Mistakes, I’ve Made a Few…

Do you ever find that your strengths can also be your weakness?

I’m still playing with the concept in my brain but I’ve made a realization. I’ve always been a little too obsessed with mistakes. My mistakes – figuring out where I went wrong and course correcting. Other people’s mistakes. Wow, am I good at pointing out mistakes other people make. (Sorry!)

I’m a great editor. You want any written piece checked for grammar, fonts, spacing, spelling, relative color of ink? I‘m your girl. Those “find the differences” puzzles – they are toast around me. I’ll tell you all the goofs in the movie. I could recognize when my Walkman battery was low and my cassette tapes were playing a little slow.

This is a skill that has served me SO well, but it’s also been a huge energy drain. Honestly, unless it’s your resume, or something really important – who freaking cares? It’s not as important as CREATING. And that’s really what I love to do. So why tear down when I can be building?

Maybe I’m always looking for mistakes because I always feel like I am wrong. If I can find a mistake in something else – maybe it isn’t me.

Okay, that’s a pretty big thought for a Monday night! Well, don’t worry, it actually was the result of spending from Friday night at 6 PM until last night at 8 PM in an intense personal development course. Being a Beachbody Coach pushes me out of my comfort zone. Well, I followed in the footsteps of a lot of the coaches on my team by doing this work and I’m turning a corner.

The Universe is always creating and destroying. Catabolism and Anabolism go together. Pointing out and searching for mistakes – it can be super important in the right situation, but it’s a form of destruction. It’s necessary sometimes but it’s also the easy way out of a lot of problems.

I’m choosing to be on the other end of the balance for awhile. I’m going to CONSTRUCT.

Let's build something awesome.

Let’s build something awesome.

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Progress Photos are Scary!

**This post actually came from my Facebook page.  I can’t freaking believe I put this photo on there, on here, heck, I even sent it to an ex-boyfriend.  Why?  Because I’m not hiding.  I’m DOING this.  I’m a normal person and I’ve got normal person feelings.  So someone else who is a normal person with normal person feelings needs to know he is not alone.**

The first time I joined a challenge group here on Facebook, my coach Jamie wanted me to send her before photos. I immediately got a lump in my throat. I didn’t want to take photos and I certainly didn’t want to share them with someone I’ve never met.

I mean, let’s get real, we only post the best of the best photos of ourselves when it means other people can see it. We know the angles, we know the lighting, we know the filters. And when you’re struggling with your weight and you finally decide to take a risk and try something new, there’s just so much “new” you can take.

But I took my before photos and I sent them to her. And I’ve sent her photos since then. And I’ve taken some for myself and kept them on folders in my computer I never visit.

I revisited them today at her suggestion. She provided me with a 2014 photo – not even the start of my Beachbody story. The other photo is last week. I still have a long way to go but I’m so grateful for the road it has taken to get here so far.

January 2014 - September 2015

January 2014 – September 2015

So take your before photos. Get your significant other or best friend to take photos of you in workout clothes. You don’t have to obsess over them, tuck them away in a folder, send them to your coach. (I’d love to be your coach!) And when you’re ready to see how far you’ve come, bring them back out into the light.

Oh yeah – and if you turn in your before and after photos, along with a Beachbody program completion, you get a t-shirt and can win $1000.

When You Don’t Reach a Goal.

I’ve always been a bit afraid of setting goals.  As a perfectionist child, I never wanted to let anyone down. If I made a promise, I kept it.  If I didn’t, I felt terrible.  Goals were always promises I made.  Promises to myself, promises to those around me… it didn’t really matter.  I’ve been encouraged to set goals, and so I’ve tried.  Honestly, most of the time I have no idea where to start.

One year ago I found myself at Beachbody Summit in Las Vegas, staring down a giant wall that said “Never Give Up.”  We could write our goals down.  Since I was overcome by the high of being in a convention center of pure blissful awesomeness, I wrote my goal.  I’ll share it with you now.

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Well, here it is a year later and I have to tell you where I’m at with those goals.  I haven’t lost 50 lb.  That’s probably the biggest one for me.  My health is my #1 priority.  I wanted to make that goal happen tremendously badly.

I am not a Diamond Coach.  I’m a solid Emerald.  If you aren’t in the Beachbody world that doesn’t mean a lot to you.  Basically, I haven’t moved my business forward much at all since this time last year.  Overall, I have fewer coaches in my little team, and they are less involved overall.  I haven’t been a leader to get them on their way and I haven’t inspired new people to join my team.

Not giving up anytime, ever.  This one, I feel like I kept.  Initially I felt like I must have given up because my forward momentum stalled.  But here’s the thing.  I’m still here.  I’m going to Summit again.  I’m still a coach.  I’m still working the Beachbody programs for myself and for others.  I’m still passionate about this company.  I still feel like it’s the place where I can do the most good.

I joined a DietBet over a month ago.  I present to you the results on this Transformation Tuesday.

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Well, as you can tell by my hands – it wasn’t a moment of victory.  I had 1 month to lose 4% of my body weight.  I thought it would be easy.  I put $30 on the line.  I think I ended up a few tenths of a pound away from my initial weight in.  I even ran 6 freaking miles a couple days before!

