Friday, December 20, 2013


It shouldn't matter.

I have been trying for 3 years to tell myself that the stupid number on the stupid scale doesn't matter.

But it fucking does.

It does! It does because I have worked so fucking hard.  I have.  For the past 3 years I have done everything Mike has told me to do.  I don't always get it right.  Sometimes I have to work at it before I accomplish it.  Get a heart rate monitor. Done.  Track your food.  Done. Eat this amount of calories. Done. Ok, now eat healthier calories. Ditch the ice cream and donuts.  DONE. Train like this. DONE.  I will do whatever he tells me to do.  Because I want this.  I really really want this.  I really want to be a spin instructor.  I really want to LOOK like a spin instructor.  I really want to hit all my goals.  I have earned it.

 This has been an emotionally challenging 2 weeks. This weight loss challenge has brought up some old demons.  The negative thoughts have been running rampant.  And I have been fighting them off.  Reminding myself about all of the progress I have made.  I am stronger.  I am more fit.  I am less afraid.  I have been more kind to myself.  But damn it.  I wanted that number to go down.  I earned it.  I really did.  I earned it and I didn't get it.

I feel like I am just spinning my wheels.  And I kind of want to quit.  I know I won't.  I promised myself I would never lose myself again.  I would never let myself get that unhealthy again.  But dammit if I am not struggling tonight.

So I have Chinese Food.  And Friday Night Lights.  And I'm eating it out of the carton.  Because apparently it doesn't matter anyway.

Friday, December 6, 2013

In It To WIN IT!

So I'm in on a challenge.  My trainer has a team and we are competing against other teams for most body fat percentage lost.  My trigger response was no. You don't want me on your team.  Historically I lose weight at a slug's pace.  It's ridiculous. I keep losing, but so painfully slow it's almost laughable.
But I quickly realized that this was something I needed to do.  My own Biggest Loser episode.  I have to cut out anything with higher fat for 12 days.  I don't eat a lot of high fat foods but I definitely allow myself the occasional indulgence so I don't feel deprived.  But not for 12 days.  I keep repeating to myself, "What can you not do for 12 days?"

I did my weigh in for the challenge.  I won't give you all the dirty details because....well, because I'm still a bit ashamed of them.  I have the second highest body fat percentage on the team.  This was a somewhat humiliating realization.  And some added pressure because I clearly need to pull my weight (pun intended) in this challenge.  The good news is that I also got my measurements taken and I have made some pretty significant progress as far as losing inches.  That was uplifting and I will focus on those numbers to motivate me!

Game plan is clean eating.  Lower intensity cardio.  Some 2 a day work outs.  And weight training with lower weight at higher reps. 

I got this. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Desperately Seeking MWFGR (Married White Female Gym Rat)

Find a work out buddy.

It's what you read everywhere! What they don't really explain is just how hard it is to actually find a work out buddy.  I have been thinking about this since last night.  Because I was asked to be someone's gym buddy last night.  I eventually declined.  Only because "Creepy Randy" as I will refer to him was well, creepy. Within 20 minutes he was trying to tell me how I needed to add Creatine to get even stronger although he admitted he asked me because I was "pretty strong for a girl."   Randy is a trainer at another gym. (The chain is escaping me at the moment.) This was why I initially agreed to join him.  Because while I was on the bench he initially complimented me on the weight I was pressing, then explained that he was a trainer, then said he worked out at the Y instead of his gym so he could not have to be in trainer mode, then proceeded to train me.  (I will admit my arms hurt this morning.)  As I tried to get to know Randy I learned that he had a girlfriend, although they were on the outs because she used to work out with him and now she didn't.  Ah....and this has just taken a different turn.  Suddenly the questions changed.  "Are you married?" "Yep!" "Where is your ring?" "In a little bowl on our bathroom sink" (Awkward silence) "Does your husband care if you work out with a man?" "Nope, my trainer is a man.  We have this trust thing going on." (silence) "Can I get your number? How about Saturday night?" "I don't usually work out Saturday night. And I don't just give my number to guys I don't know.  If you want to meet up Saturday morning I could maybe do that." (silence) "I was kind of thinking Saturday night." "Well....." lol.

