Hi babes <3 If you're part of my Instagram family, you know that I never really post about fitness. But  maybe you don't know that I work out almost EVERY dang day. The gym is a huge part of my life ... my husband is a personal trainer for goodness sakes! And I am so stoked that I am the official female model for A.R.M. fitness apparel. But every single time I go to post a gym selfie or my new work out routine, I just don't feel right about it. A little alarm goes off in my spirit .... this got me thinking WHY do I feel that way??

First I just want to clarify - I love seeing my friend's gym posts and I do follow a couple of fitness accounts. NOTHING wrong with gym posts. I just don't feel it's right for ME to post about the gym. And I've figured out WHY.

Although fitness posts can be super inspiring, the can also have the complete OPPOSITE effect; they can make us feel like we're not DOING enough (AKA I need to get to the gym ASAP even though I have so much on my plate right now), make us feel like our bodies aren't good enough ('cause let's be real ... I'm probably NEVER gunna look like those six-pack chicks floating around on my popular page) and they can make us feel straight up DEFEATED (no matter how much I hit the gym and work out I'll never be a size 2). AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, I have learned that being TRULY healthy is SO much more than fitness and eating right. And guess what? The gym CAN actually be very Unhealthy. Basically, the gym is NOT the answer. But guess what? I DID find the answer to loving my body (and it has nothing to do with what you THINK) ...

Now if you're like me, you've tried every diet under the sun, and you've spent too many hours on a treadmill to see the results you wanna get. And you didn't get them. From eating disorders, to hating my body, I've dealt with it all. Being an actress, singer and model (especially during my time in LA) I was told I needed to lose 10 lbs more times than I can count. And yes, they said that ish to my FACE. It took a toll on me for YEARS. Every thought consumed by how much I weighed, what i was going to eat, and most of all GUILT. I felt so guilty. Because in order for me to succeed in the entertainment industry, I had to be skinnier. And I just couldn't get down to 100 pounds. So it was going to MY FAULT that I couldn't succeed. Damn.

ONE DAY, it all changed for me. Yes, in a single instant. Years of destructive thinking and bad eating cycles - GONE. A little golden nugget of truth struck my soul like lightening. And it worked better than any supplement or fitness influencer or diet program could - - Ya know how often times we are told that if we have unforgiveness or bitterness towards someone that it actually does more harm to US than to them? It is scientifically proven that harboring resentful emotions towards someone weakens the immune system and can make you physically and mentally ill. Well no one talks about it, but what if you're harboring bitterness towards YOURSELF? Can you imagine how much those detrimental symptoms of bitterness are AMPLIFIED?? 

I was in a conversation talking about nothing health related, we were actually talking about my parent's recent divorce. The gal asked if I had forgiven my parents, and I responded with a genuine yes. Then she proceeded to ask a question I had NEVER heard before - "Is there anything you're holding against yourself? Is there anything you need to forgive yourself for?" And at a that moment, for some reason, I KNEW. I had been mad at myself for so many years for not being thin enough. I had been so angry that I was being sent home from auditions because I weighed too much. I was so upset that even though I spent a minimum of an hour a day on the treadmill and counting every calorie that I still wasn't the size I "needed" to be.

And at that moment, I knew in my soul, that it was OKAY. It was all OKAY. That if I was SUPPOSED to be a size 2, then God would have made me a size 2. That it if I was supposed to have thin legs, then I would have those, too. I'm a complete advocate for eating healthy and exercising, but those can only get you so far. You're still going to look like YOU, not a retouched human in an ad, not a skinny gal that God made that way (God bless her), not an actress that gets paid to work out and has a personal chef, and not a model who does cocaine or starves herself to stay as thin as her modeling agency needs her stay. I am not making assumptions, I am making observations from my time in LA. I was suddenly FREE, because it was no longer my responsibility to be someone else, my ONLY responsibility now was to just be ME. And that God created me the way he wanted for the purposes he had for me. So I COULD succeed, after all.

I'm not sure if this resonates with anyone, but that day my life was changed. And I was finally able to love myself. And something crazy happened when I started loving myself - my eating disorder vanished. I want to be sensitive because I know that eating disorders can take YEARS to overcome. And yes, I had mine for years. I'm just sharing with you what happened to me, and I want you to know that you are invited to be OKAY, too. And that you can forgive yourself for anything and everything. If God FORGETS our sin and separates it as far as the East is from the West, then we are FREE to forgive ourselves INSTANTLY too. Oh and I need to paint a complete picture here; to this DAY I struggle with my weight. I work on being healthy and achieving my fitness goals by taking one step at a time. It's a daily battle. But it's a battle for HEALTH over WEIGHT. And I am continually learning to be gentle with myself and have GRACE for my mind and my body. Because NOBODY'S perfect. I promise. If you want to talk, leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @DannieMarieOfficial. TTYS <3