Positivity

Accountability 101


When things go wrong in life, as an adult, we figure it out. When things go wrong in life, as a child, we look to our parents. As a child, we are not expected to figure out the hard things. we are only expected to be a child. Sleeping, playing, learning, growing, and eating a vegetable every now and then – the good life, right?!

We all grow up, and with adulting comes accountability. We become accountable for our actions whether they are right or wrong. We are taught to tell the truth, and that what we do when no one is looking matters. Somehow in all of our daily walks in life we forget. We forget that we have to be accountable for our own actions or inaction, even if no one is there to remind us of what is right or wrong.

The problem with not remembering to hold ourselves accountable is that we allow ourselves to make excuses for the actions or lack there of in our lives. It starts with a commitment to do something. Day one, great! Day two, momentum is still there. Day four, a struggle – but still committed. Day 10, why are you even doing this? Day 14, give up. The cycle continues, because every time there is a push within for change, something has to happen to force that change.

We are not meant to simply grow up, and stay the same from whatever age it is that people think they have arrived at, for life. Life doesn’t work that way. However, it can. It can work out that way, if we allow our selves to stunt our growth with excuses. It can work out that way, if we stop holding ourselves accountable. Imagine how your life would be if no one expected anything from you, including yourself. Imagine if you only did the things you wanted to do, and only when you wanted to do them. Sounds like a very selfish and lonely life. And, I can only imagine how healthy mentally and physically you would be living this way.

Take account for your actions today and everyday. We all seem to move away from this concept when there is no one there to point out what we are or are not doing. It doesn’t matter whether or not someone else will hold you to something. It matters whether or not you will hold yourself to your own actions. We all have goals and dreams. Some of us will hold ourselves to personal growth, and some of us will make excuses and bury our talents in the sand. You see, without accountability, we aren’t able to fulfill the purpose God has for us. There is a purpose on each of our lives. Sometimes we forget to listen to the small voice inside that is holding us to a different standard, because it sounds like something you’ve never heard or done before. Know that all the talent you need is already there to accomplish your purpose. It may just be buried under all the excuses and sand. Let today be a day where you hold yourself accountable for every action you take today. Mentally shift your thoughts with a sand shake off. See yourself buried in the sand. Then, see yourself trying to lift your legs and arms to get up from the sand. Finally, see yourself breaking free from the sand. Watch as all the sand is removed, falling to the ground, freeing you. Every talent within you is at your disposal. Shake the sand off, and take on your purpose one day at a time.

 

 

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Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself…

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The Skinny Plus needs to be reintroduced! The blog has been silent for so long, and in this silence I’ve been taking time to sort things out with the direction of this wonderful blog. The key word is “I.” I’ve been trying to figure out the next move, what to do, and questioning how to transition this blog into something greater. I’ve been doing all this thinking, but I’ve gotten no where in the silence. I’ve gotten no where, but I’ve continued to hear a voice inside say, “just begin again.” I’ve heard that same voice say, “just start.” My moments of prayer have lead to me hearing God say these things, but shortly after I heard… I questioned. I asked: “what am I going to write about, what if no one wants to read the things I write about now, what if I can’t encourage anyone, what if people see all my flaws, can I really start again without a new logo or a new site, how can I write about the hard things when I haven’t overcome some of them in my own life, and so on and so on.

These questions have flooded my mind every time I sit down and get ready to write. Naturally, after I go through all the doubt in my head, I leave another draft unfinished. Days have gone by. Weeks and months have passed. I have felt that during all this time, I have done nothing but question the talent that God gave to me. Each day that passes, I bury my talents in the ground waiting for that perfect moment. I wait, and I wait, and I wait. Each day that I have waited, is a day that my perfect moment passes. I could not tell anyone exactly what I was waiting for, because the perfect moment I was waiting for was unattainable. If you have ever been around someone who has an excuse for every solution given to start something, you know exactly what I mean by saying my perfect moment was unattainable. I would have moments of clarity that supported the need to start The Skinny Plus again; and they would range from comments of encouragement from my husband, to a co-worker saying an encouraging word, and to random individuals making a comment about something written ages ago. Nonetheless, I still had an excuse to support my continued silence on this platform.

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The feeling that you are and need to be doing something greater than what you are doing, but doing nothing is the most frustrating feeling ever! This feeling is what I had been feeling over and over again. I was still stuck in my head, and I was still trying to figure out the perfect plan. I have since left “I” behind, because truth be told… I don’t know everything, but I do know how to live! I do know that we all have to give God something to bless in this world. If we don’t put forth effort, even in our moments of doubt, He has absolutely nothing to work with. I intend to keep living, to gain experience and wisdom to add to The Skinny Plus and to my little world. I pray that The Skinny Plus becomes little pieces of somethings that God can bless and make into big things that impact our families, women, and children for years to come. Our purpose is not to simply wake up, work, and die. We are meant for so much more! Allow me to reintroduce myself: This is The Skinny Plus. A blog that WILL be transformed into something more that will empower our women and families, and will bring light into this world. Please follow me on this journey, and I hope each of you start your own journey too!

