PAULA

Advanced Jabber

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Most of the girls in the JABS fam go through a journey that begins with a desire to lose weight, and one of their achievements is actually meeting their goal - which is AMAZING. However, I cannot relate to them. In fact, I am the total opposite. 

I was diagnosed with anorexia a couple of years before college, and although I was in a decent condition by the time i got to NYC, I was still in a very vulnerable state of mind. I freaked out with food, I was never comfortable in my own skin, and I always worked out (which i still do, but it’s different). I was not happy at all, and this kept going for the following 3 years - until I met you. 

Now this may sound cheesy, but in my life there’s only been a few number of people who have truly influenced me, and one of them is you. Little did I know when I met you at flatiron 3 years ago that you would impact my life so much. 

The summer I first dm-ed you about wanting to try out your class I was in a very dangerous situation. After 3 months of being back home with not that many gym days on my calendar, I was getting back to my old unhealthy routines. It was starting to be all about getting that skinny body again. But I remember watching your instagram stories one day (this was back in THE CUT times) and think “Shit. She looks great. She’s happy. She is skinny yes but she’s strong. I want that. I want to be strong”. And just that thought, right there, changed my life forever. 

I stopped focusing on being as skinny as possible, and I started focusing on being strong. Why? How? I don’t know G. But there was something about you, the way you talked about fitness, the way you were taking your life that made it look so real and inspiring... so much that this has been my goal every day since then. 

Later on you started growing with Jabs, and next thing I know is you’re posting about what you eat on social media. Seems a small move, right? You still do it, and it doesn’t take that much time or energy out of you. But that - which can look insignificant - saved me. I really hope you dont know what it is to count calories every single second of your day, or to restrict your diet to vegetables and protein, and nothing else (or i would be fat again next morning). After seeing you and your posts (several times), I stopped being scared of some foods I didn’t allow myself to eat, and started to give them a try. Peanut butter was one of them (plot twist). When I ate something I didn’t use to, I would close my eyes and tell myself that if you did it and you were fine, I could do it too. I know each body is different, but seeing you posting these things so naturally, without trying to be cute or instagram worthy, made a tremendous difference in my life. You normalized food for me. And that was a big step.

I’m not going to lie. I still have my moments, and I still freak out from time to time, especially when I’m away (today was one of these days, for example) But when it happens, I still think of you. And it still helps. 

Yes. My JABS journey has been different. I didn’t lose weight. In fact, I gained weight. But the weight came with strength and confidence. I gained happiness within myself, and a new mentality. 

Sometimes I need to remind myself that my goal is different from others, and that I don’t have to be on the same journey as them. It can be tempting to fall again on the wrong track, but then I see you, I see you in class, I read what you post and I stop myself from falling. Somehow, you keep me sane. You, and the entire team. What happens between those walls and the amount of support that jabbers transmit to each other pushes me to another level. Physically and mentally. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes the thought of “letting jabs down” because i’m tired and I cant lift my heavy weights makes me suck it up and lift them.  

I used to hate working out with people because I felt judged and uncomfortable. Now I hate working out alone because I feel like I’m missing my team and my support. 

Looking back, it’s shocking to think how much my life has changed after these months by your side. People see it in me, and I see it too. I look at you, and at the community you’ve built - the one I am lucky to be part of -  and it only pushes me to work harder - Physically, mentally, and professionally.

If there is something else I have learnt from you is that things do happen if you fight hard enough for them. 

So G, here is when I have to thank you for all your hard work and passion. For creating something so powerful that goes beyond a workout. Jabs, to me, is more than a fitness journey. It’s a life journey. And it is an amazing one.