Removing the “Golden Handcuffs” and Quitting My Job

Quitting my job is the current thought in my head, all of the time. My fitness instructor career (albeit a volunteer one) is gaining momentum. My classes are getting fuller and people actually love my content. My mind is blown away half of the time by the positive feedback that I’m getting. I’m glad that my song choices and choreography are resonating with people. I want to do it more often so I’m currently studying for my AFAA Group Fitness Instructor certification so I can work at a real gym and get paid.

On August 27, 2018, I will have been at my job for 6 years, but I don’t plan to make it that far. I dread the job, the patients, the phone calls, the doctor, the complaints… I don’t want to deal with it and manage it anymore. So…. I’m planning to quit, very, very soon. My job requires 4 weeks notice, so in order to leave by my anniversary, I need to give notice by July 27. Already, I feel anxiety in the pit of my belly, but I think it’s mainly excitement mixed with some fear.  As of right now, I don’t have a plan (LOL) and I have never quit without jumping to the next job. So really I’ve been working in hospitals for 10 years straight. I know I would be able to survive 2-3 months without a salary. I’ve already been looking for work, but it would be so much easier to look if I had more time instead of working this 9-5pm.

Before I quit, I want to 1) Take a mini vacation 2) Get CPR certified 3) Pay 3 months rent in advance. The rent is the main factor, also utilities and cell phone, but besides that, everything else can wait for my next job.  These golden handcuffs that I’m wearing, which is really just a steady paycheck because I don’t get perks, are making it too hard for me to make progress. Plus the fact that the job messes with my emotions, I feel like I’m treading water. Losing and gaining back the same 5 lbs. Making positive changes and then having setbacks after a bad day. If I stay my current course, I will slowly truck along towards my dreams. I feel deep down in my bones that I need to do something drastic. Like getting the f**k out.

Great blog post below that I plan to read everyday until I give my notice. I’m considering waiting an extra week to give notice, just to get an extra paycheck in my hand, but I’m going to let my heart lead me.

Quit Your Job and Join the Gym

Forgiveness

Sorry I’ve been missing. I’ve been feeling a little out of it and not at peace. I’ve always had issues with looking ahead into the future, seeing what is possible but not the path and getting discouraged. I end up turning to old habits, such as eating takeout daily, drinking too much and watching lots of TV. For some people, that might not seem like such a bad thing, but I know that I could do so much more if I actually tried and didn’t get discouraged so easily. It also makes it so I’m not happy in the moment. Always waiting to be happy in the future, which isn’t even promised. I’m currently working on correcting those bad habits and working on my mindset, which is a daily process.

Even though my eating hasn’t been ideal, I have continued to work out and do Crossfit, although I am the only person gaining weight while doing it, it’s because of my diet. I really love to exercise and see the progress that I’m making on that front. I’m also still teaching my fitness class on Saturdays, however I can’t be a good example for my students if I’m gaining weight and not living a healthy lifestyle. One of my missions in life is to help people lose weight, so I will be Subject #1.

Forgiveness – It’s not easy to forgive but they say it’s the most important step in moving forward so I am extending that to myself.

  • I forgive myself for not treating my body in the best way possible and for being so hard on my appearance.
  • I forgive myself for simultaneously having an ideal of perfection yet making so many active attempts to fail, causing a constant state of body dissatisfaction.
  • I forgive myself for criticising every aspect of myself making it difficult to ever be at peace.
  • I forgive myself for sabotaging relationships and friendships for fear that people would leave me or that their feelings weren’t sincere
  • I forgive myself for not knowing how to maintain healthy relationships.
  • I forgive myself for not opening up more to people for fear of retaliation or dismissal of feelings.
  • I forgive myself for putting my cat Elf through months of chemo making the last months of his life painful and scary (I started crying when I wrote that one so I think I have a lot of guilt with that one).
  • I forgive myself for drinking and eating in excess.
  • I forgive myself for not really trying to find my calling when I was younger and working on jobs that were not for me.

I forgive myself and will continue to work on it everyday. Just like if you were cheated on, it will take daily effort to truly get past it.  I need to start listening to my mind and body in order to see what I’ve been covering up with the excess food and drink.

