Day Seven…

After one week of Maintenance and…

Week one

It goes to show that sometimes, even if I follow the plan faithfully and work all of my strategies, I can still go up. I think this why many people give up on weight loss. It can be discouraging to say “no” to things like candy, bread, and pasta and not be rewarded with a loss on the scale.

However, I am so proud of myself for making such good choices this week. Everything I did, I did for me and that’s what really counts. I know that the next time I step onto the scale, I will be more successful in terms of numbers.  I am also thinking about my Saturday morning friends. A faithful tribe of others who attend the workshop meetings with me. Here is some advice I will keep in my pocket this week:

  • Celebrate!  I am part of a community who understands me.
  • Apple picking!  Living on Long Island, New York I am fortunate to have a local apple orchard, Richter’s Apple Orchard. Recommended apples were Ida Reds and Snapdragons.
  • Snap & Track! When dining out, I can take a picture of my plate and look at it later to track more realistically than trying to remember.

Good advice right? So another challenge put forward this week references Shawn Achor’s research around happiness. The long and the short of it is that happier people make better choices.  So our challenge is to find three things to be happy about for three days. I’m up for that, are you?

Lastly, as I think about today, I am struck by how important these three skills are: Time, Planning, and Mindset:

  1. Time: Get comfortable knowing that timetables and weight loss are at odds with each other. It is unrealistic to wish for weight loss each and every week no matter how dedicated I am to the program. I’m in this for the long run.
  2. Planning: When something is important I make room for it. If I need to shop, plan, and prepare foods so I can be successful. The same thinking goes towards activity too. I can elect to see my decision to plan for my success as an act of self-care.
  3. Mindset: It’s all in the way you look at it. I have decided to see my weight loss journey as a way to welcome joy into my life. I see it as permission to spend some time on me. I have to say that it feels good to focus on my own needs. I feel like I can be more present for others than I could before.

If you want to learn more this a great TEDx Talk:

 

 

Day Six…

Losing weight doesn’t take away feelings of frustration, or disappointment. It’s not a magic bullet and it definitely wasn’t an easy thing to do. Losing weight doesn’t mean I’m a “stronger” person than I used to be. It doesn’t mean I’m more successful than I was before. It’s not that I’m more worthy and ought to be valued more now that I’ve reached this goal.

Yet, now that I’ve lost this weight, I am dealing with a new reality. People don’t understand why I would still need #WW. They don’t get it and they say things like, “Well, you don’t want to lose any more weight. Do you?”  I just have to shake my head and wonder why it seems as though everything to do with weight loss is colored by so much judgment.

Words of Wisdom

There is so much societal pressure wrapped up in appearances isn’t there? So whenever I see others who struggle with weight I feel a very strong connection to them.  I really understand what it feels like to be so visibly judged. One time I overheard two people making a joke at my expense. They were referencing the fluctuation in my weight, “Is she losing or gaining?” Yeah, that hurt and it made me feel bad. I would readily give up my will to those negative feelings and I would give away my sense of power and control.

I would feel “less than” as if I was somehow not as good as someone else.  Which is strange because I was not raised that way. I was a child who came from a loving family who built me up and gave me mountains of courage.  This journey to better health has put me more in touch with that part of me. The part of me who believes in herself and who is brave because she is willing to be vulnerable. My weight loss is doing that because it is an extension of self-love and caring.

I am not just one thing – a healthy weight or overweight. Disciplined or out of control. I am a complex person with many shades of all these things. Resisting the label or the box that we all seem to tend to construct around ourselves and others is the thing I have to be most wary of because it minimizes everything I’ve worked to achieve. I am trying to become more fully present and aware of who I want to be and how I want to live my life.

So … 

We shall see what tomorrow brings. I will let you know how the first week on maintenance went.  As always thank you for reading, for your generosity and support.

Day Five…

There is no doubt that we are living in a stressful world.  There is always plenty of bad news, hurt feelings, and depressing images. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed at each flip of a page, turn of a channel, or click on a screen because we are innodated with constant unyielding information. Know what I mean?

Mindful

It turns out, the antidote to this crazed harried existence, we all seem to be living, is within the auspice of our own control.  Practicing mindfulness is where it’s at. When I started to read a little more about this practice I realized that I have stumbled onto these practices in my effort to get to goal.

The following list names the markers of practicing mindfulness and how they were revealed through my weight loss journey.

  1. Kindness counts: If it’s true that you write your own story in this life. The narrator of that story needs to have a kind voice. My daily reflections for my progress, throughout my weight loss journey is colored by kindness.
  2. Drop the judgment: Acknowledge and accept things for what they are. I was talking to a friend just tonight about how it’s exhausting to think about people who zap your energy. I feel as though I’m surrendering my energy and to what end? The judgment doesn’t change a thing, it just lets negativity linger.
  3. Practicing patience: I’ve had to learn how to wait. There were points in this journey where I’ve felt totally transformed on the inside but it wasn’t showing on the outside. Those were challenging times and I totally understand why so many people give up on the way to goal. Being patience conserves personal power because there is a belief that things will change eventually.
  4. Beginning with a beginner’s mind: I kept that honeymoon phase of #WW going throughout the journey. It is toxic to assume a point of view that there is nothing new to learn. I opened myself up to the possibility of doing things differently this time around.
  5. It’s a matter of trust: I believe in me. I have learned to trust my own personal wisdom. There is no magic book, or program, or pill there is only me and I am enough.
  6. Non-striving: I have always been driven by goals. Getting through graduate school, getting a job, buying a house… It turns out it’s very different when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes being driven by a purpose is not so helpful. If it’s all about the “goal” itself, I would have missed all the good stuff that was happening at the moment.
  7. Acceptance, the ultimate reality check: once I learned to accept wherever I was on the road to getting to goal I was able to be more responsive to what I needed in order to be successful. There were and are lots of challenges, for example being tempted by candy. I love candy and I accept that fact. I can eat it but then I have to track it.  To my way of thinking, this is a form of acceptance.
  8. Get ready, get set, let go: Being at peace with myself and not fighting the process is life changing. I now understand that things will unfold as they are meant to and in doing so I have made room for change.

