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Monday was chest and triceps. After I warmed up on the treadmill I staked my claim to a bench in the weight section. My first exercises were chest press and dumbbell triceps extension.

I looked in the mirror as I counted my sixty second rest between sets. For the first time in a long time, I liked what I saw in the mirror. I looked like belonged in that section. I looked like I knew what I was doing (because I did). I looked as good on the outside as I felt on the inside. I looked as fit as I felt.

Part of it was wearing a tank top. I haven’t worn a tank top yet this year. I could see my arms work as I hoisted the dumbbell over my head. I could see muscles working. I could see muscles, all the work I’ve put in over the winter and revealed with clean eating. I couldn’t see that before with my baggy, frumpy this-was-all-I-had-clean t-shirts. I associate confidence with showing off your body. Not in a suggestive way–just baring your arms when you have previously described them as skirt steaks tacked to your shoulders.

Part of it was working my shoulders. They are the good kids of my body. Oh you want us to tone? Okay. Oh you want us to gain? Okay. Overnight results with huge smiles on their faces. They give such a definition to your line. They give you an arm.

Part of it is all the shifting I’ve been doing, really becoming aware of the stories I tell myself and what I make them mean. I’ve really become aware of my self perception.

I felt so free, so empowered. It was such a gift and blessing to like what I saw. I was so excited and so high for the rest of the afternoon and well into the evening. I also had an outstanding workout, lifting heavy, pushing myself and running.

To be honest, as excited as I was writing this now feels a little sad to admit I’ve had challenges with my self perception and it has been a long time since I liked what I saw. I could tell I was making progress. It felt slow compared to all the work I was doing. But again small shifts made big changes: I ate very clean and really became aware of my mind. If you change a filter you see things in different light.

I’m by no means looking for compliments;please don’t hear or read that. It was such a cool, bright energy and feeling I wanted to share the experience.

I’m also going to buy many more tank tops in bright colors 🙂