Needless to say creepy Randy will not be my work out partner.  But I would be lying if I said I wasn't flattered to have been asked by anyone.  Because the truth is I really do want a work out partner.  And also in truth I don't think it can be the husband.  You may or may not know this about Bob, but he's a bit of a know it all.  So I can suggest the exact same thing as my trainer does (because it came from him) and Bob dismisses it until it comes out of the professional's mouth. Plus we just don't gel well in the gym.  And it could be awkward when I want to box because I'm pissed at him and then proceed to actually punch him.   So it can't be the husband.  But it turns out that it is really hard to find a work out buddy.  Think about it.  You have to find someone on relatively the same schedule, you have to enjoy relatively the same style of working out (although busting out of your routine is always a good thing, but if fundamentally you hate the other's go to then it just won't work), you have to have good chemistry, and you have to be at similar fitness levels so that you not either a) the student or b) the teacher.  And most people are doing their own thing at the gym.  So how do you tap on someone's shoulder...without being creepy Randy?
I almost wish there was a sign up sheet! Or like a gym chat room! Need a buddy? Sign up here and we'll match you up! (Could bypass the awkward propositioning!)  Maybe I should put up my own in the same place where people putting their looking for a roommate signs? Set up an open call audition? 

Until I either get some excellent pointer or my perfect gym buddy falls from the sky, I guess  I'll be going it alone...trying desperately to never make eye contact with Creepy Randy again.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Dreaded Last 10.

They say that everyone has a weight that their body feels comfortable at.  No extreme measures need to be taken to maintain it.  I think my body thinks it has found that spot.  But I'm not comfortable with it.  I know that I have more body fat available then I should have.  I know that there is even more then 10 pounds that I could lose and be at my optimal healthy weight.

I just can't get there.

It's maddening.  Now don't get all worried about me.  I am not depressed about it or particularly obsessed about it.  I have moments of frustration and this is one of them.  Because I fluctuate within 5 pounds of this number, going up a little bit if I'm more relaxed with my food.  On the random occasions we go out to dinner or I take a few nights off from working out I can expect my number on the scale to go up a few pounds.  It doesn't freak me out anymore. I know exactly what I need to do to get those few pounds back off and a week later they're gone.  But no matter how spot on I am in my nutrition and food journaling, no matter how good I do with my zone training, or no matter how intense I work out for the week, I can never break my bottom number.  I have been at a plateau at this number for about a year and a half now.

I have gone to the doctor to look at my thyroid numbers because I have some concerns that things are not functioning optimally in this area.  And I have just about every symptom. (I won't go into all of them because some are TMI). I have realized that I need to go outside of traditional medicine for this because every. single. traditional doctor I have discussed this with has been extremely dismissive because my blood work numbers fall into the median set ranges.  But they are all  on the very low end.  At one point I was working with a homeopathic doctor to address this and I felt immensely better.  I stopped going to him when I started with the eating disorder because I could no longer explain the drastic weight loss or raised blood pressure or any other red flags that were popping up.  But I realize that I need to explore a non traditional path again so I can so I can do everything I can do to make sure my body is functioning optimally, not just minimally. 

I don't know if that is the key to losing this 10 pounds, or a bit more body fat.  But I am hoping that I can feel better. Not so tired and fatigued all the time.  In the mean time, I am going to continue to focus on my over all fitness, my new instructor goals, and all of the other measures of my continued movement in the right direction.

But they say the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  That's a bit how I feel every Wednesday when I get on the scale and see that same number staring back at me. Maybe it's time to step away from it...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Does the Outside Match the Inside?

It's undeniable that I have done some external work on myself.  But today someone commented that I needed to do more internal work.  It was harsh feedback.  And of course I do.  But I felt kicked down.  And even more I felt confused that all the internal work I have been doing has seemingly gone unnoticed.  So maybe it isn't apparent?  The comment bumps up into my desire for external recognition.  For most of my life I have relied on what other people thought of me to tell me what I should think about me.  For most of my life I have worried if someone didn't like me.  There have been times I should have been proud of myself, but because someone else didn't acknowledge it, I wasn't.  I have swallowed and believed every negative thing anyone has ever said about me.  It's true.  The absolute worst thing you could do was to tell me you don't like me.

