I’m Glad I’m a Grown-Up: February’s Last Thought

I loved college.  I grabbed a hold of that experience, held on and wrung out every bit of fun that was possible for years – including summer sessions.  Even better than college was AFTER college.  After a year of living for the weekend (and going back to college) on a small island, I spent 5 years living in Maine’s largest city, being a bar district regular, and reigning as the Princess of Portland.

I physically moved on.  I ended up living in a couple large cities, and I’ve had a fun time in my 30s. I didn’t rip it up like the 20s, but it was pretty great. Sure, my alcohol tolerance isn’t what it was, my feet couldn’t take a whole night of dancing, and I called a cab instead of walking home.  My husband has told me, repeatedly, that I’m living in the past, too obsessed with college and my 20s.

I admit, I still keep in touch with friends I’ve had from those times.  We have more than enough #tbt dirt on each other.  Unfortunately we’ve also bonded over the loss of some of our mutual friends – taken from us much too young.  I go home usually once a year to see my parents.  My trips end up including visits with friends and my favorite places.  I like to watch what some people think of as “teen” shows.  But, honestly, either I watch because I like the actors playing the parents, or it’s about vampires.

Not bad.

Not bad.

It doesn’t hurt that I still can pass for being in my 20s.  I love getting carded.  I feel better than I did when I was in my 20s.  I’ve mastered dressing better and I’ve rehabbed the mistakes I made in over plucking my eyebrows.  I have some really awesome jewelry now including 3 wedding rings.

After a conversation on Twitter with a friend from college I came to the realization that without seeing it happen – I grew up. Despite my husband’s protests, my love of 90s music, and the fact that I get off the airplane in Portland and go straight to Margaritas – I’m a grown up and I’m okay with it.

I don’t miss the craziness and uncertainty of that time in my life.  I’m glad I no longer am drawn to drama.  I’m happy with who I am.  I like things about myself, even when I’m striving to improve them.  I have advice to offer women younger than me, because there is a lot of thing I wish I had know when I was in that spot.  I don’t envy the young anymore, I just want to see them have an awesome life and enjoy themselves as much as I do.

It doesn’t bother me that my doctor, hair stylist and boss are younger than me.  I don’t view age as a peg of authority anymore, I now see it as expertise and accomplishment – and we aren’t all going to have the same at any age.

I looked up to women my current age when I was in my 20s as surrogate big sisters and I hope others do the same with me now.  But I dreaded getting older and growing up even if it made me like those women.  I didn’t want to get boring!

I’m not boring.  I love my life and every experience I’ve had.  I’m looking forward to the ones I’m going to have.  I might end up with gray hairs and some wrinkles, but it’s going to be okay when it happens.

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5 Reasons Why 21 Day Fix is Awesome

Last year Beachbody released the 21 Day Fix and all hell broke loose.  People, mostly women, all over the country were losing their minds over tupperware.  The backorder was CRAZY.  I admit that I didn’t jump on the 21 Day Fix train until I went to a live event and worked out with Autumn Calabrese, the trainer behind the 21 Day Fix.  I loved the workout and her energy was incredible.  I was a fan ever since.

I half assed did the meal plan for a couple of days, and concentrated on doing the entire workout program – which I finished.  It was fun!

Last month I committed to 21 days of eating by Autumn’s rules.  The eating plan was a success and I lost 6 lb in a month without doing anything crazy.  This is what I learned:

1. Whatever you thought of your “healthy” diet – you were wrong.

I thought I ate pretty healthy.  I mean, I knew there was room for improvement, but surely it wasn’t that bad, right?  Well, when you really get down to the nitty gritty, it’s surprising to see how many pitfalls you have.  My biggest lesson is I don’t eat enough vegetables.  Seriously, I had such a hard time getting them all in.  I was putting spinach in eggs and smoothies by the end of it.  Hiding zucchini in my meals was not inspired – it was necessary.  My old stand by of roasted cauliflower was good and all, but it wasn’t enough.

2. There’s a difference between eating less and eating right.

The “yellow” containers were more or less carbs.  My previous wins on the food frontier usually involved watching my carbohydrates.  It more or less works for me.  This isn’t a PSA about low carb.  Yellow containers can be anything from sweet potato, beans, grains, to bread.  There is definitely a difference in quality here.  I get way more satisfaction and benefit from eating the more nutritional yellows, but knowing the option for something else was helpful.

I ended up eating a whole lot, much more than I imagined, but because my portions of each food type were in check, I felt great.  I didn’t feel awful and starved all that much.  (I just have to admit that I had one night where I screamed for ice cream.) I didn’t feel like I had restricted myself terribly or that I was missing out.  It was just that I had to eat different stuff than I was used to.

