My Personal Journey to Creating a Lifestyle Change

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My personal journey to creating a lifestyle change

By Shanavia Bates

When I decided to do this whole “lifestyle change” thing, it was completely for the wrong reasons. I was trying to incorporate better habits, meditate, workout, make myself pray to God, and change some of my bad habits into better ones because I saw somebody else doing it. It was, honestly, putting me into a depressed state of mind. It wasn't until I truly re-evaluated myself, during a new season of my life, that I was able to understand what made me happy and what worked for my mind, body, and soul.

Personally, I had to realize that I always have to have a meaningful reason for why I do things in my life. One of the most important reasons that I have come to find has the most influence on my decision to make a lifestyle change was MYSELF. I have learned that if I do not make the changes in my life for me, they will not have an benefit to my life in the long run.

I knew I needed to start eating better and exercising at least 3x a week for the sake of my health and weight. None of this importance in health truly hit me until late May of last year when my dad had a heart attack. When it happened, I was scared. I ultimately didn't want to end up having similar health complications in my 50s or 60s, or even now. So, now I'm on a health journey to lose up to a 100 pounds, cook daily, and workout at least 3x a week.

Meditating has never really worked for me, then again, I could’ve been doing it wrong. I couldn't see myself doing it every day. When in meditation, I found the practice to be so boring that I was actually falling asleep. I found myself only being able to really do it when at church and I feeling the Holy Spirit. So, I stopped forcing myself to meditate and embraced the notion to do so when I’m in the mood.

Praying to God is no problem for me. I just find it a problem when I'm forcing myself to come up with things to pray to Him because I was trying to pray daily for 10 minutes. I was not allowing myself to feel moved in my prayer life. Instead, I was repeating things and I found myself complaining. Now, I have a goal in my prayers. I make sure that I don't complain and not self-centered when I'm praying.

As for the other habits that I needed to improve on, such as regularly reading my Bible and journaling were habits that I needed to allow to come naturally. I had to build on those things to make them a part of my every day routine. It was not something that I could truly force. I'm now at a place where I'm reading a verse a day or a devotional. I've learned that my journaling comes from writing my captions under my Instagram posts or expressing myself through writing even if it's just for the blog. It helps me unwind, and still inspire others.

I say all this to say, other people’s lifestyles do not matter when you're trying to work on your own. You'll only find yourself unhappy, and living an unhealthy life because of how you think you should be doing things. Take the time to truly live in the moment, take things one day at a time, and allow God to use you in the ways that He sees fit.