too much… my teeth… and I always wanted those lines on my arms that show muscle definition. So these two things became two big pieces of my plans for Shiny Fucking Bright Rebecca.
A moment in time meant I had the opportunity to go and help my sister get fit for her wedding and from that beginners class – life changed. A guy saw me trying to squat and with two questions – changed everything I knew about movement. That guy was Chris – A PT like none Id ever met before – and my husband was one.
At that point I decided it was time. It was time to begin the Shiny Fucking Bright Rebecca plan. I booked some sessions, I went to the HIIT classes, I learnt some of the Muay Thai and overcame the bullshit I was telling myself. I started Project Arm Lines. I signed up to an 8 week challenge and committed to doing everything I was told to do (foreign concept for me since I was a teenager).
I had a goal and I hit that goal to the decimal but in the challenge I wasnt just physically transforming… I was having to go through fear – of failure and success, through obsession over doing as many steps and as many classes as I could, through self-sabotage (or thinking I was) and it was that entourage I had built around me that steered me ahead and through it all. I did the work, but I trusted them. I trusted someone else – and it was hard – but I am soo soo proud of myself for that break through.
I’ve started my second challenge – to learn how to maintain what I’ve earnt – those lines on my arms. Its Week 2 and I am struggling with the concept of eating more calories and the fact that I would stay this way. Its probably a simple concept for many – but my brain is working overtime to get myself around it – and again, that entourage is proving to be worth their weight and gold.
Now this physical transformation was done for more than just the lines on my arms – I have SOO much more work to do but I chose to do this part first before I started therapy to go through the other stuff. The other parts of the puzzle!
That part of the project started this week and man its exciting! Get ready bishes… that Shiny part is coming alive.
I’ve never felt so light. So calm, centred and me. My shoulders feel amazing. Its only been 30 years of carrying the weight of other’s expectations, stories and feelings about who I am. Its show time.