update

We baked last night. It was fun, but tiring. We made a few mistakes, which is always good for some laughs. We’re learning!

Anyway, remember when I wrote about this list?

I suppose it’s time to tell you what the whited-out secret item on the list is – it says “figure brownie recipe / sell brownies.” That was actually the beginning of Fanny & Jane!

I had an idea one night to bake and try to sell really yummy brownies. I was laying on the living room floor, dreading going to the desk job the next morning and I thought, “Okay, so if I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow, what would I do all day to still be productive? Well, after exercising and relaxing for a little while, I’d probably bake something!” And so the seed was planted. It’s obviously morphed into an entirely different animal since then – it’s now a partnership with a good friend. It’s also a full-fledged budding sweets company complete with an adorable logo (I’ll show you soon!), a substantial list of yummy sweets, a mission statement and requests to bake things for parties before we’re even open for business!

It’s almost too cliche to point out, but when I wrote that brownie item on my list, I could not have imagined it would turn into this, especially not in such a short period of time. It’s bringing me (and Faryn too!) a lot of happiness.

As much as I’m enjoying Fanny & Jane, and I am enjoying it so very much, it doesn’t make the other things I love any less important to me.

Anyone who’s been along for the ride with me since I started writing follow my bliss knows that I’ve been through a few different phases in trying to decide which bliss, to so speak, to actually follow.¬† There were the yoga teacher weeks and the nutritionist and fitness trainer weeks – I might have even talked briefly about opening up a small business in my neighborhood.

I’ve found myself wondering lately whether or not anyone who reads this blog ever thinks “Whatever happened to THAT stuff, lady?”

All that stuff is still a huge part of my life. I certainly don’t feel as thought I’m done searching, nor do I think I ever will be, for what makes me feel happy and fulfilled.

The list is still sitting on the mirror in my bedroom and I still actively reread at least twice a day. I knew when I wrote it that the things on the list that were most important to me would reveal themselves with time, as would the things that would ultimately fall to the wayside, making room for new things.

And that’s exactly what’s happened. So here’s a little update:

Shortly after I made that list I realized that my desire to “get more blog readers” exists because I want to write. I’ve always written. And I’ve always hoped that I would write for a living someday, in some way. I even surprised myself by slipping it into a recent daydream of my life a year from now (when we’re running Fanny & Jane full time). So writing bliss is a really fulfilling way to regularly flex that writers’ muscle. And I actually have been getting more blog readers lately! Welcome, everyone. ūüôā

I’m regularly contributing to my little savings account, which makes me feel really good. It’s practically pocket change right now and I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but I have to start somewhere. Not only am I able to put a little bit of cash away each month, but I’ve also come across a few instances when extra money has unexpectedly entered my life. I know those are Go signs, green lights, and I feel blessed by them.

I’d love to be a yoga teacher someday. It’s not logistically in the cards for me right now, but I still practice my yoga several times a week. I find a great deal of comfort, peace and strength in it. Some people gravitate toward the lifestyle and philosophy of religion or team sports or foodie culture or investment banking – I gravitate toward the lifestyle and philosophy of yoga. It’s just what’s true for me.

The vision board hasn’t been in my focus since I wrote the list. I still keep all the magazine clippings I made when I first decided to make a vision board and every once in a while I’ll leaf through a magazine with it in mind. Either I haven’t had the time, am not interested in the task, or I have some mental block about it, but for whatever reason, it’s only in my periphery right now. I think I’ll leave it on the list because I do want to continue to work on it.

Then there are the cerifications I wanted to research – I’ve considered becoming certified to be a nutrition consultant and/or fitness trainer. Interestingly, when I wrote the list that’s the item I was sure I would begin working toward first and with the most excitement. It seemed like such a brilliant idea. On paper. And it seemed like the perfect marriage of my desire to leave my desk job and do something that I love. On paper. But like I said, I knew the stuff on the list would shift around and re-prioritize itself. And it did.

