A few years ago I was given a Keurig for Christmas. Without a doubt, it still is the most convenient thing I own. I’m a pretty busy person and I love things that make my life easier and more efficient. It only requires that I turn it on, put in a k-cup and press “Brew.” Other than remembering to put a mug underneath, it’s all mostly muscle memory at this point and I don’t even really think about it. My life, and especially my mornings, are much easier because of this.
In recent conversations with people the topic of self-esteem keeps coming up. Of course I have had discussions with friends about their own struggles, but it also keeps coming up through people’s actions. In the way they talk about others and themselves. I realized something: People are consumed by how other people view them, so I should stop caring about what other people do and just focus on myself. It helps out everyone!
Adopting this, while incredibly difficult, has made my life easier.
If you have never felt insecure, man, please tell me what that’s like and then own up to lying about it. We’ve all felt insecure at some point in our lives to varying degrees. Confidence is not something you are born with. It is a learned habit and it takes some far longer to amass a healthy wealth of confidence. It starts with you though. You need to be good to yourself. Confidence and positivity are infectious.
When I would listen to people talk about their “not ready for summer bodies” I used to think “If you think that you’re not ready, what must you think of me?” Now I think “That must suck to feel that way and worry so much about what others think.” The torture that people put themselves through to wear a bathing suit is crazy to me. Ten, twenty, thirty years from now people won’t be saying “Remember when ______ looked ______ in that bathing suit?” They’re going to say “Remember when ________ [did this great/terrible thing]?” Make people remember the GREAT THING you did! Spending so much time worrying about what others think of you is exhausting and unproductive. And if they’re thinking negatively of you, it’s only because they actually feel that way about themselves. It’s not about YOU. So, enjoy your life! Spending your time spreading positive energy and not bringing yourself down is a much better use of your time. Trust me! I’VE LIVED THIS!
I chose to use the example above because it is the one that helped me to change my line of thinking, but it also helps to tie together everything that I am saying. When I was at my heaviest I had envisioned how much different my life would be when I lost the weight. I expected it to fix all my problems and my life would change dramatically for the better. While the actual physical changes have been amazing, it’s the act of taking better care of myself and treating myself well that has ultimately changed my view, increased my confidence and made me feel better. Last year I was so focused on losing as much weight as possible that I missed out on events, dinners and gatherings because I thought that shrinking myself was the best way to enact positive change. I ended up getting depressed over the lack of change in numbers on the scale and having isolated myself. It was incredibly unhealthy. If I could go back and do things differently, I absolutely would. Trust me! AGAIN, I AM LIVING THIS!
Confidence is the most important attribute you can project. Build others up without knocking yourself down and surround yourself with those that do the same. Just imagine how great and worthwhile everyone would feel if we all adapted this policy for ourselves and each other. Earn the game ball every single day.
A week ago I was telling two of my friends about how the training for this charity boxing event I am in has been going when one said “I feel like this season in the sitcom of your life is going to be the most entertaining.” When I’m done either complaining or squealing about it to everyone the reactions have been the same. “So, what’s the next thing?” And my answer is, I don’t know. Truthfully, I may lay low and try to add some normalcy to my life. I can’t really think about that right now though. Boxing isn’t even really close to being over and yet we’re just two weeks from fight night.
This is a new feeling for me. Usually my mind is on a million other things and I am already thinking two months ahead. All my usual activities are on hiatus, but I’m managing to fill that time with performing and more boxing. Instead of focusing on thirty different things, I should’ve been spending these last two months on just boxing. Whoops.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. When I step into the ring on September 13th I will be short just 9,950 hours. I’m at the “just don’t get yourself killed out there” level of mastery. I will try my best. I admit that I am grossly out of shape for this, but I’m in a lot better shape than I was two years ago. I had anticipated breaking my plateau and supplementing my days off with some November Project style cardio, but time and injuries have been an obstacle. I’m back in physical therapy for super cool low back pain that causes me to scream when I sneeze. I haven’t lost any weight, but my body has changed, I guess.
If it seems like I am talking about this a bunch it’s because I am. Anything that you do three times a week will creep up in almost every conversation. Add in a fundraising element [DONATE OR BUY TICKETS HERE] and it’s endless. I need all of your attention always anyway, but now I need it a little bit more to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
LLS is an excellent organization that doesn’t just throw money at research.The money we are raising will help pay for medical bills, transportation and medication for the uninsured. I am immensely proud to be able to be a part of this and am so grateful to all of my family and friends that have purchased tickets, made donations and planned one heck of a fundraiser with wrestling prizes. This has been a large commitment and having all this support from everyone has been incredible.
Unlike arm wrestling, this is legit. Not that arm wrestling wasn’t hard (I did lose, afterall), but I get punched in the face a bunch. I wear head gear, hand wraps, gloves and a mouth piece, but it hurts. I’ve developed an obsession with Fruit Punch Gatorade. Everyone that I have met, from the trainers to the other first timers to the veterans at the gym, have all been wonderful. Since there are a million things to remember while trying to not actually remember them while you’re in the ring, it’s nice to have so many people willing to approach you to tell you just what it is you’re doing wrong and tell you that you’re doing a good job when you are. I had no idea what this experience was actually going to entail when I signed up, but I’ve met some absolutely incredible people in doing this and it’s going to be tough not seeing them on a weekly basis when it’s all over.
I wish I had been writing about this all along. This is the first year that this particular event (Lights Out 4 Leukemia) is happening. And you should come! Not entirely convinced yet? Read some excepts from my very, very loose journal* that I’ve been keeping the entire time.**
Today sucked. So, I decided I would leave feeling good about myself. I don’t know who that girl I sparred with was, but I’m told she’s pretty good. Glad I commemorated that moment with a bitch face selfie in my car afterwards.
As I am writing this I have a bag of Market Basket frozen veggie medley on my face. Tonight did not really go in my favor. There was a brief moment, after I was punched directly in the nose, I thought it was broken. I heard my nose snap, my neck snap and I became a little nauseous. I expected blood to start pouring and was surprised when I only wiped away sweat.
The near death experience:
Well, almost swallowed my mouth guard tonight in sparring. Twice.
So, what has been the most challenging part of this experience? Even though I’ll have a PTSD flash back every time I hear “That’s 50 push ups,” it wasn’t the grueling work outs. It wasn’t trying to master my form and balance, but both still need a considerable amount of work. It’s been trying to find the confidence to go through with this or at least make an attempt at hiding it. I had joked in the beginning that the fight was over when I knocked out my opponent because I didn’t actually know how long we were boxing for. I stuck with that answer because it sounded the most bad ass and generated a decent amount of laughs and interest in the event. It’s been pointed out to me throughout the process that my lack of confidence is glaringly obvious and that maybe the reason why I am doing this is to become more confident in my every day life. And here I was, thinking I was hiding it so well! It’s just hard to feel good about yourself when you get punched in the face, but it’s deeper than that. I generally feel bad about my performance after every single thing I do in my life. To have it pointed out by people that have spent such a short amount of time with me hits harder than it coming from someone close to me, but it’s helpful, because it’s shown me what it is that I truly need to work on.
I think I know what my next project is going to be.
**Nah, I just remember these small details