Day Two Hundred-Nine…

Tomorrow is my weigh-in day, and I am thinking about how I did this week. I tried some new recipes, I packed and pre-tracked my breakfast and lunch meals so I could stay on track. I connected with other Weight Watcher Members like my sister and co-workers.  I also on Connect, Twitter, and Facebook to be inspired and to (I hope I was) be inspiring. I exceeded my activity goals.  There were two days where I was feeling pretty hungry.  Now I realize that it’s important for me to keep a snack on hand that is satisfying a fairly low in Smartpoint values so I can manage those times better. Something simple like having an apple and 15 grams of nuts available is an example of a good snack choice for 3sp.

I did have a mini victory today. I thought I was hungry for a snack, I had the bag of popcorn in my hands. I looked at the clock and realized it was coming up on lunchtime and I made a better choice and had a satisfying lunch. I followed my Meal Builder for five days out seven. The reason I didn’t follow it the whole time is that I was too ambitious with new recipes. Now I know for next time.

Words of Wisdom

As I travel towards goal, I realize that this journey is teaching me to care for myself. It’s not selfish to want to make yourself a priority. I know that sounds obvious but I think I’m really only understanding what that statement means when it comes to me.  More tomorrow…

Day Two Hundred-Eight…

I hung up student writing in the hallway today. It made me so happy to read second graders’ Lab Reports. They are learning how to express their thinking on a whole new level and THAT is very exciting to me.

After I hung up their pieces, I asked them to talk about their work in the hallway. They happily came out and explained their process for both their experiments and their writing. There was such energy, excitement, and happiness. It was thrilling. A security guard walked by, and I said, “Look at this, our second graders wrote Lab Reports!”  He sprinted at the reports proudly displayed and smiled warmly, “That’s great.”  Then, a speech teacher came by… “Check out our second graders’ Lab Reports.” She smiled, and paged through, and remarked on their grasp of sequence and detail.

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Are these perfect? It’s not about perfection it’s about purpose. These are amazing because this was a new challenge that the children took head on and they were rewarded with personal satisfaction for all their efforts. I always learn so much from my students… I too want to take on new challenges. I want to be happy with my imperfect attempts and to fix my mistakes with joy not shame. There is so much to learn on the journey and that is the point. It’s the learning, not the “doing” along the way that will get us all to goal.

Day Two Hundred-Seven…

If you are taking on a big challenge writing helps. It helps because every day that I sit poised at my keyboard thinking, What should I write about… offers me a chance to refocus, reflect, and refine what I’m doing, and how I want to make my next move. I get to relive my good decisions and think more deeply about my mistakes and what they mean to me.

Story quote

Losing weight is difficult because it takes a lot of effort over a long period of time. There are no lasting quick fixes when it comes to changing a lifestyle. It is only natural that eventually, time can seem like an enemy on this journey. At some point, I just want to arrive – Are we there yet?  Then all of sudden I see a huge difference and feel almost amazed by my transformation.


This journey takes time, and I’m worth every minute and so are you. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. What’s your story?

Day Two Hundred-Six…

Folding tables were set up in three symmetrical lines down the middle of the gymnasium. With a canopy of basketball nets and banners, colorful science boards stood erect proudly inviting others to explore students’ projects and to admire their ribbons. The wall clock looked as if it were sent to prison. It was incarcerated behind metal bars, slowly doing its time. It read 4:40 pm I turned my head and yawned, it had been a long day at school. I smiled politely greeting parents and chatting quietly with two other colleagues who had also volunteered to help.

My stomach was beginning to grumble, lunch was a distant memory. Usually, I have a snack left over to eat on my ride home, but the day had been longer than expected and there was only a bottle of water and some gum waiting in my car. When has it been long enough to stay… Ugh, look how happy the kids are showing their projects, don’t you feel terrible? A pang of guilt mixed in with my empty stomach. Well, at least I’m here and I do like seeing families celebrating their kids. I should have planned for an emergency snack.  I wish I had a serving of pretzels or nuts… I hope my breath is ok… I cupped my hand and discretely (I hope) breathed in out. It seemed ok. I looked and my colleagues who stood immobile and decided it wasn’t quite time to go yet.

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Later, on the ride home, I thought about a conversation I had with my fellow science fair chaperones. One had lost a great deal of weight. She is a very attractive woman (but we all know) it doesn’t matter what others think – it matters what you think about yourself, and she was unhappy about her weight gain.  She had changed her eating habits over to an extremely restrictive diet. No sugars, carbs, only specific kinds of fats and proteins. When she had lost all her weight (I weighed a lot more than I do now) I had asked her all kinds of questions about the changes she made. While I admired her tenacity, I knew there was no way I would be able to make her plan work for me – I knew myself.


