Tag Archives: realizations

On true love, and the a-ha realization of self-worth.

A good friend of mine – who shall remain nameless (by intent) – has gone through a bit of a rollercoaster in her life, realizing that she is worth more than her many years long relationship with her (now) ex, and in hearing her gush about just how happy she is, and how glad she is that she made the decision to let go of a relationship she invested so much in, to take a chance on what she hoped would be true love, I just had to share her story.

It truly couldn’t have hit my inbox at a better time – Valentine’s Day (I know, cheesy, but you know I’m puppies and rainbows!) and it couldn’t be a more inspiring story that love *is* out there, even for those that have little (or lost) hope, that question if they’ve already used up that ‘love’ chit in life and never will find someone that will make them feel whole again, and so I asked her to share her story with us, to hopefully give those of you that fit this description hope that it *is* there, it *will* happen, and more often than not? It’ll hit you upside the head when you least expect it. But you’ll look back and realize that the tears, sadness, frustration and anger were all worth it. For true, validating, self-worthy love….the only love we are all worth having. 

Enjoy…and thank you friend, for sharing your beautiful story. It gives me chills every time I read this.

***

I’ve been lucky enough to know Jo for a number of years, which means I got to see her relationship with M. progress from their first date to today, being totally in love and planning their vows.

I can remember many times watching them together, or reading about their relationship here, and being insanely happy for Jo, but also wishing that I could have that. And I remember being ashamed for those feelings, because I was dating someone (and had been for years!) who I thought I wanted to spend my life with. But I was never insanely happy with him like Jo is with M, and for a long time I thought that maybe my life just wasn’t supposed to be that way.

It took a few more years (and many insanely happy couples surrounding me!) to realize that I didn’t have everything I wanted, or deserved, in my relationship, and I finally left. At that time I booked my first trip to Europe for two weeks – one week in Paris and one week in Munich – to “find myself.” I was traveling alone during my Munich leg, and while I was really nervous, I was so excited about the opportunity to stretch myself (Jo always talks about stepping outside your comfort zone, and this was definitely it for me.)

During my travels through Munich, I met W; we randomly met through some women I met at Oktoberfest (one of them had met W’s friend the night before and were meeting up with them again – I was invited to tag along). W was funny, charming, and incredibly handsome, and I felt a natural easiness with him. Our conversation flowed easily and I did not want the conversation to end (I later learned that he felt the exact same way). We ended up leaving the restaurant we were at (it was closing), walking around Munich to find another place, and went dancing at a club. Finally, at 6 am, I had to say good night, but we agreed to meet up the next day, and when we did, I had this urge to be as close to him as possible. We spent the entire afternoon walking around Munich together, until it was time for him to catch his plane back to Paris. I don’t know what possessed me, but I invited him to fly to London in a few days to meet me for my overnight layover back to the States, and he agreed he would try to look into it. I honestly thought I would never see him again, but the next day I had an email from him saying he found a ticket and would meet me in London!

Truly.
Truly.

We spent an incredible evening in London. He brought wine and we stayed up long into the night just talking and enjoying each other’s company. The next morning we headed back to the airport, and said our goodbyes. Again, I thought I would  never hear from him again, but as soon as I touched down, I had an email from him. And that email turned into a conversation that never stopped.

I won’t bore you with the details of the next few months, but we built our relationship with constant online communication, and while it was difficult, W. always made me feel incredible, and importantly, loved. And for the first time, I had someone who wanted to make me as happy as possible. In December, W traveled to Boston to see me, and we extended that to a weekend getaway in NYC. And seeing each other again confirmed that we were absolutely crazy about each other. He ended up flying to Boston again for NYE on a last minute whim. And at the end of January, I took a last-minute trip to Paris to celebrate his 30th birthday with him, and meet his family. Somehow we just find ways to fly to see each other every few weeks.

It’s been a whirlwind relationship, but for the first time in years (maybe ever) I am insanely, ridiculously happy, and madly in love with someone who is just as madly in love with me. And I can honestly say that I now have a love that I have seen from my very good friends and their perfect matches. The key to this, I’ve come to realize, is to find someone who wants to make you as happy as you want to make them. I spent years watching my friends, wishing I had the kind of love that they had, and I spent years trying to tell myself that the compromises I was making was good enough. I realize now that I missed out on so much, but I am also so incredibly lucky to have had the experiences I had, to know and understand what I was missing from a partner, so that when I found W, I knew what I could have with him.

