Day 194, Quote 19: Interview Question “What motivates you?”

I have so many things that I want to do to give back to the world around me. When I have an idea I flush it out and then run with it. There’s a part of me that’s fearful that if I don’t try then I will never know my own greatness.

I said this to a client the other night and it’s something I need to remind myself of now.

Her and I have been discussing new job opportunities and taking steps to apply. During this talk she said she wasn’t sure if she should apply to one we had most recently talked about – it really is the perfect fit for her – because she didn’t have a degree. I looked at her and said “they didn’t say you would need one”.

The trick with job postings is that they list everything they would want in a candidate if they could build one. It’s the perfect world scenario, but it’s not reality. No where in this posting did it say she needed that. It’s possible that they would have other candidates apply that have one, but she’s in the process of obtaining her degree and she has plenty of transferable skills.

I told her, you need to let them tell you no. By not trying you are telling yourself no for them.

She’s scared of something new and there is validity in that fear. New is scary because you can’t predict any outcomes.

I’ve been writing and editing and deleting the last section of my workbook. My intention was for it to be done in May or early June at the latest. I’ve been questioning the words and second guessing if they’re coming out right. Am I saying what I want to and how will it be understood are pretty typical questions I’ve been asking myself.

When I think about why I’m writing this to begin with and what’s preventing it’s completion – they are opposite and competing ideas.

I want to help others who may need guidance, but don’t want someone to hold their hand – I can understand that. I want people to feel capable and confident with most of their decisions, even though I know myself isn’t always feeling that way. More often than not is the goal, not perfection.

So what’s preventing me? It’s my own issue with imposture syndrome and the possible negativity.

I told JP the other day that one day, when I’m more removed it won’t be a big deal, but I still struggle with the idea that I don’t believe I’m all that special to really warrant that kind of attention.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and the host was talking about what feeds you, what motivates you. She said that she’s never liked the idea of being fueled on haters because of the power that she believe it gives them. It allows them credit for your work.

I think I teeter back and forth.

I am motivated by the greatness I continue to see in others. I am energized when they light up and it makes me want to continue to work with others and coach them on their paths. I am motivated by the accomplishments that I achieve that I didn’t think I could do because they are challenges I’ve never willingly put myself through – like going back to school.

I do believe that there have been aspects of my journey that I’ve done in spite of others that I’ve benefited from, but by thanking those who doubt my abilities, I am giving them power. I guess the way I think of it is how some of us have weakness around certain foods. What about that food makes us crave it, desire it, not have enough of it? Why do we allow food to control us? There’s something bigger going on. So why fuel off of negative energy?

I don’t want to put bad energy into my environment. There’s a lot of other shit happening, there’s no reason to not take each day in stride and look for the goodness. Each day can’t be great, but there can be good in each day.

I’d like to think that I have this outlook regardless of what’s going on around me or to me. This is the outlook I want to always have.

So, like I told my client – I’m not going to submit to a defeat that may not even exist. I’m going to give my all and put myself out into the world with the hope that those who are seeking a similar heart will feel grounded and connected and that those who are seeking to be spiteful will eventually get bored and keep walking.

I am giving myself permission to be frustrated that hate can make us fearful to be bold and do great things, but I am also telling myself that I have more greatness in me that out shines the power I had been giving the doubtful voices in my head, the voices I had previously heard.

❤ Cristina

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Day 187, Quote 18: “Reach Out Eagerly”

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. -Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve rewritten this three times. I don’t typically go through and edit heavily. I’ll look for spelling or grammar. Maybe clarify, but I don’t typically reread to rewrite. But I just wasn’t saying what I wanted to in the way I wanted to. My headspace was weird this morning and I think that’s why I’ve been rewriting.

There’s a lot in my head that I want to get out, but even to me I don’t know how to formulate the words.

I guess I’ll start with the obvious. I finished the second week of work and I’m about to start week three. This is still a brand new adventure and I’m curious to know when the newness will fade, but I’m hopeful that it won’t fade greatly. I’ll get into a groove and the anxiety and fear of screwing up will disappear, but the excitement of new project aspects will keep it fresh.

I always say that I’m “bright-eyed and bushy tailed” and I’m eager. I’m eager to learn and to get involved. I’ve been told that’s not always a good thing.

Well, for me, it’s more than just having money to live or in some cases survive.

I want to be passionate. I want to light the world up.

I want to be fired up about what I’m doing. It’s not that I get sad when it’s not a fantastic day – trust me I know that’s not possible every day. However, every day has the possibility of being good.

If the flame is dying or the attitude towards the position and work is or has faded and it feels like you’re dragging ass to your “job” then I do think you need to make a change. A change won’t happen in a few days, but if you figure out a plan and create a realistic timeline, you can work towards change. I digress.

This job isn’t just a job. It’s an opportunity to make the world brighter, to fill the gap and create possibility. It’s the same way I view coaching. I never thought I would want to be a coach, but with every person and every check in, I find myself full as they realize their own greatness.

People need to be given opportunity and choices to take them.

At work there was less anxiety, more reading, more writing and more understanding about how I fit into the puzzle. And I know that as I make connections and take the lead in meetings I will be more active and feel more engaged. I will feel capable of hitting the ground running every Monday.

There are aspects I’m comfortable with already and others I’m getting used to.

I haven’t had to lead meetings or monitor task delegation in a while, but I’m excited to get back to it. It’s slightly comparative to coaching because I do check in with clients in between calls about how their weeks are going and how they are feeling about progress. While I may not necessarily delegate all the tasks they are working on throughout the week, my clients and I come up with their to-do lists to work towards whatever their goals are – this is similar.

I love seeing tasks be accomplished and the puzzle come together. We can see the potential as it comes together.

I love reading research articles and digging, I’m currently researching medical drones – that’s something I never thought I would be reading about. Another part of my role will be assisting in editing abstracts this month that are being submitted for the international conference hosted this winter.

This really is a good balance of dancing on the comfort zone line.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about having a new schedule, but I’ve been able to adapt to it.

I welcome change, but I also know that there’s an adjustment period. I tell my clients this and this is something that I have to remind myself sometimes – we aren’t super human even if we do extraordinary things sometimes.

So, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s like a slap in the face.

