Reenergized and Motivated

After eating really healthy and working out for over two months I felt so frustrated that I had hit a complete plateau. I was saying to myself, “How much less can I possibly eat?”. I already felt like I was barely eating anything, especially since my schedule means that I often don’t eat lunch at all. So once I had finished my last semester and went on a small vacation I started off good, but by the end of it I was so fed up and feeling burnt out that I started eating poorly. I have to admit there are times in my weight loss journey where I wonder what the difference is in eating clean and eating junk, because either way I wasn’t losing any weight! But after eating poorly for about two weeks now, I have the answer to that question. There is a huge difference. Since I have been eating complete rubbish again I have noticed that I feel foggy, unable to concentrate and more than anything, I just feel lazy and disappointed in myself. Even though I wasn’t losing weight as fast as I wanted to, I should have reevaluated my goals and readjusted what wasn’t working. That’s what you do with any plan. You observe your progress along the way, and anything that isn’t working you have to go in and figure out why. Then you implement a better approach to produce real results. When I look back there are a lot of things I could have improved upon. I recently found a really inspiring blogger called The DMMD Lifestyle Revolution http://dmmddiet.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/weekly-photo-update-week-7/ and he conducted an SWOT analysis on himself. I thought it was a really useful tool in analyzing the efficiency and progress of your goals. So I’m going to try it here myself and I actually found that some of my answers were the same as his.

Strengths

  • Past success with losing weight.
  • Determination to succeed.
  • Available resources to aid in exercise and a healthy diet (free gym, beautiful suburb to walk in, my juicer, steamer, e.t.c….)
  • A partner that often helps support me to succeed.

Weaknesses

  • Not having a set schedule.
  • Having a dog that doesn’t walk well.
  • Anxiety.

Opportunities

  • Make time to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Make exercise a priority.
  • Lead by example.
  • Eat lighter meals for dinner.

Threats

  • Living with someone who also has their own vices.
  • Anxiety
  • Work overload with school and work.

When I look at this I really realize that I have all the resources to achieve my goal, but I let little things hold me back. I don’t want to say that not living in a completely supportive environment is holding me back. The first time I lost the weight I absolutely did not have a supportive environment. My family and friends weren’t into fitness or healthy food and I actually lost a lot of my friends because they didn’t like that I was losing weight. But I was so dedicated that I focused on my goal and just did it. My mum actually said to me afterwards that she was really inspired by my dedication because I would not let anything get in my way. And now even though my husband isn’t totally into health and fitness like me, I shouldn’t let that hold me back. I think when you’re married or even living with your partner it’s easy to engage in mutually destructive behavior. You justify each other’s actions, and it becomes difficult to separate yourself from them and do your own thing. But I am the only one responsible for my actions and I need to do what I have to do. Even though life would be so much easier with a life coach and a fitness coach 24/7 that is not the reality for most people. We have to be our own life and fitness coach.

My brother shared this video on Facebook today and it really got me motivated to get back into this and turn it up. I must admit that I feel kind of lame for not being able to come on here and say, hey I lost all the weight now, and I’ve arrived. I think the reality with most goals and journey’s is that, it takes time, persistence and dedication. I like other bloggers and people losing weight have made significant progress. Katie Foley from Bringing my Sexy Back did her 5K marathon in Boston which was awesome (http://katiefoley11.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/5k-success/), Rebecca from Healthy Intentions is significantly building up her stamina (http://healthywithintent.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/still-trucking-along/), The DMMD Lifestyle Revolution continues to see weight loss and fitness progress (http://dmmddiet.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/day-52-sub-15-minute-mile/), and even I am able to do more weights and more squats than I ever have and lost 20lbs.  So I may not be where i wan’t to be yet, but I haven’t given up.

This is a short video about the beauty of hard work and dedication.

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The Beauty of Rejection

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In one of my previous posts I mentioned that I had a job interview with a bank. I have been wanting to work at a bank for a while because I thought it would be great experience to work for one of America’s largest bank’s. That job interview was with the bank I really wanted, and in the best location. After 3 interviews that I thought all went really well, I got a rejection email last week. I was pretty gutted because it was a blow to the ego. Everything seemed so perfect, and I thought I did so well. It was also my first mature, “grown-up” interview where I had to wear a suit. It felt very cutthroat as well, and I was the only girl there. I am always really friendly and smile at people, but let me tell you, none of the other guys were smiling back at me. The guys were pretty much sitting in the waiting area sizing each other up. Thankfully I was the second interviewee so that amazing muscle flexing experience was short lived. Anyhow, the rejection email was worded pretty poorly in my opinion, especially when I study business communication as part of my degree. The email pretty much read something like, “After having a look at you, we’ve decided we don’t want to see you here anymore.” Okay that’s obviously not what it said, but it’s what it felt like. It really said, “After carefully observing your performance during all interviews, we have decided to continue searching for other candidates.” Yeah…see where my sarcasm came from now? I feel that this is a time where I can use the abbreviation, WTF.

