Life, Weight Loss, workouts

And Then What?

I’m just over a month away from turning 28. Is that too early to feel like I’m going through some serious self-reflection/mid life crisis stuff? Maybe because 28 is so much closer to 30… and for some reason my whole life I thought I would have it all figured out by the time I turned 30. The decade of the 20’s is the one for figuring it all out and the 30’s is when you get to enjoy it all, right? Isn’t that how it works?

See, the problem isn’t where I am. As I stop and look around I am really super duper happy and blessed to be where I am. The problem is where I thought I should be. the problem is the expectation of what “arriving” or “achieving a goal” would look like.


A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

this isn’t just with life in general. it has happened in marriage, parenting, weight loss, nutrition, finances. like we spend so much time and energy chasing a goal and then we get there and then what?

in my head i would get there… achieve this goal… and then what? it would be smooth sailing, of course. I have absolutely no problem clawing my way to a goal. I set my sights on something and then sprint after it. and then all of a sudden I have it. and I want to sit there and bask in the moment. but then what? that goal becomes a moving target and I’m forced to chase it again. it’s like I thought if I hit that goal it would stop being so hard.

but it doesn’t.


[Tweet “it’s like I thought if I hit that goal it would stop being so hard, but it doesn’t. “]

I lost a good amount of weight, but it doesn’t just stay off because I reached a goal.
I thought because I got to a “comfortable” place with my body I wouldn’t have to think about what I ate, but I do.
We both got laid off of really good paying jobs right when we first bought our house. We clawed our way through some dark financial times and ended up starting our own businesses (yes, multiple. we are crazy). We aren’t doing bad, but finances still require hard work to manage properly, More money doesn’t mean less problems… it means more work.
I thought that finding the right person to marry would be the hard part. that marriage brought pixie dust and butterflies and rainbows. and sometimes it does. but it requires tough conversations, uncomfortable vulnerability, and lots of hard work.
Pregnancy is hard. Labor and Delivery is hard. and yes, the long nights of feedings and diaper changes are hard. but answering tough questions and being responsible for shaping the world view of this little girl… it is hard work every day.

And I’m not really scared of hard work. but somewhere in my naive little mind I thought some day the hard work would end. Like this fairy tale would all come together on its own. that I would reach my goals and get to just be for a little while. I knew I’d make new goals. and I was ok having to work hard for those. I guess what I wasn’t expecting was to have to work so hard to maintain what I thought I’d already achieved.

[Tweet “I guess what I wasn’t expecting was to have to work so hard to maintain what I thought I’d already achieved”]

The catalyst for this post was realizing it has been almost 6 months since my abdominoplasty/skin removal. And yes vacations and holidays and life have happened since then… but I was up 10lbs since surgery day. Since realizing that and reluctantly getting back on a structured meal plan I’ve lost a few pounds and am now just 6lbs heavier. Β They removed 8lbs of skin and fat. and I know the scale isn’t the only judge of progress, but I also feel a bit softer in the middle than I’d like. I wasn’t eating stupid or anything, but I was being a bit more lax than I was before. I was happy with my body and loosened the reins a bit. I explored what “maintenance” would be like and ended up gaining. And I kinda sulked about it for awhile. I finally got to a place where I felt good about the body I had worked so hard to achieve, it couldn’t be too hard to keep there… but apparently it was. Do I want to eat chicken and rice and green beans for the rest of my life? No. But do I need to have dessert every night or a “cheat meal” every meal during the weekend? No, I don’t. I had to realize that once you reach a goal doesn’t mean you get a get out of jail free card for that particular goal for the rest of your life. You still have to put in the work.

this isn’t just for weight loss. or fitness. but for relationships… finances… life. i was overwhelmed at having to try so hard. to put in so much effort. but not because i hate hard work, but because somewhere along the way i adopted the mindset that it wasn’t supposed to be this hard. regardless of what it is supposed to be or not supposed to be, this is what it is. hard work. that is the then what. it’s hard work. and now that I realize that, it’s time to do it. live the then what.

Have you ever struggled with the “then what” part of the story?


16 thoughts on “And Then What?”

  1. This was great. I totally understand what you’re saying – I spent six long months moving down a weight class and when I was done, I felt a little…lost? unsure? After spending a bit just sort of letting things work themselves out, I set new goals.


  2. Girl! I’m turning 30 in a week and I can tell you that has caused WAY less anguish than turning 28. I’m not where I imagined I would be, but I’ve made some great strides. I think I have learned that it is the “and then what” where most of life happens. The in-betweens and ho-hums. And then you form a new goal, a new challenge and it starts all over again. It’s always hard, but as long as it’s fun and you feel like your on the right road, it’s all good. Or at least, that’s what I tell ME! πŸ˜€


    1. What a great point. the then what is way more of life than that short sprint towards a specific goal. it isn’t something to be afraid of, but to be embraced… and lived!


  3. I hope to one day be in your situation.. of feeling there needs to be a “then what”. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t reached the goal of finding a job a love, securing my income; I always feel like I am still looking up for unattainable fitness goals..

    I say just keep reaching.,. keep setting new goals, whatever they are, just to feel like you still have something to work towards, even if it as simple as just staying afloat! I know the internet only shows a side of real life, but you are inspiring and how you manage the businesses plus a family is pretty impressive to me!


  4. I kind of agree with Lora. I’ll be 30 in June and I’m not worried about it. And actually, I loved 28. It seems like such a great age. You have a respect of being in your later 20’s without the imagined pressure of having it all together in your 30’s. πŸ™‚

    I always tell myself this is about the journey, not the destination. And in fact, like you said, maybe the destination is always shifting. Health goals are not just a check box, one and done. But when my focus is on the journey itself I find I’m more motivated and less stressed with the process.


  5. Yes! This post definitely spoke to me! For my husband and I, we are always thinking, well, we will be settled when this happens or that happens. When we graduate college, when we finish grad school, when we have jobs, when we have the job we want and live in the place we want (though one or both of us has no idea what that even looks like). Sooner or later, we are going to have to look around and realize we are living it and letting it slip away.


  6. I’m going to be 28 this year and there’s something about it that feels different than 27. I thought I’d have life more figured out by now, but I still feel like I’m a fresh out of college kid with no clue what I want to do. Only now I have gray hairs haha. Right now I’m in a little bit of limbo. I know where I want to go next but I can’t do it just yet, and waiting stinks.


  7. I’ve always struggled with the then what parts. I remember when I was getting ready to turn 30, I panicked a little because I had always thought at was the age when I would have all the answers — but I didn’t.


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