Tag Archives: goals

Chasing Beauty: The Balancing Act of Being Healthy and Fit

29 Aug

I am the first one to post quotes on Facebook like: Never Give Up, You Only Achieve What You Think You Can Achieve, and Get Fit-Yes You Can.  I take pride is pushing myself in every realm of my life in an effort to achieve the goals I’ve set and help others.  With that though, I often also experience the “it’s never enough” feeling. I know there must be many people out there that feel these same feelings.  You set a goal, work hard, achieve it, and then immediately begin to compare yourself to those around you who are one step farther.  You pay little mind to the external factors that determine why, you just think you need to do more.

This feeling, at least for me, is often illustrated in the realm of fitness and body image.  I think back seven years ago to my initial goals of losing weight and feeling healthier.  A size 14 at the time, my dream was the buy a sleeveless dress and feels good wearing it.  I wanted to wear a bikini at the beach and feel comfortable.  Slowly over time I dedicated myself to the goal and got there.  I was temporarily happy, yet quickly set a new goal.  I can be leaner, maybe a size 6 would be nice, maybe I ought to be a little more toned in my upper body and that will be perfect.  So I worked at that, got there, and then revised again.  Some of my revisions had a lot to do with career goals I was chasing and other’s opinions of me.  I let that guide me to some degree.  I am acutely aware of the societal pressure that exists to look a certain way to be accepted.  I know the stigmas attached to beauty.  Working in the modeling world, I certainly feel a tremendous amount of pressure in this sense.  Sometimes I get so confused I am not even sure what the ideal is anymore.  When this happens I go right back to this: The ideal is feeling healthy and being balanced.  I can’t say I think that’s always the ideal in other’s minds, but for me it is.  I’d go crazy trying to achieve an unobtainable goal if it wasn’t.

As I work to take the next step in my career, I’m strongly dedicated to improvement but firmly committed to balance.  Having been at every spectrum of the health, weight and image scale I know exactly where I am happiest.  I know that there will always be things about my physique and my looks that are not my favorites.  I often look at the girl next to me and think “she’s got it all” when in reality there are things she struggles with as well.  We each have a unique beauty about us, it’s most noticeable when we strive for health, when we chase the goal and not the image and when we accept that there are things about us, no matter how hard we try to change them, that just are. Beauty is most obvious to me in people who smile, who are self-confident and who are grounded.  I’ve noticed I find those qualities to be the most attractive part of a person both physically and spiritually and that’s the goal I want to chase.  I certainly want to be an athlete, healthy, fit and strong, but I don’t want to kill myself trying to change the smallest of things, to achieve a goal that really will not matter much as soon as I check it off the list.

At the end of the day, I remind myself to define my health and fitness journey by how I feel, not by how others think I look.  I know where I need to be.  It’s a place where I am physically, mentally and spiritually balanced.  I am not starving, I am respecting my body, and I am pushing my physical capabilities at a reasonable level.  Wherever that takes me is where I’ll go and I’ll be content there.

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A Life Unlived

6 Jul

Every individual’s mid-life crisis is unique, and some might say they never experience it.  It seems that for nearly all though there is at least one moment that calls into question everything you know.  For me, that pivotal moment came unexpectedly as I lay in bed one night.  Reflecting on where I’ve been and who I’ve become, the visions flashed before my eyes of time ticking away.  You don’t know how long you’re here for; who are you and what do you truly want?  To seize that moment meant risk, which meant fear.  Fear is not something I’m fond of, but the five years prior had given me plenty of practice.  Life presents circumstances that touch the inner-most parts of your soul, they call into question everything you believe.  It’s in those moments that who you are is truly defined.

Who am I and who do I want to be?  What do I stand for and what do I believe?  I’d grown complacent over the years, and it wasn’t a bad place to be, but something inside of me looking back said there has to more to this.  It was then that I made the decision to jump.  I would not look back on an unlived life.  My childhood memories flashed before my eyes, the dream of being everything.  Along the way the roles disappeared and the hope that I might achieve them leaving just a few to cling to.

Something inside of me said jump.  Don’t think too much just jump.  Jumping requires trust, trust in yourself that you are capable.  Tick tok, time is running out.  You have to jump, or make a decision to stay safely where you are at.  Happiness sometimes comes in risk.  It comes by taking a chance.  Dreaming leads to achieving, if you are willing to take action.  Action requires trust in yourself.  Trust in yourself requires letting go of fear.  Letting of fear is the hardest part.

Who are you what do you love?  Can you answer that?  Who do you want to be?  What have you done to get there?  What are your passions and why?  I’m guessing you haven’t been asked that in a very long time.  We experience crisis mid-life because it hits us.  Somewhere along the way people stopped asking us these question, and we forgot the answers as a result.

I returned to the place where I asked these questions. Although painful at times, answering them makes us complete.  It ensures life never goes unlived, a moment never gets missed, and that at the end of the day we can indeed say, “Life didn’t go exactly as planned but I truly lived.”  You don’t get a do-over in life, and as a result you have to make this one count.