The Gift of A Platonic Relationship

I so believe in these between members of the opposite sex! I believe in them because I’ve been blessed enough to meet someone of the opposite sex that I not only consider my best friend, but also like a brother. I don’t know the statistics or numbers, but I would assume that the number of people in relationships with a best or close friend of the opposite sex is not all that high. Even though I’m currently not in a relationship and to be exact, I’m divorced, when I was, I still had my besty right there beside me (so to speak).

Now if you recall in the ‘About Me’ section, I said that my blogs were more of an online diary, which means that this blog right here is no exception. I usually write on random stuff and so during the randomness that frequently goes thru my mind, I started thinking about my best friend, how blessed I was to even have one and then for some reason started to think about people who really take friendship for granted. Of course, one person, who shall remain nameless in the event he ever reads this, instantly came to mind. Here, we have a person who can basically be considered a womanizer. He lives off other people (mostly women) and to my knowledge, in all the 20+ years (that was a major name hint right there!) that we’ve been knowing each other, I don’t ever recall him having a friend of the opposite sex that he could truly call just a ‘friend’. It’s sad to realize that every relationship he had with the opposite sex either started off as a game, an ego booster or a manipulation tactic. On those rare occasions that I did see this person, I used to get really frustrated at the comments that come out his mouth when someone of the opposite sex was simply being polite or conversing with me. To him, it was always that other person is trying to “get with me” or some stupid ulterior motive other than simple conversation. I realized a long time ago that just like the ole’ saying goes, “you can’t give what you don’t have”, well you also can’t UNDERSTAND what you’ve never experienced.

One of the characteristics of a friendship, no matter if it’s with the same sex or opposite, is being able to just be YOU. Being honest, up front, and relaxed around each other are vital to ANY relationship. When you have a friend of the opposite you should be able to go hang out, do normal things, not be distracted by any one-sided or mutual attraction lingering in the air but rather, if their IS any attraction, one or both parties should be able to put those feelings aside for the sake of the friendship and not let them be a driving or motivating force. Also, you should want to hang out because they’re your friend – not because of what they can do for you or what you can get from them but because they are truly your platonic friend.

I dont know. This is a subject that I feel really strongly about and I know that it’s a lot more complex than what I’ve expressed, but I really get disheartened when I think of how their are those who don’t have the capability at this point in their life to make genuine connections with the opposite sex or even have the insight on how to cultivate them without seeing every person as an opportunity to survive, get over or get ahead in life. You truly don’t know that you’re missing out on one of the simple pleasures of life: a true friendship with someone.

20130818-142232.jpg

Stay Thankful

Taking time out to remember to be grateful – not just for the good things that have happened in my life, but for the bad as well. I don’t know who your higher power is, but mine says that everything happens for a reason. Good. Bad. Somewhere in between. It all works out and i personally believe that whether you look to a higher power, have a spiritual outlook or look to the good in everything, if you stay positive and remember to count your blessings even in the not so good times, everything will work out! As they say….every cloud has a silver lining and their IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay positive and live in the moment because tomorrow is never promised and you may end up wasting precious time stressing over something that may never come to pass! Live!Image

Healing

I want to take the time to do a short blog (a mini blog, if you will) on the power of healing. Not healing from “boo-boos” when you scrape yourself. Not healing from major surgery or the like. But healing from what is essentially self-inflicted emotional wounds. For so many people, myself included, when we’re hurt we put up walls and come up with ways to protect ourselves from allowing that person to further inflict pain upon us. I call it self-inflicted because at the end of the day, these walls, these negative attitudes towards them, the grudges, the resentment etc. is not hurting anybody except us.

Well, I was in that situation and had even convinced myself and wholeheartedly believed that in order for me to deal with a particular person was, in essence, NOT to deal with them because i knew that any mention of their name, the mere sight of their face or anything related to them would send me into a downward spiral of nothingness and believe me when i say, because ive kept track, it would take a minimum of 3-4 days to recover and rejoin the living but then i literally had a ‘divine revelation’ that “wait a minute….this is not healthy for me. Im not getting anywhere and its definitely doing me more harm than it isnt them!” I realized i needed to let it go and come up with another solution. So thats what i did – i let go and let God. Meaning that through prayer, prayer and more prayer, i was able to shift the focus from those negative feelings to working on what i needed to work on in order to move forward. By doing that, i can honestly say that the next time i actually SAW this person, feelings of hatred, resentment, hostility and every other negative emotion that gets conjured up from the depths of hell no longer ruled me. I ruled them. I was able interact with this person as if we were friends and their wasnt an ounce of bad history between us.

Moral of the story my friends: its true what they say about forgiveness, doing it for you and not for them and holding on to grudges. That other person is going on with their life and you’re sitting around reaping the consequences. You’re drinking the poison that’s meant for them! So for those of you who are in similar situations, find your inner being and higher power, combine the two and let it all go!! You’ll find that you move forward a lot faster than if you didnt. Image

Low self esteem – Is society always at the heart of it?

I couldn’t think of a snappy title for this blog – especially one that is short and to the point. I often go through phases where I just think of off topic random subjects in my head and today was one of those days I was going through that phase. I started thinking about the few things on my body that I was not satisfied with and remembered how I’ve voiced these things to some of my friends. A lot of times their response tended to be in the realm of this is what I have so I need to accept it or this is what God gave me and I need to be happy with it and I’m definitely not arguing those points. I think those are good things. I’ve also come across articles revolving around self esteem and people not liking their physical appearance and the connection between those two. Now granted, I do think that body dysmorphia and low self esteem often times are connected but has society, the psychiatrist, therapist and all these experts ever considered that a self aware, well informed individual with a decent amount of self esteem can just maybe be unhappy with certain aspects of their body and that’s all there is to it?

