Sharing The Messy Parts
I don't know if any of you are Brené Brown fans/readers, but I was listening to her on a podcast recently and she was talking about (although this point was maybe peripheral to her main point) how we don't share our stories when we are in the midst of uncertainty/change/transition/difficulty. We (mostly) only choose to share once we've emerged from it all, better than before and flying high. And I think the truth of this is why I've always felt defeated rather than inspired by people's success stories. Yeah, their success was great and all, but how did they get there? I can't replicate that.
Because I hadn't seen the tough parts, it always seemed like they arrived at success so easily (no matter how hard they said it was to get there). I didn't get to read about all the things they tried and how badly or how many times they failed. I wasn't there to experience all the no-thank-yous and the where-do-I-go-from-heres.
So, in the spirit of all that, I'm going to share something that I'm trying with you all...not knowing whether it is going to work...rather than trying it and, pending it's success, coming back here to tell you all how awesome it was.
See, I always sort of rebelled against getting in great shape as a model because I was being told to do it - because it was based on someone else's opinion on what I should look like. I also feel like I've always oscillated between these two worlds of 1) You need to look perfect to succeed and 2) If you care too much about what you look like, your priorities are all wrong. But now that I am no longer in the modeling industry, and now that I've learned to let go of what other people think about how I prioritize my life, I'm free to see what I actually like and what I am truly capable of.
I'm talking about getting fit. Yes, for the vanity of it all. :) Because you know what? I've decided that it's 100% ok to want to look my best as long as my best is only in comparison to another version of me. See, comparison in itself is not the devil. Comparisons and baselines are necessary for understanding growth. Where we run into problems is when we start comparing ourselves to others. We are all seriously different fruits, and everyone knows you can't compare apples and oranges (and you especially can't compare berries and bananas). So do yourself a favor and stop. Like, now. You're only torturing yourself.
So - now that my vanity disclaimer is out of the way - let me explain further. I want to see what I'm capable of. I want to understand what I look like when I put a lot of hard work and thought into what I'm putting into my body and how I'm moving it. I also don't want to grow old and discover that I never realized my full potential at a time when it was easily accessible for me. (Let's face it, from 30 onwards, it's only going to get harder to "keep it up!") I want to know what my best me looks like and I want to be able to say I did what it took to get there - no matter how many trials and failures it took.
So I downloaded the app MyFitnessPal. I got my ideal macros calculated by a professional. I'm cooking at home as much as I can and weighing everything (even my glass of wine!). I bought a FitBit and a scale that measures my body fat percentage. And I'm probably going to be criticized for focusing on something like BMI and body fat and will probably be told that I'm setting a bad example...but here's the other thing I've learned recently: we cannot hold ourselves responsible for how others choose to interpret our actions (details of that are for another post). Worrying about what others would think of my actions is another huge part of why I haven't been able to succeed at this when I've tried in the past. But I'm stripping myself of it all.
-I do not care what others think about what I'm doing with my body since *I* know that I am seeking strength, health, and all good things.
-I am not responsible for someone's interpretation of this goal. My goals are not (and should not be) the same as other people's goals. So my goal may not be right for their life, and that's ok. A dear friend of mine has repeatedly reminded me how the best way to share something you believe in is to live it. If people are intrigued or have questions, answer them kindly. Share what you've learned. If they choose to criticize or to let your goal make them feel bad, that is completely out of your control. I say this because I was that person, letting other people's success make me feel bad about myself. They weren't doing anything wrong! All they were doing was a great job at life! My interpretation of their life and goals and attitudes was my responsibility alone...and since I've learned (for the most part) to stop letting other people's success make me feel bad, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I feel much more free to find and pursue what matters to me...not what matters to everyone else.
-My goal doesn't have to be perfect. It's ok to pivot. It's necessary to adapt. I have a fear, for example, of getting too skinny from this diet and exercise routine. But instead of letting that fear stop me from trying, I've put measures in place to let me know if I'm getting too thin. If those measures alert me, I'll make changes. I'll do research and learn and adapt. But I won't let my fear of this process not being perfect prevent me from trying at all.
Anyways, I'm excited. I have been incorporating more heavy weight routines into my workouts and I already feel sturdier, if that makes any sense. I really want to keep yoga as part of my life too for both my mental and physical health. And I'll tell you what...the better nutrition that I've been putting in my body has felt great. I am never starving, I drink 64+ ounces of water a day, and I've been learning to cook more interesting things. I feel so free to learn and experiment...it's intoxicating.
Thank you for sharing in this journey and allowing me the freedom to try and fail and learn and try again. I read somewhere yesterday that letting go of the need for success is what releases you from the fear of failure. I really connected with that. I'm curious: do you have any health/fitness goals at the moment? Is there something blocking you from pursuing them? Let me know and maybe we can work through our goals together! The struggle is real, but it doesn't have to be a bad thing...especially if we share in it together. :)