Who are you living for?

Who or what you live for consumes your life. Trust me. That’s how most eating disorders start. You live for your body, for this messed up ideal in your head, for society’s view that being skinny/small/low-weight is being perfect. lived for all these things. I wanted to look a certain way and lived my life based on how I thought society or other people would look at me, judge my body, and think of me. I was so caught up in hating my body and who I was that I forgot myself, I let someone/thing else dictate how I was to live my life.

None of this is easy to admit, it isn’t easy to type this, but if I can help just one person, reach someone struggling with my message then it’s worth it. I see it so much in today’s world, not just with eating disorders, but with anything. People are losing themselves trying to live for approval, other people, material things, etc. We get so caught up in what other people think of us, our lives, the choices we make, the items we buy, the “image” we portray that we actually end up losing the most important thing: ourselves. We lose sight of who we are, who we are made to me, who we truly want to be. Because I guarantee you that 99.9% of the people that try to live that way don’t actually want to be, it’s not what they truly desire, but they are so set on this image they think they need to be. Listen to me, you don’t need to be anything other than yourself. You are worthy, beautiful, lovable, smart, successful, deserving, capable whether someone else does or does not think so.

Whoever we live for dictates who we become. And eventually who we become turns into who we are. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we are so set in our identity, then no matter what other people say, think, or do to us…IT WON’T MATTER because we know it’s not true. Think of it this way. If someone came up to you, pointed to a car, and said that is a machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, you would look at them like they’re crazy. Why? Because you know it’s a car, you know it’s purpose is to get people from location to location and you know all of this because you’ve grown up learning and living it. But now imagine that same person could go back in time (with the car) and talk to a pilgrim. If that person walked up to a pilgrim, pointed to the car and said that is a machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, what would the pilgrim say/think? They might believe them. Why? Because they don’t know any different, they’ve never seen, used or lived with this “car” before so whatever someone tells them about it, they can easily believe and adopt as the truth. The same goes for you. When you live for someone or something else, you lose touch with who you truly are–you become like the pilgrim who has ever seen a car. You allow other people to dictate your truth; you take what they say or think about you as true, and start adopting it as who you are.

But if you were with the pilgrim when the person told them about the machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, you would still not believe them–even when the pilgrim did. You still know it’s a car and what it’s true purpose is, no matter what the pilgrim chooses to believe. The same should be for our lives. Even when other people think certain things about us, or tell people things that aren’t so true, if we know and stand firm in who we are then we don’t lose sight of our true selves. It doesn’t matter what others think about us. What matters is what you think about yourself. And no matter how much you believe that having other people think well of you, approve of your life choices, and “like” you will make you like yourself more…let me tell you, it won’t. The way you start liking yourself, is to love every single fiber and thread you’re created with. And the way you start loving yourself, is to actually get to know yourself on a deeper level; understand your likes and dislikes, your wants and needs, your dreams so big they scare you and your fears so small they terrify you.

This is why I live for myself. Living for myself means standing firm in my identity as a child of God and in who HE says I am meant to be. It means I focus on him; He is guiding my path, my plans, my future. But also just because God is in control, doesn’t mean that I cannot pursue things that I want, enjoy or am passionate about because all of those things God has given to me and blessed me with. Living for myself means that I don’t care if people don’t understand my passion for weightlifting, it doesn’t matter if someone agrees with my healthy lifestyle, it’s okay if no one supports my big dreams or if they disapprove of something in my life. It’s okay because all of these things are what I love to do, they are what I choose to do and they make me who I am today. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about people. Not at all. I truly want to help people, to inspire them with my story, my passion and the love of God. It just means that when someone says something about me or thinks a certain way about me, I don’t let that dictate who I actually am because I know who I am.

Remember that life is short and we don’t get a second chance to live. So please don’t spend your one opportunity living for the wrong reasons, the wrong people. The most important thing you can do is to love yourself. It sounds silly, but truly loving yourself sets you up for a whole life of love, happiness, positivity, peace, success, and joy. My only question to you is: who are you living for?

