Episode 39: Just Make Me Stronger

Episode 39_ Just Make Me Stronger.png

Duration: 00:25:35

In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you how your motivation isn’t the secret to your success.

I have a confession to make: I am NOT your go-to for all things current events. If you want to know what’s going on in the world at large, in the US, Texas or even my hometown of Waco, don’t ask me. I get my news from my Instagram feed, specifically from The Shade Room. 

My grandparents, however, are super into the news. It must be a generational thing. They watch the news at noon and then again at 5 o’clock. I’ve tried to watch it with them, but within three minutes, I have to leave the room. It’s all bad and gory and I feel my energy start to turn negative. 

Oh, and if you’re looking for someone to watch scary movies or murder mysteries or anything too real life and painful, I am NOT your girl. That ish will literally haunt me and I won’t be able to sleep. I know this because I’ve tried and it’s not pretty. My one guilty pleasure used to be watching Law & Order Special Victims Unit, but I stopped watching that after I had Lyric. #motherhood 

Don’t get it twisted: I care deeply about what’s going on in the world and I’m not burying my head in the sand, pretending that bad stuff doesn’t happen. Not at all. I’ve just learned that negativity sells (so it’s splashed everywhere) and I have the power to curate the news I entertain. Heck, even my music playlists have changed because I need to protect my precious energy. 

I know you’ll probably be surprised to hear that I agreed to read the book, “Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered” by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. They are the creators of the hit podcast, My Favorite Murder. 

I know, right? So outside of my comfort zone. But I said to myself, “You know what? I gotta walk my talk.” 

This book is totally not what I expected. At all. It’s part autobiography, part self-help and funny as shit (AND also really sad at times like when Karin talks about watching helplessly as her mom succumbed to Alzheimer’s). 

There is so much to break down in this book that I could literally talk about it for hours on end. But I want to share something that really struck me in the hopes that it resonates with you, too. 

In Chapter Five, “Don’t Be a Fucking Lunatic,” (yes, they cuss a lot which I love and which also means that I’ve listened to the audio book version with my headphones) Georgia shares her Top 10 “Holy Shit!” Moments in Therapy. #6 “You don’t need motivation” really spoke to me.

Georgia talks about how she was talking to one of her successful friends about how depressed she was about not getting ish done. She says that being a lazy person is what she does best. She says that she loves to chill, day drink and take it fucking easy. I mean who doesn’t, right? 

Anyhoo, the friend shares with her that her secret weapon is working with a life coach. So Georgia gets the life coach’s number and sets up the first of many sessions. Here’s what she writes:

At our first of what would be many sessions, I was bemoaning the fact that I just couldn’t seem to get anything done and I was using the tired excuse of not having any motivation: to go to the gym, to write, to get out of my pajamas somedays. “I just keep waiting and hoping that the motivation to do all the things that I genuinely want to do, that I should do, will hit me so I can stop being depressed about being so lazy,” I told her.

Her response was a slap in the face of obviousness that was so true it had never even crossed my mind. “Motivation isn’t necessary,” she said. “You just have to do it.”

Yes! That makes so much sense. I can drag my ass to a spin class and hate every moment of it, but I still did it. And writing this chapter, even though I just downloaded the audio book of Michelle McNamara’s “I’ll Be Gone In The Dark,” and all I want to do is listen to it while I paint my nails, but deadlines are a thing, so I’m writing down the top 10 biggest therapy epiphanies of my life like a boss instead. 

I’m not motivated, but these words. They just keep showing up on my screen. Point being you don’t have to bound in every situation ready to kick ass, you just have to show up and once you’re there, you might as well do your best. But fuck it all if you think I’m not taking a nap afterward.

— Georgia Hardstark, Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered

Honey Bunny, did you giggle and proceed to have tremendo a-ha moment like I did? 

Just show up. It’s not going to be easy or pretty. If you’re going to the gym, you’re going to sweat, turn red and look like a fool as you try to catch your breath (or is that just me?). If you’re looking for a new job, you’re probably going to have to wake up early and use that time to look at job posts, apply online and really game plan your next steps. You’ll want to hit snooze and you’ll probably feel like you’re still asleep, but you’re showing up, right?

Towards the end of June, my mom and I started doing the 21 day Clean cleanse. The Clean cleanse was designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger and I highly recommend you check out the book, Clean -- Expanded Edition: The Revolutionary Program To Restore The Body's Natural Ability To Heal Itself

(I also recommend that you talk to your doctor and nutritionist before beginning any new programs. Always stay safe, HB.)

The basic gist of this cleanse is that you have a smoothie for breakfast, a nice meal at lunch, snacks throughout the day and then soup or a smoothie for dinner. There is a list of foods that you don’t eat during the cleanse (like dairy, bread, certain fruits and vegetables, etc). 

Before I became a mom, I used to do this cleanse twice a year as a way to reset my body. But I’ve put off doing it since Lyric was born because we’ve been breastfeeding and I was super paranoid about not having enough nourishment for both me and my milk supply. In all actuality, maybe that was an excuse to just eat whatever I want, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

However, I’ve done the cleanse enough times to know how different foods affect my body. I knew I was stuck in a rut of getting anxious about meal planning, meal prepping and getting groceries, so I’d use that as an excuse to just eat whatever and then feel bloated and like crap afterwards. I didn’t feel motivated. I wasn’t showing up. I felt foggy, fat and defeated. 

