Some of the most frequently asked questions I get is: "How did this journey start? How did you shift your thinking and change your mindset?"
My answer: The switch definitely didn’t happen overnight. I was diagnosed with depression at 15 and have had some really rough memories and experiences with trying to find my self worth and create self love for myself. There were definitely happy moments in my life as an adult and moments of low and in some ways because of my career forward lifestyle I was too busy to entertain some of these “low moments”. I became a mother almost 11 years ago and when that happened even more physical changes happened with my body that added to some of the “mental darkness”. I gained stretch marks, my body composition changed even more so, and at that time my mindset was “great I’m a 21 year old with stretch marks, loose skin and loose midsection, and a busy career with no time for my health.” Growing up my family was never healthy eating focused (I’m Filipino) or active lifestyle focused. So working out, eating healthy was never a priority for me. As my life got busier I became more and more unfit and more overwhelmed with life. I don’t think it was until my second daughter was born where it all hit me even more. I buried a lot of the feelings with life an didn’t realize what was the root cause of the unhappiness until a moment and experience I had with my daughter.
Finding what made me happy took some trial and error and just working through the emotions. I’m currently married to an amazing man, have a wonderful career, and a thriving business with my husband, but was struggling internally and mentally. When I stopped to reflect what it was that was making me unhappy I realized it was my self image. I hated what I saw in the mirror and that self hate seeped into all areas of confidence in my life. My perspective on work, my marriage, hanging around certain friends, and even being around my kids was so skewed because of how I felt about myself. Lacking the confidence in my own skin really affected my mindset. It was so toxic.
I think it takes searching high and low in all the wrong places to find what the answer is. And sometimes we run from it because its almost unbelievable or even sounds seems so superficial to say “I’m unhappy with how I look and feel.” I think its because we have so many people in the world who love us despite our own flaws, but because we can’t find the same reasons why people are so attracted to our hearts, the cause of unhappiness is hard to admit.
In some ways I did wake up one day and say I’m fucken over it. I need to change and jumped head first. I hired a fitness/health coach who helped me focus on that area of my life. The moment I started to work on that particular part, all other areas fell into place. It was incredible to see the changes. I focused on tackling an area of my life where I felt I was failing miserable with and slowly over time that began the chain reaction that set the course of my lifestyle changes. There are still moments of self doubt that I have to fight and moments where I’m not as mentally strong, but learning to make the conscious decision to do your best to make the strides forward has helped the daily battles.
One of the things I tell people is: stop searching for all the reasons to start, the answer is in the mirror right in front of you. It's important to love yourself enough to care about your health. Do something daily that is active and practice building a strong body, physically and mentally.