Day in the Life

A week into season now and I’m loving it, but let me tell you: it has been a blur! Last week was filled with 3-a-days, meetings, conditioning challenges, practice, scrimmages, and team bonding and now that school has started things have died down as far as the amount of practice goes. But the added business of school gets counted in as well so basically, I’m still gonna be busy. But I love the grind, the time and effort put in so that hopefully at the end of season we have some bling on our hands from winning a national championship.

With that said, because the life of a student-athlete (SA) in college is MUCH different than most other just regular students, I thought I would give a quick glimpse into a day in my life for a normal or average week. One thing is that our schedules can often change a lot week to week so flexibility is really key in keeping afloat and not drowning in stress and anxiety. Another big part of a SA’s schedule is that it is generally more structured as far as the fact that we have designated practice and lifting times each week. This is definitely nice, but it can also be difficult because this means that we have to plan our classes, social time, studying, etc. around these designated times rather than doing them as we please. We are still normal students, taking just as many classes as others and balancing duties, responsibilities, issues, social activities, etc. that comes with being in college and just simply living. One of the reasons I chose to go D3 is because there is an emphasis on being a student first (hence why we are called student-athletes and not the other way around). I like being able to focus on my studies–the real reason I am in college– while still competing at a very high level in my sport. With that here is my schedule:

Monday

We have practice from 7-9 am(but we have to be there around 6:20-6:30 to set up and warm-up which means I’m up anywhere between 5:40 and 5:50 am). Then we go lift at the weight room from 9-9:45.

I don’t have class until the afternoon so from 10-12:20 I’ll shower, get ready for the day, maybe do some homework or run an errand, etc. Then, I’ll eat lunch and head out to class from 1:00-5:15. Once back, I’ll make dinner and spend the rest of the night doing homework. Sometimes when I don’t have homework, I’ll blog or see if there is an event on campus (like a soccer game).

Around 8:00 pm I get my night snack and then get ready for bed, aiming to be in bed by 8:30 pm (doesn’t often happen, but I try!) I’ll read for about 10 minutes and then go to sleep.

Tuesday

I only have classes M&W (plus 1 online class) so Tuesdays are a day to catch up on errands, cleaning/laundry, homework, my online class, etc.

Tuesdays are normally game days. If not, we will just have practice from 7-10. If so, and it’s a home game we will have a serve and pass from 8-9 am. Then, we will be at the locker room round 5 pm (for a 7 pm game) and start getting ready, etc. If it’s away, we leave early afternoon (around 1-2 pm) to drive wherever we are playing. We will then do the same thing before the 7 pm game and drive back that night–usually arriving close to midnight.

Wednesday

Wednesday is the exact same schedule as Monday for me. Practice, weights, and classes are at the same time. Later into season, Wednesday mornings will be study hall for those who need it and then weights from 9:00-9:45 am. I don’t have to go to study hall so just weights for me (yay for sleeping in until 7:30!)

Thursday

We have morning practice from 7-10 am.

Again, no classes on Thursdays so much like Tuesdays–I can use Thursdays to catch up on things. Especially since we travel almost every weekend, I am really able to finish homework and pack for the weekend.

Friday

Game day! We usually leave around 8 am to travel to our destination to play 1-2 games that afternoon/night. Then, either Friday night after the game or Saturday morning we will travel to another destination for a second game that weekend. Then, Saturday night we drive home usually arriving anywhere between 11pm-2am Sunday morning.

If it’s a home game (we have very few), we will again do a morning serve and pass. Arrive around 4:30-5pm in the locker room and get ready for the game at 7 or 7:30.

Saturday

As mentioned above, we have a second game on Saturday, generally in another location. So we either get up Saturday morning to drive or get up and get ready to play that afternoon.

Sunday

We are off! NCAA rules say we have to have one day off a week and this is usually it. The only time it isn’t is if we fly somewhere like CA or another state and travel back Sunday (then we would get Monday off)–but this rarely happens. I use Sundays to grocery shop, meal prep, clean, do laundry, catch up on homework, and prepare for the next week to start it all again!

