This is Real Content

It occurred to me to write this post in the shower today. I have a hard time seeing what about my life will actually create good content. I see so many Instagram posts that are just selfies or belfies or butt workouts that get zillions of likes and I think that must be what people want to see. But that’s not what I have to share. Yea I have a great butt and do plenty of workouts for it but it’s not a #buccibooty or a #buildabetterbooty by #zbody. Which is fine. That’s not my narrative. That’s not what is going to make my people relate to me. That’s not the real me. Are those booties #goals? Hell yea! But I’m not inspiring the people that come to Color Yourself Well to superficially grow their ass. We aren’t paid to be hot. We have lives and just want to live healthy and in balance and love ourselves. So I need to step back and look at the real aspects of my life that appeal to my people! So this is one of those stories.

At the end of 2016 I was struggling with depression and anxiety, which is something I have honestly never experienced before. My health was struggling, my relationship, my work- nothing was really going well. I didn’t feel like doing anything. I drug myself to the gym and overtaxed my already stressed body. I took out all my anxiety on my boyfriend. I neglected the dog’s exercise. I would go to work- the schedule I was on at the time, that I set myself, was to go in super early before anyone else was there and watch YouTube videos until my coworkers got there and then I would work for a couple hours and go home. Once home I would force myself to try to create content for the blog or work on programs or something but I would just sit and stare at a blank screen or watch more YouTube or scroll Instagram. I was just sinking deeper and deeper into nothing.

Now what I am slowly starting to unpack is the fact that the few hours I was alone at work was my only me time. It was the only space I had to myself, the only time I had to myself- but it was my job so it shouldn’t have been for myself! I escaped there and did what I wanted to do but I constantly felt guilty about it because I was essentially stealing time from my boss for myself. I was constantly afraid I was going to get caught and get in trouble or lose my job. But I couldn’t stop because it felt like the only time I could do what I wanted to do. And of course my boss noticed something was up. She doesn’t know specifically what I was doing but she noticed the dip in my productivity and my general shitty attitude.

And another huge problem with this situation is specifically what I was watching on YouTube. I randomly became obsessed with bikini competitors’ vlogs. Why? Why in the hell is that what I watched constantly? I’ve never been a bikini competitor, never wanted to be a bikini competitor, sounds horrible to me! But I admired their discipline. It was amazing to me that these women could control themselves and push themselves to these extremes because they enjoyed it. It’s not like the competitions have huge cash prizes- they get paid by sponsors for promoting brands, supplements, apparel and gear on their social media. Which allows them to have a pretty free life. Yes they work insanely hard in the gym and are constantly filming and editing and posting and doing photo-shoots but that’s much more glamorous than the grind I’m on. And I wanted the freedom, I wanted the influencer position, I wanted the sponsorships. But I wasn’t doing any of the work needed to get there. I was in a pity party of why can’t I be like them? Why can’t I be paid to go to the gym and look hot?

The first step of getting out of this hole I had imaginarily dug myself into- because these problems I was experiencing are not real problems, they are the epitome of #firstworldproblems. And the real problems I was having in my relationship and financially- they weren’t specific to me. That’s the “You’re Not Special” blog post and conversation I had with my mother. So I stopped watching YouTube at work, and I started actually working! Go figure. That is one of the major tips I gleaned from “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” When you don’t feel like doing anything or you feel like you can’t do anything- just go do something. Anything! Start doing something that has the air of productivity. And that productivity, feigned or genuine, will lead to more productivity and more inspiration and you will be on this bomb ass roller coaster of crushing it in no time.

So once I started working again and started to feel good about being productive, I stopped going to the gym. Now that may seem counterproductive and contradictory to what I just said in the last paragraph about the roller coaster. But it was not bringing me joy anymore. Yes part of me still wants that bodybuilder physique but I can’t put in that work right now. The work I can put in right now is Buti yoga, vinyasa yoga, long walks with my coondog, bouldering and home workouts with the limited equipment I have. And it’s going great! Two weeks of doing Buti every day and I already see small results in my waist line, I feel so much happier and more confident in my body and I’m regaining that feeling I used to get in college when I would go dancing with my friends. That feeling of “Watch me do my thing! I’m damn sexy! I can have any guy in here just with my moves!” because I have impeccable rhythm and can shake my ass! Now of course there is less alcohol involved and I only shake it for myself and my man but the feeling transfers.

