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.

Celebrating the Worst Because it Became the Best.

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Tonight I’m celebrating the loss of my job 5 years ago. *Technically* the anniversary is tomorrow. The day before the axe came down I knew it was coming because my coworkers saw my job advertised on Craigslist.

The best part of that particular job was the friends I made. I enjoyed my work, but I looked forward to saying hello to the people, not the flasks of cells. (Cells don’t have much to say.) Solving problems was a thrill. Finding ways to bring forgotten cell lines back to life were my specialty and I was acknowledged for it. (This may have included singing to them.) Those parts of the job made me feel proud and needed.

Losing that job was devastating. It felt very personal. Even though I was told I was not doing enough, I ended up being replaced by 3 people. While it felt good to know that it took those 3 people to replace me, I entered into a very dark period. I realized some of it as it happened, but it was an insidious blanket thrown over my life and my dreams.

Science was how I identified myself, even when I had non-science jobs in between gigs. With this dismissal I literally lost who I thought I was; my identity. The subsequent job hunt was quite possibly more depressing. Constant striving, working, switching things up, and getting rejection back. Job hunting is a lot like dating.

I’m celebrating losing that job today because it was not the right gig for me. I knew it when I took it but I stayed and made the best of it.

A little less than a year ago I became a Fitness and Health Coach. I did it for myself and for the discount. Yes, sometimes it IS about the money. I was finally ready to make my health the #1 priority in my life. Throwing myself in to a fitness community is what I needed to do. The accountability and the community was the piece missing for me.

I didn’t expect to feel so fulfilled by helping others with their own health goals. When my friend from grad school messaged me that she lost her first 6lb, it was better than any of my own weigh ins. I definitely didn’t expect to find my team to be such a source of inspiration, yet every day I come in to my Facebook group to find more love and positivity that I imagined was out there. I am becoming the leader I have always wanted to be. Realizing that I was holding myself back by viewing my impact and my life as limited has been powerful. Now, I’m growing a team of people who, like me, are ready to show the world that they can make a difference.

I am definitely happier working toward my own goals. I want to help as many people as possible feel positive and find their best selves. Being unhappy with your physical self and listening to negative self-talk is no way to live a happy life. I’m on my way and I know there are so many people who need the same inspiration as I’ve received. The gratification outshines being a small cog in a project that could maybe lead to changing lives in the future, if our work is correct, and if a company finds it feasible to invest in. I invest in myself. I invest in the people around me. It feels great to become healthy in mind and body, to share my experience, and to help others reach their own dreams.

Catch-22 Pounds

One of the things I keep being the most surprised about as I continue to change my life and my habits is that it pretty much impacts my relationships with everyone.

I really thought this was all about me, and if it was a relationship thing – it was my relationship with myself or my relationship with food.  I’m now seeing that the whole book I thought I had written was erased and I’m starting over.  My friends and family are still my friends and family, but there is a definite shift.

I thought once I lost some weight and was more confident, I’d be more social.  After all, I have new clothes to show off, right?  Not exactly.

Progress

It started out that I had to tell friends “no” when it came to Happy Hours.  I was working out with my Boot Camp, or I was just leaving Boot Camp and smelled terrible.  Or sometimes it was that I wasn’t drinking anymore.  Sometimes I was just too tired to drag my ass to a bar!  But I wanted to hang out with my friends.  I tried to make things work when I could.  I had a lot of guilt around it.  But I have to tell you, they were all pretty awesome.  Whenever I would try to apologize for being MIA they wouldn’t hear of it.

Another weird thing, that’s related, is people are just ridiculously proud of me.  From people I knew in Kindergarten, to people I’ve known for a couple of months – I keep getting compliments.  I’m learning how to take them a little better, but it’s still pretty weird for me.  And my gorgeous friends?  They tell me that I INSPIRE THEM.  Which still just makes my head spin because I can’t imagine how that works, but I’ll take it because it’s just pretty darn cool.