But, real talk, the truth is that I am what I eat and the same goes for you. 

Think about it. Your physical body is a gorgeously designed machine that, for the most part, runs on autopilot. There are so many things going on inside of you right now and you have no clue about them. You never once have had to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe or your eyes to see. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t get into the particulars of it all. I recently started reading Cameron Diaz’s book, The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body, because it has literally been sitting on my bookshelf for years. 

I loved how the book really broke down the concept of food. Food is fuel for your body. Your body takes that fuel and uses it to power and even create the gazillion bagillion cells in your body. Your body has specific nutritional needs, so why not give them to your body for optimal performance? 

Real talk (and I’m guilty of this, too): people are often more concerned with the gas they put in their cars than they are about the stuff they put into their bodies. I frequent the same gas stations because I want to decrease the chance of getting bad gas. You know, the cheap gas that makes your car act funny.

No bueno.

Anyhoo, all of this has been going thru my mind and I decided to do the cleanse. 

I knew that it was going to be hard for me. I knew that I wasn’t motivated and I didn’t want to show up at all. I knew that I would have many days where I would just want to give up and indulge in those bottled Starbuck Mocha Fraps that you get at Target (unless you’re me and you buy them in bulk at Sam’s). 

Knowing that I’d have a hard time, I called in reinforcements: Mama Terry. I knew that together we could do this and keep each other accountable. I knew that she’d help me just show up because I would literally have zero motivation. 

And I’m so glad I did this. I’m all about knowing your obstacles and preparing for them.

Doing this cleanse is all about preparation and having a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you will more than likely not follow through with it. I know because it’s happened to me. 

Here’s the groove we found for us during the cleanse (and that we’ve managed to keep up post cleanse):

  • meal plan for the entire upcoming week on Saturday; order groceries online and have them delivered Sunday morning

  • unload the groceries and make Sunday/Monday lunch as well as Sunday dinner and Monday breakfast

  • In the evenings, my mom comes over and we prep the next day’s lunch, snacks, dinner and breakfast

Game changer on so many levels.

  1. I get to spend time with my mom. We meal prep, laugh, talk about our days. Sometimes we listen to music or to the audio book I’m jamming on. It’s been really nice to have this time to connect with her. She also has gotten me through the days when I’m feeling really lazy and I don’t want to do it (and vice-versa).

  2. I never have to worry about what I’m going to eat the next day, which, believe it or not, is one of my major sources of anxiety and usually the reason why I end up eating something crappy (it’s convenient, readily available and stifles the hunger). I’m pretty good at sticking to the plan, but when there’s no plan, I usually go AWOL.

  3. Oh, the convenience of online shopping. I don’t have to go to the grocery store, which can be a huge time suck, especially if I can’t find where they keep some random ingredient I’m using. It also stimulates the economy by giving people gainful employment, which I’m all about. I can also stay at home and continue writing. 

The first week was terrible, though. I’ve been eating so crappy that I even started downing two mocha fraps a day (I would normally only stick to one but I found myself needing a pick me up in the afternoon). 

Even though I was getting enough nourishment, my mind was like, “Oh no! You’re changing the way we do things. No bueno. We need more food. What are you doing?” It took a good five days this time around for me to acclimate (in the past, it’s been more like 3 days). 

After that, I started getting into the groove. I have a recipes board on Pinterest that I use to store recipes that look good to me. Now that we’re off the cleanse, we’re slowly incorporating items back into our diet to see if there are any allergies. I did have a mocha frap yesterday and would you believe that it tasted terrible? I was so surprised and right now I have no desire for one. 

A huge part of this process has been just showing up and doing what I said I would do, even though every part of wants to just lay in bed and binge watch the Charmed reboot on Netflix. 

So, yeah, you don’t need motivation. Just show up. The truth is that motivation may or may not be there. What I would add to Georgia’s epiphany is that you get to choose whether or not you show up regardless of if the motivation to do so is present.

You are the expert on you. You know your MO, your obstacles and challenges. Use that to your advantage and game plan as much as possible. Get an accountability partner. 

I absolutely second her opinion of getting as much therapy or life coaching as possible and that’s not just because I am a life coach. We aren’t meant to go through life alone and, like she says, human beings need to emote even if that means paying someone you can emote to.

So there you have it. Today’s episode. You don’t need motivation. You just need to show up. 

HB, life is tough, but you’re tougher. Show up even when you want to shut down. Show up even when you want to be lazy. Show up when everyone else has decided not to. Show up despite what others say about you or what you say about yourself. 

You get to set the tone of your life. The choice is yours, so choose wisely.

Now it’s your turn. Comment below and let me know your greatest takeaway from today’s episode. Specificity is your best friend. You never know who you may inspire with your story. 

I’m cheering for you. Like you’re on a treadmill blasting TIP coming live from the VIP in your headphones.