When I started on this weight loss journey it was only about the size of my pants.  Crying in the middle of a plank though made it glaringly clear to me that it was so much deeper then that.  I always knew I was kind of a mess, but I didn't know why and I didn't know what to do about it.

Things have changed.  They have.  I can set boundaries for myself.  I can face things I am afraid of head on.  I am more afraid of regret then failure now.  I can get to a place where I understand that someone's crazy, though directed at me, is not necessarily about me.  I have value in what I think about myself.  I know who I am.  No, I am proud of who I am.  I am not perfect.  I can be too loud.  I can over -share.  I can be a little too direct for some people.  But I am me.

Take it or leave it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Will Power

 This ran through my head several times today. Because I knew it was going to be a big day, both emotionally and physically.  Searching for some motivation before I took off, I found this gem.  And I am so glad because I needed to dig deep.

And I did.

It started this morning bright an early with a spin class from the instructor who is going to train me to instruct for Lifetime.  Her classes are unbelievably challenging.  Following that was my first try out with her.  And I did good.  She seemed pleased and told Mike that I did great.  I was incredibly nervous and shaky and the first song I was basically just freaking out.  But I pulled my shit together.  I have a shot here and I am not going to let myself freak myself out of it.  That's old Karen.  The new Karen pulls her shit together and does what she needs to do. 

Then after all of that, my trainer had a boxing workout with me....because clearly I needed some more cardio.  I started to panic about half way through.  "I have no more fuel." "I don't think I can do this."  "Why is he making me box?!"  But again.  Pulled myself together.  Trusted the process.  Because part of this new step is helping teach other people how to break through their walls.   So I have to keep breaking through my own.

But I realized something today probably for the first time in this whole journey.  This really is mental.  If I TELL myself I can....I can.  Has this journey been physical? Clearly you have to start somewhere, and clearly I have made massive strides in my overall fitness.  But I have still been relying on my increased strength, my increased cardiovascular capacity.  I have never truly understood that I am the one making myself doing this.  This is mental.  I did 2 1/2 hours of hard training and burned roughly 1900 calories.  And I did it.  I made myself do it and I did it. 

I have never felt so strong.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weigh In Wednesdays

I have a complicated relationship with the scale.  The majority of the time it does not say the number I want it to say.  In fact, almost never.  I know that I have been spot on in my nutrition and my training and I get on and it's up 3 pounds.  And it takes every ounce of self control not to throw the damn thing. Or cry.  Or both. 

I am supposed to only weigh in once a week.  I am supposed to remember that it is only one way to measure progress and not the most reliable by a long shot.  I struggle with both of these rules.  I have weighed myself every day for as long as I can remember.  There have been periods of time where I have weighed myself 2 times a day and other times where I got on several times a day, completely confused as to why I had gone up or down a pound.  And while I tell myself that it is not the most reliable measure of my progress, I don't think I have every truly believed that in my heart. 

Because numbers don't lie right? And sure, I could go by the fit of my clothing, but the fit of your clothing doesn't change until you're up 10 pounds.  And I do not drop 10 pounds easily.  I never have.  And because I don't have a body fat measuring machine thing at my disposal I don't have any other tool to let me know if I'm still moving in the right direction.  So I don't want to toss it.  But I realize I can't let it control me anymore. 

The woman's blog I am following weighs in every Wednesday.  And I know that my trainer (and everyone else under the sun) has told me to only weigh in once a week. But there it sits, taunting me.  I have tried to "hide" it, but I am not an "out of sight out of mind" type of gal (as I have begged my mother to understand after she sends 10 boxes of Girl Scout cookies suggesting I just hide them so I don't eat them all in one sitting.) So this is something I have to put some will power into.  Since I check the blog every morning I am hoping that it is a reminder that she has also not gotten on that scale. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Healthy Habits

I had kind of a big week.  I ran into Nancy, who is a spin instructor and trains with Mike, my trainer. I told her I was considering spin instruction.  Nancy is not just any spin instructor. She is "the" spin instructor.  Not only is she the Department Head at Lifetime, she is amaze balls. Like I can't walk when her class is over.  There is no need to do anything else by the time she's done with me.  And she's just really nice and has always been very welcoming and supportive of me.  So I tell her and she immediately swoops me down the the spin studio and basically sets me up.  There is a certification seminar next week she wants me to go to and she's putting my name on the guest list at Lifetime so I can come to her classes and she can basically train me. What?!!

