Finding Hope in Health & More Importantly… Keeping It

As we all know, it can be incredibly hard not to fall victim to social media and some of the misconstrued images that surround fitness and health. Lately I’ve really been trying not to compare myself to others and with that I’m going to focus on being my own motivation and keeping my goals realistic and attainable.

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This photo was taken 3 years ago, at this point I was living with a ton of depression and began running 6-10 km a day, while on a very healthy diet and had finally started feeling confident with my body again after binge eating/drinking food and alcohol through my teens and early 20’s.  At this point, I had really come to see that exercise was the absolute best form of therapy for me and was able to use it to combat some of the unsavory feelings that depression brings to those of us blessed with it. Although, it still wasn’t enough. I continued to be obsessed with getting back to the weight I was in high school (which wasn’t a healthy for someone my age and height) and  relentlessly compared myself to girls I’d look at on Instagram or in fitness magazines. In reality, I was stronger and in the best shape I’d been in in my life – and even though I wasn’t satisfied with my body – I was happier than I had been in years thanks to exercise. Unfortunately I fell off of my health kick once my father was diagnosed with cancer, and started making excuses for drinking and eating whatever since I had already “lost the weight” and was “too busy” to make time to take care of my mental and physical well-being. Since then, and throughout the last three years I’ve fluctuated in weight about 15-30 pounds while struggling with the loss of my father, depression, and the challenges that come with surviving post secondary. I’ve stopped and started this journey many times since then, but I’ve finally had enough of my self loathing.

I’m focusing on the fact that that feeling good, feels better than feeling stuck inside a body that feels unfamiliar to me. I’m remembering that only I have the power to change that. Keeping in mind that I truly enjoy being active. Certainly more than I enjoy feeling lethargic and depressed. More than than that I love the feeling that cooking and eating healthy foods brings to my life. It feels amazing both mentally and physically to create something that nourishes my body and my peace of mind.  It can be incredibly difficult to start, and more importantly maintain, but once you do the endorphins and successes can be life altering in ways you may not have imagined.

However comparing myself to “Instagram models” and photo-shopped females online has done the opposite for my self esteem time and time again; so I’ve changed my focus.  I challenge you to do the same. Instead of trying to be “perfect” become your own motivation to be the best, happiest and healthiest version of yourself.

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