The road to the unknown

 

One year ago, I was on the road from New Mexico to Wyoming. I was in a moving truck with all my life squeezed in there. Many things got sold or left behind, though. Material things didn’t have much meaning to me at this point in my life.

I didn’t know yet that soon my life was going to change totally!

And all I could do was to trust that all would be well.

I trusted so much that during the 12-hour drive I didn’t hesitate for a second about my decision. There was no single thought of turning back. I knew I was driving to a new me, to a new life, and to new experiences.

I trusted fully!

 

You may ask me, what has changed?

And this is my answer.

 

Depression is my history.

I recall being depressed and suicidal over the last 15 years, with some extreme ups and down. I never knew that in order for me to overcome this disorder I needed at first to feel safe – safe to be, safe to cry, safe to be down, safe to express what I feel!!! Once I felt the safety in every single cell of my body, the awakening came. I realized that I was loved for who I was because it felt safe. It felt loving, too.

The dark thoughts, self-doubts, and fearfulness may still be present – but the way I react to them today is a totally new game. I observe when they come, how they show up, how dark they are and how cloudy my brain gets – I see them and I refuse to let these experiences control my life.

Emotions are OK.

Pain is my superpower.

I accept it, I love it and I don’t push it away. I know they are all here to teach me how to be a better person every day.

I learned to rest and recharge instead of allowing darkness to overtake me.

I learned to take a nap, instead of going into a self-hateful thinking pattern.

I learned to journal or meditate when I am sad or in pain, so I can cry and cry and feel amazing about expressing all of it!

I learned to pause or even step back when it feels heavy.

I learned that it is only me who has a choice of either being happy or miserable.

So, I remind myself every day that I am loved, safe to express and be, beautiful and whole, worthy and freaking unstoppable. I trusted then and keep trusting today!

 

My personal growth journey went through so many huge shifts that one year ago none of it was even in my dreams.

I was battling severe bulimia, extreme panic attacks, and the biggest obsession over the weight, food and exercising and that saddened me. It felt like it would never end and that there is no hope. Yet, every single time I was experiencing any of it, I managed to look at myself in the mirror and remind myself that there is a way out of it.

It was the hardest part of my entire journey – to believe and trust in something that logically didn’t seem like it was ever coming. I had no clue how that would look like or show up. But I knew I could be free of all of these things. I knew that many other women got there, so I could too!

I trusted, and that trust brought me to the freedom and the most beautiful life so far! Freedom from obsession over food or body-image, freedom from panic attacks, freedom from bulimia and freedom from the fear! I trusted then and keep trusting today!

 

The interpersonal communication and the way it’s done was a huge turn over in my life.

I was told by a few of my ex-partners that I don’t know how to love and how to communicate in the relationship. That’s why I believed that all my relationships didn’t work because I was a problem.

How mistaken I was. I allowed other’s insecurities and inabilities to be projected on me and I took it as my own stories and beliefs.

All I needed was to feel safe. Again, safety was my thing. Once I discovered that being safe is the happy place for me and my Inner Child, then the magic started pouring down from the sky.

Without a person who supported me on this journey by meeting me half-way, that wouldn’t be possible. Creating the safe, non-judgmental and open space for both of us allowed me to blossom. Once that started, I could show how loving and caring of a person I was.

After all, I never thought I could have a relationship like this – trustworthy, respectful, safe, loving, supportive, open and honest!

 

Acceptance of my emotionality, sensitivity, vulnerability, sensuality, and desires was a great step forward.

Oh well, let me tell you – those qualities never aligned with me – they felt weak, whiny, and not allowed in the big world of success. That girl was all about being powerful, never weak and never crying, strong and doing it all by herself!

Well, that is not true today and I am so glad to take that mask off and reveal the true person.

I felt like an outsider or from a different plant, as I called myself.

I could easily become distracted.

I could feel melancholy for no particular reason.

I could feel other people’s emotions intensely.

