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Jessica Gerlock Headshot

You Need To Love Yourself

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2016-11-07-1478490015-2583779-huffpost5.jpgJessica Gerlock

To love yourself means that you respect and understand that you are a worthy individual. To love yourself is a deep and spiritual process that may take your entire life to figure out how to do. For me it took about 22 years. I was on a path that I never questioned before.

I believed that you went from public school to high school, then to college/university and then got a job and continued up the ranks in a company. Since grade six I always wanted to be a graphic designer working in the movie industry. I was artsy and I didn't like science or math, so it was an easy choice. I questioned it a few times over the years but I thought the only thing I was good at and enjoyed was digital art, so that is what I was going to do for the rest of my life.

I never took into account that my education/professional life was on track, but that I would be sitting behind a computer 40 hours+ a week, weighing in at around 200 pounds and overly depressed. I never focused on my personal side. My anxiety and my obesity were getting in the way of enjoying my life as a designer. The career I always thought I wanted. It was only till I fully took a step back and analyzed my personal situation that I realized I was unhappy.

When it came to romantic connections with someone else, it was even harder. How could someone love you if you don't love yourself right?

I love myself not just because of the changes in my outer appearance, but I love myself because of the journey and what I learned about myself along the way.

I was always "popular" socially and I had a supportive family, but the hardest part was falling in love. I cared about boys in the past but I never felt loved back. I have been put down by boys that I have cared a lot about so that added to my unhappiness. I took it to heart, brainwashing myself that I am not meant to be loved.

Then I realized that before I can even be loved, I needed to love myself. I was unhappy with my life on this path and I was the only person that could change that.

Working out and having a trainer push you are all about gaining self-confidence and self-respect; two of the main keys to loving yourself

Pushing yourself and trying new things are all part of the weight loss transformation journey. It is all about the journey, never the destination. I now know that I can always work on certain aspects in my life and still continue to love myself. Whether it is trying new workouts or meditating, I will always be developing into a better person.

Nowadays, I look into the mirror and I smile. I look at how much confidence I have built and how amazing my body transformed. I wake up in the mornings happy and go to sleep with a clear mind. I love myself not just because of the changes in my outer appearance, but I love myself because of the journey and what I learned about myself along the way.

I am a strong girl. I am focused and determined to make a difference. I am a different person now. I have lived two lives and this one is here to stay.

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