Loving The “Ugly”

“Our thoughts about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be.”  ~ Anthony Robbins

I love my “ugly”.

I can envision you all looking quizzically at your screens wondering what the heck I am talking about ~ after all “ugly” by its very definition is something we are supposed to be repulsed or disgusted by isn’t it?


In reality there is no correct concept of “ugly”. How we define that word, how we visualize it is based on how we view the world through our eyes, through our hearts, through our experiences and through our beliefs.

“Ugly” does not just refer to the physical though. It is a word that can also speak to situations and moments. Its power can be used to cause emotional harm to another person or to describe to others how we might be feeling about ourselves.

Life would be incredibly easy (and rather boring in my opinion) if everything was wonderful, happy and positive all the time. The simple fact is that challenging situations are going to occur, difficult moments are going to happen and try as we might to avoid them destructive and negative thoughts about ourselves are going to creep in now and then.

It is in those moments of strife and struggle that we find our true capacity to overcome, our true measure of inner strength and our ability to love ourselves regardless of what others think.

When I had my bike accident last November I was at the peak of where I had been to date in my fitness. I was boxing, cycling, running 1/2 marathons, competing in triathlons, heavy lifting…and I was loving it ALL.

I felt strong, capable and fit unlike I had felt for most of my adult life. I was previously 300 lb woman who at one point did not have the energy to go to her own mailbox less than 100 ft from her home and who would send her kids to get the mail instead. Feeling that way was seductive, addictive and awesome.

The accident changed my body, my energy and my tolerance in ways I could not have begun to imagine. Before my eyes it seemed as if the hard work and effort that I had put into my transformation of life and body over the previous 3 years was disappearing before my eyes.

Then one day I woke up looked in the mirror (no….really looked long and hard at everything as bare as the day I was born) and I said out loud “I love you.” In that moment I wasn’t just going through the actions, I wasn’t just saying the words. I FELT IT.

Somewhere inside of me I knew that to get through what the recovery was going to throw at me I had to acknowledge my body and my mind for what it was capable of and for what it had given me.

The “ugly” of rehabilitation, pain and exhaustion was headed my way and I was prepared from that moment on to fight it – by loving myself to the very core.

This led to an acceptance (and love) of the process. My mind was constantly being blown by what I was capable of accomplishing and how hard I was willing to work to get there.

Over the last 6 months of injury, surgery and recovery I have watched as my body has shifted in ways I wouldn’t have begun to imagine. My arms are seriously buff as is my left leg (I believe the reference at the gym was that it was “jacked”?) thanks to the crutches, my right leg has lost so much muscle mass that it looks like I might be starting weight-bearing on a twig and for the first time in a while I think I could seriously twerk the junk in my trunk. I have also embraced the concept of midday naps and early bedtimes.

I have never loved myself more.

This same body has given me 2 amazing children, has managed to get me through 41 rotations of this beautiful planet. It has given hugs, shed tears, dripped sweat and changed inside and out. This mind has grown, expanded, opened up and taken chances. This soul feels alive for the first time in a long time.

Is the process “ugly” at times? Hell yeah.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing I hope you find the ability to love your “ugly” ~ whatever that may be.

Love D.


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