1. It’s okay to try new things
For a long time, I was really insistent that I didn’t like cold brew coffee (I like things acidic, or so I said), and that I absolutely despised weight lifting. But thanks to my sister, my sentiments towards both of those things have changed.
I am currently obsessed with STōK Cold Brew Coffee. It tastes like chocolate, and caffeine, and happiness all in one. It’s so smooth, and so rich and delicious, I am still in disbelief. I’m also in disbelief about how much money I’ve spent on it over the past month, but I have zero shame. It’s so good.
I’m also currently really into home workouts using body weight and dumbbells. For a long time, the only form of exercise I felt comfortable with was running, because it was easy for me to be consistent, I didn’t find it overwhelming, and I always felt better after doing it. Having had a toxic relationship with running for so many years, I was relieved to feel balanced about it, finally. I still like running, but I think I had come to rely on it as a safety net. I notice in myself that when life feels out of control, I cling to the things that make me feel secure and predictable. Running was one of those things, and I realized that I was scared of branching out. The idea of doing something new with exercise made me really nervous, and I was afraid of how my body would respond. (In some ways, I am now able to better empathize with individuals who don’t exercise at all, and are having trouble getting started.)
I’m grateful that I realized how much I was using running as a crutch, because I know that taken a few steps further, that sort of rigidity about exercise can be really detrimental to my health. (I’ve noticed other red flags like this before, and it’s really important for me to hold myself accountable given my past with an eating disorder and exercise obsession.) Anyway, I haven’t stopped running, but I’ve started branching out a bit by doing workout videos with my sister that involve dumbbells and body weight maneuvers. When she first invited me to join, I was scared I would hate it, because I’ve hated weight exercise in the past. But I was surprised to find that I really liked it. I’ve gained a lot of upper body strength which has been really healthy for me, and I like the way I feel after doing the weight workouts. But what I’m most grateful for is the recognition that fear is what was holding me back, and that there’s enormous victory in conquering fear.
What’s your favorite way to exercise?
2. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t
My husband and I were at the store a few weeks ago, and he asked me if I had any preferences as he was picking out a style of beer. “No thanks, I don’t really think I’ll drink any of it, anyways,” I said.
“I know, I just thought I’d ask. I don’t think you’ve had a beer for the past six months!”
I paused for a moment, realizing that what he’d said was true. I hadn’t done that intentionally, and I enjoy trying new beers and cocktails with him. But for some reason, I go through phases where I don’t want to drink beer, or don’t feel like drinking at all. I’m the type of person that I feel the effects of alcohol really easily, and sometimes even if I’ve only had a few sips, I get a headache. I do not like that feeling, and so I tend to drink pretty infrequently in general. I often just order water at restaurants and steal a few sips of whatever my husband is drinking. (The perks of being married…)
I realized that my behaviors and attitudes towards things change a lot. Even though I think of myself as someone who enjoys a cocktail on occasion, I sometimes don’t enjoy how alcohol makes me feel. Likewise, sometimes I really enjoy cooking (how I typically think of myself) and sometimes I get in a rut and start to despise it. Sometimes I like puzzles and games, sometimes I prefer audiobooks or movies. Sometimes I write about health and wellness, sometimes I just write about whatever’s on my mind…sometimes….sometimes…
Maybe it doesn’t matter whether I typically do x, y, or z. I’m allowed to make a new choice in any given moment regardless of whether or not I’ve previously followed a different pattern. I think I sometimes put pressure on myself to act a certain way because of previous patterns but…life is dynamic, and I’m always changing.
Are you a creature of habit, or do you like to change it up?
3. Sometimes progress is slow
I write because, honestly, I can’t not write. Writing out my thoughts is one of my most effective coping mechanisms, and one of the ways I am able to sit down and be honest with myself about my thoughts. This blog in particular has been really instrumental in processing through some of my past with an eating disorder, and I’ve been shocked by how many of you, the readers, have shared that it has helped and inspired you. In some ways, I write for myself, and in some ways, I write for you.
Part of writing for others is that it has less of a cathartic effect, and so it’s important that I’m able to structure that part of the blog/business in a way that is sustainable. I spend a lot of time writing, but unlike one-on-one appointments which have a fee-for-service model, building and marketing the business isn’t so straightforward.
One of the ways that I make money from blogging is through advertisements. I’d been feeling a little bummed because it didn’t seem like the growth of my blog was going at the pace I hoped/expected it to, especially in comparison to some of the other blog/businesses I see. (Comparison is the worst, isn’t it?) But then I had to stop and reset for a moment because I realized that there has actually been so much growth over the past year, and the increase in readership/following compared to this time last year. I hate focusing on numbers and it can be so discouraging, especially when things don’t take off like I expect. But zooming out and looking at things in a broad scope really puts things in perspective. For example, last year in May, this blog averaged 212 views. This year in May, it was nearly 1,300!
The days go slow, but the weeks go fast. I realize that this phrase isn’t usually used in a context of growth and such, but I feel that it applies to this situation. On a day to day basis, it feels like nobody is reading, that I’m writing to myself, and maybe it’s all for naught. But when I zoom out and look back on a whole year, the difference is much more apparent!
What’s an area of your life that you’ve been slow to see progress?
4. You don’t have to be just one thing
According to marketing experts, in order to grow a business, I need to really focus in on one specific topic/niche area. That is so not me. I’m kind of an all-over-the-place type person, and I don’t like feeling limited in what I do. I have many interests, and I like to write about many different things under the health and wellness umbrella…functional medicine, intuitive eating, spirituality and faith…
I’ve realized that for me and my values, diversity is important. I don’t want to put myself in a box because I know that when my interests change in 5 years, and again in 10 years, or 20, I still want to be blogging. As I grow and change throughout my life, I want to give myself the space to do that. For now, I will keep on writing about whatever’s on my heart.
What’s your favorite thing to read on my blog?
5. You don’t have to be everything to everybody
All that being said…sometimes I get straight up FLACK for what I share on this blog and on social media. There are plenty of people that agree with/benefit from my perspective, and probably twice as many who don’t. And that’s okay! I don’t have to make everybody perfectly happy. I’m writing for the people who will benefit from what I need to say. Just like no two lives look the same, no two people need to hear the same thing to inspire healthy choices. Some people would benefit from more exercise in their lives, some from having less. Some people need to eat more to properly nourish their bodies, some people are zoned out and are eating more than their bodies need. No two people need to hear the same thing, and I’m not responsible for discerning who needs to hear what, unless that person is working with me in a one-on-one context.
I’m not going to end up being everybody’s favorite blogger, and that’s okay.
What’s your favorite blog?