This was somewhere in between.

~~~

This is the part of the post where I’ve written and deleted and rewritten a few sentences over and over again.

I’ve been to the gym and kept up with my workout schedule and I’m glad that I’ve pushed myself to focus on it because it’s helped me get through other things this week.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety stemming from interpersonal relationship dynamics with friends. It’s been causing flashbacks, which have been just as vivid as ever.

In some cases, I’m going through the motions in the memory and in others I’m watching the scene. There’s no obvious rhyme or reason to the memories I’m seeing.

It’s recess. It’s gym class. It’s the grocery store. It’s holding a roll of film and then holding the photos.

It’s clips. It’s full color. It’s slow motion, it’s hyper speed.

But I can taste them. I can smell them. I can feel them.

I never used to get flashbacks like this when I was stressed. Only the past few years. I think we all go through periods where we think back on memories, but it’s literally as though a little person is digging into a filing cabinet and exclaiming “aha! this one.”

I’m planning on journaling this weekend and seeing if I can make any connections of the memories to the relationship dynamics. After breakfast this morning when JP and I were talking about our plans for the day and I told him I wanted to get some writing done and about the flashbacks this week, I started crying hysterically. Physically, it came out of no where. Mentally, I knew it was bound to happen some time.

It’s weird because my headspace overall this week has been pretty damn good. I never second guessing the typical things that take a hit – eating, working out and sleep. I felt capable of getting everything I had to do done, and getting things I wanted to do done as well. It’s also possible that I’ve finally had time to settle down from running around this week and it just caught up to me. It’s possible that just “brain dumping” here and into my journal will give me the clarity that I need to lessen the flashbacks and regulate my anxiety. If I feel I need more, then I’ll do more.

For today, I planned some writing and a possible nap before going out with a former client for dinner. Since nothing NEEDS to be done today, I’m giving myself the chance to go through motions as they feel good.

❤ Cristina

Day 179, Quote 17: “You’re halfway there”

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This week has been good.

It’s been weird, but good.

I dusted off my dresses and found the rest of my bobby pins – this is what got me mentally in the game. It was nice to have a break from sheath dresses, heels and shaking hands, but I’ve been ready for that break to be over since February.

I started applying for jobs in February knowing that it can take a while for the application to become an interview and the interview to become an offer and an acceptance and a start date.

I started applying early because I was still figuring it out, but I knew what would make my heart sing. I know the kind of work I wanted to do, and I won’t lie it was a bit broader than I had anticipated.

I started on Monday, and let’s just say I’m glad to be through the paperwork and actually working on reading through literature pertaining to my role.

I have Wednesdays off and it gives me time to continue to volunteer where I had been doing my fieldwork placement this past spring.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated a little bit, but honestly, I think it’s good for me to be pushed and work towards my potential. We never know what we can accomplish if we don’t do something new or something that makes us a little uncomfortable.

My role as a project coordinator is going to test me and push me to be a better manager and organizer. I will be coordinating efforts between our team overseas in Liberia and different entities here like the CDC.

This project was developed after the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and if you don’t know anything about Ebola here’s some important things to know:

  1. It was discovered in the 1976 near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  2. It’s mainly located in sub-Saharan Africa
  3. Scientists aren’t completely sure where it came from, but suspect animals
  4. It spreads through direct contact of bodily fluids of a person who is sick or has died from Ebola
  5. There’s no approved vaccine or treatment for Ebola
  6. It’s deadly

The work this project is doing to strengthen initiatives in Liberia is truly amazing. This work is and will be impacting thousands of lives if not the whole country. I think that’s why I still feel on cloud 9. I know the potential implications of this project and I get to be a part of it.

I never thought I would be here.

I guess we’ll see where week two takes me as I start having meetings with our teammates. Academically – I’m done. Like done. I submitted my final on Monday and grades were posted today. Solid A in fieldwork and A- in US Government. Officially graduated with highest honors. I can’t even say how nice it feels to be done with papers and tests and to have time to write for fun and read for fun. Until I say I’m bored and take the leap for my MPH. I DO want to take some time off before diving in. Right now, one masters is enough and I’m content with the associate’s I just finished.

I’ve got my eyes on Boston University, but I also want to get experience before jumping into that. Now is the time to “relax” and enjoy the new path, work on my writing and keep moving forward with coaching.

In the gym – my lifts haven’t felt this good or capable in months. I surprised myself with my deadlift on Wednesday and again with my squat on Thursday. The next four weeks of this program really may be magic. I can’t wait to see where I end up and reassess the next steps.

I think I will want to work within my maxes after the program and work on some other self-created programming. I’ve missed writing out my own workouts, however, I did rework some of my accessory work for the PH3 program and I still saw appropriate progress.

Deadlifts and squats are still movements I want to work on, but I want to incorporate some other movements that work on mobility and flexibility. I also may have my eyes set on the rope in my gym.

Last week, I noticed the hanging rope from the ceiling in the functional room. I haven’t really gone in there. It’s where the TRX and kettlebells live. It’s away from the barbells and machines. I used to hate the rope in gym class and I haven’t climbed one since middle school, but there’s a part of me that kind of wants to try and see if I can do it.

I think it’s important to mix it up and being half way through the year, I’m excited to see what else I can do. I’m excited to see what else we have planned.

We’re going on our first hike of the season this weekend and I’m hoping we get a few more in as our schedules are slightly more flexible this summer. We had wanted to start this in the spring, but winter wouldn’t leave and classes kicked my butt.

We had wanted to run a 5K and 10K (me and JP respectively), but his foot just isn’t having it. We’re pretty sure it’s from poor support after a recent run so we’re postponing until later this summer.

I’m happy with where things are, and last summer’s feels feel miles away.

Bring on July. Bring on the rest of 2018.

We’re still working on exploring outside of Moscow Mules, but slowly chipping away at the other goals.

❤ Cristina

 

 

Day 174, Quote 16: “I just don’t know”

What is good enough?

At what point does being proud of yourself matter more than the pride others project onto you?

I just don’t know. Me neither.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a really long time, but it took a first check-in with a new client to decide to say yes and write it.

There are many of us that experience imposture syndrome. It’s common among Type A personalities, it’s also common among trauma survivors. Remember trauma is objective. Every individual has experiences differently and that means that even the same situation may be traumatic for one person, but not another.