Quote of the day –  “Create an inner harmony where your loving soul guides your physical behavior, rather than having your soul always come in second place” – Wayne Dyer

Next week’s goal is to focus on mindful eating. Asking myself before I eat 1) Am I hungry? 2) Will this food bring me towards or away from my goal? Try to accept my answer with no judgements and enjoy the food, whatever it may be.

Community Question – What are your goals for next week? Do you need to work on forgiving yourself for something?

 

1st Injury and Recovery

Ok. So technically I wasn’t injured doing Crossfit, but I was injured doing a HIIT class at the Crossfit box. I sprained my ankle, mildly, but it got me thinking about what is important in my life. I wasn’t able to teach my dance class on Saturday because I have pain when I put my full weight on my foot. It’s improving with each day and I will be back to 100% by next Saturday.  I fell so deep into the Crossfit and gym buddy culture and mindset, that it’s nice to get a little reprieve, a break from working out. I have been going there  3-5 times per week, and at times taking 2 classes back to back. It was bound to happen.

I got injured in a class that is taught by a coach that isn’t my favorite. Coaches have different personalities and motivation strategies, but this one seems to think that if you say you can’t do it or are struggling, you just aren’t pushing yourself enough. Which is ironic because I usually am out of breath in his class, which is 100% plyometrics, ladder drills and sprints. Plus I paid $225 per month to be there and am taking 7-8 classes per week, believe me I’m trying.

They also all assume that you are trying to get in shape for “the summer” when I’m just trying to get in shape for life. They don’t know that I’ve lost 44lbs so far, so yes I am one of the largest folks in there at a size 14, but I’ve come a distance. Some also don’t pay attention to limitations. But in the end, if you get injured, it’s your fault. Even though folks are screaming at you to go harder, you are supposed to ignore it or tell them that you are having pain. So with that realization…… I’m going to start running my own race and paying attention to what I can and can’t do. I also will only listen to the trainers that I trust. Some trainers see when you are having difficulty and tell you to modify, others tell you to push harder. I’m going to stick to the former teachers from now on.

Can we also talk about peer pressure and gym buddies for a minute? In my previous post, I said you are who you hang out with, BUT if your gym buddy wants to work out 6 days per week, you have to just say no if your body can’t handle it. I’m going back to 4 days a week (S,M,W,TH) and my gym buddies can go together on the days that I can’t.

I started the post saying that I know what is most important now and it’s not working out at the Crossfit gym, it’s my dance class. They were unable to find a substitute for my dance class on Saturday, so due to my decision to take a HIIT class, they were teacherless. The site manager sent me a pic of the ladies dancing to a video of me that one of them recorded in order to practice at home. I am making a difference in these women’s lives, I feel it, and I don’t want to spoil that trying to do suicides sprints and box jumps. This internship, which is over in maybe 3 months, is the top priority for me now and I really need to take care of my body and add more rest to the mix. So I made a new rule, no more HIIT training on Fridays at all so I can be 100% on Saturday.

If I feel OK for the rest of the day, I will return to “the box” tomorrow morning, then rest on Tuesday and then do a double on Wednesday. If my gym buddy says anything, I will just tell her to kick rocks… in the sweetest way possible.

Weighing in

The dance class that I taught yesterday was NOT good. I didn’t rehearse the dances the day before like I usually do because I spent the prior day at a spa with a friend. I got home really late and then didn’t prepare that morning. So I was pretty much winging it. I made a few mistakes and in one song, I missed a mark and actually went to rewind the song so we could redo it, which I’m pretty sure is a faux pas. It was a vital part of the song though. Thank goodness this is an internship and I’m not getting paid. When you are dancing in front of a crowd, and they are all watching you… there is nowhere to hide and you can’t cover it up.

Today was my zumba certification class and it went well. I LOVE Zumba and I love to dance. I love great teachers and the one that taught the class was exceptional. I want to be a great teacher and I plan to put more effort into this. I’m glad that I am in this 6 month internship because it gives me time to perfect my craft, work on cueing  and just get better. That way when I start trying to get a job at a gym or studio, I will be 1000 times better and will also have 6 months of experience under my belt. But tomorrow is back to reality. On the scale of importance, I would rank 1) Fitness instructor development 2) Crossfit obsession and 3) Current job. With each new thing, the job is getting lower and lower on the totem pole.