I didn’t touch those certifications. I didn’t research them online, I didn’t find people to ask about the professions, I didn’t even really write much about fitness here. I did spend some time daydreaming about how I’d go about helping a heavy person become healthy – what advice I’d regularly give, how my approach would be similar to or different from other approaches. But for whatever reason – again, either lack of time, disinterest, or a mental block – I haven’t really worked toward this at all.

I still love to exercise and do so all the time. I still love to eat wisely, and to use portion control and quality control as my top two criteria for every meal. I guess the idea of spending more time and energy learning about those things doesn’t excite me anymore. After having been extremely heavy in my early 20’s, I changed my habits and I’ve now been an exerciser and healthy-eater for six and a half years. I’ve spent days upon days learning and practicing skills and methods to help me be a healthier person. In fact, my weight loss efforts probably were my truest bliss for a long time. It was a part time job, something I cared about deeply, and it took priority over almost everything else.

Now, it’s more naturally part of who I am. I don’t think about it as often as I once did, I don’t work hard on it as often as I once did. I’ve essentially maintained my 115 pound weight loss for 5 years. Maybe that’s why my interest in making a career out of it has waned for now – it doesn’t seem like a new challenge to me anymore.

If I’ve learned anything since I began writing this blog and more specifically, since Faryn and I started working on the sweets business, it’s that I actively seek out ways to be challenged. I’ve been relatively unconscious of it until recently, but it’s true. I like to set my goals slightly higher than I think I can achieve, just to see if maybe I can still reach them. When I look back at my life so far, it’s something I’ve always done. It means I’m occasionally met with disappointment, but it also means I’m occasionally met with an incredible sense of accomplishment and surprise.

I don’t mind being at the desk job quite as much lately. Don’t get me wrong, I know for certain that I can’t do it long term; it doesn’t make me feel happy or fulfilled and it can’t be good for my body. But right now, I welcome the time and space each day to sit quietly and focus on completing tasks.

How’s that for a nice, long, narcissistic update. ūüėČ

Anyway, until I do finally leave this desk job, I will happily make due with today’s circumstances. I am still discovering what my life will look like a year from now – aren’t we all?

Advertisements

laundry list

a list on my bedroom mirror

a list on my bedroom mirror

So.

When I was 21, my life was in a state of disrepair.

After spending most of my college career in a manner of depression, after gaining over 100 pounds in several years, after dropping out of college just before my senior year, after punching my then-boyfriend in the mouth, after subsequently being kicked out of the apartment I was sharing with friends, my life was an absolute disaster.

For all intents and purposes, I was an obese, homeless, jobless, college drop-out.

The details of it all are vast and the full¬†story tends to be long. So I’ll skip to the point.

After I got kicked out of that apartment, lost several friends, quit speaking to the boyfriend I’d punched and finally assessed my painful situation, I felt very lost. I cried constantly, hard. I have never cried so much in my whole life. The tears came every day for a long time. I was scared, alone, very overweight, and sad. It was as if I’d experienced the death of someone close to me –¬†I was definitely in mourning. It was my rock bottom.

I was a straight A’s and B’s student in high school. I enjoyed a position on the¬†high honor roll,¬†loved my friends, and was very invested in my various extra-curricular activities. But now I felt worlds away from all that, like I’d ruined everything.

It was summer time. Feeling badly that I didn’t have anywhere to stay,¬†a friend graciously let me crash on his living room floor for a few days. His apartment had a lot of roaches. And mice. And he kept the air conditioner in his bedroom. With the door closed. And it was hot. And the futon mattress was lumpy. And the roaches. Still, I was eternally grateful to him for his generosity.

Not to be clich√©, but I cried myself to sleep those first few nights after being kicked out. I was in so much emotional pain – I can’t even remember or access those feelings today. It might have been self-inflicted, but it¬†still hurt a lot. As I cried one night, I remember thinking, this is not going to accomplish anything. All the tears in the world are not going to change this situation. I still cried.