Emotional abuse can be more harmful than physical abuse in some cases because physical wounds heal more easily. It’s not hard to identify a broken bone and to put a cast on it. Emotional wounds can take years to identify and acknowledge and work through before they actually heal.

We we’re discussing success and the feeling you get when you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. She is filled with doubt, and I’m honest, so I told her that I have moments like that too and I explained I felt that way when she contacted me because I was in awe.

I ask everyone to fill out a questionnaire because I want to make sure that we’re a good fit. I want to make sure I understand their support system, their goals, the motivation behind their goals and their expectations of coaching. I don’t want to take on a client that I don’t believe I can help or one that doesn’t have the same expectations of the relationship. Like all potential clients, she told me that the questionnaire was hard.

It made her think about her goals and how they were connected. I’ve had a few questionnaires that have put me into tears, but I also don’t claim that I’m excellent at holding back tears.

Her goals aren’t about physical attributes.

Her short-term goals:

  • Be more social
  • Not over think/doubt myself
  • Find what I am mean to do or be

She followed up these goals by stating that she wasn’t sure if these were actually goals of not.

Our screening lasted longer than they normally do, and we’ve already discussed extending out check-in times. This isn’t the first client I’ve done this for and as many of mine know, most of our calls are longer than an hour anyway. We were both in tears on the screening and I’m not ashamed to say I was in tears on Wednesday night when we had our first call.

Wednesday night we were talking about doubt, success and the influence of outside opinions.

I asked her the above question and she didn’t know the answer. That’s ok, she doesn’t need to and neither do I.

They’re competing ideas – be confident in your decisions and give zero fucks or seeking approval and never settled for your own satisfaction. There’s the alternative – being confident in your decisions, but then seeking approval as you reflect on the choices you’ve made.

When I stopped speaking to my family, it was easy to not reach out. It was easy to not call. Calls weren’t pleasant even when they started out well. They always left me defeated. When I finished my master’s program, I had graduated with a 3.947. I had received one A-. The response on the other end of the phone was “well, it’s not an MBA so it probably wasn’t that hard.” This is the only reason I remember my GPA.

I loved the program. I learned so much about program design and goal setting. It really is a lot of the basis that I use in coaching now. I connected with some of the most brilliant nonprofit leaders in the Boston area. I busted my butt and I was so proud because it was rigorous, and I hadn’t been 100% confident that I could do it. I try to hold onto the pride I had in myself because this was just an example of many that showed me how some people just can’t be happy for you.

I would be lying if I told you I never think about what the reactions of others are to my accomplishments and failures. I do, but I also try to step back and be objective about my own success and failures because if I can’t fill my cup on my own then nothing will ever be good enough.

I have to disagree with Yoda here. You can’t do something without trying. If I try to run a race, I’m still running the race, but there’s no promise I’m going to be capable of finishing, but at least I tried. You practice, and you keep trying and you move the needle over time.

I don’t know why, but I’ve had an easier time being satisfied and proud of my accomplishments and ignoring the opinions of those who actually know me. I think part of the reason is because they should know how I hard work and my backstory –  I shouldn’t have to explain myself. There voices While, I know I should care less about strangers, those seem to be the opinions I struggle to brush off because I know they don’t know me and I feel like I need to explain myself.

In a world where we can connect with a click of a button, it’s hard to say, yes I am enough, yes my voice is enough, yes my opinion is more than enough.

This is something that I find myself working on everyday. I share my story and that’s considered “content creation” in the digital age. But for me, it’s not about the likes, but the impact. Am I making a positive impact? Do others feel that they can share and be authentic because I try to share honestly and be authentic?

I can’t control how others feel about me, but I can control how I feel about myself. So, again, it’s hard, but at what point can we be proud of ourselves and allow that to take precedent over the projections that others put on us?

❤ Cristina

Day 169, Quote 15: “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”

No one is immune.

There are some things we just don’t grow out of, no matter how much we want to or how hard we try.

For some, it may be hard to look in the mirror and see the person standing in front of them instead of the person they used to be. For others, it may be how they think about their environment or how they respond to it. These may be things that we work on piece-by-piece by never fully let go.

I’m sure you’re noticing a pattern by now with how I talk with my clients and try to talk to myself. So I have no issues saying again, this is something I talk to my clients about often because this is also something I tell myself.

Behavior change is hard. I’ve talked about that before. You need to be ready for it. That being said, once you’ve felt good about making changes and you’ve practiced them, it can STILL be hard. Our behavior is a result of many things, it’s more than we “know”.

There’s two conversations going on in my head and I apologize if they get a bit jumbled, but they intertwine.

The first is reminding you that I was diagnosed with PTSD after college and just after I started losing weight. Around the time I was diagnosed with PTSD, I was also diagnosed with binge-eating disorder and anxiety. At the time I didn’t understand that multiple disorders could be diagnosed. Now, I know that it’s called concurrent disorders and it’s more common than we think.

I took medical leave almost two years ago because of my PTSD, and while I had been diagnosed four years before, I had never struggled with flashbacks, anxiety attacks and disassociation as intensely as I did when I started medical leave.

During college, food was a source of comfort for me like it is for many. It was part of socializing, it was part of coping, it was everything.

I know now that the behaviors I had that led to my weight gain were also related to my mental health. Honestly, as a college student, that wasn’t something I had considered before.

Seven months after college, I started to lose weight because I felt like I couldn’t control anything around me and this was something I knew was about my behavior. After I started losing weight, I had struggled with my eating in spurts around times of high stress, sometimes for a few days at a time, but never for longer than that. I never thought of this as more than stress-eating.

It was weird when my therapist at the time said I had binge-eating disorder. Our sessions revolved around growing up in an abusive household and how it impacted me in the present day. We talked about my relationships and the life I was creating for myself and making connections with previous experience and behavior to current experiences and behaviors. It was weird when a second therapist also agreed that I had an eating-disorder.

When I’m in good headspace, I don’t struggle with eating or decision-making or sticking to whatever “plan” I have at the time – that goes for sleep schedule, workouts, as well as eating – all aspects.

The second is telling you that I do feel good about where I’m at with everything. It’s been a weird year schedule wise, but I feel like I’ve gotten a good handle on adjusting priorities and creating a lifestyle that works for the current time.

Some of the feelings I’m going to talk about came to a surprise to me because I’m not 100% sure where they came from.

I’m also sure some things I will say may sound like they’re contradictory.

Let’s start at the beginning-ish.

