life & love

Punishment vs Privilege

pun·ish·ment
Noun
The infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.
priv·i·lege
Noun
A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
Deciphering the difference between the two above have been running circles around my mind lately. When it comes to all things life-related – it’s all about perception. When I worked at Spanx, Sara Blakely gave all employees a Wayne Dyer cd set (queue the jokes, I’m old) and told us all how he helped pull her out of dark times in her life. I used to listen to his cd’s to and from work. My first day at Spanx was the day my divorce was finalized, so I needed all of the insight I could find. One thing that Wayne said that resonates with me today is: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” 
It really illustrates how we perceive things in our lives is how they’ll actually be. Curious what I mean? Let’s explore a few aspects of real life:

Work. Honestly, it kind of sucks right now. I don’t want to get into the nuances of my corporate gig, but let’s just say things are stressful at the moment. And so I find myself thinking:
  • Ugh, working from home is so isolating.
  • I’m so stressed, the pressure is really getting to me.
  • When will we have some answers on the future?
  • Do I really have job security? Should I be worried?
Okay, Debbie Downer. Those thoughts are generated by the perception that my current situation is a punishment. Instead, I’ve been challenging myself to think:
  • Working from home is a great opportunity to balance life/work.
  • If you weren’t stressed, you’d probably be bored. Busy is better than bored.
  • No one knows what tomorrow has in store. Do the best you can and it’ll all work out the way G-d intends it. 

Fitness. It’s no secret I’m in the middle of a LONG competition prep. My coach whole heartedly believes in getting in comp-ready shape the slow and steady way. He doesn’t want to subject me to drastic diets, unhealthy cutting, or destroy my metabolism by eliminating entire food groups, etc. While I appreciate the healthy approach, it’s inundating to think the next 22 weeks of my life will consist of strict competition prep living. Frequent thoughts I have:
  • I miss my nightly glass of wine.
  • I miss going out to eat with friends and ordering something off the menu.
  • Weighing every morsel of food I put in my mouth is so annoying. Why can’t I just have a snack without counting macros like everyone else?
  • Sushi sounds good right now.
  • Damn, so does pizza.
               
Again, Captain Debbie Downer. I’m acting as if someone has put me on this prep and is forcing me to compete. But that’s not the case. This was – and is – my conscious decision. And I’m committed! The 2 hours a day in the gym, the long meal preps and frequent trips to the bathroom (you try drinking a gallon+ of water every day and get back to me). It’s all MY choice. And I need to continue seeing the positives in this experience, including:
  • My clothes no longer fit. Other than my workout clothes, everything is too big!
  • My body composition has changed. I am finally lean. My hips are narrowing out, while my stomach is tighter/flatter and my ass is plumper, firmer and higher! #winning
  • I am stronger. Physically I can lift much more than I could a month ago. My endurance is up and I have tons of energy in the gym. Emotionally I am stronger than I was before I started this journey. I’m realizing every day the insane amount of discipline I have. Whether I’m sitting across from someone eating cake or drinking wine, I can stay strong and eat my prepped meals and sip water #juglife
  • I have a new found confidence. Whether it’s tightening my weight belt and hitting deadlifts hard at the gym or standing on stage in 6 inch heels practicing my poses, I feel so confident in my skin these days. I know I have a long way to go before I compete, but I feel happy with myself and the road I’m on. For someone who suffered through an eating disorder for so long, this is a feeling I honestly never thought I was capable of.
So you see, life really boils down to perception. “It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.”
XO,
Jenn

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