All In

 Photo:  @janinavictoria  Hand-lettered art:  @heidilakindesign

Photo: @janinavictoria Hand-lettered art: @heidilakindesign

So some of you may know about the challenge I set close to the beginning of this year, to give myself 12 months to genuinely invest into my health and wellbeing on a physical level. After years of investing emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I thought it was time to invest physically to help complete the picture.

As I write this post 7 months into the challenge, I look back on my journey with an easy ear-to-ear smile because I see the beautiful picture my pain has woven. Something I never thought would come so soon - sweet relief from the shame and rejection I felt so deeply seeded within. Something has lifted since starting this challenge. It has felt like a very significant piece to the puzzle that has unlocked more than I could have hoped for. Taking care of myself physically has brought on a whole new life-high.

Now I have been chasing after health; researching, devoting a lot of time to understanding and working out health in my own life for a very long time. I am no stranger to exercise and the benefits... But I have never truly been able to invest in the physical side without fear, obsession, compulsion and anxiety knocking at my heart. But this time it has been remarkably different. I feel immense joy, freedom, spirit and empowerment. It is wildly enjoyable and challenging all at once which makes for a pressure cooker of worthwhile emotions that actually edify, uplift and motivate me. In the past I was always missing this, and instead experiencing shame, which left me broken and bruised after every workout.

Let's talk about shame.

I knew it was the right time to face my fears of exercise after a huge season of avoidance while I healed emotionally. And the reason I knew is because I had discovered the root of it all –shame. I have spoken about my struggles with various things like anger, bitterness, jealousy and pride. But since then I have realised it all stemmed from a deep dark seed of shame birthed out of a spirit of rejection. In other words I had an adamant and fixed belief that I –just being me– was completely wrong, therefore I stood rejected. Like the 'guilty until proven innocent' vibe. I was rejected before proven accepted. For some reason this was the 'broken-record sound-track' that played in my mind since birth.

So choosing to take this next step to work really hard physically, see results and feel amazing benefits has been like the icing on the cake of years of hard internal work. I mean, the diligence, will-power, and struggle to unwire all that shame at 30 years of age was huge! But every step in my journey has led me right to this moment... It wasn't a sudden thrust into a life changing battle, but rather more of an unlocking the truth, while gaining wisdom and insight and fighting relative battles as I embraced each new season. Thanks to all that has been, and now this new health challenge, I am being completely set free from shame.

And I am aware of what I require now, to keep shame disarmed; I can recognise it - I know what it looks like, I know its scheme. So I can deny it the desire to rule my heart. I can call out the feelings of rejection that allow it to take hold, and bind them, casting them out of my life.

Today I choose to be shame free. I choose to believe I am not rejected despite the relentless lies. I choose to love life, work hard, gain results and not feel bad about it or like I have to apologise. I choose to be passionate about what I love, good at what I do, high on life, diligent and dignified without worrying about other people's perceptions or choices.

I am not rejected, therefore I am unashamed.

I have never felt better, getting in shape physically. I feel like my body is starting to reflect the lioness within. The strength that has always been inside is shining out, and that feels bloody amazing. It feels like freedom. And the motivation behind it is simple: To undo the brokenness and soar higher than ever before.

I thoroughly believe in seasons and the important role they play in our journey. If we never accept the new season we never progress. This is my season and I am all in!

Heidi Lakin

Heidi Lakin is a new mum to the beautiful Emera (born June 2012) and wife to best friend, Chad Lakin. Her story is not uncommon, having struggled for over 10 years with self-image issues that developed into eating disorders, depression, obsessive compulsive behaviour and anxiety. Her success in overcoming such perplexing battles is less common, which is why she founded Blussh - an online initiative that focuses on equipping women to find their sense of worth and committing to a life of freedom. Heidi has a vision to help women through such issues, but more importantly to help prevent poor body-image, self-doubt and everything that follows, in our young girls.