Something that’s been on my mind a lot lately is the process of getting healthy and the end result that drives us to the finish line.
For a long period in my life, I would consider the final product of a health journey as achieving a certain look. Most of the time I had a celebrity or role model that I would compare myself to and the ability to have a body like them was synonymous to what I deemed as a successful result. Mind you, this was when I was younger probably around high school. I soon realized that no matter how many planks I held I would not have the Beyonce behind or the washboard abs of Blake Lively. Each one of us is effected differently in the way we exercise and eat making every individual body unique. Although, I came to terms with this concept I still associated success with looks rather than how I felt.
I look back at my old self and say “Wow, I don’t blame you, I see why you had that thought process.” It was everywhere: the magazines, TV commercials, clothing ads, I was taught at a young age that looks were of the utmost importance. As a society, we are getting better at showing different body types on media platforms, but we still have a long way to go.
When I decided to take my health into my own hands most recently, I decided to call it my health journey rather than a weight loss journey. Weight loss made me feel like I had to reach a certain number and that I would look a certain way once I got there. A health journey is constant and that is what your health should be, a long term commitment! Instead of looks, I now focus on how I feel!
After incorporating daily exercise and eating healthier foods I FEEL great.I have found success in the amount of weight I can lift, the energy I maintain throughout the day and the endorphins that come from finishing a hard workout. I found that once you start to embrace how you feel, those feelings will manifest into a positive body image. I still struggle and there are days where I find it hard to focus on how I feel vs. how I look, but I know at the end of the day the physiological emotion of feeling good is much more satisfying and promotes positive self-care and self-esteem. I challenge to those reading to focus on how you feel for success rather than how you look. After all… that’s what is left after you take away the mirror.
-The Mod Maven.