why do you be.come? || clients share

why do you be.come? || clients share

why do you be.come

Last week we posed the question – why do you be.come? and here are some of the answers.

I be.come…

“to see myself for who I really am, not for how the world sees me”

“because other workouts have made me feel like my body doesn’t belong”

“to kick chronic illness’s ass!”

“because I travel a ton for work, and it kills jet lag.”

“because it’s a fun workout which basically feels like a party in your undies!”

“because it is short and sweet”

“for my mental health”

“for family time with the hubby and little one”

“to get stronger and healthier. a new outlook on body image has been a bonus!”

“because I’m not comfortable at regular gyms”

“to create joy in my day!”

“because exercising for my body wasn’t enough, I needed to exercise for my mind too”

“to show my body love”

“because it’s something that I can do, solely for me and no one else, that makes me feel proud”

“to get to know my body and her capabilities after giving birth”

“to help me live out my mantra: ‘I am rooted, I am rising’ “

“because I feel like I can take on the world when I’m done!”

Why do you be.come? Share your story with us at @thebecomeproject or through the form.

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new normal || anja shares

new normal || anja shares

Anja_-square

Hi be.come + community, I’ve been wanting to share my story for awhile. I joined be.come soon after the beta project launched, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Like so many others I had never been able to stick to an exercise routine for more than a few months. The be.come project was like a breath of fresh air not only because I wanted to do this exercise regularly, but it made me feel good. Over the last year I’ve noticed so many changes in the way I accept my body and how I talk to myself.

Recently, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s – a disease where your immune system attacks your thyroid which causes it to not produce enough of the hormones that help your body most efficiently use its energy – and along with that came some serious diet and lifestyle changes. Having done be.come throughout that initial difficult time was a constant reminder of my strength. Even when I wasn’t feeling good, doing half a routine one day and half the next felt like an accomplishment, as opposed to feeling weak.

After coming to terms with my illness + a year with the project, I am the healthiest and strongest I have ever been. It feels great to be making such positive progress in my life in becoming more me. I’m even turning 30 in a few weeks and can say that I feel that way!

This picture really sums it all up for me- I went to a concert for my best friend’s birthday and I wore a little crop top. I never in my life would ever have dreamed of wearing something like that before. I feel so comfortable and confident in my skin now; it was liberating and freeing to wear that and feel amazing. I wanted to thank you, for this community and for the vision. It has changed my life in so many ways, I am truly grateful!

Love always,
Anja

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grateful || melissa shares

grateful || melissa shares

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Dear clients,
This is such a special read. Be sure to go all the way to the end, because wow. Just wow.


And dear Melissa,
I do remember you and I remember how it was one of the first time I had really met my online clients out in public and how amazing that felt. Then hearing snips of your story and pinching myself that I had a hand in it. Thank you for being my client and sharing with us. 

xx – Bethany

I’ve been wanting to reach out since the moment I started be.come, but I could never get the words right; that’s how much this means to me.

I found Bethany and be.come through Nico actually. At first I thought, “cool, fitness. I’d like to try.” I’d always been active growing up, always a dancer but since I became a young adult, movement has become scarce, and I didn’t like that. I tried different fitness routines but nothing stuck. I’d give up because I didn’t come to love anything I tried. Back story; I’ve always had a little tinge of anxiety. I’ve always given myself tough love and pushed through. But at 23, I experienced loss and grief for the first time. And for the first time, I could not push through.

My anxiety left me too scared to leave my house. I have never felt so low, so powerless. I had to explain to my closest friends what was going on in my head, and looking back, I am proud of who I was then. For how I handled it. I kept my friends close, just through the phone. Back then though, I was ashamed. I felt completely trapped in my head. Completely exhausted. I went back to therapy. Once again, avoiding the problems, talking about little things that didn’t help me overcome what I was going through.

And then I thought about Bethany. This was January 2018, be.come was in the beta stage, and I knew I had to do something, something for my mental health.  be.come was something that I completely took to. Bethany, you gave me an escape from my head. If only for 25 minutes at a time, you let me focus on my body. On how I felt. I’m crying as I write this, because of how beautiful be.come is. I think it saved me.

I became stronger. I became more confident. I learned to accept my body for everything it does for me, I felt completely beautiful inside and out. On days when I felt in shape, even more so on days I felt bloated. I caught myself saying things like “oh hello, little stomach roll. You are adorable!” And then, I found myself saying things like “I feel so much happier after working out” and “I’m so stressed, I’m going to be.come to clear my head” and “wow, I feel so good”.

