There was a point in my life where I truly believed that I was unable to reach a state of happiness. I wouldn’t say that I have now reached it, but I am pretty close. Aside from stress and obstacles in life, I am at ease with who I am. The road getting here was long, but it made me stronger. I have always had a very low self esteem and low hopes for life. Within the past year, that has changed greatly. I have realized things I cared too much about and things I didn’t care enough for. I learned that if you don’t like something about yourself or your life, you do have the power to change it. The hardest part is the first step. Within the past year, my body has changed quite a bit. I don’t like to dwell on the scale because the number doesn’t matter to me. I didn’t like the way I looked and I decided to change that. I am in no way saying that having a bigger frame is unhealthy, but I definitely was. I was eating out a lot and getting little to no exercise. I am definitely still a thick woman, but I am healthy. I eat better and go to the gym regularly. It was immensely hard to make this lifestyle change.
I remember during one of my first days at the gym, I was so close to giving up. I was so tired; my legs hurt and my heart was thumping. I got off the machine and headed straight to the locker room. I remember the tears and the anguished filled knot in my throat. I sat there for about 20 to 30 minutes wondering what I should do next. I contemplated staying or leaving. I knew that leaving would just hurt me in the long run so I stayed. I was strong. After that day, I didn’t dread the gym – I enjoyed it. In recent years, I have had a constant stress along with numerous headaches. I now use the gym as an outlet to release the tension of my everyday life. It brings me peace. Additionally, it gives me time alone to think and reflect.
This isn’t the sole reason for my newfound peace but it is a big part. It has allowed me to break down my walls and control my life rather than letting it control me. Here are eight tips I thought could help on keeping a positive and open outlook:
- Stop letting negative thoughts take over you. YOU create your story and you can change it whenever you want. Do not dwell on the past, move forward.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Do not continue negative/toxic relationships because of lost time or the fear of being alone. Always surround yourself with people who have your best interest at heart and will be happy to see you rise.
- Exercise. Do not exercise solely to change your body appearance. Exercise because it’s fun and is a great stress reliever.
- Fix strained relationships. Fixing my relationship with my mother was one of the biggest things that brought me peace and positivity. It was strained due to both of us suffering depression at the same time and being unable to be supportive towards one another.
- Manage your time wisely. Running around doing things at the last minute caused me frequent headaches in the past. I now remember to set reminders for anything coming up. I work full time and go to school full time so time management is very important in my life.
- Set aside time for yourself. Although keeping busy helps me stay motivated, I always remember to set aside time for myself to relax. Watch a movie, binge watch your favorite show, take a bath, or go shopping. Do anything that will help you focus away from your problems and ease your mind.
- Embrace your body and style. Wear anything and everything that you want. Expressing your emotions through fashion is self-empowering. Don’t be afraid to show skin or to not show any at all.
- Find a hobby and get socially involved. Expressing yourself shouldn’t be confined through fashion though. It can be anything. Playing a sport, writing, music, or joining a club can help you express yourself while meeting new people along the way.