My Fitness Journey | Choosing Yourself First

“You haven’t been yourself in about 2-3 years” is what my mom said to me a year ago. We were having a conversation about possible depression and seeing my doctor to get on an antidepressant. I didn’t have health insurance at the time, so we were trying to figure out how I was going to pay for the doctor visit, as well as the medication. I was a mess, my mental health was a mess.

I had just started a job that I thought was my “big break” I was looking for to get my career off the ground. I was trying to convince myself that I enjoyed this job, but I really didn’t. I hated it and wasn’t good at it, at all. I would pack a gym bag to go to the gym right after work, but would talk myself out of actually going because I was “too tired”. I really felt like I wasn’t in control of anything. Although, I tried. I would go home after work and try to figure out how to be better at this job. When I was with my boyfriend, I was thinking of this job, I would get to the office early to try to prepare better for the day. I really wanted to make this work and was willing to do anything to make it happen. The stress of my career was literally taking control of everything.

On Friday July 6, 2018, I walked into work and was immediately brought into an office and was fired at 6:45am. I was half relieved because the job was horrible, but half confused because I had no idea what I was going to do next. How was I supposed to expect an employer to hire me when I had 3 jobs in 6 months & fired from the last one after 5 weeks?

That same day just happened to be the Annual Memorial Golf Scramble I volunteer at yearly. I looked at the pictures we took and immediately realized that I needed to start taking care of myself better. I really didn’t “look” that bad, but I could tell how unhappy I was and crumbling under my own pressure to pull myself together & failing at every attempt. I was exhausted and putting on a smile to try to convince myself & others that I was completely fine. I wasn’t taking care of myself AT. ALL. I was lost & didn’t know what to do, or which way to go.


On Monday, July 9, 2018, I woke up without a job to go to for the first time in YEARS. It was a feeling that I was unsure to do with because I was exhausted, tired of trying to prove myself & my abilities to Corporate America. I knew I had a lot of potential, but was running out of ideas and options. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go next, but I knew I had to keep going in the only way I knew how- start taking care of myself and my mental health.

So, I went to the gym.

In making the decision to take actionable steps to take care of myself first, I have:
– learned how to love myself again
– worked out on a consistent schedule
– gained a healthy relationship with food
– started my own business
– started waking up with purpose every day
– moved out of my parents house (finally!)
– connected with amazing people
– become, really really happy
*I also no longer felt like I needed to be on an antidepressant.

NOW WHAT?

So, I woke up that day, exactly one year ago, and drug myself to the gym, with a commitment to myself. A commitment to turn this negative thing into a life changing experience, and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t have a plan for my career, or anything for that matter. But, I knew that if I wanted anything to come together, I had to take control of the one thing I had complete control over: myself.

This moment was the first time since college that the chaos in my mind completely stopped. After everything, I had no desire to look for a job. It sounds weird, I had lost my trust in corporate jobs. I was frustrated at the fact that I had to prove myself to a company, leave a paycheck & benefits, for them to let me go whenever it was convenient for them.

I was lucky enough to still be living with my parents, so I had the security and stability to be able to take the time to figure things out. My dad had an (unpaid) opportunity for me at his startup business. I decided to give it a try, there was nothing I had to lose really. This was the time where I really had to understand that I had to take on every single opportunity that came my way. I really didn’t care what it was, I just had to take advantage of everything.

The crazy thing is, the moment I stopped actively looking for opportunities, is the exact time when opportunities started coming to me. I had gotten myself on a exercise routine, making better food choices, taking care of myself and that’s when things started falling into place. I would not change a single part of my journey because every experience had lead me to where I am today. Those experiences will still continue to evolve, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED

We are taught to work hard and keep working towards your goals, right? That’s exactly what I tried to do and I ended up running myself into the ground. It’s not my fault- I was just doing what I thought I needed to do. I was working hard towards a goal that wasn’t meant for me. I’m not the only one who has done this, right?

But, these moments are meant to happen and are necessary for success and growth. The best thing I did in my time of confusion, was to start taking care of myself. If you have chaos in your mind like I did, things will start coming together when you calm your mind. It sounds cliché, but it’s so true!

Take every situation, good or bad, as an opportunity to keep growing and getting better. I had always heard that those “bad” moments are a sign that an incredible breakthrough is about to happen. I wish there was a magic piece of advice that I could give. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but I promise something amazing is about to happen! I had absolutely no idea that getting fired would lead me to starting my own business and working from home. But, I’m so happy that it did.

The best thing you can do in a time of chaos and confusion is start taking actionable steps towards taking care of yourself. I had no idea that stepping into the gym one year ago would be the start of the most amazing journey. I had no idea all of these amazing possibilities that are waiting for me and I know there’s so much more to come. 💗🙏🏼 I’m truly living my life- not just going through the motions of the day and hating everything & everybody.

