The Voices in My Head

I decided to make 2018 the year of MC. Figuring out what the heck I'm supposed to do and going after it in blazing fire. We're 15 days in and I know very little. Last year I decided to go back to school, so there's that. Am I supposed to be a nurse? I sure hope so -- so we go after it with blazing fire. Took the pre-requisites, became a CNA, aced my TEAS test. Just waiting on that acceptance letter. Fitness has been a major part of my life for the past 6+ years and there's no doubt that I am supposed to do that and have been. But to what extent? Am I capable of pursuing it with blazing fire? 

 Part of making 2018 the year of MC has been to read more and read things that matter. Ironically, I chose the first book of this endeavor and it is titled "Start" by Jon Acuff. I've tried to read 1-2 chapters per day and I love his style of writing and the insight already. My first time reading I literally laughed out loud and shook my head after flipping to the back and seeing an appendix titled "10 Things to Do if You're Unemployed." In case you haven't picked up on that yet, I'm self-employed/unemployed. More on that later. 

Chapter 3, which I just read, discusses the "voices" that we all hear in our heads. These voices are the "dragons" of our journey, the things that aim to derail us and put doubt in our minds on the quest to "Awesome." The author encourages you to identify these voices; write them down as soon as you hear one and then share it, as chances are someone else is hearing the same one. So this is me, sharing my voices, negating them and hoping that maybe, just maybe someone else can benefit from knowing that you're not the only crazy person that hears voices. 

Voice #1 - You're not going to make it

This voice applies to a lot of scenarios in my life. The most glaring and ugly being my current employment situation. I was raised to be smart with money. My dad was an accountant and I was the youngest of 5 so my parents were very good at managing money and they did their best to pass that skill along to their children. (I also just want to say that it makes me nauseous to think about how much money my parents spent on various things for me throughout my life and dependence upon them and when I hit the Powerball or become Awesome, whichever happens first, they will be top priority and living in a mansion on whatever beach they prefer debt-free.) Now I'm not saying I haven't made some impulse purchases and such, but my husband hates shopping with me because I will have arms full of stuff and put all of it back because I can't commit. I read reviews on everything I buy and I have to crowdsource for big purchases. I don't like to stress about money. Let me preface the next few sentences by saying that I was not "fired." My current state of employment is unfortunate but it was something that was inevitable and was foreseen, but came several months earlier than anticipated. That being said, when I became self-employed/unemployed I was terrified to tell my husband. I waited for the "You need to find another job immediately" and the "We're eating Ramen for every meal until you're done with school," and by the Grace of God, I got a completely different answer - "We'll make it." 


Say what? My frugal husband was calm as a cucumber and said "Just keep personal training and worrying about getting into nursing school and we'll make it." Ya girl had already started working on her "Welcome to Hardee's, Can I take your order?" and my husband had basically said "You can be a stay-at-home dog mom/part-time personal trainer until August when you become a full-time nursing student." TAKE THAT VOICE. 

That voice has also peeped up numerous other times in my life - deciding to compete in bodybuilding, shooting for powerlifting Nationals last year, boarding a flight on a sunny Thursday morning and just knowing it's going to go down with me on it (is anybody else like this? please let me know because I always think I'm going to be on the next Sully movie.)  This voice might creep up on you when you decide to take on a new goal or a new project. Don't listen to that voice - you will make it. You might not make it like you initially planned, but you'll make it. 


Voice #2 - You waited too long.

I got into fitness in 2011-2012 and started an Instagram account when Instagram had just become a thing. When I got on Instagram, the Amanda Bucci's and Christian Guzman's of the world had basically as many followers as I did. I tried the whole 50 hashtags thing and even tried to make a YouTube video once or twice but thought I looked stupid and quit. Now I look back and think man, these people who were once my equals are now making 6+ figures off of social media and get flown to Fitness Expos all expenses paid (granted they are also walking around holding a camera to their face the whole time but I mean they're making money doing it). And here I sit in North Carolina still propping my cell phone up against a dumb bell to film my workouts. I regret not pursuing that because if you ever look at their first few videos/posts - they looked pretty stupid too. The difference in them and me? They didn't listen to that voice and as a result they didn't quit. 

My decision to go back to school at 25 with a very expensive degree from a top Journalism school was scary. I started having those thoughts around this time last year and it took me until August to finally register for classes. "You're too old." "You waited too long." "It's stupid to go into more student debt." But, I tried using that degree, there is little opportunity to do so where I live and I don't like sitting at a desk. Oh you work at a fancy PR Firm and don't sit behind a desk? Good for you. I live in the middle of a corn field. Maybe that's just an excuse, but I just don't think it's something I could do the rest of my life and be happy. Unfortunately I didn't know this at age 20 before my brain fully developed and I knew what it was like to live in the real world. (I'm advocating for 18 year olds to go to community college and work for a few years before deciding on a major because I am also an advocate for the saying that you "Change a lot in your 20s" because it's true. Go to college late and figure out who you are when your brain isn't going to form another lobe and throw everything for a loop.) 

Powerlifting....oh boy is this a can of worms. I was squatting and benching in high school and I was good at it then. Unfortunately no one told me there was a competitive outlet for that. So I continued to be a sort-of decent athlete and thought I'd have to body build to be able to find a competitive outlet for fitness. I'm not going to say I wasted 4 years of training on bodybuilding because I do think I owe a lot of my strength to that, but I kick myself for not starting sooner. Can I go back and control time? No. Could I have possibly been injured or burned out by now? There's a good chance. So I just have to squash this voice and aim to be a pretty good mid-20's powerlifter. Only 10 ish years out from Masters. I'm coming for you!