I went from absolute excitement to all out terror in about an hour. I found myself face down in my own mud again telling myself I can't.  This is beyond my reach.  I'm shooting for the stars here and well, historically that has not always ended well.  Mike scraped me back off the pavement once again. We once again addressed my self esteem and why I go negative.  I go to the "I'm going to fail" place.  "I'm not good enough." "No one else will think I'm good enough."  Despite all my hard work and focus on improving my inner self as well as my outer self, I still go there.  At the end of our conversation he told me to come up with new and healthy habits, daily that will keep me focused and positive and motivated.  Some of them will probably sound ridiculous to anyone reading this.  But that's ok.  This is my gig and it isn't about what anyone else thinks.  (I say that not to be lecturey but to remind myself, "It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks." So here they are.  Not in any particular order.

Not only am I going to update my own blog more, I have chosen an inspiring Life Journey blog to follow.   I call it that instead of a weight loss blog, because what most of us who are going through this at some point realize, is that it isn't about the weight.  I mean, yes, I still freak out sometimes when that number doesn't say what I want it to say.  Or what I feel like I have earned for it to say.  But overall, this is about my health.  It's about my strength.  My progress.  My determination.  My resilience.   Anyway, it's on my bookmark bar so I will check it every morning and start my day with some reminders and connection to someone whom I have never met, but faces some of the same demons I do.

 Most of you know I have always loved my trashy magazines.  I have been telling myself that my fascination is to the drama, etc.  But I think I have been lying to myself.  I think I absolutely am obsessed with how they look.  And in return how I don't look.  So enough.  I have one more subscription that comes and I will do my best to immediately put it in the recycle bin.  Only fitness or other mags for me.  I don't need that creeping into my sub conscience anymore.  Done. Good-bye Khloe Kardashian.  I think you are way cooler then Kim by a long shot.  And J-Lo I will still be squatting away trying to get your butt, but I will no longer scan for it every week so I can only tell myself how I am not even close.  Wish me well.

Weight Loss Shows
 I love these shows.  I mean, LOVE , them.  Are the perfect? No. Are their results realistic for the average person trying to lose weight? Clearly not.  BUT, hearing Jillian scream to "get your ass up and keep moving!!!" literally has gone across my mind when I have stopped mid circuit, exhausted.  KEEP MY ASS MOVING! And Chris Powell.  Oh how I love that man and wish he would move in with me for a month.  For a multitude of reasons.  But he has also said many things to many of these people that have made me tear up in an instant and want to race to the gym to tackle my demons.  "This is the rest of your life."  "Remember  how badly this hurt so you never have to be here again."  (I remember this quote running through my mind in an early training session with Mike.  I thought I was going to die, or at the very least puke. And I remember thinking. I can never go back because this is horrible.)  And these people are amazing.  They are 450 pounds and running faster then I am on the treadmill.  If they can do it, I can do it.  So I will have this on in the background while I'm cooking instead of Dateline.  Anything positive that creeps into my sub conscience will help.

Smoothie Breakfast on Off  Training Days
I need to be a little bit more conscience of my eating on my off training days.  I don't need the loaded egg scramble, a light and healthy smoothie will suffice.  I'm not talking about slashing my caloric intake.  But focusing on eating fruit and veggies and laying off the higher levels of protein.  I also think that I take a day off of nutrition on my days off of training.  Not horribly so.  Nothing crazy. But I realize I just don't pay attention.  I don't know if this is right or not. (I have yet to share this with Mike who will tell me if this is on the right track). But I do notice that I feel better eating light on my light days. And I am trying to focus on how I feel when I eat, etc instead of just the caloric number attached to each meal.  I quickly become a calorie counter and have to really be intentional to focus on other things besides the numbers.

So I know this was a long one, and I appreciate anyone who took the time to read it.  I have worked really really hard these past few years on all of this and the support I have gotten from people has been inspiring and needed.  I am sure that it's overkill for some.  I am sure that it will drive someone crazy that I have posted this.  They may see it as self indulgent.  That's ok.  I'm not angry about that and I'm not going to let that take me down.

