Just over a year ago, I took a good long look in the mirror and realized that I didn’t like what I saw.
I looked tired, haggard, my eyes had developed bags that looked like they weighed a ton; my mouth and just about everything about my face was down-turned. I looked deeply unhappy, on edge and angry, and I was.
My face looked like it had aged 20 years in just a space of 3.
I knew what the matter was; I just refused to admit it. I had gotten myself entangled in a toxic, emotionally-abusive- and -draining relationship that created in me feelings of mistrust, hopelessness, volatility, anger, betrayal and sadness. I desperately wanted out, but doing that would demand a 180-degree change on my part. But what I had was all I knew, and the future looked like a big, scary black hole.
Luckily (but painfully) for me, things came to a head by chance just in time for the new year. I gave myself a choice: Give in to this person’s begging to stay in an unhealthy, unhappy situation, or move on without him.
I chose to move on and started over with a clean slate.
While re-building my environment and relationships, and just by not associating with the source of my stress, I started taking better care of myself. I ate better. Food tasted amazing. I slowly started to see life in full color and high definition again. I slept like a baby. I drank less alcohol. Focus and clarity returned. My mind was calmer. I smiled more. I was less reactive and more reflective. I also laughed so hard I’d cry. I had the energy and resources to give the people I cared for my love and attention.
For the first time in a long time, I felt light and free. Liberated.
By chance, while looking at myself in the mirror one day, I realized my skin looked more radiant. My eyes had sparkle returning to them. The acne outbreaks I had been experiencing, became less frequent. I looked less tired. I looked YOUNGER.
The moral of my story? Losing weight or looking better is rarely just about following the ‘Top 10 Healthy-Eating Tips’ or ‘5-Fat-loss Hacks You Must Know’. It goes a lot deeper than that.
If you turn to food when life gets difficult, look beyond the food addiction, dysfunctional eating, self loathing and stress. Start digging deep to pin-point WHY you’re behaving the way you do.
Quite often, we already know the reason. It’s just easier to not do anything about it. Getting yourself out of a stressful situation requires hard, painful work. But look at it this way: Doing the work now will result in 100x more peace and happiness down the road.
To me, this is the kind of youth-in-a-bottle potion no amount of money can buy.
What you can start doing NOW to give your diet, life and looks the results-guaranteed jump start it needs in 3 simple steps:
STEP 1. Get rid of the toxic people in your life A rule of thumb here: If someone…
- Continuously takes without ever giving back to you,
- Drains the energy out of you whenever you meat,
- Turns every disagreement around to make it look like it’s your fault,
- Belittles your feelings,
- Verbally abuses you,
- Lies to you,
- Is unable to take responsibility for their mistakes and prefers to play the blame game,
- Makes every conversation you have about them,
Give everyone in your life 3 chances to make things right when they do something to hurt you. Three strikes later, if nothing changes, don’t just walk away, run. I know this sounds harsh, but doing this has allowed me to regain control over who I want in my life, and who I don’t, and my peace of mind.
STEP 2. Think of the food and fluids you put into your body as medicine. You’ll need to heal from the inside out, and a great place to start is to nourish your body with fresh, nutrient-rich, vitality-boosting foods. Once you start doing this, you’ll start thinking twice about stuffing yourself with pizza, beer and donuts when dinner time rolls around.
STEP 3. Make your heart beat faster, and muscles work harder. Exercise. It’s not just a means to lose weight. It helps reduce your tendency to live in your destructive thoughts, and INCREASES your heart, muscles and mind’s capacities to do more, be more and live the way you want.
Have you taken big steps in turning your health, life and looks around? Share your story below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Ivana Vasilj