(Post originally written in January 2018.)
I will continuously be working on retreating from my melancholy moods. It is a constant struggle. I wish I could be like a cat and just “be” everyday only to sleep and “be” again the next day. I have my struggles, but I persevere.
There are a couple of interests that I’m utilizing to really help me to focus on improving my outlook on life. Motivational books, which I used to think were plain silly, have been instrumental to my cause. Another encouragement, and provider of hope, has been my studies for my next vocation. I find that studying and passing the chapter quizzes uplifting. Finally, my passion for fitness and health has been revitalized and I find myself excited to get to the gym and sweat out the stress.
I have had some books recommended to me by friends and family that have opened my eyes to different points of view on life. They have brought me more confidence and pushed me to take risks and not always play it safe. I recommend them both to anyone who needs a little push to get out of their safe little box and face their fears in the world.
MY YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes. The author is the writer for Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and other amazing hit shows. She is inspirational and a fun read. Her book put me on a quest to say YES to invitations that I would otherwise refuse. I worked on saying yes instead of no to requests to many people, including my 9-year-old daughter. “Mom, will you go on a walk with me and the dog?” or “Mom, do you want to play a board game?” “You bet kiddo”, I now respond. If I was invited to a gathering, I would take a deep breath and agree to go. When my niece and her best friend invited me to Italy, I said Yes with wide eyes and a beating heart. Italy was a life changer, and I almost wasn’t able to go due to fear pushing me around. Events that used to fill me with dread, I was now saying yes to attending, and it was opening doors for me I would otherwise never have discovered. What a revelation!
YOU ARE A BADASS: HOW TO STOP DOUBTING YOUR GREATNESS AND START LIVING AN AWESOME LIFE by Jen Sincero. I’m still reading this one and taking a lot of notes. I don’t care much for the sale pitch at the end, but her message is strong. We CAN do anything. We are AWESOME and BAD ASS. If we want something, we may have to work hard to get it, but it is attainable. It is one of the books that convinced me that it was okay to leave my job and pursue a new venture. The weight off my shoulders came off almost immediately. What you put out in the world, is what you will get in return.
PHYSICAL TRAINING AT THE GYM. As for this whole fitness infatuation, my sister had been complaining about aches and pains bringing her to a stand still too often. I was complaining about my pants being too tight and not loving myself as I should, so we decided to meet at the gym. Our long-time memberships needed some use!! We used the same familiar machines during our first few visits and yearned to know how all those intimidating weight machines worked, what order to use them in, and what should we be eating. We splurged and got a personal trainer and it has been a game changer. We have had about 7 sessions with this wonder woman, who works with my sister and I together, and I have this newfound confidence in the gym. TRX? I know how to use that! Cable triceps pulls? Let me show you how that works. Those big thick ropes we step over on the way to the treadmill? Oh yeah, I can show you how to work those puppies. That rowing machine in the corner? Yeah, I own that machine. Look out Jane Fonda and your Buns of Steel! You have some competition.
My sister has already lost over 10 lbs. and a pant size. I’ve lost 4 lbs., am down inches all over and am seeing a real difference. Today, I, a former high school track and field record holder now weighing in over, well let’s say my body is bootylicious, went for a run. I went 1.73 miles at a 15-minute mile pace. I can’t tell you how proud of myself I was when I finished. It was an almost euphoric feeling. I DID IT!! And I’m totally doing it again. I see a 5k in my future!
And so, with all these new pastimes in my life, I am looking far into the future, and not just to tomorrow. I have some long-term goals set. I am a BAD ASS and YES, I am going to accomplish them. I like this new version of me. I invite her to stay as long as she wants.
Are there any motivational books that have helped you? Did you face similar intimidation when you first started going to the gym?
CAROLINE NELSON © 2017 UNPUBLISHED WORK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.