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Because I Can

Because I can a story of Body dysmorphic disorder, yoga, and self love.

Because I Can

Blog submission by Mikala Schimke

{{I wrote this March 6th, 2018, I have continued to grow. In every way.}}

Where do I begin? Honestly. Do I start with my bad eating habits? Complete lack of self-confidence? My mother's death? Body dismorphic disorder? Every day, these things slap me in the face. Every day, they feel the need to remind me that it's easier to be sad, and eat, and hate myself, than it is to fight. To succeed. It's easier to fail and give up than it is to fail and stand right back up and face that demon again, and again.

Because I can - seeking accountability and help

I can't remember when exactly I developed BDD, but I do remember the day my therapist told me she believed it was something I had to deal with. It all started making sense. Things began to become clear. I began to heal. I started to scratch the surface of an extremely deep cave of bullshit. Self-hatred it disgusting. And it wins a lot. But not today. Not this time.

I remember the day I decided to fight. I reached out to the one person who I thought I could trust with my accountability. My self-worth. Until I was strong enough to do it myself, I needed someone strong enough to hold it for me. I sent a message to Brittany, and I poured my heart and soul, what was left of it at the time, into one long BAT SHIT CRAZY run-on sentence.

She responded WITHOUT HESITATION. She wanted to help me help myself. I was at a place in my life where I didn't know where I could go, what I could do, or who I could talk to. I had my husband, great friends, and family. But they were too close. Too comfortable. I felt guilty, even talking about my mom with them. I felt horrible about my ability to be a wife, a friend, and a sister. I couldn't focus on even taking care of myself, let alone answer a phone call of a friend in need or a husband who had a bad day. I was the girl who's mom died, and I wasn't in any place to be a good person to anyone.

I completely lost myself after she died. I let myself forget who I was. I can look back, now, and see when it started, how it happened. It's terrifying to think about. How quickly your body and mind turn on you when you stop caring about it. I know I hurt my husband too. He was so patient with me and kind. But I was mean and unforgiving of the fact that he didn't understand what I was going through. I was so unhappy with how I was treating him; I almost walked out on him one morning. Almost left my rings on the counter because I thought it would be better for him to move on than to have to deal with a crazy woman in his house every day. I was destruction, and he was standing right in the middle of the damn path. It was something new every day. But he didn't give up on me. EVER. He stayed by my side through everything and still is. He is so unbelievably strong. And I am so unbelievably blessed to have him in my life.

Needless to say, I desperately needed help. And I was finally ready to ask and accept it. Brittany saved my life. Now, with my one year mark right around the corner, it's time to take another stand for myself. It's time to mark the fucking success.

She made me a website named "Because I can" after asking me why I wanted to get better. The title was my answer.

At the time, I had no idea how often I'd need to remind myself of that fact. On that site was a meal plan, work out tips and words of encouragement BASED ON ME and conversations we had. ZERO generic boohocky from her. She was honest, which made me ok with being honest.

I have put almost everything I have into healing, being healthy, and holding myself accountable. Not every day, week, or even month, during this has been a success. But it is not failure. It's learning. It's changing. It's growing.

My health goes far beyond my body. While my body is happier, and that is amazing, my mind is healthier. Yes, I will always contend with self-hate, loud thoughts, negative self-talk, I don't think anyone who has seen the darkest side of themselves can ever forget that. What I CAN DO is learn how to fight it, how to help it become calm.

I discovered yoga in December 2016. I responded well to it. It's part of the reason I have been so successful in healing. My body was giving up on me. Now I am giving it a reason to be strong, a reason to heal.

Yoga is teaching me so much about how to LISTEN to my body and mind. Not just hear it, but truly listen and discern what it might need.

I have spent the last year making changes. Life is so fucking short. STOP wasting time and live a life you love. Live a life that deserves YOU. YOU deserve to be proud of yourself and love each day you have. Surround yourself with people you love, and that love you back, for you. Exactly the way you are. No questions asked. Bring true happiness into your life. If you don't know what that looks like, that's ok. Keep digging. It's around. Keep trying. Never stop seeking the things that bring light into your life.

I can't put this off any longer-here it is. The before picture is of me, on my wedding day. Pushing 300 lbs, size 22, and a 46-inch waist. The progress picture is of me, in a bikini, on a beach in Mexico. 221 lbs, size 14, and a 36-inch waist. One year of hard work. Mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical WORK. My new life is harder but in the best possible way. I don't give up anymore, and I never will again.

I am proud of my body. SO proud of myself. I still have bad days, yes, but they will never come close to the person I used to be.

Because I can before photo
Because I Can - after photo

Brittany opened my eyes to the wonderful world of self-love. I can never repay her for that. But what I can do is keep going. BECAUSE I CAN. {{Coach Britt @brittanyjonesfit}}