Recently I’ve been going through this thing where nothing in my life seems to be working for me anymore. It’s been so much fun! Sarcasm intended. Obviously this sucked at first but, after a few weeks I came to the realization that it needed to happen. I’ve had basically the same schedule and training routine for the last two and a half years. I rush here, rush there, rush rush everywhere trying to get it all done. I wear a lot of hats and juggle a lot of different jobs.

Anyone who says that “a stay at home mom has it easy” needs to be strung up by their toes and smacked with a wet noodle or worse but, for the purposes of this blog I will keep it PG. I dont have the luxury of set working hours where I can punch in and punch out. I’m basically on the clock ALL of the time and when I lay my head down to sleep at night, Im already running through the list of things that I didn’t get done that day and piling those items onto an already booked up tomorrow. Now if that’s not setting myself up for success, I don’t know what is.

This should have been my first clue. Being busy ALL OF THE TIME is not being productive, it’s actually the opposite and in my case it was avoidance not productivity. Ever feel like you are busy all the time and never get anything done?  Have you stopped to explore why that is and why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Have you ever taken a second to list all of the things that you do? All of them, even the things that seem unimportant or small?  It’s kind of crazy when you see it all laid out on paper. No wonder we are all running around feeling stretched, thin and overwhelmed. I recommend that you try it one day, you will be amazed! Especially if you’ve been hard on yourself for “not getting anything done” or not “getting to that goal” of yours fast enough. It will certainly put things into perspective and give you a new appreciation for your capabilities and strengths instead of your shortcomings. We always focus on our shortcomings don’t we?  If you try this exercise feel free to contact me and let me know how it went!

I’ve always known that if you don’t listen to your body and just keep pushing through stuff  eventually your body will go on strike and make you tap out. Your body will find way to slow you down and by then it’s not usually not a good thing or personal choice. It will manifest itself into some health issue. But, knowing this doesn’t mean that I used wisdom. It was actually quite the opposite. Like most people, I chose to ignore my early warning system and just kept trudging on. Because we all think we are superhuman and the rules don’t apply to us right?  If only I would take my own advice sometimes. Much facepalm.

In my case this crash and burn manifested itself in the form of a pretty major relapse. Depression/anxiety/ ptsd/ binge eating and emotional eating along with some major GI issues. Oh, and we can’t leave out the rapid weight gain from all that excessive mindless eating!  And of course that triggered my old body image/dysmorphia issues . I have always been an overachiever even when I crash and burn.

But, jokes aside, I got to the point a few weeks ago where I didn’t want to get out of bed anymore. I didn’t care about my powerlifting gains or setting foot in the gym or counting my macros. I didn’t care about coaching or taking care of my clients or maintaining my social media accounts. I didn’t even care about writing. Forget about being a wife and parent, Homeschooling my son or even basic needs like hygiene and keeping a house clean. I was done. I was burnt out. This was extremely frustrating, It’s not like you can just get off the life train and quit life.

I decided to try and figure out where I went wrong, I mean looking at it from the outside everything looks great right? To anyone else, I am inspirational and motivating. I have my shit together and seem to lead a pretty fantastic life. After several weeks of self reflection the answer I came up with was quite simple. I wasn’t willing to admit defeat. My shit had not been together and I had been overwhelmed for quite some time. I didn’t want to see it because I was too busy being all of the things and doing all of the things. My identity was in the things I was doing. I lost myself somehow and my direction and passion in the process. Talk about humbling…

I have this thing where quitting is never an option. It’s a survival mechanism from my past and it has served me well. Call it what you want. Stubbornness, tenacity or just plain grit and “spunkyness”. It comes from a lifetime of having to fight for every little thing. It comes from childhood abandonment, severe bullying, being a teenage runaway and a recovering drug addict. Surviving rapes, yes that’s plural and more loss than I can express. It comes from being morbidly obese and having to fight through serious illness. Illnesses that were almost successful in ending my life. It comes from always feeling like I had something to prove because I felt that I didn’t start out with the same advantages as others. I considered quitting as a weakness and it kept me alive. That stubbornness and tenacity made me into the woman you all know and love today. It had its purpose.

However, this mentality no longer serves me. I’m currently in a phase of my life where I no longer need to be in survival mode. I have a family and a home, I am not sick with an illness that is threatening my life  and there is no impending threat of doom lurking in the shadows. I’ve established a career as a personal trainer and I’ve also become a writer. Out of the wreckage of my past I was able to salvage compassion and forgiveness and from this came my purpose. I am not the same person. It was another lifetime ago.

