Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Real Reason Why I Chose to be Healthy

I came across this quote and it really spoke to me. My decision to become healthier has nothing to do with the fact that I didn't feel beautiful or felt the pressure to conform to beauty ideals by trying to be thinner. People might say that the only reason I feel more beautiful is because my body is in better shape and that's why I feel more confident. But the truth is, they're wrong. They couldn't be even more wrong. I'm more confident in my own skin because I've learned to teach myself that my physical appearance isn't everything. Am I proud that I'm in better shape? Absolutely. Do I like the fact that my body is physically capable of so much more? You bet. That didn't make me see my beauty though.

I'm not trying to tell you guys that you have to become healthier or lose weight to feel more beautiful. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we're all perfectly crafted. We are each unique in our own way, and we have to remember that. I was beautiful before I started my health and fitness journey just as I am today. Now I happen to be healthier and stronger. That's the only difference-- the ability to run half-marathons or actually be able to do more than two push-ups in a row (I know, embarrassing, but that's pretty much where I was when I started). I've gone through physical as well as mental challenges that have changed me. I learned to accept myself and my body, exactly as I am. That's how I learned to see myself as beautiful. I know for a fact that my weight has nothing to do with it because even when I had lost over 15 lbs, I still didn't feel or see myself as beautiful.

So people might look at me and think that I decided to become healthier in order to change my body or lose weight and that's fine if they want to think that, but it's not the real reason. I did it for myself and the satisfaction of pushing myself to see what I was capable of accomplishing. For the knowledge that I take better care of my body by making healthier choices. I'm in a much better place because I feel healthier both physically and mentally.

Sure, I'm human and have my days where I don't feel like working out or I give in to my dark chocolate cravings or I feel bloated in my jeans. Life happens and we all have our bad days, but the difference is now I'm able to bounce back from those bad days. If I have a day where I don't feel confident in anything I wear, I'll throw on something comfy and won't beat myself up about it. I've begun to notice that those days become less frequent as I've learned to see myself as beautiful. Like I said, I still have a long way to go but I'm happy with my progress. Each day I grow more confident in my own skin and it's such a blessing.

So, remember, it doesn't matter what other people think or if they question you. It's all about yourself and what you do to see yourself as beautiful. The fact that I enjoy being healthy and started my fitness journey did not directly change whether or not I feel beautiful. That came from the inside and changing the way I think and feel about myself. The reality is that picking an apple over fries or going for a run didn't make me feel beautiful. Last year, I tried for so long to keep my weight low because I thought that would solve everything. But it didn't. It only made things worse and caused me to develop unhealthy patterns. Once I finally let go and started treating myself right, that's when things changed. The day I started to stand in front of the mirror and realize that my body is my body and made that way for a reason. So please, please, remember that you have always been beautiful. Don't feel as though you have to change your body through diet and exercise to be beautiful. That number on the scale doesn't define you. It is only a reflection of your relationship with gravity and doesn't encompass your abilities, characteristics, or soul. When you add up your capabilities, love, humor, accomplishments, thoughts, passions, talents, everything that makes you you, doesn't that measure up to more than your weight?

I know that I had trouble putting all my thoughts into words but the main thing I'm trying to say is this: learning to see your beauty doesn't come from physical changes, it comes from mental changes. I'm not more confident now solely because I'm fitter than I was a few years ago. The changes I've seen are from learning to appreciate myself and what I'm capable of doing. I was beautiful before I ran my first half-marathon but I just didn't see that because I simply couldn't. I was too hard on myself and too invested in my physical appearance. Now, I'm able to bring more to the table by being confident in not only how I look but who I am. So yes, I have a passion for being healthy and it's more than just a change for me it's a lifestyle. I love sharing my recipes and fitness tips so I've included those on my blog. But that's not what this is all about. Health choices are not what makes a person beautiful. We are all beautiful. Please remember that.

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