The yoga practice is positively impacting my dietary habits without me even having to focus on it. I am able to eat intuitively, to some extent- much better than I have been doing. I’m better about feeling guilt toward what I eat. I am definitely noticing the patterns of what makes me feel heavy and weighed down when I’m trying to practice. The best part honestly is the freedom of not being concerned, no obsessed with food. Thinking about calories and macros and deficits is draining and mind numbing. Being able to trust my body to tell me what it needs is the freedom I have been craving for a long time. And I still have a long way to go but these first steps feel amazing.

As I have taken back control of these aspects of my life other aspects are falling into place. Since I am happier and more confident in myself, my relationship is improving. My financial situation is at least planned out. And it all started just by doing what I was supposed to be doing and not sneaking around and avoiding doing anything at all.

I’m horrible and endings to my writing. It’s a huge thing I need to work on but have never actually done any research on how to improve it. I’m trying to give a moral I suppose. When you feel stuck and like you don’t want to do anything, go out and do any thing. Try something. Because obviously what you are doing isn’t working. And maybe the first thing you do isn’t what makes the change you need, but know you know what not to do.

I’ll Start Fresh Tomorrow

Saying things like, “I’ll start my new diet on Monday,” or “I’m moving in a month and then I’ll start working out” are generally excuses to not to try and achieve your goals. You can find a million reasons to start something later. You can find a million reasons to not start at all. But there is something to be said about utilizing new beginnings and fresh starts. My favorite fresh start comes in a move into a new home. Walking into an empty home that will soon be mine is so hopeful. You start thinking of what to bring with you, what to get rid of, what should be replaced, new things all together. My favorite part is getting rid of extra. Extra clothes, extra shoes, extra kitchen stuff. And junk. You fill the space you have and we are currently living in a really big apartment going to one about half the size and we have accumulated so much junk in our time in the big space.

Another important thing about our new home is the fact that I have claimed a space for myself. I have been living with my partner for almost three years in three different homes. I had my own space in the first house but not the last two apartments. It’s hard to feel like yourself when you don’t have anything or anywhere that is truly only yours. But in this new home there is a window that looks out at the most perfect mountain and I wanted it! I got a desk and a tapestry and have a whole altar planned where I can do yoga and meditate. And I’m pretty excited about all this!

The new house also means a new routine. My mornings used to be sacred. A few years ago when I started my fitness journey I sacrificed my mornings for workouts and rushing to work. No more. I am reclaiming my mornings. I plan to slow down, wake later and easier, spend more time on self-care, do a workout that I actually enjoy and can handle. Right now before even moving in that routine looks something like waking up around 7am, having a hot beverage- probably tea or this grapefruit and apple cider vinegar drink I have sometimes, writing some sort of plan for the day whether it’s a to-do list or just a few intentions for the day, having my favorite green smoothie, a workout, a coondog walk and get ready for work. My ideal workout is something like Buti yoga, power vinyasa yoga, Zumba etc. I haven’t been able to get my ass in the gym lately but that is a separate post all it’s own.

Getting ready for work is something I want to take back as well. I love makeup. I stopped wearing it all together for a year or so and am starting to get back into it. It’s hard to find makeup that lives up to the standards I’m looking for but I’m making progress. I am torn however because my job is to sit in front of a computer pretty much alone all day and rarely do I do activities after work that call for makeup so it’s hard to justify spending the time and money. But I enjoy it and reserve the right to do it when I want and not do it when I don’t because woman. I want infinite money for clothes. I would get rid of most of my current clothes; I just basically want all new stuff.

What else is there to talk about with the new home? I get to start fermenting again! We have a big pantry where I can stash jars of smelly vegetables and kombucha if I can get a good scoby. We get to go on much better walks with the coondog. There is a trail about 20 minutes walk from the house then about a 15 minute very steep climb to some caves that I am going to try to do most days once the snow melts- high incline is good for the booty! I am closer to more activities and events that I am very interested in especially artistically. Our friends live in the same community. I’m very excited for plenty of new opportunities.

I believe you should seize any chance to start something new no matter when it is presented. But if you know you need to make some drastic changes, there is no harm in putting it off for a time that you know is more conducive to change. It gives you time to plan and set yourself up for success and get more excited about it!

Update: 4/3

Well since I never actually marketed or announced this post, I’m going to add an update and promote it now. For someone with a public relations degree, I’m not great at relating my message to the public. Anyway.

