I love words. I love them. I collect them, I think about the way certain words sound and how they make me feel when I use them. Words knit together to create these intricate narratives. Words connect learning and understanding as if they were drawn together like constellations across a dark sky. Words amplify our voices for what matters most. Words can carry the torch and shed light on dark places. Words set us free to share who we are and who we aspire to be, at any point in our lives.
I am a word maven.
In the book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell refers to mavens as knowledge hubs or “information brokers”. This type of person wants to spread knowledge and that’s how I identify myself. I am a curator of words. By now, you may be thinking… “Ok, she likes words. So what does that have to with weight loss.” Here’s the thing, I believe that by writing these posts and telling my story and through sharing my learning have helped me to reach my weight loss goal.
I think I have literally told myself a story of success and kindness that has made a profound impact on my health and wellness. Even more than that, I believe the words I keep create the reality I experience. Think about that one… Whoa!
This is great when the words are positive. What if they are negative? Then that’s the reality I get. What kind of weight loss journey do you want to have? Something to think about.
When things are clicking on plan I feel like I’m in control and am able to make a positive impact. Today was a good day on plan and that is a fantastic feeling. I stayed within my healthy eating zone, I made good choices when I was hungry and I remained present. On its surface, these are not very big things but they are very important to my continued success. I have no great desire to be “amazing” or “awesome” I just want to be myself, I just want to be prepared for my day for whatever comes my way. I just want to be “good to go”.
Wishing you all the best on your journey and I am hoping that the lifestyle changes you’ve made are sticking. I am also hoping that you are ready to take on the day from a confident and empowered stance.
Honor is such a perfect word. As a noun, honor means “high respect; great esteem” or “adherence to what is right or a conventional standard of conduct.” As a verb, honor means, “regard with great respect” or to “fulfill an obligation or agreement.” Honor is the kind of word that wraps up so many other great words in its orbit. Words, like admiration, distinction, morality, integrity, and honesty. Really, it’s just a beautiful word.
How do I honor my life? I think my weight loss journey is one way to honor the life I have been given. Weight loss honors my body’s systems and helps me to be the healthiest version of myself. It’s a miracle just to be born, and yet I find that it’s so easy to get lost and caught up with all of the “stuff” I either don’t have or am afraid of losing that I can lose sight of what’s really important. The truth is, every day I can run up the stairs, or get around a chair easily, or sit next to children to listen to them read or walk across the parking lot is a gift that can be easily overlooked.
How do I honor the process? Lately, I’ve been worrying about old habits coming back and losing control. In the book, Daring Greatly, the author Brene Brown refers to this idea of scarcity. Essentially, scarcity means there is not enough and so not everyone can have what they need. When it comes to my weight loss journey a scarcity mentality would presuppose that my success is not something I get to keep. Adopting a scarcity mentality (one that thrives on losing or loss) would mean that I am not honoring the process. A process that helped me to lose 93 pounds – that’s just crazy. I think I had a burst of clarity today…
I know what to do
I have what I need
I am enough
These words seem simple glowing back at me on the screen, but they make me feel centered and content My wish for you is that you honor yourself and all that you are doing to help yourself along the journey to better health and wellness. Believe this, it is a miracle that any of us were even born, so let’s all take a beat to appreciate that and know we are all enough just as we are. Thank you for reading.
When I accomplished my weight loss goal and made it to Lifetime I felt so powerful. I did something really difficult that eludes many smart, talented people. I did this by showing up every day doing my best – succeeding and failing. The thing that made the difference, was that I kept at it. I learned how to be patient and how to turn kindness inward without deluding myself along the way. In other words, I kept my cool, kept it real and I kept it kind and I think that’s how I lost 93 pounds.
I think this should be my attitude when it comes to Maintenance as well. Keep cool, keep it real, keep it kind – there are going to be difficult days. Thankfully, today is not one of them. Today has been a great day on plan. I’m not so hungry and I feel energetic and positive. So, yes, there is always a flip side – for better or for worse being on a weight loss journey is just like life I think. There are good days, bad days, and all kinds of days in-between. Expect that and you can go wrong.
