Energy is Ageless.

Looking at these pictures, I reflect back on what a sedentary person I used to be.

I am literally not the same person I used to be in any shape or form. Thirteen years ago I walked into a gym for the first time. It was terrifying. I knew I could not do it alone. I signed up with a wonderful personal trainer who was kind and patient.

I had been the plump, spotty one in a very sporty family. When I started my health journey, I was 20 kilograms heavier. I had been even heavier before. I had battled yoyo dieting my whole life. It had been a constant battle between my mind and my body. My mind telling myself to accept myself as I was, but my body knowing I wanted to live differently.

So began a journey of becoming whole. I started gym. I knew I could not do it alone, so I signed up with a personal trainer. I shrunk into the gym in my baggy gym clothes, not wanting to look in the mirror. I was intimidated by the sleek, lycra clad youthful bodies that seemed to carry themselves with such effortless grace.

For the first year, I moaned under my breath in victimhood. Why did my husband, who is tall and slim, not have to battle like me? Why did others make it look so effortless? At the time we had gone through a devastating internal fraud in our company and my self esteem was rock bottom. It was mirrored by the sad, scared reflection in the mirror. I wanting to shrink into invisibility, but I knew inside something had to change.

So began a long, slow journey of transformation that allowed me to become a different person.

It started with gym, then running and swimming and yoga and more recently pilates.

This weekend I had a photo shoot at our house at the Vaal dam. Even my husband says he cannot recognize his first wife. The photographs captured the change in my spirit, in my energy , in my strength.

I have not weighed myself for 7 long years. Because I never again want to live in the anguish of a scale, flirting dangerously on the fringes of anorexia, consumed by every morsel, the pain of bulimia, and then ballooning into emotional eating.

Now I lead a dietless life, fuelled by healthy living. I am no longer defined by a number, but by my strength.

This weekend, I seized the day. Unlike sedentary Alison sleeping late, I got up at 5:00 AM on this sacred Sunday morning, in a place that has become my soul retreat.

As I paddled out in the early morning light, I wasn’t quite sure where I was paddling to, but I knew that i was honoring the day. I was honouring the sunrise and I was honouring myself.

 When I came back after two hours of stand up paddle boarding, I felt such a sense of alignment. It had been a moving meditation. It had been my church. It had been my time of worship. I had sung a song of courage. I had been given a second chance. A second chance to live differently. And suddenly it felt effortless. It was just who I am now.

I had changed not just the shape of my body, but the shape of my soul.

What part of your identity do you want to shift in 2024?

Alison Weihe

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