I’m a fitness trainer by career and having been in the field since 1997 I’ve come across all kinds of shapes and sizes. And while it’s true that society tends to put more emphasis on certain kinds of body types by toting them as being  more desirable, and therefore oftentimes putting women especially, in a mindset to compare themselves to these types and ultimately be more critical of their own. However my challenge to you is this: is it possible that a well-informed, self aware female with a decent level of self esteem that has been exposed to different body types, be able to not be too fond of certain things on her body based on the fact that she has seen other body types that may have the specific body part she prefers as opposed to hers, without being labeled as having some sort of mental disorder or negative “self” issues? and I’m not talking about taking it to the extreme of self loathing or self hatred. I’m basically talking about a healthy female mentally, emotionally and physically for the most part, being able to be okay with not being too fond of certain body parts without the pressure or fear that she’s going to be labeled or classified by society as having some sort of issue.

Yes I believe in working with what you have, attempting to do something about it the best way you can if you’re unhappy with it, and at the end of the day accepting you for you. But while society tries to fix those that dislike themselves with “self love” medicine, I believe that they are unintentionally creating a brand new monster for those that are already comfortable with themselves by not allowing the freedom to recognize that it’s okay to not be happy with certain things about your body as long as you understand that in the end, it’s what you have and most times  you have the power to change it and it wont mean that you hate yourself.

At A Crossroad

Who am I? I thought I knew. Now I question it. My whole identity, who I am and who I’ve become have been tied up in that one title I’ve gone by for the past 15 years: Trainerchick. June 1997 is when I became a fitness trainer. I thought I had finally found my calling making a transition from a licensed cosmotologist doing hair and only making a difference superficially to actually doing something I felt really meant something. Not just to me but to other people and for those who didn’t know how important their health & fitness was, I was determined to be one of the dedicated fitness professionals that enlightened them!

Trainers are for the most part just like everyone else. Although we have that leg up on the general population when it comes to health & fitness knowledge, we can still suffer the same setbacks, lack of motivation, eating disorders etc. as anyone else. I’m a testament to ALL just mentioned! There’s been times when I’ve been burnt out from not just having so many clients but also from being tired of constantly feeling like I had to live up to the stereotype of what a trainer should “look like”. Not saying that those thoughts don’t cross my mind anymore because believe me, they do – especially when Im not feeling up to par, have put on 30 trillion pounds of fat  and know that for whatever reason, justified, legit, or not – and feel unworthy of even telling people what I do for a living. I remember a couple years ago a friend of mine came from out of town to visit. A perfectly planned day way quickly overthrown  when we drove up to Napa (the wine country) to spend a 1/2 day at the spa and while she went on to her 1.5 hour hot mud soak, I went into the room with the lady who was going to give me my 1.5 hour FULL BODY massage! Oh f**k! well, I can honestly say that yeah, I knew this was coming and somehow I made peace with the fact that this lady was going to be seeing me at one of my worst times but all that comfort seem to go right out the window when she asked that age old question, “so – what do you do for a living?”. Lady, why in the he’ll did you have to go there!! Not only did my self consciousness come back in full force, but I damn near O.D.’ed on feeling bad because here I am, being honest, telling her what my area of expertise was (and for how long since she just couldn’t seem to leave well enough alone) WHILE looking like a beached whale on her massage table! Maybe I’m overly critical. Maybe she didn’t see what I saw. Maybe she really could have cared less and had absolutely no opinion either way. I’ll never know so my only thought, obviously, is to make my thoughts, hers. My feelings, hers. My disgust, hers.
On a more positive note, I can honestly say that their did come a time, AFTER my eating disorder got out of control, AFTER I had been through some things and AFTER I surrounded myself with healthier people that I finally accepted the fact that I would never be thin, probably would never have the figure I was so determined to get at any cost (and actually did but was too caught up in not being satisfied that I never noticed although others did) and would most likely never fit those clothes I THOUGHT would look good on me. I accepted the reality that I’m not supermodel material but that I have an athletic physique. Lean muscle. Thinner toned  upper body with very strong legs. I had to rethink and reprogram my thought processes in order to survive – not just from a health perspective but from a clientele perspective too. I got tired of just talking the talk and convincing myself I’m an exception to the rule. Truth is: I’m not. I knew my passion for health & fitness was slowly dying because of all the self inflicted stress I was bringing upon myself, both mentally, psychologically and physically. Believe me, eating 5 crackers and drinking 3 glasses of juice and/or cool aid a day  while working out 3 times a day for at LEAST an hour every single day for 5 months straight AND taking at least 6-7 different KINDS of diet supplements is kinda sorta not the way to do things! Lol

Anyway, all this is said because over the years, with all my ups and downs, good times and bad, confusion and direction, discontentment and semi-satisfaction combined, I’m now left wondering at this late in the game if in fact it may be time to pursue other avenues. I feel like thats something that I need to do because let’s face it, regardless of my passion for H&F, is it doing ME more harm than good if I’m not ready to address it? I have two other interests: technology and psychology. I would love to pursue both of those but I always come back to the fact that I’m 41 and feeling like it’s too late to really be trying to start on a new career path. Do I have the energy, the patience and the genuine motivation  to see it out? Is this really what I want and can I really do this and succeed? All these questions, second guessing and contemplations are what has kept me at a cross road for the last 5 years.