It’s not Tuesday, but my headspace is all about transformations. In the social media universe #transformationtuesday has become a beloved hashtag of fitness fanatics, entrepreneurs and motivators. Every Tuesday my Instagram is filled with tons of before and afters. Of course, our eyes are attracted to the photos and usually they are discussing a new fitness program, nutrition plan or diet they have been following. But usually, when you read the caption you find that there is so much more that happens when you shift your lifestyle and take control of your life.
My Transformation Tuesday this week was a little different and I shared a very raw but what I thought was evident story about myself. When you are constantly sharing your journey you forget not everyone has followed along the whole time. I forget that I meet new people both in person and on social media almost every single day. I forget that with all of the growing I am doing I am changing a lot more than I realize each day. I spoke about my internal transformation and the freedom I have gained from leaving behind my “party girl” lifestyle and diving deep into my writing, traveling and healthy lifestyle. If you have known me for a while this transformation might be more apparent to you but I realized it may not be something I have necessarily opened up about. Based on the response to that post and the countless personal messages I received about I feel as if I should elaborate a bit because it seems to me like this is a topic that many women my age and people in general connect to.
Let me start out by saying, this is absolutely not a post to claim I am a “forever changed person” and I will never drink or party a day in my life. I mean, Cabernet Sauvignon will always be a part of my vocabulary. I fully appreciate a good espresso martini. I can drink crisp ciders in the sunshine. And, yes I will still get down on the dance floor when presented with one. But from a girl who was voted “Life of the party” in high school and started drinking as a young teen, to a crazy sorority girl in college…to who I am now-I feel I have made leaps and bounds with my habits and quite honestly my desires have changed. I used to feel free when I was out dancing, drinking, going to clubs, bars, house parties, and anywhere in between. I went to WVU for heaven’s sake, WE KNOW HOW TO PARTY! I do not regret one second of those memories (or lack thereof) but I have realized that is simply not what lights me up any more. And I don’t know if it was ever truly lighting me up or just helping me escape.
When my best friend Corey passed away in high school, I leaned on partying for comfort and escape. As a group of friends we continued to grieve in a very real and outward manner but we also eased our pain with the fun life we created. Looking back, I see how very broken I was. It’s truly sad when I think about it. As the years went on, I still enjoyed going out and like most young people in college in the U.S., partying was normalized. I can remember several occasions after making really stupid drunk decisions in college, losing things, eating pretty much anything, getting involved in drama, etc. I just felt like that wasn’t me. I just felt like the nights were turning out to be a lot less fun and a lot more negative.
It wasn’t until I moved abroad and found something that fulfilled me so much more than partying ever could, ADVENTURE, that I realized how much more there is to life and especially my life. Now, I’m a realist and an open book. Many of these adventures (especially when I was single and backpacking South East Asia and Australia with my girlfriends) included partying but I learned to find my balance. I learned to do it because I wanted to not because it was the only thing to do. I learned to stay in if I expected to wake up at climb an active volcano at 3 am to watch the sunrise in Bali. I guess for a lot of us that is growing up and growing out of that stage. But for me, learning my balance was not an easy task because when I do anything I do it BIG. I didn’t get how to go out for a couple and I was left frustrated that my nights were still turning out like that after college.
When I moved home from Thailand and I started my coaching business- I kicked my healthy lifestyle and my passion for holistic health up 20 notches, I saw myself evolving quickly. Not only had my eyes been opened by living in a developing culture, traveling the world, starting over on my own but now my eyes were opened even further to the incredible gift we have. This one precious life and body. My health became my priority. I went through a huge transition of living a super healthy lifestyle Monday-Friday and then throwing it out the window for the weekend. Slowly, I realized that was not satisfying me either. I hate being hungover. I hate drinking overpriced drinks and being forced to “make the night fun.” I’ll make the night fun, eating froyo in my bed watching Planet Earth waking up early and smashing my workout, working on my business, reading a good book and getting to the beach before noon. Once I moved to Australia on my own I had the time to really seek out the lifestyle I wanted, not based on what I’ve always done or what all of my friends enjoy, but based on what genuinely makes me happy. That, my friends, is so empowering, freeing and quite honestly, addicting.
I always told my friends and myself in college, “I’m a better human being when I’m not drunk or hungover.” At the time, I was semi-joking, but seriously, I am. Like I said, I haven’t sworn off alcohol completely but I have seen what happens when I don’t drink for 30-60 days for various fitness challenges I’ve done in the past two years. My body feels incredible. My mind feels sharp and inquizitive and I have a strong desire to be productive.
Now, I choose when I drink and how much. I choose to stay in as much as I like. I don’t feel bad about it. I rock the shit out of the whole messy bun and active wear reading on my couch on a Friday night look. I am writing this for all of the people who can relate. I am writing this for the people who feel stuck in a scene or a lifestyle and are afraid to take risks. I decided to move to Australia on my own, you definitely don’t need to go that far but how about signing up for a painting course or that yoga class you have always wanted to try. How about planning a hike on Saturday and staying in Friday night so you can actually wake up and enjoy the experience?
If you are making the transition to a healthier lifestyle, just remember it does not have to be all or nothing. Deciding that you are going to change takes effort, practice, and a whole lot of self reflection and control. But if you find things that speak to your soul, if you find things that make you truly happy- do more of those and less of things that drag you down. The people who really love you will love you whether you are out partying with them until 5 am or you are the one waking up at 5 am for yoga. You want people in your life that champion for you to be the happiest, healthiest version of yourself. Evolving and moving through phases of life is natural. Staying stuck in the same place is constricting physically, mentally, and emotionally so allow yourself some space to grow further into you.
Don’t feel too bad if you are too hungover after the bachelorette party to make it to spin class, again, I’m not claiming perfection over here. But make a decision to consciously seek things that light you up and when you find them LISTEN. I feel so free to live my life the way I please. I feel free to push myself towards my dreams and have a damn good time while I’m at it. Don’t waste time sticking yourself into categories or worrying about what other people think- let your true self come alive and keep feeding yourself things your soul likes (mine really likes donuts and blogging.) I have proclaimed 2017 the Year of Soul in my life and business. I am ecstatic to continue on this journey of life connecting to new people, exploring new countries, having some wine when I want to have some wine and freely pursuing things close to my soul. You undoubtedly have the power inside you to do the same. Don’t give up and do not be stagnant. Unless you are bursting with pride and happiness about the life you are creating, you gotta find what is missing by trying something new. You don’t have to wait for Tuesday or the New Year for your transformation, start today and don’t look back.