In the beginning, when there were dinosaurs and I felt like change and progress were going to take forever – portion control meant eating smaller portions than what I had been, i.e. putting less on my plate and therefore in my mouth. This meaning was easy to follow because my daily diet was out-of-control and it wasn’t hard to just decrease my portions.

Eventually portion control meant making the decision to either follow the specific serving size on a package or to have a portion of that size, i.e. sometimes I have one serving, sometimes I have two, sometimes I have half a serving, etc. This was more structured and specific to my goals.

When I was competing, the above concept of portion control was a bit more meticulous. While I still chose to have one or two servings, I was more precise with my measurements.

So, I repeat – when I’m in good headspace – adherence isn’t hard for me. I’m deadline driven. I thrive in a goal-oriented environment. In isolation, the weight loss portion of my journey wasn’t hard because I had no issues sticking to smaller portions and moderating my food or working out – it was everything else in my environment that made it hard.

Today, even though I’m focusing on developing my strength and body re-composition, I’m allowing some flexibility with my eating, which means it might not be so perfect. Real life isn’t perfect. For me, I need to be flexible – I want to be flexible, otherwise, I think we find ourselves upset in every situation that we believe we have no say in or is out of our control.

I don’t have off-limit foods. I truly try to be flexible within macro-counting. I don’t eat foods I don’t like. I also try to change up my meals and be creative because you can’t live your life on a meal plan. When I’m not tracking everything, I have an 70/30 or 60/40 rule – track most things, but work on making good choices.

When JP and I go out to eat, I always get something I won’t cook for myself at home – like fish. I just can’t cook it the way they do at the restaurant. I’ll also get something slightly ridiculous like a burger with every topping on it because it’s not something I would do regularly anyway.

When we get dessert to bring home from local bakeries, my thought process is usually these will be here tomorrow and the next day and the next, so picking up the number we want is enough for now. We usually pick up two (depending on the size) and we split them. I pick one and JP will pick one. We don’t usually bring home more than we’re going to eat that day.

However, sometimes, when I’m trying to decide about something we don’t have often, I do struggle to finalize my choice. I may change my choice three or four times. I may say it out loud and talk to JP about it. Sometimes I go back to my first choice because there’s a reason I said it first, even if I don’t know it.

This is struggle I found myself in Sunday morning when we went to get bagels.

We always have bread in the house. Bread isn’t special. We make sandwiches a few times a week with whole grain bread and it’s satisfying enough – fiber, vitamins, all the things a grain should provide.

We always have English muffins in the house too. We probably eat them twice a week and since we don’t buy burger buns, sometimes we use plain English muffins in place of those. If you’re making a face at that, you don’t know the magic of a toasted English muffin and how it holds your burger patty and toppings in place!

We don’t keep bagels in the house. I’m not really sure why, but it’s probably because the size of the English muffin is enough to satisfy the craving and provide fullness without being too full. Sometimes a bagel can be too much.

There’s a bagel place by JP’s parent’s house called Gunther Tootie’s. The name always makes me giggle and their bagels fill me up for hours. I usually get a breakfast sandwich and that accounts for breakfast and a snack because it really is that filling for me.

I like to plan what I’m getting when I go out, but at 29, I also know what I like to eat. I know that I don’t like poppy seed bagels, but I do like lemon poppy seed muffins. I know that I like the idea of everything bagels, but I don’t like the mess they create so I never get them. Maybe I’m a pain in the ass, but I’ve talked to pickier eaters.

The conversation I usually have with myself and even with JP when he’s deciding is – sweet or savory? What am I trying to satisfy because let’s face it – this is about taste. From there I’ll ask what stands out that sounds good and what will keep you satisfied. I do ask myself about satisfaction in relation to fullness because I don’t like to be hungry after I’ve eaten a meal that I believe should’ve kept me full. I also ask about satisfaction in relation to taste because 1. I should like the taste 2. Food is also about experience. Everything has its place: fuel, experience, nutrients.

Yesterday morning I knew I wanted a bagel, obviously. I figured I would probably get a bagel sandwich, but I couldn’t decide between sweet and savory. My first choice was a bagel with salmon because we NEVER buy salmon. I then went down the rabbit hole of should I get this, or should I get a bacon, egg and cheese, maybe I should get a chocolate chip bagel and honey walnut cream cheese.

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In my head, I probably went through five or six choices and then said to JP, “I think I’m going to get salmon on a rainbow bagel, and I’d like to bring home two bagels for us to have for breakfast this week.”

He looked at me and said “yeah, we could do that.”

So, I ordered a rainbow bagel with salmon, regular cream cheese, red onion and tomato to eat right then and a chocolate chip bagel and an onion bagel for later this week. They’re already planned for breakfast on Tuesday.

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This was the compromise for the battle in my head.

I know it’s one that many others face too.

Here’s what I know about this battle.

  1. I know that the bagels aren’t going anywhere, at least from what I know about this business – they aren’t going anywhere. And if they were, there’s other places that bagels can be obtained. I also know that it doesn’t matter that I know that. This kind of thinking is associated with disordered eating behavior and eating disorders – and yes, these are different, but connected concepts.
  2. I know that it’s ok to not have a perfect plan or to change your mind and therefore alter the plan. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to be in the mood for, but this was more than not being able to decide what I thought would taste good. This was a moment I felt that I wasn’t in control of my relationship with food.

We have many relationships. We have relationships with people around us. We have relationships with ourselves. We also have relationships with food. Our relationships impact our decision-making process in both positive and negative ways. They create our environment.

These are two of the most important questions I ask clients – who or what is in your environment and what are these relationships like?

These are also questions I ask and reevaluate in my own journey.

Who or what is in my environment and what is the impact they are having on me.

Right now, so many exciting things are happening, and I never thought I would get here. It’s overwhelming. It’s a good overwhelming, but with the excitement comes fear and doubt of something new. I don’t always feel it, but sometimes it creeps in.  Sometimes it puts pressure on the other relationships I have.

For me acknowledging the feeling in general is a good step. Talking about how it’s impacting other aspects of my life is another.

My relationship with food isn’t perfect, but it’s better than it used to be, it’s a work-in-progress.

Trusting myself is going to be an ongoing project and that’s okay.

Great relationships take work and time. I’m not in a rush.

 

❤ Cristina

*If you think you may be struggling with an eating disorder or disordered behavior patterns, please seek proper professional assistance. The National Eating Disorders Association has a helpline that’s open 24-hours a day. If you don’t think your behavior warrants that call, consider reaching out to a therapist in your area who can assist your specific needs.

 

 

