From Associate Director to Entrepreneur: Rebuilding Identity

 

Because I get asked daily from my friends and family, “How are you doing?  How is your business?”  I will share where this roller coaster of change has me at currently mindset wise. And it may not be pretty.

I am sure I have said this before about switching careers. I knew it would be hard. I knew getting a business off the ground and finding prospects and clients would not be easy. As the saying goes through, you don’t know what you don’t know. And there was a lot, mentally, that I could never have anticipated.

I have had a hard time articulating this so let’s see how it goes putting it in writing.

At my last job, my title was Associate Director. I managed a team of Business Analysts within IT. Sounds fancy right?

I never “felt” like an Associate Director. I never really put that much thought to the clout it may carry to others. If there is ever such a thing as “looking” like an Associate Director, I am fairly sure I did not even have that aspect of it. I never really thought of it as my identity. At all. It was just the title I happen to have that awarded me different opportunities and visibility. I never felt attached to the title.

Yet, leaving that title, that Associate Director thing, I realize now I did have some attachment to it. Which kind of blows my mind.

The attachment is not in the sense that it defined me. (My friends and family had no real understanding of what my job was. I was basically Chandler from Friends). Which is fine. It was a job for me, not a passion.

The attachment I am discovering I have is knowing “what” I was, I guess you can say. Again, anyone can define what an Associate Director is and it would mean something different to each of them.  Yet, it was like this tangible thing that despite not being passionate about it and despite how others may perceive it, it somehow helped me understand my place in the hierarchy and the ecosystem.

(Sanity check! Am I making sense?)

So to go from that understanding to essentially redefining myself has been challenging. As a Personal Trainer and a Lifestyle and Fitness Coach, I am not taking on something that has never been done before; if anything I am entering into a highly saturated industry.  I have to figure out what my place is in this ecosystem I have become part of that sets me apart from the rest.

And that is what has been surprising to me, how much it has shaken my confidence.  I am still figuring out how I fit into this world.  Yes, I know I am meant to be in it, and I know there is a place in it specifically for me; until I have that well established, it is going to continue to be quite humbling in this vulnerable, ambiguous transition.

So when people ask me how I am, it gets harder and harder to answer, which is the polar opposite of what I expected six months out from my corporate life. That also turns into this cycle of feeling like I should have more figured out than I do and then it brings on more insecurity. So you see, it is a total mind fuck. Excuse my French.

The other question I often get is, “How do you spend your time now?” And I become anxious whenever it is asked. Because the truth is, I do not have tangible responses to answer with. I no longer can measure productivity by the projects my team has in flight or the percentage complete of initiatives I am working on. I no longer have time sheets that I can bucket my hours into.

My “tangibles” are things like spending time researching events I could participate in or following up with prospects or maybe even the hours I do spend training and coaching. But I do not have metrics or anything to show if I am trending up or down. I have no idea if I am doing well or sucking at this new career I am in. There is no benchmark. And there is no one I report to who can tell me how I am doing.

I could compare myself to others I suppose if I did want to benchmark, but that leads to all sorts of issues. Never ever compare yourself to someone else. Never. You are not them. They are not you.

So it brings me back to this reality. All that I do, or do not do, is on me. And while that is invigorating at times, it is also downright scary as shit. It is a challenge I struggle with every day to build my confidence when there is so much unknown.

I KNOW in my heart of hearts that everything WILL fall into place. And I know the struggles are what bring success.

I realize that if I live in the negative and the fear for too long, they will become reality. I struggle with all that I have written (and more) every single day.  No matter how much I understand on an intellectual level in terms of how I need to feel or how I should act (fake it till you make it right?), It does not just magically happen, not even on my “good” days.

It comes down to this. The things that often are our biggest nemesis are issues and struggles that have been with us for years, decades even and quite possibly our entire lives. Mine as I mentioned is confidence.

Our nemesis though can also be the key to our success. I know my business is going to rely on me finding my new identity and my new place in the ecosystem, but most importantly it hinges on finding my confidence.

