i'm not here to tell you how to live your life. i just want to share how i live mine.
Health and fitness have become a passion of mine over the course of my freelance career, and I’ve built up enough experience that I want to share it with you, in the hopes that maybe it can help you too. However, I know there’s a tendency to evangelize when it comes to lifestyle choices (kind of like the opposite of the first rule of Fight Club) and so I want to make sure the things I write are served up with a heaping side of empathy, topped with compassion, sprinkled with humor, and judgement is banished from the table.
Annnnnd now I’m hungry.
where i came from (not an athlete)
As a lifelong geek, you would be more likely to find me curled up with a book or on the computer than being physically active (marching band was the closest I got to athleticism). Despite “looking skinny,” I grew up not being able to run a mile, or touch my toes, or even hang from the monkey bars! And my diet didn’t help, as I was devouring processed junk food like it was, well, candy (and often, it actually was). I share this to say that I was very far from being healthy or athletic growing up.
what i am (an informational privilege check)
This blog is a blog about experiences. However, all experiences are only relevant within the context of the person experiencing them, a.k.a. we can’t generalize our own experiences to other people, even if we want to! So, to give context, here is a list of things I know to be true about myself, which definitely impact the life I am able to live:
white, middle class, american, cis female
A great deal of privilege is afforded to me due to my background, including the assumptions made about me by the culture I live in, the amount of resources (time, money, and agency) available to me, and the amount of mental and physical energy I have available on any given day. There are definitely certain things I have to worry about as a person who presents as a female, which I may not have to worry about otherwise, but aside from that I’d say I’m playing life on relatively easy mode. Or at least, I’m the Banker in Oregon Trail, and my rations and pace are not set to starvation or grueling.
young, single, urban, mostly able-bodied
I have a great deal of flexibility in the ways I can choose to incorporate healthy choices into my life due to the fact that my body mostly functions the way it’s expected to by society. I do struggle with some chronic pain and mental health issues, which is part of the reason I became so fascinated with health & wellness in the first place (and hope to share how I deal with it) but am otherwise able to follow a lot of mainstream health and fitness advice. And, because I have no dependents, it is much simpler for me to be able to prioritize my own health than it is for those who have to care for someone else. On top of that, I live in a densely populated area where there are tons of food, fitness, and wellness options available to me with relatively little time or effort required to find them.
self-employed in the tech industry
I work for myself, which means that I generally own my schedule in ways that people with a “traditional” job do not, including fixed hours, vacation time, etc. I also work in the tech industry, which affords me a great deal of privilege even among those of us who participate in the non-traditional “gig economy.” This is because the resources required to do my job are relatively low (a functioning computer, licensing fees for software, and decent Wi-Fi) and are not necessarily bound by time or location. Plus, my services are compensated pretty well relative to the amount of hours I work.
That’s not to say sometimes all of this isn’t hard, or exhausting, or challenging, or that I don’t struggle (because I definitely do, all the time). I have all sorts of flaws, and I’ll probably talk way too much about them. I just want to make sure I view all of these hurdles through a more complete lens, because I think it makes the entire story more valuable.
why i'm here (adding value to the interwebs)
I know all the things above are true, but I still believe in the value of sharing stories. I’ve learned so much from reading the stories of others, whether coming from similar situations to my own, or vastly different ones! Seeing the ways a single mom of picky eaters brings healthy eating to their family, or a person who can’t afford a gym membership or equipment get fit using body weight exercises, or a person who has to work 2-3 jobs still manages to find time to get a little sleep and meditate, is incredibly inspirational to me.
I want to share the practical things I do each day to achieve my goals. The things that maybe aren’t glamorous, or easy, or “One Weird Trick” to a perfect 6-pack. The things that we can all bond over, saying “Hey, we are putting in this work together, despite the fact that life is pretty full and chaotic and weird and sometimes hard.. and it feels pretty good.”
So, maybe something in all of this can help you too! Or you just like looking at pretty Instagrams of food and landscapes and stuff. Hey, I have that too.