It’s been four weeks since I landed back in LA. I had to deal with reverse culture shock, getting back to my daily routine and jet lag 🙁 This semester I am taking 16 units, working and on top of that focusing on fitness + bodybuilding. I didn’t share this for a while because I was afraid of what people might think of me. But I realized that at the end of the day this is what makes me happy and works best for me.

In this modernized society living alone can be considered as the path to complete freedom. However, it can also add stress, loneliness and homesickness. My parents live in another country. I have to take care of myself. If god forbid anything happened to me, I am the only one that can fix it. That’s why going to the gym has been my emotional outlet and my way to deal with stress.

Staying on track with my meals has given me a lot of confidence, discipline and POWER. Knowing that I can push through the discomfort makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.

This makes me have even more respect for all the amazing athletes who do this on a daily basis, like Kai Greene, Karina Elle, David Laid and also the bikini competitors. This is a sport and it is tough. I am also very grateful to be working along with 2 coaches Alyx and Sara that believe in me.

BUT, this blog post isn’t intended to convince you that bodybuilding is the end all and be all (although I think it’s awesome and people should go lift weights). I had to LEARN through my failures that in order to be successful I had to sacrifice a few things that I did not want to at all (e.g. carbs joking! :p )

So no matter what goals you have, we all pretty much share the same adversities when we decide to go after what we want.

Even if we don’t feel like doing it but we need to in order to succeed.

I learned many of these lessons the hard way but looking back I’m glad I did because I would not be the person that I am today without my failures.

Here are the top 10 things I learned to give up to be successful…

  • Give up on saying YES to things that don’t support my goals: This one was hard for me to do. I would feel guilty for not spending time with my family, friends and going out more. But I guess the saying is true after all. When you want something really badly you’ll do anything to achieve it. And my god has it taken a long time for that saying to kick in. I used to think I could do it all: school, hang out with friends, go to the gym, cook my meals, run errands, Skype my parents and on top of that get my sleep in. And because I wasn’t prioritizing my goal, it started to show in my results. I failed so terribly and I guess this year I was just done with making excuses for not being able to follow through. This year, I wanted to grow, push myself out of my comfort zone and be consistent. This is something I am working on but I’m pushing through one day at a time! I know what I’m capable of but I was always too scared to follow my goals. I spent the majority of my time doubting and victimizing myself instead of taking action.
  • Give up on people pleasing: When you start saying no to friends, family and relatives they either hate you or understand your reasons why. I’m honestly glad that through this experience I know who my friends are and truth is I don’t have a lot of friends and I’m happy with that 🙂 And the friends that I do have are extremely supportive. So shout out to my friend for letting me eat my steamed veggies and chicken in your car. You know who you are 😉 I used to say ‘yes’ all the time to going out when I knew deep down inside that spending this excess money on food, time and energy would delay my own progress. But I did it anyways because I didn’t want to let my friends down. At the end, I let myself down and it frustrated me. So I made a promise to myself, that I was done with people pleasing. It feels good to have my own back and have control over these situations then letting myself feel guilty.
  • Give up on a toxic people: Letting go of people who have disrespected me has been a HUGE relief. Sure it was hard at first but it has allowed me to emotionally focus on my goals without being side tracked, discouraged or judged by them. I have to give credit to my sister, Natasha for helping me on this one. I love you!
  • Give up on a short term mindset: Success doesn’t happen overnight. But in Catherine’s mind it did. How silly was I to think like that?!! I used to think that after one week, results would start to show up but I was wrong. I was so impatient to the point that if nothing was changing I thought I was failing. But the truth is – I wasn’t being patient enough. I wasn’t giving myself the time I needed to in order to make a transformation. I decided to be more patient, more kind and loving to myself when things started to get difficult.  Slow and steady wins the race! 🙂 so no matter how long it takes as long as I stay on track I’m confident I will get the results.
  • Give up on the need to control everything: To say that I have a tendency to worry would be an understatement. I LOVE having structure in my life and when something doesn’t go my way I get unhappy, freak out or obsessed why I couldn’t fix the problem. Once I started controlling the things that I could control it made me sleep better, gave me less stress and allowed me to focus on the present moment. Even with my fitness journey right now sometimes there are things that are out of my control but I do the best that I can. I learned not to beat myself up every time I failed and kept my focus to move forward and do better than the day before.
  • Give up on self negative DESTRUCTIVE talk: Easier said than done. Living alone means I have to deal with myself more internally. Sometimes I catch myself saying “oh if I only had X,Y,Z and blah blah I would be happier and more successful.” It was such a bad way to end the night because by the next morning I would still have the same negative thoughts in my head. The great Kai Greene once said that: “thoughts become things.” And so by the next day I would go to class feeling like I wasn’t good enough. It would turn a good day into a bad day because of my insecure thoughts 🙁 I’ve never been the type of person to meditate and focus on things to be grateful for (shame on me!). I recently started to do this before I go to bed and I am sleeping better. Also reading books on Philosophy and turning off my phone by 11pm has been a nice way to end the night. I highly recommend Aadam’s articles and book recommendations.
  • Give up on comparing your success to others: I know we all go on Instagram at night scrolling through other people’s profile wishing we had her life, his money, her looks, his, her, that and that and so on. DO NOT DO THIS. Why? Because everyone is DIFFERENT. You don’t know that the person you admire might have been doing this for over 5 years? Or 10 years? Or that the person with your dream job has parents that has connections… When I feel down and impatient I try to shift the focus on myself, my journey. I look back on all my failures and just think about what I could do to better myself tomorrow. We all compare, get jealous and envy others sometimes. It’s normal. Take action and don’t obsess over a person’s instagram profile (I’ve totally done that) and look at how far you’ve come! So the next time you catch yourself giving in to the compare game I recommend listening to this song. Your welcome!

I hope you all enjoyed reading this post. I wanted to share with you all my journey. I think when we share our struggles, our pain and our obstacles it is what resonates most.

With social media it’s incredibly hard to be proud of your small accomplishments when you see other people highlight their success all over their IG/TWITTER/FB page. Don’t get fooled by what you see on people’s social media. Everyone’s fighting a battle that you don’t know about.

I may not always be happy as I seem to be on Instagram. I do have my days when I cry because I miss my family, I’m homesick, sore, exhausted and hungry from training.

When I get upset and impatient I look back and remind myself how far I have come. I moved to America 4 years ago. I was heartbroken, alone and felt like no one understood me.

And now I have my own apartment, I live in LA and I go to an amazing school. Sometimes I just pinch myself at night like is this really happening to Catherine Ha?!

I could not be happier.

Thank you so much for reading. I have so many things to share with you all on my blog in the next upcoming months.

Now off to the gym (again) 😉

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