Self love started for me with one decision: To cut drinking alcohol out of my life. I had known for years that my drinking habits were holding me back, keeping me numb, limiting my potential, hurting relationships, and, eventually, might lead to more destructive results in my life.

That doesn’t mean that decision is the one that everyone needs to make. It was right for me, but I think it looks different for different people. However, I think anyone that feels stuck has something similar they could give up or change. Whether that’s a substance, person, thing, attitude, or something else entirely. Once I gave up the big thing I knew was looming over me, the other healthy choices started to fall in line.

Next came focusing on my health. At about 2 months sober, I was 260 pounds. At my height, that is overweight. So, I stopped drinking sodas and all foods that are high in sugar. I also increased the amount of water that I was drinking every day. Then came adding in exercise. I started out in a small way, just 10-15 minutes a day of home workouts. Easy stuff, like:

  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Jumping Jacks

Within a month, that was not enough for me. I started hitting the gym 3-4 times a week doing a 60-90 minute routine that included aerobic and strength training. I followed this routine for about 3 months and ended up losing 60 pounds. I’m now at around 190 pounds.

At about this time, I also met my girlfriend. I don’t think I would have been ready to date her though at all had I not taken those steps initially to learn what self love actually means.And I wouldn’t have been able to fall in love with her, and give her love, had I not had a real idea of how to give myself love first.

This is not an attempt to shower myself with praise. It’s more to show that “self-love” isn’t just some magical and spiritual journey or hippy dippy term. It’s the act of taking practical steps toward becoming a healthy human, and it’s a way of life.