Making Excuses

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I have thought about posting on here countless occasions over the last year.  I would lay in bed at night ashamed for feeling too vulnerable to share myself with others. For feeling guilty for the amount of time that had lapsed since my last post. The longer the gap went by without me writing, the more excuses I would find not to jump back in.  At first the excuses would be simple like I am just too busy. Which let’s be honest is a fucking lie. We all have the time. If we really wanted to do something we could find 30 minutes to do it. We put down our phones, turn off the TV, and just do it. It’s interesting how we can tell ourselves these little white lies and use them as fuel to make ourselves feel better about failing to step up to the plate.

Then the excuses we use became more elaborate. If I am going to share something it needs to be meaningful or I am dealing with really personal issues and do not have the emotional capacity to share. However isn’t that the whole point of writing a blog? To help others along their journey, to have someone know they are not alone with their thoughts. Being frank and honest is what brought me here in the first place. Why do I now feel like being raw and open is problematic?

Sometimes we need to just make a choice. I can sit here and keep making excuses. I can keep telling myself I will make the time for it next week or I can just do it. The hardest part is taking that first step. We make these expectations for ourselves that we need to be perfect. We get worried about what others are going to think, we worry about being failures, about how hard something will be. We think about all of the reasons why not to do something, but rarely stop to reflect on all of the reasons why we should do something. And I mean really reflect.

Some of us think too much about the future and what does it all mean. If I write today do I need to be ready to write everyday go forward? What if I am vulnerable with people and they don’t accept me. The list goes on. But really we just need to take things one day at a time. We need to just put ourselves out there, not be worried about what others think. Whether it is like myself and yearning to pick back up a hobby, or for others trying to get back to the gym after a long hiatus, or choosing to start eating healthy after all of the indulgences. In reality you just have to take this shit one day at a time. So today, I am not striving for perfection. I am not looking to post anything meaningful or inspirational. I am simply starting again. Sometimes we just need to throw ourselves out there and see what sticks.

So today maybe there is something you have been putting off. You keep telling yourself tomorrow. Well why not right now? We can all choose to wait till tomorrow, next week, or even next month. Or maybe we can all choose to be imperfect together but choose starting. Because everyday we take a step forward towards the person we want to be, that is one step closer to becoming that person.

 

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Reflection After A Week Abroad

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With every new year I always set our goals for myself. I like setting a new year with a new purpose, something to strive for. I find I am one who thrives off of pushing myself. Testing my limits. I am also a believer goals dont wait till just the new year. I will make them throughout the year when I feel like I need a change, motivation, or a purpose. These goals can sometimes be big like getting promoted at work or they can be small like reading a new book a month. Sometimes I achieve my goals, other times I start off strong and then like most start to fall off over a few months. However the one commonality my goals have is I set an intention for what I need in that specific moment in time. Even if I only end up reading 3 new books and then stopping for a few months, I look at it as 3 more books then I might have read had I not made the intention. I dont beat myself up, I move on and set my next goal.

One of the goals I am most proud of achieving in my life is my weight loss. Over four and a half years ago I set out to lose 20lbs. That 20lbs ended up becoming 70lbs. The weight loss part was easy. Once I saw the benefits of my hard start to pay off I became a machine focused on one sole purpose, to become the best version of myself possible. What I didn’t know when I started this simple goal is it would change me forever, in ways I would never imagine. Mostly the change would be good, however like anything there is always a downside as well.

What I never considered is my weight would become an obsession. I guess to be fair I shouldn’t say just my weight, but all aspects of health and fitness. How many miles I could run, how fast I could run them, eating “clean”, practicing constant self restraint, etc. One might think it all stems back into just how I look, but in reality to become so obsessed with a new way of life you have to get a lot more out of it then just aesthetics. For me it is that self worth I would get, the high from feeling good and having more energy. Knowing I could run farther and faster then I did the day before, not being scared to try something active and new, the way I feel after a day of eating healthy. It is all with the sole purpose of finding the best version of me.

Going into this new year I decided to make a new goal for myself. How do I bring down the intensity, learn to find balance, and bring back more of the care free girl I was prior to knowing just how many calories was in everything I consumed. The goal I set out was simple, however the execution is a lot harder then one might think. To most I probably seem the same, just as intense as always.In reality though I have slowly started to make what I consider huge strides for myself.

Although I could spend days writing about the progress I have made, I dont think it would be enjoyable for anyone to read. Lets just say it has taken me months, years really, to get to the place I am at today. What no one tells you when you go to lose weight and keep it off is the mental struggle you will have. For some it is the constant weight loss and re-gain and the feelings associated with that struggle, for others like myself it is learning how to live a normal life without the fear of becoming the old version of yourself.

