Why I stopped counting calories and learned to love myself from the inside out

3 min read

I have battled with poor self-image pretty much my entire adult life. I never truly learned to love myself, which started a destructive path of doing things to make myself “feel good.”

I was addicted to drugs, overeating, and in a physically abusive relationship. This list could last for days. These things I did because I didn’t know my worth.

Feeling out of control

Around nine years ago, I met my husband. He was the first person to see me for who I am. Even now, sometimes, I still don’t get what he sees. He saw me as I was, something that I would never be able to do.

After the birth of my son, I gained 55 pounds. I was not in good shape before then. My shame and self-esteem spiraled out.

I felt like I was eating my feelings. I never felt intimate. I thought I would not be able to be the mother that I needed to be. I felt like a failure in life.

Make a Change

It wasn’t until January 2015 that I finally decided to stop. I was tired of feeling worthless when I woke up in the morning. I was exhausted of feeling depressed over things I thought were out of my hands. I wanted to make a change for myself and my family, especially my children. I don’t want my son to grow up with a mother who blames everything and everyone else for her lack of self-love.

Thanks to a friend who had embarked on the same path as me for her reasons, I started working out and eating healthy. I committed to working out five days a week, stopped eating junk food, and felt great! I was tracking calories like a professional and exercising almost every day when I came home from work.

After a few weeks, I began to wonder: “Is this what my life is now?” At first, that was all I wanted to do. But is that really what I want to continue doing forever? I needed more.

Rediscovering yoga

I had done yoga intermittently for six years (mostly on the side for the last four) and didn’t give it much thought other than as a form of exercise. There had to be more. Otherwise, why were all these people so happy doing yoga? I really delved into the “Yoga Culture” and found out that there is more than I had ever known existed.

It started being less “hippie-new-age-bullshit” to me and more “There are a lot of things I do not know, and what if I am turning my back on something really truly special and amazing?”

I began using yoga and meditation as a way to connect with myself. To be happy, to shut down, and to figure out what it’s all about. I started a gratitude diary.

Every day, I write down three things I am grateful for. You can write down anything, from the pancakes that you ate in the morning to your children. Every day, I spend 2 to 1 hour thinking about my day. I think about what went well, what didn’t, and how I can improve the next day.

I am not the perfect yogi. I still love my bacon, cookies, and coffee in the morning. I also swear like a pirate.

Yoga is and will always be my sanctuary. It will always be evolving and will be the main reason I have learned to love myself and stop letting others determine my worth.

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