1 year ago I decided to make a change. Years of self deprecation, low self confidence, low self worth, and lack of motivation boiled up to the surface by stepping on the scale right after Thanksgiving, 2019. So many things about me manifest themselves in the feelings derived from that simple act. That day I decided I needed to work harder to take care of myself. Not just for my physical wellbeing, but my mental wellbeing.
This was no easy decision. There were many doubts, years of failures, and not much self confidence to fuel a lifestyle change. I have done things over and over again. I tried diet after diet, worked out to the point of tasting iron in my throat, but always fell back to the same spot, and then some. This instilled a feeling of hopelessness. I was convinced that this was my path, I wasn’t to change it, and “why should I really try”.
Well after one year of focus, dedication, effort, a ton of Peloton rides (over 7,000 minutes worth), and hiccups, I have proven myself wrong. I have shown that I am worth the effort, that investing in myself produces great returns, and that I deserve to love every bit of myself.
Year in reflection – Body, mind, and spirit:
These changes are the easiest to notice. I have lost 50 pounds over the past year. I have gone for low and slow. Averaging around 1 pound per week has, at times, felt like an act of futility, but the proof is in these reflection posts. I not only have dropped 50 pounds, which is fantastic for my health, but I have been on this journey for a year. It is sustainable, doable, and worth it. I can sustain this indefinitely, which means less potential for backsliding or rebounding due to a crazy diet or management plan.
The changes to my fitness have also been stark. I ran a 5k, ran a 10 minute mile (which is huge for me), notched incredible gains on my Peloton rides, can fit into clothes off the rack at stores, and feel lighter, fitter, and better. I can run around and wrestle with my kiddo in a way I never could before.
I have proven to myself the value of this personal investment. Through slow and steady, incremental progress, I have shown my analytical brain the stepping stones needed to attain these gains and milestones. The best part about this is that it translates to all parts of my life. This immense growth in pride not only effects me within my family, but it has helped me recognize my value at work, in society, and my true potential. The constant little successes have helped me to realize that I do not have to settle. I can set my sights on higher goals and work towards them. They will not happen overnight, but these goals get attained with many small steps that amount to large differences.
It is hard to put into words how this has changed things, but my loved ones have told me it is manifest, in a good way, in my face, demeanor, and outlook. I would not change these gains for anything.
There is something to be said for feeling emotionally better. I love myself. I love that I have accomplished so much. I love that I can fail or backslide and know how to get back up and move on. I have gone from self-hate and self-disappointment, to self-love, self-care, and self-investment. This switch drives betterment. It allows me to see every decision as a positive for myself, as opposed to guilt or avoidance. I truly believe that positive incentive will always outweigh negative incentive.
The next year
My goals for the next year revolve around my body, mind, and spirit.
For my spirit, I want to continue growing my love for myself. I still fall into ruts of guilt, which drive me to make changes out of guilt. I want to continually work to replace those with a mindset of self investment. I would also like to work on how I deal with my stress and anxiety. I still get very stressed and anxious and desire to eat my feelings and emotions. This is an area for improvement.
For my mind, I would like to use my motivation to drive my physical goals. I would also like to continue to train my mind to think critically about my decisions. I can use this to plan my meals better, plan my life and career better, and to continue to find joy in the little things.
For my body, I have a number of goals. I want to run a 10k in 2021. I broke down a barrier by running my first 5k this fall, what is stopping me from more? I would like to accomplish a challenge on the Peloton bike. This is the Haleakala Climb. It is five consecutive 60 minute climb rides led by Christine D’Ercole. This traces her ride up a volcano in Hawaii. I would also like to get more weight training into my routine. My legs have grown stronger, but I have been very cardio focussed over the past 12 months. Finally, I would like to lose another 50 pounds. This is a result I desire, but the above physical goals are higher priorities. I want to do this simply for my health. I know what is important for my body, I have a health condition that cannot be ignored. Being overweight has a direct impact on that. I don’t necessarily want to be skinnier, but I want to be stronger. I am not going at this superficially, but I want to be noticed for my drive and commitment.
For those of you who need to hear this, I have been the poster child for the mantra “It just doesn’t work out for me.” I have made excuses and concluded that living a life I enjoy means I will be overweight and frustrated about it. But I was wrong. I cannot stress this enough. I had not found the right way to change me for the better. I had been searching out of hate, embarrassment, guilt, and every other negative feeling. I was not searching out of love. I was not trying to find a better way to love myself, and that is where I failed.
Take the time to recognize what it is about yourself that you love. The multitude of reasons why you are lovable need to be the fire that ignites your drive for betterment. When you start to do that, it will fall into place in the way that is best for you! Not anybody else, but for you. I have been at this slowly and steadily. I proved myself wrong and now prove to myself daily why I am worth it. You are worth it.
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