Now onto the main event–>

IMG_0835Here is my current weight. I’m going to do a post tomorrow on maintaining motivation and how to do it. I was plateaued for 2 months going back and forth between 188 and 187. I made one change last week and have now reached the lowest weight that I’ve been since 2012. Motivation is hard to maintain, especially when you are stressed or feeling low. I set a goal of being 183 by April 1 and I’m pretty sure that I will be below that by the end of the week.

 

Getting a Punching Bag

One of my goals next year is to deal with stress and frustration in a… healthier manner. One that doesn’t involve me gaining weight, feeling lethargic and having any regrets. So I’m buying a punching bag. Work is super stressful, and so is adulting. The first thing I realized when I became an adult, even before I knew how hard it would be to get a job, was that no one cared how much or how often you drank. As long as you fulfilled your duties, you could buy it at ANY TIME. Which I did! I went to work everyday, socialized, occasionally drank too much at happy hours yet most people liked me. But life isn’t supposed to be about surviving, it’s supposed to be about flourising. To be perfectly honest, and no one knows this, there were full YEARS, when I was still living with a roommate and miserable, that I would go to work, come home and drink beers and cranberry vodkas, get drunk, go to sleep and start over again the next day. Could you imagine?  I had weeks of abstinence, even got help including AA and outpatient rehab treatment, and I somehow got it under control, but I never stopped for longer than 30 days. I think if more people knew that about me, they would understand why I am the way I am… 34, single, introverted and all that jazz. I am probably not someone that should be drinking given my history and that is something that I am eliminating ASAP. But anyway…

I took my second boxing class this week and I realized I love the punching bag. I imagine it’s my boss (I really don’t hate him). I imagine it’s my fears. I imagine it’s all my self-anger and my frustrations and I beat it until I’ m done. Unfortunately in classes they only let you go for 2 sets of 3 mins… so I’m getting my own. That way after work, instead of the occasional, or not so occasional drink that I was having towards the end of this year, I will beat the crap out of it.  And also tone my upper body while I do it. I have some rage in me and I’m tired of complaining all day to coworkers and myself. I don’t want to hear it so I will just beat the bag and call it a night. I really want to be myself and authentic. I feel like alcohol and depression pushes everything down to where you are drinking your sorrows and  pretending everything is OK and then repeating it the next day. I don’t want to bite my tongue anymore. I want to be proud of myself and help others. So here is the bag I bought:

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I’m Back!!

Whew… Where have I been? Well I have been a mad woman these past few weeks, literally. Things are looking up, yet staying the same. I’m trying to navigate the waters and trying to decide what is the next step.

Fitness Instructor Training– The program was successfully completed this past Tuesday! I had a final last week which included teaching a class and multiple choice test. I was a nervous wreck. Over the past few months, I’ve really learned a lot about myself. I don’t handle stress too well. It affects my sleeping, I drink more and I am constantly on edge, probably due to the drinking and sleeping less. I get it done in the end but everything suffers, including my appearance. I passed the class, so I am officially in a 6 month internship starting in Jan/Feb. I will be teaching a class every Saturday which will be great for me because it will limit Friday night happy hours. I have my playlist down and about 75% done. I need to just fine tune it and clean it up but I still have…

Statistics– Yes. This beast is still on my back and I’m taking the final on Dec 17. I want to get a A- in the class, however to qualify for tuition reimbursement I think I need a C. I’m currently at B level if I get EVERY QUESTION RIGHT on the exam. I started studying. I’m giving myself more time to prepare than the midterm which should be better because I won’t have to prepare an exercise routine that’s due at the same time. It’s just a hard class for me, the theories seem convoluted, the class is online, but I need to focus. This is my last class in my program, I need to pull through and like Tim Gunn says.. Make it Work. Tomorrow is my job’s holiday party. After that, I’m not drinking until after the final so my mind is clear and all the wires are firing at 100%. I’m making cheat sheets as we speak and rereading all of the information.