I could easily take on the mask of Wonder Woman or Femme Fatale to “fit in” in a society that hasn’t appreciated my intuitive ways.

I knew I was super emotional, with extreme waves even during a single day.

I am a nurturer, caregiver and I cry when I see bad things happening to any human being, including homeless or junkie.

I am sensitive as hell, and that is another superpower of mine.

And I freaking love that about me today. I don’t buy into the story of being too sensitive or PMS. I learned to be with all my emotions, the dark and light ones.

I learned to tap into my vulnerability and use it as the most creative and empowering tool I ever had. I decided to reconnect with my intuition and inner voice so I could be the truest version of myself.

 

The last, but not the least, is my rediscovery of the part of me which I managed to suppress for the longest – the femininity and woman in me.

I hated being a woman for most of my life. I wanted to have the testosterone to build muscles, I didn’t want to be a crybaby when someone hurt me, I wanted to be a buddy for most of my men friends, I wanted to be treated as a strong person. No vulnerability, sensitivity, tears or whining were allowed. I was happy for not having a period for most of my life while being on the pill. I used the PCOS diagnosis as a relief so I didn’t need to get pregnant. I wanted to hide my hips and breasts. OMG, I could list these things forever.

Today, that part of me seems to be the most mysterious, magical and hiding so much more to learn, express and live by.

Today I track my period which came back in January 2018. I am excited when I am bleeding because that means I am a woman, still or again, whichever way I look at it.

I am excited to be with the moon outside and soak in the energy of the beautiful Luna.

I am happy doing self-massage, dance to hot and sexual music or meditate naked to love every part of my body.

I would never imagine being at this point just a year ago!

 

Life is beautiful, with every single moment of it – either emotional and sad, or happy and joyful, either with heavy experiences or lightness and breakthroughs.

The number of gifts that life delivers to us within such a short time just like one year – it is truly beyond the imagination of the logical mind. Only the heart and soul can embrace that!

So, I do it, every single day. And I trust!

 

 

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Step by Step… [The Emotional and Mental Memoir from Ultra Beast Spartan Race]

This is not a recap of an Ultra Beast Race. You can read those elsewhere. This is a mental and emotional piece about somebody’s inner world.

This is not a blog with ideas and tips on how to train. It is not about how to eat and prepare for one of the toughest obstacle endurance races. This is an expression of a soul screaming after facing an unknown field of defeat and disqualification.

The “Ultra Beast Spartan Race” is one of the longest obstacle races in the OCR series. What does that mean for an overachieving athlete like me? It means there is going to be a mental challenge. It inevitably leads to the question of “to be or not be” in the game.

 

Weeks before….

In the weeks leading up to that moment, I often found myself overthinking and over-analyzing the upcoming race. Of course, this would be interspersed with moments of calmness, and times of not thinking about the race at all. As a professional athlete, business owner, and life coach, I have learned firsthand how overthinking will never result in anything good. It only leads to fear, stress and demotivation. Overanalyzing is even worse; it creates an overpowering fear of losing control. I am the last one to predict the weather, the course, the obstacles, and most importantly: to predict my own body’s reaction and feelings.

I find it very relaxing to not think about the race at all. Yes, “spacing out” can irritate the ones who love you most. But guess what? I love spacing out. I bask in the moments when I allow the universe to think on my behalf. I love not knowing what the future may hold. I love to be at peace, doing what I do every day: eat healthy, train hard, stretch, rest, and sleep.

 

The night before….

That day before the Ultra Beast was one of the most serene days of my life. All my work was done. I was up to date on updating my clients’ plans. Everything was taken care of. The trip was planned, I had checked the weather. Even the last-minute gels had been purchased and packed. I was ready.

I decided to go on a walk. I was fully present. I looked up at the sky to see the stars, ever grateful for that precious moment! Silence is the best medicine for me before such a race.

Every professional athlete takes time to just sit with their own thoughts.

I shut down all the voices and all the stress.  This is the best anyone can do the night before a big race!

 

On race day….

