Why Aren’t There Seat Belts on this Thing?!

It has been said that the best part of getting healthy is the journey. If you enjoy the journey, and you don’t focus too much on how quickly the results come, then you’re on the right track to making serious and permanent changes to your lifestyle. My thoughts? It would be easier to enjoy the journey if the road wasn’t so flippin’ treacherous! Unfortunately, it’s happened to all of us. Likely, more than a time or two. We research, we prepare, we get on a roll… and then fall flat on our faces. No matter how hard we try, we just can’t seem to stay on it. We want it bad enough, so why is it so hard? We’re presented with “bumps in the road” almost every day. Even if you’re like me, and you have your weekday routine locked tight; it’s the weekends that get you. So, how do we keep a little slip-up from spiraling out of control? Or better yet, once we’ve spiraled, how do we get back ON the wagon?

Searching through pictures on my phone, I came across some accountability photos I took a little over a year ago. I was in the zone then. I worked out 5-6 times a week. I was eating clean (well, most days). I had a goal to reach, and I was working towards it. I had it all planned out. I would work my way towards my short term goal – to fit into my maid of honor dress – and carry on until I reached my ultimate goal, which was to lose 50 lbs and improve my overall health. Even with my routine and all that focus, somehow, I didn’t make it. Oh, I fit into the dress… just as long as breathing was kept to a minimum. Even before the wedding day, I had lost focus, and it has been a battle to get “back on the wagon” ever since. Sure, I can come up with a ton of excuses as to why I didn’t reach my goal. It was the holiday season! House hunting was SO stressful! The packing! The MOVING! We’re remodeling our kitchen; I can’t cook a THING! The truth of the matter is, that’s LIFE. It happens to all of us. So, why is it easier for other people to keep up the good work while the rest of us face-plant?

The simple (and, I’ll admit, a bit annoying) truth is, you just have to do it. You have to commit. Not just one epic, life-changing moment, but commit every day. You have to wake up every morning and make a conscious decision about what you’re going to do for yourself that day. Is it hard? Absolutely. We’ve conditioned ourselves poorly. We’ve made the wrong decisions for so long that they have turned into our version of normal. These bad decisions create bad habits. Habits that are so ingrained into our brains and our bodies that they become reflexes. Have you ever done something without thinking about it at all? Like driving home from work; have you ever gotten home and not remembered a thing about the entire drive? Those are the kind of reflexes I’m talking about. The automatic choices you make because you’ve been making the same choices for YEARS, and you can’t seem to shake them. It’s like a reset for your body to go back to the “normal” way of doing things, which is why it’s so easy to fall off the wagon. It’s also why it seems exponentially harder to find your way back on every time.

The best way to fight bad habits is to build better ones. The best way to do that is to make a point to pay attention to what you do every day. I’ve read and heard from multiple sources that it takes about 30 days to build a new habit. In my personal experience, I have found that this is not the case. Perhaps, it would be if all I were doing was building a new habit, but I’m not. I’m also breaking bad habits – habits that have evolved into reflexes – and it will take significantly more than a few weeks to reverse them. This is why paying attention to your daily decisions is so important. You have to KNOW and SEE the things you’re doing wrong in order to consciously make them right. The more in tune you are with your decisions – the more present you are – the better you will become at stopping those reflexes and building better habits.

The most important thing you can do for yourself while trying to get back on track is to stay accountable. But how? Well, you know those pictures from a year ago? They were going on my social media; specifically Instagram. I also had Angie as my personal accountability partner. She made sure to constantly check up on me with regards to my workouts, especially if she didn’t see any activity on my feed. Maybe this method works for you, or maybe you need a buddy to do it with you, or an app to track intake and output. I have quite a few apps on my phone that I’ve used over the years to track my health and fitness. I tend to try new ones all the time to see which ones work best for my routine. If you’re not so technologically inclined, you could create an accountability group with your friends and/or family members who are on the same journey. The group dynamic is great for feeding off each other’s positive energy and helping each other through rough patches. No matter which it is, find a way to stay accountable that works best for you. Communication is key. Let people KNOW what you’re doing. Don’t internalize your journey. If you are the only one holding yourself accountable, it’s easier to slip up – or give up altogether – than if you have someone you trust keeping you in line. This journey is yours, but you are not the only one on it.

