Redefining success

So…I’ve struggled with writing this blog for months. MONTHS! And I think I’ve got a good idea why. Success is something I don’t feel qualified to talk about. And I’ll tell you why in just a second, but first I just have to say it’s because if those very things I just might be perfectly qualified to write this blog. Here’s the thing. I fail. A lot. 

I fail at maintaining a positive attitude (choosing joy if you will). 

I fail at being the kind of friend/ daughter/ sister/ auntie/ cousin/ coworker/ employee  (You get the idea) that I would like to be. 

I fail at being a good girlfriend (I take out a lot of my attitude and issues on my wonderful, loving, and very understanding boyfriend). 

I fail at returning phone calls (sorry grandma!) 

I fail at doing stuff. I have a lot of great ideas and fail at following through. 

I fail at making good choices… I try… But that dang sweet tooth!!! And that emotion eating thing. And onion rings. 

I fail at my job… More than I would care to admit. 

I fail at keeping track of my checkbook (thank God for my mother) 

I fail at reading my Bible regularly. 

I fail at being in the moment sometimes. 

I can’t even manage to take a ONE a day vitamin for crying out loud. 

When I was growing up I always figured that by 35 I would be married. Have a houseful (more like 2 kids) a house and a dog. I would be working as a kindergarten teacher and loving life. Well… Life had other plans. There is NO freaking way that 17 years as a bill collector (well… Some of those were customer service years) was something I thought of. Ever! But does that mean I’m not successful? I don’t hit my “goal” at work every month. But does that make me a failure? Am I trying new things? Am I going outside my comfort zone?  Am I changing lives? How’s my attitude? I think these are the things that should be defining my work succes. It’s hard…..VERY hard to see that in the moment, but sometimes I need to step back and realize it. 

What I realized when thinking about this whole thing is that sometimes your definition changes over time. When I started my weight loss journey I viewed success as me fitting in a size 10 jeans. No lie. However…. Today if I had to buy a size 10 I would be disappointed in myself. Not because there is ANYTHING wrong with being a size 10, but because I am currently like a size 3-4. And me going back to a 10 at this point would really show I had given Up.   This isn’t about pants size… It’s about how perspective changes as time passes and goals are hit or things change.  On a related topic when I started thinking about wanting to run, I wanted to 30 seconds, yes SECONDS!  Without feeling like I was going to die. Now, I run 5 miles for fun. Things change, the definition has to change at some point.  

I guess I say all this to pose a question. What does success look like to you? How do you define success? I asked this question on my Facebook and had several conversations with people about it. I got lot of interesting answers. Some very specific summed up as results define success. A lot of people said they define success by how happy they are. Some people responded that it’s the seeds you plant and the legacy that you leave behind that really defines success. 

I guess what I’m learning is that it’s the daily things that add up to success. I’m still trying to figure this all out. I’m not perfect. And you know what?!?! . I’m going to keep failing. Maybe success is not letting that failure define me. Maybe it’s not letting failure keep me from keeping on trying. Maybe it’s getting back up once I’ve been knocked down. Idiot really know the answer…. 

What are your thoughts? 

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Be kind

So. I had to have a little talk with myself again. I basically had a wake up moment and I needed to tell myself to shut up. They say you are your own worst critic and I believe that. I must admit I am way hard on myself. For not being where I think I should be. For my thighs that are not as small as I want them to be. For my muffin top that is too squishy (more accurately a cupcake top in my case). I beat myself up for not working out as hard as I could. I sometimes freak out about making good food choices… And get disappointed in myself when I choose unwise choices. Are any of those things helpful?!?! Nope! Not at all! How would it make me feel to lift myself up instead? To be happy with how far I’ve come?! To be proud of how freaking strong I’ve become? You know there was one point in life, oh about 77 lbs or so ago that I would haven’t given just about anything to look/ feel/ be able to do what this body can do. Speaking of which.  Check this out: 

  
  
Both of those are me. I really am not the same girl as the top photo. Lacking self confidence. Even super shy (which I know those of you that know me now don’t believe)! I was not comfortable in my own skin really. So many things are different!

