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Don't Give up on Finding "Health"

Updated on October 24, 2018
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Elle is a Student at Illinois State University, passionate about the world of health, fitness and nutrition.

It feels impossible

When you start from ground zero, moving forward feels impossible. I can tell you, from personal experience, that just one simple step can make more of a difference than you ever imagined. Lifestyle changes, which are the base of a "healthful" life, are not easy, but they create a domino effect, and sooner or later you'll wind up closer to your goal than you could've ever imagined.

While the change in appearance is not drastic, the change is heart is everlasting.
While the change in appearance is not drastic, the change is heart is everlasting.

I wasn't healthy

Now, this is my real life story; this is raw truth.

I spent all of high school hating myself, hating my body, my personality, my appearance, my name, everything. I was not eating well, I wasn't active, I wasn't healthy mentally. I lived every day because I felt like I had to, not because I wanted to. I got good grades, I performed well when it mattered, but on the inside I felt like I was dying.

College came around and it didn't get much better. I still worked hard, got the grades I needed and succeeded in every form of the word except health and happiness. In November of 2016 I was rejected from an organization, and I had no idea why. My qualifications were perfect, I was doing all that was asked of me but I didn't fit the bill and I was dropped.

It was my first time being blatantly rejected, for some unfounded reason. I failed them and I felt like I failed myself. I cried for days. Then it hit me, I realized I was basing my happiness and self-worth on what others had though of me. I was completely out of control.

Around that time I decided to take my life into my own hands, and yes, surprisingly I did that by beginning my health journey. It started with a workout routine, and then countless hours of nutrition research, and then races and goals and accomplishments.

Over the next few months my life began to transform. By focusing on my physical health, my mental health improved, and I began to find energy, strength, and purpose. By the fall of 2017 I had run my first half marathon and this annual year I have completed my first Spartan Trifecta.

I've recently decided to create goals for myself rather than a stamp of approval from the people around me. I still care greatly about what other think of me, but not nearly as much as before. I want to do good for myself and for others because *I* think it's right, not because I was told to do so.

When you feel like the whole world is crashing down on you, use that as a motivator to find one thing you can be in control of, for me, that was health. I decided that when I felt like I couldn't do anything, I'd at least be healthy. What I didn't expect was the overwhelming transformation in my mentality, my overall happiness, and my awareness. I believe I am better because I was rejected by that organization, it forced me to look inside for my self worth.

Health may not seem like the most important thing on your to-do list, and it may not feel like a life-changing adjustment to you. Let me tell you, a healthful life transforms you, in ways you would not have imagined. An increase in sleep, confidence, energy, work efficiency and happiness are statistically proven, and that's just the start. Don't give up because it's hard, new or different. Keep going because it's worth it.

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