One of the worst side effects of this pandemic and having so much in-person communication taken away: I have this constant cloud of guilt hanging over me for not keeping up with people, not blogging, and not posting as much as I should. It takes triple the motivation and effort to do something as simple as texting a friend back. I am constantly coming up with blog post ideas in my head, but can’t bring myself to put in the work of writing, revising, editing and resizing photos, not to mention the micro tasks that come with publishing and SEO. Anyone else? Just me? The Zoom/tech/social media fatigue doesn’t ever clock out.
COVID shrunk my supply of social, mental and physical energy, and I’m trying not to blame myself for that. My perfectionist brain is constantly playing this mentality of “Emily, you must do everything at 100%… because if you don’t, or can’t, it’s not worth doing it at all.” And that’s just so not true!
Onto a more positive note…
I’m excited to share with you guys what I’ve been up to offline, starting with my 90-day calorie deficit!
My 90-Day Fat Loss Journey
The good news: I’m down about five pounds from where I started! The bad news: I only made it to day 38. Why? I went to New York City that week for a few days and wanted to enjoy everything I ate and drank there — without constantly thinking about or worrying about how many calories I was consuming. By that point in my journey, I developed a solid understanding that I wouldn’t ruin all my progress from a few indulgent meals.
In the past, I would have felt out of control and super anxious. I would not have been able to enjoy each bite without racing thoughts such as, “Ohmigod I can’t believe I ate all of my fries. Why couldn’t I have had more self control?! I need to work these off later. I feel so fat, I should have ordered a salad instead.” On this trip, I truly did not have any of those kinds of thoughts. What helped a lot was taking in the whole experience of a meal or snack and not making it all about the food itself. For example, when I bought a wrap for a late lunch one day, I took it to the park across the street where I could people watch. I put away my phone (after posting about it, couldn’t resist!) and soaked in all the sights and sounds of people walking their dogs, moms and dads pushing strollers, and a group of friends on a blanket trading playlists.
In the three weeks since that trip, I haven’t tracked a morsel of food….well, excluding yesterday. I’m a sucker for fresh starts, so I’m picking up the calorie deficit again (July 1 = Day 1)! For me, I find that calorie counting helps to rein in my boredom eating and emotional eating; there’s been a bit too much of both going on lately. I’d be lying if I said I don’t sliiiiightly dread checking in with my Lose It! app multiple times a day, but I want to finish what I started. I know I can make more progress mentally and physically, based on how far I’ve already come!
Speaking of New York City, I’m moving!
As most of you know, I’ve been in Cleveland with my parents since the pandemic hit last March. I received approval to work permanently remote, so I’m moving to Columbus, Ohio! While I’m devastated that I didn’t get to leave NYC in the way that I wanted, this recent trip was kind of my “redeeming” goodbye. I’ll miss New York more than words can say, but I’m stoked for a new chapter in Columbus! I’ll be several hours closer to home, surrounded by many friends from college and able to save a lot more money!
…and getting serious about financial security, taxes, insurance and investment.
Yeahhh, that finance bro in college had absolutely NO idea what he was talking about — I don’t care what he told you while he was cracking open his 12th Natty Light (unless he could properly define what a Roth IRA, HRA and PPO are). It’s legitimately appalling to me that in the education system, we prioritize useless material like the quadratic formula over personal finance?!
Getting kicked off your parents’ insurance at 26 is. No. Joke. You’re just pushed in the deep end of the pool (love me a summertime metaphor), drowning in a bunch of jargon you’re automatically expected to know. And then you’re made to feel stupid when you ask questions! And you better triple-check that your provider is in-network before you so much as pull your car into their parking lot!
It’s all intimidating, frustrating and massively confusing, but you just have to suck it up… because you don’t have a choice. We’re all trying to retire young, rich and healthy, right?
If you can, I highly recommend meeting with a financial planner. If you’re not there yet, at least grab some file folders and a couple of notebooks from the dollar store (remember, we’re all about balling on a budget!) and get into the habit of analyzing your spending by category. And hit up YouTube for some quality explainer videos/tutorials.
So far, I have a really good feeling about where things are headed for the second half of 2021! Have you set any major goals this year? Are you working on a new project you’re passionate about? Let’s share our progress and successes in the comments!