People go about self discovery in different ways; some travel the world to find themselves, and others get involved in fitness. For Mark Ludlow, losing 140 pounds dramatically changed his life. Through the uphill battle of losing weight, he ended up discovering his true potential and creating a new life for himself. Not only did working out improve his physical health – it also helped his emotional and mental health.

“I feel like I can live the life that I should have always lived, and be the person that I should have always been.”

Mark starts a journey of self discovery

Mark started his journey weighing around 330 pounds and says he had poor health at the time. He felt out of breath simply going up and down stairs and couldn’t run properly or for very long. He says it felt “physically debilitating” to experience being so overweight, and he wanted to make a change.

His weight didn’t just affect his physical health, either; he also had struggles with relationships and his job at the time.

“I was in a situation where I was in a relationship, but that finished. I couldn’t hold down my job because I was so insecure and I had such little confidence and self-esteem. So, I got sacked from another job,” Mark says. “I felt sorry for myself for about a month. I felt depressed, and then I just said to myself ‘Do you know what Mark? That’s it! No more! You’ve got to change now.’”

However, Mark didn’t want to just change his appearance. He’d done that before, but the problem just kept coming back, so he decided to dig a little deeper. He did some serious self discovery so he could heal from the inside out and finally become free.

The road to self discovery starts within you

“Rather than just doing another diet and doing a whole lot of exercise, I decided that I was going to get to the root of the problem,” Mark said. “I went on basically a journey of self discovery to understand myself better.”

Mark knew that if he wanted to keep the weight off for good, he couldn’t just focus on his appearance. This time, he worked on his mental health issues that kept him in a cycle of self-sabotage. For him, self discovery meant getting to the heart of the issues so they wouldn’t keep showing up in his life.

“I had to face these demons head on. I’m so glad that I did. It was the best decision I’ve ever made,” Mark said.

In order to keep himself motivated throughout his journey, he utilized a trick he calls “ideal visions.” Basically, this involved imagining himself acting and looking like his ideal self in future situations. He envisioned what life would look like for him once he dealt with his mental health issues and lost weight.

“I imagined what it would be like to be able to go into a social situation and not feel completely anxious, and be able to look people in the eye, to feel confident enough just to go talk to a group of people that I didn’t know and not feel worried.”

He went even further than envisioning how confident and worry-free he would become. He also imagined himself in his ideal career, feeling happy and fulfilled. Then, he imagined what it would feel like to meet his life partner and start a family of his own. Basically, he envisioned what he wanted his life to look like, and took steps to achieve it.

Mark’s advice for achieving your dreams and changing your life

With the power of positive thinking coupled with dedicated action, he totally transformed his life. He now enjoys a fulfilling career as a fitness coach, teaching people how to achieve their wildest dreams. And he doesn’t focus just on physical health, either; he tells his clients to go on a complete journey of self discovery. A new body won’t fix underlying mental or emotional issues, so he stresses the importance of focusing on overall health.

“The best advice that I could give to people that want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle is to understand your “why,” Mark says. “It’s to understand who you are as a person to increase your levels of self-awareness.”

When you know yourself at the core, and work on any insecurities or doubts, you can move forward. To heal yourself, it requires complete honesty and transparency. Many people shy away from confronting their inner demons because they fear what they may find. However, the sooner you can uproot the problem, the more your life will improve in all areas. The trapped emotions within us can affect our daily decisions, the way we view ourselves, and literally everything else.

When you clear away all of the inner turmoil, you can start to see life through a more positive lens. Opportunities will just start appearing for you when it seemed like you saw only obstacles before. The right people will enter your life, and things and people that no longer serve you will fall away. So, weight loss is only a side effect of digging deep and going on a complete self discovery journey.

“Weight loss is simple. To achieve weight loss you have to consistently achieve a caloric deficit. The science is simple. The hard part is trying to find a way of doing that that suits you as a specific individual,” Mark says. “Once you have awareness, awareness is power. Then once you’ve got that, you could make the best life decisions for yourself, and when you’ve got that, the rest is straightforward as far as I’m concerned.”

Final thoughts: get to the heart of the problem, and everything else will fall into place

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight or achieve any goal in life, you may need to look within yourself. As Mark tells us in his inspirational story, your whole life can change if you get to know yourself at a deeper level. By confronting any inner demons and putting them to rest, you can finally feel at peace with yourself. Therefore, you’ll start attracting better opportunities as your energy and outlook on life improve.