Tongue-Tied. I'm not sure how to spit out the words as the desire to communicate my authentic thoughts and feelings is overwhelming.
Oh, where to begin...?
I have found great comfort in friends and family who knew me back when I was "Kristy," before I started going by "Kristy Jo" for the sake of business marketing purposes. Even dearer to me are those closest to me who call me 'Krist.' Isn't it amazing the power our names carry? It's these very people who have kept me grounded as my business has grown, as my goals have shifted, and as I've evolved into a new person over the past few years.
We all evolve, or at least, I'm pretty sure that's the goal of life. I feel I've experienced enough in the past three years that I can take a "bench seat" for the next ten years and not miss out on anything. I feel I haven't slept in three years. I haven't taken any time for ME. I've shut out friends, family, and become "that girl" that WILL cancel on your plans.
I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry! I've cried many tears over this!
I've been so focused on making my business succeed, on being there for everyone who called upon me, that I essentially lost myself. The past six months of my life is when it really took a nose-dive.
During this time I felt my soul sink deeper and deeper with each passing day. The things that used to bring me so much joy became things I loathed. I hated the gym. I hated cooking. I hated food in general. Anxiety set in, and my already short nights got shorter. I panicked when people called without an appointment. My heart-rate exploded with every new "buzz" of my phone indicating a text message had arrived. Even friendly texts and calls that weren't business-related became burdensome, and I grew to resent even people I loved for reaching out to me. There were many days I seriously almost threw my phone and computer out the window. I wanted to see everything smash to pieces . . .but then I'd sit down like a normal person and get to work :) I wanted to isolate myself. I began shutting my blinds and working in the darkness. I didn't go out, except to train or grocery shop. For much of this time, I lived alone and reveled in my isolation.
I was so focused on continuing onward toward the vision of reaching more people and being there for everyone who needed it that I forgot to "put on my own oxygen mask." Life had no purpose other than to be Kristy Jo and help everyone else. My own light began to flicker and threaten to go out. Oh the irony of it all, as this is the very thing I teach my clients day-in and day-out: the need to take care of themselves first. Surely, somewhere deep down, I must have overridden the switch-button that screamed TAKE YOUR OWN ADVICE.
I continued to tail-spin down emotionally in the thick of it all in addition to a difficult break-up that surely intensified the entire situation I was in. At some of the darkest moments, I hovered over the delete button on the Facebook page I'd been working to grow for three years. I can't take this anymore, I thought on a daily, if not hourly basis. This happened more than 10 times. There were days I called home to my parents sobbing, not having any words to express the depth to which I felt I truly had lost myself.
Who was I anymore? Had I destroyed Kristy? Where was the silly girl who liked to read books, hike in the mountains, and dance with her friends? Where was the girl who loved to journal and play games? Where was the girl who spent hours on the piano? She was nowhere to be found, and my heart ached that I had betrayed her.
Kristy Jo had been holding Kristy underwater, watching her drown in the depths of the past that is used now to market the business. Surely there are things that had to change (and have dramatically) from the past, but ALL of Kristy didn't need to drown, did she?
I'm not quite out of the torrential emotions and thoughts that have come with this realization, but I have been able to make some big improvements in the past month:
1. I got a business line that I use to discuss anything business-related. I refuse to discuss business-related topics of nutrition and fitness if it's on Kristy's phone number. This has been WONDERFUL for helping me separate Kristy from Coach Kristy Jo.
2. I keep my phone on Do Not Disturb so that I don't get little "buzzes" all day long. If one of my loved ones really needs to reach me, my phone allows them to bypass the Do Not Disturb as they're on my Favorites list.
3. I'm in the middle of an entire business restructure to fix the broken model that left me on the verge of admission to a mental institution. I am grateful for the incredible expertise and insight from business professionals who have been helping me with this. It's been a humbling experience to accept help and entertain the thought of a new way of sharing what I love so much.
I'm not quite through processing what else needs to happen, and how that will occur.
But I do know one thing . . . and that is the fact that I'm done trying to fulfill my false perception of others' expectations of me, including my own.
There has never been a day in my life I went to bed fulfilled and satisfied with what I've done.
There has never been a day in my life I woke up and was genuinely okay with myself--you see, I'm an Achiever Personality, and wake up with my "points" at zero. I have to work all day long in order to acquire "points" to feel like I am good enough (which is a no-win personality type because no one gets to 100 points to go to bed fulfilled and satisfied).
I was counseled yesterday to look back on all I have accomplished and find satisfaction in it. Ever since then, I've had a very disturbed heart. I tried to do it--I really did.
But I couldn't see anything. All I saw was failure. All I saw was efforts that have been slammed by nearly anyone from whom I've asked advice.
All I saw was the added wrinkles to my face from the stress of sleepless nights and taking on far more than a person should ever carry. When I tell people I am only 28, they are very surprised as most tend to think I am in my mid-thirties. I'm not sure if that is due to my face, or my "maturity" (let's laugh together for a moment), but I have noticed the aging. Not that there is anything wrong with it--that is life--but it's indicative of the great stress I have brought upon myself.
I have looked back at my last two competitions--October 2015--in which I was mortified at the package I put on the stage. I was nowhere near lean enough. I was not ready to be on a stage. Sure, I took home a 1st place trophy, but competitions are all dependent upon who shows up. 1st place is one of the most ironically twisted defining factors in any competition of any nature. 1st place means nothing when I knew my body was not where it should be.
Though I'm very pleased with the development of my physique (muscle proportion/symmetry), I pummeled myself mentally as I have a brand to uphold and a growing team to lead into battle. What kind of a leader was I, to show up with less than anything but my A-game? I should have been shredded to get up there. And no, I was not being hard on myself, as several have implied. I'm a coach, and I know how a competitor should look. It's not a matter of "finish what you started." I compete to win. That is what makes a competitor a competitor.
And that's when I knew I was done. I looked deep, deep, deep inside and decided that I have zero ounce of desire in my heart to compete next week. I've been doing contest prep this fall competition season because I thought that's what people expected from me. Wow, how silly is that?
As I sat on my office couch all night long, sleep evading me and my heart throbbing in questions and confusion, I decided to be honest in sharing my decision.
I know of many who have been cheering me on toward my final competition of 2015 in Las Vegas, and I was sure many would think I'm just a quitter. That's what I was afraid of, but now I'm not. Let people think what they want, but I am the one living my life, and I'm going to live it for ME.
I've been living a crazy lifestyle the past few weeks seeking to get leaner for the final show of the year that actually mattered to me. But the fact is I am too burned out, too depleted, and my body won't budge. I have pushed this nutritional strategy as far as I could, I have maxed out the capability of what my energy stores can do, I have burned up the intensity at which I can push my body with my chronic pain, and I've used up all of my determination to grit my teeth through it all.. Because "go hard or go home," right?
To a point, absolutely.
But there is a line, and I crossed it. Hardcore.
So instead of taking home a 1st place trophy at this show, I'm going to take home a 1st place personal responsibility trophy in life. I'm going to take care of me, and my reverse diet begins today. I haven't created new recipes for over 5 months due to being in contest prep mode, and I can't even express how much joy I had last night buying staples for a healthy lifestyle that I haven't eaten in months.
I will still be at the Musclemania show, but there to support members of Team BodBeasts. And whatever happens with my business, happens.
I'm relinquishing my future to the only One who knows me better than anyone, and knows what I'm supposed to do. I love coaching. I love teaching. I love sharing.
So, as Joseph B. Wirthlin said, "Come What May And Love It!"
(not Kristy Jo)