Lacing Up A New Perspective On Self-Love and Rediscovering Me

Health & Wellness

We’ve partnered with Nike Air Max on two past launches and I, like so many of you, have been sincerely moved by all their powerful messages supporting ALL women in varying stages of life to be themselves, both inside and outside the gym. I’ve been called crazy more times than I’ve ever shared, all of which were in the face of working towards something that was deeply personal. From dedicating myself to distance running in my 20s to building a business in my 30s, at the end of the day, I’m doing this for me. So the collaboration with Nike Air Max this month feels extra personal.

I thought it would be fitting to share the beginning of my rediscovery towards self-acceptance, on Air Max Launch Day because a new pair of shoes can signify new beginnings and renewed intentions. It may seem silly because it’s something all of us do every day without thinking but consider this: lacing up a pair of shoes is the final step in preparing for where the day can take you. Maybe you wear heels to feel a little taller, or boots to feel a bit more powerful. Perhaps, when you lace up sneakers, you are committing to doing something more than just walking through the motions of the day.

After being pregnant for 18 out of the past 36 months, I can honestly say having two babies has made it harder to define what “recovering” from childbirth looks like. Is it after the stitches have healed? Or when your hormones balance out? Is it when you button the pants you wore before you became pregnant, or when you reject the notion of holding yourself to a magazine’s definition of “bikini ready”?

Who I am post-pregnancy has been a particularly contentious internal battle for me. I was a competitive dancer, runner, and very active all throughout my 20s. When I met my husband at 29, we dove face first into pizza and wine and all the fantastic comforts that come with falling in love.

Then, there was a pregnancy, and then a surprise pregnancy. I used to think of these events as significant roadblocks to getting back in shape, but really… it’s life happening. All of these hurdles are incredibly common and not necessarily a bad thing. Change, the ebb and flow… they are all part of being human. The only obstacle I have to get over is in my mind. It’s debunking the belief a healthy relationship means going back to who I was and what I looked like before. If I can love my body now, if I can make peace with the shame I feel about not being as fit as I once was, maybe I can enjoy the process of getting back into shape a little more enjoyable. Time will tell.

We’re going to go DEEP into this journey this spring and summer, but today, we honor fresh starts, changes in perspective, and making room for a new you to begin to come peeking through. I can see a tiny sliver of light beginning to emerge from this cocoon of self-loathing, and it’s going to take all the strength and energy I can muster to break free. When a big task lies ahead of us, whether it is a lofty goal like a career change or getting back in shape, we have to believe in celebrating the small wins. And I’m talking the smallest of the minor victories.

For example: getting rid of those clothes set aside for “some day.” Drawers bursting with my past, present, and future clothing greeted me each morning. Closets full of items that still had tags on them, I didn’t have the energy or motivation to return them. Something had to change. I still don’t know what sparked the great closet purge of 2019, but I’m glad it happened. I got rid of all the clothing that no longer served me. If I never wore it, I sold it. If I couldn’t sell it, I donated it. I made room for a small number of items that serve the body I’m in now and that make me feel great.

That’s where I am on my journey to feel better in my own skin. Just doing something, even the littlest thing, like lacing up your shoes. It’s a small step towards embracing the weight around my waist, thanking it for all it gave me, and letting it be OK to move forward.

So, maybe today you’re feeling motivated to make a fresh start in a fresh pair of shoes, or perhaps it’s a new jacket, lipstick, or even something as small as a new pair of socks. There are NO bad days for new beginnings and for celebrating who you are today, right at this moment.

Lace up those shoes and make the most of who you are today. The future you can wait until tomorrow.

Thanks to Nike Air Max for making these posts possible. Happy Nike Air Max 720 Day, friends.

You can purchase the newly launched Nike Air Max 720 here.

Editor’s Note: The Nike Air Max 720 pictured are a fashion shoe and not designed for intense physical activity.

Editor’s note: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nike Air Max 720 The opinions and text are all mine. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight. Sponsored posts like these allow for the development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!

BY Kate Arends - March 26, 2019


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