Sticks, Stones, and Words

I have said from the beginning this journey of #becomingabetterme, it was more than just the physical changes that needed to occur. I talk about them the most as they are the easiest to fix. Now, do not get me wrong, it has taken a lot of work, a lot of tears, and whole lot of whining to get where I am now, and it was not easy, but changing your weight or your muscle tone is definitely easier than changing who you have been for the majority of 39 years.

I have not always been someone to say how I felt, believe it or not. I would get mad and cry, but a lot of times I would hold back what I really was feeling for fear of hurting the person I was talking to. My MoMo believed in the “sticks and stones” things and preached regularly how bruised go away, and physical scars healed, but those words… good, bad, or hurtful… are always out there. She even told me one time that it was like a constant word bubble over your head, and the one you hurt always saw it, no matter how many times you apologized.

Anyway, without the details I will just say that my life changed, and I decided I was going to be the one in charge. I was going to make sure I said how I felt when I felt it, so never again would I wish I had been honest.

As I have gotten even older my brass ways have gotten the better of me. Sadly, in my quest to be honest, I forgot that some people struggle with brutal honesty, either positive or negative. As a supervisor I would just say “yes, you did it right” or “no, you did it wrong” no difference in my tone, just a simple matter of fact way of saying how it was. I didn’t look at this as negative really, I felt that if I was giving as much emotion to the “yes” as I was to the “no” I was not being harsh. My mistake.

After a few (or more than a few) conversations with a fearless leader of mine – someone who also has a knack for telling it like it is – I realized that maybe this was the next box I should check? The me that interacts with others, the Mom, the Friend, the Coworker, the Employee… that me, she needs to soften the edges. Although my job is 100% figuring out the black and white of the issue, and how it fits into our MANY rules, I still needed to work on my delivery.

Since I have been more conscience of this decision, I can see a change in how my coworkers receive my words. Even in how they ask me for help. I have seen a difference in my children, they are less afraid of “being in trouble” and more realize that I am their mother and correcting them is my job. I would even go as so far to say I have changed as a friend. Being asked for advice and/or my perspective on a situation is really a form of respect, and I see that now.

Overcoming my fear of failure was hard. Overcoming my self doubt was hard. Overcoming my urge to fire back was really hard… but keeping calm, speaking in a way that does not come across as know it all (which, I have been accused of being), this has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Each day I try just a little bit harder, speak a little bit slower, and sympathize a little bit deeper.  I will never be any less passion driven, or feel less of a need to succeed, but I am trying. Trying to become a better me.

 

PS. Fearless leader, if you have read this, thank you.

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Creating and Measuring Goals

2016-04-17_15.30.25 GOALS

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get healthy
  3. Become a better me

Why did I set such vague goals? Well, simple… so I could achieve them… duh!

Before I go any further forward, let me go back a little. When I started this journey I was tired, weak, fat, unhealthy, unmotivated, and genuinely unhappy. I knew that was not how I wanted to live. My biggest concern was failing again. I had done that too many times before, and let me tell you, It sucks. When I think about all of the money I sunk into fad diets and random pills, it makes my stomach turn. Anyway, how was I suppose to get it right this time? What plan could I set in place to keep this from happening? I am normally the kind of person who makes a decision and just takes off running with it, but this time I couldn’t do that. I had to make it work.

Goal #1:  The first decision I made was about the weight loss, as it was the biggest issue involved in this journey. I knew that the total pounds I needed to lose was well in the 50s and that number scared the crap out of me. How do you get to 50 without getting discouraged? Well, in a conversation with myself (yes, I literally talked myself through this), I knew I had to make my goals small. By small I mean in 5lb increments… I know me, and having the metabolism that I have, getting to that five lbs was going to be rough enough, let alone knowing there would be plateaus involved as well. Setting a high goal than that might have stopped me before I even got to the first lb lost.

Goal #2: This may have been harder than the idea of losing the weight! The idea of “the gym” I had in my head was a scary place. Full of supermodels walking around with leotards and beauty make up – you know the place I would never fit in, the place where Olivia Newton John recorded her Physical video?? (do I need to remind you this is STILL a judgment free zone?!) Anyway, I finally got the guts up to give it a try. There, too, I started small. How does one remain on their butt and still get in exercise – THE BIKE! That is it! Starting point! There is no place to go from there, but up! Adding to that, correcting the diet… baby steps: no more cokes, more water, no more McDonalds cheese, more veggies, GOT IT!

Goal #3: This one was a little trickier, but the attaining the above two, made this one easier. Becoming a better me was more of a well rounded plan. Being more confident and being healthier would make me a better mother, a better friend, and a better person – A BETTER ME!

As I started this over a year ago, when I get a little down, I have to go back and do a progress report of these goals….

GOALS:

  1. down 38 lbs and counting
  2. working out with the trainer and going to the gym 3-4 days a week
  3. a work in progress… this journey of #becomingabetterme is no where near completed.

