By Dyan Tsiumis, SWERVE Fitness & Get Fierce Training
For so long I hated my body. I was athletic, but I was "thick"...real thick. I loathed my belly and despised my thick thighs for the way they rubbed together when I walked or ran. I compared myself to others daily, never feeling good enough. There were far too many opportunities forgone and years wasted coming from this place of self-judgment.
Admittedly the first one to roll their eyes at the thought of it, I began to do self help work. I started to realize that "hating" my body was a catalyst for so much in my life. That perspective held me back from being who I really was and doing what I love to do in life. I knew I had something to share with the world, but hiding behind complaints about my body held me back from sharing who I really was.
After time, I began to see that if I shifted my perspective to love, and started to give gratitude, everything in my life began to change. I was able to appreciate my journey for what it was, a lesson. I’m only human though — I learn this daily, and have to remind myself that, “LOVE is always the answer.”
I had a GIANT moment in training for a recent competition that reminded me of that feeling I had when I was younger. I was in a dress rehearsal for a fitness competition (to set the scene, it was girls strutting their stuff in their bikinis and heels while being judged by our coaches). I had trained for months, I looked amazing, but all I could feel as I walked (you can’t call what I did a strut, more a sulk) was not good enough. I was comparing myself to everyone around me, feeling shame, instead of standing tall and loving and appreciating the body I had created. I walked all the way home, hyperventilating and crying. I wondered how I gotten back to this place — and this time it was worse because I wasn’t the wrong size for my body any longer, but it felt that way. I had no idea how I was going to step on that stage in two days time.
When I got home to my apartment, looking a mess, I began to breathe. I realized that this was the best possible thing that could ever have happened FOR me. There was a part of me inside that still didn’t feel good enough, even in a time where I had given my everything. It was revolutionary for me, knowing that I still had this inside of me. I thought I had gotten over it, accepted and loved myself, but I still had (have) work to do.
The next morning I hit the gym, threw on my 7-inch sparkly heels, whipped off my t-shirt, and cranked Beyonce. I walked (or shall I say strutted, because it was FIERCE) like I never had before. I remembered that I was here on this earth to be something special. That giving in to crappy thoughts will never get me anywhere but looking like a hot mess walking down NYC streets. I had to pick myself up and remember why I had started this journey in the first place — and that was to be an example to my students, that there’s always room to improve, and you can always best your best.
On that day and on every day I am inspired by TEAMWORK. I wouldn’t have been able to show up for myself, if I hadn’t known there would be a crew of people there to cheer me on. I wouldn’t have set the goal if not to raise the bar for others around me.
I am also EMPOWERED by LOVE. I remember that when I come from this place, only love is given back, it’s karma. I give gratitude for my journey and love the process, especially the challenging parts.
Dyan Tsiumis is the founder of GET FIERCE Training, a holistic fitness company focused on getting you to your dream life and body. Dyan has a B.S. in Athletic Training and is certified in group and personal training. She is Head Instructor at SWERVE Fitness, the only team cycling studio in the world, where she develops programing and trains SWERVE's highly skilled instructor team. Her role as Head trainer for HealthClass 2.0 is Dyan's passion — being able to empower high school students reminds her how far she's come since weighing nearly 200lbs and sitting behind a desk in the corporate world.
Dyan has been featured in SHAPE, Women's Health, Health Magazine, Fitness, and Rodale Wellness, among many others for her transformational fitness journey. Certified in Mad Dogg Spinning, Schwinn Cycling, Kettlebell Concepts Level I, TRX, 30/60/90, intenSati, and Booiaka, Dyan is always a student of fitness. In addition to her physical certifications, she also graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. "My dream is to light up the world with my energy," she says.