Society has romanticized a concept of what beauty, fitness, and loving yourself looks like. The power to define what beauty means to you is within you.Read more
“This is your life. Do what you love and do it often!” As motivating and empowering as the statement may be, it is also an overwhelming one to grasp. While I’m a firm believer that anyone can tap into their own personal power source to manifest their dreams, I also know how hard it can be and seemingly impossible to understand.
Fitness wasn’t a part of my life until three years ago and I mean it. Before committing to becoming a healthier version of myself, both physically and mentally, the only exercise I had really done was physical education in high school. It’s not that I despised working out, I just never realized the importance or value it played in my mental health and stress levels until depression hit me.
The biggest challenge for me wasn’t waking up early in the morning to squeeze in my workout or even choosing to eat healthier food options. The greatest challenge I had to face, and still do from time to time, is getting myself in the right mindset.
In the media, you often see messages of ‘A Quick Diet to Detox from Holiday Eating’ or ‘Drop the Stubborn 15lbs Post Baby Weight in 6 Weeks.’ As innocent as these messages are, they can definitely have the opposite effects. When I saw messages like this on magazines or website articles, I quickly concluded that holiday eating was bad, or that exercise was a form of punishment for not being able to bounce back into my pre-baby weight as quickly as other moms did. I began to compare myself with others who were able to be fit and find a healthy balance in their lives, while I struggled to define what that meant for me.
It’s a common thing for us to get caught up in competition or stuck
in the feelings of competitiveness, especially in creative endeavors,
our careers, and even in our personal fitness journeys. It’s important
to recognize and acknowledge these feelings so that you can quickly
move on and let them go.
Throughout the past few months, I’ve been learning how to neutralize my feelings and the negative past experiences I’ve had. Neutralizing means taking the good/bad or right/wrong out of it and just seeing it for what it is without judgement. To understand that this is what’s happening in the moment, without asking why. Judging yourself or the circumstance only invites the opportunity to place shame and blame around a situation, which takes you away from moving forward in the direction your heart is meant to go. Judging yourself keeps you from doing the things you love and doing them often. When I feel myself stepping into a place of judgement, I acknowledge it for what it is, and tell myself “It’s going to be ok. It’s not forever. It is what it is just for right now.”
Just remember, everyone goes through the same thing and has felt
this at least once in their journey. It’s perfectly normal. We are all
the same, and we’re all just trying to figure out how to love
ourselves a little more so that we can teach others to do the same. In
the moments that I feel overwhelmed or struggle to find the footing to
move forward I repeat this: “Learning to love myself enough to make
lifestyle changes was the biggest transformation in this entire
journey. Believing I could stick to a plan, trust the struggle, and
embrace the small accomplishments was another.”