Just breathe

Last week, I happened upon this story about the “After Myth,” and it resonated with me. It resonated enough for me to get back on WordPress and actually write something.

I’m not sure what I’m going to write, but here it is. And I’ve just got to breathe.

A few years ago when I was at my peak fitness thus far, I was always hesitant to consider myself an “after.” I’d not hit my goal weight, but I was looking and feeling good, and after the infamous video came out, I was all of a sudden catapulted into this position of being inspiration extraordinaire.

Excuse me, me? No, no, no, you must be mistaken. I’m just a normal gal.

And if I learned one thing about myself, it’s this: I don’t do well with pressure. And all of a sudden, there was just a ton on me.

Long story short, I don’t feel like an inspiration anymore, and certainly not to myself. But guess what? It’s still not “after.” You know?

Lots of people have asked “Well, where is she now?”

I’m here to tell you, I’m still here! It’s still me.

But my life does look quite different.

What did it look like last time you saw me?

Wake up at 7:30, gym at 9, work at 11, school at 4, home by 7. The same the next day, but no class. My schedule was fairly flexible, and while a PhD program is absolutely no joke, it was much easier to work it “me” time.

And then what?

Well, then, I left school, and life was like this:

Wake up at 6:45, leave for work at 8, work from 9-5, work second job from 5:30-9, go home, sleep.

That part of my life lasted about a year, wasn’t very pretty, and is not something I’d like to relive. Can I just say that this time, I was overworked, underpaid, underslept, and really just confused about newfound food allergies and how to work exercise into my routine without sacrificing sleep (which I obviously need). It didn’t work out very well. I floundered, and I was deeply depressed between a soul-sucking, dead-end job and not being able to manage my weight. No matter what I did, it was never enough, and I found myself reverting to poor food habits.

And then what?

Then, I got REALLY, really lucky and landed a new job–one that I absolutely love, has a direction, and feels meaningful. And for once–and probably the first time in my entire life–I have one job! It’s amazing.

Wake up at 6, leave for work at 7:30, work from 8-4:30. And…?

The intention, originally, was to return to the gym. But I’ve discovered very quickly how difficult this is! Oh my gosh! By the time 4:30 rolls around, I am utterly exhausted. How do people do this?

Regardless, being happy has done a whole lot for my health, including beginning to turn around some of the damage done over the past year.

And then what?

And then, in March, I got engaged! Yay! We’re getting married next summer and we are very excited.

And then what?

And then, The Boy lost his job and started his own business, putting us into a really strange financially unknown situation. So…while just getting the hang of things once again, have found myself, weirdly, reincorporating grains and legumes into my diet just because, well, they’re filling and inexpensive. Quinoa and beans, people!

And then what?

And now…


Who am I? I’m just a normal person trying to make it work day to day.

And now, apparently, to fit into a wedding dress (which is totally terrifying).

But really, my soul has longed for writing, to just pour it all out.

So just breathe.

And tell it like it is.

So here goes.

There is no such thing as after, because the struggle is never over; it only gets harder.


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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

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