The Importance of Showing Up
By: Brittany Horchner
Trigger Warning: Body Image
There are many times in life where we wish things would come easy. Some people wish they could get up the first time their alarms go off. Some people would like to eat healthy all the time. Some people wish being successful came easy. Some wish exercising and losing weight would be easy. There is something that we all wish would come easy, especially in a technology-driven culture where we see the best of everyone else. It is important to realize when we see people’s social media status, that we are only seeing what they want us to see. If I were to take a guess, they are struggling behind closed doors with something too.
Growing up, I have struggled with how I look. In my late elementary years, I started gaining weight. Some of it was due to my asthma medication and the rest of it was due to unhealthy eating habits. Throughout those years of my life, I was very active in sports, but yet the foods I was eating were not helping me out.
Flash forward to junior year of high school where I missed many days of school due to stomach pain. Late in the year I found out that I could have an autoimmune issue that has been contributing to my pain. During that time, I had to go without fried foods for a set period of time, which was extremely hard. After some testing, I found out that I have irritable bowel syndrome. The diagnosis led me to watch the foods I ate, but I did not choose to eat healthier. Somehow without changing too much of my diet, I learned to navigate my IBS in college. I do not advise others to go down the same path as me. When I was first diagnosed with IBS, I should have used that time to evaluate my lifestyle habits and make changes. At times, I tried and nothing worked. I discovered in college that I leaned on food as a comfort.
My last two semesters of college were very stressful. Rather than truly deal with the stress, I chose to let myself eat my stress away and be consumed with anxiety. Even after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I chose the same approach when I was dealing with a lot of stress and depleted mentally from a job.
In recent years, I have learned the importance of discipline and showing up for yourself. Before you can properly love others, one must first love themselves. That is why one of So Worth Loving’s slogans is ‘Love You Love People’. In terms of discipline, many people will beat themselves up when they fail. Trust me, I know how it feels as I have done this too. I have made commitments to myself that I will work out a certain number of days and avoid eating certain things, then I have fallen short of my goals. I have learned to not be so hard on myself. I am not saying that I have fully accepted my body as is, but I am learning the importance of loving yourself right now, while working to accomplish a goal.
Hannah Brencher writes in her book Fighting Forward, “It’s not because the promise was bad –whether it was to eat healthier or write the book or go back to school. Sometimes the promise is just too unrealistic for where you’re currently at. It must be broken up into bits. And the first bit is always showing up.”
That’s the lesson I learned. Disciplines are important, but sometimes what we want to accomplish at the moment is too big. Do not get defeated if you feel that way, but choose to show up instead. For me, that’s looked like adding supplements into my daily life to help me get nutrition that I will not eat otherwise. For me, it has looked like waking up early and going to the gym three days a week. It does not mean my weight will drop off quickly, but remaining disciplined even when I am not getting the results I want is important.
What is the discipline that you need to show up for even when you don’t feel like it?