I live in a northeastern suburb and we can get some brutal winters. Not as bad as New England but bad enough. The great trade off for black ice, shoveling snow, and bitter cold winds whipping off the ocean is the thrill of getting a “snow day”. There is no better feeling than getting the call that the roads are “impassable for students, faculty, and staff’. It is like getting a free day unencumbered by an over scheduled life
Snow days used to be full of dressing kids for outside play, movies and popcorn, steaming hot coca, and art projects. I put my energy into making those days happy special times, for my family. Now snow days give me the chance to put my energy towards self-care. It is a day where I can refocus on my priorities and treat myself well. Today is one of those days, so how will I use my time? All of the items on this list, would make my life better:
Writing to center myself
Taking a Peloton class
Spend time with my hubby
Appreciate some beauty
Do some light cleaning
Cooking a new recipe compliments of: #journey.towards.health.ww
Reading for fun
Do some planning for work
Meditate and practice mindfulness
Writing this list has helped me to prioritize my health goals. Sure, maybe if I were more evolved I would not need a heavy snowfall to take time out for me. The truth is I’m not there yet, but I think just knowing this is a step in the right direction. If you’re like me, and need an excuse to take some time out for you, I suggest you try writing down a list of things that will help you to prioritize your health goals. For my type A friends, think of as a challenge or an assignment. Put it on your calendars and schedule it to make it happen.
In the meantime, I can look forward to six more weeks of winter and finding more opportunities to be be good to myself. I hope you are good to yourself too.
The truth is so many things in life are complicated. I think happiness is significantly decreased when the world is viewed through an oversimplified lens. Most times events in life are not only “good’ or “bad” they are deeply nuanced. So while a number on a scale is definitely gives the viewer concrete feedback; down one pound, or up one pound, that is just one small piece of a bigger story. To really appreciate the concrete feedback, in this case, the number on the scale and to help it to happen again, think on it a little more.
What happened this week that generated that result? Go through it point-by-point, this is the “how”. Then push yourself to think even higher, consider the “why”. Why motivates the actions taken (the how) and will generate a result, (the what). This is not to say that that knowing why you want to lose weight will guarantee weight loss each and every week! Sorry… it definitely will not. Our bodies do not work that way. We are not like Mystique who can transform into the shape she wants. I wish!
What I am telling you is that knowing why you want to lose weight lessens the importance of the stark glowing numbers on the scale good or bad. Why gives us power to motivate change, it is the reason to believe in ourselves even when weight loss is a challenge. Weight loss is certainly not limited to food. Weight loss begins in our minds.
The Right Tools Go a Long Way to Help
So I want to get better at cooking healthy meals and I want some added motivation to cook after a long day at work. For Christmas, Dave bought me these beautiful Caraway pots and pans! They finally arrived the other day, and I am shocked at how well they work. I knew it would be a better cooking experience but I did know how much better it would be! They offer “clean” cooking, need very little oil, medium to low heat on the stovetop, and are super easy to clean. The can go in and out the oven and can withstand up to 500 degrees. Trust me I did the research, check them out: https://www.carawayhome.com/
Looking for inspiration? Here is what I think I know so far, inspiration can be found through honest reflection. Think of inspiration as the flip side of personal truth.
The truth from my perspective is, I miss the loss of my in-person #WW workshops. I miss my friends who cheered me on, and whom I was able to support in return. Going to the virtual meetings that WW initially setup for us was disappointing. I found myself comparing the virtual experience to real life, and it came up short every time. What made our Greenlawn Goal Setters so special was the intimacy we shared. Zoom did not feel intimate. Another truth is that I have not felt like I have had much inspiration to offer my friends, and that has been very hard. But through sheer effort of sticking with this, I finally have some inspiration to share:
Don’t “Go it alone”
Everything about maintaining healthy habits for life, and being successful with weight loss is either hard or to say the least – COMPLEX! Community has always played a major role with my healthy living/weight loss success, and #covid-19 or no, I need it to play a role in my future. I tried a new virtual group today with a new intention. My intention was to lift my preconceptions, and to be open to change. The virtual coach, Marianne, has maintained a 100 pound weight loss since 1991. That does inspire me. The other part of this is, she is a leader here on Long Island. She not not close to where I live, but when I am ready, I can go and reclaim my lifetime status. It was a good experience, and if any of my Greenlawn friends are reading this, the meeting was 10:00 am Saturday. It would be great to “see” you there.
Rethinking a Successful Week…
Weighing in last week was really hard. Assigning the real number to my #covid-19 #setback was a bitter pill. Yes, I took my medicine but now I get to enjoy the benefits a bonafide loss on the scale. Losing weight matters here. My goal is to lose weight and reclaim better health. Now I know how much have to lose to get back to goal, and really, it is a relief. I didn’t gain back all my weight, and what did gain back is manageable to lose. Here is the important part, the number on the scale is not the “reward” of my efforts it is an outcome of staying on plan, moving more, and making a personal commitment to change. The empowerment of my personal choices is the reward. So if I don’t lose weight and there will be weeks ahead where I do not, it doesn’t change the reward. Do you understand what I am saying? I hope so because it may prove helpful to your weight loss/wellness efforts.