Thinking maybe, just maybe I should be a little nicer to…me. What do you say? Will you join me? Make it a daily goal to just be a little better than the person we were yesterday… And if (and by if I mean when.. Let’s be real) we mess up… We be kind to our selfs. K?!? Let’s do this! 

Quitting really isn’t an option….

Todays blog brought to you in part by my revelations from this mornings run:

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Warning I’m slightly caffeinated and this might be all over and a tidge rambly.. Oh wait all my blogs kinda are. So. Never mind.

So.. I continue to struggle recently with the whole choosing joy thing. I try. I really do… But some days I just don’t have it in me. I have been in a funk recently… And I’m gonna be honest.. I don’t like it. I prefer happy Tonya. Life is way more fun when I’m happy. And people around me tend to appreciate it too. Either they appreciate it or they are annoyed with me… But either way I’m happier when I’m happier. Hehe. Anyways. This whole life throwing me a curve ball thing is still affecting me mentally. I know it shouldn’t. But I really really want to succeed… Like really! So what happens when This girl is struggling mentally!?! I eat. I stop caring what I put in my body. Luckily I have not stopped working out because it make me feel way better than ice cream… And it allows me to sorta be off my eating game a little. However the scale might be noticing my deviation more than I would like it too. Anyways the point here is I did not choose my circumstances but it is 100% up to me to make it happen. It’s nobody else’s responsibility and above all I get to choose my attitude. Truth be told, today was better than most days recently and the only reason was the way I viewed the day. Brain felt more clear and I just… Well…. Chose joy. Made a huge difference. And I made better food choices and I think that makes me feel better too. Bottom line is that I refuse to quit. I will not give up on me. And I recommend you doing the same. I have a list of reasons why quitting working on me in not an option. I probably should look at it more often. As I’ve said in another blog about me not wanting to look myself in the face and say that I blew a huge opportunity to succeed…well.. I most defiantly do NOT want to look myself in the face and have it be a less healthy and happy version of me. That’s not acceptable and not an option.

Another reason to write this particular message is due to the fact that some dear friends of mine are going through an unexpected life event that could cause them to stray off a journey. In all honesty we are more like family. These are my weight watchers members. Even after I had to leave they are and will always be my people. The meeting that we had grown to love had to close… But I am I am telling you now…That quitting isn’t an option. It’s a lifestyle and you owe it to you to finish what you started. I have faith in you. You are worth it. DO NOT QUIT! As you might have guessed all those things were written as a reminder to me as well. We are all on this journey of life (and weight loss) together and I hope you never forget that I’ve got your back.
Found this just today as I was scrolling t through FB. Seemed fitting for me today… In this time:

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Truth be told not having to be held accountable to my weight watchers people on a weekly basis has not help me keep my head on the game. I don’t have to stand up in front of a group of people on a weekly basis and try and motivate and be an example of weight watchers makes me a little more relaxed. And the truth is that’s a little scary. The last time I lost this kind if accountablity I gained like 20 pounds. No exaggeration. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. Butterflies can NOT go back to being caterpillars. Time to get my head in the game… Break out of this funk… Get my big girl panties on and keep on spreading my wings and FLYING. The sky is the limit… I totally got this and guess what?!?! So do you! I’ll leave you with one more Pintrest find that I found rather fitting.

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Make good choices!

Gimme a break…

Now that I have got your attention.. and quite possible the Kit Kat jingle in your head (you’re welcome). Here is thoughts that have been brewing in the wonderfully complex brain of Tonya as of recent. I have actually been experiencing a little blog withdrawl… it’s been 12 days since I added wisdom (or ramblings) to the blog world. So here goes. As you all know I am on a mission to run 100 miles in January. Well, Just a quick update. I am RoCkInG it! As of today I am at 86 miles. And have a plan on how to get the rest of them in before Scrapbook Camp. Well, Here is what happened on Wednesday. I was feeling nothing short of exhausted. My body was like “okay, Ton… you have ran enough I can’t run another step let alone mile” I wanted to run.. like in my mind I had a goal to hit. I also had other stuff to do at the gym. Apparently my exhaustion was apparent and was told to take a rest day. A WHAT!?!? I can’t.. Not now. Are you ILL?!? are you kidding me?! these are all things I either thought or said.  Well contrary to my desire to just run regardless.. I took it easy and called it a rest day. I took a BREAK!?!? huh. Interesting concept. I actually took off Wednesday and Thursday. Funny Part… I felt better the next day. More energy and more gumption. Here is the bottom line. You deserve a break. Maybe it’s a break from running, or whatever your workout of choice is. Maybe you made poor choices at Pizza Ranch (oh..wait..that was me) and instead of giving yourself a lecture.. you give yourself a break. Maybe you didn’t hit a goal you were striving for in your perfect little time frame… I don’t know what it is… Just..Gain a renewed focus and do better tomorrow. Maybe your life is super scheduled and you feel like you are pulled in a billion directions. Take a break. Relax. read a book… watch a movie. DO NOTHING. it’s okay. Healthy even. Take care of you mentally and physically. Why? Cuz you are worth it. That’s why. Life isn’t perfect and may not be exactly as you thought it would be. It’s OKAY. Give yourself a break and make this the best life… you really only get one. Make it matter.

