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As I look back over the years that I obsessed about my body image, I can't help but think of all the times I missed out on-physically and mentally. I've been in the health and fitness field for over 10 years with additional time participating in athletic activities throughout school. I'm a wellness coach, personal trainer, and group exercise instructor and in these roles, you want to practice what you preach but there needs to be a line of self-care...I knew this but I didn't practice self-care. Looking my best or what I thought was my best look, was not the best for me mentally. I've shared bits and pieces of my journey throughout my years of struggling with an eating disorder.

I thought that being the smallest version of myself meant that I was that more Knowledgeable in my craft. That it made me a more desired trainer. That people would aspire to look like me.

Here's what I know now and am blessed with the opportunity to help women understand:

Your dress size does not define you

Your scale can't tell you how strong you are

Your scale can't tell you have far you ran

Your scale can't tell you how many push ups or pull ups you can do

Your scale can't tell you how great of a parent you are

Your scale can't tell you how much you mean to your significant other

Your scale is just that...a number. A number that does not define you.

What's so much more important that a number on a scale is your mental health and how you choose to create a healthier YOU on a daily basis. This will look different to each person. Maybe it's taking that one hour each day by yourself to reflect, grab a coffee, go for a walk, hit the gym, read, I could go on all day. This one hour a day to me is working out at the gym. My gym time is MY therapy and I'm so thankful I have found my outlet and no longer see it as a way to just burn calories.

If you're on a weight loss journey, here's a few tips I have for you:

1) IF you are weighing yourself, just check in once a week on the scale.

2) Ditch a specific weight you're trying to hit. For example, if you're trying to reach a goal weight of 130, as yourself why. A certain weight might not be healthy mentally or physically for you. This will also prevent extreme emotions associated to a specific number on the scale. A specific number does not determine your quality of health.

3) Find other ways to measure progress. Such as your quality of sleep, energy level, how your clothes fit, progress photos, etc.

4) BE KIND TO YOURSELF, NOURISH YOURSELF WITH HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES, BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR BODY AND EVERYTHING IT CAN DO! If you make genuine good health your priority, weight loss will naturally follow.

With love,

Jessica Bluhm

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