Voice #3 - It'll never happen to you

Man if there's one voice we all hear I feel like it's this one. "You'll never be slim." "You'll never be financially stable." "You'll never be a mom." THIS VOICE SUCKS! Do we know what our life holds? Absolutely not. I say all the time now that I wish I could go back and tell 16 year old me what I know now. I shouldn't have gotten so mad about this thing or I shouldn't have wasted my time on that guy or you really should've switched your major, but I can't and I guess that's the big lesson learned of life. But there is no reason to doubt that something wonderful can happen to you. If you get fed up enough, you'll stick to your diet and you'll figure out how to be healthy and happy. Trust me because I've been there. I never thought I'd be to the place I am now where I can eat without stressing myself out. It takes time and lots of good people, but you will get there. If you work your butt off and are smart with your money, you can be financially stable. No, I don't have a direct line to the Stork but if it is God's will for you to have a baby, no doctor will be able to deny you that. And there are so many cute babies that need adopting so "Mom" is not out of reach for you.

This one is one of the hardest for me. Part of me says I want to be awesome and I want to be able to reach so many people and do something incredible and then part of me says "You know, I would be okay being a middle class American with a quiet life, a successful marriage and a big kitchen." And I don't know which part I will be, but I do know that I can only effect what is within my reach and the rest is out of my control. I can work hard and type up long blog posts that people probably don't even read and I can share more information about my life than I probably should and hope for the best. And I can annoy people with posts about my macros and my lifts and my dog because that is within my control. Can I control who sees it and what becomes of it? No. But I know that those voices are just voices. And that I AM in control of how I interpret them and how I respond to them. I decide if I quit or keep blazing along.

What are the voices in your head saying? What goals are they trying to talk you out of? Let 2018 be the year that you acknowledge those voices, negate them and share them. Don't fight them alone. So what if people think you're crazy? Everyone is. 

If you're interested in this book, find it on Amazon here.


Happy Valentine's Day! Today we celebrate love, romance and all things chocolate! Hallmark Holiday or not, who can't get on board with chocolate? If nothing else, take time to love on those that are special to you and even sprinkle some love to your neighbors today. But also, take time to love yourself today. 

You can be your biggest advocate or your biggest critic. Sometimes I think we all need to take a step back and love ourselves the way our loved ones love us. The people that love you aren't concerned with those 5-10 pounds that you think you need to lose. Or even the 50 or more that you should lose. They're concerned with your heart and your well-being. The people that love you don't care that you have cellulite or that you're starting to find gray hairs. They cherish the years that they've known you and the memories you share. The man that you started a family with loves your stretch marks... they came from the life you two created and are raising together. Look at yourself through someone else's eyes. 

Our society has really embraced the #loveyourself movement in recent years and I'm completely on board with it, but I think we shouldn't let a movement make us complacent. Love your body at every size, but also love yourself enough to put your health first. Some bodies just tend to carry more weight than others and that's life. Some bodies tend to carry less weight than others. Continue to get uncomfortable. Some people are introverts, some are extroverts, and some are stuck in the middle (Yes I can talk to a stop sign. No I don't want to go out in public tonight). Sure you have a job now that pays the bills...but do you really love it? Life is too short to be unhappy, to be mean to yourself and to be complacent. So today, I challenge you to #LoveYourself in all seasons, sizes and situations because if you don't love you - how can anyone else?

#LoveYourself enough to make changes towards a healthier you.

#LoveYourself enough to not care what others think about you.

#LoveYourself enough to set goals - physical, personal, professional goals.

#LoveYourself enough to exercise when you're stressed rather than eat.

#LoveYourself enough to get the grilled nuggets when you really want the fried ones.

#LoveYourself enough to just eat the ice cream rather than depriving yourself. 

#LoveYourself enough to pick out the thing you like about yourself rather than what you really don't like.

#LoveYourself enough to ask that girl/guy out that you feel like would never give you the time of day. Rejection only stings for a minute.

#LoveYourself enough to stop comparing yourself to others. Sure Kim Kardashian is rich, but she also has terrible form in the gym. Also, that lady that looks like she has it all together on social media, probably only had it together long enough to take that selfie. Who even knows if she's wearing pants?

#LoveYourself enough to get out of debt.

#LoveYourself enough to remove the toxicity from your life - people, places, addictions.

#LoveYourself enough to lose the people that drag you down.

#LoveYourself enough to make new friends. Get out of your comfort zone. Try something new.

#LoveYourself enough to pursue that thing you've always dreamed about doing. 

#LoveYourself enough to take the trip. It's just a few vacation days and a airline ticket.

#LoveYourself enough to be selfish. Be selfish with your time, your resources and your energy.

#LoveYourself enough to take on more than what they pay you for. Show them what you're worth.

#LoveYourself enough that you'll love others. Make a difference in someone's life just because you can.

#LoveYourself enough to be bold in your faith. 

#LoveYourself enough to take time to do what makes you happy and be with those that make you happy.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the gist. People always think of love as a projection onto someone or something else. But sometimes you just need to project that right on back at yourself. Cover yourself with it. Roll around in it. And then go sprinkle that stuff on everyone else!