And here I am, over a year later, still be.coming. This has been the only fitness routine I have ever stuck with. Because I am working out for my mental health. I now find myself saying things like “I was so distraught and stressed today, I can’t wait to be.come later.” It is NEVER about ‘I ate too much’. Never. And here’s the funny thing. As I started becoming stronger through be.come, I pushed myself out of the house, out of my comfort zone a little more each week. I’d take myself on self love trips from Long Island into NYC.

One of these trips, I felt a little more anxious than I was used to. I pushed myself, me and my mom were walking from Brooklyn to Queens that day. And guess what. We passed a bookstore along the way. Word. And by chance, Nico was doing a book signing for their new book of poetry. Of course we had to go in. And we did. And I noticed right away, there was Bethany.

Bethany – I am that young girl who went straight up to you trying to find the words to explain how much be.come means to me. I don’t know if you remember, but I always will. Thank you for teaching me to love my body no matter what. Most importantly, thank you for getting me out of my own head back then, and for giving me something to do as an act of self love whenever I feel that sense of powerlessness creeping back in. be.come has started a beautiful journey of self love for me. It was the very beginning of me accepting who I was and figuring out how to be who I want to be. Within the past year, I have done so much that I am so proud of. And those little steps I took to NYC each week? Well, about 6 months ago they took me all the way to New Orleans, a solo self love trip!

I’ll never be able to say thank you enough.

Love always,
Melissa P. 

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strong and centered || heather shares

strong and centered || heather shares

Heather

We received this messages from app-client Heather and wanted to share it with you all (with her permission of course!) because of her can-do, heart-first dive into the be.come project. And we also wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for taking the same leap of faith as she in joining us. We’re so grateful for every. single. one. of you beautiful souls and we really think many of you will relate to her story – Without further ado, meet Heather!

Hi be.come, I’m Heather.

I was a normal gym-goer for years, and was becoming extremely bored and frustrated with it. The class times rarely worked with my schedule, the equipment was never clean, and eventually it felt more and more like a chore.

I had been following Bethany on Instagram for about a year before they started their own business, and was quickly realizing there were other options than the traditional gym. Their Instagram posts were inspiring me to be more mindful of why and how I exercise, and making me realize my gym routine didn’t match my lifestyle anymore, and that I needed to change it.

One Saturday morning I was dreading going to my normal gym class, and decided to do a trial of be.come instead. After one session, I was hooked. I felt energized, centered, and better than I ever did in my normal classes, and right away I knew I wasn’t going back to the gym.

As someone who is all about self-care and making things work for your own lifestyle, Bethany has designed a program that allows me to exercise before work and begin my day feeling in-tune with myself. Since starting 2 months ago, I feel stronger, happier, and have a heightened awareness that I’m working out for *me* and not just to stay in shape.

I truly recommend this program to anyone who needs to jumpstart their routine and *become* more in tune with themselves. Bethany is so much fun to work out with, and you’ll start to feel more centered and loved than ever before.

Lots of shoulder kisses,
Heather

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showing up || bethany shares

showing up || bethany shares

In January, I was lucky enough to be asked to give a TedX talk at an event with the theme “showing up” and to wrap this National Eating Disorders Awareness week I wanted to share what I wrote with you because this was written for you. And by “you” I mean all of my be.come project clients. With every paragraph I wrote, I thought, do they need to hear this? Will this resonate with them? Am I saying everything that needs to be said when given this opportunity of a long-winded platform? I think the answer is yes, but you’ll have to tell me.

I offered a trigger warning at the beginning of the talk, but I want to offer it here too. I talk about binging, purging and ED recovery and if this isn’t something you’re able to take in right now, I want you to know I understand.

I see you,
I love you,
and I respect your decision to click away and come back at a more appropriate time for you.

I want to start this by asking you, the reader, to take a moment to check in with how you feel. If you’re familiar with the app, you know you can choose from the list of words below or you can submit words of your own.

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For example, because I’m in the middle of a move, I think my words right now are “stressed as hell”. So go ahead, think about your word, hold on to it for a moment, and then let it go. Checking in with how you feel is a great way to know if you are giving your body, your mind, and your spirit what it needs… I learned that the hard way.

I’ve been working in fitness for about 12 years. For 12 years I have been teaching our bodies how to move. I’ve been a lead instructor, a studio manager, a teacher trainer, I’ve taught all over the country with full waitlists and now I’ve started my own brand. But for six of those 12 years, I lived with an eating disorder. Here I was, the epitome of health and secretly I was starving myself or hanging my head over a toilet in fear of food. I’ll never forget a particularly low time in my life. I was at the height of my eating disorder and living in Los Angeles with a toxic boss at work and a toxic relationship at home. Each morning I would start with a sugary dessert and three shots of espresso and that’s all the “fuel” I would give myself for the day.