This is our second week in the new house. We spent our first night here on my birthday and have enjoyed it ever since. There are a few pictures left to be framed and hung but it has all been done for a while. The energy and vibe is incredible. This move 25 minutes north is like a totally different culture. The way this valley is set up is interesting. So it is all based on the industry Mt. Crested Butte brings, skiing in the winter and wildflowers, biking and hiking in the summer. Mt. CB primarily holds the resort and very expensive homes for rich and famous, including Tony Hawk, Bill Murray, David Letterman and Angelina Jolie. No I’ve never seen or met any of them but they are here. Then the town of Crested Butte holds mostly locals and second home owners and the shopping and night life of the town. I live in CB South which has virtually no enterprise, only housing. All of these communities are within 15 minutes of each other. These three groups could be self sustaining but it’s a bit of a challenge being as remote as we are. Twenty-five minutes south of CBSouth is Gunnison. This has a large chain grocery store, a small Walmart and Western State Colorado University. In my time here it seems like the University brings as many people as the resort, only because after people graduate they either never leave or come back and buy homes later. But the people in Gunnison, don’t necessarily want to be in Gunnison. It is definitely more expensive the farther north you live in the valley but you get a much better pay off with the views and access to nature and adventure.

That being said, the people up here have much less to complain about. Which is something we fell prey to in Gunnison. It was a 45 minute to an hour ordeal just to get to the mountain to ski, which meant is was a whole day affair. It wasn’t worth it to go up, hit a few runs before work and get on with your day. And forget about getting some drinks and dinner and driving home.

Now that you have a picture of the valley, the real point of this update is the level of relaxation and peace I have already been able to achieve. The reclaiming of my morning has gone extremely well. I need to work on the timing a bit if I want to utilize the free bus to save gas money and wear and tear but it’s not a huge issue thus far. And the altar is beautiful and my yoga practice is already flourishing! I can’t wait to see what amazing creations flow from this new state of flow I am cultivating!

You’re Not Special

Don’t freak out about the title. Let me explain. Sometimes you need to hear you aren’t special. Sometimes you need to hear that you are just like everyone else and the shit you are going through is just like them too. Sometimes you need to call that one person who will always call you on your bullshit or point out that everyone is going through something just like you. You aren’t special. Not always. For me the person who reminds me I am but a mortal is my mom. She kicks ass. I’ve been going through a lot of stuff lately that I have been keeping to myself. I live in a small town where I don’t know a lot of people. I don’t keep in touch with a lot of my old friends from home either, which leads to a feeling of isolation. So the stress and struggles that I have been dealing with seem much worse than they are because I haven’t been talking about them with anyone or hearing anyone else’s problems either. It has seemed like I am the only one who has ever felt the way I feel now, like I am the only person ever to have these exact struggles. Another contributing factor to these feelings is spending a lot of time on social media. These are just the highlight reels of other people’s life. While a lot of big social media influencers claim transparency, and really put themselves out there so you can see their struggles and fears, it’s not the same as talking with your best friend about the mean thing your boyfriend said and didn’t really mean. Or opening up to your grandparents that you can’t afford the supplements you take to manage your autoimmune disease because rent and your car insurance are due.
So I finally talked to my mom. And we talk every day. Literally every day even if it’s just “Hey what’s up? Walking the dogs so they can poop. Ok have fun, love you bye.” But this time I unloaded. It was way more contained than I expected- I expected hysterical bawling, oh poor me shit but everything else had gone so wrong that day that I was past “Poor me” and onto “Screw this, screw them, screw you!” so I was able to articulate a little better. While she sympathized and hated that I was struggling and wished she could do more to help, she did it better. She did the one thing she has always done. She told me that the financial struggles are something I have allowed to happen to myself and told me to rationalize how to solve them. She told me the fights I have been having with my boyfriend are fights every relationship has. That I am in fact in a relationship with a man that has a lot of typical man traits. She always tells me that she thinks my boyfriend and I have a better chance of lasting than most people but in the end we are both very normal people with common problems. What makes us different is the conviction to the choice we made to be together. She also reminded me that being a woman often times means feeling unappreciated and giving everything of yourself and not receiving it back. This is the only thing that I wasn’t 100% in agreement on. I believe you can create a life of giving that gives backs. And that’s the big dream, right? Sharing your talents, knowledge and skills with the world and having the world respond, appreciate what you do, ask for more and maybe even pay you for it!
So there’s that. I know these posts weave in and out of one basic theme quite frequently so I guess the takeaway is that when you feel overwhelmed by life and feel alone in these problems, talk to someone that truly knows you aren’t all that special. By taking away the idea that you alone have these problems and realizing that other people have lived through it already, you can figure out your own way to live through it in your own special way.