 

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The First Person to Write Her Own Q&A

Ok since I am a big ole hypocrite, I am writing today after all! I posted on Facebook that I was taking a break from my blog, but atlas, it has drawn me in. Much of what I have been writing has been far too personal and possibly less than pleasant to post, at least right now. I decided to write a Q&A which is semi-ridiculous to write my own questions (but I never claimed to be totally normal). I did get a request or two that I incorporated and many are based on things I have been asked at some point in my life.

First, allow me to digress for one minute please, which speaks a bit to why I am re-evaluating the blogging I am doing. I struggle with posting what is real with what might be too personal (because my stories are not always just my own. Other people could be affected by them). I also feel like the unpleasant stuff that comes to mind for topics could easily spiral into sounding really salty and bitter, and I fear if people read that in isolation, they could misunderstand who I am at the core.

Anyways, one of the things I am finding is that my writing is very much tied to my career transition. It is it as much a journey in starting a business as it is in finding myself. I know, that sounds super cheesy (but it’s the real dang truth).

Much of what I feel like I am going through is like this shedding process. There’s an idea in life that I whole heartedly believe in that to get what you want, you have to give some things up. Right now, without even realizing I am doing it, I am giving up a lot of my own emotional baggage. I have to let go of being the person I was when I was in the corporate world in certain ways, like accepting that I cannot be as independent as I was.  I do require more help and support than ever before. I have to let go of so much of what I was taught ever since I can remember like follow security and always have a plan (even if it means not loving what I am doing). I have to give up spending time with people that either drain me or distract from my goals.

­It is heavy shit, guys. And while I consider myself to be sassy, sarcastic and sometimes light hearted, there is also a lot that is sort of dark that goes on in my brain on a regular basis.

And that is why I will try my hardest to not digress a million times in this post. (I make no guarantees though).

 

Q:  What brought you to California from New Jersey?
A: About 10 years ago, the company I was working for at the time was going to relocate me to Los Angeles. I was a Consultant and we had a new client in Edmonton, Canada. They flew me out here for a few days to look for an apartment . I had never been to Los Angeles before and instantly felt in love with it. I always felt it in my soul (for real) that I was meant to be on the West Coast. Well, it was decided that the journey to Edmonton from LA was not really as quick and easy to be doing on a weekly basis as we had thought so they did not sponsor my move out here. I did still make the move (on my own dime). And wouldn’t you know that as soon as I did, they decided to send me to Edmonton anyways. Nope. Not bitter about that at all.

Q: What has been the most surprising thing about the career transition you are making?
A: The emotions. Holy shit. I expected highs and lows, but I had no idea they would be as extreme and varied as they are. Some days I feel really positive and confident about my decision to start my own business and other days I feel really in-over-my-head and insecure about whether or not I am truly qualified to be doing this. I constantly have moments where I am so grateful and humbled by all the support and love I receive. I definitely have more moments of crying than I ever have which makes me feel like an 80 year old Jewish grandmother.

Q: What are your Top 3 for leading a fulfilled life?
A:  1. Given I am in a major transitional stage in life right now, the most glaring is to be true to myself. I could have chosen to stay in a job that did not light my soul on fire or I could have tried for the unknown with a higher chance for gratification. I also find when it comes to my business, I get a lot of (unsolicited) advice about what I should and should not do. And I take it all into consideration, but at the end of the day I have to do what  feels right for me even if it means making mistakes along the way.

  1. Balance. This could mean something different to each of us. I am by far more of an introvert than an extrovert. I love my own time and I do love being around other people, only when I feel it is quality and fulfilling. I am past the age of being around people out of obligation or taking in anyone else’s energy. Ok I digress. I also mean balance in terms of sticking to my health and fitness routine with doing things that are good for my soul.
  2. The people I surround myself to. It ties into a point I made relating to balance. It is so important to have positive people around me and not anyone toxic. I am beyond grateful for all the amazing friends and family I have in my life.

