Last year, I embarked on a personal wellness journey to get healthy and lose the baby and pandemic weight I had gained from 2020. I was at my heaviest personal weight of 178 lbs. I was out of shape and unhappy. A part of me had made peace with that weight. As long as my work clothes still fit, I was ok. I do not quite remember what sparked my change in attitude towards getting healthier. It was a combination of things: a staff meeting where my boss advised us to focus on our wellness (while our building remained closed), seeing my college friend and fellow mom, Michelle, workout, and asking myself: “why not”? Why don’t I prioritize my health and fitness? As mothers, wives, and caregivers we tend to put ourselves last and not prioritize our needs. How can I expect my daughters to prioritize their health if I do not model it myself?
Still Working on Myself
A year later, I am still working on myself. I am still committed to myself. My conservative goal of ten pounds turned into twenty pounds. I am the strongest and healthiest I have ever been, even before having children. Choosing to eat better and exercise daily is a conscious choice because old habits die hard, especially when it comes to my diet and exercise. It is easy to “have a big breakfast just once” or not exercise for a few days. At the same time, choosing to eat healthier and exercise more often is becoming easier. I cannot wait for the day when “easier” becomes second nature and is the norm!
One of the things that we rarely talk about with physical wellness and weight loss is the mental wellness journey. The mental wellness journey is a part of the personal wellness journey. I did a podcast with my cousin Chris this past February where we spent time talking about the importance of mental health and how feeling physically sound and mentally good go hand-in-hand. Throughout my personal wellness journey, I have felt joy, fear, self-love, self-loathe. When Imposter syndrome strikes and makes me doubt all the hard work I have accomplished, the self-loather in me says, “Is this really you”?
As An Optimist
And it sucks! I am even struggling to write about it because admitting that I have mental struggles makes me feel as weak as I feel physically strong. For an optimist 95% of the time, that feeling of weakness can be unsettling. So, I pause. I take a deep breath and remind myself of everything I have accomplished. I replace words like “fat” or “chubby” with “strong” and “healthy.” I smile at my reflection in the mirror and tell myself, “I am doing great” and to “keep moving forward” (just like in the Disney movie Meet the Robinsons). Somewhere, I begin to feel better and return to my positive self.
It is okay to struggle and to feel weak, so long as I know it is only temporary and that I can overcome those feelings. I choose not to let self-doubt monopolize me. I choose to be happy in the same way I eat better and exercise daily. In short, I choose myself every single day. I hope that one day my daughters will do the same.