I am a big believer you have to work hard for what you want in life. No one gets ahead at work without putting in the effort, but that does not mean you have to kill yourself with long days, working every weekend, and never saying no. The same is true for being healthy and fit. I for one have always been able to maintain balance when it comes to certain areas in my life like work and finances for example, two ares I know a lot of people struggle with. If I can balance out here why cant I with food and fitness? My journey is constantly evolving, changing, and I am always learning. Having just spent 10 days on vacation in Greece I am proud of the balance I was able to achieve. To feel a greater sense of freedom mentally is exhilarating. For me it is all just a start to what I hope will be the new version of the old me. The blending of two extremes into what can hopefully be a new and better way of life.

New Year, New Resolution

Image-1It was 4 years ago today I made a change which would end up impacting my life in more ways then I could ever have imagined. It was not a decision I made overnight. I had tried to lose weight here and there, but it took years for me to finally feel ready and committed to make a permanent change. I was 27 at the time and had lived my entire life being unhappy in my own body. A sad, but honest statement.  Once I commit to something I am always fully dedicated, but I am also a believer you need to setup goals that are achievable. I mean no one would expect you to run a marathon after only one week of training, so I looked at weight loss the same way. My New Year’s resolution was to lose just 20 lbs.

I can remember this New Year’s Day so vividly, even though it was 4 years ago. I guess that is how it goes though. When something really memorable happens, you remember the day better. I woke up feeling motivated and ready. I could do this! First thing was first, I had to find out how much I weighed so I knew the weight I needed to achieve. This was probably one of the scariest experiences I can remember with myself. Facing reality and letting go of denial.  I was home for the holidays visiting my parents for Christmas and went up to their bathroom to step onto the scale. I stepped my right foot, then my left. I waited in anticipation as the number calculated. Then it appeared, 185lbs. I could not believe what I saw. However instead of letting this spin me into a dark depressed place, I used it as fuel for my fire. I could get to 165 lbs. I WOULD get to 165lbs.

I don’t remember exactly on how I found My Fitness Pal, but I did. I entered my weight, and my goal. It told me I needed to eat 1,200 calories a day to lose 2 lbs a week. Ok, I could do that. I went to lunch with my best friend Kristen that day. I had to look up the menu of the restaurant before I left to start looking up calories in order to know what I could eat. Wow, a lot of what I typically ate was REALLY high in calories. I had no idea. This was going to be a change for sure I remember thinking. I finally decided on soup as a good lower calorie option. I ended up ordering the French Onion soup with a side of fruit instead of my usual bread.

Kristen and I had been friends since growing up and she was already very avid about health and fitness. It was easy to talk to her about my new plan. She was very supportive and said she would encourage me every step of the way. Throughout the last 4 years Kristen has been my strength, my crutch, and my confidant to get me through the tough days. I suggest anyone starting a big change find someone who can be your support. It is not easy making big changes and you need someone who you can talk to that understands what you are going through. Kristen has almost been like a sponsor at times. When I feel like I can just not live another healthy day or when I want to give up I reach out to her. She knows how to calm the storm per say.

That night my parents and I had dinner together before I left to come home to San Francisco. I ordered half a french dip sandwich with a side salad. I felt satisfied and still a little hungry. A feeling I would learn to soon become very familiar with over the next few months. I remember how supportive my parents were about my new goal. I mean they had been the ones to encourage me and give me the honest truth when no one else would. I have to say I could never have done it without their push, love, and support. Once I had bordered the plane I looked out the window and could feel a change in me.  This time would be different.

So why am I telling this story today. Well I want to remind other’s that New Year’s Resolutions do not always have to be goals that we make and never fulfill. I am proof that you can make a goal, stick to it, and actually make a change. There is nothing wrong with starting with a small goal and working your way up. When I decided to lose 20 lbs I had no idea I would actually end up losing 70 lbs. If I had started with a goal to lose 70 lbs it might have been to daunting and I could have easily gotten discouraged and given up. Setting a smaller goal and meeting it drove me to keep going. After I met one goal I would set a new one. Once I met that one I would be so encouraged I would set another one. Next thing I knew I had lost 70 lbs. I do the same thing now. For example I will set a goal at the gym to just run 5 miles. Next thing I know I have ran 8 or 10. However if I told myself I was going to run 10 miles that morning I might have talked myself out of going.

Changing yourself is hard. When you make a big change you have to know you can never go back to where you were. I can never eat or be lazy like I did before I lost the weight. However now knowing what I know, there is no way I would want to go back there. Health and Fitness is about so much more then how you look. If that is all it was then it would be hard for most people to keep at it. Being healthy is about feeling good, having energy to do the things you love, and making the times you indulge that much better.  Deciding to make a change is the first step. Once that is done you just have to just trust what you will getting from the change will end up being so much better then what you are giving up. Trust me on that 🙂