So, here’s to us, with the dirt smudged on our faces from the many falls we’ve taken. We know what’s best for us, and we’ve worked hard to try to get there. Results elude us sometimes, but we still strive for change. We know it will come. All we have to do is hop right back on.

Melissa

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The Stigma of Seeing a Therapist

Today I shall be seeing a therapist for the first time ever. I say that statement without shame and without worry. Sadly, there seems to be a stigma with admitting that one sees or will be seeing a therapist. Honestly, I don’t see why.

If a friend came up to you and said, “I think I might be having some blood pressure issues, I am going to make an appointment to check it out”, you would probably commend that friend on taking care of their physical health and seeking treatment.

I believe the same support should be given to those who seek assistance for their mental health. A person does not have to have a mental disability or a personal, catastrophic tragedy to seek out the assistance of a mental health professional. With the varying types of mental health professionals there are varying degrees of need for such support.

The stigma of seeing a therapist comes in when people start making assumptions and judgements. People assume that you might be “crazy” or have a mental illness. People assume that you are having some catastrophic personal crisis. People assume that only “weak” people need to see therapists. After those assumptions are made, then people start to judge.

I, personally, am seeking therapy for how I am managing stress. I’ve written about it already… My hands are absolutely full house hunting, wedding planning, working, and trying to manage my personal relationships. I have noticed that in the last 4 weeks or so I am not managing my stress in any manner that is considered healthy. My sleep is suffering. My emotions are on the worst imaginable rollercoaster. My fiance and I are not communicating as well as we usually do.  I become upset much more rapidly than normal. I feel as if I am not understood by those around me.

I know that with everything on my plate right now, and the negative way I am handling the stress, that this is a prime opportunity for me to speak to someone about how I am managing everything. Sometimes, you need to hear things from a neutral third-party. Sometimes, a person can give you some insight into your personality and your interactions with others that you may not have noticed.

There is nothing wrong with a bit of mental health self-improvement. We do self-improvement in SO many aspects of our lives. Work, physical health, financial, etc… Trying to become mentally healthier only helps to improve us as people overall. What we can learn can help provide a positive affect on the rest of our lives.

So today, I shall go into my first therapy session with my head held high. I don’t care about any assumptions or judgements made against me. I know that I am going to be doing something positive. It is time for a little “me” time…

Hello 30’s… and Welcome to “Not So 30’s!”

Here it is! The day I have been planning for since October 12th, 2012… Why that date? On that date I created a mission statement for this blog formerly known as “Oh No The Big Three Oh”… I saw my 30’s birthday down the pipeline and I wanted to give myself some goals to make myself a better and happier person.

Honestly, I feared turning 30. I expected to be completely distraught about leaving my 20’s, but as you saw from yesterday’s post – the fear is gone. I am happy, I have goals, I have great things going on in my life, I am surrounded by wonderful people. I am so completely grateful for everything in my life that today isn’t a cause for sadness, but a true day of celebration.

Today, I am not fearing my 30’s and saying “Oh No” to it… I am REDEFINING it. I want to do away with the stigma of turning 30! It isn’t getting or being old, it isn’t less fun in my life, it is NOT SO 30’s! I can live my life on MY terms and feel as young and happy as I want.

In the upcoming weeks I will be tweaking the look of this blog, introducing a new logo, and making this blog more of a priority! I now have a new email address and an Instagram account dedicated solely for Not So 30’s! Feel free to follow on Instagram (@notso30s) or email me at notso30s@gmail.com .

I want to thank each of you that has taken the time to read a post, comment, email me, and shared a link. Welcome to Not So 30’s… Redefining my 30’s, while not acting a day over 29!

NotSo30s

Goodbye 20’s… Some Thoughts for Those in Their 20’s…

Bye20s

For the last 10 years I have relished the fact that I could say I was in my twenties…

Being in your 20’s has always come with the assumption that they are the greatest years of your life. ESPECIALLY the first half of your 20’s. For some people this is true. It is usually a time where one is more carefree… There is the partying… Staying out late… Less responsibilities… More fun… Our 20’s are considered the PRIME of our youth…

…I see it differently now… Quite honestly, I feel as though my BEST years have been ages 28 and 29… and it is just rolling into my 30’s. I am loving my life, who I am, and the journey ahead of me. I get to redefine what being in my 30’s will mean! It doesn’t mean that I am “old” or “older”… I can still have the same FEELING of my 20’s, but with the growth and rewards of maturity of my 30’s. As I look back, I can see what I did right and what I did wrong. I want to share those thoughts with anyone in their 20’s…

Our twenties are the time where we decide who we are as individuals.