 

 

Back to Reality – Post Election Reflection

Thanksgiving is over, and now it’s back to reality for most of us. Starbucks better be ready today!

I rarely share anything about my political views on social media, or in any setting outside of the confines of my personal circles for a number of reasons. One, being my job. I just can’t. I work in a position that somewhat reports to, connects with, and networks with elected officials. There will be no blue, red, green or whatever party colors displayed on any of my posts intentionally to support a political party. And, you will never get any rants about which side is better or about what crazy thing a politician said.

However, I will comment on the fact that history was close to being made this past election. A huge glass ceiling was about to be broken, and I was feeling all kinds of blessed to potentially see a woman make history. Side note: I feel this way about any woman who has broken a glass ceiling in any area of professional success (Shirley Chisolm, Patricia Roberts Harris, Patricia Roberts Harris, Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Misty Copeland, etc.). Now, one glass ceiling was broken this year for sure! Hilary Clinton is the first female presidential nominee for a major United States political party. However, I think there were a number of women along with their friends, daughters, sisters, and moms hoping for the big win on election night.

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Our daughter looking on as I completed my ballot. The actual ballot is not in the picture. I don’t want no problems behind this innocent picture.

My husband and I took our daughter with us to vote, and in the back of my mind, I thought this is a moment I want to capture for her. I want her to look back and know that she was a part of this election, even though she was not the legal age to vote. I still feel this way, but my thoughts on why I felt this need so strongly are more clear post election hype.

Raising a girl today is a little different.Women are less focused on sitting still, legs closed, and being pretty. We are more focused on empowerment, equality in the workplace, equality in education, more opportunities in education with programs for girls focused on STEM courses, equal pay, and so many other things that move toward a more empowered woman no matter what her path in life is. Then, we want our girls to hold to some moral standard on top of all this. Knowing this, I really wanted my daughter to have a win like this one to reflect on in her future. Today, it seems that no matter how much more empowered we become as women, men seem to still dominate. Even in areas where women are dominate, such as non-profits, men seem to hold more leadership positions.

We can continue to empower our girls. However, the reality is that we only have a limited number of examples to show to our girls. I may be able to look up a Forbes list, but I doubt my daughter will know those names in our discussions later in life. Or, will she even be interested? And heck, will I even be an example to her or not?  I believe that more glass ceilings will continue to break. But, will it be enough for the generation of women coming up today? Will it be enough to shatter the thought that you can not have a family and successful career – one has to suffer? Will it be enough to shatter the stereotype of what a true leader looks like? Will it simply be enough to encourage our daughters to lean in, be present at the table, speak up, and all those other actionable phrases we use to coach women today?

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I wanted a win for my daughter. Honestly, I really needed a win myself. Women are making big moves everyday, and we may or may not hear about them. I’m hoping we start hearing and seeing more of those wins for women today, and the women of tomorrow. So, here we are, back to reality before the Christmas holiday. There is still time to make some moves before the year ends! You may not be running for president, but at least be running for something that makes you a better woman/role model. You never know who’s watching you break your own personal ceiling.

 

 

Blessings and Blues

The blog has not had much TLC over the last month or so. I can tell you guys about all the wonderful things I’ve been up to. But, the reality is that all those wonderful tales of time not being on my side; taking care of my home; my job consuming my life; etc. are just some nice explanations to justify my lack of organization and time management. I mean really, could I not have gotten one blog completed in the last month or so?

Well, here I am now! I’ve been all over the place with things – hence the lack of organization. It’s hard to organize your life when you don’t quite know the direction you are going in. It is easy to wake up every morning, go to work, and do routine things. However, if you have a spark inside of you, there is always something tugging at you day and night that creates an uneasiness in the routine. I’ve been experiencing that spark, pull, uneasiness, or whatever you want to call it lately. So, it’s been hard for me to just go through the routine day to day. I haven’t quite figured out the plan or purpose God has for me. I do know that it is more than the routine. I know that whenever I feel that uneasiness in my spirit, I plan to make a move. I may not know where or why, but I plan to move!

Now, let’s be real. A move doesn’t mean I’m changing the world in one post, making a large investment in whatever, or creating a business in a matter of minutes. A move means simply that. I’m going to move. For example, this blog post is a move. Entering the Ashley Steward Model Search was making a move. Trust me, I went back and forth on entering for a week! Everything inside me said go for it, but for some reason the routine was getting the best of me. I made excuse after excuse to not take an updated picture. I used the daily routine as an excuse to justify not having time to take a picture or to do a post. Finally, my husband (@VisualbyT) reminded me on Sunday (the last day to submit entries) afternoon that I had asked him to take pictures for this opportunity. I fixed my mouth to say OK, to get dressed, and to make an effort to get at least one good shot. And, I was truly amazed! The end result are these beautiful shots!

