Cheers to One Year, St. Lou

The last six months have been a journey for me. I’ve had Beachbody on Demand for nearly three years, but back in April a friend convinced me to join her challenge group. I went all in by utilizing the portion control containers to balance my nutrition, sticking to Autumn’s 21 Day Fix program, drinking Shakeology, and being active in the Facebook support group she created.

It’s the biggest commitment I’ve probably ever made.

I’ll brag on myself a little and say I’m seeing results. I had to get a couple of inches taken off a bridesmaid dress, my family and friends have started to notice the weight loss, and finding new fall staples was a must, as the majority of last year’s sweaters, shirts and skirts were hanging off of my shoulders and waist, respectively.

That’s not what I wanted to write about though.

I have what I would call “comparative anxiety.” I honestly have no idea if that’s a real thing and I haven’t been diagnosed per say, but I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of years trying to get a grip on my mental health. It was really f’ing hard.

I don’t come from an area where your feelings are discussed. I remember high school boyfriends calling me crazy and ex-best friends getting into spats over who was being too dramatic at lunch. Truthfully, I probably did seem a little crazy and we may have been overreacting to who said whatever about our new highlights – but that’s not the point.

Social media has done an incredible job of dousing us with motivational quotes and inspirational stories. #MotivationMonday will forever hold a special place in my heart, even if it’s exponentially annoying and overused, because it brought me this tid bit:

We can not control what situations come our way. We can control how we react.

Why wasn’t I taught this back in 2005? Do you know how much stress could have been avoided if I had been able to instill this mindset 6 years ago?

I moved up to St. Louis a year ago (almost to the date) because I was in a place where I felt suffocated, isolated and just plain burnt out. I have no idea where the bravery and self-assurance came from, but the spontaneous decision was made in late July and on October 1st I was starting my new job at the Club.

It was the most on a whim thing I’ve ever done. It was also pivotal in my control of my anxiety and overall health in general.

Once I was up here something clicked and I realized I had control over everything. I made a major move for myself and, while some might say it was slightly selfish and a tad financially irresponsible, it quite literally saved my life.

So a few months later, when Jessica asked if I wanted to join her group I said, “why the hell not?” Working out quickly became a new way for me to channel my energy into something positive. The added bonus was the meal planning, to be honest. Nothing relaxes me more than spending a Sunday at Schnucks and in the kitchen. God bless this Type A personality.

All of this to get to a very serious point: tonight I broke. Something triggered my anxiety and I had to sit here and help myself work through it. I cried, I questioned, I cried some more, and I walked through it. I talked it out with a friend, spoke my little mantra and then immediately hit the keyboard.

One year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do that. This entire year has been the most incredible, fun and eye-opening journey of my life.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I was this happy.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I felt this healthy.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I felt like I was truly meant to be here, exactly where I am.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I was more proud of myself.

It comes with off days full of eating pizza and trying really hard to keep a resting heart rate while watching horror movies on Netflix. It comes with tears and confused anxiety pulses. But ultimately, it’s beautiful and exciting and I’m thankful to have found ways to manage my physical and emotional health.

We are what we repeatedly do – meaning if we tear ourselves down then we will eventually become nothing. If we put doubt on the frontlines then we will never grow. If we always react negatively to a situation then we will never be someone else’s light, nor will we continue to be our own.

This was totally meant to be one of those, “saved drafts” that never sees the light of day. But I think these last 12 months are something to be celebrated so – cheers to all the friends who keep me sane, the family who supported my decisions, and the girl who stood strong and is continuing to make all of this happen.

Oh, and to the St. Louis Blues, 2019 Stanley Cup Champions bay-bee.

also, thanks to Cole Swindell’s marketing team for the graphic. all credit to them.

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