I’ll admit I’m a quitter. And I’m good at it. I love to start things. I’m so gung-ho when a project starts. All filled with excitement and enthusiasm for something new. If there’s a relay race to be won put me in the first leg. If we are stranded on an island full of cannibals and we have to take turns sleeping, trust me, you want me on the first watch. When I decide to paint something I love picking the color, the pretty new paint brushes and slopping the first few stripes of color on the wall to see the “new”. And then my husband knows he’ll be finishing that paint job alone. I get bored. Something newer and shinier and more exciting comes along. I am a starter. Not good at finishing. And I wondered why.
I hesitated joining Beachbody as a coach because my coach had built such a successful business and I had this fear I would bring her perfectly successful business all tumbling down when my enthusiasm inevitably waned after a certain time. I DID NOT want to be a disappointment. And there you have it. There’s a misconception about perfectionists that everything in their life looks and is perfect. There’s no clutter, no mess, no unfinished projects, nothing left undone. Everything is in it’s proper place. NOT TRUE. Perfectionists usually live in fear of not being perfect. That fear leads them (us) to not even start a project or finish it because they fear it won’t be good enough. It took me a long time to realize that being a perfectionist is waaaaay worse than just getting something done. Even if it’s sloppy or messy or not perfectly pretty.
And that includes my body and my business. Taking this whole leap of faith into working on my body and building a business has been terrifying for this quitter. I know I’ll never, ever have THE PERFECT body- whatever the hell that means these days. And I thought that if I wasn’t going to be perfect then what gave me the nerve to think I could “coach” or advise others on their own fitness journey? Also if I was going to build a business out of this and others were going to depend on me what if I wasn’t perfect at it? What if I made mistakes? FEAR. It’s all about fear of failure. And I think we all have it. Well, not Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas don’t have any fear. I guess it’s that whole Napolean complex thing. And good for them!
So I have accepted that I’m not a good finisher when I’m alone. I like the company of others. I do better on a team of people depending on me. I feel a responsibility to them to give my all and get the job done. I’m working on that, though. I think that I should be enough, that I should care about myself enough to finish a job FOR ME. Just for me. And I’m getting there. Hey I know I’m 41 but some of us are slow learners. And also- I’ve spoken to a few women this week who are starting on or are in the middle of their weight loss journeys. They have had or do have a lot of weight to lose. I tried to put myself in their shoes. They get up and push play on those videos and move. They cannot do all of the moves and it’s a struggle but they do it anyway. With soooo far to go in a journey I would get discouraged. I know I would. They are amazing and brave and inspirational and not quitters. So I won’t be either. I will be a Chihuahau! Even if it’s sloppy and not so pretty- I WILL GET IT DONE!
I don’t know why we women are so hard on ourselves & in particular the way we look, our bodies, our hair, our physical appearance in general. From my point of view men do not judge themselves as harshly as us women do. I could be wrong…maybe they do and they just hide it well. I don’t know, I’m not a guy. What I am is a 41 year old woman who has really had a breakthrough.
I look back at pictures of myself when I was 21 and I have one regret: WHY WAS I NOT NAKED MORE? Ok not exactly naked (or nekked as us Texans say), but why oh why did I hide my figure so much? Maybe it was the style back then to wear baggier clothes. More likely it was my insecurity with my own body. And WTF dude? My body was great at 21. If I could go back I would slap my 21 year old self and say ” girl trust me this is as good as it gets body-wise. Flaunt it, wear shorter shorts, it’s ok to walk in a bikini in front of people.” But I wouldn’t have. Because at 21 I might have had the best body I’d ever have physically but I was far from the best mind I’d ever have.
Working out a lot lately and taking body measurements for my before & after pictures has been a real eye-opener. No one…I mean NO ONE loves posting pictures of themselves half naked for people to see and judge. Even this skinny bitch. I think it’s just an issue we women have. It’s biological or societal or something- we just always compare our bodies to those of others and feel less. Just less than perfect, less than pretty, less than THEM. You know THEM- the perfect bodied girls.
And my breakthrough: As I was contorting yesterday on the ground in some crazy position Tony Horton had me in….wait that sounded funny. Tony Horton was not in my house I’m doing P90X3 as my current workout program. OK anyway I was nose to belly button in the boat position & was forced to stare at my belly for 30 seconds pretty closely. I saw a glimpse of my C-Section scar where I was rushed into surgery to extract a 9 pound human boy from me 12 years ago. Yes. I said 9 pounds. And if you can imagine what a 9 pound kid and 42 extra pounds does to a tummy it ain’t pretty. But it is! It means I gave life. After many miscarriages and heartbreaks I got 2 healthy babies so I’m grateful for the stretch marks & big scar. Another consequence of that big ass baby was a herniated umbilical…MINE. I had to have surgery to rebuild my belly button. The scar is quite visible. I also have what I lovingly refer to as my tricep purses. It’s just a little extra skin that when I wave it waves also. It reminds me of my grandma and I’m ok with that. I could go on. We all could. Little stretch marks here and there, a few cellulite bumps, some freckles…we all have our stuff. BUT…my 41 year old self is different from my 21 year old self. And I swear, hand to heart, I wouldn’t go back. I wouldn’t trade my perfectly imperfect, 41 year old body for anything. It’s got character- character that I earned. I may have had a great physical body at 21 but there’s something to be said for having the years behind you and knowing more. I am not LESS than. None of us are. And I pray & hope my kids know that of themselves too. Your body does A LOT for you. Especially us women. It nourishes you and protects you and incubates life and gives birth and does all sorts of amazing things. Take care of it and love it and be proud of it. I am. Finally.