With that said, I didn’t realize that admitting defeat over my current life struggle is not the same as quitting. Its not.  Admitting defeat happened to be one of the most liberating things I’ve done for myself. It took away my need for constant control over every tiny little detail. It took away my need to prove myself and keep performing. It opened up my mind to the fact that while my current situation was no longer working for me it didn’t mean that I was weak but, only that I needed to approach things differently.  It gave me the freedom to breathe and let go. It seems so simple but it was completely transformational. Quitting doesn’t leave room for hope. Admitting defeat creates freedom and room for possibilities.

The action of admitting defeat created more room for growth. I was not growing anymore. That is the root of what happened to me. That’s why I felt lost. I had OUTGROWN something that I was still trying to hang onto and had become stuck. There is safety in clutching onto what is familiar. Change rarely happens in the absence of fear. I had to let go of the rigidity of my schedule and my own expectations because they were now limiting me. I’m not the same person that I was when I started my weight loss/powerlifting/body acceptance journey years ago but, I was still living my life like I was and not allowing any room for personal growth.  I had become stagnant and there was no joy my “grind” anymore.

As women regardless of the reason, we all struggle with being busy these days. Your past and your current situation may not be like mine but, I’m pretty sure that many of you can relate to something that I’ve shared here today.  Don’t be too proud to admit defeat, it just may save you a lot of useless energy and help you re focus on why you started in the first place. What’s the point of living if you are just going through the motions but you aren’t truly alive. I don’t know about you but I want to live a passionate joy filled life and I’m going to do my best to help you live yours too.

Much love from your #mentalgrrrl

Kelly aka Spunky

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So what defines success?

I’ll tell you what doesn’t; Achieving your “goals”, making hundreds of dollars an hour, or even finding your purpose.

I’ve done all 3. And yet I still manage to make myself feel miserable every day because it’s “not enough”. I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what it “is” I’m supposed to be doing on this earth. Even with achieving 8 years of continual sobriety and 7.5 off of drugs- Even having a business where I don’t have to report to a superior; I AM the superior- Even being able to travel and not wake up to an alarm clock- Even having created a brand that is actually changing the world and is going to be bigger than Nike in 10 years time- SOMETHING is always not right.

Our clothing isn’t fashionable enough. The website has a problem. I want to be spending more time meditating. I want to meditate period. I want to have a more developed VMO (the teardrop muscle on the inside of your knee). I want to grow faster.

And on and on and on.

The ONLY thing I’ve found in life that makes me feel successful is when I’m in direct service to someone else who is in true need. I’m not talking about in need of an email answered. I’m talking about someone who needs to be heard because they feel alone and like life is not worth living. Someone who can’t stop drinking or doing drugs. Someone who has a teenage girl who is cutting themselves and they don’t know where to turn.
THAT kind of service.

The only challenge with that, is for me that’s difficult to measure.

So the other day I was doing something I hardly do anymore because when you devote every cell in your being to your enterprise- to your WHY, you can easily lose your libido.

While I was in the shower- I realized that even after 7 years, I’m more attracted to my husband than I was when we said our Do’s. I wasn’t thinking about someone else. Or needing to watch other people. I simply closed my eyes and thought about my husband and blew the roof off.

So what is the definition of success?

Is it a certain number hitting your bank account every day? And even then will that truly make you happy?  Will that change and is it ok for that number to change?  Or is success finding your voice and leaving a miserable relationship?  Is it coming out?  Or is it having a child?  Or do you just ‘think’ that’s what success is because society tells you that’s what we’re supposed to be doing as women?

My point is this; Everyone has a different deferent version of success. What’s important is that YOU figure out what that looks like to you. Not society. Not your parents. But YOU.
And by finding out that means DO SOME WORK!  Put pen to paper. Isolate yourself and do some writing. Ask yourself some important questions. Take time. Don’t rush it.

You deserve to connect with your innermost self and find out what that success looks like unattached by what everyone else around you ‘thinks’ it is. Too often we let our heads (thinking) define success and not our hearts (feeling) what success is.

Because I’ll tell you what: That O face sure FELT like success to me. And the O looked like my significant other.

Here’s to many more successful days grrrls!

Comment below what success looks like to you.