I started this journey to get a better body - be more fit, feel and look sexier and along the way to gaining increased confidence and self esteem and personal acceptance, I have started to find Amanda aka Mandy. Yes I said it, I found Mandy (who I have always been known as up until I was about 16 or so). I am really starting to get connected to who I was meant and destined to be however got lost along the way. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with where I am at - I love my boyfriend, my friends, my family, my life and anything I am not happy scratch that satisfied with, I am working on a plan to change. I feel like I am finally waking up from holding myself back and being a victim of my past without even knowing it.
As all of you know, we recently returned home from a long vacation (3 weeks) - we came back early because we bought to trucks in Washington to rebuild and sell (old trucks - 48 & 51 Chevys). Anyways, one that trip I went through a lot of different things. First I found out that I bring entirely too much stuff and that I over estimate my time and what I can do while I am gone, its just me and something that I can now work on because I could have definitely saved some space in the truck. Second, I appreciate Kirk and love him more every day, He is truly a special man and someone I look forward to growing old with. We are really starting to make our dreams come true and our communication and support of each other is growing stronger and stronger with every conversation and day we are together. Thirdly, accepting people the way they are instead of the way I want them to be, which is part of the victim role. I did some real "work" on my emotional baggage while I was in WA seeing my dad about my relationship with my dad and that has really opened me up to seeing things different. Coincidence or destiny?? I think it was destined for me to do the work while I was visiting him, it really helped me appreciate who my father is as a man. Fourthly - I really try to do too many things and even with vacation and my blog - I was so hopeful about what I could actually accomplish and I have to admit that I had a very difficult time doing everything I wanted to do in my last blog, especially the fitness piece. Fifth and probably most important, it is important to be in the moment and enjoy where you are at in the world and who you are spending your time with. Sometimes just being is more important that doing.
So back to where I started, "Success." Before I left on vacation for almost a month, I weighed 178.6, which is much higher than my competition weight of 160, weight is just a number and relative, not the definition of success, I have. My coach and I talked about nutrition being the key for me (she must know me better than I know myself sometimes - didn't workout nearly as much as I planned or wanted to which I was fine with). She recommended that my level for success is coming home after the vacation weighing within 5 pounds of when I left, come one I was gonna be gone a month. I was hopeful I would lose 10 pounds while on vacation(what was I thinking??? Lofty goals, but I really accepted that learning to manage my nutrition and being within 5 pounds after a month was perfectly acceptable and probably more realistic.) We talked about me taking my measurements weekly, so I could have some measurable feedback about my progress and also what types of foods I should be focused on eating. Remember, we were going on a road trip for a month and we would be staying in various hotels and other peoples homes, so I would have little control over certain things and would be completely out of my comfort zone. We agreed that I would stay away from starchy carbs for the most part (come on I was on vacation... I wanted a bite here and there, so I stole them from Kirk's plate). I focused on eating protein, veggies, fruit, and fat, yes I said fat. So eggs and caon with fruit was a perfect morning meal. Ranch or blue cheese dressings on my salad was fine because I didn't eat the bread or have croutons and I always loaded up with protein. Many times I ordered chicken with two sides of veggies for dinner and you know what, IT WORKED!!!! I am proud to say after 3 weeks of vacation, eating out pretty much every meal, I came home and weighed in at 178.4, which is .2 pounds LESS THAN what I was when I left!!!!!!!!!! How amazing is that!!!! What a feeling of accomplishment, that I made sure I shared with whoever would listen, finally I feel like I have learned how I can eat for life and not feel deprived or like a failure..
So again back to Success. Success, means all kinds of things including just staying the same, learning new skills, finding balance or challenging yourself to find something that works. I found success on vacation and now that I am home there is no stopping me. I can enjoy many of the same things others around me like - I have just figured out a variation that works for me. Success is about you and only you!! Not your significant other, parents, children, friends, family members, co-workers or clients, Success is about you. I found success in realizing that I can master my nutrition and for the first time ever I came home from vacation lighter. All by figuring out what works for me. In doing this, I think both Kirk and I realized that we can both enjoy what we want or that I can eat a "Special way" and he can still eat how he wants. And that is perfectly okay. Since we have been home, I have been cooking healthy food but serving it slightly different - I make very lean Sloppy Joe's with a homemade sauce, Kirk eats it on a bun and I topped it on grilled zucchini. We both loved it!! I feel good and he feels good.
What does all this mean for you?? Well start thinking about how you measure success. Then ask yourself, why do I measure it that way?? Is it coming from me and what I want for myself and my life or is this someone else's expectation or desire for me? Once you start figuring out the answers to these questions you will be able to find more success and maybe even more satisfaction in what you are doing in your life.
Remember, Success has many meanings and identifying the one that is right for you is personal. Comparing yourself to someone else's standards including societies, or sometimes even your own only sets you up for disappointment and frustration and feeling like a failure. With all of that, my challenge for you is to start to identify how you measure your success. Explore what it looks like and why it looks like that. And one final question to ask is "Is this my measure or someone else's?" Trust yourself and find your definition of success, one that makes you feel confident and satisfied with who you are.