The Butterfly Journey


 

I couldn’t give you an exact date when I decided enough was enough. I think it was a collection of moments and things.

 

A collection of moments where feeling self conscious was normal, and an everyday occurrence. Moments where I was un-tagging myself from pictures because I hated the way I looked, even though I looked happy to be there. I was standing behind people so I wasn’t the centre of attention, and finding clothes that fitted – not clothes that I liked.

 

Having the doctor check my weight and blood pressure every time I visited…

Hearing my doctor telling me that my blood pressure was higher than normal and experiencing more palpitations, getting breathless easier…

 

Happily staying in the whole weekend because I was exhausted from a normal work week. Sleeping most of the weekend and missing out on the beautiful sun. Taking naps whenever I could. Feeling less and less like myself and falling into a depression without even knowing it. Stress became harder to deal with, and emotional eating become easier to do.

 

Though I did remain active through this time, it wasn’t as much as I needed to. I did always enjoy the gym but I did treat it as a punishment rather than a reward. I only went to the gym because of what I did throughout the weekend. I went to try burn some calories because I was so tired and not interested in cooking a healthy meal when take out was easy and instantly made you feel full.

I never craved the gym because I always saw it as a punishment. “You are only here because you don’t want to be fat”, I would say to myself. But that only stayed in my head until the next opportunity of something tasty was presented to me, or a social event was on.

I never really got past 2-3kg mark, but when I did I instantly rewarded myself for a job well done. What did I reward myself with? …  yup, food! That is what I enjoyed, the sweeter the better. Which became highly addictive, and as you could probably guess – a vicious cycle.

The worst thing I used to do was self sabotage. And, I think we are all guilty of this at one point.. Saying “I’ll start Monday”, so that over the weekend you can treat yourself and not worry about every bite making you further and further away from your goal – but you are rewarding yourself because you have good intentions! Unfortunately, good intentions don’t make you healthy.

I tried every diet under the sun trying to find some kind of belonging and understanding. The thing is… I wanted to change but I also wanted to keep the lifestyle I lived because it was what I had known for so many years and it was comfortable for me. All those moments where I had no idea what I was doing until now. I look back and I don’t actually recognize myself physically, emotionally and mentally – I was a different person.

 


The thing is – I never saw my full potential as I do now because I never believed I could change. That was 50% of the constant battle. The belief I could actually be who I really wanted to be, and having the confidence to start.

 

After many attempts of failure and not believing I could change, I decided to change one thing and that was to just be more kind to myself. To stop being so harsh on myself because it was just making me feel worse. Let my husband tell me how beautiful I am without shooting him down. Let him take photos of us being happy. We were young and went on many adventures but so many of them were missed because of how I felt about myself. All this beauty and life and constant love I had from him I didn’t let myself fully experience because of how I thought of myself, my mindset, my health – everything around me was a direct result of my weight.

 

And yes we loved each other, but I don’t think I fully let him love me like he does now because I would not let him. I couldn’t see past my looks so therefore I couldn’t believe him when he said all these nice things. I wouldn’t let him love me fully. But he did. And I am so grateful for that. You really do need to love yourself first before anyone else. I lived that and now our love can be so much more, because I allow it too.

 

As I grew kinder to myself I had more understanding, and with that knowledge I wanted to know more. Why did I treat myself like this? Why did I do the things I did? All these questions I often thought of, but it was years later until I had the clarity I needed.

 

I decided to change a few things in my life and hoped for the better, because one thing I did notice was that the more stressed I became, the more I turned to unhealthy habits. I changed job, did more things that I enjoyed rather than just trying to please someone. I did more for me. With that, I naturally became more confident because I learnt more, I experienced more and I was more open. I then realized I could even be more!

At this time my weight didn’t really change but I didn’t gain and I was more content with who I was, although it was still a long road ahead. A few more changes happened – good and bad – but I handled it better than before because I valued myself just a little bit more and when you do, you know you can change your path.

 

Life went on and ever so slightly I started to believe more, still failing at every diet mainly because I had no education in nutrition. I joined CBay Fitness and started doing the classes there. The sense of community was great. I started a “cleanse” program and though a lot of people gave me shit for it, it did help me for a number of reasons – mainly the support. The support team around me was great! People believing that I could do it, and I’ve never had that before. Though I didn’t stick to it full time and it was only short term, the confidence I got from a program like that has had long term effects.

 

It is not for everyone but at that point of my life it was right for me.

 

With that newfound confidence and education I went on to develop myself personally. I surrounded myself with like-minded people, I reached out to people who I was inspired by, I followed people on social media to constantly give me that drive to do better. This was the collection of things that made me feel more worthy, and when you value yourself you also look after yourself.

 

So yes, naturally the weight started to drop off and with that I grew fitter and stronger, and I had a new sense of being me. My health improved drastically, better than I could ever imagine! I made changes that I had been only dreaming about for years and my soul was filled with love – but this time it was love for myself.

 

I became more social, less resentful, took things less personally and became more open to changes. This all started when I was just a little more kind to myself.

This took years of small steps, and very small changes – but it has to start. I look back at this and it makes me cry. At the time I didn’t realize how unhappy I was. But now this blog is my new WHY.

I will carry this with me for the rest of my life and I hope someone will feel connect in a way so that they can make a change to better their health. It can be done, no matter how distant it may seem.

 

Remember – it starts with you. It starts with your mindset and it starts with believing that you can. Figure out the rest later.

 

Tips for starting:

  • Be kind to yourself
  • Start small. Every small step is a step in the right direction
  • Discover WHY you want to start
  • Surround yourself with like-minded or inspirational people that support what you are doing
  • Show gratitude to others and yourself
  • Start educating yourself on nutrition. Read books, go to health seminars, get involved!
  • Drink more water – so many health benefits start just by drinking more water 🙂

 

Much love,

Hayley x