It feels extremely cliche saying this, but every person in the world is undergoing their own journey. On that journey, things are very often good! The weather conditions are great, you have fabulous matchy clothes, and awesome partners to keep you motivated. Sometimes, though, it seems like a never ending uphill, and with one mere misplaced foot – you could go tumbling down, all the way to the bottom where you started.
One of the biggest problems we have, especially as girls, is comparing ourselves to others. I think it is important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean to celebrities in isolation – I have some good friends on Facebook whose transformations I have been extremely jealous of. To be honest, it’s sometimes those types of transformations that hit home the hardest because they’re of actual, ‘real’ people just like us.
In these cases, we need to remind ourselves that they are simply going through a good part of their journey. As humans just like us, they may very well have struggled through a very difficult part of the journey before reaching the stunning abs you’re seeing all over Instagram. And just like them, we will overcome our shadows and (eventually) reach the sun.
These past two months I have been trying to get my life back in order. Unfortunately my unpredictable work schedule has resulted in lack of routine, meaning that this part of my journey has been all over the place, and thus particularly difficult. At first, I felt like it was two wasted months because I haven’t been able to achieve my goals. My weight stagnated, even though I was working hard to exercise and eat healthy whenever I was able to.
In hindsight, I have actually grown to realise that if it wasn’t for this challenging period of my journey, I would never have learnt the things about myself that I did. Although this part of my journey is quite friken depressing because I’m not making progress physically, the psychological gain is almost even more valuable to the bigger picture.
In order to fully enjoy the good part of your journey, you need to embrace the bad. It makes me think of a funny meme I saw the other day, it went something like: I wish I still looked how I did the first time I thought I was fat. In summer when I was at my lowest weight ever, I still felt like I could do better; now I look back WISHING I was still there and not where I am now! So not only do we need to appreciate the bad times, we need to appreciate and genuinely enjoy the good times too.
The reason why I, and so many others, use a journey as a metaphor is because it is ongoing. Yes, there might be a final destination, for example reaching or accomplishing a goal, but it’s not like once you reach it the journey is over. In fact, that’s exactly when some of us become complacent and allow ourselves to slack off. Whether you’re in a good or a bad space, keep going. One of my favourite sayings is “the best is yet to come.” Knowledge really is power – the more you learn about yourself, the easier it will become to apply what you’ve learnt.
Maybe the final destination is not a jeans size or a number on the scale, but rather a positive psychological space wherein you know yourself well enough to be able to stay in a constant journey rather than fluctuate between good and bad periods.
I have learnt what works for me, especially through the challenges of the past two months. From now on, my goal is to diligently apply what I’ve learnt, keep an open mind and be aware of new things to learn along the way, and trust my journey enough to know that I will be duly rewarded.