Fall in love with taking care of yourself. A simple enough statement right? Well, it's easier said than done. For years, I used to believe that being a good person meant caring for others first and always, no matter how that affected me. I always thought it was selfish to think "what about what I need or want". Societal influences and institutional beliefs on what it is to be a woman in this world have played an important role in contributing to who I am today. They don't define me, but they did shape some parts of me and that's okay. What was not okay, however, was believing that I was not good enough to be valued. I went on to being in a codependent relationship/marriage that consumed me of all energy as my focus was to "make" him happy. The focus was him, even when it wasn't deserved. Even when it made me feel undervalued. Even when it meant giving up on my wellbeing and peace of mind. I literally would drop everything and tend to everyone's needs. I was a people pleaser and always seemed to find reasons to justify other people's immature behaviors. I put on a happy face and maintained a persona that everything was fine. Well, it wasn't. I completely lost sight of who I was and limited myself to believing that the life I was living was good enough and all I was worthy of. I didn't know any better.
It took me 5 years to break free from this mindset. 5 years of telling myself stories about the things I thought should make me happy. And then, another 2 years to rebuild myself and regain confidence that I can be and do what I set my mind to, without apology, without anyone's validation but my own. How did I break free you might ask. Well, there was one particular night when I decided I had enough. I was emotionally burned out of all the negativity and the people pleasing. I was sadly living someone's else life. I cried my eyes out, for the 1000th times, then prayed. For hours. When I finally stopped sobbing and reached a calmer state of mind, I knew deep down that I needed a change as I was not living a life I was proud of. So I made the commitment to myself for the first time, in so many years, that I would put myself first - no matter what. Making this decision was so scary, I still remember the feeling. Change is scary. I mean the mere mention of it causes uneasiness, but can you blame us? We are creatures of habit. Deeply rooted routine behavior that we repeat day-in and day-out, our lives become fundamentally hinged on the scripts we replay over and over again. For me, this decision to change meant developing habits and refocusing my energy and time on something else. It meant breaking away from living in fear, worry, stress and anxiety. I needed to find myself again, but slowly. As they say, Rome wasn't built in one day. So I purposefully took one day a week to observe myself. In other words, I did a happiness audit and that's when it happened. That's when I rediscovered my love for fitness.
Fitness for me means working on myself. It's my "ME" time. It's turning the world off for 30-60 minutes and refueling my sense of wellbeing. I think about physical activity as a lifestyle rather than just a single task to check off. It's a lifelong journey during which we can always work on improvements. It means looking at my daily routine and sneaking an activity here and there. Besides looking and feeling fit, regular exercise has had a profoundly positive impact on my mental health and self worth in general. It's an emotional fitness. Nowadays, I look at myself in the mirror and I'm happy with who I have become. I'm loving feeling and looking fit and healthy. What a feeling babes! And this brand stems from this feeling. I honestly believe there are no limits to what we can achieve when we are empowered. Empowered to be the best version of ourselves.
Everyone has their process to get to this a-ha moment and you don't need to be a fitness fanatic, but committing to falling in love with taking care of yourself, however you choose to do do so, has to be a priority. Yes, a priority. Because YOU are important. Because YOU are worthy. Because YOU are your greatest piece of art work. And because life is a daring adventure made of dreams awaiting to be fulfilled. YOU are your only limit, so make an intentional shift and break free from all the mental fences created over the years. Run that marathon. Take that trip. Rock wearing an Elsa dress with wellies to do the food shop. Crush that cancer. Sing and dance with complete abandon. Say no if you don't like something. Say yes to happy experiences. Giggle until you get the hiccups. Go climb that mountain. Live a life worth living! #UNLMTDYOU #UNLMTDNATION