And isn’t that what Jo’s blog is all about? Determined to be. To be happy. To be healthy. To be loved.

THIS.
THIS.

Numbers.

Numbers.

Numbers have typically haunted me.

And they haunted me yet again (as much as I tried NOT to let them…they won yesterday.) during a free fitness evaluation at the gym I just joined next door to my apartment (which, incidentally, was done by Elizabeth Ruiz, season 10 Biggest Loser contestant! WAY cool, despite some of the results we discussed).

As much as I know numbers haunt me, and I try to steer clear of the ones I know that will (weight, for example. I fixate on a number if I know it. I’d rather know pounds lost or a percentage, but not my actual weight. I have no explanation for this other than that. I just…fixate.), there was one number that I thought would be easy-peasy and wouldn’t bother me. Body fat percentage.

But I was wrong. I was so surprised when she told me the number. 10% ABOVE what’s ‘normal’ for me. Um…what?

Now, with any machine, of course, it could be off. But what’s to say it is? It may be right. And it COULD be right. Why? Because I have focused on running and barre n9ne…not weight training. Both things that have proven to be a beautiful combination for me. I have entirely reshaped my body, I have lost inches (and pounds) and gained more self confidence (yeah, yeah, this is still a work in progress, the confidence thing!) and finally felt like I’ve ACHIEVED something in a workout plan (achievement vs. success – Tina once again says it exactly right in her post today, give it a read). But the trade-off seems to be that I have lost some muscle mass. I used to do a lot of strength training and while it didn’t obviously work as well as I wanted, I think in combination with barre n9ne and running, it could be the tweak that I need.

So…while there are plenty of schools of thought that stand behind things like body fat percentage and BMI and all of that…and everyone has an opinion or a study or ‘what worked for them,’ what I have decided is this: I need to do what I feel is best for me. Not based on others’ advice, not based on what’s working for anyone else…but what’s working for me. It’s SO easy for me to get sucked into different schools of thought, but ever since I started the barre n9ne challenge, I have been more aware than ever about what has worked for me now, and what has NOT worked for me in the past.

So I sit at a crossroads. Maybe a natural one, to be honest. It’s been six months since I began this routine…and it’s time to switch it up. It’s not time to let numbers paralyze me. And it’s certainly not a time to get stagnant, either. Rather than let these new findings paralyze me, I need to make sure they fuel me and propel me forward.

So, where am I bringing my fitness journey, you ask? Well, I am still deciding. But, I think that based on the body fat percentage test results, I am going to incorporate one strength workouts into my rotation. This might mean one LESS barre n9ne workouts though, which is HARD for me, because I do love it so and love what it does for me. So, I’ll test-run a few classes at the gym, perhaps a few homegrown/Cathe Friedrich workouts at the gym using my iPhone, and see how it goes. Maybe I’ll add spinning back into my cardio workout in place of one of my runs per week. My bottom line goal is this: add in a few things, take out a few things, keep it balanced and not over the top.

Change is hard for me. I love routine. But I have to remember that change is what got me the results I’ve seen so far. And it’s time to change (even slightly) again, to keep it up. Right?

Numbers. They won’t paralyze me anymore. They will fuel me.

~~

I wrote this last night after letting my thoughts marinate all day. And then I re-read and tweaked it this morning. As I got ready for my day, I looked in the mirror. I gazed at the body in front of me. It’s simply reshaped. It’s entirely different than it was when I strength trained 3-4 times per week. And I am realizing that is okay. It is better than okay.

I actually like the way my body looks now (shocker, I know, from my writings lately. Curse the overthinking brain and the never-ending not-good-enough ridiculous feelings), but am excited at the thought of what it could look like with just a bit more strength training. A more well-rounded routine. More definition but not so much where my biceps are bigger than M’s (wink). I’m excited. 

(and thank you Samantha for your post…Love yourself, be yourself. Perfection. Needed!)

~~

Disclaimer: I know it goes without saying…but these are my opinions, they are not based on fact regarding body fat percentage or any particular ‘school of thought’ on fitness, nutrition etc. I write from the heart on what works for me, what doesn’t, etc. I hope this comes through in my post…as does my passion for all things sweat. I do these things because I love to work out, I love to challenge myself. Not because I truly think I am overweight or need a massive change. Just tweaks.