Living Life YOUR Way
Yesterday, I had an incredible podcast interview (should air this week) with Lauren Handel Zander, author of the new book, “Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap. Face Your Fears. Love Your Life.” This episode will air shortly – but listener warning – and READER warning – do NOT read this book if you don’t want to change.
This book is sort of like something you can’t un-know. So if you want to take control of your life, face your fears and CHANGE some sh*t… then this is a great book. [Likewise if you want to do exactly what you are doing until the end of the earth, complain about your life and others, then don’t waste your time.]
Here’s the thing I believe: EVERYONE wants to change SOMETHING.
But at the same time: we are bothered by any and all change in others (unless it directly benefits us). And we are often unwilling to address the need for change in ourselves.
We also often want to see others either stay the same or do worse. Maybe not admittedly. Maybe not ‘really’ – but deep down, when someone else upsets the apple cart, we will freak out, pull away or stick our heads in the sand. We will focus on something that’s not true, or read between lines that aren’t even there.
Or, in contrast, we will say, “They got something I want. I’m coming too.”
Change upsets the beliefs that we hold about the universe, about other people. Change ruffles the feathers about other people’s abilities to improve, grow and change. In turn, we have to think.
Because. When OTHER people change, it’s like someone is FORCING us to look in our own mirror and ask some uncomfortable questions: how is MY life working for me? how is my job treating me? why am I not happy? why am I still stuck in this same story? why… why…
And I don’t mean this in the Facebook-bragging sort of way. I mean in the real sense of the world and word.
For example, have you ever run into a friend from 100 years ago, and something had changed in her? And it was major? Like their job, education, body or the like?
And you thought, “How in the HELL did she do THAT?”
I have. And when I see those people, I ask them immediately, “What? Amazing! How DID you ______?”
I am DYING to learn. DYING to hear their story, their ‘secrets’ and their knowledge…
Oh! There’s a girl in the gym that I am stalking. She doesn’t know it, but I waiting on the courage to ask her the following questions:
– What is your leg day like?
– What is your nutritional philosophy?
– How much sleep do you get?
– What skincare do you use?
Why? Because she is fit and radiant and awesome! And I want to be just like her.
I ask questions. I have been asking questions and experimenting since 2015 when I decided that I had enough of my crappy fat, drunk, tired story.
Through this process of self-growth, I have changed. I feel that I have shed my skin over 80 times in the last two years, and about 1500 times in the last 7 months.
It’s easy to change for a year or so. It really is. There’s a reason that sober people have the highest incidence of re-drinking after their one-year sober-versary. Something about a year marks something weird.
After year one, things can get strange–especially when you are working on the same damn thing (weight, nutrition, health, swim, bike, run). You start to really have to press and work to keep improving. If nothing is changing, you can’t do the same thing.
I was listening to a podcast today with bodybuilder Dorian Yates talking about how you have to BREAK DOWN your body… over and over and over again, and never stopping in order to make any changes. ANY changes at all.
In order to change AT ALL, you have to break down. That was an ah-ha for me.
I feel that I have spent the last two years just breaking myself into pieces, deconstructing the pains, the issues, the ills, the food, the lies I tell myself and the doses of stupid sh*t that I tolerate from others… that has BROKEN ME DOWN, over and over again.
I was admittedly getting tired.
But then I listened to that podcast and I felt like, “BOOM!” I realized, that I am sitting on the other side of each day of breaking and I should be energized, not tired. Through breaking, I am growing. I am stronger–emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
I have a lot of gratitude for the people in my life who have helped me along the way. I have NEVER hesitated to show gratitude to them. But at some point, gratitude may go internal, and things might need to end. I can remain grateful. And I can also move on, do what is best, say “no more” and change how is necessary to continue my journey and my mission.
I write about a lot, and I have been honest in my sobriety and food journey.
But at the same time no one can truly know the tremendous amount of pain, sacrifice and BS that has brought me right where I am, to today. Just like I don’t know the same in your life.
And while I tell a lot, I do not tell all. But after ten years (yes, really) of writing in a public forum, people think they know me.
SO when I change publicly, people form a public opinion of any of my change.
Whether it’s a change of heart, plan, mind, body or soul that I make, someone is talking about it. Chatter chatter chatter… and without doing the logical thing—like asking me, like you would a friend you hadn’t seen for a long time,
“What DID you do? How ARE you?” [*Does not apply to those of you who actually did :)]
When I change (my mind, my plans, my strategies, my socks, my underpants), I write about it.
I write to get it out of my head, but also to share, to help others, to help with your mental monkeys too! To answer the questions for all the friends out there. Because you all have been along the journey with me. Some of you, since the early days. And this journey right here, has been about MY journey.
I am also a storyteller.
I don’t just throw facts at you like, “Did you know that using Metabolic Efficiency Training™ is about putting together foods that stabilize blood sugar (and insulin levels)” or “Did you know that bees and dogs can smell fear”?
I tell you the story about how my nutrition was STUCK.
How I made great progress, but I made ALL of my major progress from summer of 2015 to summer of 2016.
Then I proceeded to STICK for months and months with nothing. I can also tell you the story about how my fat loss stalled and I actually gained fat after Ironman Augusta with no real rhyme or reason. I can also tell you how Metabolic Efficiency and higher fat, lower (not NO) carb eating was recommended to me, and how I looked into it, implemented it… and I got UN-stuck.
The funny thing is that I know so many of you are stuck too. [You’ve told me.]
So. I found something that CHANGED me. Again. And when something changes me, I share it. That’s what “this new program I am touting” actually is.
That’s me, below, wearing a bikini as my preferred method of swimsuit, people.
Say whatever you want. I don’t care, because the girl who used to wear sweaters in the summer… is now this girl.
But in a flipping bathing suit that has a middle cut out of it.
I never thought I would see this day–and for two summers.
I’m good wherever any of you fall in your journey. It’s your life, your journey. LIVE your life YOUR way! Not that you need my permission. But if you want to be the best version of yourself, listen TO YOURSELF. Ask people questions. Seek the truth.
Ask yourself the right questions: is this moving me in the direction of my dreams? Am I happy with what I am doing? Is my course of action moving me forward? What can I do to help move myself forward. [Insert your own questions!]
I can promise you… I will NEVER stop breaking down, breaking myself over and over again to improve, to find the truths, to keep being the best damn version of myself.
Will I fail? Sure. Of course, but I am never afraid to fail.
I don’t quit. And I won’t ever quit.
Take it or leave it or me or whatever, this is MY life and I will just keep moving forward. Afterall, growth is the only real sign of life.
Love to you all,
PS – Look for the Best Tri Club Ever tent on Sunday at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga – if you see it, come say hi!
The next “Taming the Bully in Your Brain” with Deb Cheslow starts May 30th!