Author Archives: Nicole Evans

About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the "un" removed from that statement. With six books under her belt and more on the way, she loves to write about destined heroes who fail anyway, twisting classic tropes on their heads, animals who feel more like people and, hopefully, about characters and worlds for you to have an opinion about. She really can't wait for you to read these stories.  Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters' she's killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works as an evening librarian assistant.

My Greatest Fear

You’d think it’d be something really dramatic. I mean, my greatest fear, my ultimate fear, the one that if I think about too much head on, it induces the closest thing to a panic attack that I’ve ever experienced, is death. Just the idea that I’m not certain, despite my faith, of what happens after and possibility that one day, everything I could know would just go black and that’s the end of that…fucking terrifies me. So that’s my greatest fear, but that’s not the focus of this post. It’s like how, when someone asks you what your favorite book is (ignoring the fact that I can never truly pick one), I’ll usually list off a couple, but I always make the caveat of, “But after Tolkien, because he’s on a totally different level.” Death is a different level as far as fears go.

But my greatest every day fear?

It’s getting in trouble.

Sounds so pathetic, when I write it out like that, yeah? And I didn’t really realize it, not fully. Like, I always knew how much I hated getting in trouble, but I never truly realized that I feared it, quite truly. I’m not even sure where that fear comes from. I mean, I’ve always been that goodie-twoshoes type, right? That stereotypical “good kid” who was a worry wart and cared too much about what everyone else thought and focused more on getting straight A’s than anything else. Growing up, I got grounded a couple of times, but nothing super major; nothing to warrant this kind of true fear I have with getting in trouble. Yet it’s definitely there, from not speaking my true opinion because I don’t want to upset someone or doing (/avoiding) something because I don’t want to get trouble, it’s constantly surrounding me and affecting my decisions/choices.

the sandlot GIF

Hell, even the other day, I said something to my boyfriend and he turned around and asked, “Why are you always so scared I’m going to be mad at you?” And he was right to question that, because he’s never done anything to make me worry and believe that something I choose to do or something I say is going to upset him. Yet I’m always nervous that something will. Same thing with my friends or my family, to the point where I get nervous tightenings in my stomach when I have to tell a friend I can’t make it to an event they want me to be at or I’m running late, because I’m so worried they are going to be upset with me.

Perhaps it’s just not the fear of getting in trouble, but the fear of disappointing others, too. A nice, lovely combo, that.

Where does this fear come from? What’s my source?

I wish I knew. I wish I could tell you, because perhaps if I could figure out how this switched from just your general uncomfortable feeling you get when someone is upset with you to a genuine fear of it happening, perhaps I could do a better job managing it. But I’m truly not sure. And that’s…well, that’s about all I have for this post, honestly. Just some ramblings over another realization I’ve had about myself and how my brain works.

Sorta.

Cheers.

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Quest for Discovery: Week Twenty Nine

Hello, friends!

First off, I have to say thank you to everyone who reached out after last week’s Quest for Discovery post and wished me luck on trying to get back on track, goal wise, wishing me a productive week. That meant more than I think people realize.

Especially as I filled out this week’s reflections and noticed that I did even worse, as far as goals went.

Part of it was due to laziness. Part of it was due to a spike in workload at my day job that I completely and totally didn’t expect. Part of it is also tied into busy weekends and trying to frantically finish packing as I prep to move in with my boyfriend by August 1st. As you can see below, editing was pretty much non-existent, as well as working out and reading–three of the most important things to me. I’m tentatively hopeful that might prove better this week, but with an altered schedule thanks to emergency coverage and a ton of interviews to complete for our student position openings, I may not be productive like I want to be, still.

But that’s okay, because that’s life, friends. And goals will always be there.

PB4Writing 
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Last Week’s Goal: Edit 5x.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. So, ironic story (I think), but pretty much the entire time I was on a writing break, I had plenty of time to write. The week I decide to start, my “day job” life explodes and I barely got through 20 pages–and those 20 pages weren’t even very focused. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to calm down at all this week, so…

Weekly Goal: Edit if I can. But don’t beat myself up if I can’t.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Last Week’s Goal: Read every day. Write review.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. Thanks to the business of last week, I hardly read at all…again. Which sucks, because now I’m going to be behind on ARCs for July and August…again. Obviously I got some re-balancing to do as I try to figure this out once more.

