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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Viceless: Three months of pure goodness

Thanks for joining me here at Becoming a Badass! Welcome to the new adventure.

I'm giving up some of my very favorite vices for three months. Goodbye sugar, white flour, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and solo TV watching. This lifestyle change is an experiment to see if I will become a happier and more productive person without my vices or, as many predict, I become the crankiest, most boring person in the world.

My vices have haunted me lately. Instead of being fun bits of naughtiness, I've been trapped in a state of fear abusing my vices. I'm in the midst of a massive self-improvement overhaul on my life.  I'm 29. From observing my female friends who have already turned 30, it seems to be typical to flip out and make huge changes for the better. Apparently, I'm no exception. Pressure is pressing down on me and I need to change. Oh, Holy God. I'm going to be 30. I can no longer blame my youth for my mistakes or lack of progress. This is it, this is my real grown-up self. I want to make myself the best, most successful, happiest, hottest it can be. This means no more wasting time binge eating, hungover while watching the Kardashians. Enter the Viceless Challenge.

The skinny on my past: At 23, after college I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I moved from LA after going to California Institute of the Arts and majoring in acting. I was confused and the only life goal I could pin down was to be an international party girl who dallied in writing. Jackson was a spur of the moment decision that was only supposed to be a two week vacation. I knew I didn't want to be a stylist like the job I had just quit. I didn't want to be an actress which was what I had studied. I didn't want to live in LA. Unfortunately, I had no idea what I did want. I drove solo to Jackson because my parents had left their house there unoccupied while my mother cared for her mother's declining health. To my surprise, I found a group of people in Jackson who were having more fun than anyone I had ever seen, even international party girls. They were living in an adult playground and having constant fun with physical activities like skiing and mountain biking. When bad weather stopped their sports, they took off on travel adventures to spots like Thailand and Nicaragua. Even though I was completely nonathletic at the time, I shifted my priorities and started my project of Becoming a Badass. 

I went from art school, LA party girl to skiing, biking adventurer. I took the lifestyle of Jackson on full force. Moving from LA with a background in acting, I knew how to make my body dance and look cute. I knew yoga and tai chi. There was no trust in my bodies ability to be truly strong or athletic however. Since Becoming a Badass, I've had multiple friends from college say, "I don't remember you being this athletic." I wasn't but I seem to believe in the power of change more than the average person and believe it is my destiny to spread the message that you can change your life for the better. In my effort to Become a Badass, which is documented in this blog, I've learned to ski, mountain bike, surf, travel internationally, and much more. I've climbed active volcanoes, jumped off waterfalls and conquered a warehouse of fears along the way. I've consciously made an effort to redefine how I think about myself. The mission was to go from confused, intimidated, and limited to badass. I still have a lot of fears and stupid ideas about my limitations but I've definitely significantly bumped up my badassness. 

Becoming a Badass was never just about the physical challenges though. To me, it's always been about any new challenge that forces you to overcome the part of yourself that you don't like but feel like is inevitable. I spent so many years of my life thinking of myself as a funny, quirky, chubby, clumsy girl. I love that part of myself now but know I'm not limited to being that person. I'm also brave, sporty, productive and hot. The truly important part of Becoming a Badass is proving to myself that I can be anything I want to be and am not limited by my current thoughts or situations. I now enjoy kicking my can'ts in the ass and proving that I can, even though I usually don't know in the beginning how the hell it's going to happen when I begin. Conquering one fear isn't the end though. I'm always still in process of Becoming a Badass. There is always a new challenge.

Around age 27, people with successful careers really started to piss me off. For years I was satisfied with my adventurous lifestyle that I supported through being a waitress. I appreciated this time of my life as an opportunity of youth. When I started to feel my jealousy of careers, I knew it was a sign that I myself craved a successful career. Jealousy is often a great indicator of what your soul is craving. So I whined like a weeny for about a year, really engulfing myself in my misery over a lack of a fulfilling job until I hit rock bottom. My rock bottom was tearing my ACL while skiing. This is an injury that requires surgery if you want to live an active life. I woke up in the hospital on my 28th birthday and had to relearn how to walk in physical therapy over the next 3 months. I now had no successful career and couldn't even engage in the physical activities that were my source of fun and pride. 

During my recovery I became even more depressed and my vices came out full force. I watched a disgusting amount of TV and ate an even more horrifying amount of crap. My body ingested an unbelievable quantity of jalapeno Cheetos, gummy candy, and macaroni and cheese. I was no longer a super-fit, active adventurer. I was a chubby, depressed waitress. Ah, hell no!

Six months after my injury, I mustered up some gumption and stopped moaning about my lack of career prospects. I got in action. I read tons of Find Your Purpose books, took personality tests and researched online. Basically, I made finding my dream job a part-time job and surprise, surprise it worked. I devoted myself, worked hard and made serious progress at finding a career path. Hard work works!

I discovered that I want to be a life coach and turn Becoming a Badass into a brand. It was disappointing to find that I wasn't destined for an easier, more direct career path such as teacher or lawyer where the steps to start a job and the pay are set. That just isn't me and I have the Myer Briggs personality test to prove it. I'm a creative being and I can't escape the path no matter how hard I try and trust me I have tried. 

By following the advice of so, so many experts through books, blogs, vlogs and online research as well as taking classes, I've gotten a good start on my career. I've studied, experimented, tested and even gotten to the point where I have life coaching clients. I'm on the precipice of my dream career and fear is rearing it's ugly fat head. Fear can really get me in a headlock at times and keep me stuck as the person I am and not moving forward to the person I feel I'm destined to become. All my life fear has had two crippling side effects. Fear glues me to the couch with the TV and switches on a serious food addiction where all I want to do is shove crap in my mouth until I feel better emotionally. Of course, alcohol is also a part of my escape plan. Unfortunately, I just end up feeling physically sick and like a worthless loser. 

Fear's got it's ugly mitts on me but I've decided to badass my way out of it. Or at least give it my fighting all. I'm taking on a big challenge by giving up my vices for 3 months. I'm going to let you know how it goes day-by-day, step-by-step here on the blog. No solo TV watching, white sugar, white flour, dairy, caffeine, or alcohol. I'm here to find out what good I can do with time that used to be usurped by vices. What do I do when I can't run and hide behind my vices? Can giving up my vices help me to build a successful career and increase my general happiness and productivity? Let's find out. I'm so happy you've joined me as I take on this new adventure. 


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  2. I am cheering you on. You can do this! Cold turkey is often the only technique that works. Like you said today, haters gonna hate. I so enjoyed our talk and I know you are going to rock this challenge and all the ones you set for yourself. Like good ol' messed up Charlie Sheen says, #winning.

  3. Thanks Johanna! It was great meeting you and talking. Keep up your badass healing and work! I'm very impressed.