Happy Anniversary to me and all of you out there as well! According to WordPress, 1 year ago this week I started this blog, having no clue at all what I was doing, but thinking it might be another way to hold myself accountable to the new health and wellness journey I was on as well as a great way to connect with people who may be on similar journeys. A year later I am sooo happy I went for it! 😊 This has been an incredibly rewarding year filled with a lot of changes, forward momentum and basically the emergence of a whole new me! Getting to share it all with you guys has just made it that much more fulfilling and I can thank you enough for coming along for the ride!
In sitting here today and thinking back over this year, I realized that blogging is a lot like getting fit. It takes dedication, commitment and a little bit of resilience. You have to want to show up for yourself on a consistent basis in order to get results even on days when showing up is a little more challenging than others. While I don’t consider myself to be even close to an expert on either subject, fitness or blogging, I have discovered I have a passion for both and want to learn all I can about each one in order to continue bettering myself and finding the best version of me to give to the world. Over the past year I have learned quite a few things both about getting healthy and sharing my experiences along the way so I figured this would be a great time to pass along a few of those lessons I have learned…hope you enjoy!!
- NO ONE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU – I mean this could apply to just about everything in life once you hit a certain age but it definitely applies to working out, eating right and writing a blog. You have to have a certain amount of self-discipline if you want to be successful in these areas in particular. Results aren’t always quick and there will definitely be hurdles along the way. You can even have accountability groups, workout buddies, a personal trainer, deadlines but those people and things are not going to be by your side day and night smacking your hand when you go to reach for that second donut or extra piece of pizza or telling you to turn off the TV and go sit down at your laptop and write. You have to take your goals, whether it be to get healthy, lose a few pounds or write consistently into your own hands. You have to show up for yourself day in and day out. You have to want these things badly enough for yourself that you overcome whatever excuses you can dream up and just get your butt in gear. I have found some days this is pretty easy and some days not so much. On the tougher days I just have to remind myself why I started on these journeys in the first place. I have to remind myself how much better I will feel at the end of the day if I can look myself in the mirror and know I showed up for myself that day. After all, taking 30 minutes out of your day to exercise or write a few paragraphs is such a small amount of time to dedicate to doing something to better your life why wouldn’t you put in the effort??
- STOP FIGHTING AGAINST YOUR BODY – I didn’t realize until very recently just how long I had been fighting against my body instead of working with it. I starved myself. I over-exercised or didn’t exercise at all. I filled it with all kinds of empty calories when I did eat. The last couple years I treated the drive thru window like my one-stop shop for most of my meals. I didn’t get enough sleep. There were times in my life I probably drank too much (I was a bartender for several years so it kinda came with the job description). I just paid no attention to the abuse I was putting my body through by not doing even the simplest things to help it function better. I am so much more aware of the needs of my body these days and only want to do things to help it function at its best. I stopped eating fast food. I started going to bed each night at the same time….much earlier than I had been! I have the occasionally glass of wine but that is it when it comes to alcohol. And obviously I exercise on a consistent basis. My physical health, my mental health my happiness levels have all improved exponentially since starting on this journey. I cringe now looking back on how poorly I treated myself and can’t imagine ever going back the being that person!
- FOOD CAN CURE SO MUCH – Here is a perfect example of why I feel so strongly that food can actually function as medicine: A year ago last month I all but cut out most meat. I no longer eat chicken or beef and also started severely limiting how much dairy I intake. After many years of struggling with non-stop sinus infections, tendonitis in several parts of my body and battling pretty debilitating Ulcerative Colitis flare ups I decided to try altering my diet in hopes of reducing some of the inflammation my body was obviously battling and get off the antibiotics that I hated putting in my body. A year later and oh my gosh what a huge different it has made! I feel like again this would be a good time to say this is what has worked for ME. I am not advocating anyone else try this or that this diet is what is best for you but for me it has worked wonders. You guys, the pollen the last few weeks has been off the charts high. I haven’t had one sinus infection. One headache. One sniffle. NOTHING! The last couple years I would have been on my third or fourth sinus and/or ear infection by this point and basically living on antibiotics for the entirety of the Spring season. The last UC flare up I had a few weeks ago was sooo minor and went away so quickly I was astounded. Where usually my flare ups last a minimum of a month to sometimes six months this one went away in two weeks!!! I have made a huge effort to eat whole, non-processed foods, take a multi-vitamin, get my superfood shake in everyday and just generally pay a lot more attention to what I am fueling my body with and the results have been nothing short of amazing to me. At almost 40 years old I feel healthier and happier than I have in a long, long time!
- YOU HAVE THE TIME – I became a morning person. Well kinda. Much more than I ever thought I would be at least! I used to hate mornings. I was one of those people who had to set at least 3 alarms, shed a few tears, think about if I REALLY my job that this alarm was forcing me to get up for and then finally fight through what felt like actual pain before I finally threw my legs over the side of the bed and dragged myself into the kitchen to started brewing that oh so important first cup of coffee. That literally happened every morning! When I started on this journey to get healthy though I realized very quickly that I would have to MAKE time to workout. We all only get so many hours in the day and I still think one of the biggest challenges to starting and sticking to a fitness routine is just finding the time for it. Like a lot of people, my days are pretty full so early on I realized I would either have to work out early in the morning or late at night at least during the week in order to fit it in For a while I chose later at night because well, again I was just not a morning person. This worked ok but I found that even with the best of intentions and trying to plan out my weeks ahead of time things would come up after work and/or by the time I got home I had very little energy left and if I did manage to get a workout in it didn’t feel like a good one. So several months ago I started setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier in the mornings and decided to try to knock out my workouts before my day got started. It was a little rough in the beginning and it took some weeks to adjust but now I tend to wake up and get out of bed even before my alarm goes off and I don’t even feel like I am dying! I love the feeling of checking that workout off my list early in the day so I know it’s done and I don’t have to worry about anything getting in the way of making it happen consistently. So the moral of the story here is if I can become a morning person and make time to get healthy anyone can!!
- COMPARISON IS A MOTIVATION KILLER– Let’s face it, we all go on social media and look at what other people are doing. What they are wearing. Where they are traveling. How many followers they have. What they are eating and of course how fit they are. But social media most of the time isn’t reality. Now a days everyone pretty much everyone uses filters. A lot of people even edit their photos whether it be with Photoshop or other editing programs to enhance just about every part of it. Very rarely is the picture you are looking at from your favorite influencer untouched. Also keep in mind that everyone’s body is different. What works for me may not work for you in terms of getting in shape. What foods I need to eat may not be what foods you need to eat. Now some of the principles of working out and getting healthy in my opinion apply to just about everyone. For instance, consistency is key. Showing up every day will eventually bring results. Again this could apply to getting healthy and blogging. I am not saying there aren’t always going to be people out there in better shape than you and me…physically, financially, whatever, but the only person you should be in competition with is yourself. Just be better than you were yesterday and you are doing great!
So again I wanted to say thank you to all of you! I sincerely appreciate all the support, the likes the comments the tips, the personal struggles and successes you have shared with me over this past year…all of it! I never in a million years thought anyone would actually read what I put on this site so the support from all of you has been so unexpectedly amazing. I thought sharing my journey on here would be something that would help me show up. Back then I thought even if just one person reads these posts and follows me that is reason enough to keep on plugging forward and showing them and myself what is possible with a little bit of effort. I really never imagined how much fun I would have creating this site and getting to interact with so many supportive and encouraging people like you. My heart is truly full right now. So thank you, thank you, thank you and here’s to another year of striving to be our best selves and living our best lives possible! Progress pics from the year below also!