I stood in my room disgusted. Everything about the image in the mirror looking back at me was mortifying. My self-esteem was at an all-time low and at the time I had no interest in disclosing that information about myself nor was conversation of being comfortable in my own skin ever brought up. It was not just the fact that I felt unhealthy but I could not see any trace of beauty within me. My eyes seemed dull, the bags under my eyes became more noticeable, and my presence never felt desired.
It was a major issue in a sense that nothing I did truly made me happy. From my dietary choices to my selection of friends; nothing was helping me and feeling sorry for myself added fuel to the fire. When your own self-esteem is at an all-time low it is hard to get out of the funk simply because you have to change your environment and sometimes your habits.
I started with my eating choices. I would eat some type of meat every day, also eat a lot of fried food, and I’d drink a lot of soda. The food I was consuming made me feel sluggish and bloated, also another issue adding to the situation was that I would never get off my bum. Growing up as an athlete, this was a major issue because I was always active in everyday life. Going from a fast-pace-always-doing-something lifestyle to just doing hardly any physical activity was not working for me anymore. I cut down on red meats, stuck with water (and beer-Yay for being 21!), and kept my bum off the couch. My goal everyday was to do at least something active (walks, jogs, runs, etc.). I started to eat foods that didn’t make me feel as bloated and, as nerdy as it sounds, I also kept track of my activity with my lovely Fitbit – which I LOVE!
As for the mental part of my self being, I had little to no self-love. I was not confident and everything I did was done with uncertainty. It was a battle within myself to wear a bikini to go swimming or to even wear anything with confidence. I started to look at my Tumblr to find some style influence because I thought my wardrobe was something I could easily change. I thought that wearing cute clothes would help a little and personally, it did work for me. While exploring Tumblr I started to follow fashion bloggers whose style would fit with what I wanted to do with my closet. That is when I found out that my interest with other bloggers (mainly fashion bloggers), poets, and finding influential people (usually people in the public eye) helped me gain confidence. I was able to gain confidence because they served as an inspiration for me due to their work and ability to put themselves out there with poise.
I then started to look at the people around me. Nothing was wrong with the people I was hanging out, they were all great but it was time to think of things in a different way. Since I was trying to change into a more positive version of myself, I decided to fill my time up with people who were more uplifting and honest with me. Entering my 20’s I knew that I would have to start looking at friendships and asking myself, “how are they going to help me grow as a person?”. It might sound strange or maybe even rude but as you get older, it is important to have a group of supportive people by your side. As an individual I know it is great to have people who challenge you in the best way possible. People who are going to do their best when giving proper advice, who are going to be understanding, who wouldn’t judge, and who are going to make you feel good about yourself. As soon as you make that change and surround yourself with better people, their energy will rub off on you.
After reflecting, I then asked myself the most important question: What will make me happy?
My answer didn’t lie with what people expected me to do or what people would think of me after but only what was going to make me better as a person. In my teenage years I would only think about the life choices that impacted “now” but entering my 20’s I now know that whatever I do will influence what happens in the future. Therefore my answer solely relied on how I wanted myself to feel mentally, how having positive people around me would be beneficial, and what goals I want to achieve.
I found that once you surround yourself with positive vibes and ask yourself what will make you a better person then things will slowly come into perspective. Everything in your life does impact how you are feeling in a mental and in a physical state. For me, taking a step back and asking what I really wanted in life resulted to not feeling as lost and alone as I once was and gaining the confidence I needed. Self-love is important; because of it I am now more sure of myself and content with my life.