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Most of my growth occurs during times when my life is pretty unbearable. I find weakness of character revolting. When life gives me lemons, I don’t make lemonade. I find other lemons to spite the original lemons, and I make lemon meringue pie and tell the other lemons to kick rocks.

If there is one thing that propels me forward, it’s the negatives.

There are a number of ways to handle the negative circumstances in your life, and the only way I’ve ever handled them has been to fight back what brought me down. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I never sat around and cried because I felt like my life was in shambles (and it absolutely was at the time), but it didn’t last longer than that night.

The next day, I’d be up trying to figure out how to screw over whatever screwed me over to begin with. How could I avenge my own sadness? How could I make it rue the day I was put down?

It takes longer than a day, and it’s not a quick fix.

I had to be better than I was before. The old me may have gotten stuck in this circumstance, but the new me wouldn’t.

I never realized that this is what drove my actions, but I realize it now. Everything had to change. I pride myself on not ever changing, but the truth is: I am constantly changing. My fundamentals remain: I’m ambitious, determined, goal-oriented, yada yada

Everything else has to be calibrated, though—and regularly.

Last summer, I started doing the 21 Day Fix. My coworker suggested it, so Kevin and I started it. I was skinny fat. You know, when you eat decently, but you cheat sometimes, and you have zero muscle tone. Totally out of shape, but looking average.

I started in May and I didn’t stop until October. Obviously that was more than 21 days. My mom joined me in July and kept at it until October, as well. Yes, my mom who was totally out of shape did it with me. She also grew to like it. Every single day.

I haven’t done any workouts since October. It’s safe to say my muscle tone is diminished, and I am a blob. I’m muscle-less and tone-less, and weak. I can barely do the warm-up without wanting to quit.

I started Day 1 today: Total Body Cardio. It was rough. There were moments in the workout where I stopped to catch my breath. I finished it, though. I didn’t finish it because I’m in shape. I didn’t finish it because I’m skinny. I didn’t finish it for any reason except my own motivation. I wanted to get back to where I was in October. It was incredibly hard. My legs feel like jelly and I can hardly lift my arms. I’ll definitely feel the burn tomorrow.

Here’s the thing, though: I feel good. The 30 minutes are over. The sweating is done. The overheating is gone. All that’s left is me. I could have quit during the first five minutes. I could have said, “I can’t do this. Who cares what I look like or how healthy I am?” I easily could have thrown in the towel.

Autumn, the woman who does the fix, says that strength doesn’t come from what you can do; it comes from doing what you thought you couldn’t do. I wasn’t able to do some of the exercises with an 8lbs weight. I had to use the 3.5lbs. I didn’t make that an excuse to just quit. I actually rolled my ankle during the second exercise.

I didn’t quit.

My ankle is fine, and I took my time during that exercise the second time.


I’ll update once my 21 days are up. Maybe in between.