A full week of being fully present on plan has come to a close. Forty-four SmartPoints are left over in my bank, and I am still full from dinner. Switching to #purple and eating whole foods is working for me. It has given me a welcome boost to help me get my head back in the game. Whatever path you are taking on your journey to better health, change it up from time to time because it really does help to keep it keep going.
Weigh in day is tomorrow so wish me luck. I’ll let you know what we discuss over our Zoom workshop.
Showing up in the face of adversity and putting in the work, and getting “it” done is the ideal. “It” can be so many things – passing a difficult test, getting the job you wanted, or achieving a health goal like weight loss. Those are the times when”it” is the thing that is hard to get but is something that you really want. Other times, “it” means doing something that you really don’t want to do at all, but you do for the sake of someone else. Maybe “it” is having the hard conversation with someone you love, or getting on an airplane even though you’re afraid of flying, or maybe “it” is losing weight because your health is important to the people who depend on you.
This is a weight loss blog, a dairy of my efforts to improve my health and make the most of the time I have left on the planet. For me, my “it’ is all about doing all that I can to help me to be healthy and to take control over my life. In a world that feels so out of control – I can do this one thing for me. That is the truth but so is this, I am doing this so I can remain healthy and be there for my loved ones the people who rely on me. Sometimes I am driven by this goal and I really want it in my heart. Sometimes I don’t want to deal with this goal, I want to hide from it because it scares me.
People often say things (especially nowadays) “Keep it simple” or “Don’t overthink it” but that only makes me feel worse! I am the kind of person who needs to understand why something is hard so I write to reflect and hopefully connect and build community. Even though I have such a deeply felt why, it has been monumentally difficult for me to stay engaged and on plan with WW since the pandemic began. But lately, as if a switch in my brain has been flipped it’s becoming easier to engage my healthy lifestyle again. Why? What changed?
I have come to grips with the reality that I am living during dangerous times, and being afraid does not make me safer. Experiencing my fear is not the “knock on wood” that wards off bad luck. I cannot do anything about COVID19, it is here to stay and it is a real threat to us all. What I can do is control my weight. Obesity puts me at an increased risk to developing a more severe case should I contract the virus. I have decided to show up and do whatever I can to be healthy.
Last night I got some news that threw me for a loop. The news itself is not so important for this post, but the emotional response that came with the news, matters a lot. Nervous energy, and running mental lists franticly started instantaneously filling my head, even though there was nothing I could do at 9:00 pm last night in my kitchen. I started pacing around and thought about the unopened ice cream in my freezer. But I really was not hungry, and ice cream was not going to help alleviate my stress, so I went to bed.
Pragmatism ruled the day and that made all the different. Thinking apart from the emotional response allowed me to be pragmatic. The unvarnished truth; my problems would not be solved, nor would my weight loss goal be helped by a “feel good” bowl of ice cream or the dessert hack of nonfat yogurt (which also flashed in my mind) deal with my current reality.
Now that I have had a good night’s sleep, I am reflecting on why yesterday’s response, in the face of uncertainty, yielded a clear path forward. Thanks to #COVID19, we’ve all been living in an “un-reality.” The world is not normal, it feels threatening to just leave the house. It makes sense my initial response has been to retreat to home, family, and safety. Food’s narrative that is interwoven throughout all of that.
The morning has come in more than one way for me. I feel like I have woken up and have a new perspective on things. I have been reminded that I have the ability to prioritize my weight loss goal. That, and my recent switch to purple is leaving me more satisfied and not feeling hungry helps to keep my cool. This new beginning, and feeling more confident is a welcome shift. I am very grateful for the change.
A strategy goes a long way for staying on plan. Dinner is by far the most difficult meal for me to manage. Planning what to eat, when to start cooking, while thinking about what everyone will or will not eat. It is pretty exhausting. I needed a simple strategy to help me get it done. Here is my three-step mantra:
Prep food for dinner ahead of time.
Start cooking / prep work at a consistent time.
Stick to my plan, if family members don’t want it, they’re on their own.
I am baking potatoes and plan to top them with chili that I cooked yesterday (made with 98% lean ground chicken). I am going to cook dinner at 5:30 pm. If my kids (my husband is easy and likes everything I make) don’t want it they are adults they can make something else. Just knowing this makes me feel like “I got this.”
Hope this helps you, and that you are having a great day on plan.
How are you all doing? Are you feeling ok? How’s it going with your weight loss/ health goals? You may be thinking, “Wait, who are you again?” or maybe, “Well, where has she been?” If you are feeling abandoned, or if you are thinking I’m a fraud because of this long absence, all I can say is I’m sorry.
I have been in the weight loss/healthy lifestyle dungeon. Held there by shackles of my own design, constructed by my fears, my loss of control, and self-doubt.
Don’t underestimate the fear factor. It’s rooted in biology, and there are other blogs that are far more capable than I to explain it. See: AJMC What is important here is to understand that fear is not just in the mind it is in our bodies, our hormones and it can shape perspectives from the inside out. I have been afraid since March, and I am still afraid. The result of this is that there have been so many starts and stops with my efforts to maintain my healthy lifestyle. I’m ready to try again. Here are the big three actions I’m taking to deal with my fear:
Increase foods with Omega-3 fatty acids
Exercise daily at least for 20 minutes
Practice nighttime rituals to get more rest
Loss of Control…
When I look back on my success with weight loss, the common feature was my ability to take control over the situation. I could wake up at 4:30 am to go to early morning Spin. I packed my meals, I prepped my foods with (relatively) little distraction. I could reward myself with a trip to TJMaxx for a new outfit, a nice dinner out, or a manicure. Now, I realize just feeling safe inside a food store or a gym class was a luxury. My sense of control, and the kinds of rewards I get from weight loss are stripped down to just this:
I can control my actions to better my health, and my reward for that is a healthy body and mind to get me through these difficult times.