3. A diet that lets you have wine?!?!

Oh yes.  That yellow container? A couple times a week you can swap it out for a glass of wine.  In my January round I had a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon out with a friend and it felt awesome to know I was having a drink but I was also staying on track and in plan.  It wasn’t a cheat, it was just a treat.  And my other work had been so on-point that I knew this was something I could do for myself.  I enjoyed it SO MUCH, and savored every single drop.

4. There’s a workout called the Dirty 30.

The workouts are really fun.  The variety is awesome.  Maybe I am not the biggest fan on Pilates, but once a week, I can do the Pilates Fix and be okay with it.  I knew Autumn was my spirit-trainer when she kept yelling at the DJ to TURN IT UP when I attended the live event.  She brings that energy and care in to each of her workouts.

They are fun, and the build on each other.  And with only 30 minutes, she makes you bring your A game but gives you the precious seconds you need to recover after pushing yourself to the limit.  She organizes them in to rounds and this makes it easy to understand what’s coming next and what you have left to do in the workout for the day.

Cardio, flexibility, resistance, body weight – it’s all there and it’s all enjoyable.

5. You can do anything for 21 days.  And if that’s not enough, you can do another 21 days or go EXTREME!

My biggest obstacle with any eating plan or long term athletic goal is I know that life happens and it puts me in odds with my achiever inner self.  I want to do everything right.  But, there are bad days.  And there are events.  And it’s really easy for me to throw in the towel.  So when there is a long program or say, I imagine life without ice cream – I panic.  And if I actually do get started, I’ll sabotage myself along the way.

The reason the Whole30 and the 21 Day Fix worked for me is I know that I can pull it together and give a good effort for a fixed period of time.  And if there is a light at the end of that tunnel – even better.  In 21 days that pint of ice cream will be there.  I know that I might change in that 21 day period and I might not want the ice cream.  That’s okay.  But I’m not telling myself I can’t ever have it again, because that’s just going to send me right out to the store.  When I look back on what I’ve achieved in the time frame, I’m always amazed.  I thought I was the ultimate badass for completing a Whole30.  I’m so proud of my losses from the 21 Day Fix. That gives me the confidence to do it again.

Speaking of doing it again – that’s the best part.  You can turn around and do another 21 Day Fix after you finish one, or you can do what I did and give yourself a weekend off, and start again.

Now Autumn’s released the 21 Day Fix Extreme in case you want more of a challenge.  The eating plan is based on the same principles, but with less leeway for extra treats (wine) and more of a focus on fine tuning results.  The workouts are also dialed up.  Whereas 21 Day Fix was for beginners, 21 Day Fix Extreme is for people looking to blast through their expectations.  I have no doubt I’ll try it at some point, but I’m not sure I’m ready yet!

If anything I’ve said here interests YOU, please feel free to reach out to me through the blog, find me on Facebook, or let me be your FREE coach!

21days

 

Digging out of the hole.

I’ve had a pretty rough couple of weeks.  I’ve mentally felt pretty damn terrible.  It isn’t the way I normally feel nowadays, so it was very strange.  But, it kicked me hard and it felt nearly impossible to get out of.

Climbershandholding

There are reasons for sure. I had a few arguments with my partner.  I was frustrated that the large goals I had set for myself and my business weren’t really working out.  I had no momentum going. I am in month 4 of being off the Pill. I had finished up 21 days of restrictive eating.  I wasn’t getting shit done, and I knew it. I had taken a long, harsh look at some things that are very important in my life and I entertained the thoughts that they may not be what I had thought they were.

I have dysthymia.  I was probably born with it.  I live with it everyday.  Basically, dysthymia is chronic depression.  My normal state is like Eeyore, I guess you could say. I cultivate a very careful positive bubble around myself to protect me.  Sometimes that bubble is a little Pollyannaish.  Sometimes that works, and some times it doesn’t.  Instead of denying, I let myself feel a little bit of the sting.  It sucked me down a little bit.

This is what I learned this time around: I was in a hole.  There actually is no getting out of the hole that is dysthymia.  I’m going to have to live with this for the rest of my life. I’m always going to climbing, I’ll probably never see the real top. The measures I take to dig out are important.  I will always have to be the one climbing.  I can use tools, like medication, therapy, positivity, environment to make things a little better.  But these won’t be solutions, just safety measures in case I start to fall.  I won’t fall as far.  I can have as many safety lines as possible, but I’ll always be doing the work.

So, this is also an apology for the people I picked fights with these last few weeks.  The people I ignored. The people I hid from. The people I obviously lied to when I said I was fine. The people I turned away from when I felt like the tears started to well up.  This is a thank you for the people who let me randomly text them and vent.  The friends that took my phone calls.  The people who dished out a serving of REAL.  Maybe the past few weeks happened because of dysthymia and circumstances, but in the end, it was the way I reacted to things that made them suck.  Understanding of the big picture is going to help me get better at dealing with these little drops.  They are going to happen.  Life happens.  Shit happens.  I just have to make sure I can still climb upward despite everything.