Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Lately I have been struggling with some issues that have been long standing in my world. It is frustrating. I feel stuck and I find myself falling back on excuses/mantras/thoughts that apply to the JLa (roll with me here, it was a name invented in college and it stuck) of 10, even 15 years ago (Yes I am that old, I know it is shocking to me too). The two biggest areas that I struggle with over and over again are diet/exercise and finances… how can this be, you say? Well, lets break it down shall we?

Diet and Exercise: To put it kindly, I have gained some weight over the last several months. Now before you think, "don't even start, you look fine", let me remind you that it is all relative and for me it is enough to notice. Enough for my clothes to not fit - which is the WORST, seriously my co-workers must think that I own 7 outfits all of which include leggings and long sleeve tent dresses. Needless to say, I have found it IMPOSSIBLE to get motivated to do something about it. There are always excuses: I just started a new job and that is stressful or I no longer can afford my trainer so I won’t go to the gym or I have no time or I’ll start Monday (I don’t know what ‘Monday’ I am ever referring to because it never comes) or I can’t go on a ‘diet’ because I will get crazy like in my eating disorder days. While all of these are true at one time or another, it is last one is curious to me because thankfully I have not struggled with ‘eating disorder tenancies’ in years, like more than 10 years. Yet every time I consider cutting things out of my diet or limiting my daily intake of baked goods it’s as if I left camp (read: treatment) yesterday. Like I am teetering on the edge of working out all night and living off of apples and diet coke (not a good idea, BTW). Well turns out this is totally not the case, I am just fine. So I need to suck it up like every other person on the planet who needs to work it out for bikini season. I am not going to become the tortured JLa of the past. Honestly I could not even if I tried.

Finances: This is a big one. One that that makes me cling to a lot of shame and embarrassment. Mostly because I am clearly old enough to have it together in the finances department, yet I do not. For serious, it should be together. But time and time again I find myself in the same place and I just can’t get out of it, at least that is what I tell myself. A big part of my manic days was shopping, drinking, no sleep, shopping, drinking some more and then more shopping! I had no concept of what my monthly expenses were – it was more like ‘if I have money in my bank account, then it is ready for me to spend…on Gucci shoes’. And then there was the fact that I did not open my mail, like ever (rather it sat in ‘organized’ piles in the aforementioned Gucci shoe boxes) and therefore did not pay my bills on time. And therefore now have embarrassingly bad credit. It goes on and on. This loop plays over and over for me. It keeps me in that bad place. I stress over it as if I am still 25 year-old crazy JLa who was totally out of control. News Flash: I am not that person any more. In fact I have fought really hard not to be that person and I have won that battle. So why do I keep talking to myself as if I am still on that downward spiral?

How often do we limit ourselves by behaving as if we have not grown up and learned from the past, even just a little? Those kinds of thoughts are paralyzing, they keep you in that ugly place, not matter what the issue is – at least for me they do. When I think about it objectively, the truth is that I have become someone that I can trust. The JLa of the past was not trustworthy. But the NOW JLa has earned that trust and its time to start acting accordingly.

So over the last week I have started a detox (not a crazy pants all I drink is lemon water, there is food involved) and am back on a workout plan. So far so good, no all night candle light step aerobics (yes that really did happen in 1996). And I have also made some proactive decisions about my finances (none of which involve the shoe department). I have started a cash envelope budget in style (clearly plain envelopes were no fun, so I got these). And while it has only been a short time, I can already see a difference in my thoughts and my anxiety level about all of it. I am far from perfect and I am sure I will stumble, but I can say that I have come a long way since the JLa of yesteryear and for that I am very grateful.

How about you? What are the things that you keep holding on to that do not apply to who you are today? How can you make a change your thoughts and empower yourself to move forward? The NOW JLa is here to cheer you on!


  1. funny you should mention "cash envelope" - my mom kept envelopes for each of the bills and major items in the budget and would put the correct corresponding amount of cash in each envelope every pay period - there was an envelop marked "fun" - and that's how she kept track of our play money - although I obviously did not inherit the fiscally responsible gene - I promise you you're right on track with your thinking - neither of us is crazy 20something anymore we can and WILL do better!! love ya sista!!

  2. It must feel scary to tread back on waters that almost swallowed you up in the past, and your bravery is commendable. I was just reading the story of Gideon last night and I almost laughed at the Angel of the Lord refering to him as a "mighty man of valor" when over and over again Gideon was afraid and needed reassurance. But then I realized his valor came in relying on God, EVEN and ESPECIALLY when he was afraid. So be a woman of valor and do it even when its scary =o).

  3. Great post Jla. Hang in there kitty!

  4. I have a very nasty habit of hanging on to the "dream" (so to speak) with different relationships. I need to recognize what they really are, appreciate them for what they are/are not and MOVE ON. I need to mature in that respect. Not every friendship/relationship is going to be what I wish it could/would be. Nor should it.

  5. we r all works in progress - sometimes it looks like regress and sometimes it's best not to look - just love yourself -stay present- the past is the past and not an indication of your future or present stunning and amazing self. no matter what the numbers are - whether they are dollars or pounds - both can go up and down. Fluctuation is reality we are not stagnant. Just evolving. love u