Our twenties are a time to learn life’s lessons and to find our identity. I can’t express enough how important it is to FIND who you are in your twenties. Don’t imitate another person. Don’t be greedy of another person’s life. You need to be positive, find what makes YOU happy, find what makes YOU a good person, and build a life around that!

Our twenties are a time where we set the foundations for our future.

Be financially wise.

I wish I would have learned this lesson a bit earlier in my twenties. I only really took control of my finances in the last two to three years. At about 27 years old I took control of my credit history and made it my mission to improve my credit history and score. Just last year I finally learned how to properly manage my income and how to actually SAVE money. If I would have started this process just a year or two sooner, I would already be a homeowner. My delay was due to my lack of saving and the time it took to improve my credit history. Don’t make this mistake. You don’t HAVE to buy a house at 25 years old… But if you are in control of your finances at that age, you will be ready to go once the time comes!

Learn your life lessons now.

Actually LEARN them. Don’t become blind to your situations. We all experience heart ache. We all learn that we make mistakes. There is NO excuse to repeatedly make those mistakes. When it comes to love, when you know who YOU are, you will know who the best person for you is. I am so glad for the heart aches I have experienced. I have learned that I need someone who makes me as much of a priority as I make them. I can’t sacrifice my happiness for the convenience of someone else. I have learned that I must respect the people closest to me. I need to honor the part they play in my life. I can not be selfish and do what I want without considering how it will affect other people. I also need to be the example of what I consider to be a “good person”. There are NO excuses to repeat mistakes after a lesson is learned. That is stubbornness. You will not move forward, improve or excel in life if that is the case.

Always goals.

Don’t live  a stagnant life. Always set goals and have aspirations… Then, work towards them! They can be career goals, personal improvement goals, health/fitness goals, financial goals, personal hobby goals… Always be working toward something positive! That is a way to truly enjoy and make the best out of life. When you finally take a look back at all that you have achieved it will make you feel confident and satisfied!

Be positive and ENJOY life.

I’m not going to preach about being all happy-happy-joy-joy. That is just common sense. We all have our good days and our bad days. Your goal is to make the good days outnumber the bad. We don’t know how long we have on this Earth.

At my uncle’s funeral the priest said something that has stayed with me ever since… Live every day as if it were your first day, your last day, your only day.

 

Last 29 of 29: One Week Left…

In one week I will be turning 30.

Whoa.

Thinking it. Saying it. Writing it. When I do either of those things and realize that I turn 30 in one week, I am no longer “fearful” of the day. Turning 30 is going to be an amazing milestone for me.

I decided to dedicate the last 29 of my 29 to making the BEST of my time. Celebrating life. Doing big things!

In the last 22 days I have had an AMAZING engagement party thanks to those nearest and dearest to me. I started the journey of house hunting with my fiance. I have spent quality time with him and we have learned to cope with the stress together. I have spent time with my sister (as I will again this weekend) as she prepares to become a first time mommy. I have spent time with my brother and his beautiful family. I wish I saw them more often. I have worked hard in my career and started making future plans for growth. I have been reading books again! A passion that I have which I spent months without doing. I have BIG PLANS and goals for health and fitness that I plan on sharing. I also returned to volunteering my time with a program that is very special to me.

It all hasn’t been sunshine and carefree living. Not at all. I have been under an incredible amount of stress. Some days I handle it pretty well. Other days I feel as if I am on the verge on an anxiety attack. My days are PACKED with tasks, meetings, places to go, things to do. On days that I have a bit of free time I find myself firmly attached to my bed.

Yet, I make sure to open my eyes and appreciate where I am in my life right now. I am in a transitional period where I am preparing myself for what most call “settling down”. I am looking for a house in a community I can be a part of, and making that house a home with my fiance.

Turning 30 is my induction into my “grown up” life. Turning 30 is realizing that a lot of the dreams/goals I had in my 20’s will be coming to fruition. Turning 30 means that I have more control and impact on my life than ever before. I am so excited about what is to come.

I’m ready for 30.