I share these thoughts because I want to help others achieve their goals.  I do believe that we all have the power to transform ourselves. However, there is not one right path, it’s understanding your path because you are the path.

Day Four…

Short post today. I went over my points because we ate dinner at a local Greek restaurant and it was really good.  I went into my “weeklies” but I think it will be ok. I tracked everything and used a total of 32 SmartPoints. Now, I’m still kind of full and sleepy.

I hopeè you had a good day too. I hope that you are getting the results that you wanted. Know that fast or slow, just taking time to plan out your meals, get active, or examine your emotions is the way to take care of YOU.

So make a promise that you will do something special for yourself tomorrow. I wonder, what will it be? I plan on going to spin and going to bed earlier tomorrow. I think I’m a little sleep deprived. How will you take care of yourself tomorrow? Say, it; jot it; do it.

Day Three…

Professional learning and election day go hand-in-hand when you are a teacher. Today, I facilitated training for our district’s Teacher’s Assistants.  It was a full house! It is very gratifying to work so hard and be rewarded with the collective wisdom and compassion of dedicated others. Our support staff is an amazing group of caring people who really want to get it right.

One of the topics I presented today was about empathy…

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 11.28.09 PM

I guess I bring this up here because I really do understand the struggles and the joys that come with a weight loss journey I can tell you every time a member at one of my #WW workshop sessions shares a success I feel real happiness. When a member shares that times are rough, I can connect with those darker feelings too. It just helps knowing I don’t have to do this all by myself. Neither do you. Some days are more difficult than others but you don’t have to go it alone. We can help each other along the way. Let’s do this! We are stronger together. Make tomorrow a great day.

Day One…

This is the first day on my way to maintenance; so, it is a new “Day One” It’s kind of exciting to be starting off on a new path. One day after reaching GOAL (sorry, I still have to shout it, I almost told a stranger in the store about it until my frontal lobe kicked in and stopped me) and this is what it looks like:

I had an amazing time at spin class and ate a really delicious breakfast that kept me satisfied for a long time. Then I worked for a long time (truth is I have to get back to work so this post will be short).

Work Work Work

After that a little shopping because I think I earned something fantastic.

Plus, guess what I got back… Yes! My coat!

My Coat!
I got my coat back! Don’t ask me how, but the bartender worked some magic. Kind of a funny sentence, but either way, I’m happy.

Yesterday, my coach, Bonnie posed a question that I became too emotional to answer. Now that I’ve had some time to let it sink in I think I can put my feelings into words. She asked,

“How does it feel being 93 pounds lighter?” 

Yesterday, all I kept saying was “It feels really different.”  Today, I can tell you that I feel like someone turned the light on in my own life.  Getting to goal has given me this very special feeling of joy and personal satisfaction because I had to work so hard to get here. Although, it wasn’t an unpleasant journey. As a matter of fact, I’d say 90% of it was very empowering, 10% was daunting. Now, everything is different, I feel like I’m not just living inside my head, I feel more fully present in my body too.  It feels like it used to, like when I was a kid, free to just be present in the world without feeling uncomfortable.

Please understand, these are my reflections on how I am feeling. This is not to say, that 93 pounds ago another person would have felt differently.  Throughout my journey, the one constant was that I always spoke to myself with a kind voice, my mother’s voice, or my sister’s voice. I don’t think I could have made it without that one thing, self-love, and acceptance at every step.

A special thank you to everyone for all the good wishes, encouragement, and congratulations.  Your words mean more to me than I can express. I send all that back to you as you read this post. I send you love, encouragement, and hope for the future. Love yourself as you are, and keep taking steps to get you to where you want to go.

Me
This is me. I started my journey in 2015. I lost 75 pounds and gained back 50. Then in September 2017, I decided to go for it again. This time was different. This time I learned so much more about myself along the way. I understand who I am and so I can become who I want to be.

G O A L!

Day four hundred Twenty-Four was the day I got to goal.  It is an incredible feeling, I hugged everyone in the room when I first found out. Getting to goal has been my priority for over a year and my incredible WW community were amazing.  Everyone applauded and I shared my story. This is what I know for sure.

  1. Believe in yourself – you can do incredible things
  2. Know why you want to lose weight – and think about it every day.
  3. Writing helps to build a habit for reflection and that is helpful
  4. Be an active member of a community of supportive others.
  5.  Kindness and patients are something to practice every day.

So thank you for all the well wishes and support it means more than I can say:

Day Four Hundred Twenty-Three…

Last week I was .4 away from GOAL! Now, it’s the day before weigh-in and I am wondering if this will be my week. I just don’t know. I don’t feel that different than last week.  So my husband and I went for a walk with ou girl, Sadie. She enjoyed the walk as did we.

Rainy Autumn Day on a Walk 2018

I had a good week but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow will be my day to get to goal. i feel great, and I can’t believe how much change has happened over a little more than a year. I’ll let you know how it went.