Accepting Defeat and Denying Success

I have written about failing and accepting that, even learning from it, but this different. When you fail it is a singular event. Failing a test, failing to complete the housework you wanted to do, even failing to properly communicate how you wanted something done. That is fine, we are human, these things happen. What I am talking about is accepting defeat. Believing that when I do succeed it was fluke, or that what I did wasn’t really that good.

Every time I talk about something that I have accomplished there is always the BUT on the end. “I did the race in 62 mins, BUT I should have gone faster.” “I have lost 37 pounds, BUT it has taken me over a year.” “Mr Trainer told me I did good today BUT I really didn’t get the weight in that I wanted.”

What is wrong with me? In every one of the above statements I succeeded!    Why is it so hard to accept that I have done something good?

I have also said on numerous occasions this journey has been about #becomingabetterme all the way around. I think this is something that I should make sure I work on next. A 20160410_140623little bragging on myself could not hurt.

I am going to start with today’s work out. I hate battle ropes. I always worry about my arms not being able to handle them, that it will hurt me, or that I wont be able to do it and I will disappoint Mr Trainer. Not today! Today we did circuit training and in the first round I had to do 40 flips and I had NO trouble. It was refreshing!!! Apparently Mr Trainer was so impressed he added another 10. My second round he had me do 50, and I did it! Normally when I even look at the ropes I get increased heart rate and palm sweat, but today, I didn’t. I can sit here and tell you how big of a deal that is, but it could not do justice to how impressive it really is. Add to this, after I finished my 3 rounds of 3 circuits, Mr Trainer tells me to get on the recumbent bike… for those of you who have no idea what that is, it is a weird contraption that I normally call “the crazy bike hand mover thing”.  This thing tells you how many laps you have done and how far you have gone, with the use of your legs and your arms, like a treadmill. He had me doing 5 mins after my 30 min work out, and I ended up doing 7 mins just to finish my third lap. I was tired, but I felt good!

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this the Recumbent bike… like a bike with elliptical foot hold and arm movement

 

Anyway, the moral of the story is there is no BUT in my day. I am going to accept my success and not think about defeat. Today, I was not defeated.

Making the Day Count and Getting Redemption

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I have heard that on the days you don’t want to go to the gym, those are the days you get the most out of it. I could not agree more.

Allow me to recap my last 20ish hours for you…

I went to bed about 11:30pm, which is not out of the norm for me, but at 2am I was WIDE awake. No amount of counting sheep made my eye lids heavy, and it wasn’t until after 3am that I last looked at the clock. Needless to say, it was a somewhat rough night. When my alarm went off at 7:15, I soooo badly wanted to hit snooze and roll back over, but since it was the hubs day off, I decided I would drag my tail feathers to the kitchen to start coffee so I didn’t wake him. I managed to get a half cup drank and look fairly presentable to head off to work. Really just facing the world with one eye open.

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First coworker gift. Thanks Drew!

I got to work and on my desk was a wonderful gift from a coworker. I really was humbled by this, and so heart warmed to know how my coworkers think of me. (the lil note in the top was his way of telling me who it was from as he refers to himself as the #1 and I play the role of his #2… just a side note and a little office humor)

 

The day drug on and I was losing more steam until, another coworker came in with something for me as well! It was like Christmas in the office for me! I love this gang, but it wasn’t until today that I realized they love me back. Silly, I know, but it is nice to go to work and enjoy the job as well as the people!

In a 3:30 meeting with the boss I informed him that I had to leave at 4:30 to get to the trainer at 5… he was very understanding and we hurried the meeting along, but the closer it got to time to change into my gym clothes and leave the less I was feeling it. Like a true leader he reminded me that I am not the kind of person to back out of a commitment, that I have already come so far, and of course the “you got this” just for good measure. I begrudgingly agreed and left.

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second coworker gift. Thanks Lisa!

 

As I walked into the gym Mr Trainer was there and it hit me… It was time to give back so when he asked me how I felt I was honest:

Me: I am a little tired, but I was thinking…

Mr T: Oh no, what were you thinking?

Me: I was thinking I want redemption.

Mr T: Really? How so?

Me: I want to work on my arms again. Just like we were with the bar and the bells the day I had my freak out. Maybe go a little lighter between the two and slow the sets, but I want to do this.

Mr T: well, ok, lets do this!

And we did! We talked through was what working, what wasn’t. We talked about the machines. We talked about the different movements that caused the pains vs what did not. I used this as much as a learning experience as I did a work out. I could tell he felt as good about what we were doing as I did. It is nice to see your trainer happy with your performance! I felt like I redeemed myself and I believe he felt the same.

I started my day with the belief that it was going to be a bad one. Just a crappy day that would lead to a crappy evening… yes, part of my doom and gloom was precoffee, but still, I was not envisioning the wonderful day that I had… I never expected that my coworkers were going to show me love and support the way they did and that just makes me remember why #becomingabetterme came into being. It’s because of people like them and days like these that I will continue to push forward.