Weekly Goal: Read every day. Write review.

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Last Week’s Goal: Workout 5x. Log food. Improve mental fitness.

Status: Negative, Commander. This was just pure laziness. I did run once and then walk once, thanks to a messed up back, but the next few days, I was just purely lazy and unmotivated. And my body is really feeling it and I don’t like it. I did still continue to log my food, though, however, so I’m pretty stoked about that one.

Weekly Goal: Workout 5x. Log food. Improve mental fitness.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal:

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I forgot to put a goal on here again. How do I keep doing that?

Weekly Goal: Get back to being frugal.

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Last Week’s Goal: Just do it.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I FINALLY STARTED IT. And I’m actually really enjoying this devotional so far, though I also feel kinda weird doing it, because I’m not really sure how to “properly” do it? So I’m trying to let that feeling go so I can just focus on trying to reconnect with God.

Weekly Goal: Devotional 5x.

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Last Week’s Goal: Stay productive and actually go to the pool this week!

  • Status: Negative, Commander. Monday was definitely productive, but the rest of the week slowly teetered off to not being the most productive…and then I only went to the pool once or twice.

Weekly Goal: Smile every day.

PB4

My To-Do list this week is even bigger than the one last week and I’m starting to get that feeling of anxiety bubbling up in my chest as I start to get stressed out on all the things I haven’t accomplished yet and all the things I’m falling behind on. Yet I’m also just trying to remember to breathe, slow down and focus on completing one thing at a time. I also am going to go on a run when I get home and clear my head, so hopefully, that’ll help. Otherwise, just focusing on smiling every day and enjoying life, no matter how productive I am.

Cheers.


Quest for Discovery: Week Twenty Eight

Hello, friends!

It turned out to not be the best week last week, as far as goals went. I hardly read, definitely didn’t work out or log my food, still haven’t started the devotional I got weeks ago…

And yet, last week was really awesome. I saw family I never get to see and watched my Dad and boyfriend bound by, as my boyfriend puts it, “celebrating America by blowing a piece of it up (via fireworks)”. I went on a trip down nostalgia lane with my best friend as we went to the last ever Warped Tour. I got to spend a day with my sister celebrating her birthday, spending some 1-1 time that we almost never get. And I got to see my lovely and amazing boyfriend and his family while he celebrated his Dad’s birthday.

It’s a nice reminder that just because you’re not as productive or accomplished as I wanted to be, doesn’t mean the time you spent was entirely wasted.

PB4Writing 
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Last Week’s Goal: Try not to panic flail realizing this is the last week of my break and next Monday, the editing game begins.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. There is only one appropriate response to the fact that editing will begin AFTER I FINISH THIS POST. And that response, friends, is this GIF:

Image result for theoden so it begins gif

Weekly Goal: Edit 5x.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Last Week’s Goal: Read every day. Write review.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. Even though I was so excited to see some extended family during the 4th of July, it was all I could think about, I also somehow kept forgetting that the holiday was going to mess up my productivity all last week, so I hardly got anything done that I wanted to. Reading was definitely on that list…

Weekly Goal: Read every day. Write review.

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Last Week’s Goal: Workout 4x. Log food. Continue finding resources of how to improve mental fitness.

Status: Negative, Commander. ^^ Read above explanation as to why I only ran once last week and didn’t log my food at all. But, already done both of those things today and I feel like this week will be a good one, because I want more days like today: productive, positive and overall just feeling lovely.

Weekly Goal: Workout 5x. Log food. Improve mental fitness.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal: Put money in savings and get back into the habit of checking my budgeting app regularly. Finish up moving prep.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I am checking my budgeting app more regularly again! Which feels good, so I know exactly what I’m doing with my money when.

Weekly Goal:

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Last Week’s Goal: Add my devotional onto my To-Do list. Actually start it.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. So, I got one step closer: I added it to my To-Do list. But then I proceeded to forget my devotional at home every time I had a chance to read it for the entire week. *sigh* Baby steps, I guess?

