By Michelle Schwartz
When I began my health journey, I had absolutely no idea what the effects would be. I assumed I’d lose weight and get skinny. I thought my jeans would fit nicer and my dresses would look sexier. Yes, I know this sounds shallow, but that’s what I wanted at the time – plus, who doesn’t think those results sound nice?! Fast forward to the current me, getting healthy not only changed my body, but it changed my life.
I started by joining a fitness program that focused on workouts and clean eating. As I began losing weight and putting focus on fueling my body with whole foods, I noticed more than just the numbers on the scale changing. My mindset was changing, my relationships were changing, my passions were changing – and people were noticing. From what started out as a selfish cause, bloomed a better me. The effects of healthier living rippled into all aspects of my life.
My mindset was affected probably the most of everything. In the past, I struggled with body image issues, an eating disorder, and low self-esteem. I used to talk so negatively to myself and compare myself to others. I was broken, hurt, and harming myself even more. Once I realized that my body is the only one I’ve been given, I decided to care for it well. I put myself first. I learned to slowly but surely speak with love, to cherish my body, and respect it. I grew in awareness that the mind is such a powerful thing – with the ability to drive change. I started finding out exactly who I was deep inside because I stopped comparing myself to others, and instead compared myself to who I wanted to become. My thoughts changed from harm to love. I respected myself for so much more than my body type. I began to love myself for who I truly was. I was healthier and happier for choosing to honor my body and mind.
Whoever said getting healthy hinders relationships is dead wrong. In fact, I’ve had quite the opposite experience. When my thoughts grew healthier, my relationships grew deeper. My physical insecurities and resentment of myself no longer hindered me from growing my friendships. The negativity that once brewed inside gave way for more room to love and care for others. I was no longer distracted by my own self-loathing, but open for true relationship with those I care about most. My family felt a difference in the way I spoke to them, how I handled my friendships, and the respect I showed myself. My joy was infectious and they wanted to be a part of it too. They noticed that my healthy lifestyle was making me a better person. It wasn’t long before they began to ask how they could make small changes to get healthier too. They desired to grow, change, and live well.
This might seem strange, but getting healthy had a ripple effect of getting healthy. Now bear with me for a minute. When I began seeing results, I became even more motivated to continue down my health journey. Getting healthy made me crave getting healthy. The results, inside and out, fueled my passion to make this a lifestyle rather than a short fad. Getting up in the morning to workout became a little easier, fueling with clean foods became a little more enjoyable, taking time to rest and perform selfcare became a little more natural. I was enlivened, filled with extra energy, and motivated to continue down this path. Getting healthy made me motivated at work, with friends, and in the pursuit of my dreams. I was free to focus on the things that I cared about. Living healthier keeps you from being a prisoner to all the wrongs in your life. It brings focus to respecting your mind, body, and spirit. It stops you from being addicted to things that harm you – from alcohol, to comparison, to outside approval. It gives you room to love others better. Healthy living renews your life. It attracts happiness. It drives beneficial lifestyle changes.
As you consider living healthier, let these ripple effects take hold of your life. Let your new lifestyle fuel your passions, bring you motivation, deepen your relationships, and soften your mindset. Health is so intertwined in every aspect of your life. Take time to set your mind on being more active, eating cleaner, and loving yourself inside and out. Healthier truly equals happier.