Starting Over Again

My friend Mike turns 31 today. I went to his birthday party last night and he asked if I’d been writing and why I haven’t written here. (He’s one of those rare friends who can get down to brass tacks and engage in a deep conversation, even if you can’t remember the last time you saw each other.) I didn’t have a great answer aside from the fact that I’ve put about 15 pounds back on and didn’t think I had any business writing a blog about weight loss under those conditions. He implored me to “start doing healthy things again, if for no other reason than the fact that I’ll get to read your writing.” So here I am. Starting over again. Again. 
I realize that anecdote might make it sound like I’m recommitting myself to writing and healthy living because somebody asked me to. In reality, I’ve wanted to recommit to both but need an obscene amount of encouragement to even believe I can do either. 
Writing and losing weight/getting healthy have a lot more in common than I realized. They both require commitment, discipline, a ton of hard work and are a lot easier when you have a strong support system, encouraging you along the way. For me, writing and taking control of my health are both essential to my sustained happiness but they’re both almost impossible to do. I want to work out and make wise food choices – my tight pants, restricting tops and getting winded climbing the stairs make me miserable, but actually choosing to get out of bed to hit the gym or turning down seconds at dinner seems unfathomable in the moment. Same thing goes for writing. I love the feeling I get from finishing something I’m proud of. But sitting down to put words on paper? Actually working on a creative piece or even just a blog post? It’s like asking me to hike Everest- it’s an insurmountable feat and I don’t even have climbing gear. 
I suppose the solution to both is the same- knock it off with the bellyaching, make a plan and take action. I’m not going to get a perfect figure overnight and I’m not going to write a bestselling novel the first time I sit in front of my laptop . It’s going to take a long time and a whole lotta hard work to achieve my goals and dreams. And there’s no better time to get started than the present. 
“But what if I fail?!” screams my head. Guess what, anxious, self-doubting Sara Jane? You will fail. And then, in the immortal words of Aaliyah (RIP), “if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” There’s not a single person in this world who hasn’t struggled with something or taken detours on the path to success. (Except maybe Mindy Kaling, her life seems pretty great.)
“But what if I’m not talented?!” my head screams again. Well, you fatalist, think of Toby. Mama and her friend Toby have been pals since 5th grade (this is impressive to me because I barely keep up with my friends who live a mile away, let alone elementary school buds.) Toby has always been encouraging of my endeavors. I get messages from her at least once a quarter, reminding me that I have talent, begging me to use it, suggesting that I submit a packet to Samantha Bee’s new show or The Skimm. Or, she’ll tell me how impressed she is by my latest race or cake-baking. It’s always so flattering but instead of being inspired, I convince myself that she’s just being kind and slink back into my shell of self-doubt. What’s the harm in giving the people what they want? 😉 Why not choose to believe her? If all else fails, I’ve got at least two fans cheering me on. 
So, I hope you’ll bear with me as I start over again. And thanks, Mike and Toby. Your encouragement is exactly what I need. I expect daily pep talks in my inbox. Thx. 
tl;dr Been a long time, shouldn’t have left you without a dope beat to step to.