"It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks."

Repeat 5 times daily with a side of smoothie.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Learning to Let Go

I took the summer off of my weight loss plan.  Well, not really off off.  But I put away the food scale, I let myself have more treats then I usually allow, I stopped tracking in my nutrition log, and I even stepped on that scale less frequently then is normal for me.  

Why would I do that?  Because I needed to practice relaxing.  I'm all an or nothing sort of girl. But in my on going emotional health, I needed to know that I could chill out, have a cupcake, and nothing bad happened.  Ok. So I gained about 5 pounds over the summer.  But that was ok.  I came back home, cut back out the treats, and picked up where I left off in my training.

It was really powerful for me to realize that I did not fall all the way off the mountain.  I relaxed.  I had fun.  I went out for drinks.  I had a doughnut in the morning. And the world did not stop spinning.  And I did not gain 20 pounds.  And....I don't have to spiral. 

The food scale is back out, I just logged my food for the day, and the trainer is coming over in a bit. I took a break, (from myself) and now it's time to get back to work.  I still have goals after all.  I proved a lot of things to myself this summer.  But this is a big one for me.  I enjoyed eating.  And I didn't go crazy.  AND, I didn't freak out.

This. is. progress.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Breaking Down Walls

I did it.

I went to my alumni game.  This has been a long time coming.  I have been so afraid of this game, I have successfully avoided it for the past 13 years. Yep, that's commitment.

Back in the day I was alright.  Not a superstar by any stretch of the imagination.  But solid.  I was solid.  And then I hurt myself one too many times and had to come to terms with the fact that my career was over.  I'd like to say I did this gracefully, but I didn't.  I was devastated.  Quitting lead me down a very dark path and I lost myself.  I was a mess.  A mess trying to pretend on the outside that I wasn't a mess.  Which made me even messier.

When I started on my fitness journey, (I no longer refer to it as weight loss journey because it's so much more then just my weight- at least in my healthier moments,) I wasn't thinking about this game.  I couldn't see that far ahead.  But about a year ago, during some gruesome session with Mike, I began considering it.  Maybe, just maybe I could play in this game.  I said it out loud to Mike who, of course, started incorporating it into my training.  About a month ago the old fear came back.  "What if I get hurt?"  "What if you don't?" he countered back.  "But what if I do?"  "But what if you DON'T? What if you have the time of your life?"

So I did it.  And I got hurt. (rolled my ankle that I had injured a couple of weeks ago). But he was right.  I had the time of my life.  I saw my old teammates.  I laughed.  I tried my best.  I think I did pretty well before I rolled it.  After that let's just say I was playing more "zone" defense then man to man.  And for a bit I was disappointed in myself.  But that's the old me.  The new me realizes that something bigger happened today.  Did I play like I did when I was 17? No.  Did I play as good as I wanted to? No.  Did I get hurt? Yes.  Did I fall? Yes.  But I got back up.  I didn't quit.  And I had a blast.  I conquered a fear.  I healed a small piece of myself today.

Broke down the wall.

Next year will be even better!

Monday, May 27, 2013


Don't misunderstand. I am by no means declaring that I am going to do a marathon.  Do I need to repeat that?  I have always said there is not one ounce in me that feels like I need to do this.  Not on my bucket list.  It will never be a regret.

That said, I'm a competitive bastard.  So when I casually mentioned that me and Andrea had very briefly discussed walking a marathon as opposed to running one and my lovingly supportive husband declared, "You can't walk a marathon!!!" something happened.

Why can't I?  Are there rules that actually say you can't walk it?  Will I not feel like I have accomplished something if I don't run it?  Am I taking the easy way out?  Turns out he only really meant that there isn't enough time to walk the marathon if you aren't a speed walker. And I don't want to do that. Those guys are bad ass.   My trainer suggested that we alternate. Jog 2 miles, walk 1 etc. Now that is something I can wrap my brain around and it got me thinking...

So I did some research.  Turns out marathons courses are open for 8 hours, which comes down to basically an 18 minute mile. Well, I can do that!!   Especially if I alternate running and walking.  There are a couple of marathons designed just for walkers but they are fairly far away. If I were to do this I would only do the Twin Cities one so I could be close to home as I am sure I would die after. (Bob has since informed me that The Twin Cities Marathon is only open for 6.....that sounds harder. lol)

I put on my running shoes this morning and decided to just see where my starting point was and if this were perhaps something achievable.