Thanks for reading, and reaching out. It means a lot.
January 17, 2021 is a late for an end of the year reflection, but I guess I needed some time to process all that happened and is still happening. To say so much has changed for all of our lives in an understatement. I could write about loss in almost every aspect of my life. Covid-19 has been and continues to be shadow of death and despair the world over. I am wrestling with my feelings of loss for my country both politically and socially. Systematic racism has been revealed to me and it is something that I cannot “unsee” so I am doing the work for how to be an anti-racist.
“When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression, we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.”
All the of the deep rooted problems of my nation are being laid bare for all to see this year, I can take some comfort that our society is one where that can happen. We are imperfect, and the work that comes next is to continue to try to “form a more perfect union” a goal which will not be attained in my lifetime but is one worth fighting for for the rest of my life. I do take some solace in knowing that violence, for any cause is not to be tolerated. No one is above the law and people who either incite or promulgate violence will be punished within the parameters of the law.
My health and wellness goals have taken a beating this year. Overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges of these times, combined with the theft of my systems of support (in person WW meetings, and Spin classes) to maintain my health and weight loss have proved devastating. Community is an invaluable part of my success and I am still grieving the loss of that community but I am not the type of person to give up on a worthy cause. In this case, my health is the worthy cause here. I am dedicating myself to get back to goal.
I weighed myself yesterday and can now quantify the impact of my struggle in terms of black and white. I am working WW for all that it is worth. I am on the Purple Plan because I think it is still the best fit for me right now. The other action I took (with the full support of my husband, Dave) is I bought a Peloton. I can tell you that it is a real bonafide spin bike and I leave my workouts with that familiar sense of relief and wellbeing. It is a great stress reliever for me and I am very grateful to have one.
If I am to be completely honest, and this blog is a place for compete honesty or else what is the point? Not everything I lost was bad, and not everything I found was good this year. Maybe the lesson I am supposed to learn is that it is not really about what was lost or found, it is what remains. My resolve to be the best I can is what remains. Let’s promise to believe in ourselves and try to make the world a little brighter along the way. I will and I hope you will too.
Working through lunch was a bad idea. I was so busy and it was so cold outside that I didn’t want to stop to eat lunch in my car. I ate my sandwich on the ride home, and by then I was famished.
Dealing with pressure and coping with stress. There is a lot of work to do get services up and going for students. That, and there are many #COVID19 cases everywhere, and I am very afraid of catching it.
The healing power of a home cooked meal. When I came home from work, my daughter had prepared a delicious turkey breast, with gravy mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. The whole family ate dinner around the table and it was a special way to end a long day.
In the end, it was a good day on plan. I am rolling over two SmartPoints and that feels pretty great. I am relearning how to roll with the ups and downs of living a life on plan and thee is no place I’d rather be.
Well… COVID19 has me feeling anxious. I am doing my best to cope with that but it is very hard. Anxious, is how I am feeling and I am just trying to live within this moment, knowing that it is important to feel my emotions and not suppress the unpleasant ones. Yet as I look around my house, it is very warm and the decorations look so beautiful. My house has never looked more lovely during the holidays as it does right now.
I think I need my home to be a beautiful space because I need a sanctuary, a safe haven against a world full of bad news. I need home more than ever which is strange because just like many of you, I have spent more time at home than ever before. Now I find myself counting the days till Christmas vacation because all I want is to be safe at home with the ones I love.
It was not hard to have a good day on plan, and that makes me very happy. I can feel the habits slipping into place, giving me the support I need to grow my comeback to my healthy lifestyle.
Driving through Huntington Village we came across the building that you see in my featured image. I just have to love the creative spirit that reimagined an old building. We actually went to Huntington to see their Tree of Hope:
Our COVID19 rates are getting higher and it was very crowded so we did not walk around but it did look beautiful.
Today was another successful day, and it was easier. I am so grateful things are turning around.
It’s amazing how the habit of healthy eating can just come back. It’s as if I just realized again the over indulgences of food just didn’t make me feel any better. I am not buying new clothes, so now what should I do? Start again. So here I am and today I felt the most in control yet. Maybe it’s knowing that somewhere my Peloton is being made and that makes me feel like I will be getting the positive release I so desperately need. Maybe it was just time to come to my senses. I guess the thing is it is never too late to start over.
If 2020 has taught me anything it is this, I have a new found appreciation for the ability to feel optimistic. This is not to say that this year is in the rearview window, but for now, I am feeling optimistic about where I am. Someone reading this might be like, she is nuts. Why would she feel good after sliding backwards on her weight loss journey? To those people I might say, “Haters!” Just kidding. I think I would really say, “I discovered that I’m more resilient than I thought, that is a very good reason to feel optimistic. I’m back baby.” Oh I rolled over 2 SmartPoints and tracked everything. Woo Hoo!