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.