My Journey

A lot of people ask me about how I lost the weight (15 pounds in the matter of a couple months, which I've been able to maintain for the last month and a half). The only honest answer I have to give is that you have to hate yourself enough. Something in you has to snap. I was a bit unhappy with my body for a long time, and there were moments that I would get emotional about my weight (it's not to say that I was ever really fat or even overweight - just not ideal or as trim as I used to be). For a while, I thought about it all the time. Being single, I of course thought about how men saw me. I thought about the way my slender, athletic family perceived me. I thought about how my clothes fit, about the impression I made in professional settings. In the end, I had a lot of motivating factors, but the only one that really mattered was my self-esteem, the body I wanted for the life I wanted. I didn't want to just drop some weight, I knew I wanted to change my entire lifestyle - my eating habits, my relationship with my body, my attitude about exercise...everything. I did it.

Making all these changes have affected me in so many greater ways. I have confidence from feeling more sure of myself. Being comfortable with my physical body was the beginning to an internal change as well. Ever since I left Sweden, I craved change. I felt like I had wasted a lot of time not fulfilling my potential, not working towards the kind of person I wanted to be. It's been such a journey, and I am proud of the progress I made. I genuinely like myself now. It sounds like such a simple thing, but for me it wasn't. I felt guilty and anxious about any behavior or choices that were not ideal. I concentrated on all my flaws and how they affected the people around me and my future. Now, it comes easy. I'm still my own worst critic, but I forgive myself more easily. I try to make every misstep into a lesson and focus on trying better tomorrow.

My patience has grown immensely. I always thought of myself as a loving person, but the past few years I found myself turning bitter. Instead of being accepting, I was quick to anger, quick to mistrust, quick to think the worst in people. I held on to any small negative comments made towards me (often they were neutral, and I skewed them into something terrible). I held grudges. I gossiped about people. Essentially, I was not a completely happy person but didn't want to take any responsibility - I took every opportunity to blame someone else for the things I felt.

I'm not going to pretend that I don't still have a long way to go - in life, in my relationship with myself, and in becoming a better person. Still, I must say that I am immensely proud of my ability to laugh at myself (something my family can still barely fathom that I am able to do). I no longer stress about things I can't control. Not only situations, but how other people interact with me. I've got to soak in the entire world, and decide to be happy. I give people the benefit of the doubt, and realize that everything is pretty much 100% less about me than I thought. People are rarely mean, dismissive, etc. because of something you are - they are reacting to their own reality. I am probably not even an after-thought, I am more than okay with that now.

I take in the opinions of the people I respect and love, but I make decisions on my own. I am only accountable to myself for my choices in life. I am trying to become a better daughter, a better sister, and a better friend. Tonight I had another sort of epiphany, something in me snapped again. I want to be better than I am and I'm going to try even harder at it. Eleanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." However, I let people do this to me all the time. I let people make me feel invisible and worthless. Although I've gotten better at thinking "I'm awesome, and if you can't see that, then you don't deserve to be a part of my life," I often fall. I am weak to the dismissals of others.

I want to be a more loving person. I want to be kinder and more optimistic. I want to continue to make healthy decisions. I want to actively choose not to be high-strung and anxious. I want to be someone that I am proud of. I will no longer take time for granted, as every day is an opportunity to better than the day before.

All I really want is to be happy and do good. Cheers to a brighter life.