I hope y’all enjoyed a glimpse into a day in the life for an average week. It is busy and takes lots of time management and effort to make it all work, but I love the life I live and wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Switching Gears

Switching gears, say what? Don’t worry the essence of this blog will still stay the same: Be Beyoutifully Healthy. However, I’m entering into season this Fall which means I will be very, very busy and traveling a lot. So I thought it would be fun to document more of the season, how we’re doing, a day-in-the-life, etc.

I’ll post tips on staying healthy on the go as an athlete, as well as what my training and eating schedule looks like. Now, I know that most of you reading this probably are not athletes and therefore this will not apply. However, I thought you might be interested in learning more and seeing things from a new perspective. But on second note too, I will also try to get in as much other content that may be more relevant as I can. I want this blog to be both helpful tips as well as lifestyle. With that said, if you have any ideas or anything you want to see or read about please let me know!

I’m excited to bring y’all along to this new chapter as I continue finding balance and my healthy lifestyle.

Don’t Compare Your Journey

I think this message is something that is a necessity for everyone to hear and really take to heart. It can be applied to any life situation (job, hobby, family, relationship, social status, fitness, etc.), but in this blog I’m going to focus mainly on fitness journeys.

Don’t compare your journey.

It’s definitely not the easiest, but it’s so important to understand and here’s why:

“Comparison the thief of joy”

It really is. Generally when we compare–no matter what it is we actually compare–we see others at their best and ourselves at our worst. Whether it be bodies, relationship, social status, possessions, money, happiness, life in general, etc. our focus is what someone else has that’s better than us. This steals all joy from the good that might be happening right in our very faces. But even if you compare against someone to make yourself seem or feel “better off” “higher up” “more X” you aren’t truly happy. You’re getting these feelings by tearing someone else down, probably because you don’t want to face your inner demons yourself. True joy should not be about building yourself up by tearing others down; true joy comes from being confident in who you are and what you are doing and still having room to bring others up with you.

I get that it’s hard. Being into fitness and an athlete, comparisons happen all the time. Who has more muscle, who’s in better shape, stronger, faster, more skilled, etc. and while sometimes coaches have to compare players to pick who starts, it’s not fair for us to determine our worth around comparisons. Here’s why. You don’t know what someone has done, been doing, been through or is planning to do to get to where they are and want to be. You don’t know the time, the effort, the resources, etc. that someone had that could be different from your situation–not better or worse, just different. Think about it: you could be comparing your day 30 with someone’s day 300. A month vs. almost a year…I would say there SHOULD be some pretty big differences there.

In the fitness industry, a lot of factors go into your ability, your form, your physique, your training, your strength…even what healthy looks like for you in your life. Maybe they don’t work or work from home and have a ton more hours to spend at the gym, maybe they grew up lifting as an athlete whereas you just found the sport, maybe they’ve chosen to fully dedicate themselves 100% to being strict in workouts and nutrition whereas you want to choose to be more balanced (either way is okay!). Maybe (most likely actually) their genetics are WAY DIFFERENT than yours meaning that how and where they gain muscle/fat as well as how long it takes will be different. Some people have fast metabolisms and lean out easily, but have a hard time to gain any muscle (And vice versa). In any of these situations there is no right or wrong, there is just each person’s unique journey that they are on for themselves–to better their lives each and every day.

The only person who should matter in your journey is you. And because of this, your only comparison should be to your previous self. Compare where you;ve been, where you’re, and where you are going instead of comparing your now to someone else’s now. As I mentioned, your beginning could be someone’s 6 years in and it’s not fair to beat yourself up by this by comparing. Instead compare your beginning, your middle, your craziness in between to where you want to be–and then don’t stop there. Be so focused on improving your own life that you don’t have time to compare it to others’. Because in reality it doesn’t matter what others are doing, how they look or feel; it all matters how you are doing on your own fitness journey. Build others up as they progress through their journey all while remaining confident in yours. This industry has so much support, community, inspiration, etc. if you let it instead of using every platform to tear yourself (or others down) through comparison.

As one final thought, I’ll leave you with this to reflect on.

Nobody else can make the changes you want in your life, so why should you let your progress be defined by what others have done in theirs?

Simple answer, you shouldn’t. Don’t compare your journey, and I promise you, you will find an abundance of joy, happiness, support, progress, and growth through it.