Changing the Plan

Some people thrive on organization, goal setting, planning and executing that plan. Everything is high pressure, all or nothing, no plan B. I’ve noticed this especially in the fitness world. I thought I could be that person- for a very short time. At the end of 2016, I created a plan for 2017- a dream board with a whole set of goals and strategies to achieve those goals. Then January 1, 2017 that plan instantly changed. A lot of circumstances aligned perfectly- or imperfectly if you are my dream board- to make me think that 2017 wasn’t going to be everything I thought. But it could definitely be better. I will fill you all in on the deep details as the journey progresses.

My dream board included a lot of very specific fitness and business goals that have already been abandoned for more loose goals that will make me much happier and a few financial and broad life goals that will stay in place. The biggest thing to take away is that it is ok to change the plan even if that means not having a plan at all. And by all means if you are the planner mentioned above, that’s ok too. If that’s how you succeed, go out there and crush it! But maybe later in life you will not want to have a plan anymore. Maybe later in life I will want a detailed plan.

Life is a journey (OMG! She just threw out that cliche!) But we aren’t given a blueprint or schedule at birth saying what we are supposed to be doing at 5, 12, 18, 25, 40 years old. Plans come and go. Sometimes they go horribly wrong and you laugh at yourself for thinking that plan was a good idea! Sometimes they work out and your life is that much better for that success.

So for right now my plan is not having a plan. It’s connecting to things that make me happy. Improving my health by connecting to my body back at the most basic levels. Finding my spiritual connection to the universe and nature and people around me. As I deepen these connections I will document them here which will be mostly a journal that hopefully inspires someone to deepen these connections in their own life.

Calling Bullshit

Calling Bullshit

To preface this blog and any other posts I call “blogs”- they will be mostly unedited and uncensored. I will get in a “mood”, have the urge to write and will probably only re-read the damn thing once before publishing. That’s the way I’ve always operated- I generally trust my ability to take thoughts and cohesively add words on paper and get my point across. So now. To the point.

When I first started fitness three years ago, I had to shut myself off from the world to make the huge lifestyle changes necessary to become healthy and fit. I isolated myself from almost everyone- mostly because the majority of people I was surrounded by at the time were toxic. So I spent months by myself on the grind and saw amazing results. Well now I’m fit and healthy, at least compared to your average American. Of course there are still goals I am pushing toward and things I want to accomplish but I am no longer 50 pounds overweight, smoking pot every day being miserable like right before I started. But now I find myself still without the social component I blocked out. I no longer have the same avenues of meeting people like college courses and drinking at bars and parties. I work alone most of the time and have a boyfriend and dog to care for. This is by my design and I am, in the grand scheme of things, happy with these aspects of my life. But I am missing some social interaction. I frequently tell myself I’m going to go to this fitness class or that community event but when the time comes I just pretend I never had the thought at all. It’s not an actual anxious feeling preventing me from going, or other obligations or anything tangible at all. I have no idea why I keep sabotaging myself. The closest thing I’ve ever been able to pin it on is guilt. I feel guilty doing something for myself when I could be working and making money, or doing something outside with the dog. Which is bullshit. I feel like the only way to resolve this particular issue is to call bullshit on myself and stop making excuses and just make some damn friends. So there’s that. Hopefully putting it out for the world to see is enough of a call out.

Another thing I need to call bullshit on myself about is this recently developed feeling of inadequacy. When I was overweight I was confident and would literally introduce myself as “kind of a big deal”. I also had no idea I was overweight but that’s a whole separate post. But once the lights came on so to speak and I realized I was “fat” it made me think I wasn’t cool or beautiful or anything good at all. But now I have put in a few years of work and should be gaining that confidence back. Not happening. In fact I’m more self conscious than ever. So again I call bullshit. I’m the same person as I was back then with a new and improved exterior to match my badass interior. So hopefully these two things tie together by making friends that realize I’m awesome to make me feel more awesome so I can make more friends.

The second part of the inadequacy is affecting my business. I want to be an online coach, obviously- look at other pages on this site- and to do that I have to market and have a social media presence. But every time I go to post something, I think “Who cares? Why would anyone listen to me? There are so many girls on Instagram and YouTube and that have coaching business that are so much more fitness than me. What the hell do I know?!” But again, bullshit. I know what it’s like to be overweight and unhappy, I know what it’s like to struggle with Crohn’s disease, I know what it’s like to adopt a Paleo diet and lifestyle, I know what it’s like to move across the country and struggle adapting to that in a mountain town where fitness has a whole different meaning. So that’s what I’m going to talk about for a while until I learn more stuff. Because adulting is just acting like everything is working out until you actually figure out how to make it work. So thanks for reading. Comment below something in your life you need to call bullshit on.