I woke up the next morning, not having been eaten alive by giant roaches, much to my genuine surprise. I remembered all the crying I’d done the night before. And I thought to myself, The things I have to do in order to change this situation for myself seem insurmountable. I can’t even type up a resume or lose 5 pounds. How am I supposed to reshape my entire way of being from the inside out?

But I also knew it just had to start somewhere. I decided it wasn’t¬†impossible to change myself.¬†It just wasn’t likely. But if I was going to even attempt to solve anything at all, I had to start somewhere. So I made a list. It said:

  • Lose weight
  • Get out of debt
  • Get a job
  • Get an apartment
  • Graduate college

A dauntingly tall order, for sure. I was absolutely terrified just looking at what I’d written, but¬†it was at least¬†a finite list. And what to do with a list but try to complete its tasks.

Fast forward to the present. Without being too ceremonious about the whole thing, I’m proud to say that I eventually crossed each one of those off my list. It took a good chunk of time and was not an easy process. Maybe we’ll talk more about that journey someday. For now, let’s leave it with my telling you that I spent five years in therapy, worked three, sometimes four jobs at once while going to school full time,¬†developed a close relationship with the gym, and I still count my Weight Watchers points to this day.

I have always been a list maker. It’s mostly because I have a pretty shoddy memory. As a kid, my mom would ask me to do a simple task, like pick my crap up off the stairs or put away the dishes. And I wouldn’t do it. And she’d come back into the TV room (where I was likely torturing the cat, drawing, or obsessively and uselessly copying down 1-800 numbers from TV commercials – you know, just in case), demanding to know why¬†I hadn’t done this ONE SIMPLE THING SHE ASKED ME TO DO. I always felt awful about not having done it. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to help her out, or because I wanted to be defiant. It was usually just¬†because I’d genuinely forgotten that she’d even asked. I got in trouble a lot as a kid, at home, at school, on a count of my forgetfulness.

So now I make lists. Otherwise I will probably forget. I will busy thinking about other stuff or daydreaming and I will probably forget. So I make lists. I write them and rewrite them as things get accomplished or as my priorities change. At any given moment, I’m mostly likely keeping four to six¬†active lists.

I keep a “day to day” list of stuff I need to do – pay bills, send thank you notes, etc. I keep a broader “if and when I have time” list¬†– buy new running shoes, check my credit score¬†online (again). I keep a larger “ideally, someday” list – buy glass storage containers for the kitchen, volunteer, visit my grandparents. I keep a list that says where I’ve¬†allotted¬†the money that’s currently in¬†my checking account. And another list of what I might do with extra money, should it find its way into my life – savings, credit card payment, travel. And, like any good used-to-be-fat girl, I always keep a list of what I’ve eaten in a day.

Wow, it sounds crazy when I write it all out like that. It’s not. By the way, they don’t have names, these lists. I just made up those titles right now. Jeez.

Okay, so maybe it is a little crazy. But it’s obviously a structure under which I thrive. I mean, I lost 115 pounds and got myself out a huge messy mess of an early twenti-hood. All with my little lists. (And a good therapist.)

This has been the winding-scenic-route¬†way¬†of telling you¬†that my¬†journey to leave my desk job is, naturally, powered by my lists. It’s how I do.

Of course, there’s the list that started it all. And there have been several iterations of that list since then. I’ve gotten a little bit more specific in some instances, making big picture lists – an idea for a book I could write, a shop I could open, a service I could provide. And I’ve gotten more realistic in some instances, listing jobs I could stand to have if I need a transition gig after I leave the desk job. Last month, I made a list of things I want, like new running shoes, a cast iron skillet, an extended winter break in a warm climate, and a job I enjoy.