Morning brought silence. With a carbed-up breakfast and mental focus, I knew what I wanted most in that moment. I thought: There is nothing else but me.

Me, the way I am now. Completely present, two hours before the start. Me, the most athletic, the best prepared, the healthiest person. I can face the unknown. All will be good, because I will take it step by step.

I did everything within my power, right? I am the strongest I could possibly be, right? I prepared every single detail for this race, right? Yes, I did.

Let’s do this!

 

The Race….

Start, slow start…

I relinquished my inner-will to chase the rest of the competitors. I kept repeating: “Pace yourself”. It soon became my mantra for the race.

“When the breathing peaks up, all I do is pace myself.”

Suddenly, I recalled everything I ever read or heard about the importance of breathing. How successful of a tool it is for stress management. Was I stressed? Not particularly, but I was very focused. I wasn’t going to let any breathing struggles get in my way. “You got this” and “keep going” was mentioned frequently by those passing me.

Yes, my legs keep moving step by step. “There is no other way but forward” my mind exclaims. “You got this, beYOUtiful!” I said to myself, as I approached a steep hill.

Step by step. I removed any thoughts about the obstacles that were ahead of me.

“That is the next step, let me focus on the uphill right now.”

I relinquished all care about the future. I knew that all I had to focus on was my next step. I had brief bursts of energy, helping me refocus, recharge.

Suddenly, I was battling an obstacle. My mind went blank. I swiftly reminded myself that I was moving forward. In my mind, “burpee” became synonymous with “obstacle”. I thought: “I will not allow ‘burpees’ to disturb my stubborn Taurus personality.”

Do you remember saying from the movie, “Dori”?

“Just keep swimming.”

Exactly. Keep moving. Keep swimming. Keep running!

 

Suddenly, my body was telling me something….

Was it a pinch in the knee? I tried to decipher the feeling. “Listen knee, we have a second lap to do. We’ve got this. Just cooperate with me and stop fighting, ok?”

As the miles added up, I felt my body in places I wasn’t expecting. I tried to reassure myself. I had never had issues with my ankles and knees before.

“Let me change the way I run. Let’s try to slow down and let refocus on the course. I know my body, all will be fine.”

As I made it through another obstacle, I thought, “That was easy, which means I’m a badass! Even the cold doesn’t bother me as much as others that I am slowly passing. Wow, I prepared really well.”

I had just finished facing the biggest fear of my life. Swimming didn’t kill me physically, but it broke me mentally.

As I plunged in to the icy water, I tried to my best to have a positive mindset. But, unfortunately, the panic attack was stronger.

“That’s ok, it’s in the past. Let’s do burpees and move on. I’ve got a second lap to do and I need to have a serious conversation with my body parts.”

 

Downhill…

I know the difference between pain and discomfort. I have an incredibly high pain tolerance. But this pain was excruciating.

“Knee, please, please don’t do this to me now. Why are you actually hurting? I’ve been so kind to you. I’ve been pacing myself this entire time.”

My pace began to slow.

Still, I moved on, step by step. But I felt it. No, it wasn’t pain. It was fear, creeping in to my thoughts. I had worked so hard on letting my fear go, just days before the race.

“Go away!!!!”

As I pictured my ligaments tearing and visualized tripping and rolling down this hill, my inner self shouted “NO, NO, NO!!!”

But I’m stubborn. The overachiever, the badass, the winner.

 

I had to decide….

The pain became unbearable. Do you know those pain scales in the hospital, with “1” being the best and “10” being the worst? I was at a 9, maybe 10, and it brought tears to my eyes. It was so intense that I could barely hold my focus as I limped. A fight between my inner-worlds ensued.

“Didn’t you accomplish 12 hours of the brutal Hurricane Heat event? Do you remember what you were telling yourself there? Yes, so keep repeating: step, step, step, step. Don’t think about giving up. Just: step, step, step, step. Shut up and move on. Step, step, step. This is your dream. Step, step, step. This is your life. Step, step, step.”

