For me it took hitting rock bottom before I could make a change. Luckily not all people have to get to that point before they can but for me that is what it took. I was depressed and hated the way I looked. I felt ugly and fat and felt uncomfortable in every single thing that I owned. I just wanted to sit alone and eat all the bad stuff. I was miserable. Tired of trying different magical pills that claimed they would allow me to eat all the bad stuff yet still somehow miraculously end up looking like one of those photo-shopped models in their ads. Tired of trying weird, random exercise videos that made you breathe weird and hold your breath and then hold poses to supposedly make the weight disappear. (Although that one did surprisingly help when I actually did it.) To sum it all up, the last straw was that I was totally and completely unhappy and finally said ENOUGH! I was so done with hating me and decided it was now or never.
So I started, I made the decision to start and I did. Was I perfect? Heck no! I had so many days where I was too tired to go to the gym. So many days where all I wanted was a huge bowl of ice cream and I gave in and ate it. Days where I just felt like I was doing all of this for nothing and nothing was going to ever change. But I still kept going.
Slowly those days of skipping working out got less and less. I learned how to find more foods that were healthy that I liked and learned new ways to cook them. I still had cravings for that big bowl of ice cream but I would only partially give in to that craving and just have a little bowl of ice cream. I started feeling better about me before I noticed any physical changes and I am certain that was because I was simply taking care of me. Good food and exercise work wonders for your brain. I liked this new way I was feeling and decided it was worth it, even though it was hard, because I was starting to feel happiness. And I don’t know about you but I liked feeling happy a lot more than I liked being sad and depressed.
So on days when I didn’t want to do anything I would remember that happy feeling and remind myself that I was willing to do whatever it took to keep feeling that way. I finally did it for me. I didn’t do it to try to make anyone like me more or make my family or friends happy, I did it for me. That’s when it sticks. That is when things will finally start to change. When you realize that you have to do it for you. It is one aspect of your life that you need to be completely selfish in. Do it for you.
Honestly, it’s still hard. I still have days where I just want to eat all junk food and not do anything active. Just yesterday Olivia woke up earlier than normal and I usually try to get up and work out before she is up. I knew that if I jumped out of bed and changed that Rob would watch her so I could get a quick workout in. He is pretty great like that. But I was tired and instead I lay there until she made it clear she wanted to be up and I went and got her and sat her on the bed between Rob and I with some toys and laid back down and shut my eyes. I just couldn’t do it, I was too tired. But you know what it was ok, I started to beat myself up over it and then said stop! I was just taking care of me. My body knew it needed more rest and I was trying to help it out with that and some days that is ok. So today I woke up before the babe and got up and got a good workout in. I knew that I needed it today to give me energy and to help me be ok with me. I still do it all for me but now I have extra motivation. That tiny little human that calls me mama, I want to show her what happy and healthy looks like and teach her to take care of her body.
So figure out what makes you happy and do it for you. Whether it is exercise or cooking or sewing or building things, whatever it is, start that journey to a healthier you and do it. It won’t be perfect at first and that is ok. But just do it. You won’t regret it, I promise, I never have not even for a second.