Day 159, Quote 14: “Brave does not mean…”

We’re shifting. I’ve been running on movie quotes this year and JP and I have been watching A LOT of movies. The spring was tough and there were more date night’s in,s o we revisited some of our favorites and found some new ones. Some inspired me and struck something that made me want to write.

But I’ve been working on writing more in a different way. Not just blogging or the workbook, but journaling and writing just to write. My friend Kara started a writing group for about a dozen of us using a writing challenge that prompts us daily. The prompts may be quotes, it may be a photo, but regardless you’re encouraged to write what comes to mind that day.

There have been some where I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of my head on paper and others that frustrated me and left me pondering for most of the day.

This was Day 8.

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Bravery.

My first thought was self-demeaning.

I am not brave.

I then thought of all the times that I’ve been told I’m brave.

I reached out to Kara and said in not as many words, this post was something I wanted to expand on outside of the group. I asked her to co-write a blog post with our view points of bravery.

As you read through our perspectives, I want you to ask yourself what brave means to you now. Has it ever changed it’s meaning? Do you think it can continue to evolve for you?

I also want you to consider its Google definition – you know, when you search Google like this: def:bravery.

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Here’s Kara’s point-of-view.

Moments of bravery go unnoticed every day, while moments of pride and vanity are heralded as heroism.  Because bravery means something different to each individual, because we all have our own fears – both acknowledged and hidden – bravery takes many forms.

The definition of bravery that resonates the most with me is from Merriam-Webster’s latest edition, “Having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty”.

Is it brave to commit yourself to defending your country? 

Absolutely.

Is it brave to put your life in danger to save the life of another?

Most definitely.

It’s also brave to get out of bed in the morning when every part of you hurts, and you just don’t think you can do it.

It’s brave to try something new that takes you out of your comfort zone, knowing failure is the likely outcome.

It’s brave to find the lesson in the failure and try again, over and over.

It’s brave to speak up and share your truth when you know your perspective is different.

It is brave to form your own path, often walking away from what is comfortable, expected, and accepted.

In the last year, I have been called brave more than perhaps any other time in my life.  Due to a series of localized tragedies that the CDC has deemed a “suicide contagion,” I decided to share my story.

I spoke to my high school classes, and eventually to the entire student body, about being a survivor of multiple suicide attempts.

I have always been open about my experiences with mental illness, both in person and on social media.  Hiding who I am and how I am struggling is something that I decided long ago that I would not do. Pretending that they don’t affect me every minute of every day isn’t helping anyone.

During moments of openness about mental illness, I have often been told how brave I am to share my struggles. To me, this isn’t brave. This is just being who I am and not being ashamed.

I share my experiences because I hope to find connection with others, along with understanding. I do not want pity, but I do want others who may be fighting their own battles silently to know that they are not alone.

Ironically, the moments in my life when I have felt the most brave probably wouldn’t be what most consider brave actions. It was the moment that I stepped away from a relationship that on the surface looked perfect, but underneath was damaging.  Or the first time that I put myself first, rather than fulfilling my lifelong role as a people pleaser. It was finding genuine happiness for a friend at her baby shower, days after I had miscarried. It was willingly putting myself into a situation that I knew would induce panic, because I know it’s part of the process of healing.

Each of these moments were terrifying and overwhelming for me. In every instance, I convinced myself that catastrophic repercussions and failure were imminent. However, these moments of self-doubt ultimately became moments of self-discovery.

The grandiose and the quiet moments of bravery should be equally celebrated and appreciated.  Growth, both individual and societal, can only come from moments of bravery.


Here’s Cristina’s point-of-view.

I hate the word brave.

I know we all have our own definition, but I feel like people confused bravery with doing the right thing or doing what it takes to be successful or doing what is necessary to live your life fully.
I’ve been brave for putting on heels and a bikini.
I’ve been brave for talking about my PTSD.
I’ve been brave for calling out online bullies.
I’ve been brave for telling people about my bad days.
I’ve been brave for wearing stripes.
I’ve been brave for having skin removal surgery.
I’ve been brave wearing “that color” or “that style”.
Why are these things brave?

I think that many people view behaviors that they wouldn’t exemplify as brave. They wouldn’t wear stripes or talk about mental health – so it must be brave. For me, I know it has nothing to do with things I wouldn’t do.

I think it has to do with things that leave me in awe.

I saw brave in my older sister who stepped between me and mom when I was in third grade. It was the first time my mom hit me, and it was the first time I realized that if my big sister was around I would be safe.

I saw brave when a friend told me she went back to therapy. She’s capable of problem-solving and she’s capable of making connections and then making a plan, but I also believe that this assistance will guide her to peak greatness. I believe that she will be able to grow more fully and asking for help and putting trust in someone else is brave.

I saw brave when a client told me she was leaving her corporate job to be a stay-at-home mom and teach her sons herself. This was a powerful declaration of “I can” from this client and my heart clapped and cheered for her because while I knew she was terrified inside, she was still taking this step.

I have felt brave when getting out of the shower on days I thought I couldn’t get out of bed. Sometimes I stay in the shower longer because I’m thinking and when I’ve come to my conclusion I’ll feel ready to step and out go into the world. But on days when it’s bad, getting in to begin with is a project and the feeling of readiness to take on the world (as it feels) seems like a burden.

I have felt brave when I trust myself to be capable in the gym, as a coach, as a partner. I have more doubt than I want to admit, but writing it out makes me face it and makes me think about where it comes from.

I feel brave when being myself. Growing up, if I was bullied my dad always asked what I did wrong or what I did to draw the bully’s attention. It was never about the wrongness in their behavior but identifying that there must be something wrong with mine. I am not wrong and it took a long time to see that and to feel that.

When I was a kid, I think I just wanted to be happy. As an adult there has never been a point in my life where I have thought, I want to martyr for the cause.

I don’t want to be brave.

I just want people to look at me and see normal people can do extraordinary things when they work hard. That normal people change the world. That we can live our lives to the fullest without labels of our accomplishments.

❤ Cristina and Kara

Day 153 :Movie Quote 13: “Almost There”

It’s officially June and I honestly don’t know how we got here so fast.

Five months have never escaped my grasp so quickly. Are you feeling that way at all? As I think about where the time went, I’m trying harder to look forward and think about all the time left. We can’t control how fasts time goes, but we can control what we do with the time given.

This week was really good.

