In my previous post, I discussed the importance of taking care of yourself and making healthy choices that are going to positively improve your quality of life.
I briefly touched on the importance of moving your body and eating well, but a very important aspect of taking care of yourself is looking after both your mind and soul.
Whether you are just embarking on a fitness journey or have been slogging away at the gym for years, the perception you have of yourself is going to determine your overall happiness.
Whatever goals you are working towards, it’s important to love yourself along the way, or at the very least learn to. Your body image, body confidence, self-worth and self-appreciation all stem from your happiness within. This topic is what I am MOST passionate about and is something I believe is often overlooked.
Hailee Steinfeld said it perfectly in her most recent pop hit (let’s take a moment to appreciate a song that is actually sending a positive message out into the world)
“ You know some days you feel so good in your own skin. But its okay if you want to change the body that you came in. ‘Cause you look greatest when you feel like a damn queen… ”
Because no matter your situation, everyone out there should be feeling like a damn queen.
When you work out from a place of love, rather than hate, your body is going to respond so much better, and you are going to feel better as well.
I completely understand that when you aren’t happy within your own skin, it’s difficult to feel any love for your body. I will be the first to admit, that when I woke up two years ago and looked in the mirror, I wasn’t happy with my reflection and I certainly didn’t love myself. Nor did I feel like a damn queen. This feeling is what empowered me to take that first step towards a healthier lifestyle, but if I could go back I would have made more of an effort to take the time to appreciate myself and learn to love the changes my body was making throughout my journey.
Why is this so important to me? Because over the two years, my confidence and overall happiness improved, but if you peeled back the layers, what remained the same, and never progressed was my self-worth.
Even when I was at my lowest body fat percentage, I still found I was always critiquing myself. I could stand in the mirror and point out where I had more fat to lose, where I needed more muscle, and wondered why I could only get my abs to appear for longer than 30 seconds. It was exhausting.
I was happy on the outside, confident within myself and still very proud of what I had achieved but deep down I was still having these negative thoughts about my body.
Eventually, these negative thoughts got the better of me, and for a while I let them take control of how I was feeling. Your perception becomes your reality, and the perception I had of myself was very misleading.
To not love and appreciate your body at any stage of your life, is no way to live. It’s the one thing keeping you alive in this world. So I made a conscious effort to change how I perceive myself. I got back into a healthy routine, started exercising regularly, and trusted those positive endorphins to work its magic.
My mindset changed. My attitude towards fitness changed. Now I work out from a place of love. Because I love my body and I want to give my body the best environment to function in. The physical changes are an added bonus but I don’t let them become my sole focus.
Your self-worth is so vital to your happiness. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you reach your goal weight/body fat percentage/dress size that you are finally going to be happy.
Keep working towards your goals, but make sure to take care of yourself mentally along the way.
Show up for yourself, be your number one cheerleader. Tune into yourself and listen to those internal thoughts. Make a conscious effort to focus on the things about yourself that you do love. Never let exercise be a punishment or a chore. Remove the pressure to look a certain way, and rather focus on how you feel.
Always remember, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” (Buddha)
Self-worth is a belief that comes from within, and nobody can give that to us or take it away.
As you can tell, I am so incredibly passionate about this topic, and I could write about this forever. But I’m going to leave it at that. Don’t forget to like this post, comment below ↓ and share with your friends to help spread this positive message!