I believe in the power of a well-positioned open-ended question to make huge impacts on people and the world around us. Questions, are there to make us wonder, pursue, and to change.
Questions, help to organize the categories of the things we don’t yet know. I guess I’m thinking about questions because I love them. Every big thing I’ve ever done begun with a question. The catalyst for my weight loss journey was the question, “What do I really want?” Answering this question is how I discovered my why. Knowing why I wanted to do this was the thing that has given me the strength to keep going. It seems silly, but my why, is the thing that makes me shut the chip clip on the bag and walk away. Every little choice is my way of inching forward.
From Harlem to Brooklyn and back home again. I finished my coaching institute at Teachers College and I feel exhausted. My mind is very full and I am inspired to apply all that I’ve learned. However, for now, the only place I really want to go is to bed. Happy in the knowledge that today was another day within my healthy eating zone.
My food choices were right on. I got an immense amount of activity in – I walked all over Brooklyn today. I weighed and measured my dinner portions and that feels really good. I am signed up for 5:15 am spin and I’m trying to convince myself to go. It’s not that I’m not still loving spin – I am. However, we are in the Polar Vortex and the current temperature feels like -.10* which is crazy! Yes, I know that sounds balmy to my friends in the midwest. I have no idea how everyone in that part of the country hasn’t lost their minds. So I have from now until I get into pajamas to make up my mind about spin.
Thank you for all the encouragement and support while I was away. I appreciate it a great deal.
It was a new day and I did say yes to a fresh start. Today, was a blue dot day! I am within my healthy eating zone, and I feel the rhythm of my new habits overtaking my old ones. This is not to say those old habits are banished; unfortunately, they remain intact. Those old habits are in my brain and will certainly show themselves again and again as I strive to live my life on Maintenance. However, I do think I have uncovered a pattern.
There was a big difference between yesterday and today…
Yesterday, was particularly stressful. Somethings were happening to me that felt out of my control and I think that was driving my desire to eat. Control is the culprit. When I feel a lack of it my natural predisposition is to cycle back into losing it with food.
Today, was very empowering! It seemed as though all the big things I had to do worked out for me. My teaching, the way I navigated the city (thanks to my new friend Jamie), connecting with people – all of it went as I had hoped. I felt more flexible and was not tempted to overeat.
I think I set the tone for today at breakfast. While I was waiting for breakfast, I was scrolling through Facebook and I received a message in one of my WW groups that really inspired me. A friend of mine connected with yesterday’s post and shared her struggle with me. Thank you, Emily, you made an impact. That connectedness helped me so much to know I am not alone. While I might have different reasons, the struggle to stay on the healthy path is real.
The struggle is real but it’s not forever. Having the perseverance to continue to reflect and examine my choices and identify patterns is helping me to stay on track. Knowing that it will always be what happens next is the most important thing also helps. Even more than that it’s the connections I make with others that helps me to embrace a growth mindset. I am part of a group of like-minded others who also want to live a healthy life. That really is something important.
I tracked everything I ate I am reflecting on my choices. I was aware of my choices at the moment
I went out of my points zone I allowed old habits to come back
All in all, it could be worse it could be better. I wish this were easier but I’m not going to waste a lot of time thinking about that. If I were going to give myself a pep talk, it would go like this:
Maintenance is difficult, but you can do difficult things. You have accomplished an amazing goal. This is a life long goal so challenging days like today are going to come your way from time to time. It’s not forever, it’s just for today. Keep working the program. Keep it honest. You can do this.
That’s what I’m thinking about today. I hope you had a good day on the journey. When things don’t go so well, try giving yourself a pep talk. Think about why things happened the way they did, by asking, “What happened right before I made that choice? Why do I think it happened that way?
I am very grateful that I can start again tomorrow.
I am pushing myself to grow. I am traveling on my own for work. I’m not an experienced traveler. I am attending an institute at Teachers College so I’m going back and forth from NYC and Brooklyn. Plus, I being pushed to work hard to learn and be more than I am now. This is all very daunting and in the past, I might have rewarded myself with a big bag of M&M peanuts when I finally returned back to my hotel. I do enjoy those 🙂
However, I changed that story today. Instead, I checked in, ate dinner and got in a workout in the hotel’s fitness center. I used the Active app and it was a lot of fun. I found it an encouraging experience that helped me to boost my activity to a higher level of fitness. I’m grateful for that. I have to say #WW was really smart with the suite of apps they include as part of being a member.
I think I’m learning that this is how maintenance is going to be. There is going to be an ebb and flow to this lifestyle. It is not going to be a fixed destination. One where I set myself on autopilot and I arrive. No. This is more of a get a map and learn how to read the stars, gauge the currents kind of journey. Maintenance requires all hands on deck let’s turn this ship around. Yes, I’m looking at you my Saturday morning friends. (thank you).
Here are some ways I helped myself today. What are you doing to help yourself? I hope you’re having a great week.