Knowing who you are is just as important as having a vision for where you want to go. Goals are powerful once they are informed by the life you want to live. Part of me feels a little afraid as I think about my colleague. I have first-hand experience with gaining back weight (although I never gained it all back) so I understand why she is struggling right now. She struggles because she knows two ways to live – one where she just eats whatever she wants whenever she wants it. The other, to eat foods that are harshly restrictive and controlled.

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That’s not my story.  The reason I am successful on Weight Watchers is that it is a program I can live for the rest of my life.  If you don’t belong to Weight Watchers (or even if you do) that may sound overwhelming. Wait you’re saying I have to do this forever?  Well, yes. This is my thing, I had to relearn (and keep learning) how to live healthfully. I had to redesign my eating habits so I can be my best authentic self.  I’m good with that.



Day Two Hundred-Five…

The Sunken Meadow…

Slowing to take the turn, right blinker on, brake lights firing red. Hello! Yellow pops of color there to greet me while merging southbound on the Sunken Meadow. Good-bye! Looking back, framed in my rearview mirror I see your spindly brown branches adorned by asymmetrical petals. So completely wild and free and with outstretched cheery blooms waving to the fleeting sun. Don’t worry spring is on the way.

Half Pigeon Pose…

“Pick a spot on the floor to fix your gaze.”  Dim light filtered across the honey stained hardwood. My eyes swept across the room and settled on a metal water bottle. It had a dull sheen that seemed to hum in the twilight. “Keep your right knee soft and reach back and pull your left foot towards the body. Try to keep your knees together.” My right foot trembled and shifted weight from side to side, I bent my left knee and reached back to clasp my foot. Shift, shift, left leg down. Again. Eyes fixed on the metal silhouette. Left leg up my knee was jutting out to the left as if there were no center – shifting, hop, hop, hold it – down. Sigh… Again…

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Patience Is A Virtue…

I remind myself that change takes time all the time. Whether I’m longing for spring, learning how to do a yoga pose, or getting to goal. Sometimes, I wonder why it takes so much time to effect change. Then I think to myself, what’s my rush? Embrace the wait! I am finding so much joy with where I’m at right now – why wait for happiness?  


Day Two Hundred-Four…

The journey to weight loss and healthier living begins like a toddler learning to walk. We toddle, and each tentative step is a test of our endurance and balance. There will be stumbles and bruises that come with feelings of elation and pain. Just as children become more confident in their footing moving from walking to running; we take our newly learned habits for healthy living and begin to cruise through decision making. Things that used to trip us up, like, what should I pack for lunch, or how should I schedule activity become less challenging because we have more experience.

New eyes

I am at a point in my journey where I feel like an Olympic hurdler. I can run and glide over hurdles and make it look effortless to onlookers. However, that would be a huge misconception because making these changes stick requires a great deal of dedication.

I think it’s important not to underestimate the skill and determination that this journey requires of us. I can do it, and so can you and we should all feel proud of ourselves for meeting the challenge.  So if you’ve had a bad night, or have overindulged and now are feeling remorse, I tell you to get rid of those unhelpful feelings. They are weights on your feet and are designed to keep you down.  Understand that all of us stumble and fall and it hurts to get back up – that’s ok.  In the end, we are stronger for having tried and failed than never trying at all.  You got this.

Day Two Hundred-Three…

It felt very strange to see my countdown clock slip from months to days. I just noticed that I have 90 days left to get to goal. Numbers on the scale are part of this journey and today is my day to weigh in, so here is my result:

My Loss 3 24 18

With this little number, I have graduated to a new weight range. I feel as if I have turned a corner and I am happy that all my efforts are paying off.

We had a great meeting about being organized and taking action when it comes to meal planning.  I left my meeting feeling inspired to pre-plan my meals for the week and decided to give it a go. I created two documents, a “Meal Planner” and a “Shopping List” template to help me. I thought that maybe they might help you so I added them to my Tips & Tools Page.

It was challenging to think about meals for the week, but I think it will pay off. The last time I did this I liked it much more than I thought I would. I think it’s very important to keep the journey fresh and to find ways to engage with the program.

Words of Wisdom

Many members of my Weight Watchers meeting are so generous to share their struggles and triumphs and that helps me understand my own perceptions and feelings.  I think people are getting bored with the zero point foods. The thing is if we only eat the foods on that list, we are dieting and not changing our lifestyles. I had Chinese food tonight and it was delicious. I can do that on Weight Watchers because this is not a diet. It’s my lifestyle. Some of you reading this may be wondering what’s the difference?

