I need your help

I need your help.

Four little words I never want to utter…but here I am, asking for your help.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a ‘I don’t need any help person’ my entire life. I’ve been uncomfortable receiving and asking for help for as long as I can remember. I believed doing everything on my own, even if that meant doing it with struggle, was me being “strong”.

If someone offered me assistance, without even pausing to consider the request, my answer would always be: “No, thank you. I’m okay”, or, “No, that’s sweet of you, but I’ve got this.”

If someone told me I looked like I needed a hug or a good cry, I was hard on myself for coming across as weak; all while knowing full well I could actually use the well-intended hug or cry session.

For most of my life I’ve tried to appear as if I have my shit together…and, from what I’m told, I was pretty convincing.

It wasn’t until 7 months ago, right before the onset of Covid and quarantine, that I found myself unable to do it all, unable to hold all my shit together. I found myself at my breaking point telling my now-fiancee, “I’m really scared to see an eating disorder therapist. I don’t like needing help. But I think I need it. I can’t do this on my own anymore.”

Asking for support — especially with an issue I’ve been battling for over a decade — made me feel like a helpless little girl. I didn’t like it, and most days to be honest, I still don’t. But it’s what I needed. It’s what I need. And I’m slowly learning that asking for help is what helps me help myself.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a reminder that we don’t have to go at this alone.

After hours of talking (i.e. arguing with my therapist), I’m slowly peeling back layers of my stubborn self and learning how to receive help, support and love.

I need your help.

A few weeks back, a friend sent me an email about a contest to be on the cover of Muscle + Fitness Hers Magazine. That’d be cool, I thought. So, I flagged the email she sent me and did nothing with it. I hemmed and hawed over submitting anything — not because I didn’t think it was a great opportunity — it definitely is — but because I didn’t think I had what it took to win. As someone who is still working through her own eating disorder and body issues, I didn’t believe I was “fit enough” to be on the cover of any magazine.

“You’re crazy, you know that?” my friend said as I explained why I wasn’t going to enter the contest.

“E v e r y o n e,” she said, annunciating each syllable, “would killlll to have your body! And I get that it’s a mindset and body you’re still fighting for, but this — this — is your story, and if the only reason you’re not going to enter is because you have some bullshit story around how you don’t look “good enough”, that isn’t going to cut it. If you tell me you’re not interested or it’s not your thing, fine. But cut the ‘I can’t because I’m not good enough’ shit.”

Like the lingering smell of cigarette smoke, her words clung to the air throughout the rest of the day. I went back to the email she sent me, I clicked the link and with hours left to submit, I answered a couple of questions and uploaded some pictures. Done. That is that, I told myself.

The next day I got an email saying I had been selected to be part of the competition and to share my profile link on social media so people could vote for me.

I scrolled through the other women selected, some of which I know, and my head got very loud. You do not belong here, the little voice in my head said. And I rationalized that I wouldn’t get past the first round of cuts because I didn’t look like these other women and there was no way in hell I was going to send out a little note to people saying, “Hey! Hi! I’m doing this thing and I need your help…will you vote for me? K. Thanks!”

The first round of cuts was for the top 25 and at spot 12 in my group, I made the cut. The whole thing was laughable to me. Ok, so you got lucky…but there is no way you’ll make the next cut of top 15, I told myself.

Leading up to the top 15 selection, I reluctantly voted for myself a few times and told myself if I made it to the next round of top 10, I’d share the contest and ask for help. I was quite sure when I made that promise to myself that I wouldn’t make it past top 15 and then I could tell my friend, “I told you so!”

Well, as it turns out, and as I’m sure you guessed by now, I’m still in this thing and ironically still at spot 12, just shy of the next cut for top 10.

Which got me thinking….If I’m at spot 12 with minimal effort and minimal voting on my part, what would happen if I actually ask for help?

I need your help.

To be on the cover of Muscle + Fitness Hers Magazine I need to move from spot 12 to the top 10.

Voting for the top 10 ends this Thursday, August 13th at 11 PM, EST.

You can vote daily for me (that’s three times before Thursday!) and help me collect more votes.

Please share with your circle and help me spread the word as I work through this competition.

I appreciate your help, support and love more than you know.