Most of my adult life I have been going to the gym. I really enjoy lifting weights. Not super heavy ones, but just enough weight to give my muscles some definition. I always felt good after a workout and I could see my progress which made me want to continue. People would compliment me that I looked good.
Then I was diagnosed with cancer. I stopped going to the gym. I was stuck in bed for weeks and my muscles shrank. I was weak and could barely walk. What happened to that strong, muscular woman I used to see looking back at me in the mirror? I felt depressed.
But then one day after meditating it occurred to me, that strong woman is still here. Her strength is inside and that’s where it always was. I had to look past the physical me and look deeper.
Life constantly changes and that includes me. I had to look for new ways to feel good, and to focus on my different strengths. My muscles may not be defined as they once were but they still serve me well. I need a walker to get around but my legs still work. I can do modified yoga. I can lift smaller weights. I can use universal machines at the gym.
Now I look in the mirror and see a woman who conquered cancer. She is stronger than she ever imagined.
It took me years of going to the gym to look and feel the way I did and I can do it again. If my muscles don’t look like they did before I got sick, that’s ok too. I am happy with the way I look right now. My scars are my medals of courage. Taking care of my body, focusing on eating plant-based foods, getting plenty of rest and staying true to myself is what matters most.