So who do I hang out with?  I have a new group of people in my life.  New friends who all work out with me, or near me, or beside me, whatever.  I have my whole Beachbody Team, my upline, my Facebook friends, people I met at Summit.  If I need someone to hike with or vent to, I have plenty of options I didn’t have a year ago.  I also now train with this guy.  He’s a Nurse and a Marine, and he has me doing insane things that I never would have done before.  He has a great way to push me and get me out of my comfort zone, but at the same time, I know I’m well taken care of.  He and his wife and kids have become yet another West Coast family to me.  And now he’s letting my intern with him 3 days a week while I try to make health and fitness the center of my world. 

I’m still very happily married, but my relationship with my husband has changed and is changing all the time with this.  Luckily for me, he’s also very interested in fitness and health.  He understands the workouts and the early morning wake ups.  Unfortunately what he doesn’t always understand is how my time and energy get diverted away from things that need to be done.  When I have a high volume week of workouts, that can mean 6 workouts a day starting at  5 AM.  I pretty much have to spend the week before preparing my LIFE to be on total hold.  All household chores pretty much stop once those workouts start.  So if there’s laundry to be done, too bad.  If there’s dishes to be washed, better get plastic.  Need to make an appointment?  Better block out some time of your day, I won’t have any.  I barely cook.  I workout, eat and sleep.  Repeat as many times as necessary.  That has taken a huge toll out of our symbiosis, and has been the source of many fights.  It doesn’t help that when I’m tired and calorie deprived I’m not exactly a reasonable person.

I’m still trying to figure this all out.  How I can still be a good friend and partner and have my workouts, too.  Some friendships may be slightly on pause since there isn’t as much going out to dinner.  Maybe I’ll continue to get more people on the road to fitness along with me.  But either way, this is something I’m doing for myself, and that’s the most important relationship of all.

Big Changes in Little San Diego

I’ve been quiet lately. Too quiet. I’ve had stuff going on, like getting really, really ill with what I am guessing was Influenza B. My foot problems have not entirely been solved. I ended up getting new sneakers, my podiatrist hated them, I got other sneakers, I got my orthotic insoles in. My feet REALLY hate them. I’m back in my old shoes, old orthotics for normal workouts. So figuring all these things out has taken up my valuable blogging time.

It was dark, it was cold, we lost an hour of sleep, but we came out for the San Diego 5k and did really well.

It was dark, it was cold, we lost an hour of sleep, but we came out for the San Diego 5k and did really well.

But probably the biggest news I can share now is that my husband has left his job. The rub is, he took a new one that is in the Bay Area. We’ve had a lot to figure out on this front, and probably still will be figuring it out for awhile. Basically, I’m staying here in San Diego and my husband will be commuting up for the workweek and back home on weekends. We’re planning on getting a studio or loft near his new office.

Here’s where this piece of personal drama relates to this blog. My husband and I have been each other’s partners in crime throughout this whole fitness and health revolution in our house. We are in it together, even though we have different reasons for going down the path, and different goals and activities. We keep each other motivated, honest, and on track. Now, our “flow” is going to be changed. I can’t lie, a part of this terrifies me. I wonder if we have the moxie to be able to make some new routines on our own during the week. Granted, it’s not like he isn’t a phone call, IM, email, or FaceTime session away during the week, but there’s something that is special about having someone standing over you on the couch telling you to get up, get your shoes on and get out of the house.

I worry about myself, and I worry about him. He needs structure and I hope he can find it without me Monday through Friday.

But, I do see an opportunity here as well. I’ll be alone during the week, which means I only have myself to think about when it comes to meal planning. That may actually be a good thing. I don’t have to wait for him to get home from work to have dinner together. I don’t have to keep in account the list of vegetables he doesn’t like. And I only have to worry about what I’m in the mood for instead of trying to find a good compromise. I think being on my own during the work week, I’ll be able to do meal planning and cooking for myself a little better.

Besides, whenever there is a big change in life, it gives you a window to make some other sweeping changes at the same time. It’s kind of like punctuated equilibrium in that regard. While things are in flux, might as well use it to add in some beneficial changes that stubbornly don’t like to meld with the former status quo. If that makes any sense.