I hope you feel as encouraged reading this as I do writing it. Keep at this – it’s worth the effort!
It’s the day before work begins again, and I have packed and tracked my breakfast and lunch. I know what I’ll be making for dinner, chicken, and potatoes with a vegetable. I might go to spin class at 6:30 PM tomorrow but I have to see how the day goes. I go to spin for fun, not for an obligation. This is my “new normal” These are the healthy habits that have helped me to lose 93 pounds.
Is my weight loss going to be permanent? On the surface it’s simple. If I maintain these habits and don’t let my old ones resurface – yes. If I let myself fall into old habits then no. I know the truth, and the truth is I cannot sustain eating the way I used to and maintain my current weight. I realize it may sound crazy but it would be so easy to fall back. It helps that I am self-aware of this truth. It helps but it doesn’t solve it. The only person who can decide my fate is me and that is pretty daunting.
I tracked everything I ate today. I am carrying over two SmartPoints and that feels good. If I get through the next two days maintaining my healthy habits I think I’ll be in good shape. I’m going through this rough patch and it has lasted longer than I’d like. It’s almost like I’m trying to absolve myself of my past discretions by writing them down here for you to read. But that’s not really it – I think I’m doing this because I hope that you can understand how difficult this is for me. I hope that you can relate to my struggle. This is definitely hard, but it’d be worse if I thought I was the only one. It helps to know that others are able to overcome their old habits. When I think about it that way, it makes me feel like I can do it too.
I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I think my rough patch is ending. I think I’m on the way back to the routines that have served me so well. I don’t think I could get myself back if I had stopped writing. If you read my posts I hope there is something of use in them for you too. If you are feeling like you lost your way on the road to better health know that the trail is waiting for you to find your footing. Take my words as markers to find the way back. You can do it. I know you can because I know I can do it too.
Like most children, I had a vivid imagination when I was a kid. If I was afraid of something, scary movies, spiders, or dogs with big sharp teeth, I’d pretend there was a vault in my mind. Stationed outside, were two big burly guards who would throw the thing (whatever it was) inside and then slowly turn the lock to make sure it stayed put. Then they would stand as centries with arms folded to make extra sure I was safe. Analyze that, why don’t you? Crazy, I know – but it worked… every time.
It’s Saturday, and it hit me that my WW workshop is really like a “home base” for me. It’s my chance to rest up and catch my breath before the race is on again. During the meeting today we had a long discussion about what to do when old habits come back. Needless to say, this really resonated with me because I felt at odds with my old habits all week long. So while people were sharing I sat and listened closely writing my notes and reflecting on my feelings. This is what I think, I think it is easy to feel conflicted about past choices and what to do next when it’s been a rough week. Honestly, it doesn’t feel great. However, the thing, that does feel great (and it’s only now that I can see past my own feelings of guilt and inadequacy that I really appreciate it) is that I’m aware of how my choices make me feel. In the end, mindless eating makes me feel numb. It’s not the food it’s the choice to check out that makes me feel so bad – I feel bad because I’m relinquishing my power.
So just for fun, I can imagine those two burly guards grab that mindless eating and stuff it into the vault and keep it under lock and key. Strange but that does make me smile and it helps a little. The thing is, I know the truth – the truth is I’m the guard and it’s up to me to handle it – not with blunt force but with sensitivity and care. Life is hard sometimes and sometimes I make choices that are bad for me. But not today. Today offers a great time for a fresh start with greater awareness. I know that when I plan and act strategically I feel more in touch with my sense of personal power – I just feel better.
I can do this, I really can, and so can you. Ready! Set! Go!
I ate too much yesterday and now I feel like a failure. I let old habits creep in and I ate mindlessly. Failure isn’t fun. My rational mind says, “Don’t be ridiculous, you’re being dumb.” While my emotional mind says “Yep, you blew it. Back to old habits.” The two vacillate back and forth as if it’s a vengeful tennis match and my neck hurts from whiplash as I watch the volley.
Hey, did you notice that neither voice was very kind? I just did reading this back to myself.
