This past summer I bought the biggest pants I've ever owned in my life. I was crushed. And fat. And I dealt with it by eating out and too much again that night. Blame it on life, stress, personal or professional turmoil, it doesn't matter. I was overweight and shaving off days of my life. Days I will lose when I end up with diabetes or heart problems or ovarian cancer. All happen more often to women who are overweight and all run rampant for the females in my family. Summer 2013 was the worse I have ever experienced in my adult life. Consult previous entries for clarification.
My life started falling back in place in Burlington, VT attending DEN Summer Institute. Professionally... Personally.... I found my footing again and spent the rest of 2013 getting to know myself. I got to tell you, I wasn't impressed. My life had fallen apart in more ways than I ever care to discuss and I have been on a mission to fix it. Laugh more. Love more. Learn more. Enjoy life more. And I have..... Except I've still been unhappy with the woman in the mirror. When my blood pressure read high for the first time in my life (I've always had low BP), I knew something had to change.
Thankfully my near and dear friend Steve Dembo was already charting that path. I had been watching as he slimmed down to a size I had never seen. Just a couple of weeks ago I walked right past him at TCEA and stopped only when I heard his voice. He looks amazing! More than his physical appearance, he sounds happier. There's a pep in his step. There's..... Life. He's always had a spunk that is noticeably more excited when he talks about his wife and kids. This was even bigger.
In the meantime, back on the ranch (actually in Nebraska) my bestie Beth Still had been inspired by Steve and was also dropping dress and jean sizes. Following along on her blog, I heard the truth and honesty in her voice as she came to terms with her own struggles. The transformation has already been amazing. I aspire to be half the leader and changer that she is and it has been a privilege to watch her take on even more challenges as she embraces her new shape. (PS You can do it Beth! You will overcome every challenge and step backward with the grace and exceptional positivity that you always have.)
As a community of people making life changes (and ironically all educators and involved in the EdTech world) I think it is important to set up a couple of rules. Think of it as rules for when life changes and social media combine. Inspired by Chad Lehman's jersey rules.
1. If your avatar/profile pic is in clothes you no longer own or no longer fit you, change it!
2. If you aren't sure if your lifestyle change is reflected in your online presence, ask a friend. Then take their advice to make the two worlds match.
3. Don't wear clothes that don't fit; it really is ok to let go. Donate. Have a sale. Just get them out of your house. You don't want a picture of you to show up online in clothes that don't fit (see rule number one).
4. Share your story. We are all more than our jobs. It is completely okay for those online to see the experience that those offline get to.
5. Live. Live your new life to the fullest extent.