1. It was a shorter week so I felt like I had a chance to relax over the weekend and then use Monday to get ready for the week. 2. It was just a good week.

I’ve switched from going to fieldwork I need to for course credit to volunteering because I like the mission, I like the networking and it’s a good use of time to give back. This week we shifted gears from executing a conference to full-blown gala planning. I’m revisiting my roots of fundraising, which is nice because that’s a skill I have. However, I’m being pulled into more strategic planning and timeline initiatives for sponsorship conversations, which is slightly new. I had worked with individual donors, not organizations, but the principles are similar. There’s still one individual we’re speaking with on behalf of the organizations and companies we’re soliciting, but there’s a few more steps to close an ask.

I’m working on examining community data and correlating socioeconomic status and school district with obesity rates and wellness programs and prevention plans. It sounds more complicated than it is. I’m looking through census data and state data to see what school districts have the ability to implement proper programming and what schools should we reach out to so we can lend a hand with some programs we’re designing. Not everyone has resources and our goal is to help those who need the extra assistance first.

I love what I’m getting involved in.

On the side, I’m also working on strategic marketing and health communication to engage with their target audiences. It’s making me think differently about how we talk with different populations and approach different health issues. It’s a good challenge and I feel like I’m considering multiple perspectives that weren’t being considered before. Not only is this good for this organization, but as I consider my own coaching business and how I talk to my clients.

People need to be met where they are and then brought up.

Outside of the work stuff, I was pretty pumped about my first go at donuts this week and how my lifts are feeling during the fifth week of programming.

Here’s the recipe I used for the batter. The ONLY change I made was the substitution of almond milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar instead of buttermilk. I didn’t use their glaze, but instead made my own after looking at other recipes.

I decided to make donuts for National Donut Day because I didn’t want a standard chain donut and I couldn’t get out to Kane’s for my beloved turtle donut. I guess I’m a bit picky and I have a preference on taste. I’ve also been wanting to make my own for a while and this was as good of an excuse as any. For baking, I’d like to try a few other batter recipes before making modifications or trying to make my own flavors. Baking is a different monster in comparison to cooking – the chemistry is much more important, but I think it’ll be fun to try some new recipes and check off a few from my Pinterest boards.

It’s weird having the time to plan to bake, but I could get used it that’s for sure.

So this week donuts, next week – we’ll see.

I finished the fifth week and started the sixth week of PH3 and my lifting feels good. Most days it feels right where it should be. There have been a few days where things feel heavy and I have a few more pep talks. Getting to the gym feels routine and feels good. I’m glad I restarted the program when I did. I’m glad I recognized that openness and shift in my schedule and pushed myself to adapt to it.

That’s one of the most important ideas I push to my clients – we need to be flexible enough to adapt and shift how we appropriate our goals. I know in the very beginning of my journey I didn’t think that way. I know some people don’t think that way years into their journey. I certainly know competitors who don’t think that way. But if you want this to be a lifestyle, if you want to engage with your environment in a healthy way – you need to be able to adapt. If you can’t adapt or try to adapt, you will find every excuse to encourage your failure and lack of progress.

I feel I’m almost where I want to be. Strength is building and I’m seeing lower body progress like I was hoping. I feel leaner and tighter. Nutrition has stayed the same since I reset my macros a couple of months ago because I increased and changed the style of my activity. It’s really is an art to figure out the balance.

Five weeks of consistent workouts, mostly consistent eating. Better sleeping routine. Lower level of stress. Attempting to say yes a bit more often, but we’ll get into the soon, just not quite yet. This is my path for success.

Well, it’s post-workout. Post-weekend-pancakes. Post-homework.

Soon, we’ll be getting ready for JP’s grandfather’s 90th birthday party. It’s kind of crazy to think about what 90 years of life would be like. His mom has put together a book of stories and memories – she let me contribute too. Even though these kind of gatherings give me anxiety, I know it’ll be fun to hear the stories, sing Happy Birthday and lay poolside for the afternoon.

While our bodies don’t run on the same clock and most think of Monday as a new week – Sunday is a new week for me and day two of the sixth week of my program. I’m ready for the new week. I’m ready for June.

❤ Cristina

Day 145, Movie Quote 12: “I didn’t know pizza places made motors.”

 
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It’s been feeling like vacation all week even though it’s not vacation at all.

I guess that’s the magic of going from a busy schedule to a less busy schedule.

This week I’ve gone to work and fieldwork – which is more like volunteering now since I’m not required to finish out the initial hours. I’ve gone to the gym and I’ve run twice. Granted the runs were only a mile each, but I had time to get dressed and lace up.

I’ve been in bed around 9 each night, which really makes a difference in my day.

While I have a summer class, I enjoy the reading and it’s all writing assignments. I love torture, I love writing assignments.

This three day weekend is actually going to feel like a vacation even though I’m bringing some reading along with me. I can’t remember the last time a weekend felt like a vacation.

While JP’s parents are out at the Cape we’re taking over the house.

He’s going to work on building the motorcyle and some other car projects. I’m going to work on two assignments I have for class.

We’re bringing some fancy clothes because we may go out for date night near the water, but we may also grill.

The only food decisions we’ve committed to so far are:

  • Bringing the rest of the raw broccoli that’s in our fridge so it doesn’t go bad
  • Bringing some protein bars because we plan on going to the gym and running over the weekend and his parents don’t eat snacks like we do
  • Go out to a new cafe of some kind

I know it sounds silly to say that you’re planning to be spontaneous, but I’ve planned a few things so that I can be spontaneous and feel good about those choices. Honestly, having a plan of some kind even if it’s not perfect makes me feel better.

Like, I’m planning to get my homework assignments done on Saturday mid-morning while he works on the cars so that we can do whatever we want in the afternoon together without me feeling like I should be stuck in front of my computer. I’m planning on finishing my writing so that I don’t think about initial submission next week – I can just work on finalization.

Saturday also starts the fifth week of my lifting program and since I’ve been trying to be more consistent I do plan on working out over the weekend when I have some time to myself. I.e. while JP is playing with the cars.

A few weeks ago I mentioned on Facebook that I restarted PH3. I’ve done the program before and I like the structure, however, I have changed up some of the hypertrophy. I’ve made sure to continue to target the muscle groups and have similar movements, but sometimes I want to do good mornings and stiff leg deadlifts over leg curls – so I’m letting myself that flexibility.

The program is divided into four segments. The first segment is four weeks long and I finished that yesterday with AMRAP to determine new maxes.

I feel really good about what I accomplished in the past four weeks. It was different than what the past eight or nine months have been like so it was like a reintroduction to routine and structured lifting.

