Friday, 3/21,was officially my 90 day Tobacco Free mark! For those of you who have never met me, this is huge. I started smoking just before my 18th birthday nearly 9 years ago. Over the years I have tried to quite several times. Some times it was semi successful but it never lasted. I would cut out smoking on the weekdays, or just smoke 1 cig a day. But these patterns just lead back in to heavy smoking after a couple months. I can honestly say that over the last 8+ years I have smoked on average 1-2 packs a day. For the last year I did pretty well to not smoke too much. I would smoke 1 or 2 at night but mostly just a few/ a pack on the weekend. That was, until this last summer. Going into summer 2013 I was in good health and extremely active, burning the candle at both ends with my job and social calendar. The crazier my schedule got, the more I smoked until I was back to half a pack a day. When my boss left on maternity leave in October, all hell broke loose. By December, with a world of stomach problems, crazy anxiety and my unhealthy habits rearing their ugly heads I decided it was time once and for all to live the life I wanted. It was time to make some necessary sacrifices and put in the time to live the life I deserved. I set goals for myself and made a list of the things I wanted to learn/accomplish in the hopes of being a happier version if myself.
1. Quit Smoking For Good! (I know now that I can never be that person who just has 1 cigarette. I told myself “this is it. Never again will you touch a cigarette”. What is the point of putting in the hardwork to reward yourself with one in a month? Your probably saying “Why was 90 days such an accomplishment?”. Before I found my current job, there were a lot of jobs I wanted to apply for but never did because they required a tobacco test be done. This meant you had to be 90 days tobacco free or they wouldn’t hire you. This thought was inconceivable to me. There was no way I was going ot make it that long. So I walked away from a couple of jobs that I really wanted because I didn’t believe I could do it. I don’t ever want smoking to stand in my way again.)
2. Learn To Say “No” Without Excuses. (Have you ever noticed how people have a tendancy to say “NO” and then list all of the reasons why they are too busy to help? Why, as a society, do we feel so defensive about saying no to something? Why do we expect a reason from someone when they say no to us? If someone tells you no, it means no! You don’t have the right to ask me why and I shouldn’t feel the need to tell you if I don’t want to.)
3. Stop Apologizing For The Life I Live. (It’s my life and I’m going to live it how I want so that I can be as happy as possible. If I wrong someone, I have no problem apologizing. But if you’re offended by my lifestyle, if you are offended that your needs are not my priority above my own, I will not apologize for that any more. This goes hand in hand with learning to say no)
4. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (In the past, I have had a tendency to get defensive when I feel someone does not respect my hardwork or effort. While I love my job, I often felt belittled by my co-workers. I felt that while my job was extremely important, they saw me as a 26 year old girl they could push around and walk all over. I took their childish response to emails and lack of concern about gravity of some of their situations as a personal attack. Why didn’t they respect me?!!! The truth is, not every one is going to respect you. There were battles worth fighting but most of them were not worth it. A couple months ago I started telling myself “I don’t mind the little things” when I found myself getting upset by these behaviors and let me tell you, its sounds simple, but it really works. People say unkind words, they will tell you how you “should” live your life without you ever asking for their opinion. They will cut you down or belittle your words but that doesn’t mean to have to take theirs to heart. Its wasted energy. My mind has been so much clearer ever since I started saying those simple little words.
5. Learn To View Food As Fuel. (This is huge for me because I am truly an emotional eater. My body is not a trash can and I will not continue to treat it as such. I’m not on a diet, I’m not trying to loose weight. I’m trying to FINALLY treat my body like something I respect and cherish. Like something I want to keep strong)
6. Finish a P90X Program (This has been on my bucket list for years and after a little set back with my “runners knee” I am almost able to cross it off)
7. Run A Half Marathon (Scheduled for September)
8. Be Able to Do A Pushup Without Effort and Without Using Me Knees (This goal has been adjusted. Thanks to P90X I was able to check this one off in 30 days. I can now do several pushups on my feet without effort. My goal now is to do a pull up without kipping and 100 push-ups without stopping. Ultimately the point of this goal is to set goals that make me stronger and give me a sense of accomplishment)
9. Read 1 Book a Month (When I was a lit major I read multiple books a week but have struggled since graduation. Some days I feel like I have abandoned something that feeds more soul more than anything else. I want that back. I have a phenomenal book collection some of which I’ve never read. My goal is to check off at least 12 this year)
10. Learn How to Be Vulnerable (Anyone who has dated me knows this is going to be the most difficult of all of these goals for me this year. I am well guarded in a relationship, in my friendships and sometimes even with my family. But mostly in relationships. I have been told I have intimacy issues and I know that it has cost me dearly in the past. This summer will mark 5 years of being single. I have dated in the past 5 years but have not been in a committed relationship since my Junior year of college. Writing this blog and starting my facebook page has helped me open up a little bit more and, while its been several years since I have been in a committed relationship, I hope that by the years end, the thought of being with someone is not the scariest feeling in the world. I truly think you have to know yourself and love yourself before you can truly love someone else. I’m working on me for now.)