And I do not mean it in a sarcastic funny way.. I mean that the struggle for me is real. This is going to be a hard fought return. However, I have the opportunity to see this as a re-do.
When I left the sport to focus on my personal development I was at an all time high for me. Happy Ironman finisher, 2015 TeamUSA Long Course World Championship Qualifier (declined my spot due to school), and overall having the time of my life feeling fit and fabulous setting PRs all over the place. I felt and operated like some form of well oiled machine. I was in the zone and figured that I could keep doing something while in school, only that never happened. I decided to reach for the stars instead of digging myself a hole. My healthy lifestyle came to a screeching halt.
Now here I sit, tired, out of shape and overweight looking at how far I have slipped, only to catch myself and say NO. STOP!
I am not the Jenniferlyn of years past when I was at the very peak of my fitness and nutrition, however I am also not the Jenniferlyn who had just graduated from college when I was severely overweight, smoking, drinking, in a cheesecake induced spiral of shame, slying out of control on the brink of diabetes and a slew of other health issues.
For anyone who is standing here today looking at the road ahead and thinking "But that is SO FAR" I say NO. STOP! Don't judge yourself based on how you got to where you are today, EMBRACE yourself and open your heart to the journey ahead as the best thing that you will do for yourself. Your children. Your family. Your life.
I am approaching my return as less of a comeback (hence my #dontcallitacomeback tag) and more of a rebirth. Yes the journey ahead of me is long but that does not mean that it is one I cannot embrace fully and can even enjoy taking. How does that saying go? The time will pass either way.
In 1 year I want to look back on my efforts over the past year and celebrate my growth as a person so today I set forth my mission in health.
This is my manifesto for change... This is my renegade act.
I will walk my talk - I have all the tools now I just need to actually heed them, to wield them in my own house. I work wonders in others' lives... time to work on my own. >
I am ditching labels. I will no longer make my identity about what I have accomplished... my identity lies solely in what I put forth into the universe. I am not an Ironman... I am an inspirer for those who wish to achieve big dreams. I am not a health coach or nutritionist... I am the lighter of paths. I am not a vegan or paleo or whatever the latest dietary trend may be... I am a renegade in nutrition and I nourish my body with whatever it needs to rock out!
I am turning my back on my past belief that I was not good enough, fast enough, or worthy enough. I AM ENOUGH and in 2017 this phoenix shall rise again, this time in a much happier and more sustainable flame.