Monday, March 14, 2016

Love Yourself

I thought long and hard about whether or not to post this. I like to advertise myself as an open book, but being overly personal (especially on the internet) does freak me out, a bit. But I've gotten such amazing, motivating feedback since yesterday that I've decided to try and share my 'story' or whatever I should call it.

When I was younger, I was that kid that everyone made fun of for being so skinny. Lots of people told me to eat more, which I thought was crazy, because I ate so much. I just had a fast metabolism. I also had no shape. I hit puberty early, but it didn't hit me. I joked about my non-existent boobs all throughout high school, and it wasn't until I was around 21-22 that people started telling me my jokes didn't work anymore because I had a chest.

My doctor put me on a special diet around the age of 13-14 due to my high cholesterol. I was limited to three 'treats' a week. After a few months of that, I was given the all-clear and went back to eating like a normal, gluttonous teenager. A lot of older women liked to make envious comments about my body and tell me, "it'll catch up to you eventually." I always found that to be so rude. But they were right. I figured it'd catch up to me after I had kids, somewhere in my mid-30's maybe. But it started when I was around 20. I realized that life after high school was much more stationary than I had ever pictured it to be. I slept even more than I did at 16. My friends weren't available as often as they used to be. I was tired after working a full-time job and refused to be active outside of work. Depression and health problems set in and the weight started piling on. In high school, I barely made it to 95 lbs. After graduation, I quickly shot up to 110. I ate a lot, in an effort to make myself feel better.  I figured that I 'deserved' to eat certain junk food because I had 'earned' it somehow.

Shortly before my 21st birthday, I joined a fitness boot camp. I was the youngest one there--everyone else was a stay-at-home wife or mother. For six weeks, I woke up before the sun rose and joined my new older acquaintances in a park parking lot, where we encouraged each other to push through the pain and pop music. As a gift to myself when it was done, I got my belly button pierced. I was much stronger and motivated afterwards, but I hadn't really lost much weight, nor had I toned up. A couple of weeks later, I turned 21 and fell in love with whiskey and eventually, beer. I gained even more weight.

I've hated my stomach since I was around 16/17. For seven or eight years now, my New Year's Resolution, along with many others, has been to lose weight and be healthy. And every year, some excuse made me give it up, or not give it my all in the first place.

I had a realization this past year. A realization that I'm about to be 25 in a couple of months, that I'm halfway through my 20's. That I can't be lazy like I used to and still maintain a figure that I appreciate. That being a mother is something I want for my future and I'm nowhere near healthy enough for myself, let alone carrying another human inside of me. That having back pain so bad that I can't walk after a long shift is not something I want to suffer through my whole life. That sitting in a doctor's office getting blood work for diabetes testing at my age is far too young. That everyone in my family has health problems that, for the most part, were brought on by living a lifetime of unhealthy habits.

Progress (1 Month)

So, I went to a chiropractor. (Say what you will about them, it has helped me). I went to my doctor and found out my problem areas and how to fix them. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app and started counting my calories. I realized that a pint of Ben & Jerry's contains damn near the amount of calories I should be eating in ONE DAY and I had been eating one or two a week, along with full meals and snacks. I stopped drinking soda and alcohol (save for special occassions, of course). I stopped eating so much fried food at work and started bringing healthy snacks with me on my shifts. I realized I actually have the power inside of myself to be the person I want to be, as cheesy as that sounds. I realized that I need to stop sleeping so much and work on my blog if I want it to go somewhere. That it would be hard to preach to people younger than me about loving themselves if I didn't feel the same way about myself.

And this whole thing isn't even just about health and body image. Being healthier makes me feel happier. Seeing a change in my body makes me feel like I can actually do something if I really want to do it. It helps me be more awake during the day so that I can actually do the things I want to do, rather than feel like I'm wasting my life by being too tired to do anything. Being happy improves my mood and my relationships. I don't see myself as being an 'inspiration' or a 'motivation,' but some people have said that to me, and if that is something I can be to someone else, I want to do it. I'm happy to talk to anyone about it and help them through their own struggles, be it relationship-related, health-related, or whatever. So, there ya go. A little piece about me and what I am trying to do with myself so that I can help others do it, too.