As summer approaches, we all pay more attention to the way we look and are trying to get into the best shape, we can possibly be in. And believe me, I’ve had my fair, if not massive share of body insecurities, dieting and unhealthy body image. It is a very relevant topic, which can affect every body type or shape.
Recently, I started a new fitness and diet journey, but this is not my first one. I have a history of loosing weight drastically and then maintaining it for a month or two and then gaining it all back. And I am sick of it. I am sick of food, being the first thing, I need to consider when waking up, so I can be in charge of my goals, sick of looking in the mirror and not liking what I see, sick of hiding my body and being scared of the meter.
Therefore, I feel like this time my journey has a whole new motivation and approach. I want to feel good and be healthy, not only on the outside, but inside my mind as well. I want to fight the side of me that keeps telling me I cannot achieve goals, or I am less than what I actually am.
There are a few key lessons I have gained from my previous experiences, which I believe have been very eye-opening for me.
Every time before, when I was losing weight, I was influenced by someone else. By my mother, who looks amazing, by some model, actress, a YouTuber… By the vision of someone petite and beautiful. Someone confident in their body. Moreover, I have felt pressured by people telling me I have gained weight or commenting on the way I look. And comments about your weight are something affecting and hurtful, not a good motivation. Therefore, my ways were very drastic, because I wanted fast results. But not for me. I wanted fast results, so I can prove myself to other people.
However, this is not a healthy mindset. Pleasing someone else will not make you confident, teach you about nutrition or make your life healthier. It brought me only bitter disappointment. The moment I was in a good position, even more people started commenting on the way I look. The conclusion – people who do not like you, cannot be pleased and should not be. You don’t own anybody no explanation, no pleasing. Anybody, but yourself. There will always someone who will want to drag you down for some reason or another, but it is impossible, if you know your own value.
Moreover, fast weightloss results for me, meant that I ended up depraving my body and in a place in which I did not know how to eat in order to maintain my weight. So, I ended up gaining it. (Again)
My motivation this time is being the best version of myself (not somebody else), which I can be. And this doesn’t necessary mean looking at my kilograms as the only measurement. Sure, I do need to lose some weight, but I want also to lose fat, become more toned, stronger and healthier. I want to feel energized and active. I want to learn to love and appreciate what and who I am. This is a maintainable goal. Something I would work on my whole life, not just for 3 months. Therefore, my results will not show up so easily, but every kilo and every glance in the mirror will be a lesson learned.
I have always had a very unhealthy relationship with food. I have an emotional attachment to it, so every time there is something happening in my life – no matter good or bad – it needs to be celebrated or grieved with food. Before, I never used to see the benefits of different foods as to their nutritional value, but only their taste.
Don’t get me wrong, I was never eating only junk and processed food. However, there is a huge difference between eating your fruits and vegetables and cooking at home in contrast to designing your food in a way it will work to improve your energy and health.
This is something that I am definitely trying to change, as I become more and more interested in nutrition and learn more about it. I now can notice how different foods affect my hormones, moods or energy levels. And this is what food does – it is supposed to feed your body, not your mind.
I used to be that person going hard on the treadmill or running outside every morning… But only when on a diet. As soon as I have reached my goal my activity level was dropping instantly. Then from time to time, I was going to the gym and lifting some weight, but never working out for the sake of activity.
However, as the hyperactive person I am, I need lots and lots of activity daily in order feel good. If I quit exercising even for a week, I start feeling demotivated to do whatever it is, I cannot sleep, then I cannot wake up, I overeat, lose my stamina, shape and I fall into a hole of unhealthy habits. For me, being active, not only in the fitness, but in my every day, in my mind is essential in order to stay healthy and sane.
Mind, Body and Soul
We all have the issue with the image of our body in the mirror at one time or another of our life. But your body is the product of your work and its state is in our own hands. So, we should expect sane results of our work.
We should not be afraid of this image. We should not deny or exaggerate it. Look at your body every day, appreciate its beauty and notice your flaws as opportunities, not condemnations. In order to change your body and mould it the way you want, you need to know it and see it through the eyes of objectivity.
You are beautiful, both inside and outside. Dress up, make up, take care of your skin and body with love and keep feeding your head. In order to feel good in your body, you need to feel good in your mind and soul.
So, this is where my journey has lead me, even though it is still in process. It is definitely a painful topic for many people and for me as well, as this has been a constant issue for me in the past few years. But I finally feel in a place where I need to share, learn and recover. I hope you all are on the road, trying to improve yourselves constantly and learning to love others and yourself. Feel free to share your stories and experiences with both me and Andreea in the comments below or by sending an e-mail.