Q:  Wow, in the question above, it is surprising that “money” was not in the response. Why is that?
A: Huh, wouldn’t you know it? I am actually surprised because I do get stressed about money these days. Not because I am in any dire financial situation(yet), but the unknown of how I am going to start earning again (and how much) can freak a girl out.

Having said that, I guess though it is because money comes and money goes. And I have had many years of having plenty of it to do as I wish that will tie me over for the time being in terms of experiences and memories. I also am confident that despite having freak outs about money, I will start earning  it again.

And to the point above, I know that money is not everything. Having the security at my job and being paid regularly regardless of how little or how much I worked,  was wonderful, I will not lie. But I walked away from it because clearly  it is not everything.

Q: You have travelled to so many countries, about 30 perhaps? Which do you want to go back to?
A:
OMG Guatemala. I would go back to Lake Atitlan in a heartbeat. Being around so much gorgeous nature and so much spirituality, is something that always warms my heart when I think about it. It also was a yoga retreat which is ironic because if you know me, you know how much I really do not enjoy yoga. Despite that though, I experienced so many unique things.

Q: Are you still selling ketones? (For the record, I legit get asked this a few times a week).
A: Yes but more behind the scenes. It is not an income generator for me and I decided to do it more for fun (and finance my own ketone supply). I LOVE the products and being in ketosis. I still sell to people, I just do not post as often as I used to. It started to feel too salesy and icky. And the thing is too, I rather spend time promoting myself for my own business. Boom!

Q: What is the name of your business?
A: Patience, my friend. I’m hoping to launch my website over the next few weeks and that will be the big business name reveal.

Q: What foods can you not live without?
A: Avocados obviously which also means guacamole. Which leads to burritos (especially breakfast burritos). I would be so sad if I became allergic. Please god, don’t ever let that happen! And almond milk. Being lactose intolerant is super limiting and almond milk has been a savior. Oh, and those delicious vegan ice cream sandwiches at Sage, which I am completely craving right now and it is taking every ounce of self -control to not get in my car now and go.

Q: Who are your favorite people on the planet?
A: My nieces and nephews. I mean, I know I shouldn’t have favorites but well… They are adorable, loving, funny and always surprising me. And they make me want to be the best person in the world. I do not get to see them nearly enough so I cherish every little moment with them.

Q: Last question. What are 3 things about you that people may not know?
A: I am an award winning parallel parker, I am skilled at picking things up with my toes, and I can only wink my left eye.

When Did Social Media Become The Jerry Springer Show?

Ok ,soooo the title is a tad bit exaggerated but it got your attention, didn’t it?

I have no shame in admitting I love social media. For the most part.  Although, with social media being a quick and easy way to reach many people, there has become this acceptance or license to use it for a few different things that really, in my humble opinion, are beyond what the boundaries should be.

 

  1. Being overtly sexual.

Ok so just don’t do it. People generally do not want unsolicited comments and messages that are sexual. I wrote a whole post on that which is here.

 

  1. Medical diagnosis/advice.

It is one thing to ask for suggestions on things like what stretches to do for a tight hip flexor or asking if anyone has a recommendation for knee sleeves. It is another to detail symptoms of extreme pain in your back expecting someone to give a medical diagnosis. OVER SOCIAL MEDIA. What happened to calling our doctors and scheduling an appointment?

 

Comparing one’s symptoms to someone who comments is not exactly an approved way to diagnose. Just because someone has similar pains or symptoms does not mean their diagnosis are identical.

 

And I know people have the best of intentions in their comments, but they are not medical professionals. Go find out what is going on with you so you can heal and back to your regularly scheduled programming.

 

  1. Aggressively pushing your beliefs onto your followers.

I see a lot of posts about important topics that 100% should be socialized.  Often though, the commentary that someone posts along with it is this sort of “you are stupid if you do not agree with me” kind of mentality. (Politics and gun bans immediately come to mind). It is admirable to be passionate about a cause, but insulting one’s followers’ intelligence in an attempt to persuade them is 1) not effective 2) puts them on the defense and 3) is disrespectful.

