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It Wasn’t Always Rainbows and Dumbbells

Read to find out how I maintain a healthy mind, body, and soul.

By Emily Samuel Published about a year ago Updated about a year ago 4 min read
Top Story - April 2023

The Emily I am now is not the Emily I have always been. I’ve come a long way. The Emily I am now is the result of a long and painful journey of personal growth and self-discovery. I hope my words will empower you to whole-heartedly believe that you can overcome your pain and live a successful life.

Here's My Story

After struggling with an eating disorder for years, my health nearly hit rock bottom when I was in college. I had no choice but to drop out.

It was a downward spiral that eventually landed me in legal trouble and court-mandated rehab. The year I spent in rehab proved to be a life-changing experience. It was there that I rediscovered my love for art, and where I started working out.

While exercising, I had a taste of a feeling that, at the time, felt so foreign to me that I couldn’t quite name it. Now, I can name the feeling: happiness.

Discovering fitness, and the enchanting emotions it sparked within, was the catalyst for my journey to self love.

The Journey Begins

When I first started on this adventure towards a healthier lifestyle, I knew that I needed to make some serious changes in my life. My body image issues had caused me to spiral into a cycle of self-hate and self-destructive behaviors. Every time I looked in the mirror, I would see a distorted image of myself - a disgusting, unrecognizable, fat person. But in reality, I was so skinny that the word ‘skinny’ does not even cut it. I was emaciated, with little to no muscle mass and a frail frame that lacked vitality and substance. I had to take action to change this, and so I embarked on a journey towards physical and emotional healing. It was not easy, but I learned to love and care for my body in ways that I never had before.

Through a combination of healthy eating, regular exercise, and self-care practices, I was able to transform my body and my mindset. I began to see myself in a more positive light, recognizing the strength and beauty that lay within me. I learned to treat myself with kindness and compassion. I learned to let go of the negative self-talk that had been holding me back for so long.

Strategies & Practices

One of the tools that's been incredibly helpful for me is the Five Minute Journal. This simple journaling practice allows me to reflect on my day and express gratitude for the positive things in my life. It helps me to focus on the present moment and appreciate the little things that make life worth living.

In addition to the Five Minute Journal, meditation has also been a powerful tool for me in my self-care journey. Taking just a few minutes each day to sit and breathe has helped me to reduce stress and anxiety, and has given me a greater sense of clarity and focus. It feels super weird at first, but sticking with it is key. Eventually, it feels like a lullaby.

Prioritizing Me

Self-care isn't just about journaling or gratitude – it's also about setting boundaries and taking care of yourself in a way that feels true to you. For me, this means prioritizing my mental health and taking time for myself each day. It means saying no when I need to, and taking time to do the things that make me feel good.

I also make sure to prioritize my physical health, too. As a fitness instructor, I know the importance of regular exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet. But I also know that it's important to listen to my body and give myself rest when I need it. This means taking a day off from the gym when I'm feeling run down, or indulging in a slice of pizza once in a while without feeling guilty about it afterward.

Ultimately, self-care is about taking care of my mind, body, and soul. It's about being kind to myself and recognizing that I deserve to feel good. While it has been a trip with ups and downs, it's one that's absolutely worth it. I still have days where I find myself thinking negatively, and I have to remind myself how to deal with those kinds of thoughts. It’s a work in progress and always will be. It’s a project I will dedicate myself to as long as I am breathing.

Emily; 2023

I used to hate mirrors. Mirrors didn't show me what I looked like. In my eyes, mirrors showed me how I felt, and I felt like trash.

…but I'm a different person now.

Now, when I look in the mirror, I see and feel love.

Below is a message to my new readers and loyal followers:

I hope my words will empower you to not only believe, but to truly understand that no matter how difficult life may seem at times, there are always opportunities to grow, learn, and overcome adversity.

Pain is a natural part of the human experience and it can serve as a catalyst for personal growth and development. By embracing your struggles and facing them head-on, you can develop the resilience and strength needed to lead a successful and fulfilling life. Remember that you are capable of achieving great things and that with perseverance and a positive mindset, anything is possible.



self helphealinghappiness

About the Creator

Emily Samuel

Entrepreneur ✨

Fitness Instructor @emilyy_fitness 💪🏻

Owner of @travelwellclub.inc ✈️

Download my fitness app 🏃🏼‍♀️

Founding female trainer of Dogpound NYC, now training clients independently across the world 🌎

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (17)

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  • Meg4 months ago

    This is such an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing

  • Justine Crowley7 months ago

    Thanks Emily. Pain is part of life and transformation. Sorry to know about you dropping out of college initially. Meditation, setting healthy boundaries, gratitude, and movement are right up there in my self love toolkit as well.

  • Mark Graham11 months ago

    Good work, you could become a health and wellness coach if that would be good for you.

  • Danielle Deutschabout a year ago

    Interesting you were actually skinny and called yourself "fat" where I still have belly fat but I'm learning it's not the size that matters - it's can you move well through your joints that is more important. The weight will come off eventually as we figure out how to move smarter and for me that isn't running marathons (I've run six before) or doing thousands of squats when my ankle is limited and can barely do one. Just today have I started to feel confidence about overcoming ankle limitations that prevent basic movements right now.

  • Peter Fobiabout a year ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I'm truly touched by your honesty and bravery in opening up about such a personal experience. Your story has really resonated with me and I want you to know that I admire your strength and resilience. Your willingness to share your journey has not only helped me understand your perspective better but has also inspired me to be more open and honest in my own life. Your story is a powerful reminder that we all have struggles and challenges, but we also have the capacity to overcome them. Thank you again for sharing and for being such an incredible source of inspiration."

  • Sadhon Chiranabout a year ago

    Excellent & Congratulation on your Top Amazing Story. I like very much it.

  • Martha Ballabout a year ago

    This was such a beautiful read, thank you for inviting us to learn about such a personal journey. I especially love the poem at the end!

  • Saad Younus777about a year ago


  • Very well-written, positive & uplifting. I just don't know whether I have the energy or will left to do that anymore. I used to, but not right now. I will, however, subscribe & see whether it helps or just makes me feel worse. I wish you the best. Congrats on top story.

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a year ago

    Very personal and honest narrative! Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on top story ❤️

  • top7best7about a year ago

    Will and patience are the key to success

  • Muhammad Aliabout a year ago

    Wow, Emily's story is truly inspiring! your journey towards self-love and physical health is a testament to the power of perseverance and self-care. It's amazing to see how you turned your life around after hitting rock bottom. your dedication to fitness as a fitness instructor is also commendable. Emily's story is a reminder that with hard work and self-love, anything is possible!

  • Congratulations on your Top Story❤️😉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Nice Storytelling ❤️😉✨👍

  • JBazabout a year ago

    You proved that the greatest strength we have is within yourself. Congratulations

  • Kimabout a year ago

    You're a rock star.

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