Scrolling through Facebook, marking up photos and memes with hearts and thumbs up. Tweeting links for a post I wrote. Sharing ridiculous videos of dogs and cute babies. While all of this is somewhat amusing, it is really just a waste of my time.
I’m avoiding doing that next item on a long list of things. The more I play around online the less I want to get to doing the things that need to get done. Can you relate?
I’m weighing in tomorrow and this was a challenging week that ended on a low note for me. In the past, I probably would have made myself a fun evening snack and munched away my troubles by getting lost in some show or movie. While I may not be the most cheerful person at the moment, I am grateful that I am not avoiding my emotions by eating (bad enough I’m avoiding tasks).
I guess there is always something positive to think about. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.
Discipline begins by saying “Yes” to one important goal. Then it is quickly followed by a series of “No’s” to the myriad of distractions and temptations that are sure to follow. This is especially true when a goal is tied to weight loss.
Here are some tips that are helping me to stay disciplined so I can keep at this…
Don’t make things harder than they need to be!Keep out “trigger” foods. Give the best kitchen real estate to healthier options.
Don’t get too hungry! Pay attention to internal and external hunger cues!Know the difference and act accordingly.
Be proactive, get to know your basal ganglia!This the part of the brain that tied into emotions and memories. This is the hot spot for forming new habits.
Be kind and generous – embrace the process! Plan in rewards for all the hard work, and give yourself a break when things don’t go so well. This is a lifestyle change not a quick fix.
Why take the time to write all this down? Writing all this down helps me because I feel as though I am writing my own success story. It’s as if I am imagining a better way of approaching weight loss, and then planning for the real actions I can take to make it happen. There is some special kind of permanence that goes with writing something down. It feels like making a promise each time I write a post. It is as if I am saying, this is what I believe and this is what I’m planning to do. Here is how it went, and this is what I’m going to do next.
I like to believe that maybe some of the ideas I share here will be helpful to someone else. I am a writer and a writer is always searching for others to connect with. I want to be part of a triumphant story – one that is shared. One that inspires me and is inspired by the lives of others. I want to celebrate that connectedness I feel with so many other people.
Life is a journey, and I want to travel the road with others who share my passion for it. We are amazing. We can do this even though it’s hard. Maybe… especially because it is hard. So say yes with me, yes to discipline and yes to joy. Say yes to what you really want.
There is a reason that so much attention has been given to knowing your “why.” Simon Sinek began the conversation around the significance of “why” by giving us a framework called the Golden Circle.
Now, is a good time to revisit my “why”. I want to reflect on my actions and thoughts in an effort to be more self-aware. In order to do this work, I think it’s important to really know myself as a learner. After all, I am learning how to live my life as a healthier version of myself. I am asking: What does it take to do this? How am I going to get that done? Why is it so important to me?
What: I will stay engaged with #WW by following the plan as it is intended to be followed. I will participate in activities that I love doing like spin and yoga.
How: I am the kind of person to engages her learning intellectually and emotionally. Writing is an outlet for both. Writing helps me to stay intellectually emotionally engaged on this journey.
Why: I want to bring back vitality to my life.
If I were going to turn this blog into a book the title would be:
Reimagining and Revising
My Transformative Journey to Better Health & Wellness (and yes, Weight Loss)
My story is not a one size fits all series of steps that would deliver health and wellness in a box to readers. There is no just follow the recipe and “Voila!” all your dreams will come true. Instead, my story is one that would teach readers the value and joy of self-discovery. That combined with the understanding that the most important day will always be – today.
I am learning that the more present I am in my life the more successful I am and the better I feel. Even if this day is not a successful day on plan – there is always that next choice to make. I have always been in love with the underdog, and nothing motivates me more than a comeback. Knowing that I can do this and still embrace optimism (because that’s who I am. I am an optimist) makes all the difference.
You might be thinking, “Well that’s all well and good for you. I don’t consider myself an optimist. I’m a realist.” To that, I would say, “Great. Use that to define your reality and work back from there.” Maybe my past failures with weight loss and my current success all boil down to a failed analogy. For so many years I was searching to find the key to unlock my potential. Now I know, I had it all wrong.
It’s not about finding some arcane key to some unmovable padlock. That makes my future left to chance – some esoteric thing working to keep me apart from my dreams – my goals. What if instead, of a padlock it was a combination lock? Now beginning with understanding how my lock works become essential. My key is about knowing my combination of strengths because that is how I will open me up for success. For me, Optimism, Perseverance, Kindness, and Reflection are my winning combinations.
It’s a beautiful thing, you are the lock, and you already have the key. Something to think about.
Today was a sick day. I mostly felt bad about being sick but I can’t help it I just am. I need to get some rest and hope I’m feeling better tomorrow. Some days are better than others today was a rough one. Either way, I hope you had a good day on the journey. More tomorrow.