all photos by matt lowden
i cannot put into words what a major month january has already been for me in terms of discovery and transformation. i’ve been thinking about just how much in the last few days, and i decided that instead of just looking back on my 2015 word at the end of the year, i wanted to talk about it, to share my journey throughout the year as it’s happening. so i thought i’d start this new column called year of discovery where i can share it all, good or bad.
i have this quirk about me that i’ve recently discovered ever since i started owning house plants. it sounds probably very strange and i can’t totally explain it, but maybe some of you relate. i absolutely love watching plants grow. i love seeing such a large transformation happen literally right before my eyes. now, i’m not saying i actually sit there and watch plants grow. no, i’m talking taking an observation in every time i go to water them or looking over at one randomly one day and seeing holy cow look how much that thing has grown. it’s something so small and probably insignificant to most, but i just think it’s the most interesting thing. this ability we have to see transformations happening all around us. not just physically (like a house plant), but mentally in ourselves.
recently, i had a series of events happen all in a row, all within about a week of each other that changed my mindset completely (let me know if you are interested in hearing specifically what they are in the comments below and i’ll share in a separate post). seeing this transformation happen in myself has been indescribable. previously, when it came to fitness (and sometimes healthy eating) my mindset has always been kind of “meh”. with being active, i never really enjoyed any type of sport and believe me i’ve tried a lot of different ones. i used to play soccer and figure skate when i was younger, but as i grew up those things kind of passed. i’ve been obsessed with snowboarding since i was 11 or 12, but to get out frequently nowadays becomes extremely expensive. i always thought to myself maybe i’m just not an active person – which, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with not being active. i mostly struggled because i always expected instant results when it came to body transformation. if i didn’t see a work out working almost instantly i gave up. i didn’t love sweating and i made a ton of excuses that i never had time for any kind of workout. when it came to eating healthy, i also made a ton of excuses. “i’ll start next week” or “one day isn’t going to make a difference.” all of which were a bunch of BS.
at the start of january, i made the commitment to myself to start eating better. i didn’t want to put strings on it, i didn’t want it to be a failed new years resolution. i just wanted to. i had come to a point where all the not so great food just made me feel like crap. physically and mentally. let me tell you folks, food shaming is not a healthy thing. i decided, given my current working opportunities that have lead me to be lucky enough to work at home, i literally have no more excuses. i can make whatever i want, almost whenever i want. because of this, for the most part, i have complete control over what i eat. my main goal for this was a) to feel better about myself and b) for physical transformation – i’m talkin’ weight loss y’all! that is where my transformation first began.
then the series of fortunate events happened that surprisingly changed my mindset on the fitness side of things. i can’t say exactly why all of a sudden, because i have no idea, but i can say if those things didn’t happen in sequence, in the way they did, i’m not sure my thoughts would be changed this much. life is so funny like that sometimes, isn’t it?
i started pushing my body physically. it started with a small home-workout or two, then a few outings where i really had no choice but to push, to now, me carving out at minimum 30 minutes a day (except for sunday ; ) ) to do a workout at home. and i realized, our bodies are all capable of incredible things. somehow my mindset shifted from that “meh” to “hell yea let’s do this!” the funny thing is that now i actually like how it feels to push your body to new limits, to get sweaty and to wake up a bit sore but keep on going despite it. i’ve already seen such a change in what i am capable of – exercises that used to be near impossible and in only a short time i can do with less effort than before.
that drive for transformation has now become a passion. and again, i’m not just talking about a physical transformation. of course, i’d be lying if i said that wasn’t part of my end goals, but mental motivation is also my biggest motivation. realizing that i am the one that can make this happen, i am the one that has the ability to decide if i don’t like the way something makes me feel or the way i feel about myself or the way i look – i have every potential to change it. it can even just be in small steps, as long as i’m acknowledging an attitude adjustment and shifting openness for change.
forget my specific reasons for this transformation, maybe you don’t relate to them. i wanted to share these realizations, not for the specific health reasons i personally have, but for the general idea of transforming your mindset about anything. i am ecstatic that i’ve come to these realizations and i can take care of my body and mind in new ways, but the biggest thing i’m stoked about is seeing this change in myself. seeing myself let go of excuses and whatever was holding me back and letting my motivation drive me. letting my new found motivation for reaching these dreams get me taking steps towards achieving them. my biggest takeaway is that we all have this ability in us to let go of whatever it is that is holding us back from achieving something and to make goals and take steps towards our dreams. so i want to hear: what are your goals and what is holding you back?? i’d love to talk about it!
now if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading this! i do hope that sharing my story has somehow helped or got you thinking in some way. i also want to share a video that i stumbled on this week with you guys because it is insanely motivational. it is a short talk by mike smith, who i find to be an amazing speaker and very inspirational and i really hope you guys enjoy it! happy friday y’all! may your weekend be inspiring!