I was appropriately sore at times and feeling like I could do more other times.

My old 1RM for my back squat was at 205, but since I haven’t lifted in this way in a long time, I decreased the number to 190 so I could work within percentages of it. I knew that 190 would be very difficult to hit, but I also knew if I tried to just restart completely and go to 100 I would do myself a disservice by not pushing hard enough. The heaviest percentage lifted so far has been 87.5% which was 165 pounds. That day it felt good. It didn’t feel heavy. But when I did testing yesterday 160 pounds felt slightly heavy and I could feel myself leaning forward too much.

Each day is unique and there are so many factors that impact your workout. I got six reps for 160 pounds which calculated a 1RM of 185 – so close to the guesstimate that I made of 190.

My bench sucked, but my bench isn’t something I’m concerned about. I’m more concerned with the mobility and flexibility in my shoulders. My range of motion isn’t very good in my left shoulder and that’s something I’m working on.

My deadlift improved the most. I’ve been focusing on a flatter back, pulling up without overextending my lower back. I’ve played with tempo a little bit too, but nothing crazy. My old 1RM was 155 and after yesterday’s lift it was calculated at 165.

I’m excited to work within that.

Maybe it feels like vacation because everything feels calm. Everything feels like it’s finding its place. When timing is right, it feels right.

To fill some of extra free time, we started watching the Fast and Furious series again… a movie each night. We actually have two copies of the series because we each own the movies.

JP has also been walking around quoting Paul Walker as Brian O’Connor. I’ve been asking a million car questions. 

Our talks have shifted from chemistry to political science and the U.S. constitution – I think we’re both going to learn a lot these next six weeks while I take U.S. Government.

We’ve talked about houses. We’ve talked about cars. We’ve talked about vacations and parties and the next 5K.

This is magic.

The balance of being busy with work – inside and outside of the house, being active and having some time to make last minute decisions is the kind of balance I’ve been striving for.

I don’t feel defeated or like the list is never going to get done.

I feel good about eating frozen pizza on a Thursday at 8 pm after a run. #thingsIneverthoughtIwouldsay

I’m ready for everything else. I’m ready for what’s next.

❤ Cristina

Day 132 and Day 133, Movie Quote 11: “You Have to Take the Tradition, and Decorate It Your Way.”

I’m starting this on Day 132.

I’m also watching TV shows and movies that JP doesn’t enjoy as much as me, like Sex and the City. I’ve seen every episode at least twice. I own the movies. I have the books – yes, they’re books too, that’s how the show started. This is my idea of relaxing on a Saturday night.

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So this year… So far, we’ve celebrated his birthday, my birthday. I’ve made it through the spring semester and finals. I’ve logged about 160 hours of fieldwork. I’ve interviewed for jobs. I’ve napped less than I wanted to and had more late nights than I’ve had in years.

On Day 1 I apologized for Monday’s being held to a high standard and I wrote about my hopes for the year.  I quoted Titanic and recapped 2017. I put my foot forward by saying what I wanted to happen in 2018.

Now this list is really a list of reactions I hoped would occur because of my behaviors.

There are some things that have happened, but not how I planned like my activity level. I said I wanted to be consistent with my activity because I knew I would be sitting more this semester. I was consistent by doing something mobile like going for a walk most days and attempting to plan out some lifting. I fit yoga in where it made sense and as of Day 132, I’ve had a new gym membership for two full weeks in which I’ve gone five times each week. However, I thought I would’ve done more towards my strength,  but really that’s a goal that has no timeline and I’m getting the opportunity to work on it now.

I wanted to keep up with my running, but it didn’t happen, not even one bit. I felt that I didn’t have the time. However, there’s a lot of year left and we have been talking about running another organized race this summer, so I do know that I will get my butt in gear and get some miles in soon.

Together, we’ve enjoyed more than just Mules, but maybe a little more than we should’ve.

I’ve said yes a lot more than I have in a long time, my writing is becoming more consistent since I don’t have papers to write, and I’m trying new things like golfing – JP wants to teach me proper form.

I’ve learned so much this semester and so much in 132 days. I never thought I would love microbiology or that I would be actually be good at it. Chemistry reinforced my belief that the body is super weird and interesting. I’ve worked on a grant, edited video footage and learned how to write a subtitle file – not as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve learned to analyze research more effectively including determining what makes a study valid or thorough.

On Day 131, final grades were posted and I’m proud to say that while I have one class left, I am graduating on Day 138 with highest honors. Some classes are hard regardless of where you go and what I accomplished in my health science courses is exactly what I sought out to do last January – obtain more knowledge in the health sciences to be better at research and to assist many populations of client I could meet.

I want to help as many people as I can, but it has to make sense. I need to meet them where they are and help them grow.

The work I did in my public health courses broadened my view of health and while I started the program with the objective to be a better health coach, I’m leaving the program with a new path to serve my community in a macro-way.

It’s Day 133 and I’ve gotten so much done today. I feel like I can take on anything this week.

I will say that it has been so weird without classes and homework the past few days. It’s almost as though I don’t know what to do with my time…until I remember the projects I’m working on and other things around the apartment I’ve neglected from finals week. Maybe it’s just weird having time to do things I believe are fun like write and read books that aren’t assigned.

While I’m eager to take on a new career in public health, I’m not leaving coaching anytime soon. I’m excited to have more time to work one-on-one and help others see their potential.

I’ve partnered with a former client on a new goal. We’re taking a year to prepare for her first bikini competition next April. She’s 55 and a powerhouse. She’s feisty and ready to take it up a notch. We’re starting slow because then time is on her side. We can make small changes that will lead to bigger ones. We can focus on strength and developing muscle before becoming concerned about fat loss. There’s a year for changes to be made.

Hearing and seeing a change like this in a client fires me up. It fires me up because she is saying she can do more, she can push harder, she can allow herself to do something few do.

When my clients declare their goals such as “be more active in other ways like biking, hiking and walking” or “maintain the level of health and wellness that makes me feel great while teaching my kids to do the same” I can’t do anything, but cheer. Their declarations are about the life THEY want to lead. While some goals may be similar, motivations are so different.

I can’t wait to see more people take the first steps towards goals they never thought they deserved to think about. The more I see them taking steps forward, the more it encourages me to continue my journey too, where it may take me.

The next few weeks are going to fly by and I really hope I can hold onto them.

Graduation is on Day 138.

JP and I have a date morning on Day 139, followed by an end-of-spring celebration with some of my friends from school.

Day 140 we have a birthday party for a friend at a winery, some time after that we have a friend moving home back to our state.