 

Take vaccinations for example. I see a lot of posts from both camps: anti-vaccinations and pro-vaccinations for children. I personally, for the record as someone who has no kids, have no opinion on the matter which is why I am using this as an example.  If someone wants to sway people in the other camp, do so with kindness and education. Do not do it by telling them they are terrible parents if they do or do not vaccinate. Because again, 1) it is insulting 2) it is not effective and 3) it is disrespectful. Nobody wants to be told they are a bad parent and they are not likely to be open to considering anything after a comment like that.

 

  1. Publically bashing people.

There is this thing called diplomacy. It is ok to tell a story and give perception and insight, when done respectfully. I do this as much as I humanly can when I blog (because believe me, there are times I reference personal stories that it takes every ounce of my being to not let the New Jersey come out of me).

 

It is another thing to air dirty laundry, spew just pure hatred directed at someone and play the victim with the right to say anything and everything without a filter.

 

I for one do not want to see a public feud between supposed friends/family on Facebook (and sadly I have seen this many times). If someone has an issue with someone else, but cannot exercise diplomacy when in a public venue (because Facebook is public any way you look at it. It is not a conversation between 2 people when you have even just 1 follower).  Take it offline.  End of story.

 

 

  1. Rewarding bad behavior.

 

On Social media, often what happens in the case where someone, for example, publically bashes someone else, people who think it is a little crazy town most likely are just going to scroll right past it without commenting.  The people who do take the time to comment are buying into whatever the person is selling. Perhaps the person posting felt someone said something really rude to them or they had a big fight with their parent or friend or whatever it is. Again, if they are not telling a story or making a point respectfully and with diplomacy, they are likely victimizing themselves. And so people comment like “You are inspiring! The other person is the devil!” or “OMG you are so great! You are sooooo right to be sooooooooooo upset!”

 

They are not challenging them for the other details (aka the other side of the story and or the details that perhaps were conveniently left out). Nor are they saying, “Hey, maybe you should take that post down and go talk directly to your friend.” They are just validating whatever the person is saying and feeling. They are essentially rewarding bad behavior. And all that it does is make the person feel righteous.

 

I can totally go down a rabbit hole with this one. And I will.

 

It perpetuates the problem that people think it is ok to be unfiltered, hateful and acting victimized. We obviously cannot prevent people from posting such things. We can though opt to NOT comment on them. People posting like that WANT the attention. So duh, if they are not given attention, maybe they will stop posting.

 

 

There are always boundaries. There are things that make sense to do on social media and then there are things that cross the line into perverse, ignorance, hate, and lack of sensibility. I try to govern my life outside of social media by all that is good. Good energy, good people, good discussion and just plain old respect. Facebook can go so far past what is good that perhaps it can be reined back in a smidge or so.

 

 

 

 

Tainted Workout Experiences Diminish What Could Be Life Changing

For many people, it takes every bit of courage they have to show up to a gym or a yoga studio or a CrossFit class or whatever workout they have finally decided to try. For many, it is a triumph to get through the door. And for some, their first impression has them running like a bat out of hell right back out.

Customer service is a skill, a skill that not everyone has. To me, it is common sense. When it comes to fitness, it is all the more important to have that skill, ESPECIALLY for those people who it did take every bit of nerve they had to walk through that door. So. You show respect, you listen to what the other person says and you encourage. You do not belittle. You do not body shame. And you do not judge. At all. When it comes to health and fitness, someone’s first interaction is what can inspire them to want to take more steps when they have a positive experience versus what can traumatize them when it goes terribly wrong.

Let me tell you about my first CrossFit experience 6 years ago. Spoiler alert. It was awful, demoralizing and infuriating.

I was about 5 months out from a broken foot, prior to which I was doing high impact workouts like running and kickboxing. I tried to find a workout I could do while I was in a cast, but the thing about a cast is that you cannot get it wet. Working out results in sweating which can result in mold. Gross. So it was not an option. I was at one of my lowest points with a hella lot of life’s stresses yet I was not able to use my go-to therapy, fitness, to deal with it.

