With the most recent passing of Kobe Bryant, I find myself thinking about his Mamba Mentality. The work ethic of pushing yourself harder than everyone in the room. Working when everyone is still sleeping and putting in the work to better yourself every day. I realize that the only way for me to truly be the best version of me is to push myself past my comfort zone.
For about four years following my separation and divorce, I lived in this fog where depression and emotional eating took over my life. The pain of knowing that I lost someone whom I figured I would spend the rest of my life with literally eating at me daily. I became extremely depressed and found myself eating emotionally to cope with the pain. Instead of feeling better, I felt worse and that worse feeling only left me feeling even worse which lead to more eating. It was a cycle that I couldn’t seem to get out of.
Last year, something clicked and I knew that I had to make a change in my life. I truly didn’t know what that change was, but I knew I needed to start somewhere. So, I got a gym membership and started walking on the treadmill daily. It was hard. I was overweight, could hardly last 15 minutes without stopping and barely catching my breath, but I kept going.
Working out slowly became my release and what I needed to help get me through the pain that I was feeling. I felt as though I lost in life when I got divorced, but now I know that I needed to go through this situation in order to grow and learn some important lessons.
One of those lessons that I had to learn was “I am the best version of me”. It took a while to get there but once I got this lesson it became very clear that in order to truly be the best version of me, I had to become better every day. I’m on a constant quest to better myself.
There are a few things that are important for me daily to stay focused on this constant quest for betterment.
Simply Show Up
Showing up in life is half the battle. When I was deep in my depression, it was difficult to show up, but I worked through the pain and tried to be present in my life every day. I wasn’t happy every day but showing up allowed me to see that there was light at the end of the tunnel and I had to keep showing up in order to get to that light.
Start at the beginning
This was a hard one for me because all I wanted was to be out of my depression and to not feel so bad every time I put food in the mouth. Starting at the gym and just simply walking was such a small step, but also one of the biggest steps now that I look back on it. But it was taking that small step and starting at the beginning that allowed me to get to the place where I am now. Whatever it is you want to do, but may seem a little scary, just start at the beginning with small steps.
Exercising not only benefited my body, but it truly helped with my mental and emotional state. When you are able to push yourself past your limits in the gym, it gives you the boost of confidence you need in your everyday life. I speak up for myself more than I have before and I know what’s important to me, so I make decisions based on my purpose and not everyone’s purpose for my life. I also workout in the morning which helps to give me energy for the day and helps to lower my stress level. A great habit to start.
In the morning, I like to take a moment before I get my day started and just be thankful for the blessings in my life. I usually wake up to two dogs taking up most of my bed, but I love their companionship. I can hear my mom in the house, making coffee in the kitchen and I’m grateful that things worked out that during my separation, she moved in because I don’t know if I could have handled everything without her. Taking a moment just to say thank you, for my family, my home, my friends and for my health brings me closer to God because I know that none of this is promised and everyone and everything in my life has shaped me into the best version of me.
It can be very easy to think that you are not in your “The Best Version of Me” season, but it’s really about you making a decision every day that brings you closer. If you’re waiting for a special moment or for something to happen, you will be stuck in the current version of yourself that you may feel needs improvement. If you are not willing to put in the work, then how can the best version of you emerge?
So, if you’re ready to make changes in your life, start with a simple step forward and keep the momentum going.