Words of Wisdom

The difference is that a diet is temporary and cannot be sustained forever. People diet to fit to fit into a swimsuit or for a special occasion. When you attempt to change your lifestyle you realize that life is the occasion!  I am learning how to live a healthy life for the rest of my life.  That’s why I write each day because I cannot learn anything unless I reflect on my thoughts and feelings.


A Poemt for Spring



Day Two Hundred-Two…

I wish I could just get over my reluctance about the scale. I want to be able to say it doesn’t matter what happens tomorrow. Will I ever evolve past the unhelpful thoughts,? Thoughts like  If I don’t lose weight this week, it wasn’t a good week.  I know in my rational mind that this thought is ridiculous. I had an amazing week, I stayed within my points, I ate foods I really enjoy, I had lots of activity, and I feel so good on the inside, and people are saying that they can see the results on the outside.

If it seems as if one part of my brain is at war with the other that’s because it is…

Chip and Dan Heath wrote the book, Switch How to Change Things When Change is Hard If you’ve never read this book I recommend it because it’s both entertaining and informative.  Rationally (the rider) I know that regardless of the number on the scale my efforts are all firing and that I’m well on my way to goal. However, emotionally (elephant) my mind is like a huge wild beast scarfing down peanuts, balking, snorting and trumpeting demands that the scale continues to move downward! Watch out,  because if it doesn’t I’m surely in for a stampede! Know what I’m talking about?

It helps to give myself some context for my thoughts and feelings as I continue on the journey.  I do like to make fun of myself and poke some fun too because the journey is a long one and there have to be some laughs along the way.  It helps to know that you are reading these posts and that perhaps you understand my struggles.  More tomorrow.

Day Two Hundred-One…

Ups and downs don’t just happen on the scale. Today was one of those days, I wrote a blog post for a blog I share with colleagues that I really enjoyed writing: Reflect, Refocus, & Renew. When I read it over, I felt very happy and pleased with my work – everything was great.  Later in the day, I had a misunderstanding with a friend and I felt just awful – I couldn’t shake the negativity. Ever have an up and down kind of day?  It’s completely disorienting!  Even the weather was weird. The day began covered with snow, and by the afternoon it was if all that snow were just a dream:

I guess my takeaway is to remember that food is not a solution to unhappy situations. Food is also not a reason to celebrate happy news. Food is something to be enjoyed for what it is – and yes, what it is, is complicated. Food offers connections to my past, rituals, and comfort. All of this is the truth. Yet, this is the truth too – food also offers hazards to my health,  the means to sabotage my confidence, and unhelpful coping strategies. See? Ups and downs, for every positive there is a negative.

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My weight loss journey is becoming more and more about reclaiming my personal power.  The more I understand myself the more I understand who I hope to be. Hopefully, we continue to grow throughout our entire lives because I am very aware that I have so much more to learn. Thank you for reading.

Day Two Hundred…

We Long Islanders are currently in the midst of our fourth noreaster. Driving into the storm as I headed off to work, having to make sure all my students had a safe early dismissal and then driving through the storm to get home conjured up all kinds of bad feelings. Now, that I’m home, safely tucked under the covers, and in my pajamas, I am thinking about stress and how I react to it.

love this

I am confident that my weight gain happened (at least in part) because of how I deal with stress. This is what I’m thinking now that I have the benefit of  200 DAYS into my journey. I have learned how to create some good habits to replace my old unhelpful ones. For instance, I even considered doing some yoga after surviving my commute home as a way to decompress.  I didn’t do that but I did think about it! Thinking is the first step to doing, so that’s something, but one thing I didn’t do was eat and that is a huge victory.

My stress reaction could have prompted a setback. It didn’t this time, but it is not crazy to think that it could have. When I was at work, I ate my lunch and didn’t even realize I was done until all my food was gone. This is something to think about because I was left feeling unsatisfied – I still felt a little hungry.  I wasn’t hungry, I was stressed, so what if that was my tripwire for a setback?

Words of Wisdom

The Weekly last week focused on what to do when setbacks happen. One suggestion that really stood out was to write a letter to your future self to read when setbacks happen. I did it, and here it is if you want to read mine:

Emergency Letter

Did any of you try this? It may feel silly to write a letter to yourself, but it’s a really good strategy. Think of it this way, by writing a letter, you are writing your story. After 200 days of writing every day, I can tell you that writing is a powerful tool on this journey because it is like magic, it makes us all brave.


If you are in the midst of setback now, write it out – what do you want most for yourself? Then, hold onto that because that is your “why” and that is the thing that will get you through this difficult time.  Even if you don’t believe in yourself right now, believe that I am right – you can do this. Thank you for reading.