7 Tips for Surviving (and Thriving) Through Life Transitions
July Weight Loss Weigh In
Life transitions for anyone can be challenging. Attempting to lose weight, be active and eat a balanced diet through it can push all the right buttons on some people. And we are no exception.
While this is a time of celebration, there is also a lot of life happening around here. Jared left his full-time job to pursue our health and wellness company full time at the beginning of the month. We’ve been learning to blend work, life and marriage while being together 24/7. Add on a week and half road trip and over 40 hours in a car together and that’s enough to challenge anyone.
In a lot of ways this has been easier than anticipated. We’ve been very open with our communication. But emotions have run high. Lots of crying. Lots of anxious nausea (so fun). Coupled with laughter and memories that will last a lifetime.
If you are going through a life transition, good, bad or indifferent - here are the things that helped keep us even keel.
Give Yourself Grace
It’s so easy to want to beat yourself up through transition.
“I could do better. I know better. I am not working hard enough. I am failing.”
This transition, while different in nature does not lack the same judgement I had for myself as I was leaving for college, getting my first “real” job, getting married, getting laid off, dealing with loss of a loved one or going through major health issues.
But I remind myself in each of those previous transitions I came out stronger. I must be willing to give myself grace. And frankly so should you.
Acknowledge the Fear and Accept the Change
I’ve found transitions bring about irrational fears - some related to the change and some out of left field. Having fear is normal. It’s a defense mechanism meant to keep us alive.
We must separate the rational from irrational. And acknowledge that fear exists. Some fears stop us short of our own success. Some require us to push through.
Then much like going through grief (because hello - a transition often leaves us grieving the past), we must accept the change that is happening.
Respect Your Boundaries
When going through a transition, it’s important your boundaries are stronger than ever. You lack the bandwidth you may normally have and thus have to decide where your priorities lie.
Even though my dream has always been to create a lifestyle where “work” doesn’t have to take us away for 8 or more hours a day - I still need personal space and time alone.
So as easy as it would be to spend every waking hour together, I take time for myself often. Several days a week I interval run outside (alone), will opt to go to the store (on my own) and will take a few extra minutes to wind down in the evening (all by myself).
What you need, may be different but respect those boundaries. Share them with others. And be willing to hold your ground.
Expect to Feel Strong Emotions
While full of joy, much like marrying my spouse, I have been surprised by the spectrum of emotions that followed with this transition. And as an emotional eater, this has been a major trigger for me.
I eat when I’m anxious.
I eat when I’m bored.
I eat when I’m worried.
I eat when I’m depressed.
I eat when I’m sad.
I eat when I just want to eat.
I’ve seen MAJOR glimpses of my poor relationship with food creep in. And I had to consciously make decisions even when every other part of me just wanted to eat through the emotion.
Regardless of how you experience emotions and what they trigger for you. Expect them all. Expect them to creep up out of nowhere. Expect to cry in public. Expect to feel them hard and fast.
Focus On Opportunity
You have the power to decide what this transition means for you. And while I do not suggest trying to bury your emotions (girl, feel your feels and guy too!), you must focus on the opportunity that sits in front of you.
Whether you realize it or not, you get to write the script, pick the path and decide where you go next.
There is so much potential just waiting to burst out of you. Yes, even in the really hard stuff.
Even after my brain injury, when I started focusing on opportunity I saw my potential to have an impact on the world around me. Suddenly, life was put into perspective and I had to stop waiting for it to happen and instead I had to go make the reality I wanted.
That mentality has helped me do a lot of amazing things in my life. I could sit and wait for opportunity to come, or I could make it. Without it, I would have never:
Started my own business
Worked out for a hundred days straight
Had 1.5 million downloads on my podcast
Lost 50 pounds
Keep Yourself Busy
It’s really easy to want to wallow. Sit around and wait for the transition to be over. By the way, the only way it’s ever over is if you decide it’s over - no one comes and rings a bell and says, now you may move on.
But in order to not dwell - because like I’ve said positive or not a transition has a way of taking over every aspect of our lives.
I highly recommend you keep that booty of yours busy. Not so busy you are ignoring how you feel, and pushing through things when you shouldn’t. But busy enough it’s not occupying your mind at all hours of the day and night.
Some of my favorite ways I keep myself busy:
Volunteer at the local dog shelter
Go for a walk
Head to a park
Make a new recipe
Now I know what you are going to say, I’m already too busy. Maybe. But is the version of busy you have helpful or hurtful. I’d argue you probably wouldn’t be doing it if you didn’t want to. Yes, even the busy from hauling kids from place to place you do on purpose. What can you do to make that time serve you?
Sometimes you can see a transition coming and this allows for you to plan ahead to make it as smooth as possible. But even if you missed the mentally preparing, you do have the ability to plan ahead now, yes, in the midst of it.
For us that has meant dedicating time to plan meals weekly. Bringing the majority of our own food on roadtrips, rather than eating out. Making vacations active rather than sedentary. Communicating our day or week ahead with each other.
While it may seem a little odd to talk about transition and then reveal our weightloss progress for July in one post, it was important for me to acknowledge where we are.
I could have instead wrote a post about our roadtrip to Salt Lake, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. I could have written about walking 8 miles a day and gaining 5 pounds in the process (and then losing it all over again). But that’s only pieces of a much larger story.
I am so proud of what we accomplished this month. But I’m also grieving. Our story is bigger than just Jared being home full time. Our transition has lots of twists and turns and other aspects of life making it complicated.
In time, I’m sure we will share. But for now I hope if this is a transition for you, you found this helpful.
Now the moment y’all have been waiting for, here are our numbers at the end of July:
-2.6lbs for July (-51.6lbs Total Since 1/1/19)
-2.75” for July (-57.25” Total Since 1/1/19)
-3.1lbs for July (-38.8lbs Total Since 1/1/19)
-0.75” for July (-34.75” Total Since 1/1/19)