I’ve been a shitty blogger over the past couple of months. We’ve also been a bit quieter on social media than usual. And today, I wanted to just put it out there and fill you in on why.
Lately I haven’t had anything authentic to share on the subjects we typically discuss around here, or at least I thought I didn’t. I’ve feeling like a big, fat fraud because Dana and I have been building a community around our message of wellness and minimalism, and yet my life feels pretty complicated and unhealthy at the moment.
In March I moved home and left my full time, stable job to pursue my own business. It’s been “successful” according to the traditional definition (read: I’ve made enough money). That part has been a relief, as not making enough money was my biggest fear going into this.
But surprise! Even if you’re making money, entrepreneurship is really hard. It took over my life in a way I wasn’t prepared for (though I don’t think I could have been). I’ve never been more stressed.
Guess what stress isn’t good for?
In fact, it’s SUPER helpful for weight gain.
Traveling back and forth to New York every week with a dog and a suitcase for client meetings hasn’t helped (so much schlepping, so many parking tickets). Plus phone calls, paperwork, invoices and everything else in between the actual work. I’m completely addicted to checking my email, which I hate. My phone is never (and still isn’t) something I’ve wanted to be attached to but now feel it’s somehow necessary.
I’ve also been dealing with some painful and emotionally draining personal issues. Separate conversation there, but it has all added to the stress.
I realize that my life is still great in the grand scheme of things, and some of these challenges are small compared to what others go through.
I’m just so burnt out I can’t even think straight. My insomnia has returned, and I’m tired all the time. Some days I have such bad anxiety that I can’t eat anything, so when it passes I eat everything in sight (and I’m not talking salads). I’m constantly treading water, trying to find time and energy to get everything done. Most days I feel disappointed I’m not doing better work that I know I’m capable of.
Obviously, this has affected my health, and I’m pretty sure I’ve gained a few lbs over the past months. So just imagine working on a weight loss course, while simultaneously gaining weight? Yeah, not great for my confidence.
More importantly though, I just don’t feel like myself.
I wake up everyday, not feeling excited at all about the day of stress ahead.
At first, when I left my job and the city, things felt simpler, better. But fast forward eight months: this business I’ve been building will hit six figures soon, and yet I’m disheveled and discontent. So I need to figure out what’s really going to make me happy and I have a feeling it’s not about the money.
I’m not dumping all this on you to elicit any sympathy or rant about what’s going on with me. My hope is that talking about it and acknowledging that life’s not perfect over here might help others who are struggling with something similar feel less alone.
For weeks I’ve been bottling this up, because I actually thought it might deter readers. How can I talk about eating well and dressing better when I’m ordering delivery most nights and wearing yoga pants all day? I thought I’d just get my life together over the next couple of months and emerge victorious, ready to share how I’ve fixed things and got everything running smoothly again.
But then I realized that that is what would have truly been inauthentic. Because it’s not how real life goes. Real life is stressful and messy and complicated and that’s okay. It’s how we deal with it that counts.
So if I can’t let you in on the process, and show you the messiness, then what’s the point? We promised from the start we would always be real with you, so to sidestep the truth wouldn’t help anyone. Besides, we’ve never been interested in perfect around here.
So I decided I need a new plan. I had a little reality check with myself, and here’s what I’m doing to move forward to pull myself out of this:
- Acknowledging the fact that things are tough at the moment and I’m not all that happy. I’m aware enough to know that this health struggle is a result of something deeper. I can eat all the kale and hit a spin class everyday, and still feel shitty.
- Clarifying my values: what do I need to be happy? And what in my life right now doesn’t align with those values? Right now, feeling more joyful and healthier top the list.
- Figuring out what small, simple steps can I take toward aligning with those values and feeling better. That means cleaning up my diet, making time for meditation, and moving my body in ways that feel good, like yoga and long walks with the pup. Oh and maybe putting the damn phone away.
- Making a plan. Taking the time to establish other values and future action steps feels very empowering. Even if they can’t be done immediately, just thinking about things like where I want to live and what I really want my career to look like (even if it means less income) brings me relief and even excitement about future changes.
I’ll keep you posted on how this all goes. If you’re feeling a little stuck in the mud like I am, or have struggled with something similar, I’d love to hear from you!
Oh and I’m starting The Simple Cleanse again. Eating better and feeling better go hand in hand. I’m looking forward to getting some clarity around my diet and a nice boost of energy. You can do it too! Just pop your email in below.
Also published on Medium.