I wore a pair of Eloquii shorts that are simply perfect for me. I really am not a shorts person, but these are not your average shorts. Hopefully, they will be available next spring/summer. However, I do plan to wear them into the Fall with tights. The eyelet detail ads a classiness that works for me. The only con to these shorts is the side zipper. I am sure there is a reason so many plus size brands do this with pants, skirts, and shorts; but, I absolutely hate the side zipper! Someone tell me why? The shorts were true to size, and I had no complaints whatsoever. I wore a peplum top, which has been a part of my closet for sometime now. Instead of a cute sweatheart or pointy heel, I went for a cute ankle bootie. It’s Fall isn’t it?!

I am thankful that my hubby was there to keep the spark alive with a little motivation. Sometimes that’s all we need. I don’t know what the outcome of the Ashley Stewart model search will be. However, I do know that if you don’t move, you aren’t giving God anything to bless. Get moving people! Have a blessed day!

Studio Eyelet Detail Short – Sold Out – Peplum Top (Similar)

Working It Out

Women have a built in ability to simply work things out. No matter how many hours are in a day, or how few resources are available, we seem to just work it out. So, I’m sure any woman can understand my frustration with not being able to simply… work out. Seriously, I have been a human yo-yo with my weight, eating habits, and workout discipline the last few months. The struggle is all too real!

I had begun to doubt my ability to be the strong woman I usually know myself to be. Standing in the mirror saying – “You are wonderfully and beautifully made in His image. You can accomplish and achieve all things, because your strength comes from above” – was no longer holding the same uplifting and motivational boost it once held before. My faith hadn’t changed, but my faith in myself and my ability to push through had definitely changed. Truthfully, I thought it was gone. I wasn’t able to find the motivation to do workouts at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm like I had done so long ago.

*side note: yes, I say the statement above to myself almost every morning!

The reality is that life has changed for me. We never really think about how external changes effect everything going on inside. I was trying to work out and navigate life like I did years ago. That makes no sense, right? But, it made sense to me when I became frustrated about things not being as easy as before. Of course I could work out at 9 or 10 pm before… I wasn’t a wife and I didn’t have a little one who fights her 8:30 pm bedtime well until after 9:00 pm. I didn’t have the same responsibilities. My job did not demand extra hours of work outside of the traditional 9:00 to 5:00. Things have changed, and the reality is that I will probably never go back to the days of extreme workouts at all times in the night. But, that doesn’t change this one fact: I was not happy with where I was with my body.

Here’s the mantra, “I can and will change the things I can change.” There are so many things that I am not in control of, but these things… what I put in my mouth & how I treat my body… are things I have control of. Though I may not go hard in the gym daily, I do make sure I get some cardio in at least 3 to 4 times a week. If you are a curvy girl, I recommend getting some great workout gear that won’t have your thighs on fire. Recently, I invested in a couple of items from Lane Bryant’s Livi Active line. The signature stretch active knee shorts have been great! I hate that I always have to find some leggings or some biker shorts to wear under my traditional work out shorts to keep my thighs from chaffing and hurting after a jog. Plus, it’s hot outside! Who wants to workout in 90 degree plus weather in leggings?

My frustration has become a form of some acceptance. I accept that things in my life have changed for the good, and that means making decisions that work for me at this stage in my life. My time is limited, and if my workout happens while playing with my little one, it’s a win for the family. I may not burn 800+ calories, but I am being active and spending time with my family. My choices revolve around a greater goal than simply looking a certain way. My choices revolve around my happiness and the happiness of my two loves. I may not be happy with my body, but I’m happy with the choices I’m making to change it now. The results will not be as fast, but the results will be there when they come. I’m working it out for the season my life is in now.

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 LB Livi Active Knee Shorts – Get Them Here

Photo cred: My hubby – TJ Glenn @Goodfella_t1k

Share A Little Happiness

The world is filled with so much negativity. It is so hard to simply say yes to life when fear continues to show up. Every positive speaking person will tell you not to live in fear, but is that even realistic – especially with children? I’m constantly thinking about the world today, and the protection of my family. I do not have to list all the reasons that show up on the news or on my social media timelines daily that fuel these thoughts. But, I don’t let my constant thoughts keep us from living.

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Our Little One Giving Daddy a Flower – Photo Cred @goodfella_t1k


I’m hoping that everyone reading this post today has a feel good morning, day, and every day after today. There was no intent to post a really long blog with some self affirmations today. However, I wanted to leave everyone with a little happiness. Live in Faith and not Fear today and the next. We can not control what others do, but we have ultimate control over ourselves and our own actions. Faith, Love, Peace and Blessings. Share a little happiness today! Happy Monday everyone!