Back in 2012, I found myself out of shape, lacking motivation, lacking confidence, and emotionally beaten up from a dissolving marriage. It was all a gift. Wherever you are right now with your health and fitness, it can be a gift if you choose. For whatever reason you may have gotten where you are at, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is where you want to be, how you want to feel, and how you want to look. I found this matter had a lot to do with self-love. I know I was in a state of lacking in that department. I had spent, what felt like all of my resources, loving and taking care of my infant daughter. and putting my energy and focus into what was wrong with my relationship and how it was making me feel.
Fast forward a few months, and I am now separated and going through a divorce. Suddenly I have time to myself because of our split custody. Now your situation doesn’t have to be the same as mine, but I believe you may benefit from my hindsight. My world was now turned upside down, and all of those things that were occupying my time, energy, and thoughts, I was free from, whether I liked it or not. I was still struggling with my thoughts and depression. I had gone from the heaviest, most out of shape I have been in my life, to losing weight due to the stress, equaling what I once weighed as an 18 year old. I was scary thin.
This was my starting point. I dragged myself back into the gym. It was like starting over from scratch. I was getting fatigued lifting weights I used to warm up with. I was winded running a couple hundred yards. I found the challenge gave me a new focus for my mind. It helped me feel alive. The strain and increase in heart rate and breath, helped to clear my mind. The release of endorphins made me feel better. There was a sense of accomplishment from a job well done. Ultimately, I realized this health and fitness thing came down to self-love. I had neglected myself for a long time. This affected not only me and my well-being, but it affected the relationship I was in that failed. Because of this experience I am more aware now of how important it is to take care of myself and have that self-love. I choose to see that as a gift I will take with me for the rest of my life.
My thoughts are that if you want to change the way you look and feel, I believe the first step is falling in love with yourself. Start caring more about yourself then you previously have. As a result you will be a happier spouse, parent, or friend. You may be thinking the time it would take to get back in shape would adversely affect your spouse and/or children, and I’m here saying I don’t believe so. You will also be teaching your children a valuable lesson about taking care yourself and the self-love along with that. Nutrition makes up 70% of the health equation. Your loved ones will benefit from someone who is now more conscious about their eating habits.
Use wherever you are at as a jumping off point. You have to start somewhere. Quit focusing on why not, and focus on what you do want. Fall in love with yourself. Make yourself a priority. You and everyone around you will benefit from it.
– Tom O’Stasik Jr.
Originally written in Leaving the Comfort of my Comfort Zone