Weight Loss– I’ve plateaued. I made a friend in my instructor training course and we have been working out a lot. I started taking dance classes, like Samba and belly dancing. I don’t think I’m overcompensating with calories by eating, but I’ve (honestly) increased my alcohol intake which was at zero when I was losing weight the fastest. I also stopped the extra lunch time cardio I was doing during my lunch hour because work became a mess. I just feel burnt out. I constantly feel in a state of mild exhaustion. When I don’t focus, I say stupid things, like the wrong day or that I don’t understand what reproachful means, or I’m smart enough to figure it out from the context.<—– see brains. I know it’s my fault because my self care has gone out the window. I need to focus on getting enough sleep, drinking enough water.

Work– Work, work work. What is there to say. My job is one that I can do and as of right now there is some level of security, but I dislike it a lot. I asked for an increase in bonus and my boss said yes. It was a crazy year with the drama with the hiring and firing of the assistant. This job is just so not what I want to do long term, if at all. I loved being in the instructor training program. Being with folks that cared about fitness, discussing it. I realized that even though I sound like an idiot sometimes at work, when it comes to fitness and exercising I am an encyclopedia. I love making up dances and teaching it and will definitely make that a side job once I get certified. But what about the full time job… I have a wellness job search going and I get notices when positions open up and there are so many great jobs out there. I think once I get my Public health certificate and start teaching, I can put that on my resume. That way employers can see that I am serious about this. The end goal of course is to be a Health Coach and helping people lose weight.

The struggle is real. I won’t even get into dating now. That will be a post for another day…

So my plan until next week to get back track is to

  1. Drink 11 glasses of water per day (it’s recommended that we drink half of our body weight in ounces per day. Since I am 185, that is 92.5 ounces which is 11.56 glasses. I rounded down for sanity purposes).
  2. 7 hours of sleep. At the beginning of the semester I was in bed at 10-10:30. Now it’s 11-12. I need to get up at 6am to have a productive day so I need to start getting ready for bed at 9:45 pm. Have my Epsom salt bath (I will do a post on this soon) at 10 pm, and lights out by 10:30 pm.
  3. Limit TV. Not sure how I found the time, but I’ve made it through 7 seasons of Criminal Minds this semester…. From now on I can only watch TV, movies or frivolous YouTube videos when I am beautifying myself or cooking, because if I’m not multitasking, I’m really wasting time. Plus it might give me some inspiration to paint my nails or twist my hair more often.
  4. Stick to my exercise and food plan. Studies show that deviating from a plan lowers yourself esteem and your ability to follow through in the future. Which is why missing 1 gym class in a week, can lead to missing 4 classes, or is that just me? They say it’s better to aim low and achieve it, than aim high and miss it.

So those are my 4 goals for next week really, but I’m starting now, because I don’t believe in waiting for tomorrow or Monday. I always say, when you decide to start something, start immediately at the next meal or even the next bite!

Happy Friday!!

High Stressed Times

I had a lot planned this weekend. It involved working on the blog, working out excessively and watching a whole bunch of fashion videos. Then my cat had a hairball at 9pm on Friday night and has been throwing up ever since and I’ve barely gotten any sleep. At least not a consistent block. On Saturday, I had plans to catch a movie with my friend so I did that. My cat was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and was started on Methimazole. For some reason I thought my cat’s vomiting was in response to bad food or the fact that I was serving him water from a Brita filter that might have been overdue, so I continued giving him the medication. That was when his vomiting increased to every 20 mins since 1AM Sunday morning. I ended up taking him to the ER and my stress level was at its peak. I didn’t get to do much on my to do list. I washed my hair, did all of my food prep and laundry, took out my A.C. and wrote some posts. But looking into Pixie’s eyes now, I realize it’s worth it. Yes, I want to quit my job. Yes, I want to reach my goal weight this year. Yes, I want to be a health coach. But I can’t forget the basics. Like Pixie who has been with my for almost 9 years, my friends and family. Nourish those relationships too, because it is all about the journey, not the destination, so what is the point of going on the journey alone, when you don’t have to?