This month, I made a more detailed list, informed by some recent discoveries. It’s the list I’m currently working off of in order to help me leave the desk job. It will change and morph as I go – through the very nature of having the list at all, I’ll learn which of its items are key and which aren’t as important as I thought. It reads:

  • get more blog readers (aww…)
  • save money! – create an account specifically for job escape
  • ******* ******* ****** (this one’s a secret!)
  • research fitness and nutrition certifications
  • take more yoga classes
  • finish my ‘vision board’ (yup. i’m doin it.)

I originally wrote the list in my notebook, but I also drew up a larger copy¬†and stuck it in the corner of the mirror in my bedroom. Osmosis or whatever. We’ll see!

it’s simple

It’s a beautiful 60 degrees in New York today. I’m wearing a bright yellow shirt to celebrate. I’m also planning to go for a long run in Central Park on my lunch break. I have to take Friday off work this week to shoot a little TV show segment, but if that weren’t the case, I would have called in sick today. “Cough, cough. I have a terrible migraine. Cough. I think I should¬†bask in the sun to cure it.”

This week’s growing daydream¬†is to get my certification in personal training. A personal trainer certification is a¬†pre-requisite to getting a certification in something else that I’m more interested in; apparently I can become certified as a “lifestyle and weight management consultant.” !! I’ve been doing some googling and I happened up on this the other night.

Theoretically, this is precisely what I’ve been leaning toward – helping people who struggle with their weight to become healthier and more fit. In fact, back in December, my very first daydream about finally leaving my desk job career was¬†along these lines.

Here’s the thing: My interest in learning more about nutrition is not only personal, but also so I can have more expertise to advise people who want to lose weight. My daydream about being a yoga teacher¬†includes encouraging heavy people to get involved in the practice as a way to develop a¬†more meaningful conversation with and relationship to¬†their bodies. My interest in fitness training is mostly so I can have more information to help overweight people get fit.

It’s also an area in which I consider myself an amateur expert. If I’ve done anything over the last six years,¬†it’s hone¬†the skill of living a healthy, active lifestyle. And it really is a learned skill, especially for a person who has always struggled with their weight. I’ve lost 115 pounds and kept the weight off for a long time. I exercise 4-6 times a week and have done so for years, constantly adapting my routine as I learn more about the human body and listen to my own body. I have been a walker, a runner, I have maintained a resistance training program using machines or free weights, I have¬†regularly practiced pilates, and more recently, yoga. I have gone from being a fast food binge-eater without any impulse control to being¬†an organic-loving health food nut, and I made a pitstop at most of the gradients in between those two extremes. Not to toot my own horn (too late),¬†but my¬†point¬†is that it’s something about which I know a great deal. And I fully understand what it’s like to be standing at the beginning of the weight loss journey, wondering how you’ll ever make it across the water.

I’ve heard it said that a great way to create what you want is to imagine, over and over, what you want being true. So I’ve been trying to imagine exactly what it is that I want, so as not to throw off the universe with a half-definition. I want to make my own flexible schedule. I want to have more time to myself. I want to be regularly active and have the option to go outside during the day. I don’t want to be told what do to. And I want to feel more fulfilled by how I’m earning my living. So to fit that bill, I really have been imagining a lifestyle where I’m working closely with my own personal clients to help them achieve their healthy-lifestyle goals. There are other ways to achieve these desires of mine, sure, but working with overweight people is something I’m very much drawn to.

So, I’m excited that I happened upon this particular certificate program. I didn’t know something like this existed. It’s not going to be an insta-career, but it’s a start.

I still have plenty of research to do – I want to find out more about what other programs like this exist, more about which certificate-endowing organizations are most respected in these fields, and more about the actual experience of studying for and taking the exams. (If anyone has any related thoughts or advice, please let me know!) Once I have that information, my¬†daydream is to enroll in the program, get the pre-requisite certificate in personal training, and then get a certificate in both nutrition and in¬†weight management. It probably won’t be until I’m out of this desk¬†job that I can go through the yoga teacher training process, but I plan to do¬†that eventually too.

