Hey guys! Long time, no talk. How are you doing? I’ve missed blogging and have been writing lots, just not publishing. And sorry, I’m not sorry. To be honest, I’ve been in and out of a funk over the last few months, but you know what? It happens. When you choose to create your own life, to expect that it’s going to be all rainbows and unicorns, would be doing yourself a disservice. To be completely transparent, at times, it sucks. Tears
may be have been shed and sometimes the stress is so great you feel like your head is going to explode. You feel alone, with no one to turn to. I get it. I’ve totally been there. But without these struggles we would be nowhere, for it is during these times that we learn and we grow. And if you choose to weather the storm, you’ll emerge on the other side with new perspective and stronger than before, no doubt. Remember: you can handle anything life throws at you. It’s scary as shit to trust this, but try it. Lean into the struggle and practice self-trust, every day.
Anyways, back to the subject of today’s post. And no, I’m not going to talk about farm animals. I’ll leave that to my animal-obsessed vet school lovin’ sis. I really wasn’t going to blog about this, but I’ve been thinking about blogging about it since I started this blog, and have been feeling this way for a lot longer than that. So, last night in the car on my way back from the gym, it hit me. I could not NOT blog about it. So, here goes.
I’ve always loved exercise and eating [mostly] clean. Sure, I’ve struggled with the whole moderation thing, at times, but on the whole it makes me happy. Work what works, right? I love to sweat, live for the endorphin rush and crave being sore. I like to be challenged. I also like to prep my food, plan my day around my #BAS for lunch and love healthifying (not a word, I know- just go with it) even the most indulgent of recipes to make them fat loss friendly. Weird, I know, or perhaps not and that’s why you haven’t stopped reading 😉 My passion for nutrition has been ignited by changes in my own life in the last year in a half. In that time, I’ve learned that what I thought was ‘good’ nutrition was really not ‘good’ at all. My system was out of whack, I was in denial over countless deficiencies and battled both chronic cold and fatigue. My body was deprived. Enter: weight training. It’s given me confidence I never thought I’d have and has taught me that food is fuel, not public enemy No. 1.
My passion. This lifestyle I lead. I live it, I love it and I want to learn everything there is to know about it. And this, my friends, is the very thing that makes me the black sheep in my family. I crave this knowledge not selfishly, rather see it as a tool that will help me to empower others. But still, it sets me apart. Sure my family exercises and eats well, but to them it’s just a part of their day and they don’t give it a second thought; a hobby, if you will. To them, the idea that you could make a living doing your hobby is ludicrous; especially when your hobby is fitness, no less (exceptions to the rule include hobbies in business, law or medicine). And it’s been like this since the day I declared a Health & Exercise Science major: “So, you want to be a gym teacher?” Always needing to fit in a workout, or requesting that my food be prepped a particular way, I was the oddball left wondering why they didn’t ‘get it’. In all fairness to them, they grew up in a different time. Still, there’s nothing more frustrating than the feeling of not being understood. I get it. I really do.
You know something though? I allowed myself to become the black sheep. My “poor me” response was getting me nowhere, and I was totally pulling the victim card. It took
some a ton of introspective work, but once I finally owned it, I realized that it was within my power to change it. In fact, it was my responsibility to change it. To create an environment for myself where I felt like the whitest little sheep out there. Now this is not to say I’ve severed ties with my family, at all, but there are things we talk about and things we don’t. Sure it’s tough to label relationships with some of the people you love most as superficial, but at this point in my life maintaining that distance is what I need to do for me, right now. This is not to say that I do not appreciate having grown up in a home where moderation was taught (and practiced), healthy family dinners were the norm and physical activity was encouraged daily. For those things and so much more, I will be forever grateful. Oh, and by the way. My sister is my best friend and I still talk to my mom everyday. I just let them do their thing, and I do mine.
As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Do not underestimate the power of your support network. Your support may come in the form of family, friends or even complete strangers but at the end of the day, you choose who you surround yourself with. This made a lot more sense after attending The Radiance Retreat with Jill Coleman, Jen Sinkler and Neghar Fonooni this past summer. It was there, in the mountains of Asheville, NC, that I realized just how empowering it is to be surrounded by like-minded individuals. I may have met everyone, but it’s not about the numbers. I left having made the connections I needed to make, and with friends I will have for a lifetime. These were exactly the kinds of people I needed to be surrounding myself with. They made me feel normal, complete.
It happened again at the TimeMills retreat a few months later (must be something about Asheville lol). Surrounded by a room full of black-therefore-we-are-all-white sheep, all weekend… what fun! #blacksheepunite In all seriousness though, to be around others’ that think like you think, outside the box, is refreshing. Ideas literally bouncing off the walls for four days straight. I kid you not. Around the fitness clan, appropriately labeled so by the Jade Teta (another story for another day), I feel like a little white sheep. Guard comes down and I can be me, without reservation. *NOTE: This is my unofficial plug for these two events. If you have the opportunity to, go. Basically, you can’t afford not to.
In recent months, I’ve definitely become more selective about who I allow into my inner circle. I love people, but I’m guarded. Extroverted introvert? That’s me. Stop me and I’ll talk to you, for a minute or hours (lol I really do love engaging people), but at the end of the day I’m a really private person. If someone or something is holding you back, ask yourself if that person/thing is deserving of your time and energy that could be directed elsewhere. If not, byeee. It’s not easy, but it’s the key to personal freedom. It’s your life and you get to create it. You have one life to live. Dream big, weather the storms and live it exactly as you please.