It's my birthday! That's right. I'm heading into my 35th year on this planet today.
That got me thinking about where I am, and where I've been, and most importantly where I'm going. It also got me thinking about why I'm where I am right now.
Because sometimes when I'm sitting at my dest at 5am, in the dark and quiet, I have to stop and I have to giggle a bit at what I'm doing. I'm getting up....at 5am...because I want to get to work!? I've got two school age kiddos sleeping upstairs. I've got dogs, and a husband and a house and cars? When did all of that happen? It sometimes seems so foreign, but other times it's so right that I can't even imagine it any other way.
When I was thinking last week about my birthday, I got thinking about the biggest lessons I've learned in my first 34 years. Turns out a lot of them have to do with food (of course) and confidence. In fact, so many aspects of my life revolve around a few key decisions and a few key lessons. So I decided to put them here in this post, in case they'll help you too.
1. If it seems too hard, it probably is. We have this weird obsession with things needing to be difficult. I always thought if something felt easy, I wasn't doing it right. When I look back on some of the biggest 'rights' they have felt so simple and easy, like the universe had my back. When I quit my job and decided to make my passion my job, it all came together so easily. I'm not saying it hasn't been work, but it's never felt like it. When I stopped trying to make food hard by making a ton of rules, and not eating a lot, and never eating out, and only eating organic, things got really easy. Weight fell off. I wasn't starving. My mood got so much better. Easy. Everything shouldn't be a struggle. That doesn't mean that you don't have to work at something, it means that when you're on the right path, the work feels easy, and it feels right.
2. What someone thinks of you is none of your business. This one goes hand in hand with, 'it's not about you'. When someone comments, or judges the way you eat, or the way you dress, or the way you talk, or the way you look, or on and on and on, it's always about them. It's about how your decisions make THEM feel. That knowledge has become so liberating, because instead of feeling defensive when someone questions me, whether it's about food choices or parenting or how I run my business, I can empathize with them and I can still feel good about my own choices. I know what works for me, and I know that if someone tries to make me feel bad about making those choices, it's because they feel bad about NOT making them. Pretty cool, right?
3. You're not for everyone. I am a people pleaser, and I've gone through my whole life feeling like everyone needed to like me, and if they didn't there was definitely something wrong with me. It's lead me to making stupid decisions. It's lead me to being ashamed of who I am, and feeling like I had to hide certain things or certain opinions. I'll never forget the first time I had a negative critique on a video I posted online. Someone was horrified by my voice. They wrote that they couldn't watch the video because I was so annoying sounding. This was something I could do absolutely nothing to change. I remember reading it, and, instead of crying, laughing. That was when I knew that something had shifted. My business will not resonate with everyone, and it shouldn't. The way I teach people to eat won't resonate with everyone. That's ok. The women it does resonate with see massive change. I get to help people because I stopped trying to do and say what every other nutritionist does and says. I started trusting in myself, and that has been HUGE.
4. You can never be overdressed or overeducated. Also-lipstick goes a long way to feeling better on those down days.
5. There's no end game. I thought when I finally learned how to eat I would be happy with being a size 6 or a 4 without fluctuating and gaining it all back. Once I hit that goal, I realized I wanted to be toned. I didn't want to be skinny fat. My body goals are ever changing, and yours will be too. When I moved my business online and created Faster Fat Loss, I thought I would be happy and could chill out.. Now that I've done that I can't stop making it bigger and better. I can't stop brainstorming new ways to help the women who are on this journey with me. It never ends. The problems you solve just shift and change as you solve them. it's pretty cool and pretty motivating to think that there's always something more. There's always something new and exciting to achieve.
6. Do not accept small reptiles as 'gifts' for your kids from well meaning uncles. Years later you will still be going to PetSmart, buying live mealworms, and feeding them to a gecko. BLECH.
7. You have to start. This one sounds simple, but man have I wasted time planning, and planning more, and then changing the plan. Planning is easy. Saying someday is really easy. Starting is hard. Change is hard, and the only way to do it is to jump off the cliff. It's terrifying and exhilerating, and now that I've started doing it, I'll never go back. Change is hard, but it's really really awesome.
8. If it's scary it's probably worth doing. Change is scary. My job is to teach people how to change what they eat. I get how scary change can be. But when they succeed, man is it worth it. Every amazing thing that's happened to me has been scary as hell. Leaving my job? Terrifying, but now I have an amazing career that I LOVE. Having kids? TERRIFYING. Also, the most rewarding thing in the world. Putting myself out there in videos, blogs, Facebook Lives? I always feel like I want to throw up a bit. But then someone replies saying that the post, or the email or the video was exactly what they needed to hear in that moment. In short? Scary means growth which means it's a very good things. Do something that scares you weekly.
9. Dogs make everything better.
10. Be open. Be open to being wrong. Be open to being right. Be open to seeing something from a different perspective. It's okay to not know the answer all of the time. It's okay to be wrong. What's not okay is being unwilling to accept those things. It's not okay to be so stubborn that you can't see the forrest for the trees. When I admitted that I was wrong: that eating vegan and juicing and all of these things made me feel worse and not better, it was the most liberating thing, and it opened the door for a huge shift in my health AND in my career. Now I love when someone teaches me something I didn't know. You never know what that shift will do for you.
11. Be kind. Always approach other people with kindness. Seriously. It's amazing what can happen when the entire goal of an interaction is kindness.
I'm sure there are more lessons, big and small that I'll continue to learn along the way. I think that just giving ourselves permission to be us. To stop worrying about the small stuff and to focus on the big things is huge. It's where I've worked really hard to get to over the last 34 years.
Today, entering my 35th year, I can't wait to see what happens. I can't wait to see what the universe has in store. I can't wait to create more, and impact more and leave lives better.
What are your lessons? What are your goals? I'd love to know.
P.S. I've also learned that the best thing you can do on your birthday is celebrate with the people you love. To do that, I put my 2 most popular program on SALE for 72hrs. You can check them out HERE