For years, I have struggled with my lifestyle – food, exercise, body image, appearance, style, the list goes on forever. For the entirety of my young life, I’ve struggled in a relationship with food where I loved food, but it didn’t love me back. It gave me thicker thighs, a belly I never wanted and arms I never wanted shown to the outside world.

Then one day, Jan. 1, 2016, all of that changed.

I know what you’re thinking, “Oh wow, another ‘I made an NYE resolution and actually kept it’ story.”

Well, that would be where you’re wrong.

No resolutions, just goals. I made a long list of goals, ranging from doing more of what I love to producing less waste and the largest goal of all, getting fit.

I had never felt so ready to face this fear of body image and change than I had in my entire life. I wanted to alter aspects of my lifestyle, so I would be happier with my physical appearance, my active life and my eating habits.

But after a week of just thinking of diets and protein shakes and 15-pound dumbbells, I came to a realization.

This is a lifestyle change, a complete overhaul of who I am.

What I eat, drink, do and wear on a daily basis would change for the rest of my life, and I was completely OK with that. Not to say this was or is easy at all; every day is a serious struggle, and I am always facing different things.

When I’m at my job at a bakery, I grapple with eating habits and my terrible sweet tooth.

When I’m at the gym, I grapple with the ever-ominous squat rack and cardio.

When I’m shopping, I grapple with body positivity and physical awareness.

Every day is something to face with open arms – a new challenge, a new recipe to try, a new workout routine, a new way to love myself differently, a new day for me to appreciate something new about myself.

Making a lifestyle change is definitely not easy. Anyone who says it is is absolutely lying through their teeth, but every day you live in this lifestyle change is a positive one, and it’s completely worth all the struggles.

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