A Fresh Start

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I find joy in looking forward to a fresh start, and sometimes a fresh start is exactly what you need.

Every single person deals with hardships. These look different for each of us. Some people have a higher tolerance for challenge, and some don’t cope with hard at all.

I am a fairly positive person when it comes to everyday life, but these past two months have been ROUGH on our family. We dealt with sickness week after week (pink-eye, stomach bug, sinus infections) in the month of December, and I coordinated the most stressful wedding I have to date- we also didn’t get much time off as a family throughout the holidays. In January, we experienced an incredible amount of stress, a miscarriage, and an 8 day GI bug that had Jack down for the count. What’s that saying- when it rains it pours, right?

I share these personal hardships with you all not because of a need/want for sympathy, but to share that we are REAL people too. Real people who sometimes need a fresh start.

I was reminded last week by another local fitness business owner, that as fitness and health professionals (and owners of a fitness/health facility), we often get put in this separate category where people think we are untouchable- that everything goes well for us. That eating healthy, staying stress-free, fit, and happy comes easily. I am here to tell you that it does not. As a team here at Force, we are real people, dealing with real life circumstances.

I believe the difference is HOW we handle these circumstances. I’ll be honest- I did not handle these last two months with grace. I was grouchy, in the worst shape physically and mentally that I had been in in a while, I wasn’t sleeping well, and wasn’t very kind to those around me. I felt terrible from being pregnant, the hormone fluctuations, and I consistently felt like I didn’t have enough time in the day to do everything. I wasn’t coping with my stress very well, and I had let my healthy movement, and eating habits go by the way side.

This past weekend, my family took care of Jack so that Wil and I could get out for an afternoon/evening date. We went shopping, and had a nice dinner together- something we hadn’t done in months. I broke down crying in the car ride up to Indy, and told Wil that I wanted a FRESH START this month. I shared that I wanted to eat healthier by meal planning and shopping, ensuring I had time to workout, and that I made sure to do things for myself once in a while.

If you follow my Instagram/Facebook page, you know that these are things that are typically not hard for me to do- but, in the midst of these past few months, life happened, and I had lost focus of taking care of myself, eating well, making time to move, and more.

It’s so hard for us to do these things. Life gets in the way, and we push and push until we can no longer go. But (and this is a big but) we must remember that this is the only body/mind we have, and it’s imperative that we take care of it.

So what do you do when we need a fresh start? What we should do every time we face a challenge — we break it down, and make small, actionable steps.

Here are some tips I am using this month for a fresh start:

  1. Share with your family or friends. Tell someone you trust, and have them help you stay accountable or, ask them to help you in your commitment to change. I told Wil that I would really like to make time to workout (you’d think this would come easy since we work at a gym, right?!), and we talked about me going to the gym before Jack is awake or, after Wil gets home from work in the evenings.
  2. Make a plan. I am a visual person so for me, writing in a planner and/or notebook is very helpful. I sit down on Sundays and look at the week ahead. This weekend, I wrote down when I am able to workout, and what upcoming plans I have. I also wrote out my meals, and we did a good grocery trip on Sunday too.
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail. Like I said earlier, life is busy, and things come up. We don’t have to be perfect. In fact, we will not be perfect- we will fail at some point! For example, I had planned on working out at 6am on Monday morning, and instead, I had some side-effects from my procedure that kept me up from 3:30am-5:30am which negated my ability to work out at 6am (because sleep > workout). Do your best, and prepare to pick yourself up, and start again when you encounter a road block.
  4. Celebrate. Maybe your fresh start goal is to eat healthier or to workout more. Whatever it is, build in a date night, dinner out, some extra funds to go shopping, time for a massage, etc. For me, it’s imperative that Wil and I to get out of the house (and gym), and spend quality time together as husband and wife (QT is my love language). We will make an effort to do this more often. Self-care is an important part of keeping us revitalized, and in a healthy state of body and mind.

In Health,

Ashley

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