me

Time for a…. Pep talk!

Know why I write this blog? Because I need a place to come back to and be reminded of lessons that I have learned. And maybe help someone in the process. So here it goes. These are the thoughts I was thinking during my five mile run tonight. First, however, a little background, I am still struggling to find a balance between my increased workouts and eating what I know I need to be eating. I have mainly been eating two things: anything and everything. Lol. I’m sure I am not alone in this. I get to this “I wanna eat everything I can get my hands on” and I’m not exactly talking fruits and veggies here people…. Well. I was in a mood today. A “why can’t you figure it out and get your head in the game” lecture mood. A “I don’t wanna life weights cuz it’s dumb and boring” mood… And a “why can other people eat whatever they want and not care” mood. First of all I wanna say I am lucky to have someone who does not allow these moments to last long… He made me get my butt to the gym. While I was running something happened. I started to think about all sorts of reasons that couldn’t quit. I started to talk to myself like a friend and not someone I was trashing for poor decisions. I cut myself a little break and ran a little faster. Something more amazing happened when I got home from the gym… I didn’t eat anything and everything. I ate when I had planned… Well drank a protein shake (trying to work on getting more protein in my diet) and stopped. Wait a second… Stopping is an option. Well yes, yes it is. Must admit I felt pretty proud of me. It’s a daily struggle sometimes. Here are a few of today’s thoughts: I was looking for motivation to get to the gym. I realized that sometimes you just gotta do it. You’re not gonna always wanna do what you know needs to be done. Just do it. Not doing it isn’t an option. Think about how you will feel when you push through. Workouts you don’t wanna do are important. Just put one foot in front of the other. Builds character! You never know who you are inspiring. I know I have talked about this before but I was told by a 12 year old this week that I was more fit than she was. Made me feel good. Makes me feel good when people ask me about weight loss and working out. Meaning… I can’t quit. Gotta keep on keeping on. You have to be the hero in your own life. This journey is all about you. Sure you can have a support system (please do!!) but at the end of the day… No one can do it for you. You control what you eat and how much you move your body. It’s true. Was talking to a coworker about this very thing today. I really love seeing people succeed and as a weight watchers leader it’s kind of a passion of mine. I love it when my friends and family take control of their lives… But I can’t make people make changes. On that note… If you need someone in your support system… You have me!!

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Wait… What?!?!

First of all I must start this blog out by pointing out the obvious. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. The number on the scale and/or the number on the pants doesn’t matter. Healthy living is MUCH more than that…. and can be measured so many other ways. How you feel, how much energy you have… and so on. This Blog is about Pants. Well…actually jeans. I like Jeans. A LOT. I have had a lot of jeans over the years: Fat jeans, Skinny jeans, someday jeans, yeah..right…never gonna happen jeans. Jeans are the first place I notice if I am getting way off track. The jeans don’t fit, they get to tight and uncomfortable or even worse.. the “muffin top” (well I call mine a cupcake top cuz I don’t care much for muffins…but cupcakes is another story) starts spilling over even more. It’s a wake up call to get back on track.  I specifically remember a conversation with my mother near the beginning of this weight loss journey (about 10ish years ago) about wanting to be a certain size. At the time I was wearing men’s jeans because the women’s jeans just didn’t fit quite right. When I switched to women’s jeans I was about a size 18. I wanted to be a size 10. I wanted it so bad. I told my mom…who loving told me to set realistic goals. I told her I was being realistic because I wasn’t really setting a time frame. I just thought it would be the best thing ever to be a 10.

