On being afraid

On Being Afraid by Super Strength Health

As I’ve been preparing for my upcoming Reset and Restore program, I have had a lot of people approach me to say that they want to join, but they are afraid. Some of these people are my friends, some of them are my clients, some are my family. I love these people SO, SO much because I relate to them, incredibly. Fear is real.

There has been a lot in my life that I’ve missed out on because I was afraid. As a kid, I wanted to play an instrument, but I knew that I didn’t have a natural knack for music so I didn’t try. Every single Thursday the band kids in my elementary school assembled and went to their practice, and I watched them walk away knowing that I wished I could be one of them. Even in the fourth grade I had an idea that I couldn’t do the things that I wanted to do because I thought wasn’t good enough.

Once I discovered punk and hardcore music as a teenager, I knew I would love to be in a band like the ones that I idolized and obsessed over. I poured over notebooks, brainstorming lyrics until someone told me that girls couldn’t really be in bands, that they were always just posers looking for attention. I swallowed that right down with my already-present idea that I was unworthy.

As a young adult I was incredibly aware that I had some things to communicate to my family, and that I could not be close to them until I was able to speak my truth. When I was 25 my dad died before I got a chance to hash anything out. My mom was alive still, but our relationship remained strained because of my silence.

I wanted to start a health and wellness blog for years, but I was terrified to actually be well enough to feel comfortable writing about it. My eating disorder ruled my entire life and I spent night after night after night reading about the lives of about a dozen wellness bloggers, wishing I could be healthy and happy like them.

At some point in my mid-20’s a thought entered my mind, and that thought has been a mantra of mine ever since. It is this:

If the only reason not to do something is because you are afraid, you should do it anyway.

This year I did guest vocals for one of my very favorite bands, and I sobbed for hours after, because it was fun, and it was easy, and it was transformative, and I could have been doing it for years if I hadn’t just accepted that I couldn’t.

I said everything that I had been meaning to say to my family, and it was incredibly hard and we didn’t speak for a year, and then the relationship between me and them blossomed into a unique and fun thing that is complex and supportive and wonderful. I kept my feelings in for fear of that year of not speaking, not taking into consideration what might lie on the other side of it.

I finally started my blog, this very e-space you see today, and almost instantly, I found that an intrinsic part of my wellness has to be public honesty about the process. I have written things that terrify me in this space, posted entries that kept me up at night with anxiety, wore short-ass shorts in pictures that I knew would get support and also shitty comments all over the WWW. Things I have written have gone viral and I have been made fun of. Images of me have been sexualized by dumb-ass dudes. But mostly? I have been supported. I have had people email me and say that I helped them to find their own recovery. I created a level of extreme-accountability for myself that keeps me acutely aware of when diet-culture ideas enter my head, of when I am having a negative body image day. I am in love with my readers. I knew I would be. It just took the leap to find myself enough to find them.

In terms of my Reset and Restore program, no one has to do it. I am not saying you will ruin your life if you don’t. But if you are genuinely interested, if you think you could use the program in your life, if you think you might enjoy the accountability, or if you think you just want to swap awesome plant-based recipes with a group of bad-asses but you’re afraid you won’t succeed, well for goodness sakes, just do it.

It’s a mere two week commitment that could help you change the quality of your life.

You will likely make friends.

I am here for you in every moment of fear.

I trust that you can handle it.

We are often much stronger than we think.

You’ve got this. I promise.