Choosing Your Happiness
Whew, it's been quite awhile! Apologies for going AWOL for a bit- follow along via my Instagram for more daily doses of inspiration that haven't been able to make it into a full blog post in awhile.
I've always said from the start of founding this site, that I would always be transparent about the imperfections I have and showing the "not so pretty" side of things. Because that's what's real.
...Doesn't make it any less scary to share though ha!
My guy and I went on a little road trip for my first weekend I've taken in months, and I got to show him around Delaware- my home for the prime of my skating career and where I spent my formative years.
Visiting some of my old stomping grounds brought back many memories and got me in a very reflective mood. I started thinking about the place I am now at with my relationship with myself and how that has evolved so much over the years.
One of my main focuses for this past year since my hip surgery is to lead a more moderate life.
Might sounds simple, but for me, moderate has always symbolized "mediocre," aka bad in my mind. Thankfully I've now learned how that is completely not the case.
I've always been a person of extremes.
My extreme drive and work ethic have proved effective for me in many ways, but my extreme diligence and tendency to be hard on myself have also led me down some dark roads with my relationship with my body.
About two years ago when I first got back into a fitness routine, I went to a familiar extreme. I was in a place where I've been scared to even touch any food prepared in a restaurant where I didn't have control over how much oil or seasoning was used; where I'd refuse to eat anything that wasn't in my "plan" for the day; where I'd look at anything remotely unhealthy like it was a bomb going to explode if I touched it.
And indeed, I was the leanest and strongest I've ever been in my life.
I was deadlifting about twice my body weight, and I was fitting into the smallest women's jean size.
I'm not one of those people that is going to say, "I now realize that when I was at my skinniest, I was at my most miserable." Because that's simply not true. I loved my body and all the incredible things I was able to do with my strength, and I felt confident in my body.
But I've changed. Rather, my priorities and wants have changed.
What I choose for my happiness has changed.
I am following my own advice, and owning my reality.
For example, as I showed Boy around town this weekend, we stopped at all my nostalgic high-school stops like WaWa and Rita's Water Ice. And in the mornings at the hotel we were at, I ate hotel breakfast foods aka cereal, toast, eggs.
On the drive back home to New York, I was realizing all the crap I had eaten over the weekend.
I was really taken aback by how I wasn't beating myself about it and that it didn't feel like the world was going to implode because I ate sugary water ice, deli meat turkey with nitrates, cheese, eggs, and milk from non-organic/grass-fed dairy, and gluten-filled bread. I was happily sharing an ice cream cone with Boy.
Because while, yes, I'm a trainer and health-conscious, therefore I will always pay attention to these details on the quality of my food, I know the world isn't ending if I have a weekend like this. I simply know that this is not an everyday occurrence, and that I focus on nourishing my body the vast majority of the time.
This is a far cry from where I once was with the relationship I had with my body.
Acceptance and understanding are things I wasn't sure I'd ever quite understand.
Right now, my goal is to live moderately and be happy.
That means not having to say no to my mom's homecooked meals made with love just because it might not align with my macronutrient balance I had in mind for the day. It means if I have to miss a planned afternoon run in order to see a friend I haven't seen in months, I will do so without guilt. It means that if my hip is feeling not so cooperative, I'm not just going to force it through a workout I probably shouldn't be doing in pain just to get the workout checked off the list.
I simply know and accept that I can't expect my 6-pack to come back magically without more structure. Being realistic with myself is what is key here to avoid any type of negative self-talk or impossible expectations.
On the other hand, starting in a few weeks, I will be on a more regimented program to prepare for my StrongFirst Kettlebell certification where I will need to transform my body further to add on a bit more muscle and strength and cut some body fat to get back into my previous weight class. So, priorities will change accordingly, because that is something I want to do and have as my goal. My happiness then will derive from my dedication to an accomplishment I want to make for myself, while maintaining a sensible balance.