Getting Personal: Starting Fresh

As the New Year approaches, many of us will start setting goals and making plans for 2016. If you’re reading this post, you’re probably going to include some health and fitness goals in your plan too. Along with a fresh set of goals comes new challenges, and for some, this might stop you from even trying …especially if living a healthy lifestyle is something you’re trying for the first time (or a repeat resolution). So today I thought I would share some raw thoughts from my early days on this journey. I want to share pieces of my journal to help encourage those of you who are hesitant to get started.

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Fall 2010

Sunday, January 8, 2012

6:30 pm

“Between dealing with Jim, deaths in the family, relationships, and school…I have turned into a mess. Sometimes I stop, look in the mirror and think to myself, “Erin you are a wreck.” I like things to be organized and done the right way, so it baffles me when I think of how my life got so twisted up. I still make the best of every day, but it is definitely not easy to do. I want to cry pretty much every day…I just say a little prayer though and tough it out.”

People that know me now (and not during that time) would probably find it hard to believe that was me. I’m not in that place anymore, thank God. But, I’m sharing this particular paragraph because it was a pivotal point in my life. Even though I was in a tough spot, a dark place…feeling lost, confused, and defeated…this was the time that I decided to change my life. Too often we convince ourselves that we’ll do better when our life conditions improve, but the best decision I ever made was to start my work while I was in the worst condition I’d ever been in. I was in pain y’all. Drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I had to make a choice. I could wallow in my mess, or I could channel the little strength I had left and use it to change my situation.

You may not be going through the same things I was, but no matter what your current or past circumstances are, you also have a CHOICE. I decided that losing weight would make things better for me, but I quickly changed my focus from weight loss to becoming healthy in a holistic sense: mind, body, and soul. Looking at my life through pictures, etc it seems like it was all glitter and unicorns, but it took (and still does take) a lot of hard work. The key to being successful is to take small steps. You can’t expect to see life-long results in a few days of crash dieting. It doesn’t work, and it never will. Take your time. Be patient with yourself. Face life one day, one challenge at a time.

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Summer 2014

Reading that journal entry from almost 4 years ago, I can’t help but cry. I can remember life weighing so heavy on my heart. But the tears really flow because I am so grateful I took that leap of faith. I believed in myself and cared about my well-being just enough to try one more time. Just imagine if you start this year with small, consistent changes. Who knows where you’ll end up 4 years from now. For me, choosing health meant choosing the life I deserve. Now I am so full of love and life. I have undying joy, even on the roughest days and a peace of mind that I cannot explain. My prayer is that everyone will experience this same feeling one day. It all starts with taking that first step.

-Erin


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