Needless to say when the cast came off 6 weeks later, I was ecstatic. I thought I could get back to my workouts, but go figure, that did not happen. I wanted to kickbox and run again like I did before I broke my foot, but I could not. I had so much muscle atrophy (my leg was half the size of the other) that anything involving my feet (i.e. everything) caused soreness, swelling and pain and just overall muscle fatigue. I was really frustrated because I probably gained 10 pounds (I lost almost all my muscle tone. Everywhere. Muscle tone that I worked my ass off to gain. So to say frustrated is an understatement).

I was at a loss as to how to get back into shape. A friend of mine, Nikki, who had been doing CrossFit a few years and had just started coaching, suggested CrossFit as it is totally scalable. She was really enthusiastic about it which got me excited about it too.

I found a CrossFit box to try out (a friend of a friend coached there), and so I set up a 1:1 consultation with the owner /coach. I was eager to go but also intimidated. CrossFit just sounded scary and I did not know what to expect. Well, what I did get was definitely not what I expected. Upon meeting him, I immediately got bad vibes from him.  It was very clear to me that he was one of the most arrogant, condescending, unqualified people the universe ever could have brought to me as an introduction to CrossFit.

He had me do a baseline workout that had rowing, air squats and push-ups. He was telling me repeatedly to go faster which I was not comfortable with as hello, I was recovering from an injury. My foot was sore. My knees were not properly aligned.  My stance was wide. I felt ridiculous. When I got done with the workout, he had the AUDACITY to tell me that my form was shit. Which mind you, not once did he give me any cues or guidance as to “how” I should be performing the movements. It was all “Move faster!” Super helpful, Guy.

And it got worse after that. He made repeated insulting comments about my height. For example, he asked if I wore heels all day to work and quickly said “well yeah of course you do. You are short.”

He asked me how I broke my foot, and as I was responding, I only got this far, “I was running—“

“Oh yeah no wonder you broke your foot running. 70% of runners have bad technique.”

“No, d-bag, I was not running recreationally. I was running in chunky flip flops through an airport to c catch a flight and rolled my foot.”

He made an assumption that I was a totally incompetent athlete and naturally my injury was due to my lack of skill. Prick.

At any rate, I could not get out of there fast enough. I walked out of there seething with anger and contempt. I was ready to write off CrossFit completely because this guy did a shit poor job of representing. And without any other benchmark, I was just done.

I talked to Nikki, and she was as appalled as I was. She reassured me that he was not representative of CrossFit and to not give up on it because of him.

Obviously, we all know my CrossFit journey did not end there. I am grateful I had the guidance from Nikki as I did indeed find another box with a polar opposite experience. The coaches understood my injury and my limitations. They were encouraging and positive. They were the true spirit in which CrossFit is intended to be. Coach D-Bag obviously should not be coaching or owning a box, and I was relieved to know everyone is NOT like him.

I feel fortunate though that I did not give up. I had enough confidence (and quite frankly, fury) to not allow one jack ass to make me think less of myself or my abilities. But the thing is, not everyone who has had a similar experience bounces back. For many, it truly is so traumatic, they give up completely. When you have an emotional and demoralizing experience, logic can shut down. While there are a million yoga studios and Pilate’s studios and CrossFit boxes, for someone who had trepidation to even show up, he/she is not likely to want to go to another. Our brains start to associate everything similar with one horrible experience, and the rest become guilty by association.

And so I share this story not for sympathy for me (as despite my bitter undertones, this was just a blip in my journey) but to bring awareness that this type of experience is NOT acceptable. And should you or someone you know find yourself in that situation, know that it is NOT necessarily a reflection on the sport/exercise as a whole. One person should not carry so much power to taint what could be a really important, life- changing step.