You can’t be shocked when you don’t make your goals.  Writing them down doesn’t magically infuse them into existence.  I wish it worked like that.  They are also not promises I didn’t keep.  They were goals that didn’t get reached because honestly, I didn’t have a plan.  I had a half assed plan that I half assed executed.  So that was a total quarter assed plan.  Of course I’m not going to reach goals if I quarter ass them!

So I’m going to write some new goals tonight.  They aren’t just going to be whispers into the silence of the night.  I am going to write them down and immediately start coming up with a plan.  I’m going to include ways to stay accountable.  I’m not going to freak out if I get off track.  I’m going to adjust accordingly.  I’m not going to make the goals easy so that they will be no sweat to make.  I’m not going to make them too difficult.  I’m going to make realistic goals that genuinely resonate with me and get me further down the path I want to be at in my life.

Watch out for a future blog post titled: “What to Do When You Absolutely Crush Your Goals.

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.

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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.

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.

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Personal Quirks and Habits.

Happy Monday! I’ve got a lot going on this week and am getting ready for my friend Amanda to visit! So my self imposed dry lifestyle will likely END once she gets here. It’s okay, it was the goal I had set. It’s hard to build muscle and keep my nutrition in order when I am drinking.

This is me and Amanda last year during my summer trip to Maine.  It was so humid and hot! This was the last time we were together.  Soon to be reunited!

This is me and Amanda last year during my summer trip to Maine. It was so humid and hot! This was the last time we were together. Soon to be reunited!

I liked this set of questions because I do consider myself pretty quirky. A couple were tough! I hope you enjoy reading them. If you haven’t taken part in Friend Makin’ Mondays, here’s what you do. Copy the questions and answer them on your own blog. Then, link your post on All The Weigh so we can all read our answers.

Personal Quirks and Habits

1. Share one unique character trait that sets you apart from your friends. I remember EVERYTHING. And I’m constantly recalling old conversations, reminding my friends of the dumb stuff they did. No one can get away from their past with me around to retell it to you.

2. List at least two pet peeves that always aggravate you. I’m not the grammar police. But I AM the science patrol. When people call an intestinal virus “stomach flu”, it pretty much is like fingernails on a chalkboard. An entirely different pet peeve is heavy, thick lower eye liner. You just have to put a little pit to enhance the last line, ladies. We don’t live in ancient Egypt where we have to protect our eyes from the sun.

3. Is there a word or phrase that you say so regularly that people expect to hear it from you? I’m from Maine, so I drop wicked occasionally. My SoCal friends love that. For awhile “Oh dear” was a constant part of my vocabulary; to the point where I thought my husband was going to implode. I picked it up from a coworker.

4. Are you a risk taker, or do you typically play it safe? Maybe a little of both? I’m at heart, a rule follower and a goody two shoes. But when it comes to staying within those constraints, I’m pretty fearless. (Unless it’s heights or spiders.)

5. Describe your life as it was in high school. Are you the same person? Have you changed? Oh dear. (SEE?) I was the quiet girl, I had acquaintances, and a handful of friends. I was very good at school, but I struggled with going to class. I definitely think I suffered from depression for many, many years. I completely changes in college. I’m way more outgoing. I have many, many friends and it’s easy for me to relate to people. I’m more confident, I’m assertive, and I don’t stay in the corner anymore.

6. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done that you’re glad you did? I quit my job, packed up my apartment of 5 years, and followed the guy I had been dating down to Atlanta, even though I didn’t have an engagement ring, or a job. It was the right decision. Being with him makes me a better version of myself, and we’re now married and equal partners in our lives. I needed to shake up my life at that point. My job was stagnant, my Master’s degree was at a permanent impasse, and my friends lives were going in different directions from mine.

7. Do you ever talk to yourself? If so, share an example. I talk to myself occasionally, I talk to my cat all the time. My Grammy always said it meant you had money in the bank. If I’m doing something dumb, or if I’m stressed, I’ll have a talk with myself in the mirror. I work out of my home a lot.

8. Share something you did that unexpectedly helped shape your life. I allowed myself to make some pretty bad decisions. Things I KNEW were wrong at the time, but I did them anyway. I was involved with 2 men in particular, one in college, one after college, who were definitely “bad boys.” They had values and behaviors contrary to my own and dating them pretty much made my parents absolutely furious. It was the rebellion that I needed to experience, after being the most well mannered kid. Both of them made me see a different point of view in life and challenged my own thoughts and ideals that I had. The break ups were devastating, but the lessons I learned made me grow in a way I never could without them.

9. Do you follow a strict routine, or are you a free spirit? Are you somewhere in between? I’m more of a free spirit, which drives my friends completely nuts. I try and schedule important things, but I think the best part of life is the experiences you have in between the things you think are important.

10. Share something about yourself that you hope will inspire others. I’m 36 years old. I have my fair share of issues about my body image, my self-esteem, boundaries, lots of stuff from childhood, etc. I did some intensive therapy once a week over a year ago. I came in pretty broken and left stronger that I could ever imagine. When you need help, ask for it. If you need to see someone to talk to, there is no shame. No one has a perfect life and everyone feels the way you feel sometimes. You need to take any and all necessary steps to make yourself feel better.