I think every time I have ever tried to get healthy, I was definitely single and “on the market.” I wanted to do something for myself. I wanted to make my life better. I wanted to eat better. I wanted to get more sleep. I wanted to exercise more. But I had a really hard time doing that while also “looking for love.”
I would start on my wellness journey and I would let any and every little thing derail me. Usually that thing was a man. And I think it was because I hadn’t figured out boundaries or balance; two things that I feel like are super important in relationships with others and yourself.
And I see it all the time, especially in women. Someone is on track working out and eating right, but also online dating, which is especially popular right now in the pandemic, and before you know it they are spending all their time with someone (or sometwo) and they put themselves on the backburner. Exercise stops. Eating right stops. Getting enough sleep stops. Being alone stops. And it becomes all about the other person and never about them.
I cannot count the number of times that has happened to me. It was literally part of my cycle because I’ve been perpetually single most of my adult life. I would have these moments in my life that would shift the way I felt about myself, like tying my shoes. I’ve never really been able to squat down and tie my shoes from the center. I’ve always had to bring my foot up on my leg and tie my shoes which puts the bow on the side and not in the middle. I don’t know why that one little detail of my life made such an impact on me, but it always has. I’ve always just wanted to be able to squat down without my stomach getting in the way or my lack of flexibility getting in the way and tie my shoe like a healthy, fit, and trim person.
It’s funny the things that imprint themselves on your brain as what healthy looks like to you. But that is my idea of healthy. That and being able to feel my collarbone. Two little insignificant things to everyone else, but to me, they are everything.
And I would have these moments where I would be putting on a pair of shoes and I couldn’t tie them comfortably. It was like trying to tie my shoes when I was pregnant except I wasn’t. I was just bigger than what I was comfortable with. I hate using the word “fat” because you can be “fat” and healthy. And fat has such a negative feeling attached with it that I do not want to perpetuate. Because not everyone who is “overweight” is unhappy or uncomfortable in their own skin and I admire those people. I’m just not one of them. And I found that I was trying to get comfortable and find acceptance by trying to date while also trying to “get fit” and it never ever worked, because I would take the energy that I should have been pouring into myself and I would pour it into someone else and leave nothing for me, because I always dated takers. I guess that’s what most givers do. And it took a LONG time for me to acknowledge that I was putting myself on the backburner to try and “take care of” or “fix” someone who didn’t ask for my help. I turned everyone into a project and left myself sitting on the table to be miserable.
But once I learned to be alone and realized that I deserve a little bit of time to be a better version of myself, things started to change for me in every aspect of my life… mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. And now that I have someone in my life who I am comfortable with and confident in our relationship, I spend a lot of time working on me and the craziest part about that is he encourages it and supports everything I’m doing. And I wish I would have required that long ago or moved on instead of wasting all my time and effort on dating when I could have been dating myself and getting fit and healthy.
So I guess if I was going to give a piece of unsolicited advice, it would be this: learn how to be happy alone, if you are trying to get healthy, stop drinking so much (if that’s a thing you do), don’t worry about dating right now because if you aren’t the best version of you or if you are unhappy with yourself, you will lower your standards and may not even know what they are right now because you are so hard on yourself, and finally, find a group of people who are on the same kind of journey as you to lean into and cheer each other on.
And remember to look in the mirror and give yourself some credit.