Making an Effort Every Day
Looking good, feeling good, and living well—three things that may simple, but take enough effort to consume your life. Eating healthy and often, working out, washing your face, brushing your teeth, drinking water, AND the biannual medical obligations like STI testing and the dentist are just a few components that hide within those three categories. And that’s not counting taxes, bills, or going to work so you can afford those bills. How do people do it all without getting fired or going insane? (Don’t think I have an answer, because I’m actually asking. How do you do it?)
Being in your early twenties is both exciting and a lot of pressure. You’ve made it through the long, grueling, and highly regimented first fourth of your life. But now that your diploma is nice and framed, you’re free to make your own decisions. All of them. There’s no more breaks, no more guaranteed vacations, just pure, unadulterated adult responsibility.
The idea of being “the best me I could be” is thrilling, and to be honest, I look really good in my head. But the reality is that hot, in-shape, financially stable lady I’ve created in my head is months, maybe years away. Accepting this has been the most helpful thing I could do, because the slump of sudden freedom can be soul-crushing. Moving back home has made me realize I’m kind of a slob. My room is a mess and I don’t eat very well. I haven’t worked out in two years, apart from the one-off exercise I’ll do every few months and forget about the next day. It’s just so easy to let everything slip because keeping it up is tiring as hell.
Life is hard, and living a good life is even harder. But it’s worth it. It has to be, or no one would be encouraging you to live that way. We are creatures of habit, and we’ve been lazy our entire lives because we had someone else picking up the slack. Now that it’s up to us, we have to make better habits. It’s going to be hard, especially in the beginning, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Start small and build up little by little over time. Working out is hell the first two weeks, but after awhile it feels wrong to go without it. Same goes for brushing your teeth, washing your face, drinking water - basically anything good. Your body craves healthy habits, and if you just keep your head down and stay dedicated to living better, it’ll stop being something you have to do and start being something you want to do.
The passage of time is going to make you slower, rounder, and a little stiffer, but this is the time to give yourself a head start. Your twenties are supposed to be the time where you look and feel your best - so if you already feel like a lump, imagine what it’s going to be like after three kids and a full time job.