Actually, quite literally.
Last January, I dropped 30 lbs in like 2 months (ok so part of it was the stress of my father's surgery, but I was working on it too). I also discovered a love for yoga, and began working out again.
Through yoga I began to really cherish my body in a way I had never done before. I watched a documentary about food that changed the way I eat and feed my family forever (King of Corn). Watching my father's body fail him was also a constant reminder to guard my own with great care. Working out was different this time because my mindset was different. I was learning to take CARE of myself. Not to lose weight, or to meet some standard that was set by someone else, or trying to impress others. It was FOR ME.
Yoga connected me to my body by teaching me to listen to it, to really notice how I was feeling physically. I stopped eating sugars and processed foods because I could really feel how disgusting I felt afterwards. I LOVED the way it felt after I exercised.
I used to be a runner, but had to stop after having my children because of a really bad case of achilles tendonitis. One day this summer, I decided just to try it one more time. I found that if I did high intensity interval running for 20 minutes or less, the tendonitis would not flair up. I have no idea why...because I was 30 lbs lighter? Because of my the healthier foods? I don't know, but it worked. And I haven't stopped since.
Then I decided to take that a step further and try out weight lifting again, something else I had dabbled in as a teenager and a few years before (I follow this program). Talk about a new PASSION. I love so much the challenge of lifting heavier and harder each time I'm at the gym, the high that I feel between sets, the soreness that means my body is building new muscle and burning fat while I'm doing it. Mr. Wonderful is also into weightlifting and explained all the mechanics of it all to me and it's fascinating, it's very scientific and anyone can do it.
So since this summer, I've worked up to high intensity interval running 6 days a week, and working out with weights 3 of those days as well. It is truly the thing I am enjoying the most in my life right now besides friends and family. It has been utterly AMAZING to watch my body transform in the mirror. I was "thin" before, but now I look "athletic", and I've NEVER looked athletic in my life. My muscles have brought me these curves that I just love (*giggle*, it feels weird to say that) and the daily exercise high has been better than any therapy or anti-depressant that I have ever had.
So to celebrate this love of mine and all the hard work, I bought myself a couple of new swimsuits for Mexico next week (Mr. Wonderful and I are going for a few days). I have *NEVER* enjoyed swimsuit shopping, even as a thin person I hated how I looked. But this time was different...I put the work in, I invested in myself, and it paid off. So I'm happy to say that I will be on the beach in my swimsuit next week not feeling paranoid and fat or frumpy for the first time. And it feels REALLY good.
I might even do something I used to think people were insane for doing, which is to work out on my vacation. Because I can't imagine now going a single day without that high, and I want to feel *good* while I'm there.
You can change anything that you set your mind to. Think out of the box and find a way. If I can do it (single mom? business? three kids? limited budget?) so can you. Whatever "it" is. Whatever it is that's holding you back from feeling happy.
I am so happy :)