Sunday, February 22, 2015

Work/Life Balance

"Don't confuse having a career with having a life." -- Hillary Rodham Clinton

See that face? That is the face of a girl who had to work out at 8pm because she worked too late on a Tuesday night. AGAIN. This is not a happy face. It was a good workout, yes, but working out at 8pm kinda sucks. It wrecks my sleep later at night, which makes for an even longer day the next day. I've been doing this a lot lately. How did I get here? Again?!?!

That wasn't an isolated incident. The above picture was taken from my desk. At 7pm. On a Thursday evening. I had come in just before 7am that same morning in hopes of not having to work late again as I had worked late nearly every day that week. It just wasn't in the cards, however, and I didn't end up leaving for another 30 minutes after taking this picture. UGH!

For seven of the last ten years, I put work before everything else. I didn't have any reason not to. I left my friends, family, and home to gamble on this career - I literally had nothing else to do but work, so that's what I did! I thought this was how life worked for the rest of us. You go to school, you move away, you work too hard, and then you retire... right? Only... I realized pretty quickly that not everyone was working this hard. And you know what else? My health was slowly suffering from it. I gained a TON of weight, my skin looked gray and sallow, and I was sick all the time. When I caught pneumonia for the third time in as many years, I realized something had to change. I committed to putting my health first! (... sorta)

I did ok for a while - I really did. But lately... I don't know what's gotten into me lately but I've forgotten how to say no. I keep taking on more and more, despite still being behind from when I was out sick earlier this year. The result? The last two weeks have been killer. The pic above was from Friday. I was supposed to work a half day - ended up working more than a full day and went back to work after 7pm to respond to an inquiry that I forgot about that was due on Friday. And so goes another late night in the gym. Yuck!

While reflecting on the last couple of weeks, I noticed one positive trend. Yes, the overtime sucks. My personal life kinda sucks at the moment too. But do you know what doesn't suck? My reestablished love for the gym! You see, every time I whined about working late... every time something went wrong at home... I found myself literally running towards the gym. This is such an improvement! I'm so happy that this is where I'm at now. 

Over the weekend, I got some pretty devastating news. I had already been having a pretty difficult week, and the news that arrived on Saturday was unexpected and sad. In the past, whenever I would have had such news I would have shut down. I would have wallowed. I would have ordered pizza. I would have watched Bridget Jones on TV for the upteenth time. But last night? I went to the gym. And I felt so much better. Sad, yes (as demonstrated in the picture above)... but better!

My goal this week is to say no. My plate is full - I can't continue taking on more and more without a little help. I know better than to do what I've been doing, and I know that the only person that can actually change it is me. Let's see how I do, friends! I've tried this before... maybe it will stick this time?  How do you maintain your balance? How do you find time to do what you do, and still do what you love on the side? Please help a sister out here folks... tell me it's this hard for you too!


Before I sign off... I have to give a BIG, PROUD SHOUTOUT to my bestie, Natasha! She added another half marathon to her collection, finishing strong despite the cold weather conditions. You are a beast, Natasha. I couldn't be prouder of you!

Happy fitnessing, everyone! Cheers!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

F@#k This, I Quit!!!

I recently had the opportunity to watch footage of a beauty queen snatching the crown off of the winner's head and throwing in on the ground.  You'll definitely want to You Tube that later.  I found it to be both awesome and hilarious.  I was amazed at how well her sentiment resonated with me.  They say that when you have a negative experience at a young age, you get stuck there.  Arrested development.  Maybe that's how it all started.  On the outside, I am a fabulous, 25 year old (wink), grown woman.  Inside, I'm basically a 3 year old who is not immune from tantrums.  

For most of my life I have been a professional quitter.  This weight loss situation is no exception.  A couple of days ago I came to the realization that no matter how much I exercise, I can't have dinner and dessert at Chili's, beer, wine, fast food and whipped drinks on the daily.  I was obviously devastated by this information.  I was thinking about how a few extra pounds isn't a big deal.  I could just stop off at the mall and buy a bigger bra and get used to this "situation."  I'm not super obese or anything so it's cool, right?  

Then I realized that it's not about the weight.  It's about deciding on a course of action and making it happen. I'm rarely decisive and it's even more unusual for me to stick with a decision once it's made.  I did try it once. I took all of the baby steps necessary to get to where I wanted to go and it worked!  It was slow and hard and aggravating, but it worked.  I try to remember that every day, every moment, whenever it's necessary. So today, instead of switching my half-marathon to the 5K option or hitting the drive-thru for a #1, I will just continue to put one foot in front of the other (eyes rolling).  I only hope that I will feel as wise tomorrow.  

How do you maintain when it gets hard?  When you're not in the mood?  When your inner runner-up wants to steal the crown and slam it into the floor?  I am always open to suggestions.