That girl was insecure and mostly unhappy. She was always searching: for love, acceptance, security, happiness. Photos from high school seem to be more torturous. When I reminisce on times of supposed happiness from those years, such as proms, graduation, parties, I shudder to think of the person I was. I can still recall the desperate thoughts of trying to fit in, wanting to be "chosen" by this boy or that one, wondering if I looked as good as the others. College did nothing but to drive me further into my insecurities instead of helping me discover who I truly am. Old journal entries mulled over old friends being "taken away" by new boyfriends. My insecurities caused me to push people away, and to this day I still regret friendships lost. Nonetheless, I'm incredibly lucky that D was able to see past my insecurities; instead he saw my potential.
It took me until the age of 25 to discover my own happiness. I feel that I owe this transformation to D, for sticking by and believing in me, and to running. It was not until I started training for my first half marathon that I started to believe in myself. Over the past four years, I have developed a true love for sweating and running. I've discovered one of the keys to my happiness. Being strong, healthy, and confident makes me feel like the best version of myself.
This is not to say that meeting a goal weight or losing x amount of pounds is the key to happiness. For me, it is actually the opposite. I rarely weigh myself and don't believe in counting calories. My happiness and confidence comes from continually staying active, from setting health goals for myself and achieving them, and from nourishing my body in the best way. When I challenge myself physically, I have no reason to feel insecure. I feel strong and disciplined. So what if I don't have six-pack abs? I can probably hold a plank longer than many women my age. When I feel my best, this carries over into the other parts of my life. What they say is true...it starts with loving yourself.
While I'm trying to work on a balance between spending time on me and prioritizing other aspects of my life, I still have some health goals I've been thinking about for this year.
+Be the healthiest and strongest I have ever been in my life
+Run a marathon (or at least be training for one)
+Become more disciplined with eating on an 80/20 balance and nourish my body with fuel for health
+Incorporate yoga as a daily routine
+Compete in an obstacle race (I'm considering the Spartan Race in Charlotte, NC)
+Continue to balance running, strength, and yoga
Oddly enough, many of my goals were the same as Megan's. I thought she spoke so eloquently on being healthy and strong for 2015 (and had pictures that were a hell of a lot cooler than mine).
What are some of the keys to your happiness?
I'd love to hear your health + happiness goals for the year!