Importance of Taking Care of You

Some of my posts have not been paleo related – but I promise you, I will try to make it worth your time.

Life can be very busy.  Some days you go non-stop with a million things to do, and on the days you think you have nothing – something always comes up.  I know I tend to spread myself too thin.  I plan too many things, I make too many promises, and I try to get as much done as possible.  Like I said in my previous post, part of me likes to stay busy to distract my mind, and part of me wishes I knew how to just relax.

I was always trying to fix everything and everyone.  Any situation I heard about, I went into action – I had ideas, plans, fixes…I knew it all (or so I thought).  Trust me, my heart was in the right place, not sure about my head though.  I helped a lot of people and often sat and wondered where my help was when I needed it.  I always learned to do things for myself and to deal with any situation by myself.  I buried a lot of emotions.  I smiled around everyone, no matter how much I was hurting on the inside.

I held everything in, and it presented itself as physically sickness.  I had pains that I couldn’t figure out where they came from, I was constantly at the doctor taking antibiotics, my digestive system took a beating, my muscles ached from the physicality of holding the emotions in.  My body was tense, and no amount of stretching or working out would help me feel better.  I wish I knew sooner that my physical symptoms were caused so much by stress and anxiety – and overselling myself.

All of the stress that I was experiencing made me fall off the paleo wagon – it made me feel like I wasn’t worth it.  I felt like nobody cared about me, so why should I care about myself.  I started to eat things that made me happy (pizza, cookies, candy, bread, pasta).  I ate food that made me feel emotions.  I ate food so I didn’t feel empty.  I ate myself into sadness and self loathing.  Before I knew it, I was gaining weight.  I started to not fit in my clothes.  I felt like my world was caving in on me.  Not only was I physically being affected – I was projecting.  It wasn’t fair to anyone around me.

So I made a decision to start going to therapy.  I was open to the idea that it was worth a shot.  I didn’t know if it was going to help, but I needed to do something.  I owed it to myself.  I have learned so many things so far.  I see that fixing and helping myself, allows me to help others – in a more effective, energy saving sort of way.  I started to find the root of the symptoms I was having.  I was learning ways to face emotions and cope, instead of just pushing them down.  I haven’t been cured of anything, and I might not ever be “cured” and free from all the demons I face – but I am learning how to be a better person and control the things that I can control.  I will not let emotions defeat me.  I am strong.

For the first time in months, I can honestly say I am feeling better and more “normal”.  I’m also focusing on a diet that is more paleo again (see…paleo post).  I feel comfortable in my own skin and with my own thoughts.  And eating the right food helps us feel better, too!

It is so important to take care of yourself, first and foremost.  You have to love yourself and you have to forgive yourself.  The journey to get to this point hasn’t been easy, but I read somewhere that if something doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.  I still have some work to do, but it’s a process.  Progress not perfection.  Spend the time to take care of you.  You are worth it.

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

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I’m a 36 year old kid at heart. I reached a low point in my life where I felt like I needed to take control before I didn’t have the choice, and that’s when I decided that I needed to change my lifestyle. It’s going to be my life long goal to always achieve optimum health…I am still young after all. Here I am, over one year into my Paleo journey, and I never felt better.

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