This past weekend I took a midday break to go to the gym. With the rain behind us and the sun shining, I felt more energized than I have in months. When I worked out, I did something that I don’t usually do. I exercised without listening to my music. Yes, I know that is shocking. How often are you in the gym and everyone is myopically focused and unaware of people around them? ALWAYS!

It was a very different experience feeling the impact of the sights and sounds of the weights clashing and people breathing heavily as they pushed themselves. While picking up one of the weights from the stack, a woman in her mid-thirties asked if I could advise her on an exercise. She explained that she had just gotten back in to the gym after focusing on being a mom for a while (her daughter is five years old). After all this time, she realized that she had sacrificed herself for her family and needed to do something about it. What she described to me is a story I have heard many, many times…even in my own head. She brought to light the fact that everyone else comes before her, including her health, peace of mind, and her self-confidence.

Throughout the workout, she complained about the shape she was in and regretted that she had let herself go. I kept telling her that she had taken the first and most difficult step already. She recognized the need to change the paradigm and could no longer put herself last. The look of frustration on her face changed to one of acceptance, and I even caught her smiling in the mirror a few times.

Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you are selfish, uncaring, a bad mother, or a bad wife. It means you appreciate that you are worthy and will be an even better mother, wife, and human because you take care of you. You are worthy. You matter. You can write your own story and change the ending.

Live a life with magic and the miracles will follow.