The Best Version

Are you recovered from the holiday weekend yet? Has your newsfeed finally cleared up from the overload of families in plaid and plates of turkey?

I was a stereo-typical American in every aspect of the weekend. After leaving work a little early on Wednesday, I battled the grocery store with hundreds of other procrastinators for the ingredients to my potluck dish. Thursday morning I woke up and went for a run before cooking up a recipe from the blog Cooking Classy – Garlic Parmesan Herb Roasted Potatoes. My boyfriend and I drove to his family’s house, indulged in wine and rolls and turkey. Shared pie with a close group of friends. Set up my fake tree and decorated the apartment for Christmas. Played games and posted a family photo with my parents. Shopped sales in person and online for Christmas presents and winter clothes…..the only cliché I didn’t recreate was watching a Hallmark Christmas movie. (Yet.)

The consumerism of the weekend that was originally intended for celebrating gratitude is still ironic to me, even though I charged my own credit card on a few Amazon items. I declared my disgust for shoppers that spend their Thanksgiving evening standing in line to spend their money on new “stuff” on the one specific day set aside to appreciate what we have in life already to be thankful for. But then I turned around and swiped my own card three days later on Cyber Monday. I realize that this makes me a hypocrite, and I am in therapy for it.

Retail therapy.

Seriously, why is shopping such a common and effective coping mechanism? I can’t help but crave looking at pretty things and spending my extra money on unnecessary oh-so-fun accessories and decorations. I justified a couple of my Black Friday Weekend purchases because they were “Christmas presents that I would have bought anyways,” and it just seemed responsible to take advantage of some sale pricing. I also justified a couple of my purchases on new clothes for myself because “I cleaned out my closet and filled 2 bags with donations.” As if this naturally equates to replacing them with newer and better. I KNOW that logically this does not make sense, and is the very attitude that consumer America thrives on. But I’m not going to lie…..I get a little high on buying new pretty things (on sale!) and feel that it’s a semi-healthy outlet for now, so long as I don’t go into credit card debt or anything over it. 😉

One other major cliché that I surprisingly did avoid this weekend was any guilt over the foods and beverages I had at the three Thanksgiving meals I attended. High School Kenzie and College Kenzie would have been in a tizzy if I didn’t log a solid 10 mile run the morning of Thanksgiving and meticulously calculate the calories in my portion sizes of the holiday dishes. I kind of expected myself to behave that way my whole life…..constantly aware of how my exercise balanced out with my food consumption for the day.

But I was wrong. This year, I felt good about my body before Thanksgiving, despite having not stepped on a scale for weeks and having a few more “splurges” and a few less “long runs.” And guess what? I felt equally as good about my body on Saturday morning after three different feasts including pecan cheesecake, wine, and cheddar biscuits. I didn’t run 10 miles before I ate, and I didn’t run 10 miles the day after. How my mindset sure has changed 🙂

Against what social media is telling me, about how I can be burning my Thanksgiving calories and detoxing my body, I’m enjoying this Tuesday night feeling cozy on my couch. I just made a skillet of pesto zoodles and smothered my face in a charcoal black sugar face mask. I’m not usually one for TV lately, but my boyfriend and I have been on a nature documentary kick. So I’ve bribed myself to finish this blog post with an episode of Wildest India on Amazon Prime when I’m done. It is FASCINATING and I am HOOKED.

Today was a rest day for me, the first day I haven’t exercised since last Sunday. It’s been a long time since I could say I worked out 8 days in a row and actually truly “earned” a rest day. The once-faithful-gym-rat of my former days would be utterly dismayed by the amount of times I’ve neglected my pre-planned gym session this past year. But last week I promised myself to make it a priority once again, because I genuinely LOVE running and sweating. I’ve struggled to make the time in my busy schedule, and haven’t prioritized it before work as I used to. (Not going to lie….prioritizing dating has been my main excuse for this.) But I’m back on the wagon, and after 8 solid treadmill sessions I decided today I would purposely sleep in and relax tonight with a face mask, zoodles, blogging, and Amazon Prime. 🙂

During my commutes to work and while I get ready in the morning, I’ve been entertaining myself with Rachel Hollis podcasts and YouTube videos. She’s a motivational speaker and author, but she’s also just so relatable and hilarious. A lot of her rants and videos are silly and light-hearted, but then she jabs you with a truth bomb about how you should be doing more with your life and how you should be combatting any excuses you give yourself to not be meeting every goal and dream you have for yourself.

A common question she asks is “How would the BEST VERSION of yourself be showing up today?” To answer this question, you kind of already have to know what your idea of the “best version” of yourself is. There’s no right or wrong answer. The answer could change with each season. I have absolutely no idea what the best version of myself is, but I think about all the options and possibilities a lot. I know she absolutely CRUSHES her fitness goals. Having endurance, running speed, and a lean body is important to me. I love dressing up and experimenting with styles…..and trying on tight-fitting or body-hugging clothes feels a lot more enjoyable when you’re at the top of your health game 😉

Aside from fit and stylish…..who the heck knows what else she’s like! When I was younger, I wanted to be: an elementary school teacher, a dance studio owner, a fashion designer, and a fiction author. I’ve done 0 out of 4 of those things. But I’ve added a few more options to my list since then. Until I figure it out, I’m keeping myself content with online sale shopping, an over abundance of candles, and nature documentaries with my boyfriend. Speaking of which, I just earned myself an episode. I’ll catch ya in the next post. 🙂

XO, Kenz

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