Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Success Isn't Measured In Pounds

Nope, sorry to burst the bubble, but I've really come to realize in the past 8 months that success can't be measured purely every time you step on the scale. If I went just by the scale, I'd miss out on so many of the equally important sucesses that come with a healthy lifestyle. I've been reminded of this lately, but especially this weekend we I got to see what a difference I can see in myself compared to a year ago.
Success is measured in inches. It cracks me up to try on old jeans and be able to pull them off without unzipping them. Or trying on a shirt that fit fine (or worse, was tight), only to find out that I'm swimming in it and the poofy stomach area of the shirt makes me look preggers (I refuse to buy shirts that are poofy in the stomach now, nothing to hide!). Even when the scale was stuck all of August, I still managed to go from fitting into 12 jeans to fitting into size 10s.
Success is measured in how many minutes I can run without stopping. I started kinda doing C25K in June, by July I had run a mile on the treadmill in about 12.75 minutes. I was up to 20 minutes without stopping a few weeks ago. Then I realized, Fall is here and I live next to a really pretty small lake with a path around it. So, I started to run outside. The first two attempts didn't go as well (max running time was a painful 7 minutes) but I realized my pace was WAYYYY too fast. So yesterday, I slowed it down. A lot. And I managed to do an entire mile in just under 12 minutes... OUTSIDE. And I ran/walked a total of 5K in 42 min 45 sec with running over half the distance. My goal is to one day be able to run all 5 laps around that lake, no walking. 
Success is measured in phone numbers. Haha... yep, phone numbers. Honestly, before I started all this, I never really got a phone number from a guy or really gave mine out, not at least to people I met casually while out. And getting hit on was a totally foreign thing that I'd just about given up on. But I've gotten a lot more confident lately and the past few weeks have actually be successful. Being offered drinks, guys striking up conversation, getting a phone number, it's all success in my book! It's getting myself out there and feeling happy and confident about it. So when a guy on Friday night told me I was pretty, I didn't say "no way, you're lying", I just thanks. Because I believed it.
Success is measured in new friends. Not only did I start being healthy back in February, but I graduated college and moved to a new state for my job. Lots of change all at once, and it meant finding new people. At first I was content staying in, not going out on the weekends, and finding the people I already knew to hang out with on occasion. Now I really think I need to put myself out there and meet NEW people. Expand my social circle. I think I finally have the confidence to do it, not just hide behind the friends I already know in new situations. So, I booked a spot on a booze cruise for 20s in the area. Alone. Just by RSVPing, I've already been in contact with a new friend that used to work for my company and we're planning to find each other at the cruise to chat. Success!
Finally, success is measured in how many people you reach.This website is such a fantastic way to reach out to people, both ones that have been down this road before with success, and those who need some encouragement to reach their goals as well. My friends and family have been encouraging, but nothing like the people on here. And I've even managed to convince some of them to become healthier themselves. It's infectious! So, spread the health! Sometimes people just need to know they're not the only one who wants to make a change. And to see that success is possible on so many different levels. 
So if you're ever feeling discouraged because the scale isn't telling you what you want it to say (mine even this morning showed me up 0.4 lbs from Friday), make a list of all the other successes that you've had. I'm certain I didn't list all of mine on here. But collectively, it makes me happy to see my own successes and when everyone on here shares their own. Keep it up!

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