“The Book’s Cover”: Physical Fitness and Mental Health
It’s like the age-old chicken and egg scenario. Which came first: the body or the mind? Am I happier because I look better, or am I taking care of myself physically so I feel better? I’m not sure I’ll ever actually know the answer aside from a little bit of both.
I started this basically-defunct-until-recently blog years ago, during my first year of mommyhood. Years ago, I was tired and fed up with how much harder the whole parenting gig is than I ever could have imagined. On top of that, I was dealing with some outside judgement that honestly just pissed me off. So, overall, I was bitter, wanting to vent, and to set the record straight, so to speak.
I titled my blog “TheBooksCover” as a play off the familiar phrase, Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover, and set off to let the world know they didn’t really know anything about me and therefore had no right to talk shit.
Looking back, that’s all so funny to me now. Like, really, Rachelle? Who cares what some dumbass you don’t even talk to anymore said or thought of you back then?? Laughable. I suppose a lot of this IDGAF attitude comes with age. I’m closer to 40 than 30 these days (yikes!), have a much smaller group of much greater friendships, and have a whole mess of responsibilities I couldn’t even have imagined back then. Ya know, back when I thought I had problems.
So anyway, The Book’s Cover blog was born and I planned on being funny, sharing my opinions, and rambling from time to time. I very inconsistently shared a little bit of this and a little bit of that, from motherhood, to current affairs, to my fitness goals leading up to a vacation or two.
I found I was particularly inclined to write when I was feeling extremely low, to get out my frustrations and sadness. I’d type out my fears, hesitations, doubts, and regrets, but rarely thought highly enough of any of it to actually complete and/or publish anything. Not to mention, that shit was DARK. Unbeknownst to me, and undiagnosed, I was suffering from postpartum depression which manifested itself primarily as rage.
I was high-functioning and seemingly happy with every reason to be. But I couldn’t not lose my everloving shit at the drop of a hat, and cried uncontrollably in the shower most days…lo-and-behold, I was depressed. Like, did you know that rage can be a sign of depression for some people? I didn’t. I just thought I was an angry, terrible mother and a horrible person. Whaddygonnado?
Fast forward nearly 4 years, and here I am – with another child under my wing, calling a whole different state home, “working” a completely different job, and living a completely different life. I’m on the other side of medication, and thanks to fitness, therapy, and my supportive friends and family, I’m in a much better place mentally than I used to be. HOWEVER, my temper is still red hot, my frustration levels are high, my patience is low, and my ability to deal with the bullshit that is motherhood some days is still lacking (to put it mildly).
With my fitness-related blog posts and Instagram selfies someone might look at me on the surface – my cover – and assume one thing or another…maybe vain, full-of-herself, obsessed, self-centered, selfish? But what I feel when I stay true to my fitness routine is pride, strength, accomplishment, control, determination, purpose, and calm. I’m documenting my fitness journey, both physically and mentally, filling the pages of my story with pictures, posts, and captions. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but you can bet your ass not all of them are positive.
Just because I’m smiling, it doesn’t mean I’m always happy. Just because I’m strong, it doesn’t mean I don’t have weaknesses. Just because I laugh, it doesn’t mean I never cry.
We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we still do. We assume we know all there is about someone else’s life, happiness, and relationships from their clothes, hair, and social media. We compare our actual life to some version of someone else’s life we made up in our heads, and 9 times out of 10 it makes us feel worse about ourselves. Comparison is the thief of joy. There is no greener grass, and there is always trouble in paradise one way or another (how many more cliches can I vomit into this post??).
I’m here to work on myself, both on the surface and beneath the cover, in order to be a more confident and content wife and mother. I created this blog to share my chapters with you so you know you’re not alone in your own struggles with motherhood. It’s truly the scariest ‘hood I’ve ever been lost in. Trust me, even if a mom looks Pinterest perfect, I assure you she’s freaking clueless. None of us know what we’re doing.
If I can inspire you to ditch a bit of the mom guilt, gain a bit of fitness prowess, and/or love yourself a little more, I’d live happily ever after. But not really, because I’m human and that’s a myth, but it would’ve been a cute send off anyway.
Find me on Instagram for fitness and motherhood shenanigans.
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