I try to be motivational on my Fitness Page. I sell workout videos & health & nutrition supplements…motivation is part of that. I like motivational quotes about getting your butt up and moving & taking chances & risks. I know that there’s no “magic pill” for health. It takes guts and sweat and will power and discipline. I like those things because I can control those things. My name is Jennifer and I am a control freak.
I’ve always been a control freak. I also have anxiety. The two things go hand in hand. For a person with anxiety it’s usually the moments that we don’t have control over that send us into a tailspin. For a long while I was too anxious to fly. I just felt out of control with someone else in charge of flying the plane….you know because I could definitely fly a plane. I didn’t say the anxiety was logical, ok. I don’t know if the Xanax or the fact that I enjoy traveling helped me get over it (probably the Xanax) but it was really all about handing over control. AND I HATE THAT!
Control freaks like me take action. When there’s a problem we look for a solution to fix it. When something needs doing we do it. If I get the slightest bit out of shape I kick my workouts into high gear. I can’t help it. Controlling things calms me & makes me feel like something, ANYTHING is getting done. It’s hard for me to do nothing. And that’s a problem.
I used to have an inner war with the Atari game “Frogger” in the early ’80’s. For those under 30 it was a game about frogs crossing the street in rush hour traffic trying to avoid getting squashed by a car. Now that I write that down I’m thinking some 25 year old at the Atari game creation center was high as a kite when they came up with this game. It’ a bit twisted. Anyway…if you timed it correctly & were patient & strategized which car was slower and what openings you could get through then your frog just might survive. So for those of us with a lack of patience & the NEED to move fast & hurry up so as to beat some imaginary timer in my head that said if I don’t move quickly my entire life was pointless, this game SUCKED! I hardly ever won. Survival almost always gave way to impatience. You could have a frog leg feast on the road kill I left behind. Sad, really.
I’m learning at the age of 41 that sometimes standing still and doing nothing is the right thing. Sometimes. Not when you need to get in shape or lose weight or quit smoking or chase your financial dreams or a bear is chasing you. In those instances what are you waiting for MOVE YOUR ASS! However, in dealing with other people and their journey to be in the “right place” or with your children learning tough life lessons when you’d really like to step in and save them or in just realizing there’s things in life you can’t control no matter how much you’d like to. It’s so hard to stand still and do nothing. Soooooo harrrrrrd. It’s hard to be out of control. However, it’s pretty cool to be 41 years old and realize there are still a lot of life lessons to learn and I still have a lot of growing to do. I am a work in progress. Working on patience. Here’s to me and deep breathing and Yoga and Xanax!
P.S. If Xanax had been around in 1981 I would have totally ruled at Frogger.
I feel like crap. I have a head cold, sore throat, a headache & I can’t breathe through my nose. All of this started Saturday when I had only one day left on my #21DayFix. I honestly entertained the idea of skipping my last workout. I mean who would even know? I would. So I did it. I huffed & puffed & sneezed my way through my last workout in the program.
Last weekend as I mentioned, I travelled to Los Angeles to attend a Beachbody conference. At the end of the day we all participated in a big group workout lead by Autumn Calabrese (21 Day Fix sadist…oops I mean creator). There were 700 of us there so it was a BIG workout! In the crowd I spotted a man in a wheelchair. He was going along with the workout as best he could- actually better than some of us able-bodied people. I mentioned him to my coach Stephanie & she said “oh ya, he’s a coach”. WHAT?
So this guy with no use of his legs not only lifts his entire body weight with just his arms to get down on the ground and workout…he also coaches and encourages OTHER PEOPLE? He stuck with me. In my head.
There were days in the last 3 weeks that I really wanted to skip my workout or eat a cake. Especially the last day when I was feeling like crap. And then that guy would annoyingly pop into my head. I have a cold. A head cold. It will pass and I will get better. He has no use of his legs. That will never get better. Yet he pushes on. Whatever our lame ass excuses are for not working out, not eating right, not taking care of ourselves, not quitting smoking, not making time in our day to take care of our bodies, they are just that- LAME ASS EXCUSES! I will not be defined by my excuses.