I have no concrete¬†idea about how those things will play together once I’m certified in all of them, nor do I know where an actual paycheck will eventually come from.¬†But I do have some ideas – some realistic, some grand – and more will come as I move through these open doors, I’m certain.

The best part is that, unlike the yoga teacher training,¬†studying for¬†and¬†acing these certificate exams is something I know I can do while I’m still working at this desk job. It will be a big undertaking and might be more than I can chew, but my understanding is that you can prepare for the exams for as long as you’d like. Once you’re ready to sit for them, only then do you schedule your test day. And the test days happen all the time.

This is a way to spend my limbo time, the time I’m still committed to the desk job world, that will be productive and helpful to me once I leave here. It will only help advance my purpose.

I continue to remind myself of a kind of¬†mantra I adopted when I first began this quest: It’s Simple. That’s the mantra. It’s Simple. I realized this while taking a yoga class on the beach with my mom and my aunt in Florida over winter break. I remember finding myself so jealous of the yoga teacher’s lifestyle, spending her days on the beach, teaching yoga in the sunshine. And then I realized that I had it all wrong;¬†what she does is¬†not¬†hard, it’s not out of reach. It’s really rather simple.¬†This woman, teaching yoga on the beach, probably didn’t do anything spectacular or impossible to have this life. She simply reached for it; she likely endured some roadblocks along the way, but¬†she ultimately ended up¬†doing something she loves.

Living the life I want and spending my time doing what I love is a luxury experienced by millions before me and millions after me. They are no more or less intelligent than I, they are no more or less capable, they are not better or more ill-prepared, they are no more or less deserving. So. I remind myself: It’s Simple.

Only when I decide it’s hard is when it becomes hard.

found in cobble hill

Kevin (the boyfriend) and I spent an unexpectedly great day in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn today.¬† We’d gone to the neighborhood to help our friends Shelly and Ptolemy shoot a short video, but once we arrived, it turned out they didn’t need us for a while. So we ended up spending a few sunshine-filled hours of our Sunday afternoon wandering up and down Smith Street, an area where neither one of us have ever spent much time. I didn’t mind having to pass the time at all, in fact I was grateful for it. The last few weeks have been hectic and we both needed the free time.

The weather was a god send. 45-50 degrees, sunny, blue skies – I was in heaven. The freezing temps lately have just chilled me (and everyone, I’m sure) to the bone. This is my absolute least favorite time of year, so a warm, sunny day was such welcome relief.

This area of Brooklyn is adorable and a dream come true for someone looking to follow their bliss. Every other store front is clearly someone’s unique home grown project, someone’s passion, someone’s idea turned into reality.

There were even a few store fronts that weren’t stores at all, but community art or culture projects. There was also a little store that was actually a salsa dancing studio! People inside were dancing and laughing, enjoying the sun streaming in the window.

After spending a good thirty minutes sitting on a bench soaking up some of the Vitamin D we’ve both been lacking lately, and then walking up and down the street checking out the little shops, we found a fresh juice cafe and had some lunch.

We both ordered veggie juices, in addition to our sandwiches. Neither one of us had ever tried a fresh veggie juice before. I loved mine. It was kale, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon and spinach. Kevin’s was good too. It had a lot more ginger than he wanted, but he still liked it. We both felt so energized and healthy after finishing our juices. I’d love to try to have them more often – maybe make them at home…

We sat at the front of the cafe by the window, in the sun of course, and chatted and laughed. It was great.

It was so inspiring to see not only so many different kinds of shops and restaurants, each one more carefully tended to than the next, but also to see people so enjoying their community and giving back to it. There was an obvious awareness toward the environment and living organically. And just walking down these particular blocks made me feel like it would be incredibly simple to start a small business in a neighborhood like this. (I’m sure it’s a lot harder than it looks.) I felt inspired and very much at home.

