Lifestyle not Fad
I recently came across an article that meant more to me than anything I have read in quite a while. It spoke about how difficult it is to adapt a healthy lifestyle in a day and age where “healthy” is such a subjective term. How there are so many calorie counting, pound losing, size dropping fitness blogs that shame readers for eating that second slice of pizza (or even starting the first). The reality of the matter is that “there are hardly any fitness resources written from a perspective of body-positivity and self-love”.
<rant>This. Is. A. Problem. This is MY problem. It is so difficult to stick to something when you are constantly being discouraged by everything around you; when the huge strides you are taking to better yourself are still looked down upon with a “could be better” mantra.
Many resources preach one definition of a healthy lifestyle, without realizing, or at least without acknowledging, the fact that “healthy” is not defined by a single practice. Just because you feel great drinking lemon juice for a week straight and doing three hours of Pilates per day, does not mean this is the answer for everyone. These types of resources are contributing factors to common eating disorders, orthorexia, and compulsive exercise; they put followers into the mindset of constantly chasing perfection when really they should be embracing who they are and working towards being their best selves. </rant>
This article went on to speak about the author’s struggle with anxiety and depression. “I had grown so depressed and anxious… that I thought simple tasks like buying groceries or talking to an acquaintance would send my heart racing… I wasn’t sleeping, in art because of anxiety…” she wrote. This is my life. More often than not. I have ups and downs but I am constantly struggling with these same crippling feelings, to the point where I have accepted them as a part of me. I have started to try to explain to my loved ones that this is who I am and there is no way around it. Similarly to our enlightened author, Daryl Lindsey, oftentimes “… all physical fitness or attempts at healthy eating cease[s]”. I have accepted this as just not having the strength to take care of myself at these times. But then Daryl points out something that I never thought of before: “…I viewed this as a symptom of my stressed-out, depressed life- not as a contributing factor”.
Whoa. Contributing factor? Whoa.
Once I read this, I started looking back… I have always been at my happiest, with myself and in life in general when active. I feel so great every time I finish a race, even if I walk the entire thing! I love cooking, I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after making a delicious meal for friends and family, rich with fresh vegetables, spices, flavors foreign to that fast food drive thru that becomes ever so familiar when I feel down in the dumps. You could be onto something Daryl…
So here’s my new mantra:
Be active. Eat wholely. Feel fulfilled. Love yourself.
I am writing this all down to hold myself accountable and truly adopt this lifestyle. To keep myself in a healthy, body positive, self loving mindset that isn’t obsessed with weight, shape, or size. I fall in and out of things a lot. I run for a month straight and then stop for two. I‘m writing this down to encourage myself to truly adopt a lifestyle instead of a fad.
This morning I made breakfast at home rather than making my typical McDonalds or Chik-Fil-A stop. I still had bacon (it was still delicious). I brewed my own iced coffee. Sweetened it with a bit of honey (also delightful). Today I am going to my first yoga class after work. I’m hoping this will help relieve the stress built up from my work day while also achieving that fulfillment a good work out instills in me. I’m nervous and anxious about trying something new but also incredibly excited for the potential of this new hobby. These are good feelings. I’m not counting calories. I’m not counting pounds. (#teamNoCounting)!
I am proud of myself for trying new things, for being self sufficient, for taking care of myself.
I am ready to truly start being my best self.