Learning To Love Myself

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I used to smoke cigarettes, eat junk food, and drink A LOT of wine. I replaced the wine with tequila once I realized that it didn’t cause an allergic reaction. Yes, can you imagine? Being allergic to alcohol but drinking it anyway? Well, that’s what I did and eventually, my body accepted it. I needed cigarettes to cope with stress but soon I started using them as a reward after a hard day at work. GROSS! Potato chips were my jam. I could slam a whole bag of cheese Ruffles – no sweat. I had a love/hate relationship with exercising and struggled to work out consistently.

I was the girl who could live this lifestyle without physically dealing with the consequences…until I hit age 30. My metabolism began to slow down, and I while I was not over weight I was not in shape and it was taking a toll on my energy level. I was unmotivated and suffered from depression. Once I woke up and realized what was happening, I started removing the habits I once loved but were clearly not good for me. Soda pop went first. The act of thoughtlessly consuming unnatural colors and ridiculous amounts of sugar finally grossed me out. Next to go were the potato chips, and then the cigarettes. The cigarettes were the hardest because my life was always full of stress and I had been dependent on the ritual for so long. The tequila, well that didn’t stop until the pregnancy, but quitting that was a piece of cake.

I started changing my lifestyle about a year before I conceived, but the moment I found out I was going to be a mother my whole world changed. My purpose now was to provide a healthy and nurturing space for my baby to grow, no matter what. Suddenly I found myself researching the healthiest foods, signing up for prenatal yoga classes, and starting an Instagram account, seeking inspiration and at the same time using it to hold myself accountable. I started to look forward to my workouts and finding healthy recipes that mimicked junk food was exciting. I’ll be honest, like everyone else, there are times I am dreading the gym. Some days all I want is to get carb wasted, but the more conscious I became of how I was living, the more living well became a priority and not just a chore. It’s amazing what happens to our state of mind, mood, and energy when we start to treat our bodies with love.

During my pregnancy, I started to learn what loving myself means to me. It means treating myself with the respect that I deserve and accepting the way I am. Loving myself doesn’t mean that I always enjoy the sight I see in the mirror. It means I have become aware that my mind is just as important as the rest of my body. Loving my myself doesn’t mean that I think I always know what I’m doing or that I’m doing it right. I realize that I am human, I will continue to make mistakes, and I will never stop learning. Loving myself has become one of my favorite things to do and it has brought only positive results into my life. One of the most rewarding parts of this process for me is that I am learning to love myself, just in time to teach my son to love himself.

I wanted to share my transformation in hopes that I can inspire others. I used to be in a really shitty place and I know from experience that you can change your life and make it better with education, dedication, and a positive perspective. I expected to have the worst time being pregnant, but I really have won the lotto with this one because I just love it. I love the way I feel and the way I look and what this pregnancy has taught me. I want to genuinely acknowledge and praise all of the women warriors out there who have had to deal with the exact opposite experience. During this journey, I have met so many strong and beautiful women who continue to inspire me. Your stretch marks tell a beautiful story, your sicknesses show your endurance, and I admire each and every one of you, thank you for helping me to learn to love myself.

 

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