Weekly Goal: Just do it.

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Last Week’s Goal: Enjoy seeing family and friends I normally don’t get to see on the 4th! Plus, last Warped Tour and birthday shenanigans celebrating my sister this weekend.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. Despite hardly completing any of my goals, last week was a pretty stellar week.

Weekly Goal: Stay productive and actually go to the pool this week!

PB4

It feels nice to start the week off right. I got to sleep in an extra hour, since the pool doesn’t open until noon on Mondays (meaning that I don’t get to go, since it’s too close to when I have to go to work). Then I ran, came home and cooked dinner, showered, ate lunch while reading a book, before getting to work and getting started on crossing items off of my To-Do List. I really love productive days like that and it’s all because I started the morning off right, hitting the trail.

Now if only I could remember this feeling every morning when I wake up…

Cheers.


Thoughts Stained Turns Six!

Though this blog continues to grow and evolve and change and get older, one thing has consistently never changed:

I never remember this anniversary and every year, I want to do a really fun, detailed post, with stats and graphics and highlights of successful posts and challenges and all those really cool, beautiful things I’ve seen other bloggers do on their anniversaries.

And every year, I miss it until the day of, so I’m scrambling to put together anything at all..

(Thank goodness for that WordPress notification.)

So, today, Thoughts Stained With Ink turns six years old!

balloon GIF

I’m pretty jazzed about that. I never knew how much this blog would grow and how important it would become to me over the years. It’s not just a way to connect with people–and I have connected with a ton, from other bloggers who I’ve come to admire and become friends with, to finding the writing group that literally stretches across the globe who mean so much to me and I can’t imagine my life without them. And then there are the readers, who will like my post and let me know they are present; who leave comments and let me know what resonates with them, what thoughts my post inspired or inflicted. That anyone takes the time to read these ramblings is more humbling and awing than anyone knows, I think.

And while those readers and connections mean the world to me, helping this blog surpass any vision I could possibly ever have for it, this blog has always been and always will be, most importantly, my outlet; something personal, for me. This blog, this space, is where I go to vent, to process, to express emotion, to grow, to be vulnerable, to teach. It’s the place where I can be me, be the most candid, the most real version of myself; partly because I’m able to hide behind a keyboard as I write, so there is a safety net built in there, of course. But also because I’ve been welcomed by such a warming, welcoming and wonderful community of bloggers who truly feel like friends and who, through likes and comments and interaction and friendship, make my voice not only feel heard in my tiny little corner of the internet, but also make it feel valued.

That means more than I think I can ever express.

Six years is not a small number in the blogging community, I believe, but I have no plans on stopping any time soon. I’m not sure how this blog will continue to evolve and change. I know I have goals to try and learn more about how to work with layouts and graphics with WordPress. I love how beautiful some of the blogs I follow are and I wouldn’t mind amping Thoughts Stained up to that level (and fully admit I’m jealous of those blogs and bloggers who have those capabilities). I’ve also imagined trying to go ahead and create my author brand through this blog, but I’m not sure how I want to do that, quite yet. But with how excited I am about some of these projects I’m working on, I’m hoping I’ll have need of that brand and marketing sooner rather than later. 🙂

Though uncertain what the future will truly look like for this blog, this blog definitely isn’t going anywhere. My blogging output has reached the level where it feels like I’ve taken on an additional job, considering I also run two other blogs: my book review blog, Erlebnisse, and my short story collaborative blog, Muse in Pocket, Pen in Hand, both which I love and will continue to be passionate about. But Thoughts Stained will always be my “main blog,” my first passion, and it will always be important to me, even if I don’t always have the time I want to truly dedicate to it and reach the vision I’d love to achieve.

Doesn’t mean I can’t try to reach it, though.

So thank you for the past six years, fam. It’s been a true honor to be a part of such a warm community. I hope to continue to grow my presence here and continue interacting with all of you, while also finding new bloggers to connect with and support!

I will leave you with links to some of my favorite posts from the past year, so I have some semblance of having my act together:

On Writing:

On Life:

And More:

Thanks again and here’s to another half a dozen years!

Cheers.


