Each and every day we choose what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, whether or not to share our lunch on social media, and how we are going to spend our free time. In the health and fitness world, you'll come across numerous articles telling you to choose to make time for fitness and clean eating. But, why are you still having a hard time with those decisions?
Think about it. You know that you should be eating more salads. You know that working out is important for your long-term health. You totally and completely understand that fries aren't good for you. But, despite the fact that you know the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, you still can't stick with it.
I know why.
No, it's not because you're too busy. It's also not because you can't afford to live healthfully or whatever other excuse you come up with. You're unable to stick with this healthy lifestyle because you don't know how you truly feel about yourself. In some way or another, the choices we make each and every day are a reflection of how we truly feel about ourselves.
Let me elaborate.
Recently, I was reading and I just burst into tears. I felt like the words pushed me over an edge, and I sat crying uncontrollably.
The words? "Your presence is needed here."
Whoa. Why was I so affected by these simple words? I truly believe that we have all of the answers we'll ever need. So, I asked myself.
My reaction to this statement showed me what was ultimately the guiding force behind my choices each and every day. Up until that point, I had been moving through the world thinking my presence wasn't needed. I was leading a life thinking that I wasn't valued, needed, or appreciated. All of a sudden, it all made sense. When I was 13, no wonder I struggled with self-harm. I was careless with my life because I believed my presence wasn't needed. This opinion of myself perfectly explained my obsession at 16 with looking like a Victoria's Secret model. If I could have reached those measurements, maybe my presence would have finally been needed.
Looking back on the majority of the choices I have made, I see that they reflect this opinion.
But guess what? Now that I was confronted with this awareness, I was able to face it. I was given the opportunity to grow. Did I want to navigate life thinking my presence wasn't needed? No. My presence is needed and I want my opinion of myself to serve my highest and best self. Awareness is the first step toward growth. I was presented with the opportunity to work toward an opinion of myself that positively affects my day-to-day life.
When we think poorly of ourselves, our actions reflect that opinion. If you're having a hard time sticking to a healthy lifestyle, could it be because you don't think you're deserving of the health and happiness this lifestyle brings?
So, I have a question for you — one that may be hard to face. Grab a pen and paper, position yourself in front of a mirror, and ask:
How do you feel about yourself? How do you feel about your appearance, your weight, the reflection in the mirror? How do you feel about your sense of humor, how you treat others, and how you feel each and every day? How do you feel about yourself?
The answer to this question might be hard to face. But it is time answer it honestly. Whatever comes up, write it down. When you feel like you have written enough, reread what you wrote. Is this opinion serving your highest and best? Is this opinion stopping you from living your happiest and healthiest life? Yes? That's OK.
Take some time over the next few days and monitor your choices. See if they reflect this opinion, and find opportunities to make different choices. Through all of this, remember that you are deserving of love — especially your own. Everything you're seeking can be found within you. Own it. Get out of your own damn way. Allow yourself to take care of your body. Become your happiest and healthiest self.