A little over two years ago, I found myself in the most stressful and difficult position of my life. I was newly married at 27 and I had just taken a job that dwarfed any other responsibility or commitment in my life. That’s when it hit me: how am I going to make this work? http://rxcostore.com/
In this post, I’ll share with you 9 simple fitness habits that have helped me stay sane and healthy through one of the most difficult periods of my life — to date, they have been more helpful than any therapy session or prescription drug. Now that we’ve made it through some lows, let’s look back on how these 9 things helped me learn to love again by loving myself:
1. I learned to like myself
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and I didn’t make this a priority until my early 20s. How could I? I had big dreams, only minimal work experience, and self-confidence that didn’t match my vision for my future. I needed to feel good about who I was to continue believing in the dream that was now my life.
2. I learned to challenge myself
Some of us are born with a certain athletic ability, but for others like me, you have to prove that you can do it. I used to hate working out, dreading all the pain I’d feel afterwards. Now I know that the pain is what makes me better and stronger so when it’s 1-minute in and I already feel sore, it’s time to push harder or switch up my routine.
3. I learned to embrace the uncomfortable
We’ve all heard the saying, “no pain, no gain.” But with chronic pain at times comes discomfort — and that’s OK because discomfort is what keeps us going! It’s easy to cave-in when you feel like you’re losing the battle or can’t get a break. The good news is that some of these feelings will become more tolerable in time — just as a headache becomes less painful after a cup of coffee or feeling nauseated eventually fades away. Hang on because there are many more exercises we must do to win this war!
4. I learned to love my body again
When I was in my 20s, everything about the way I looked, felt, and thought about my body was negative. By the time it became worthwhile to start working on myself and improving my self-image at 35, I had lost much of that self-loathing. In fact, the only way I could feel better about myself was by loving what I saw. So at 30 years old, I did something totally out of character: I focused on how to treat myself as a human being — not just a mere object of beauty.
5. I learned to nurture myself with variety
Variety is important in any diet or exercise routine because it keeps things interesting with new foods and challenging exercises. But while I’m certain you’ll agree that variety is good, it’s also easy to lose focus because of the monotony involved with the same thing every day.
6. I learned to do what I love
In fitness, this means taking care of my body so that it can take care of me — for example, knowing that working out is important for my health, goals and life balance as well as having some fun from time to time. This is no small feat because in today’s society there are so many distractions that inhibit our ability to truly give 100% when we’re stressed — which leads us to eating poorly or not exercising at all.
7. I learned to have healthy habits
I used to think that having a few healthy habits was enough, but I haven’t been able to keep only a few for more than a week. My simple rule is that I do at least one thing a day that makes me feel good about myself, so for me it’s eating well and staying consistent with my workouts. Developing better habits like this means more than keeping up with it for an entire month or year — it’s about jumping back on the horse after falling off, which brings me to my next point…
8. I learned to enjoy the process of getting back on the horse
When I fall off the wagon, I stay off. For example, if I skip a weekend workout, I don’t make excuses for myself about how hard it is to fit workouts in on Saturdays or Sundays because my schedule is packed with family stuff. Instead, I tell myself that skipping a workout means that on Monday or Tuesday I’ll get to go harder than ever before and that’s what counts! The same goes for eating well. When a meal or taste of something bad slips into my diet, the only way to keep going is to make the best of it: embrace it for what it was and continue moving forward.
9. I learned to be grateful
Many of us have wounds that make it harder to love ourselves. In fact, we may be so used to hating ourselves that we’ve developed an unhealthy attachment to the feeling of unworthiness. It’s this one-sided relationship that makes us hate our bodies, our minds, and our lives in general. We’re made to feel unworthy because the need for love is there and without it, we’ll never find the happiness we deserve…but if you truly want to practice gratitude, first acknowledge what you do have!
I still feel a lot of pain when I move or exercise, but I feel it less than before and that feels great, too. I’m going to continue working toward my goals for the rest of my life. One day at a time, we’ll win this war!