Drive, and the Perception and Comparison Surrounding It

I’m not 100% sure where this post is going to go, only that I know I want to write it; mostly to get my own thoughts down and just…respond, really. So apologies in advance if this post doesn’t make a lick of sense.

I spent the afternoon the other day with my Mom, eating lunch before going to my apartment’s pool and swimming for a couple of hours. It was a positively lovely afternoon and I’m itching to do that again with her. While we were catching up, I can’t remember exactly what we were talking about (I believe it was working out or something to that affect) and eventually, she made an offhanded comment, saying, “You must be a pain to live with.”

Not menacing, not harmful or even mean. She was laughing as she said it and I wasn’t hurt at all. I’m still not. Basically, that comment was referencing the fact that, I am so goal driven and so To-Do list oriented that, if I want to accomplish something, I usually do it. Especially in the last two years or so, when I started actively seeking out steps and making progress on all the goals I created over the aspects in my life I wanted to achieve something in: health, working out, eating better, blogging, writing, reading, learning Spanish, budgeting money, etc. I mean, sure, I have lazy days or weeks when I don’t accomplish as much as I wanted to or even fall flat on my face in “failure,” but I’ve developed a routine and a system to where, usually, I’m able to achieve what I’d like to.

My Mom’s comment was basically saying how it must be difficult for others to be around me because of this mentality and drive, because it’s not common.

Usa Network Burton Guster GIF by Psych

I mean, this is a lot more common of how someone might spent their time when they aren’t at work, instead of trying to fit in the latest workout or writing session. And you know what? Either one is totally okay.

So it was both an observation and a compliment twisted into one comment.

Yet it was also eye opening for me?

You see, I’m pretty transparent on this blog. Through posts like my Quest for Discovery Series, where I write about my weekly goal progress, to most of the posts in my “Random Musing” category, I talk about these successes, sure, but more often than not, I talk about the struggle: the guilt trip I cause myself when I don’t achieve what I want, the desire to be lazy mashed with the desire to keep up this insane drive, the stress when life gets in the way and suddenly the best laid plans are just another line in the slipped up chapter. I have a very intense drive and strong willpower, sure. But it does take work to maintain and I’m not perfect at doing so.

Yet, to others, to strangers, even to the people closest to me, it may seem like I’m perfect. Or I have my shit together. Or that I’m always doing things or achieving things that they don’t.

It’s both true and it isn’t.

And thus, the complications.

Usa Network Thumbs Up GIF by Psych

Because when aren’t there complications?

I pondered over this comment for a while, after my Mom left. To the point where I asked my boyfriend, who I probably spent the most time with regularly, how my drive makes him feel. Proud, for sure, but also a little guilty, because he doesn’t always chase after the goals he wants, yet here I am doing so daily. Which, in turn, didn’t make me feel great. Yet I don’t want him to feel like he has suddenly start doing all these extra activities he’s not interested in doing simply to “keep up” with me, just like I know he doesn’t want me to stop chasing my dreams and goals just so he doesn’t feel guilty for not sharing the same drive each day. Because I don’t want to stop the way I live. Honestly, I can’t. I won’t achieve what I want to if I don’t put in this work. It’s too important to me to give up on it, especially since I’m not always going to have that consistency I strive for and other people might see, thanks to what I share on social media or how they perceive my life (transparency aside, even).

Which, I guess, brings me to the conclusion of all these jumbled thoughts. Perception and comparison aren’t always your friend. It all depends how you use them. For someone to look at me and be like, “Wow, her drive is incredible. I wish I had that. What can I learn from her in order to create my own version of that success?” That’s a good use of it, I think. Potentially. Saying, “Wow, her drive is incredible. I must be a shit human being because I don’t share the same drive naturally and I don’t want to change to mimic it,” is not okay, productive or healthy. Because someone who is super driven, like me, isn’t any better than someone who doesn’t overload themselves with extra work, lots of goals and too many commitments (like me), who instead goes to work or school and then comes home and watches TV until they get up and do it over again. That isn’t lazy. It’s a lifestyle choice. Both lifestyles have value. Both lifestyles are important to those who live them and they should be able to live the one they want without feeling lesser when they compare themselves to how others live. Comparison can be motivational and inspiring, but it can also be toxic and a waste of time. Don’t fall into the trap of the latter.