 

From Airplanes to Harassment, Enough With Acting Entitled

 

The older I get, the more refined I have become at who I let into my world. Energy is a real thing for me and I strive to only be in the presence of nothing but the best, most authentic energy. I am surrounded by people who do great things regularly and who are innately good natured people. So when it comes to the little world in which I live, I feel like as humans, as a species, we are winning.

If you take me out of my little bubble though, I often question if as humans, are we really winning? (and now I sound like Carrie Bradshaw).  Try driving in LA. You will know exactly what I mean. There are so many times that I feel like collectively we are not so evolved and are actually taking steps backwards instead of forwards. Which makes me sad. And I know not one miniscule blog from little ole me will catapult us forwards, but perhaps it will inspire us to act differently or not tolerate the losing behaviors when we see them.

I write this as I am sitting on a BIG 777 flying across country so we all can be home with our loved ones for Thanksgiving. We all should be nothing short of appreciative and kind, right? We are until the boarding process commences. And I admit this is one of my biggest pet peeves ever because I pack extremely efficiently. Nothing makes me more livid than having to check my tiny bag when I see people’s umbrellas, jackets, and laptop bags taking up valuable real estate in the overhead bins. And yes I get it, some people are tall (something that is totally foreign to me) and they need the space under their feet. This is not usually what is going on.

I bring this point up because it reminds me that so many of us just feel entitled. We feel entitled to take up more space than someone else just because we can or boarded first (despite that this is controlled by the airline). We feel entitled to cut someone off on the elevator because they did not step on fast enough. We feel entitled to jump to the front of a line at the grocery store because we just came out of a yoga class and are rushing to pick up our kid up from daycare as soon as we pay for a few items (yes I went there). We feel entitled to that promotion at work because after all, we took every training available and clearly that makes us qualified (when perhaps performance and qualifications are lacking). We feel entitled to say whatever we want because we cannot be bothered to filter what comes out of our mouths even at the expense of (which is not just entitled but seriously bad communication skills).

So yeah… there is a common theme of feeling entitled. And feeling entitled is not winning.

 

I recently saw a post on Facebook from a guy who was essentially making light of all the recent sexual harassment charges in Hollywood. His post was to the effect of how the charges have gotten so out of control, that soon a guy won’t be able to say hi to a girl without that being considered sexual harassment. Ok really dude? Innocently saying “hi” to someone is nowhere near the same as inappropriately soliciting someone for sex or forcing oneself on someone. So yeah, being ignorant and insensitive ­­­­is not winning.

I also do not think it is winning for anyone to post things that objectify woman (the things I have seen about men making references to women being good for cooking and sex only make my skin crawl). I do not think it is winning to post with pride about getting put in Facebook jail for calling someone a faggot on a public page. (And for the record, I unequivocally loathe that word and even typing it makes me feel like a horrible human). I do not think it is winning to praise a president for wanting to ban Muslims and basically anyone who is not White from entering the United States. I do not think it is winning to body shame anyone. I do not think it is winning to bully anyone. Ever.

I do not think being stagnant or complacent is winning either. It might bring contentment and status quo. Perhaps that works for some, but it does not for me. That is why I personally do things like CrossFit and blogging.  CrossFit keeps me challenged (physically and mentally), disciplined, and aware of myself and even those around me. Blogging forces me to be very cognizant of the words I chose. I am a firm believer that in communication, the responsibility of what message is heard is very much that of the person speaking (or writing).

We all have the ability to influence other people. We may not reach as many people as a celebrity or public figure does, but we reach those in our own worlds which is pretty freaking powerful. We can influence others to not be stagnant. We can influence others to not dismiss conflicts or even others’ emotions.

Winning to me is to being so aware of people around us. To me that is the common theme in this blog, in all my seemingly disjointed points. Winning is to realize the power we really do have, albeit small or big, and more importantly not abusing it. Winning is being respectful of others whether it is when you board a plane or how you choose to treat someone else. Winning is a choice. Strive to think about others. Strive to correct those who do not. We need it now more than ever.

 

You Do Not Have to be Ellen DeGeneres to Be Inspiring

Foreward: Guys for the record, I adore Ellen.

