Thankfulness is the Soul in which Joy Thrives - Guest Blog by Stephanie Weiss
Stephanie Weiss is an incredibly inspiring and heart driven woman I've had the pleasure of connecting with over social media. We now get to work together weekly with @theanywhereoffice and I could not be more excited about it!
When I first had the idea of guest blogs to provide more dimension and reach more people struggling with relationships with food, their body, and their ability to create their dream life I immediately thought of Steph. She, too, has been through the struggle and brought herself to the other side. As soon as you read the health and life transformation of Steph you'll see exactly why I needed to be sure to share her story.
With that, read on for Steph's courage in telling her story in hopes that you too will have the courage to make necessary changes in your life...
I’ve starved. I’ve binged. I’ve hurt my body…but I found gratitude.
At times, I was afraid to eat foods like...almond butter. And I worried if I was overeating my veggies. As any healthy human would tell you, it is impossible to overeat veggies. Veggies and all the micronutrients they have for the human body is beneficial for you. Actually, it’s imperative for you to live. I lacked in protein but I’d binge in carbs. Yes, carbs are my weakness, and my body craved. I felt like a failure with the inability to control myself. My body began to reject the foods that I’d intake with no hesitation. I developed acid reflux and various stomach issues as a result that I continue to face today. I abused laxatives and my mood shuffled constantly. My energy was constantly depleted, and I honestly never wanted to eat out. I quit going out with friends due to FEAR--ANXIETY--POOR BODY IMAGE. I’d spend friday and saturday nights at the gym to avoid my complexity and anxiety. I overtrained and lacked sleep. When I looked in the mirror.. I thought, “Why am I unhappy? I have so much to be thankful for..” Sunken cheeks and collar bones and all I noticed were thick thighs.
When I pick apart my body..
They think it’s attention
When really… I try not to cry
I Need an intervention
I loved the life and began to live it..
It all plays a role
Tragic experiences or one simple word
Takes over my life
Spins out of control
This crazy unbalanced relationship with food turned into an unhealthy obsession. The sad thing? It went unnoticed. I continued to deplete my energy.. my sanity.. my existence..my humanity..but most importantly my health. People thinks it’s just physicality. Really, it’s more than that.. Not only a healthy balance with food but a healthy balance with LIFE--emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. God puts food and people and experiences here to strengthen us, to benefit us and to enjoy. Reassess who you are; reconnect and think deeply. To be “successful” in life, we must be well rounded in all areas of life.
This fit and healthy lifestyle has always been a priority in my personal life. It prevents so many health problems now and later in life. I believe it’s an escape to life’s problems and a way to find joy in keeping moving. Yes, I grew stronger in all areas. I have loved to inspire and educate others, and it has motivated me to do better, set goals and achieve the impossible. It keeps me physically and mentally in check. It eases my anxiety, energizes my soul and keeps me happy. After many mental health issues, it has forced me to become stronger. I exercise physically, mentally, emotionally..I also exercise my faith.
If I could give any advice based on my personal journey and how far I’ve come…
Stop being unhappy with your whole being. You are as perfect as imperfect gets...with every flaw you think you have. Your “flaws” are what make you beautiful. Stop wishing you looked like someone else or wishing people liked you as much as they like someone else. Take care of your mind and your inner body. Stop hating your body--your body is beautiful. Stop hating your face, your personality, your quirks, LOVE THEM. How boring would this world be if we all looked the same? Without those things your wouldn’t be you, and why would you want to be anyone else? Be confident in who you are. SMILE. It’ll draw people in as you radiate positive vibes. You are not defined by your appearance--you are defined by what you set your mind to--your actions. Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filled it with positive thoughts and courage, your life will start to change. Whatever you give power to will have power over you if you allow it. So stop lett ing it, and let go of the negativity surrounding your life. Don’t be unhappy at someone else’s expense. BEING HAPPY IS FREE.
Happiness can be tricky. But happiness is not dependent on things, circumstances, or people. True happiness is not an end goal..it’s a by product. But a by product of what? Imperfect humans can lose appreciation for things in a routine life. Be a reflection of God’s loving concern. Pause and reflect and feel gratitude because happiness is a by-product of gratitude. Yes, life is filled with hardships, challenges, uncertainties.. But during times of crisis we have the most gain by having a grateful perspective. Gratitude doesn’t cure suffering but it has the power to heal. Gratitude doesn’t erase despair but has the power to radiate hope. Gratitude nullifies negativity. Gratitude is more than a feeling--it’s a mindset--it’s a disposition--it’s a choice. When we say choice, we can make a conscience decision to see blessings instead of curses. A grateful spirit will make you more loving, more forgiving, more feeling, more thoughtful. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to God.
Gratitude has the ability to experience life..not as a test but as a gift. We are never more than one grateful thought away from increased peace of mind, and greater peace of heart. Not only does it make us feel good, but gratitude inspires us to do good. Find one thing in your day instead of becoming wrapped up in the misery of your situation. Apologize to your body and be healthy, be you, be balanced and beautiful.
Stephanie Weiss: Instagram @readysteph_go