Love yourself first

Guest Author: James

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

Life is about balance, especially when it comes to achieving your fitness goals and still living your life. It’s been almost a year that I have been struggling with this concept. In late summer of 2015, I decided that after over 20 years of feeling unsatisfied by what I saw in the mirror it was time to make a change. I contacted a local fitness coach who set me up with my very first meal plan for weight loss. This was my first glance at just how crucial proper dieting and nutrition is for weight loss. Whether you’re trying to cut, bulk or anything in between, what you choose to consume accounts for over 80% of the results you will get.

In the span of three months I went from 204lbs to 181lbs by mainly limiting my carbohydrates, cutting out processed sugar and increasing my water intake to about 4L every day. Even after one week of adopting these new habits, the results I got were mind blowing. After so many years of trying, I was finally dropping weight and shedding fat. Who knew that the stuff your parents told you as kids like, “eat your greens” or “drink lots of water” was actually really good for you?! Shocking!

After losing 23lbs in only three months and well on my way to having a great physique, you’d think I’d be pretty much set to live a happy life. Well… not so much. It’s one thing to lose weight but keeping it off while still enjoying life’s indulgences is a whole new ball game, as I found out when I went to a resort for a friend’s wedding. To make a long story short, after a week of buffets and an open bar, I came home, stepped on the scale and read “186 lbs.” Not a big deal right? What’s so bad about a 5 pound gain after an awesome vacation with friends? Most of that weight, little did I realize at the time probably wasn’t even fat. However, this stressed me out … big time! I felt almost a sense of regret, as if I just somehow undid all the hard work I put into the last 3 months.

In the weeks that followed I tried using the same meal plans I previously used with my coach in order to get my weight back down but this time was different. This time I didn’t have a coach and I was the one making all the food choices myself and it was actually scary. Still being a novice to the realm of proper nutrition, I had zero confidence in my abilities to make the right choice as far as dieting goes. This made my anxiety go through the roof and eventually would lead me into a downward spiral. With all the stress I was going through, I eventually turned to the one thing that had always comforted me growing up … food.

It was at this point I needed to take a serious moment of self-reflection.

In the weeks that followed I reached one of my all time lows. My depression and negative self imagery clouded my mind and as a result I kept going back to food for comfort, which lead me to develop a binge-eating disorder, which only made my weight increase even more. At this point I felt like a true failure and did not want to have anything to do with the outside world. I spent next to no time with family and friends and was forcing myself to go to the gym. All the activities I did like working out, ju-jitsu and muay thai used to bring me pure enjoyment but now those same activities felt more like a chore that I was only doing so I could still maintain some control over my weight. No way to live.

It was at this point I needed to take a serious moment of self-reflection. Why was I putting myself through all this? I started all this so that I could live a happier life and yet I’m miserable. As I tried to come up with an answer, a much deeper and more important question arose; why was I basing my happiness on how I physically looked? There are many reasons but what I’ve come to discover is that having a lean body and looking like one of those guys on the cover of magazines will ultimately fail to make you happy until you start loving yourself regardless of what you see on the scale. Without that mentality, you could have the best physique in the world and still not like what you see in the mirror. With that in mind, I have started taking the first steps to overcoming my inner struggles and though there’s still a long road ahead, hopefully the journey will be enjoyed here on out, as any journey should be.



Thanks for sharing your story James. I’ve struggled with my relationship with food all of my life and bulimia for the last 3 years. It’s taken a lot of self reflection and soul searching to understand why. You are absolutely right. We need to love ourselves.

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