Countdown to Forty – A Transformation Tale

Trace's Transformation Tale

What exactly is a Transformation Tale? Come on , you know. We see them all the time. People who lose a lot of weight or get clean or go to college to get that degree they’ve put off and then land the ultimate job.  This is going to be my transformation tale. I’m not 100% sure how it’s going to end but I know how I’d like it to end. As a writer, I figure there’s no better way to hold myself accountable than to put it here for the world to see. Maybe some of you will join me along the way. Others might call bullshit and stop reading altogether. In the end, I’m doing this for me and hoping that it works because the idea of turning forty and living life as it is now, well, it just makes me sad for myself. And we can’t have that, can we?

The Backstory

I’m going to get into all the gory details, nobody needs to know everything at this point and, let’s face it, this is going to get personal enough. Let’s just say that I’ve neglected some things that I shouldn’t have since becoming a mother.  No, that’s not completely right either, I was better for a while, better about eating and exercising and feeding my mind. Then things took a turn with the divorce and moving back and forth across the country. Unlike Stella, I haven’t actually gotten my groove back yet. It’s a lot to juggle, starting a new career and attempting to mold it into something enjoyable that amplifies my talents without detracting from my kids.

Single parenting is a challenge. I never had a chance to really get my body back after having the kids so that’s the first part of this little transformation. Beyond that, I’m not financially independent and feel like I’m constantly struggling to get my footing. I refuse to feel sorry for myself or toil away. That brings about the rest of my transformation goals. I want to make my work – my blogs, writing, and crafting – viable so I no longer have to freelance or rely on anybody else.

Autumn, Maddox, and I

My Body Transformation

Have you noticed that most pictures of me are selfies? I do everything in my power to avoid full or even half body shots of myself and that just doesn’t work for me anymore. I know I shouldn’t be ashamed of my body, I should love my curves, and so on and so forth, but I don’t. Body image has always been an issue for me but as of late, it’s just not pretty. I feel bad about myself more often than not. But it’s about more than my physical appearance. I want to be solid head to toe, in and out. It’s not that I eat bad, I really don’t. I rarely eat out, I cook a lot on my own, and I’m big on my greens.

This is me as a teen
This is me as a teen


Steampunk Mad Hatter II
This is me last year


Let me start this by saying that I am NOT giving up on beer or chocolate. No-can-do guys. I can, however, get a lot more active than I’ve been. For the past, hell, twelve years I’ve worked sedentary jobs, often for long hours. Not good at all. I didn’t make time to work out because it was work then kids, kids then work. It’s a vicious cycle that I’m sure at least some of you can relate to.

Now, joining a gym is out of the question because I lack the funds. But I can walk anywhere. And with a yard I can mow and weed and walk out my door to shoot hoops or throw a ball with the kids. Easy peasy during most of the year. Score. But, then the kids are in school and I sit to read or write all day. Bad. But, I’ve found that I can walk and read at the same time. My FitBit tracks the steps still and I get my reading in. Good.

So, my current body transformation goals are:

  • 10,000+ steps per day
  • 4-5 days of fat-burning exercise per week
  • 4-5 days of yoga per week
  • 8 glasses of water per day

Make It Work & Create More

I’m currently operating two blogs and freelance writing. Income is shaky at best. I intend for this to change.  It is important for me to be 100% self-sufficient, paying off debt, and make sure my kids are covered on the big stuff. I’m so far behind the eight ball right now that it’s little more than a blip on my pool table. Sigh. But I believe in hard work, and I believe I can write well enough to make it. I’ve got stories to tell if I can unclog the crap that’s blocking my movement forward.

It’s not hard to get bogged down in the badness, in the daily routines, in whatever keeps you from moving forward. It is hard to get out of it, to push it all away and move forward. Hard works for me. I’m all about working hard and I intend to really push myself.

My Morning Pages Journal
My Morning Pages Journal

Current work and creativity goals:

  • Write “morning pages” every day (see The Artist’s Way: 25th Anniversary Edition by Julia Cameron for more on this)
  • Read at least 30 minutes per day
  • Complete 3 posts per week on each blog
  • Work on a WIP (work in progress) every day
  • Push social media channels to promote blogs
  • Take courses or webinars or listen to podcasts on topics that will help advance business goals

Meeting the Goals: My Timeline to Transformation

I don’t believe any of this is going to happen overnight. That’s the point, right? There’s no bandaid or magic wand to make any of this happen for me. I’m not in it for overnight success in any area, a little at a time is the way to create a lasting transformation. That’s what I want, true life changes not something that I’ll backslide on a few months after I turn forty.

My goal is to update on the blog weekly about my progress to each goal. I’ll be tracking it all, when I hit goals, when I don’t. I’m counting on all of you to keep me honest here.

Trace's Transformation Tale