I did 10 miles.  Alternating jogging and walking mile by mile.

Well I'll be damned.

I still don't know if I will do this.  But it's in the back of my mind as a possibility.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Inner Zen

The past few days have been good for me. 

Let me start over.  The past couple of days I have been super tired and cranky.  BUT, I have done some serious training and walked out of the gym feeling so much healthier. And stronger.

Tonight, my Body Pump (strength training class) instructor told me I brought good energy to the class and he enjoyed having me there.

It made me feel really good.  Because I know how far I still have to go.  I know the scale is not moving the way I want it to.  I know that I still compare myself to others instead of comparing me to me. So it really meant something that he commented on my energy.  Not my strength.  Not my progress.  My energy.

It's something I still need to focus on.  Myself.  Because I like who I am in the gym.  I like how I feel.  I like who I see.  This doesn't come easy for me outside of the gym.  I focus on the scale.  And the calories.  And the clothes. 

My goal for the next few weeks is to stop worrying about what is not going the way I want it to go and to focus on my energy.  What am I putting out into the universe?  Maybe, just maybe it will come back to me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Self Doubt

 I had a rotten day today.  From start to finish it just was a bad day.  Not the kids.  The kids were great. 

So I went to spin class looking forward to just killing myself and leaving it all there.  Got myself all set up, did some nice slow stretching, and jumped on. 

There was a ripped woman behind me.  She was chatting away with some of the other people.  THen our instructor got there and ripped lady introduced herself.  She's a new spin instructor at the Y.  My heart sank a little bit.  I have been trying to build myself up to ask about training and becoming a spin instructor.  I have been doubting if I am ready for something like that or if I still have more work I need to do for myself first. 

The two thoughts that kept going through my mind were a) I don't look anywhere near as fit as this woman so I was probably jumping the gun on actually becoming an instructor. And b) Even if it were possible I don't think I'll be able to get a working membership to help me pay for the training if they've already hired another instructor.

I don't know. Spent the whole ride full of doubt and upset and confused.  Didn't get what I needed to get out of it.  Worked hard.  Sweat.  Burned lots of calories.  But did not walk out feeling better then when I walked in.  Which was what I really needed tonight.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Back to Basics

I know I haven't blogged for awhile.  I've been in a pretty negative attitude about all of it.  I hit a plateau.  Then obsessed about the plateau.  And when I obsess, I obsess.  I was weighing myself 2 times every day, religiously calorie counting, working out like a crazy person, and basically sank into a hole of self doubt and depression.

My trainer's wife (and my friend) was the person who really helped me re-evaluate.  As I was talking to her about my negative obsession a few weeks ago, she pointed out that I should take a break from thinking of my physical self and once again focus on my emotional self.

And she was right.

So while I am still working on the physical part (working out with my trainer and focusing on healthy eating), I am also trying to focus on the inside of me.  I have felt shame for  how I looked on the outside for so long that I still have to very actively work on loving the inside of me.   I'm a bit dramatic.  I'm a bit reactive.  I'm a bit over sensitive.  I can be needy.  I still have some more weight to lose.  I could still work on improving the speed of my runs.  BUT,  I am strong.  And I determined.  And I can be funny.  And I'm loyal.  And I don't quit.  And even though its a slower run, I have lengthened my runs.  And even though I still have weight to lose, I can see muscle where I didn't before.

I have come a long way.  Too far to start putting myself down again and only focusing on the things I wish were different.  I have not yet reached all the goals I initially set for myself.  But I think what I need to remember is that I have achieved some things that weren't on my initial list.  And more importantly, I haven't given up on myself.  I did that once.  I will never do that again.  This is my journey.  Full of ups and downs and highs and lows.  But all mine...

Mike (my trainer) asked me if I had blogged recently.  I think I stopped because the negative talk started up.  "No one cares, stop being so dramatic, etc."  But I care.  This is for me.  That's why I started it.  I share it because I need support on this journey.  And I need accountability.  If no one reads it, then no one reads it.  But I think it was good for me.  And I'm refocusing on the things that make me feel good.