As my friend, Regina would say, “I’m going to throw myself a pity party.” This is so damn hard sometimes. I wish, wish, wish it weren’t but it is and I don’t think it will ever get easier. I think I’m always going to have to think about this and fight my natural predisposition about food. That sucks, that really sucks, boo-hoo… That’s it. That’s all I have to say about that. It actually helps to say that here because this blog is my place to always tell the truth about what it takes to lose weight and maintain my weight loss. It just plain old sucks.
So what’s next? Well, I printed my action plan. The one I wrote the other day – and I’m putting it up and am going to carry it around with me. I can try that. I can forgive myself because this is hard, and I have done something amazing – I lost 93 pounds. That’s literally a huge accomplishment. Today I entered my code for my #WW #LIFETIME status and that is something to be really proud of – I did that – me. I can remind myself of all of this as I write this post sitting in my kitchen, cooking homemade sauce in my size four jeans. I’m doing this for me and I am hoping my words are reaching you and inspiring you to do the same.
Snow days offer a particular kind of challenge that anyone who has tried to lose weight can relate to. Outside, it’s snowing at a rapid pace the skies are a cool slate grey. Inside, the house is warm and seems to give off a golden light in stark contrast to the frigid weather. For me, it seems I instinctively I start wishing for cinnamon and sugar aromas to fill the air. Maybe something ginger or spicy savory smell would be nice too.
Home and food are synonymous for me. Many of my fondest memories of home are intertwined with home cooked meals. Meals that were lovingly prepared and set around a welcoming table. A table full of life, stories, and lots of laughter. It’s no wonder that traditions and comfort are easily interchangeable with eggplant parmesan, sour milk cake, or homemade manicotti. It’s not like it was done on purpose and I certainly don’t blame anyone for my food confusion. It just the way it worked out for me.
We went out into the weather just now and picked up a few items. While we were out we stopped off at my favorite bakery to buy some bread for dinner. I have to confess I ate 3 1/2 cookies and drank a cup of hot cocoa. In retrospect, I do feel some remorse. It’s not that the whole day is a wash but I wish I had stopped at two cookies. I have 4 points left in my budget for today. I’m sure I will go over but I’m aiming to stay within my “blue dot” healthy eating zone. Obviously, no dessert or wine tonight.
If I make it that would be a huge success. I’m going to try my best. That’s all I ask of myself, is to try my best. Something I’m proud of today? I went to spin class and really threw myself into the workout. I also have my menu for tonight’s dinner, and I’m looking forward to cooking. So, I’ll put that in the win column too.
More tomorrow. Meanwhile, be kind to yourself because you are listening.
Some may think it’s hard to be a “beginner” because if you’re a beginner you don’t know much and have limited, or even, no experience. However, I think being a beginner is a gift. It’s a gift because everything is possible in the beginning. It’s all new and even though that can be a bit scary, it is ripe with potential. That is why, when it comes to being a better cook, I am going to try to adopt a beginner’s mind…
A beginner’s mind implies openness and eagerness to get started. There are no preconceptions either way. No good or bad expectations and that grants some freedom, doesn’t it? When it comes to cooking, I am using this week off to experiment with menu planning. I’m cooking and prepping dinner ideas to see if they would be feasible when I’m back to work.
So far so good. I’m two for two. The cauliflower fried rice was great. Last night I prepared the White Chicken Chili was really great. You can see all the meals I prepare on the What’s for Dinner page. I’m also using my Paprika App and that has turned out to be a great tool. Paprika is a recipe manager and I really think it’s great. It organizes the recipes and creates shopping lists and helps to plan out meals.
I’m like many of you – I get home from work and I’m tired and hungry. The truth is, what I value gets done. I know that in order to maintain my weight loss I have to prioritize cooking really tasty food. I am the only one who can make that happen for me so I have to just get over the fact that this goal is going to take time and effort to accomplish.
So… what do you say? I say, “Mangia!” Let’s eat really delicious healthy food that’s good for us too. I think that’s one way that makes this lifestyle change permanent.