By ALLYSON BICKEL

Marinette-Menominee YMCA

 

As I reflect on this past year, I am amazed and humbled for all the positive and negative life experiences that got thrown my way. I hate to even say I am a better person after my divorce in November 2016, but as soon as that was over, things began to turn around for me. After one commitment ended, I was determined to make another commitment.
To myself.
One whole year has gone by and I consistently workout 4-5 times a week, lost 25 lbs and most of the negative energy has seeped out of my pores and I’d like to think I’m a ray of sunshine and a bucket of rainbows! Now, somedays I am completely and utterly a hot mess, but hey, you have to have balance right? As maybe I told you last year at this time, I don’t believe in resolutions, but I do believe in believing in yourself, and firmly believe in this Hilary Duff quote of “In the end, all you got is you.” #truthbomb (this is a judgment-free zone)
When you strip down your life into simple form, you truly are the only one taking care of yourself. Now, when I am deadly sick, I do still drive over to my mom and dad’s house and they let me sleep on their couch and nurture me back to health like a baby bird, but at the end of the day, when the world is quiet, it’s just me. What really drove me this year is what am I teaching my children. I tear up writing this, because I want so much for those little sassy gremlins it makes me sick. From the words that come out of my mouth, romantic relationships, to the food that I put on the table, to the support I give them in school and sports, I am molding little minds. Honestly, like most mothers out there, I think I fail a lot. But each day, we need to make a living and adult. Because, “in the end, all you got is you.”
Just because I work at the Y, doesn’t mean I am destined for greatness. Do I have an advantage? Sure, I’ll give you that. But years ago, I put working at the Y on my “vision board” and made it happen! You have to want to be the best version of yourself, to actually be the best version of yourself. You always hear what works for someone else, won’t always work for you, it’s 100 percent a true statement. Some people can eat bags of chips and eat fast food everyday and look good in ‘dem’ jeans. But if you live here on earth with me, if I look at fast food, I gain a pound.
This past year, I found something I love to do, which is weight lifting, and I won’t let anyone else talk me into something else I don’t have strong feelings for. I’m 35 and I almost think I know what I need for my life. As I was working out the other day, I thought “wow, how great it is to know that this is MY life. I get to do something I enjoy hopefully for the rest of my life , and this is MY TIME. I can choose to text people back or answer that phone call, but for this next hour, it’s all about me.” And it’s not selfish, it’s self-love. This year, I challenge you to find self-love.
I could tell you to join the YMCA right now, because it’s the best place on earth and I love it. But like I said, what works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. But if you ask anyone even here at the Y, health is more than just exercise. It’s positive thoughts, well-being, eating better, good vibes, personal growth, friendships and family. If you aren’t balanced in those areas, check yourself.
What is holding you back from reaching your goals? Why do you continue to struggle? If it’s a relationship, family, job ... etc. What is your breaking point, why are you holding on to things that hold you back? If you can, cut it. Find your self-love.
Because the 2018 you deserves it.
Allyson Bickel, Community Engagement of the Greater Marinette-Menominee YMCA, 1600 West Drive, Menominee, MI, 49858. Bickel may be reached at AllysonB@mmymca.org.