I don’t know how to summarize how I’ve gotten to were I am. All I can say is that one day not too long ago I realized that I was sad and that I wasn’t being true to myself. I realized that for whatever reason–my job, my family, friends, society, etc–I was being someone that I’m not. It may seem frivolous, but I thought it was just in regards to my clothes. I soon realized it was deeper. It wasn’t just clothes, it was my entire appearance.
I started to change back to my “real self,” as I’ve been calling it, almost three months ago. I decided to follow a meal plan that a nutritionist had made for me years ago. I had tried to stick to it before, but I never could make it work. This time, I knew there would be cheat days (Thanksgiving fell in the middle of my three months and Christmas is my official last day). I decided though that I was done being unhappy and well, it was time for a change.
Without going into too much detail about my weight, I was always skinny and I was a dancer. I was used to eating whatever, whenever, and as much as I wanted. Some of it was genes and some of it was because I was constantly in dance classes. Once I graduated college (I have a dance minor), and went to grad school, I started gaining weight. It took me a while to realize, but I never really understood meals–how to make them and how to make well-balanced meals. When my parents divorced, I volunteered to make meals to help with my mom. By making my own meals, this means I did what any 9 year old would do, I made boxed dinners or microwavable meals. And, continued until recently.
Aside from my weight gain, I was also uncomfortable because of my job. Well, to be more exact, the dress code I have to follow at my job. I have never been what you would call a conservative dresser, but at this job, and doing what I thought was appropriate age-wise, I was dressing that way. While I knew that the clothes I wore weren’t me, they started to become debilitating. The weight gain combined with the uncomfortable clothes made me emotionally catatonic for months and depressed.
It’s hard to admit that you are not feeling like yourself. Especially when you’re 29 and a supervisor with a terminal degree. But, I cam to the conclusion to be me and I have be so happy ever since. My energy is higher, I love going to the gym and doing things with friends again, and I have been more focused on the important things in my life.
Whatever self-journey you may be going on, here’s what I have learned and what I will actively be working on during 2018:
- Figure out your style. Fuck it if it doesn’t “age-appropriate.” Be comfortable in yourself. If you are unsure about your style, think about the people you look up to–how do they look, how do they dress. Then compile a list of key pieces. For this list, make sure they are things you will be comfortable in and will wear. For this key list, save up and spend money on quality items. It’s okay to have a few “cheap” or “trendy” items as well, but you’ll feel like a million bucks in the clothes you love and that are made well.
- Figure out a health routine that works for you. Yes, fitness is key in a happy life. If you aren’t ready to make a diet plan, that’s fine, but consider making a schedule of when you’ll go to the gym weekly or walk after work or even sign up for classes. Try your best to stick with it! Even if your usual 30 minute work out gets cut down to 15 minutes, try to make it. Eventually, you’ll find that your body actually craves it.
- Plan out meals. I have changed from being clueless in the kitchen to a predominately vegan (I’m lactose intolerant and I have never been much of a meat eater). What has helped is having meals planned out in advance and sticking to them as close as possible. Yes, cheat days happen, but you’ll find that cheat days become less and less the more (and closer) you still to your healthy planned meals.
- Clean out your closet. Get rid of anything you hate, doesn’t fit well, worn out, or you never wear. If you feel guilty about the money, look into reselling apps like Poshmark. Then restart with your list (item 1).
Reading over everything, it seems simple, and it actually is. The scary part can be starting, but I assure you that once you do, the better and better you will feel.