Why do I coach women?

Can you see my awkward faked smile?

My shoulders hunch forward, my chin tucked, and I can still remember how tense I felt as the camera shutter clicked.

This photo, as unflattering as I think it is, is such an important part of WHY I coach.

The photo shoot brought out so many insecurities. I had worked so diligently in the gym and been on point with my cut. I wanted feel amazing and confident in front of the camera, but I was self-conscious. I felt exposed; the touch of my skin felt foreign underneath my fingertips.

A part of me had desperately hoped being at a lower body fat, having visible muscles, and being satisfied with my appearance would rid the negative inner dialogue scratching at my insecurities. It was subtle at first, like a finger tip softly grazing, but it dug deeper and deeper with the nail, slow and steady enough that I only noticed how painful it had become when I started to bleed.

I bled out midway through the shoot. I can really see it in my face in this particular photo. Remembering the feelings that engulfed the time surrounding this shot is still painful.

Afterwards, my husband and I sat across from each other at a McDonald’s. I sobbed with a half-eaten strawberry cream cheese pie in my hands. I had wanted the shoot to be perfect - no, that wasn’t it - I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to be whatever unattainable version of my perfect self that I had created in my mind.

So sweet and loving, my dear husband let me ugly cry in public with my pie, brought me napkins to blow my nose into, ice water to sip, ketchup for my McChicken. And cheeseburger. And fries.

And I ate. Without guilt.

And it was a powerful reminder of all the wins and progress I’ve made in recovering from my disordered eating and body dysmorphia. My tears dried and I moved on, as I will continue to do in my recovery.

This is WHY I coach women. Because each of us are worthy of self-love; because self-care is knowing we are valuable; because our bodies are beautiful and ours.

It would be an honor to walk beside you.

© 2018 by Sojung Lee of Fit Nut Soj, LLC

All illustrations and content by Sojung Lee

Photography by SOHOSTORY