I couldn’t take another.

“Please don’t do that to me! Don’t fade, please. I can go, I can move….”

Having to give away your inner power hurts more than any knee ever could. I had to decide to let my partner continue through the race without me. I felt like I let myself down, and I had never envisioned this would happen!

 

Afterwards….   

I felt empty, I felt lost, I felt disempowered. I had lost myself somewhere on the 15-mile mark.

Someone else must have decided to DNF on my behalf. It was not the Izabela I know. She never gives up. She never whines. She never uses pain as an excuse! The Izabela I know lives by the saying: “be comfortable with uncomfortable”. It was someone other than me that decided to quit. I know I could’ve gone on and finished it!

But no, continuing with that pain wouldn’t have been possible.

The Izabela I know is also caring of herself and others. She is supportive. She inspires and motivates herself and other. She might be unstoppable, but she also knows when it’s time to practice self-care. She may have the strength to break ice, but she also knows how to melt ice with self-love. She knows that dreams do come true. They just come true during the right time, at the right place.

 

Everything happens for a reason.

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

….. step by step ……

12 Weeks Important to Create a Habit of Lifestyle Changes, Healthy Choices and Balanced Emotions

Challenge Up 12-week program: http://beyoutiful.fit/challengeup/. Make sure to sign up before January 4th, 2018. The kick off of the program is on that day!

Wait, 12 weeks is too long? Why not 21 days as everyone believed it should take?

Some people say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. But according to a research done by Phillipa Lally, a psychology researcher, reveals that it actually takes about 66 days to form a new habit.

The researchers examined the habits of 96 people for a 12-week period. Every person was asked to select one habit to adopt for that period.

They reported each day if they were able to do what they choose and how they felt about it. The habits were things like drinking 2 liters of water every day to running 15 minutes before dinner. After the 12-weeks period elapsed the conclusion was that it takes a minimum of two months to build a new habit.

Why 12 weeks?

12 weeks is adequate to create good habits such as exercising or cutting out junk foods from the diet. Our fitness program gears towards a comprehensive plan that involves customized nutrition plans, personalized coaching and support from a private community.

Our 12-week program will be systematic and help you to make healthy changes one step at a time. Going through this program will boost your self-esteem and make you feel good about yourself and your body once more. You not only get a fit and sexy body but also your emotions are transformed to the better.

Not so perfect but…

The best part is you will still be able to build the habit that you want. It doesn’t matter if you mess up one or two times, you can still pick yourself up and start again. There is no reason to judge yourself that you couldn’t manage to transform yourself in 21 days.

Remember that you don’t have to be perfect. Being human means making mistakes and learning from them. Give yourself a chance to make mistakes and treat failure as a learning experience and develop strategies to get back on track immediately.

 

Embracing your long journey to good health

Remember that you don’t need to rush the process. You need enough time to train and be fit and 12 weeks is perfect. Remember that achieving the body of your dreams is not an event, it is a lifelong process. It took time for you to add weight, and it may take more time to shed the extra weight.

You have developed the unhealthy behaviors over a long period. Therefore, it may take time to replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones. Many people find it difficult when they try to change too much unhealthy behaviors too fast. To ensure that you succeed in your quest, focus on one goal or change at a time. After you have a well-established healthy routine, you can try work on another goal that works toward the overall change you’re striving for.

Nevertheless, you have to embrace the process and commit to it. Understanding this will make it easier for you to manage your expectations. You will commit to small workout plans rather than a high-intensity workout that will cause burnouts and cause you to give up because you expect huge changes that will not take place if you don’t do it right. And the right way is to be patient. Don’t pressure yourself to rush this.

At the end of the day, you have goals that you want to achieve. And it doesn’t matter how long you take, but that you will actually get the results that you want. Habits take a longer time to form and all you need is 12 weeks of personalized coaching and nutrition guidance alongside a support community for support and accountability.

What more will you need? Really.

Sign up for the program and change your life for the better.

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