It is 7:42 PM on Wednesday, April 20 and I just ran the farthest I’ve ever ran in my life – 2.4 miles. For those of you who know me personally, especially in my high school/college years, I not only hated exercise, I prided myself on NOT doing it. I can count on one hand how many times I visited the brand new, bronzed beauty that was our rec center on campus. My only visits there were when I was bribed by sorority sisters to go to a Zumba class where I clowned around in the back of the room the entire 60 minutes.
That doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is right now. Why I’m sitting here dripping sweat on my keyboard ferociously typing about why I ran 2.4 miles tonight.
Many of you have been following my “clean eating journey”. I have documented my weeks committed to the Whole 30 challenge – which turned into a Whole 45 challenge for me – and shared what I ate, what I thought, and how I looked. I have used these 45 days to catapult me into a person I didn’t think I could be – a healthy, active person. I started running daily for the first time in my life. Two weeks ago, I ran two miles straight without stopping. Tonight I ran 2.4 miles on accident.
When I started running, I knew I needed a distraction so I wouldn’t obsess over the fact that I hated running, that I can feel my butt flop up and down with every stride I take, that my knees hurt from being out of shape and sweating is gross. So, I started downloading podcasts. After career-stalking Keltie Knight for a few years, I knew she had a podcast called “The Lady Gang” and used that as my running distraction. Her boozy-brunch style episodes always made me laugh and got me in a good mood to run. One episode, Jenna Ushkowitz was a guest and she mentioned her podcast, “Infinite Positivities”. Coincidentally, Danika Brysha, Founder of Model Meals and who I have fangirled over in my previous posts on this blog mentioned she was a guest on “Infinite Positivities”, so I decided to listen to it tonight.
When I burst through my apartment door 30 minutes ago, my boyfriend was on the couch and I was rambling a mile a minute, crying happy tears because I am experiencing a giant mental/spiritual light bulb turning on. I was so into my thoughts and this podcast that I accidentally ran past my house.
Danika spoke about her life, career, relationship with food, all circling around the word “vulnerability”. I had moments while listening to this where Danika started a sentence and I completed her thought WORD FOR WORD! She touched on how clean eating opened doors for her and closed others. She said she had an “ah-ha” moment where she realized the Universe was saying to her “See? Being your authentic self will lead you to happiness” (I am definitely paraphrasing considering I only listened to this once and I am still very heavily breathing from my run as I write this).
If you have made it this far into my post and haven’t downloaded this episode, do it now.
Next, I need you to read the book “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero.
Finish it! Again, I’ll wait.
But seriously, read that book. It has opened up my mind to a lot of the things Danika touched on- about how we are all perfect, and our path to happiness in life is being our true selves. I’m not going to try to paraphrase that book, because I’ll do it wrong and my head is spinning and I have many other things to say. But know that you are perfect and awesome and the only thing keeping you from being your most shiny sparkly best self is thinking you aren’t/can’t/could never be your best self!
Once I realized I ran past my house and the podcast was over, I high-tailed it back to my apartment to try and hash out some of these thoughts in my head. Right here. In this post. That I’m typing right now. I tried to articulate it to Omar but I just started crying and saying things like “…girl from Glee! *sob, gasp* …other girl inspired me to do Whole 30 *sob, gasp* …talking about vulnerability and struggling *sob, gasp, snot drip* …I finished her sentences!!!!!”
I realized I should maybe stretch my quads, drink some water, and write all of this down. And now that I’m here, I realize it’s harder to say than I thought. I am so overcome with emotion because I am realizing that I am turning into the person I used to daydream of being, and it’s frightening. It’s scary to me because I have spent the past few months trying to be my TRUE self, as opposed to the person I thought I should be. Old Kylie thought being able to live her dream of being a daytime talk show host and talking to all people (not just celebs!) meant moving to Hollywood, dying her hair, reading Perez Hilton everyday and committing to a bunch of crappy hosting jobs that don’t fill her cup all the way in order to get noticed by the right people to put her in Kelly Ripa’s chair. For some reason gossiping about famous people who I’ve never met is supposed to make me qualified to be an articulate woman that wants to start everybody’s morning on a cheery, lighthearted foot was my logic??? If you think that doesn’t make sense, then we are on the same page!