Well, here is what happened tonight. I went into the Lucky Brand store looking for jeans. The lovely sales lady asked me what size the Lucky jeans I was wearing were. I proudly held up 4 fingers. (still kind of in disbelieve that I am in a 4, even though I have been for quite some time) I saw these cute jeans and she grabbed me two pairs. Told me that the sizes run a little different so she grabbed me a size 2. Wait, what!?!? You think I could wear a 2? uh…. whatever lady. I humored her and tried them on. Hmmm. Interesting… They Fit!!! Not only that but they look quite good if I do say so myself. Disclaimer: they do have a little stretch in them… so I get that I am not really a size two..but it still got me thinking. Here are my thoughts: do NOT underestimate yourself. Don’t quit, just don’t! Be proud of how far you have come. Set realistic goals, and when you crush those one… set some  more. It’s really about small, itty bitty changes. You got this! Maybe you have those “too tight jeans” right now… let me just tell you ” a year from now you will wish you started today”

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And Find a pair of jeans that makes you look and FEEL good. You got this!

Seeds

SO.. I have a lot to say…. and be warned I am highly caffeinated. So read on with caution. But please read on because I think this is going to be good. I wish you could have seen the light bulb moment when this hit me. Let me set the scene for ya. I was running last night on the track at my gym when all of a sudden my jaw just dropped and I was would almost see the light bulb appear. So funny. And it’s really not that deep. But I think it is helpful for us to think about. Another important background piece is that the current series at Church is about seeds. Planting, growing, harvesting. These thoughts are planted in those messages. I am including the link if you want to watch the services online if you are interested in the biblical principles about seeds. www.greatjoy.org It has been REALLY good.  okay. But my little blog is not about a biblical principle. It, like most things in my life, refers back to my weight loss journey. One of my passions in life has become living a healthy journey and helping others to do the same.

SO, here is my current light bulb moment thoughts.You don’t just wake up one day and decide you want to lose weight and the next day it’s gone. DUH, right?!? well. We sometimes approach it that way. I have heard/ said things like “swimsuit season is coming, better start losing weight” “Pants are getting tight, time to change something” you know. Class reunions, weddings the such. We want the quick fix. We want a short cut. Let me tell ya something. there isn’t a short cut. Like Pastor Brian has said a few times during this series that he doesn’t plan a tomato plant today and expect to be eating a BLT for dinner tomorrow.

So let’s think about seeds for a second. First thing is they are small right?!? I have found one of the main things that has really helped in my journey is the itty bitty little things. Small changes lead to big results. Also, as with seeds, Weight Loss takes time.  Not only that, the journey of all seeds are not the same. You can not compare the fruit of an apple seed to that of a tomato seed. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. This one might be a little stretch but the way I see it in my imagination is that attitudes is the soil for the weight loss journey seed. The right attitude will help that weight loss seed flourish. OOOH. and… storms! They will come. Trials, temptations, people trying to sabotage you. The seed uses those storms to provide as substance for growth. And one horrible bad day doesn’t kill the seeds… The other thing about time is that it is going to pass whether or not we are taking control of our health. Some days are going to be sunny and lovely and life seems easy and hunky dory… Others not so much. Hang I’m there. If you are going to enjoy the harvest (or flourish if you are a flower seed) you are gonna have to put in the time. Feed, water and treat yourself well. See how much it relates?!?! All I can hope is the next time you see a flower or a seed or a plant you see… You! Flourishing. And new. See the harvest inside the seed. You might not be able to see it… But it’s there. Just like I could never envision the butterfly I was about to become when I started. I also find as a leader at weight watchers it is easier for me to see the potential in someone than they can see in themselves. I have written about that before. Trust me. Trust the process and most importantly trust yourself.

Grow little seed of healthyness. Flourish. Be happy. And make good choices. It happens one little tiny itty bitty good choice at a time.

I hope you appreciated my caffeinated rambling… To the gym I go to run off a little of this energy 😉