As many people can attest, I have always been morphing into another version of myself – whether it was good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. Here she goes again! After over 40 years on the merry-go-round I decided it was time to stop and get off the ride. I had grown tired of the way I felt, the way I looked, the consequences of my own self-sabotage and the quality of life I had lost.
My focus had never been where it should and so my results were never permanent. I hadn’t fully realised what I needed – until I found it.
I had always struggled with anxiety, depression and stress and had never put myself first and I had never felt the gravity of the value of life until I saw there was a chance I could lose it.
I was always hell bent on pleasing others at my own expense and had expectations that were never met – nobody ever had my back. Every time I was let down, rejected, abused or forgotten I self-medicated with alcohol and food. I punished myself for never being enough, for failures, disappointments and self-loathing. When you’re in the moment you have this mentality that it’s just this one time – it’s no big deal – but then they mount up over and over and over again. Each time my goal was to forget – wash away what it was that hurt and tomorrow start again. The sheer volumes of alcohol alone at one point were mind blowing even to me. Not a sustainable way of living – for many years!
There were times I simply can’t remember due to the alcohol until things surfaced the next day and then the spiral of loathing would begin and one by one I began to push everything and everyone away for fear of hurting them too. The loneliness was excruciating and I’d become someone I didn’t want to be and someone that people didn’t really understand.
I began to understand the impact of what I had done to myself – this was something I had to be accountable for – not anyone or anything else. I was in shock at first when I began to comprehend the mess I had made right down to a cellular level. I then went through a raft of emotions – anger, sadness, anxiety when I realised that life as I knew it will never be the same again. How could I possibly make so much change? This isn’t me – is it?
I had been in so much pain, overweight and been so sick for so long, it became my motivation for change – the thought of another infection or inflammation was more than I could bear. I was lucky to still be standing upright. I learnt what my triggers were and what I had to eliminate from my life to avoid the things that brought me pain and inflammation.
At first it was all about food and along with that came the change in mindset and just like anything I had been addicted to – once the mindset had changed it was not hard to kick the habit. I eliminated alcohol until our relationship was a manageable one that was no longer based on dependancy. I implemented routine to solidify new habits, challenging myself to do better everyday which then became second nature. Natural supplementation began to repair my damage and this became a non-negotiable – it didn’t matter how much it cost or how awful it was – it was giving my body what it needed and I needed to suck it up. This was becoming my new normal. I was getting results and the weight started to melt away.
When I learnt I as on a fast path to breast cancer it was like someone had hit the brakes really hard. This added to my motivation for change and gave me a different outlook on life. I had the power to turn this all around – everything I needed to succeed was within me. My trip to Tasmania in November became an awakening – like a butterfly set free. I embraced the beauty in life and nature, felt the fear, went out of my comfort zones – on purpose – to stretch myself, surrendered to meditation, let go of my limiting beliefs and my past and set a path of intention for what lay ahead. This was in me all along and had been cemented deep, yearning for release. I began to feel lighter – not just physically.
On the plane on the way home I set myself a series of non-negotiables to live by daily. Change starts with taking the first step and daily I:
Make time for meditation
Take the stairs – not the lift
Get away from the desk for a lunch break
Move every day – workout, walk – move
Make time for my health and wellbeing
Many who know me now see the change in me – they say I am no longer the same person. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually redefined. And curiosity creeps up to ask will this be a permanent change? Emphatically yes! What I have never done before is deal with what was on the inside to transform the outside and address my health and wellbeing holistically as a whole person. I never took the time to truly understand me, respect myself or to love myself.
I can truly say I love my life now, I love who I am – even the imperfections. I take care of me because that’s all I have in the end. I don’t care about what people think of me – whatever state I am in – that’s none of my business. My business is ME. My WHY is ME.