Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Love Books With Homework

My father is a public school teacher; he did his student teaching at the high school my sisters and I graduated from, and has been a fantastic mentor to kids 12-18 by teaching at the middle school and high school levels.

When my dad was student teaching at Redlands High School, he was consistently harassed by hall monitors for "skipping class," due to his young-looking face and physique. His mentor teacher ending up having to give him a hall pass to carry around, just so he could get home to his pregnant-with-me wife at the end of the day.

Because I have always been surrounded by it, I have always had a soft spot for homework. In fact, while my dad was grading papers at night, I would ask my mom to give me some homework to do. She would set up writing and addition homework, and I would go to town. This continued until I actually was in school, where I received real homework.

I followed that path and worked rigorously all the way through high school, putting myself through the wringer academically and liking it. College, maybe not so rigorously, but I like to think that I'm still a smart dude. I am always pushing myself to learn and grow.

I picked up Jillian Michaels' most recent book, Unlimited at the library, and I was thrilled to see that at the end of each chapter, there were exercises to help cement the chapter's lessons. The book is not about weight loss encouragement; the main gist of the book is about pushing yourself past your limits to achieving any dream that you might have. The first part of the book even helps you decide what your dreams might be, if you aren't feeling particularly passionate about anything at the moment. I realized that I love writing, girl power, and leading people—I now have so many dreams that put all of those things together!

Another part of the book deals with discovering your personal roadblocks and overcoming them. A homework portion at the end of one chapter leads you through an exercise regarding people who make you seethe, and why their attributes anger you so much. I read this chapter when everyone else in the house was asleep, so I was alone; I was kind of going along with the exercises, when I had an epiphany that reduced me to tears. I am not going to share it as it's a tad personal, but putting together all of the pieces that Jillian parsed out has truly changed my life. I can be more tolerant of behavior I dislike because now I know why I dislike it, instead of falling back on "It just bothers me!"

Sure, I am also going to use the techniques in this book to excise myself of my body issues, but I know that these strategies goes way beyond weight loss. There is no use in making myself healthier if I am not going to spruce up my life all around. I know that my full potential includes feeling good about myself on the outside AND the inside.

If you missed Amy's Onward and Upward session, you may want to supplement with this book until the next one rolls around. Both deal with finding your life's work, your true happiness, and working hard to achieve your craziest dreams.


  1. Thanks Holly! You are an inspiration. **Going to the library now**

  2. I have to say "DITTO!" to what Teri said! I did think the book was all about weight loss, but it sounds even more interesting! I love pump you up kind of reading. :) LOVE YOU!