With my recent “little” changes in life (i.e. leaving a corporate job to start my own business), I am constantly humbled by the support I am receiving. I know I have said it like a thousand times but it needs to be said. Not to toot my own horn but to remind us ALL of a few really key, mind blowing things. Ok mind blowing may be an exaggeration. Let’s say reverberating then.

Someone I have come to know through Facebook sent me a very endearing message. While this is not someone I have met in “real life”, I do believe in the power of connecting with people even if it’s in cyber space somewhere.  Anyways, he reached out to me today to tell me this:

Doesn’t mean much to you but I’m proud of you. Happy to see you chasing your dreams. Honored to call you a friend.

Ok so first things first… I do not think we should EVER diminish the value that our words have on someone else. We under estimate the power or impact we can have on someone else just by taking 4.3 seconds to type a genuine message. (Which also is the case with messages that are mean spirited. Pick your words carefully).

When we speak from the heart, the message is heard loud and clear. If I just got a generic message like “good luck in your endeavors” then yeah perhaps I would not have thought much of it. For anyone to take the time, even if it takes 4.3 seconds to do, it’s still 4.3 seconds that someone took to send love and support. Which I don’t care who you are, like me, you need it.

Which also leads me to my next point.  When you have news, share it. I know for many of us, we are private (as am I with certain topics and details). But it’s like there’s this idea of shared energy or something. When you are excited, happy, unstoppable, that is what you are putting out there and so that is what you get back. Energy is infectious and when you have things happening, I say share share share! The love and support you will receive in return will only manifest your dreams and ideas that much faster. I can tell you the more people I share my plans and accomplishments and hopes and desires with, the more open I feel. And so it is no wonder I am getting validation from the most unexpected people telling ME I am an inspiration.

Which leads me to my next point. I have to say, being told I am inspiring has a whole lot of pressure attached to it. Knowing I am a person of interest (guys I am kidding. My ego is not that big)… Seriously though, knowing that my choices and actions are inspiring anyone humbles me like nothing I have ever experienced. The pressure kicks in because I do have fears which are scary to be exposing. Like what if I do not pass my Personal Training certification after posting about it for 3 months?  Or what if I launch a business that that flops? How is that inspiring?

The thing is though, I do have those thoughts for like a split second (which yeah happens more than just from time to time), I have to remind myself that like the idea of shared energy, if I keep fearing it, I am putting it out to the universe that I will fail. Which is NOT an option. So I instead shift my thinking to I WILL  pass my certification (which will not just happen by luck. I will be putting in the time studying and getting prepared). My coaching business will be successful, fulfilling, magical and inspiring. It is all about mindset. There is no room for negative thinking.

I also am realizing from my friend’s message today that the idea of being inspiring is not about being perfect. Being inspiring means being real. It’s being honest. It’s being human. It’s ok to have triumphs and it is also ok to fall. Nobody is perfect and being inspired by anyone that is seemingly perfect is just disappointment waiting to happen. I am not pretending that I know exactly what I am doing. I know what I may do today. I do not even know literally what I am doing tomorrow. This is why I am inspiring people. I am truly taking a road to a destination that is somewhat lucid yet there is literally no playbook or road map to get me there. I am trusting in myself and timing and the universe to guide me. I put on my big girl pants every day (well except the days I need my neighbor to come over and kill a water bug for me) and I just do.  That is why people find me to be inspiring.

And another thing about that. We all have the ability to do what I am doing. I am no different than you. In fact, I am probably very much like you. It took me years and a whole lot of stress and anxiety to get to a point where I accepted that I needed to make a change in a really big way. It is just getting to that point that is separating me from you or anyone else. As my niece would say, I am being brave. You can too.

 

 

Does Anything Good Come From Getting on a Scale?

When it comes to weighing myself, I either do it obsessively or I do not do it at all. When I am in the former mode, I’ll weigh myself when I wake up. I’ll weigh myself a half later after I drink water. I’ll weigh myself after I workout. I’ll weigh myself after I have a BM (oh don’t act appalled, you know what I mean and I bet you do it too!) I will weigh myself every single day. I become completely obsessed with it to the point of being unhealthy.

