Happy New Year!

by Zen Gray

Hard to believe it’s 2011. With all the craziness going on in December, I didn’t take any time to reflect upon the year until New Year’s Eve. But looking back, I’m proud of my year. It was a big one:

  1. I paid off my credit cards.
  2. I completed my first book proposal.
  3. I got to spend time with my parents and my sister and her family at Disney World.
  4. I saw my best friend (who lives in Jersey) three times this year.
  5. I moved in with my boyfriend.
  6. I became closer with my brother and his wife and their family.
  7. I finished a marathon.
  8. My boyfriend became my fiance.
  9. My fiance and I got a puppy.

Pretty wonderful, actually. And now I’m looking forward to the things I’d like to accomplish in 2011. One of my biggest challenges, and always has been, is to try to keep my body as healthy as possible and advance my career while still maintaining a great relationship.

I’m not sure if other women do this, but I tend to hide behind my relationship. I will hyper-focus on our interaction instead of working on myself. I will find reasons to be upset with him instead of confronting an entirely different source of stress which often has everything to do with my career and NOT him.

I’m ashamed to say it, but in the past I’ve used my man as a scapegoat because I felt like it was something I could control. I can’t control a boss! I can’t control public opinion of me! I can’t control if the publisher buys my book idea! But I CAN control if I’m going to date someone or not… whether to give or withhold my love. That’s just what I thought.

And at the same time, I felt like I didn’t have control over food. Granted, I’ve never been obese but I’ve always loved to eat and celebrate with food and comfort myself with food (sugar, in particularly.) I’ve gained much more control and balance over the years, but I think it’s like what they say about addicts… you’re always recovering, never cured. Maybe that’s an extreme analogy but that’s how I feel. Every time I go back to Chicago, I want hot dogs, pizza, White Castle and lots of Fanny May fudge. I don’t always get it… but the urge NEVER goes away. (I can’t even imagine how hard it would be if I ever tried heroin. No thanks.)

But if 2010 showed me anything, it was that I DO have more control over my life and I CAN make things happen. One of the wonderful things that I learned this year was to be committed without being attached to an outcome. For example, I wanted to complete a marathon so I trained with AIDS Project Los Angeles every week for 6 months until I ran across the finish line in Honolulu. Could I have gotten injured? Sure. Could I have gotten too dehydrated to finish? You bet. But I also knew that I would have trained again until I finished a different race if that’s what it took. It would just be a detour. And many times, my detours have been delightful little surprises along my life’s journey.

So here’s what I see for 2011…

Now that I’m aware of my “hide and go seek” tendencies when it comes to my relationship, I’m not going to blame my fiance if I eat too much or if I’m afraid to make that important phone call. I’m going to be responsible for my actions. On top of that, I’m going to have some checks and balances put in place.

  1. To really conquer the discipline of eating for nutrition (and not just for emotional reasons), I’m going to compete in a figure competition this year.
  2. I will hire a coach to help me with training and meet with a nutritionist to make sure I’m fueling my body correctly.
  3. I will get a team of advisors together and have a check-in at least once a month to make sure I’m on track with my personal and career goals. (I prefer once a week, but I’ll commit to once a month.)
  4. I will find a publisher and editor that share my vision for helping women stay happy and healthy while keeping the love in their lives.
  5. I have long-term goals of filming a fitness/comedy tour across the country that reaches millions of people wanting guidance for a healthier lifestyle.
  6. I want to have a fun wedding… and not become bridezilla.

I’ve got some big goals… but small goals aren’t that inspiring, you know?

Wish me luck 🙂



4 Comments to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Very well said…. i’m impressed…… love reading it…. keep it up….


  2. Thanks, Brett. It’s kinda scary putting everything out there… but I hope that someone identifies with my experiences. Hope you’ve got some inspiring goals for yourself this year, too.

  3. What a year for you…for me…for us…

    Who says there has to be just ONE Year of the Jen???

    Year of the Jen II: The Sequel!

    Woo hoo

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