I was out of breath, trying to keep myself upright. Rihanna’s “Where have you been” had just started playing in my earphones and I kept telling myself just to keep running until the end of the song. The gym instructor walked up to me and told me he was impressed with my determination then he asked which part of my body was bothering me and what I wanted to get rid off. I could see he was ready to dish out some advice about which exercise was the best. I slowed down the treadmill to think about it and I came up with nothing. I couldn’t think of a single part of me that I hated. I told him all I wanted was to be stronger and healthier and for the first time I meant it.
A friend of mine sent me a picture of us in college. When I looked at it I gasped with surprise. I was so small back then. And the worst part is that the size of my head was exactly what it is now. Seriously, I looked malnourished. This was the past I kept looking back to. This was the 60 kilos I kept on aiming at. This was what I had been craving ever since I gained weight. I had been glorifying the past, wanting to go back not knowing that my present was better. The crazy thing is that when I weighed 62 kilos all I wanted was to lose a bit of weight. When I went up to 65 kilos, I stopped eating just so that I could go back to 62. And now on the upside of 70 kilos I found myself just yearning for the 65 I once had. I noticed a trend here, I was living in the past, forever looking back. This nostalgia could easily be triggered by anything, like someone commenting how much weight I had gained or just an old pair of jeans not fitting. I stopped taking pictures of myself because I wanted to lose some weight first.
That picture made me realize that if I didn’t love myself now, I wouldn’t love myself when I lost weight. So I stopped taking the diet pills and I sat myself down (I seem to be doing that a lot). I had to stop mistreating myself. I had to stop punishing myself for who I was. I had to forgive myself for all the neglect I had suffered by my own hands. I had to accept myself. I had to, I had no choice because no one else would do it for me. I knew it would be a long process but at least I had to begin. So I started researching and educating myself on health and fitness. I started learning how to cook so that I could prepare the best food my body deserved. I finally joined a gym. I told myself each time I was changing into my workout clothes that I was doing this because I love myself. In the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping I would lose weight. I started lifting weights and discovered just how much I loved it. I started learning things about myself that I never knew, like how I have the endurance of a horse. I was realizing I felt my happiest after a hard, tiring workout session. In the two months that I’ve been religiously working out I have had zero depression episodes. That is such a great improvement considering that I had them on an average of once a week.
I fell in love with myself with each day that passed. And so when the guy asked me what part of my body bothered me, I learnt something about myself. I finally work out not because I despise myself but because I want to be strongest version of me. Let every action you take be driven by love and not hate. Every time I see some new muscles showing, I get excited even though I know I’m the only one who can see them. And it must be life trying to teach me a lesson because I haven’t lost a single kilo since I started working out but I’m definitely feeling healthier and more content. I have a spring in my walk now. I’m not apologizing for the space I occupy anymore. It’s my space and I love it.
Is there something keeping you in the past? Something that keeps you turning back, comparing and living in constant discontentment? Maybe an old relationship that looks better than your current one, or an old job that is better paying than your current gig? There’s a chance you might be looking at things the wrong way. Love where you are now then strive for better things. It’s the only way to be happy, well there’s chocolate too but you know what I mean.
Here is a video that perfectly describes where I’m at now. It’s called “This Girl Can”