One day I came into work, taught my morning block of classes and then started on my day-to-day tasks as the studio manager. I hadn’t eaten a proper meal in several days and I started to feel hungry, which was a terrifying feeling for me at the time. So I walked to the market next door and bought some grapes. Hunger and malnourishment took over and I started eating handfuls of grapes telling myself that grapes weren’t fattening and this time I would keep them down. Within 30 minutes I was violently ill. I didn’t have to make myself throw up this time, they came up on their own. I’ll never forget holding on to the toilet uncontrollably purging, and crying at the realization that my stomach could no longer handle even the simplest food.

I was hungry, starving, and I couldn’t eat. You would think at this point most people would take a sick day but my afternoon classes were starting soon and the show must go on. I peeled myself off the bathroom floor, splashed some cold water on my face and turned on a smile for my clients who were arriving. I spent the next two hours coaching people on how to flatten their stomach and engage their inner thighs and properly prep for bikini season which was right around the corner.

I would love to tell you that I felt ashamed by my deceit, being a fitness professional who couldn’t even eat grapes, but I didn’t. I thought this was normal. You don’t go to a dentist with crooked teeth and you don’t go to a fat fitness instructor…or so I thought. The theme of the TedX conference I spoke at was showing up – which I think was an interesting choice of words because we can Show Up for someone in a supportive way and we can also Show Someone Up in a divisive way. And looking back on it I realized, I was trying to show someone up by being the skinniest in the room but I wasn’t showing up for myself. Yes, I was showing up for how I looked, but no, I was not showing up for how I felt. And in turn, I was teaching the same thing to my clients.

The idea of working out is such an interesting concept to me. Clients come to me and say they want abs like Jada, a butt like JLo and arms like Jen, but they don’t get those things in one session, they don’t get those things in ten sessions, in fact, they may never get those things at all because our body and it’s shape is uniquely ours. It doesn’t belong to Jada or JLo or Jen. If you paid someone to clean your house, and when they left your house was still dirty, you wouldn’t hire them again. So why do people give their fitness instructor so many chances? The reason is because we evoke a feeling. The workout is surface, it’s what’s on the outside. But the experience is internal. The feeling of strength, accomplishment, having someone who believes in you, the endorphin release, the ability to feel powerful even if it’s only for a short amount of time — this is the true reason why we come back for more.

Why do we stop exercising? Well I believe it’s directly correlated to our motive. “I’m so fat, I have to lose weight”. The motive came from a negative place of self worth and when we start from a negative place, it creates a sense of dread. And if you dread something it won’t be long before you stop doing it.

About four years ago, my journey to a healthier self began. I started by tossing my old rule book and my bathroom scale. I gave myself permission to eat – dairy, meat, carbs, sugar — whatever. I stopped working out for any reason that involved weight loss, such as “I ate too much this weekend”. Instead I exercised to feel empowered, centered, clear headed. I released the idea that scolding myself would make me a better person and replaced it with the idea that comforting myself would make me a better person. I stopped trying to be body-positive and instead worked to become body-neutral; meaning some days we feel positive about our body and some days we feel negative about our body but all days we respect our body.

And somehow it worked. It took time and a lot of practice but slowly I saw my mindset begin to shift. The desire to starve, binge and purge began to slip away – and that’s not to say every day is easy, but at least now I’m able to cope with it. But the biggest change that happened was my ability to show up for my clients. Not for how they look, but for how they feel. And that would have never happened if I didn’t first start by showing up for myself. Let me ask you this — how often do your workouts come from a place of guilt? How often do you tell yourself you’ll be happy with your body once you “fix” something? How often do equate your self worth with how you appear on the outside instead of how you feel on the inside?

Body dysmorphia does not discriminate. It affects people of all sizes, all colors, all genders and all socioeconomic backgrounds. We have been fed an idea for generations that we need to look a certain way in order to be valued as people. And the saddest thing is that no matter how much we alter our appearance or our size, we will always find something else that needs fixing. That’s how they design it. But together, we have the power to change that. We have the power to defy beauty standards simply by celebrating who we already are.

At the end of each be.come session, we do two things. We once again check in with how we feel – maybe it’s the same, maybe it’s different, maybe it’s better and maybe it’s worse – all that matters is that it’s honest. And then as an act of self love, we give our shoulder a kiss. So right now, choose your word, hold onto for a moment and then as you kiss your shoulder – let it go.

love you long time
xo, B

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