After lunch, we walked a bit more and happened upon a place that made me gasp out loud when we walked inside.  The Nut Box.

I just loved this place. It was exactly what the name implies – a tiny little box-shaped store, stocked with every kind of imaginable nut, legume, dried fruit, and mixture or chocolate-covered version thereof. Hundreds and hundreds of little packages of nuts. I, for one, am a huge fan of dried fruit and nuts, so it was really fun for me.

The best part, though, was that I was really impressed by the idea itself. What a simple, easy, smart product to sell. They have a whole online business too. And of course the place was swarming with people. With tons of all natural and organic options, there was something for everyone. I loved it.

I’d wanted to ask a dozen different people about their jobs, their shops, their lives in this neighborhood, or their lives as small business owners or employees. I couldn’t do it, though. It felt a little silly today for some reason, but I was also enjoying the day off and the time with Kev. Snapping a few photos was plenty of “bliss-following” for the day. ūüėČ

I did manage to pick up a couple cards from some of the stores we saw. Who knows, maybe I’ll need a part-time job with flexible hours someday soon. If I decide to go back to school for nutrition (the daydream of the last 24 hours), or teach yoga full time once I’m certified, I’d love to work at a little place like this to help supplement income.

I also found a brochure for a place called The Fitness Collective. I believe this is a personal training studio. It’s not a gym, but a studio where people go to work with trainers one on one in a private, relaxed atmosphere. I just recently learned that these places exist and that they are great employment options for fitness trainers, since most studios like this don’t require them to meet a quota or recruit clients the way the big gyms require their trainers to do. So I grabbed the brochure – something to keep in mind if I decide to pursue certification to be a fitness trainer, another one of the dozen daydream jobs that run through my head these days.

We eventually got the call to go back to the video shoot and do what we came to Cobble Hill to do, which was also a fun, easy, relaxed time.

Today was a lovely, romantic, impromptu Sunday. It was also a big testament to what different experiences I might have if I keep my intention to find my dream job in mind as I take in the world around me. It seemed like the whole neighborhood was screaming out to me, “It’s possible! Do what you love! The rest will come!” I felt so encouraged about my own career aspirations as I saw all these people living their dreams. I even overheard a woman in one of the stores, a place called Home & Haven (the brown card in the photo above), say to her friend that even though she was feeling under the weather, “it still beats working in an office.” Ha. I decided that she’d followed her dream of owning her own home decor shop to get to this place. I might be wrong, but I’m going to pretend I’m right.

i got way too excited about this:

Check this out! This girl, Kelly, hated her desk job, so she left it to become a personal trainer! And she writes a blog about it. How about that?

I found out about her through one of my very favorite blogs, Kath Eats Real Food. Kath writes a great blog about¬†eating “real food,” exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle. She and her husband are both amazing cooks, making so much of what they eat from scratch. She takes really lovely photos of every single solitary thing she puts into her mouth and blogs¬†about each meal. She also writes about her daily exercise and her¬†life as a full-time student, studying to be a dietitian. I love to read her, she’s an inspiration. AND her husband had a desk job that he didn’t like, but he did have a love for cooking and baking bread; so now he bakes in the bakery at their local¬†Earth Fare¬†store! Apparently he adores his new job.

I just love to hear stuff like that.

It’s people like Kelly, the personal trainer, and Kath and her husband by whom I am so encouraged¬†on this journey. Because, sure, tons of people have desk jobs and tons of those people don’t care for their desk jobs. But to automatically assume that you’re just trapped in a particular lifestyle forever is so limiting. Regular people make big changes for themselves all the time. You don’t have to be a genius, you don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be lucky. If you don’t like your job, YOU DON’T HAVE TO KEEP DOING IT. You don’t!! You just don’t.