Perception is the same kind of demon. Someone could totally look at me, a girl who has develop skills so that I usually hit my writing goal for the day (so I can write a first draft of a novel in two-three months) and runs on average four times a week; look at me and be like, “Whoa, she totally has her shit together and I can’t believe that comes naturally to her.” They look and don’t realize the work that it has taken for me to reach this point. How I’ve battled for 20+ years before I finally formed habits and found tricks that clicked for me. They don’t realize that, while I may look successful, in that light, I’m over here, finding myself lesser, because I see authors posting about writing 2,000 a day and that’s considered their off day (which, to me, is a peak performance). Or scrolling through Instagram and seeing posts of strong women achieving their weight loss goals and still staring at the scale, wondering why I haven’t dropped a pound in months. Despite what others see, I still find ways to see myself as lesser, jealous of what others can accomplish and wondering what I’m doing wrong.

Hard stop, here.

Usa Network Television GIF by Psych

Because honestly, you should never be ashamed about eating. Especially when eating involves nachos.

I think, what I’m trying to get at with this mammoth of a post, is that every journey is different and every vision of success, of happiness, of life, is different. As it should be. Comparison and perception are not always our friends and just because someone seems to have their shit together, doesn’t mean they always do or that it’s easy to do. Or just because someone seems like their life is chaotic, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a bad thing; not to them, at any rate. Just because you aren’t where someone else is, doesn’t mean where you are has any less value. And just because you want to be where someone else is, doesn’t mean you can’t get there one day, in your own time, in your own way.

For me, my happiness is tied directly to how consistently driven I stay (and with how forgiving I am towards myself when my drive falters). On the whole, I’m happier when my goals are met and I have lofty ones. I’m busy, I’m (over)committed and I have a lot of areas I focus on. And that’s exactly how I want it. That’s okay. Just like how it’s okay if I decided I want to take a step back and let go of that drive, relax a little more. Or if I wanted to step it up a notch and become even more focused. What’s important is that I’m happy with how I’m living my life, aware of how others might perceive that and how it effects them, empathetic and nonjudgmental towards others and their choices, and constantly wiling to evolve, adapt and learn through all of it.

Cheers.


Quest for Discovery: Week Twenty Seven

Hello, friends!

So, it’s ah, July.

The end of June completely snuck up on me. This summer is flying by and I’m determined to spend the rest of it at the pool as often as I can, because every time I go, it proves to be one of the most relaxing things. Considering last week, my period really prevented, I’m definitely itching to get back into the routine of running, swimming and cooking before work. This morning’s run was desperately needed and I already feel a lot better. And even though this week is going to be mixed up a little bit, thanks to the 4th of July and then going to an all-day concert the day after, I’m still excited to continue making strides and enjoying each day.

PB4Writing 
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Last Week’s Goal: Enjoy writing break (effective until July 9th).

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander.

Weekly Goal: Try not to panic flail realizing this is the last week of my break and next Monday, the editing game begins.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Last Week’s Goal: Read every day. Write review.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted to last week (which is surprising, since I started Husberg’s Blood Requiem and that’s been one of my most anticipated reads all year), so I’m ready to rectify that this week.

Weekly Goal: Read every day. Write review.

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Last Week’s Goal: Enjoy the break week and get ready to get back to it next week.

Status: Affirmative, Commander. Last week was an impromptu break week, after I had a mixture of food poisoning and starting my period kept me on the couch most of the day Monday and then it rained Tuesday, with me then working 8am-5pm Wednesday through Friday (and I haven’t really figured out how to work out on that schedule, since I work it so rarely). And though I did enjoy the break, by the end of the week, I was itching to run again and start logging food once more (because apparently, I don’t do one without the other).

Weekly Goal: Workout 4x. Log food. Continue finding resources of how to improve mental fitness.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal: Pay bills. Finish changing address for the move and figure out storage unit stuff.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. Forgot to put my money in savings again…and still don’t have a storage unit situation figured out, nor have I finished switching over my addresses. But I did pay my bills, which was honestly the most important financial goal for last week.

