PUT YOURSELF (AND YOUR HEALTH) FIRSTOver the past year, I’ve grown to value myself, mind and body and soul. That isn’t to say I didn’t value myself at all before, but in my eyes, I wasn’t worth that much. Of course I took care of myself and believed that I was worth something, but I didn’t truly believe in my value and my worth. I wasn’t happy in my skin. I didn’t give myself the attention, love and encouragement that I deserved, because I didn’t know how or that I was “allowed”. I thought that if I saw greatness in myself and treated myself as such, it would make me selfish, conceited, “high and mighty”, and wouldn’t leave much room to love everyone else in my life. I think it’s safe to say that I was a MAJOR people-pleaser (as are most humans). I lived for OTHERS, and put myself last. I hid parts of myself that I felt would annoy, intrude, overshadow others, or that I believed others wouldn’t understand. In doing such, I diminished myself. I lost myself for awhile. I let others treat me with disrespect, I let them walk all over me, I let them take advantage of what I called my “kindness” and “generosity” and did everything for everyone else but myself. I was happy to take the backseat of my own life!
The changes in my mentality truly started when I decided it was time to take control of my health. I always was a fairly healthy girl; I worked out semi-regularly, and ate a vegan diet. Little did I know how much I was actually eating counteracted my “workouts”. I made no muscle gains, no fat loss, just weight gain and binge-eating. I used to finish a whole baguette in one sitting! One bowl of pasta marinara was not enough. Two tablespoons of peanut butter was laughable. It got worse and worse and I knew something had to change. AS SOON as I started logging in my food intake and working out at home every single day, I felt a change inside me. It wasn’t just the fact that I was losing weight, or getting stronger, or that my asthma was diminishing. No… something was shifting inside my very BEING, my soul, my heart, my mind. I would look at myself no longer with the thoughts of “you can’t do this”, “you’ll never have abs”, “you’ll never be an athlete”, “you can’t accomplish your dreams”. I would look at myself and think, “shit, Laura, you DID it”, “you’re DOING it”, “you’re so strong!”, “you’re so beautiful!”, “YOU DID IT!”. PRIDE in myself, CONFIDENCE in the fact that I overcame, and was continuing to overcome, obstacles I never dreamed possible. I was proud that I had the resolve to get up every single morning and go downstairs to my basement, push play and work out like I never did before. I was PROUD! I wanted to shout from the rooftops!
Working out and eating clean makes you feel ALIVE, it gives you ENERGY, it gives you VITALITY, it makes you realize that you can do ANYTHING!
The more and more I started believing in myself and my potential, the happier I was becoming just by being me. I didn’t need any encouragement or praise from anyone else. I didn’t depend on others opinions of me to define me. I was defining me. Nothing anyone would say could break my belief in myself. People would try to put me down and tell me that I was crazy, why was I even doing what I was doing, that I was losing too much weight, “you want to look like WHAT?”, “don’t start looking like a bodybuilder”, “you’re taking it too far!”. Of course it bothered me. I was MAD at these people for not understanding and believing in me. But I couldn’t blame THEM. I let them treat me this way for so long, and now that I valued myself, I was noticing that this behavior was not right. I told myself, “they don’t understand, just keep doing what you’re doing, eventually they’ll see that you’re right”. (They did. Doesn’t stop them from teasing me every once in awhile though, but I don’t care anymore.)
We all live in this world; we live in communities, we have families, friends, children, parents, loved ones, coworkers. We all need to make compromises to live harmoniously and share the world with others. But listen, you’re living for YOU. No one else can live your life for you. No one else can tell you HOW to live your life. You can’t live anyone’s else life either, and you can’t tell anyone else how to live. YOU are responsible for YOU. YOU!!! YOU!!! YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I believe that the more focus and attention we put in ourselves (and I don’t mean selfishly or superficially), the happier we are, the more focused and loving we are, and we therefore have more to give everyone else in our lives.
TAKE CONTROL of yourself and your health. Learn as much as you can about the human body. Don’t take NO for an answer. LEARN LEARN LEARN! Experiment. Try out new foods. Cut out the crap. Cut out the processed junk. You CANNOT live a healthy and happy life while the food you eat slowly kills you instead of giving you vitality and life. Quit smoking (FOR REAL). Drink a ton of water. EXERCISE EVERY DAY. Move your body every day. Pray. Meditate. Make the connection between your body, mind and soul. Read nutrition books. Read nutrition blogs. Watch webinars. Find people who inspire you and motivate you and connect with them. Follow inspirational people on Instagram and Twitter. Learn from others. Ask them questions. EAT A BIG GREEN SALAD EVERY DAY. EAT MORE FRUIT. Don’t be complacent, ASK QUESTIONS. Try harder. DO MORE. BE TRUE TO YOU!
My health is my number one priority. If I can influence and inspire people by living the way I do, that’s amazing. Because that is a high priority for me, too.
As always, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@gorgeousssleep) and add me on Facebook (fb.com/laura.verbich). I will always be here to help!
Have a beautiful and healthy day. YOU DESERVE IT.
Peace, love and eternal health,