So, naturally I went through the various stages of acceptance. Denial. Anger. Bargaining; wondering how to convince them to hire me anyway. Then finally, acceptance. Coming from a family where depression is genetic, I do not allow myself to wallow in pity or feel like a victim…for very long. Basically, I just didn’t understand why this amazing, perfect opportunity came my way, only to blow up in my face. But, I didn’t want to see it like that, I wanted to understand why I would attract something like that, only for it to fall as quickly as it rose. It didn’t make sense. It seemed to be the next logical step into how my goals were unravelling in perfect succession.

While this was just an entry level position at a bank, it was a minor insight into the reality of the financial world. The interview process, the people I dealt with, the expectations, all of it really opened my eyes up to what this world was really like. I have worked most of my teen years helping my dad run his restaurant, and then I managed the Addiction’s restuarant in Australia. And now, seeing how I am in the retail world I really realized that I just don’t have that shark mentality. I’m expected to make sales and credit goals, but I don’t do it through pressuring or any other sales tactics. Thankfully in the retail world there are hoards of people who need to buy the latest designer this or that, especially in California. I actually quite often try to convince people that they don’t need that 50th Michael Kors watch or Kate Spade necklace made of metal that runs for $200. And yet, I still make my goals because I have product knowledge and people often respect my honesty and are also intrigued by my efforts to make them go away. I just know that anytime someone approaches me in Nordstrom’s going, “What are you here for today? Are you looking for something special? I saw you touched that purse, you want me to ring it up for you?” I am immediately going to that part of my brain that is establishing exit strategies.

Anyhow, good God I have gone off on a tangent. This back story is just necessary in what I’m trying to explain. Basically, long story short, this rejection made me look into my chosen major and what my future would actually entail in the financial world, and made me realize I don’t want it. I am about to start my Bachelor’s degree with my chosen major in a few months and so this rejection came at the perfect time for me to realize I don’t want to be a financial analyst/planner/advisor/trader/investor. While some people are really good at those jobs and make a lot of money, it just wouldn’t be me.

So to me this whole experience happened to open my eyes to the reality of the career I thought I wanted and was chasing. It forced me to really look at the major I had chosen and made me realize what I really want to study. I’m changing my major now and feel really excited about it.  Without this job offer and rejection I would have kept going down this road and gone into my BS degree doing Business Finance and gotten into a job I hate.

Sometimes rejection is necessary as a way of the universe, or God, or whatever it is you believe in, saying that this isn’t meant for you. Rejection can be a way of showing you the reality of the path you’re trying to follow, because often we have a very idealized view of what we think we want. Rejection is a way of showing you what is possible, and that there could be something even better for you. Rejection can be a redirecting tool to get you on your true path. Even if you do get rejected from an amazing opportunity, it still shows what you’re capable of, and the amazing possibilities that exist in the world. Even if it makes you reanalyze what you want, don’t ever let it stop you. After I was rejected from this bank I started applying at new places and got a call for an interview for another bank. But now, I don’t really want to work in a bank  and I actually like my job more. I get to interact with lots of people and have fun at work and that’s what I love.

What I would love to do as a career in the future is follow in my dad’s footsteps and open my own café back in Australia. It is really my dream to run my own business, and I want it to be an environmentally conscious business that supports local farmers and also serves Vegan desserts. I also just love interacting with people and meeting new people, so maybe one day I’ll be serving and meeting you!

So, I really do believe in the quote I put in my other post:

And, when you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coelho

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Everything in life is relative, and it’s up to us to see it as good or bad, right or wrong. Like the Buddhists say, life is in a constant state of flux but it’s exciting and unpredictable.

Questa bella vita.

There is also a quote in my culture that basically translates as,

To appreciate a rose, you must also appreciate it’s thorns.

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I hope you enjoyed this post and the beautiful flowers I had to photograph 🙂