People, places, things - these all come into your life for a reason. Some of these are forever. Some you think will be forever and they end up just being seasonal. Both scenarios are totally okay.
I've been doing a lot of soul searching this year. Who do I want to surround myself with? Do I care to put up with people who aren't on the same page, just because we've been friends? Do I keep making excuses for people who don't support me like they used to?
I want to surround myself with women who have drive; women who have survived the fire. Women who love loud, and share their experience and insecurities and don't apologize for being bigger than this box that society wants us to stay in. Those are my kind of people.
I used to get mad when my friends changed. Because it put a strain where there wasn't one before. And I would be mad when I brought it up, and things continued to be strained because they didn't want to put the effort in to fixing things. And then I realized that I have changed too. I don't put up with people who don't care enough. I have high standards and a very low bullshit tolerance when it comes to the people in my life.
I've been incredibly lucky to have been surrounded by the badass, from the fire, driven women the past couple of years. IDWTBAT was that for me. It brought women into my life who I NEVER would have found otherwise. Women who I can talk to about my deepest and darkest, who are there for me through the incredible times and the absolute shit times. But the group got way too big to manage, and became more work than it was worth for me. It's still a message I firmly believe in, but this is an example of a seasonal thing, something that came in and taught me a lot about myself (and humanity in general) but not something meant to stick around forever. So I've bowed out, and intend to use IG and this blog to empower women just as I was before - more words, fewer videos, and no rules or filters.
Consider what you surround yourself with. Is it draining you more than it's giving you? If so, it may be time to examine if it's worth keeping. And if it's not? That's okay. That is TOTALLY okay.
The last few years some friends of mine and I have chosen words to focus on in the upcoming year, rather than resolutions. It's a great way to set your intentions, how you want to represent yourself, without having a "I want to lose 20lbs!" type goal that you'll feel guilty about if you don't meet it.
My word for 2017 is: Fearless.
I feel like I generally represent myself this way, when I think about my life as a whole. But when I think about 2016, the word that comes to mind is "meh" - how boring is that? I didn't do much last year. I cleansed a hell of a lot of people OUT of my life, but I didn't make much of an effort to bring new ones in - I just didn't care.
So 2017, I'd like to say "yes" to things I normally say "no" to. (No, that doesn't mean I'm going to start going out drinking on the weekends - sorry y'all. Except not sorry at all 😂) Have more adventures, explore this city I've been in for 5 years, meet some new people.
I saw an image someone posted the other day that said "Two Feet In." as it relates to your life. Stop testing the water with just your big toe - you're in charge of your life. So, Fearless. I'm all in.
What's your word for 2017?
"You're the biggest offender when it comes to wearing yoga pants. And you're not a stick, you know? You've got some thick thighs on you."
This was a comment made to me today. For the record, I am WELL aware of EXACTLY how much space I take up, how much I weigh, and how small my friends are compared to me. I've been overweight my entire life, teetering on the "obese" line of BMI. I've been teased about it, called names (Ryan Vandegraaf, 7th grade, called me fat in front of the entire class. Not something I'll ever forget) and generally been kept aware that I'm "not a stick" - at 30 years old, this is not something I thought I'd still have to deal with.
Think before you speak. Have some basic level of self-awareness. You want to comment on someone's shape or size? Does it sound like "girllll you look fab!!"? No? Then keep your fucking mouth shut.
We as women struggle enough. If you aren't building your fellow women up, you need to take some time and work on yourself. Worry about yourself before you worry about me. And if you've got these women in your life, the ones who tear you down? Get rid of them. There are plenty of us who'd love to cheer you on.
I know it's not Transformation Tuesday or anything like that (IDGAF) but I wanted to share my "fitness" story and where I've been vs where I'm at today.
2013 (1st pic) - I decided I was sick of being uncomfortable in my own skin and I hit the gym. 6 days a week, 60 minutes of Stairmaster and then I eventually found the weight room (praise Oprah 🙌🏻).
2014 (2nd pic) I was in the best shape of my life - I felt great and I looked hot AF. But I was also using the gym as a source to channel my anxiety into, and really limiting myself food-wise - the willpower with me at that point was 100%. Read: not really enjoying LIFE.
2016 (3rd pic) I've gained back all the weight I lost, lost all my muscle gains, and am starting back at square one. But at least this time I know what the hell I'm doing. I took 2015 off from cardio and then 2016 has been a fucking free-for-all when it comes to food. CANT DO THAT. Can't do either of that. I've rid my life of anxiety-causing things and people, and I've got my head on straight. I don't like to call it "starting over" because life has ebbs and flows, and shit happens, and that's okay. We make mistakes, trip and stumble, but we're human. There's like 7 billion of us - and not one is "perfect".
Summer's coming to an end and for me, that means new beginnings. Outgrowing some things, and generally cleansing out stuff and people that don't have a positive influence on me. I'm in a weird state of growth right now. And by "right now" I think I mean that I think it's been happening for a while but I'm just now realizing it.
I thrive best in friendships and relationships that have meaning - I don't do surface level shit. The down and dirty details of your life, what makes you tick, what pisses you off, what you are passionate about - those are the things I want to know. Those are the things I want to share. I can do surface level for a hot second, but after a while it becomes so tedious and I have to get out.
Love is loud. Love is THE LOUDEST. (My good friend Audra posted about this a few weeks back on IG - you can check out her blog here.) I love hard and I'm loyal as fuck. But because of this, it takes me a while to become close to people. I want to give them my best self, not just a fraction of me.
And right now, I don't have room to give. I don't have space. I've gotten a few comments recently, people saying in passing, "you haven't been going on many dates lately. What's up with that?" And because I'm all about transparency and being up front and honest, the reason I'm not is because I don't feel comfortable with ME right now. I'm heavier than I've been in a very long time, I don't feel comfortable in my clothes, and I don't feel like I can accurately portray who I really am to a complete stranger when I'm in this headspace.
Empowering women is my gig - I love that shit. But I also feel like I owe it to you to let you know that this shit isn't easy. It is WORK to be comfortable with who you are and not question it, and not care when others question it. We are so ingrained to "speak up, but not too loudly" / "smile, but not too much, he might get the wrong idea" / "have an opinion but maybe not THAT much of an opinion" - these things wear on us as women. And I feel a bit worn out right now.
So my dating apps are deleted, and I'm focusing on me. Mentally getting healthier (I've read 3 books in the last week, because I like to, and it's my time to decompress) and physically getting healthier - I am so amped about having switched back to my old gym. (Completely fucked up my back this week so I'm heading to the chiropractor tomorrow - once I'm realigned it's game on, baby.)
Work on yourself. If you feel like you're being split between too many things, delete some. Remove negative influences, things that give you anxiety. I'll be over here working on myself too.
Helen Foster aka HeleFab comin' atcha!