Part 2: Honey, Time To Love Yourself

So here is part two to Honey, Time To Love Yourself, if you missed part one, click right here and you can read that first, so this makes a bit of sense.

If you recall in part one we talked about what self love actually is, the three characteristics of someone who practices self love and how I came to the realisation that I needed to turn myself into a person who loved themself. So, I left you off just before talking about the the things I needed to change and my list of how I was going to complete my change of mindset. So, lets get into that.

Step 1: Health

The first thing I wanted to prioritise was my health- it was terrible, I was having gut problems, I was unmotivated, I was tired all the time and my head was a mess. So, that was what I needed to sort out first, because I think that was a major roadblock to loving myself, if I hadn't sorted that out first it would have been pointless to change other things because I definitely would have reverted back to old habits, and all the work I was putting in would have been useless.

1A: Gut Health
The first thing I did was to see a doctor, duh. While I was there I learnt about some stomach and digestive issues I have seem to have and learnt that I was feeling shit all the time because the food I thought I was fuelling my body with wasn't doing what I thought it was doing. So I thought I was eating this food that was so good for me, and it was healthy but my body didn't like it. So, on her advice I stick to a low FODMAP diet as much as I can (being a student and broke most of the time makes it difficult because I have to buy food for one dinner for me and then more food for one dinner for Brodie because he likes a lot of the foods that I need to stay away from (onion, garlic ect, so it gets kind of expensive). So I stick to that as much as I can, but it's also just about making informed choices with my food- if I think its going to make me feel sick, I tend to stay away from it.

1B: Physical Health
After changing my diet and noticing a difference with how I was feeling (less bloated, less indigestion ect) I thought 'Okay! lets look at my fitness." I was working out obsessively and getting no results because of that obsessiveness, there was very little rest in my week and there wasn't any structure to how I was working out. So, yet again I researched (yes, I like to be educated sorry about it.) I don't follow any of the plans that are available like the FitAzFK, Body by MG and Bikini Body Guide instead I took aspects of all of the plans and put them together to create something that works for me. I also had to change my thinking to allow myself to be okay with having rest days and taking days off when they were needed, and in particular not feeling guilty for not working out, therefore restricting my food intake. To show you a little bit of growth in this area: currently I am on day three of not working out (because of my foot injury) and usually I would be getting antsy and I would be doing upper body workouts by now and ignoring my injury for the fact of getting that workout in, but I am totally okay with having a rest. If I was still in my previous mindset I would also be thinking "okay you can't workout, you're going to have to restrict your food." but the only restriction on my food currently is was I can carry while hopping or while still using two crutches. Growth.

1C: Mental Heath
I left this one until last on my health section because I thought that the first two sections would have an impact on my mental heath, therefor leaving me with less work to do. Which is true, changing my diet and my fitness really did help how I was feeling mentally. I was more motivated, less stressed and there was less fog clouding my mind. In the back of my head I know that I am always going to have bad days and bad weeks with my mental health and one of the steps I took while on the journey to loving myself was accepting this- that there will be shitty times. Usually I would have a bad day and that would turn into a bad week because I let it, I taught myself I can have a bad mental health day, its okay to have one, but I also taught myself that you can't let it go on for longer than it has too. I had a shitty mental health day two weeks ago now and instead of trying to push past it and pretend that it wasn't there and it wasn't happening like I usually would, I took the morning off work, I got my head in order and and sorted out my emotions. I calmed myself down to a point where I could logically think about what was going on, how I could fix it and let myself chill out. And that seemed to really work for me because I took the time to assess the situation and what was going on in my head instead of pretending there was nothing wrong and letting the bad day escalate into a bad week.

Step 2: Happiness

When figuring this one out I left it until after health, because I knew the steps I took in health would at least have some kind of impact on my happiness, and as you can see in the mental health section it did. But I also had some other factors I considered to be impacting on my happiness that I wanted to rectify while on this journey.

2A: Interpersonal Relationships
In the last few months there has been almost a complete breakdown of the friendship group that I saw and hung out with most regularly. Because I kind of saw it coming I got out quite early and now it is getting to a pointy end I don't have to be involved as much as I would have been had I not distanced myself. I did not want any part of the whole dynamic anymore and quite frankly hanging around those people made me come home feeling like shit. So I stopped, simple as that. I got home one night and thought "you know what fuck that, I am done." There are still people that I care about and will text and be like "hey lets get drinks" but its very rare that I will see everyone at the same time, ain't nobody got time for that drama. (fairly confident none of them read the blog so this will not be starting more, just to clarify.) I think less of being around the bullshit has helped me understand how to not put myself in situations where I'm going to come out feeling shitty, and that has really helped my overall happiness.

2B: Expectations
This one was a hard one to let go of, this was a complete 360 for my mindset, I had to, in a sense reprogram my whole way of thinking. I needed to change the expectations I was putting on myself and especially on other people, because I think that was where my biggest concern was- that I was having these high expectations of people and they were letting me down (though no fault of their own) and that was having an affect on my happiness, because I was letting it. This took a lot longer than any of the other steps in my journey, because it took me a long time to fully reduce the expectations I had set and think "fuck, just let it go, Elyssa." My biggest goal for this was to learn to just go with the flow and just deal with what was being thrown at me, whether it was what I had been expecting or not. This was one of the harder steps for me and I think literally googled "how to lower your expectations". I started out small and lowered them slightly day by day and that kind of helped me to chill out and just roll with life.

2C: Hobbies and Passions
Often, I like many other people will place hobbies and passions at a lower priority over other things- and it was time to change that. For me, writing this blog is more of a hobby- I mean I am not really getting anything out of it for it to be considered "work". So, more often than not I would continuously push writing aside to make way for things that I considered to be more important- and I hated it, because I love writing. And to be happy you have to do more of what you love. So I stopped pushing back time to write and started prioritising writing and making time for it. When I write these blog posts, I will come out the there side feeling happier and lighter because I've got most of my feelings out on the page, so why not do that more regularly? Currently I try to write most days, usually after dinner or when I find myself just lounging around with a bit of free time, I freaking love it.

Step 3: Success

When I thought about how I wanted to be successful I couldn't really come up with a clear plan- but I did know that I wanted to change my definition of success. You see, I was one of those people who didn't celebrate the small wins, only the big ones- if it wasn't grand it wasn't a success. And I realised I wanted to change that- I needed to be able to see the positives in the small successes not just the big ones. I learnt to stop being so damn hard on myself and pushing myself to be better and go harder, when I need to take a few breathers along the way.

This was just my action plan to get to the point we're at now, the journey isn't over yet. I think that working on yourself is a forever kind of thing and ya just got to keep shipping away at it.