There’s work and fieldwork and interviews and Memorial Day and a conference.

There’s 18 days left in May and I’m sitting here like I wanted to graduate, but holy crap that was fast!

As I’m thinking back to what I wrote on Day 1 and what hasn’t been accomplished yet this year, it has me thinking I should start planning our first hike of warm weather season and we need to pick a date for our next run so we can train a little bit. So these two things I would like to accomplish soon or at least have a plan in place to do so.

I’m excited and relieved to be back in the gym working out the way that I enjoy. While I loved what I learned in school, it was a huge culture shock and I believe that I finally will have “my life back” so that I can be as active as I enjoy and can lead the best life I can.

We keep joking that I get to be an adult again. That’s how it feels.

I am a work in progress and I hope that never stops. I’m cheers-ing to the new work week.

To graduation.

To always learning.

To always encouraging others to do the same.

❤ Cristina

 

 

 

Day 119, Movie Quote 10: “Back to the Future”

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. – Dr. Emmett Brown

Last week I got to the campus gym and lifted twice. I was able to lift heavier the second session because I was able to better gauge how my body was feeling after the first lift.

On Saturday, I went to a new gym, tried out the equipment, bought a membership and came back on today for a second workout.

I’m pretty proud of myself.

I know that sounds weird because I constantly talk about finding what works for your schedule and for your goals.

But for those who have been around for a while, you know this is a big deal. For those of you who are newish let me explain why.

Today is one year since I last competed. The week leading up to the show, which was the final show of my season I had broke down emotionally, which led to half-ass workouts and binging. I gained nine pounds my peak week, partially water and partially real fat gain. You could see it in my legs. You could see if in my abdominals. You could see it in my face.

I could feel it everywhere.

I also lost my voice on show day and two days later was diagnosed with pneumonia leaving my PCP’s office with antibiotics and an order for a chest xray to confirm, which it did.

Finals soon followed. I slept a lot. Backed off my work outs even though every ounce of me wanted to find motivation.

I feel I can finally let go.

Next month marks one year Instagram free. The account was my personal account that shared my day and my passions – mostly revolving around fitness, food and my boyfriend also periodically showed me traveling in my previous career as well as my day-to-day. I’ve been writing for almost six years, and I had Instagram for almost four. It evolved as I did. However, so did the users.

I have screen shots of private messages, emails and comments from people saying things that you know would never be said in real life. But we are all brave behind a screen. Even me.

This blog. Facebook. Texting. These platforms help build confidence and for me that confidence has spilled into my reality.

People say competing is hard, but it’s not. It’s all of the other things that you juggle while competing that are hard. School was pretty easy, school was an outlet – like running away in a good book. Coaching was the same way. I was able to dive into work and escape. I was able to help analyze other people’s goals and problems, which made me face my own. I was honest with my clients and continue to be. It is because of our own trials that we are able to empathize and assist others.

In June I was diagnosed with chronic stress, which resulted in elevated adrenal hormones: DHEA and cortisol. I had hormone testing because my PCP thought there might be something else going on. Thankfully, after seeing an endocrinologist in August and having a more comprehensive panel done, there was confirmation that I was just experiencing high levels of stress. My weight peaked high 140s, which was the highest I’ve been since hitting my weightloss and fat loss goals.

I was physically uncomfortable and emotionally battling with myself about it.

If you look back, I’ve written posts about and loosely talked about what I was doing to essentially “get my shit together”, but more over, what goals I had for myself to get back to a more normal lifestyle.

I love lifting, but I needed a break. I started doing yoga, I got back to running. I started doing more accessory work instead of big lifts. I canceled my gym membership and utilized the gym on campus when I could. I use the fitness center at my complex too. I looked to be more mobile on a daily basis. I sit a lot and I wanted to strive to hit a moderate and reasonable step goal. I started looking at my goals from an emotional point-of-view. Yes, I wanted to lose some weight, but I wanted to feel good and I thought if I could feel good in my workouts, do things that were fulfilling, then in time, the fat would come off and I would feel good in my skin again. I just needed time.

The new year brought consistency – keep moving, get strong. I wanted to say yes more, which I’ve been doing, but also being reasonable with my yeses. We can’t have dessert for every meal.

A few weeks ago, I woke up and everything felt different.

I woke up and felt ready to move forward in a big way.

I wrote a letter, well it’s 2018 so really, I wrote an email.

When I took medical leave, while I was open about it here, I knew there were some who didn’t understand. When I left my job it appeared abrupt even though it wasn’t – I knew people wouldn’t understand. I wasn’t ready to make them understand 19 months ago, 16 months ago.

This email started with “I never thought I would feel capable of writing this…” In the middle was something about understanding that not everyone understands, but emotionally I wasn’t ready to help someone else understand. The end concluded with I hope there’s an opportunity to talk in the future, but I understand if that idea isn’t welcome.

These words took the elephant off my chest. Five minutes after writing it I had a response thanking me for the email, for the outreach. Saying they weren’t ready yet, but that in time, maybe.

Even if that conversation never happens knowing I’m ready is enough. Knowing the olive branch has been extended is enough.

Since I sent that email, I’ve felt different. I’ve also had the conversation with JP and with my therapist that going back to school for my degree in public health was also about finding myself and reigniting passion in my heart. In a way, it was an extension of medical leave. It allowed me time to learn something similar and something new. It allowed me to challenge myself and grow. It allowed me the time I needed to figure out how I can make my mark on the world because I really do believe that we are all meant to do something great, we just need to define that for ourselves.

I’ve been feeling more capable than I have been in a while.

As far as coaching and writing – I’m making headway on the workbook I’m writing, and I’m working with someone to do the design work. I’m taking on new clients and working towards a full client load since I have more flexibility in my schedule after school is done.

As far as school – I’m ready for finals. I’m ready for my last class.

Adult life? I’m ready for job applications. I didn’t think I would be ready for interviews, but they’re going well and getting easier.

Physical health-wise: I’m feeling good with the progress I’m seeing. It’s slow and that’s just the way I wanted it. Like I’ve talked about on Facebook, for vanity reasons, I’d like my hips to lean out a little bit. I’d like them to be where they were before – about an inch smaller. That’s not the smallest they’ve been, but that’s where I’m comfortable. I’m hitting my nutrition goals just fine, and workouts have been pretty good, however, anyone in a FitBit challenge will tell you they kick my ass left and right.

I’m ready for the next step.

I’m ready to see what I can do with this degree.

I’m ready to see the impact I can make on the world around me with this new knowledge of health.

I’m ready to get back the kind of normal grind.

I’m ready to continue to pave my own path.

 

❤ Cristina