Weekly Goal: Put money in savings and get back into the habit of checking my budgeting app regularly. Finish up moving prep.

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Last Week’s Goal: Start devotional.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. Once again, I didn’t do this because I wasn’t ever thinking about it. So, I made the decision to put doing my devotional on my weekly To-Do list. I didn’t do this originally because I figured my relationship with God should be more ingrained, not something I cross off a list. Yet every other important aspect of my life is on that list every week and that is honestly one of the main ways it gets accomplished. So why can’t God be on there, too?

Weekly Goal: Add my devotional onto my To-Do list. Actually start it.

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Last Week’s Goal: Enjoy working at orientation and life in general!

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. Orientation was a lot different than what I was expecting (and I was way more nervous than I realized I would be) but I also really enjoyed working it and kinda wish I could continue doing so. Maybe next summer, I’ll be able to pick up more shifts doing that. But otherwise, it was a good weekend and I’m excited to be a little more productive once more, working nights again.

Weekly Goal: Enjoy seeing family and friends I normally don’t get to see on the 4th! Plus, last Warped Tour and birthday shenanigans celebrating my sister this weekend.

PB4

You know, with getting Wednesday off for the 4th, I kinda wish we always only work four days a week, working two days, with one day off, then working two more days, then two days off. It’d be a pretty neat world if that was the normal schedule. I’m abnormally excited for this 4th of July (despite feeling disgusted to be an American with our current political climate) because I get to see some family friends we almost never get to see, plus spending the day with my family, who I also don’t see as often as I’d like. Plus, my man gets to blow up fireworks and watching his eyes light up like a child’s at the prospect is just too adorable not to get excited about.

Cheers.


Mastering That Mental Game

Related imageI’ve been thinking a lot of fitness, lately. About the journey I’ve undergone in the past–what this November will mark–two years. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished and where I’ve come from, the habits that I’ve built (and almost always follow) and everything I’ve learned since I decided I wanted to take my health into my own hands. There is still one aspect that I could really, really work on, though.

My mental fitness.

I don’t have too much of a problem sticking with my routine and maintaining this lifestyle. I actually enjoy it. I mean, everyone has their days when they want to be lazy or don’t want to do anything. That’s just human. But usually, I get up in the morning and, even if I’m not truly feeling it, I put in the effort and hit the trail, I complete that strength training exercise, I drink that extra glass of water, I log my food, I resist eating when I’m not hungry and I stick to my calorie goal. But, like I said, I’m human. So I also have days when I choose to sleep in or play video games instead of running. Or I eat that bowl of cereal at midnight, just because I want to. Or I buy that ice cream, I don’t log my food on the weekends, I get those doughnuts before DnD on Sunday mornings. Both of those realities are totally fine.

What isn’t is my mental response to the latter.

You see, I beat myself up way too often when I “slip up”. When I don’t follow my routine as well as I do during the week during the weekends, usually because I’m hanging out with people who don’t follow the same lifestyle–and I have no desire to have a lifestyle that means I don’t order the food I want when I go out to eat or my boyfriend and I do date nights (which usually includes ice cream). I like being able to eat what I want to eat. I want to do so without feeling like a failure. Or I’d like to have a lazy day without thinking the entire time about how I should have got up and gone running instead.

judy hopps disney GIF

I’d really love to stop comparing myself to others and their progress and feel like I’m failing because of how my body looks, since it “doesn’t look as good as theirs”; judging that I’m not doing well because I still have curves and love handles that stick out, despite the fact that I’m starting to form an outline in my abs, I’ve shaved a minute off my starting mile time and I’ve lost 30 pounds. I’d love to stop looking at the scale and getting pissed that I can’t get under 175, even though I know I’m gaining muscle and still losing fat, even if the scale doesn’t reflect that. I’d love to stop feeling like a whale one day, even though the day before, I couldn’t believe I was actually feeling what it felt like to love your body.

I have my physical fitness down pat, a routine that I love and that works for me, with enough variety to help it stay fresh and mix it up. I know now how to eat well and stay full, yet also indulge and enjoy myself. I can log my food and my runs and I hold myself accountable.

Now, I’d love to learn how to master that mental game.

Any tips that you have would be super appreciated!

Cheers.