,Over here at B-Hero, we are big advocates of finding the hero within. Conquering your personal demons, and living in a way that makes you proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. To truly B-Hero you have to learn to love and take care of yourself. That will look different to different people, so by no means is this a post to shame or disregard anyone else on their journey and what makes them feel confident in themselves. But this is a little bit of my journey to better mental and physical health and fitness.
As you may have guessed I’m a pretty big nerd and I’ve always looked up to heroes. Both in media/fiction and in real life. But for most of my life, I struggled with depression and body image issues, and much of that became a self-replicating cycle. I believed I had little value, I believed I was ugly, so I treated myself with little value, and treated myself like I was ugly. Which continued the cycle and made it worse. It seemed every time I turned around there was a new health problem reinforcing my helplessness and worthlessness. I knew something had to change but I didn’t know how. Everything seemed too hard and arduous to be worth it. I mean could I really truly change? Was better health and fitness really possible?
The Callhero’s journey, there is a moment referred to by writers as the call. This is very often true in life. In 2019 I got the call. I went through a very difficult divorce that shook every last fiber of my being to its final thread and I was left with a choice. I can either give up, or I can pick myself up and carry on, and prove that I am better than my circumstance. That I can take care of my children, that I do have value, that it’s not too late for me, and prove that my ex and even more important that I was wrong about me all these years. I answered the call…
I was in terrible shape. Fitness? What’s that? I hadn’t really run since high school, I could barely walk up the stairs without needing to catch my breath, I had a terrible habit of binge eating and binge drinking and I had no idea where to begin to change these habits. So I reached out to a dear friend and asked if he would come to the gym with me and we could try and get in shape. Maybe even play some basketball while we are at it. I also reached out to other friends and family to just let them know and try and get a positive support system to keep myself accountable and motivated.
My Fitness Journey
That first day on the treadmill I set the speed to 6mph and could barely run half a mile. But I marked the time, 5 minutes, and told myself all I was going to do was run an extra 15 seconds every day until I was able to run a 5k. To me, that was like conquering Mount Everest. I also focused on controlling my diet. Limiting my binge days and working on my self-discipline. Before the end of the year (2019), I ran my first 5k in about 20 minutes. I lost 65 pounds. I dropped 10% body fat. But most importantly, I could take my kids to the park and run with them. play with them, keep up with them! Walking up the stairs? Hell, I could run up them without skipping a beat or taking an extra breath.
I went even further and started treating myself like I loved myself. I dressed better, I smiled more, I made an effort to improve my hygiene, and people noticed! Before long almost all of my medical problems left!
This is only a recent chapter in my life, but I have finally have goals and ambitions. For the first time in my life, I actually believe that I have the ability to accomplish them.
It’s Worth It!
It is far too easy to lose faith in ourselves. Far too easy to succumb to our weaknesses because it’s comfortable or feels easy. But I promise you, whatever is going on in your life, you are more powerful than you know. You are more beautiful than you can see, and your value is immeasurable. Take small steps. Do a tiny bit more than you did yesterday. The road seems long at the beginning, but once you start it won’t be long until you look back and see how far you’ve come, and then how far you want to go will seem so much closer and easier. Let your successes self perpetuate and use the momentum to carry on. If you have a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, or even a bad year (thanks 2020 lol) pick yourself up and start again.
Your journey to health and fitness is worth it! You got this!