Oh hey there, blog. You still exist.
I think it’s time to get back to this little blog, but this time I’m doing it for me. 2016 HAS BEEN A YEAR so far, and while there are a lot of great things happening, there are also a lot of not-so-great things that are pulling my focus away from my goals. I’m working really hard to stay on track working toward my targets, and I have some great people in my corner helping me out, but one thing is missing, and that’s a way for me to check in with myself.
Sure, I log my workouts and I track my daily meals. I check in with my amazing coach every week and get feedback from her. But I also need a less structured place to really reflect on where I am and where I want to be. When I was blogging consistently, I could look back over my posts and see where things were going off course, and readjust appropriately. I don’t really have that tool right now, and I need it.
A colleague, someone I respect and trust, told me last week that I need to learn to care a little bit less. I need to know when to say no. I need to realize that my idea of a job well done is usually so far beyond what other people would consider necessary, and sometimes it’s okay not to go that extra mile. That’s really hard for me. It’s in my nature to want to be there for the people in my life, to want to see things through to the end, to give 100% of my effort when I commit to things. The problem with that is that I end up with an empty tank and I forget to reserve the energy, time, and resources to take care of myself. He wasn’t exactly treading new ground here – I’ve known this about myself for years, ever since my very first therapist pointed it out to me in high school. I hated that therapist, for the record. I wasn’t ready to admit that he was right. I’m still not thrilled at the prospect of change.
I have a huge fear of letting people down. I worry that my friendships are based on how much I give to them, and if I start to back off, I could lose those relationships. Logically I know that if that were to happen, then the relationship really wasn’t one I should be trying to preserve in the first place — but I still don’t want to risk that. (This is where I should also interject to say that the people who know me best in the world, the “single name in the cell phone contact list” friends who have been around for more than a decade, have also said this to me, many times, and have been trying to get me to be more selfish for years. This usually ends with me in tears trying to avoid the topic. It’s a long process, okay?)
I’m working on it. The mantra that I’ve been repeating to myself throughout 2016 has been “Self care is not selfish.” If I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t be there for the other people in my life. It’s not selfish to spend time at the gym every day, or to take time out of my weekend to lay in a hammock and reflect on my week. I need to do the things that keep me strong, healthy, and centered if I also want to be able to be a good employee, friend, and daughter.
So what has that looked like lately? Well, I joined Crossfit in May, and that’s been a game changer. It is simultaneously the scariest and most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. I go into practically every workout with the voice in my head saying “um, you can’t do that…” and by the end of it, I’m giddy over what I’ve accomplished. Yes, I’m modifying. A lot. And I’m not as fast or as strong as some of the other people in class. But I’m also completely obsessed with how I feel when I walk out of the gym, and I’m loving the community of people I’ve met there. The coaches are supportive and encouraging, and really take the time to make sure I’m getting things right. Every athlete congratulates every other person after every workout, whether you were the first or the last to finish. No one cares what you look like or what your stats are – you’re all there on an equal playing field and you’re all working toward the same goals.
I also ditched Planet Fitness for a REAL gym, one that has all the equipment I need to continue to push myself in my training. I’m still working with Janie and I’m really excited by the progress I’m making. The number on the scale isn’t my favorite, although I am down 25 pounds since January, but my clothes are fitting better and I’m happy with the changes I see when I look in the mirror. I’m trying to figure things out for a longer term solution and that’s going to take longer than the weight loss efforts I’ve gone through in the past. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and experimentation. It takes trying things and evaluating how my body responds. It means stumbling and failing a few times along the way, but learning from those failures. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m getting there, and for now, that’s good enough.