Getting in shape is hard when you are very far out of shape. It’s hard. Very hard. Getting started is the hardest part. Starting when the task ahead seems monumental is an amazingly brave feat. Just start. Today, day 22, I could have woken up and eaten ANYTHING I wanted to. I instinctively reached for a whole grain waffle and a banana. My consistent actions became habits. I want a pop tart a little bit. Just the texture maybe or the sugary taste. But guess what…that guy probably wants to walk again. “MAN UP”. Don’t be your excuses.
For 13 plus years I have stayed home with my children full time (minus a 5 minute job I had in 2008) and been a perfectly, amazingly, exceptionally mediocre Mom. And that’s ok. I quit beating myself up years ago over not being perfect. At times the kids went a few days with no bath, ate dirt, had pizza three meals in a row and stayed up late watching Saturday Night Live. Sue me. They’re pretty good kids despite my shortcomings so…..
I love being a stay at home Mom. I wouldn’t trade one day of it for anything. I know exactly how lucky I am to stay home and have a partner who works so incredibly hard and allows me to do that. I know there are Moms that would give anything to stay home with their kiddos. I am truly grateful. However….it’s been 13 years since I wore a nice suit, talked to another adult about spreadsheets or legal documents or anything NOT revolved around Nickelodeon or Angry Birds or whatever…and I have to admit I’ve missed it at times. It would be nice to dress up and put on red lipstick & interact with people over 12. I have great friends and we go to lunch or hike or shop. And that’s great. But there’s just been this nagging voice in my head wondering if I’m too far dinosaur-ed to ever return to a wage-earning job. It brings self doubt and insecurity about whether I could even function in a work environment or carry on a conversation about current technology. I mean when I quit working Steve Jobs was a desk clerk!
You’ve probably heard me vomit all about my new job as a Beachbody Coach. I promise not to annoy you to tears with that. Today’s blog and subject matter is about working women in general no matter where you work or what you do. Women are amazing people. I love men- they are pretty cool too but when I hear the term “man up” for some reason I think of a women in 1882 giving birth with no epidural. We are truly amazingly strong people. I know a few single Moms doing it ALLLLL on their own. I tip my hat to you. You are SuperWoman!
I started working as a coach about six weeks ago. From home. In my workout clothes. Lucky girl I know. We don’t all have that luxery. It was a little step to see where my self worth was at and get a discount on products and MAYBE make a couple bucks to get my hair done. Today is payday. It’s once a week. My first paycheck was $34.00 six weeks ago & I was thrilled. I woke up this morning to a $366.00 deposit in my account for one week’s worth of work. I know it sounds piddly but it has made my day. I feel like no matter what ever happens I can do anything. I can actually do this. I’m a bit dramatic at times (shut up Patrick) but I seriously feel like I won the lottery. And it’s not about the money it’s about the empowerment of knowing you can do whatever you put your mind to.
So I am wearing red lipstick today. Because I won the lottery today. And all of you women who have worked your asses off raising kids and working and being Mom & Dad (you know who you are) YOU should wear red lipstick too! In fact~ we should all wear red lipstick EVERYDAY!
Today would have been my parent’s 42nd wedding anniversary. It’s another date on the calendar that my Mom (and us kids) are reminded that he is not here. Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgving, they are all dates on a calendar that are tough for people who have lost loved ones. But really- you don’t need a special occasion to realize you’re sad and miss them. I miss my Dad every day, not just on particular dates. None are worse or any better than the other dates. Sad doesn’t know what day it is.
So to juxtapose the sadness I had this amazing weekend in Los Angeles at a Beach Body conference. And had a few great conversations over wine (1 yellow container’s worth) hahaha about sadness and choices. Two sweet girls and I talked about loss. Sometimes it’s easy to say “my Dad died and that HAPPENED TO ME”. It’s our “story” and it often defines us if we let it. I decided a long time ago that my Dad’s death did not HAPPEN TO ME. It happened. And it sucked. But there are choices made after such a tragic event. And I chose life. In fact, I choose it every day. There have since been many sad and difficult things happen in my life. And every day I still wake up and choose life. Be alive every day. Live every day. Jump out of your comfort zone EVERY SINGLE DAY. Going to L.A. this weekend was definitely jumping faaaar out of my comfort zone.
I am a 41 year old Mom from Texas. I have never been to Los Angeles before. One month ago I was not working (and hadn’t been in many years). I’m not sure why in the world I thought I could sling workout videos and shakes and build a team of awesome coaches and be successful at it. I guess the voice in my head that said “you can” was louder than the voice that said “no way, not you”. Sometimes I’m just too stupid to realize I can’t do something. And that’s a GREAT quality I get from my Dad.
It was an awesome, amazing, inspiring, transforming, and energizing weekend. I feel so excited about what’s ahead for me. In one month’s time I’ve changed physically, I feel better and I already have 4 awesome coaches on my team who are just as excited (and hopefully as “stupid”) as I am. I hope their “I cans” are louder than their “no way I can’t’s”.
My Dad would be proud of me no matter what I ever did or didn’t do. I know that. But I’d like to think he was watching me at that conference and thinking “you got it right, girl- don’t just be alive each day….LIVE!”