There is nothing wrong with Entertainment Reporting. It’s fun! I’m pretty good at it too! It’s also not 100% me. It’s like 70% me. But there’s this other 30% that needs to be filled. And that 30% I have recently tapped into and boy oh boy I have had more mind-blowingly awesome moments (mentally) in the past 3 months than I have had in the past 3 years.
If you take a look at the other posts on this blog, you’ll notice that my posts stop after Whole 30 Week 3. At that point, I hit the “tiger blood” stage- I felt INCREDIBLE! I had also started meditating during my Whole 30, reading “You Are A Badass”, and sleeping more at night. My mind was clear, and JAM PACKED WITH POSITIVE THOUGHTS AND IDEAS! So many ideas, to the point where I moved my focus from my online presence to just living. I started overthinking my “brand” on this blog, how I need to be perceived, and worrying if I had enough “clickworthy” content. The fact that I am pushing myself in the direction of a “lifestyle” gal meant in my mind that I can’t be truthful and vulnerable about the other 90% of my day that I don’t blog about- like when I ate a California burrito 4 hours before my Whole 30 was technically finished, or how I went drinking with my friends 2 weeks ago and had 2 gin and tonics and it made me feel sick and I went home and felt really mad at myself that I could no longer have fun doing the things that defined “fun Kylie”. But if I want to be my real, true, authentic self, and live the life that serves me, then I know honesty to myself and honesty with the world is the only way to achieve my dreams.
My dreams have changed, too! Yes, I still so BADLY- SO SO SO SO BADLY- want to be the next Kelly Ripa. She’s incredible! She’s fun! She gets to be silly and share her life with the world every day! How could I NOT want that job? But I also have LOVED sharing my Whole 30 journey with the world. What I’m realizing is that I can share all of my journey, not just the “ideal” parts. I have overthought SO MANY blog posts to the point of not posting for a month because everything I wrote felt like it wasn’t good enough/Whole 30 enough/expert enough to share. That’s silly. I am going to grow and the only way other people can be encouraged or inspired to grow too is if they see someone else struggle through their growth. Today, I ate a microwaved sweet potato. Definitely not glamorous enough to mention for a food blog- but I did it! And you know what? I was really happy after I ate it because it filled me up, it was delicious, nutritious, and not the Reese’s cup I dreamed of eating before the sweet potato.
I want to help others realize their full potential in life is possible! It’s there, just out of their reach- they just need to start believing! I want to show people that YES YOU CAN COOK! And you just might learn to love it like I do! I want to show people that eating healthy is fun and affordable and worthwhile because fueling your body in a nutritious way means living a healthy, long life and your life is worth making as long as possible! I want to make people smile, ask them how their day was, and probably share all of that on social media because I have been an oversharer all of my life.
This podcast left me crying because I realized that no matter how “perfect” or how big of an “expert” we are at something, everybody will struggle. Danika admitted she still struggles with trying to get herself to just stop obsessing over food all the time, and it blew my mind. I thought “even SHE struggles with that? She runs a business on clean eating and she still has the same problems me and probably millions of other people do? How normal of her!!!” She used the phrase “progress over perfection” and I etched that into my brain so deeply I can see it every time I blink. I feel like for the first time in my life my true self is coming through and Old Kylie is so surprised by this she might have whiplash from how quickly she 180’d into Current Kylie.
Current Kylie loves eating microwaved sweet potatoes, crying tears of joy to her boyfriend about a podcast, and can run 2.4 miles. Hopefully, Tomorrow Kylie will run farther.