Now, I realize that our current economic climate makes this a somewhat controversial time to be complaining about one’s job. To have a job¬†at all right now¬†is certainly a blessing. I remind myself of that daily. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t dream¬†and plan for something more. No one should be unhappy if they have the tools and opportunities to change their circumstances. Not everyone has those tools and opportunities,¬†but I do. And it would be a huge mistake not to take advantage of them just because it seems like it might be hard.

today at the gym

At the gym on the ol’ lunch break. Those are some ratty lookin gym shoes, huh?

I realized today that I do a certain subconscious thing every time I walk into the gym. I take a big deep inhale and let out a nice relaxing exhale as I round the corner into the locker room.

Maybe it’s that the¬†idea of being with the peace and quiet of my body for the next hour is relaxing to me, and a sense of calm washes over me habitually.¬†OR maybe I’m¬†purposefully trying to let go of my day, breathe out some toxins, and center myself before my workout. Either way, chicken or egg, I noticed that I do it for the first time today. And I’m glad I do it. I like it.

Lately, I watch all the fitness trainers at the gym, wondering if I would like to do their job, if they enjoy the work, if they set out to do this on purpose or just ended up here. One of the trainers approached me last week while I was doing some stuff in one of the mat sections. She was very sweet and she asked me if I wanted to receive a phone call from her later about a new dance class she’s putting together. I’m usually short and detached when approached at the gym, but I decided to be really nice to her, smile, and write my name on her list. Why not, I thought. I could be in her position someday. And maybe the class will be really fun or a good opportunity for meeting like-minded fitness people.

Anything to open the next door and the next one…

daydream job

In mid December, inspired by exactly what I can’t remember, I made a list.

It was a Saturday. I’d gone for a run in Prospect Park earlier that day. We live two blocks from one of its entrances. It was surprisingly warm out for December and I felt so incredibly alive as¬†I ran. I thought about my desk job and why I don’t like it, why I feel trapped there, why I undergo such a spiritual shift every Monday morning between 9 and 10 am.

As I ran I thought, I don’t care what else I do. I just can’t sit at that desk anymore. It hurts my body. I ran and ran and gazed around at the trees, the green-ness, the people running, biking, and tossing footballs. I thought, I just need to be active during the day. Whatever that means.

And then, in a divine moment of inspiration, I decided¬†I should embark on a career to help heavy people get thin. I used to weigh 115 pounds more than I do today.¬†And I’ve spent the last six years exercising, learning about exercise, honing my ability to avoid overeating, and talking to myself and other people about¬†that whole psychological enchilada. If I’m nearing an expertise on anything, it’s that. This is perfect, I thought. I will take on clients, one at a time, and work with them, walk with them, take long long walks with them, and talk to them about their eating habits, their relationship to exercise, how they feel about being heavy, and most importantly, what they’re happy about, sad about, what they love and wish for. I spent the rest of that run daydreaming about becoming a Weight Loss Coach for Heavy People.

Easier said than done, of course. And I don’t know if I’ll end up doing exactly that or not. But a small door opened in my brain that day. I came home after the workout, my body and brain buzzing from endorphins of all kinds, and I immediately made a list. It didn’t have a title, but I knew that it was meant to be a list of daydream jobs – ways I could imagine happily spending my time, things I would be capable of working toward (with the right mix of schooling and opportunity of course), careers that didn’t involve sitting at a desk answering phones all day. List-making and list-conquering has always been a strong suit of mine, so it was a natural progression. Some of the things on the daydream jobs list surprised me, some of them didn’t. It said:

yoga teacher
kids piano teacher
weight loss coach for heavy people
animals related
helping old people
helping kids
traveling related
exercise related
fitness trainer
writer
improviser
comedian
tv show writer
baker
recycling related

Cool, right? Who knew I could imagine being a baker? Or a kids piano teacher?! I haven’t played the piano in ten years.

I guess that run in mid-December where I realized something else was possible was arguably the beginning of this journey. Whatever it ends up being, I just can’t sit at the damn desk anymore, you know? You know. You’re probably already sick of hearing me say it.