The struggle is real, and I have felt like an imposter more times than I can count since the pandemic began. Self-doubt has clouded my sense of accomplishment and has diminished my resolve to keep going. I have imagined waking up with all the weight back. That has not happened, but I have gained weight since March. Now, is the time to believe in me and I am very grateful that I am the kind of person who has the resilience to fight off the self-doubt and keep going.
Finding My Way…
I made some changes. I am following the #purple plan on WW. This plan offers the most zero SmartPoint foods. I need to feed my body nutrient rich foods right now, and this plan is designed to help people eat more whole foods. Since I started following the Purple Plan I am finding that I am not hungry at all. Another change, I am riding my bicycle, and walking my dog. The reward I get is not the same as Spin, I don’t feel that mellow muscle burn that I really loved after doing these activities.My reward is knowing that I got to be in the sunshine, I breathed fresh air, and was present in my neighborhood. The last change, I am being very honest and open with my friends and family about how I’m feeling. If it is not a good day, I don’t pretend that it is. I am letting myself experience all my feelings and this is helping me.
If you are reading this and find yourself identifying with anything I have written today, at least you know you are not alone. Weight loss is difficult under the best of circumstances, so if it is not going so well, please be kind to yourself. Don’t give up.
Every day is a chance to change my life for the better. I believe it is never too late for positive change. Whether that change comes in the form of inner enlightenment or an awakening to the perspectives of others – it all counts. I hope I never stop learning and aspiring to be my best self. In terms of my weight loss journey, here are some choices I made today that are going to help me get closer to my goals:
What are you doing to be your best self? How are you helping yourself to rise so you will meet the challenges you’ve set? Finding ways to stay engaged and to learn from others is a good start. My friend, Kathleen suggested a great podcast: @HalfSizeMe https://www.halfsizeme.com/category/podcast/ I listened this morning and felt very validated. Check it out.
If you are reading this and are like, “Oh no, day one again? I feel so bad for her, she is really struggling.” then I promise you – you are missing the point. Even though it is a struggle right now, this is not about the struggle. It is about the deep need to get back to goal. I am doing the work to to get my healthy lifestyle back in balance. Losing weight, committing to a healthy lifestyle is something that requires ongoing dedication and care. On its surface it doesn’t seem like it should be such a big deal. The truth is for many people it isn’t, they are able to manage this part of their lives with ease. Not me, I am still have a lot to learn.
In the spirit of learning, I participated in Oprah’s Your Life in Focus: A Vision Forward this morning. It was helpful, and I took quite a lot with me, Here are some of the words of wisdom I plan on keeping in my back pocket as I get back on track:
“In this moment, I am well.”
“Commitment is a daily thing.”
“To act with consistency. and intentionality is the way.”
“I will give to myself then give to others.”
“Will this choice move me forward?”
“I have decided to make a change.”
“Name it (your goals) be specific.”
“When somebody who has loved you, given birth to you, seeded you passes, their spirit abides with your spirit. If you allow yourself to stay open you have an angel you call by name.”
Today was a great day on plan. I’m rolling over points and feel good about it. I hope you are finding your way on your weight loss journey, and are feeling proud of what you’ve been able to do for yourself. Every positive choice you make for yourself is a victory for the good. Don’t be discouraged, keep at it, just think, I can do this, and eventually you will achieve your goals.
Weight loss involves an ongoing interior dialogue. Sometimes that “self-talk” is helpful, and sometimes, it isn’t What can be done with an unhelpful thought? Defusing those thoughts so they don’t ruin my progress is really important and was the topic o today’s WW workshop. Here is what I am going to do:
Pay attention to what I am thinking. Like right now there is a piece of chocolate in the kitchen that is 4 SmartPoints. I don’t have anymore SmartPoints for the day, But I keep thinking about it and then thinking, if I eat that piece of chocolate I will probably start snacking on other things too. I just won’t track those things.
How is that thought making me feel? Thinking about eating that candy, not tracking it, and possibly snacking on other food is very upsetting. This thought makes me feel small and weak. It makes me feel like I am losing control and I will fail at this. I don’t want to eat that piece of chocolate but I probably will.
Interrogate the thought and the feelings it evokes: Is this thought true? No, it doesn’t have to be true. I can decide not eat that chocolate. Or even if I did eat it, it doesn’t mean I have to lose control, not track the foods I eat. None that is true. I’m not even hungry.
What do I really want? I really want to get back to goal. The candy is there for another day when I have more SmartPoints or when I don’t feel like eating will trigger a snack attack.
My version of the WW strategy is a little different but it is very effective. It helped to push me through this moment, it really helped. If you find yourself dealing with some kind of nagging inner dialogue, try this it works.
Some good news, I lost 5.9 pounds this week. It was a big win for me and to be honest I needed a big loss to help me gain some momentum. Let’s all have a great week.