A year has passed since I began my weight-loss journey. I’ve made tremendous progress, but at times it didn’t feel that way. In fact, halfway through the year I became complacent with my workouts. I was discouraged. My energy levels seemed to be dropping and I wasn’t losing weight, but I had no idea why.
I knew I had to change more than my workouts but had little idea where to start. As simple as it sounds, I began with my thoughts. I reminded myself why I was working out; for each of us this is different. But I also had to teach myself to fall back in love with working out.
What did I like to do in the gym? What was it that used to excite me? Did I really have to follow a set order of exercises? Why?
As I began to take baby steps to get back in shape, I began to ask deeper questions: Why did you stop when so close? Do you really believe you deserve what you’ve been asking for?
These were tough questions, some of which the best of us never answer to our own satisfaction. But they lead to this point: The things we speak to ourselves are so very, very important that if we think negatively about ourselves (for me it was feeling guilty because the weight wasn’t falling off as it was before), that will reflect itself in our actions and eventual outcomes.
Feeling beauty from within is a process. It’s a hard-earned one, but worth it.
That leads me to discipline. Discipline with food has always been a struggle for me. Face it, food is a necessity, which is why it’s so easy to abuse. We want everything to taste delicious, because frankly who wants to eat rice cakes or tofu squares?
But again, because I was honest with myself about what I wanted out of life and who I am (I like flavor but refuse to wear it), I discovered ways to marry flavor and healthy eating. The point here is not to discuss food (another article), but that whatever area you need discipline in, find ways to make it more attainable and be sure to reward yourself.
Whether in the gym, writing this article, or at the table, as I have begun to challenge myself at my own pace and by my own rules, I’m learning exactly what I’m capable of. That feeling of self-worth truly comes from within. There is no shortcut.
Whether it’s someone telling you, “You’re beautiful” or a loved one complimenting your talents, it means absolutely nothing if you don’t believe it. As I walk along this journey, I’ve been blessed to help several other women begin their own journeys to find “glamour from within.” And what we all share is that first step, that first realization that real beauty begins with a small spark of faith in ourselves that over time will grow into something special.