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Six Month Business Recap : What I’ve Learned

It’s been SIX months since I launched my business! I feel like so much has happened and I’ve already learned so much along this journey so far. Starting your own business is hard work & comes with different struggles that you would never think of. So, I wanted to take the time to recap what I’ve learned so far and provide some advice to those who are beginning their journey, or thinking about starting their own business.

There are so many things that you encounter when you are starting your own business, things that nobody teaches you and you have to figure out on your own. I definitely ran into some unexpected obstacles on this journey so far. I am well aware that I’m not done learning (never will be). It’s a process and you learn something new every single day.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE CONNECTIONS

There is great importance in making connections with those who are in your industry/making connections with like-minded people. For me, I don’t know anyone else who does what I do. So, the connections I’ve made in the online space has been extremely helpful and important for my continued success.

When I first started my business, I joined several Facebook Groups & started making connections with other female entrepreneurs through Instagram. Being able to connect with other, like-minded people who have been in your shoes before has been super helpful. It’s always reassuring to know that you’re not the only one experiencing great anxiety and frustration in your business, especially starting out.

I highly recommend looking up joining any Facebook groups and start making connections!

BEING OKAY WITH TAKING CHANCES

You can’t learn if you don’t make mistakes, right? Starting out, I had a world full of amazing opportunities waiting for me. I wanted to test the waters in every way possible and see where it would take me. Maybe I tried to take on too many things at the start, but I’m honestly very grateful that I did. I started blogging and a video series on my Facebook business page. I knew that I wanted to try something different and take chances and I knew I just had to do it in order to learn.

The series didn’t turn into what I expected it to be, but I think that the experience has opened the door and given me many more ideas of where I want to go next. You can’t expect the very first idea to be a game changer, but it can at least be a learning experience and guide you in the right direction. If anything, it’s given me even more confidence to continue trying new things and do it even better than before.

As an introvert that over-thinks and over-analyzes everything, this was a hard thing for me to do. But, I had to do it in order to continue moving forward in my business and give me more ideas.

ORGANIZATION & COMING UP WITH A SYSTEM

This seems like a very known thing, but I had no idea what I needed to do and what was the best system to put into place to make my day run smoothly. It was hard figuring out exactly what I needed to be doing. When you work in the corporate world, there’s already a system in place and you make changes when needed. Having to start from scratch, figuring out the best system for me, how to organize my time has been a challenging experience. It’s been an amazing experience to being fully in charge of my time, but that also comes with it’s own set of roadblocks that I was unprepared for.

What has helped me is taking on less clients to let me figure out a schedule and experiment with different things. There was so much I wanted to do and figure out that I needed some extra time to get it all figured out. I needed the opportunity to try things out, make mistakes and learn from them.

Over the last 6 months, I’ve been able to experiment with my system and my schedule, do some research and adjust where I thought was necessary. It’s been quite the journey so far, but I’m so happy and proud of the chances I’ve been able to take to continue learning and moving forward with my plan.

TRYING TO FORCE MYSELF TO BE CREATIVE RATHER THAN DOING WHAT COMES NATURALLY

As a Social Media Manager, I know the importance of planning content ahead of time. I’m good at planning content for my clients, but I’ve found this to be different for myself. I would try to plan out what blog posts I would write, what I wanted to post on Instagram, videos I wanted to make etc., all at the beginning of the month. It sounded like a great plan. I would write down what everything that I wanted to do at the beginning of the month, but I wouldn’t have anything to say about the topic when the time came and it didn’t come off as natural. There always seems to be another topic that came to mind that I ended up talking/writing about.

Having the set plan in place stalled my creativity and made the task more of a chore and frustration. What I’m learning to do now is carry around my planner and writing down topics that come to mind and jotting down notes in a word document, adding to it as ideas come. Doing this has let me exercise my creativity and speak from my heart, rather than forcing myself to be creative.

Planning ahead of time is always great, but I’ve learned that I need to make sure that I’m doing it right and not forcing myself to be creative about a topic when I’m not at the time.  

RECAP

Overall, these 6 months in my business has been the most incredible experience that I could ask for. I never saw myself starting my own business, so this has been quite the journey. But, sometimes you just have to follow the path and the signs as they come. I’ve learned so much, I’ve been challenged in many ways and I’ve put myself out there in ways that I didn’t even know were possible.

It’s been an amazing start to 2019 and I am so very excited to see what else is in store for the rest of the year! Just remember- take as many chances and go through all the open doors that come your way. They can be the most life changing and amazing experience. 💗