At some point though what usually happens is even after the pounds start coming off, the scale starts going back up. I become more obsessed and neurotic. It is ridiculous, especially when the reality is muscle weighs more than pounds. Still the actual number tends to haunt me. Forever.

And so then I stop weighing myself altogether. For a year. Until the day comes that I cannot avoid the scale anymore because well, the nurse who is taking my vitals for my annual check-up does not give me an opt- out option.

This is what happened this past Friday. I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office and closed my eyes telling myself I am better off not knowing. I hopped off but at the last second, I snuck a peek. Ok, my number was the same it was last year, if not a pound less. Which I deducted an extra  ound for clothes (and another few pounds for my incredible personality). So really, I was about 4 pounds less than last year.

I realized that not knowing is not bliss. It is just straight up denial, good or bad. I always have goals when it comes to health and fitness. Sometimes it is to learn a new skill at CrossFit. Sometimes it is to train for a race. Sometimes it is to lose x number of pounds. Not knowing my weight really does not coincide with having goals. There sometimes is a correlation to what we weigh and what our fitness goals are. I know in the past, I have improved in gymnastics stuff when I have dropped a few pounds (it is a lot easier to move my weight around a bar for pull ups or do Hand Stand Push Ups when I am carrying a few less lb’s).  With a race, the number is a reflection of the work I am putting I and a way to make sure that I am not putting in extra miles only to reverse that grueling work with the wrong food choices. ((I have a love hate relationship with running fyi).

Look, I saw my number and miraculously I was not traumatized. If anything, I am encouraged. I do go more off of how I look and subtle changes in my body whether it is getting leaner or building muscle. Those are the results I really strive for, far more than any number. If I am being totally honest, I still have plenty of work to do.

And I am realistic about what all that work will result in. I am not expecting to get down to 9% body fat or something ridiculous like that. I do not want to have the most restrictive diet that I am a hangry bitch all the time (that would not be good for my business). I just want to lose a few (maybe 5-10) pounds of fat, and I do not think that is out of the realm of possibility.

If this post speaks to you, then I encourage you to first and foremost be honest with yourself, which is probably the hardest and most uncomfortable step in a healthy journey. Far harder than the lifestyle changes you will make as a result of it. We all want to think we eat healthy and perfect. We all want to think we crush it in every work out. We all want to think we only drink alcohol moderately. We think we eat an “average” amount of carbs (when in actuality we are on an all carb diet yet cannot understand why we are not losing weight).

That’s where I am at. I am being realistic with myself. I am not about to go on some crazy restricted bodybuilder diet.  I will probably call in a favor from a nutritionist I know (good thing I have one in the family) to see how I can make tweaks to my eating. I also intend to incorporate some extra workouts (I will have that luxury of being on my own schedule in T-2 days!) That might just be a few extra minutes of abs a day or a few extra squats or a few miles of running.

I have to do what works for me and aligns with my goals. Everyone has to do what makes sense for them. It is why there’s a big shift from “dieting” to “lifestyle”.  You want to be able to sustain whatever changes you implement. We are all individuals, with different bodies, with different histories that we all need to be mindful and respectful of.

What works for one person may not work for someone else. Just because the man lifting weights next to you has gone on a high fat and low protein diet with intense weightlifting cycles does not mean that is what you need to do to bulk up. Or just because your neighbor is counting her macros and losing weight, that does not mean you have to. Or just because you go hit the stairs at a park and see someone climbing them 6 times, does not mean that is what you need to do to reach your goal.

So be honest with yourself with what your goals are. Get a realistic plan to reach them. Be open to tweaking and changing as you go. Yes, weigh yourself but do not let that be the only benchmark of your success. And if you need some help figuring this out, come talk to me. This is where I see myself helping people in my future business. (ahh yes slid in that last minute #shamelessplug).