Down another 2.2! Woo! Hoo! I just want to enjoy this moment. It feels good to see results when I’m putting in so much effort. Moments like these make me feel capable, and in control. For every positive there is a negative. Moments are funny because while the good ones seem to go so quickly, the hard ones seem enteral.
Sometimes a moment can seem like everything. The pull of wanting something can consume me, it’s like I want this… cookie, bread, pasta, or whatever it is and I lose perspective. My perspective becomes very narrow, and I think, I want it and that’s all there is. Then interior dialogue pipes up and begins to rationalize as if I’m playing, Let’s Make a Deal. Sometimes, the trajectory of a day lays in the balance of a single moment.
The Power of a Pause…
Learning how to pause, and think through a momentary craving or impulse is a big step on the journey. I believe learning how to do this is the work ahead of me now. While I’m not there yet, I am aware of the need to get there and that’s a good beginning.
You know when friends and family post old pictures on Facebook? Flashback Friday! they’ll write. I always pause to look at those posts. Their faces are younger, I see cute babies who have since grown, first cars, and childhood homes. Flashback Friday, gives us all a glimpse to remind, or imagine, what each other’s past was like. I think we all long to share our stories.
We share our stories in pictures. The problem with pictures, is that they are two dimensional. They only hint at the depth of our real lives. I could easily post a Flashback Friday pic that would tell my weight loss story. You would see the physical change. However, it would leave out the really important stuff and it would make it look easy.
As I write this post, it occurs to me that I am coming out of a… slump? Let’s call it that, this period of gaining and losing and gaining again. This fluctuation didn’t change my clothing size, so it would be hard to detect in pictures. However, it was a pivotal period I could have gone either way. I learned something important about myself, I learned to fully believe in my personal power. Whatever lever in my brain that needed fall, has, and now I actually feel my healthier habits taking over I’ve turned things around.
This period is just another chapter in my weight loss story. It’s important to look back at it and to try to reflect and learn what I can. I can use that information to help me grow. The journey is really about enlightenment, weight loss just comes with it. So, if you’re struggling my friend, try to look at it like just another chapter in your weight loss story. Look at this period as a chance to learn more about you. You can do this.
Night Owl, that is the name of my ring tone. It’s kind of a funny name for an early morning alarm, now that I think of it. Early morning means 4:20 am this morning. Wake up! it burst open into the quiet dark, I rolled over, sheets twisted around my torso and tapped it to silence. Darkness and silence filled the void again and I thought quickly, Just get up…
I went to spin class before work today and (to me) it was so worth the early morning wake up. Activity helps me to maintain weight loss and it also just makes me feel good. What activity makes you feel good? Think about it and try to figure out a way to make that activity part of your life. If you’re not sure, make a goal to try out different activities until you find something you really like.
The most important thing I do to either lose or maintain weight is to accurately track the foods I eat. WW makes this super easy with the app that comes with membership. I especially enjoy the bar code reader that tells you how many points are in foods. I use it when I grocery shop.
Today’s post, and yesterday’s, Keep Things In Proportion, are like two parts of one whole. Tracking foods works, but I have to be super honest about portion sizes, otherwise I’m just wasting my time. The truth is, most people I meet hate tracking. They don’t want to put in the time and energy to do it, and all I can say is that I understand.
I read an on-line article from, Harvard Health Publishing, Why Keep A Food Diary, and it helped me to think of ways to extend my uses for tracking in ways I hadn’t considered before. The major reasons why we should track were well known to me:
It helps to know what you’re eating
It helps to know how much you’re eating
It helps to know when you’re eating (I could track this better)
If you’re already doing all three things, you’re way ahead of the game. You will lose weight if you track your food it’s a simple matter of awareness and accountability. It’s hard though, sometimes we just don’t want to face it, and we just want that extra scoop of ice cream. When I make the choice to track, I’m gathering data about myself, I’m always blown away at how easy it is for so many of us to put our needs as a secondary thing to others. Tracking only takes a few minutes, and it can be a game changer.
If you’re already tracking your food, you may be ready for the next level. According to, the author Katherine McManus, using these lenses for tracking can yield even more good information:
Where are you eating?
What else are you doing while eating?
Who are you eating with?
How are you feeling when you’re eating?
So, I’ve created a Google Form, Tracking 2.0, that can help me track my results. You are welcome to use it too. Just save it as your own form and see if it gives you any new insights.
I figure if I create this form I can access it through my phone and that will help make this easier to manage. It also could be a big bust, but I’m curious so I’ll just try it and see what happens.
There is nothing exciting about portion control. Most people already know that monitoring portion sizes is just common sense if you want to lose weight. Absolutely, it can be tedious to weigh and measure food every day. It can be especially hard to do if you’re really hungry. Just as it is with brushing your teeth, or waiting in line, monitoring portion sizes is a necessary albeit mundane thing.
Why pick this topic? Well, for one thing it’s on my checklist, it’s actually one of the top three habits that I attribute my weight loss success to. Taking the time to weigh and measure does a few important things for me (besides helping me to lose/maintain weight loss):
The accuracy of my portion sizes gives me a sense of control.
Taking just a minute or two to perform this task honors my goals.
It trains my brain to recognize what an accurate portion looks like.
Every Day Health published an article, 10 Easy Portion Control Tricks that was a useful read as I thought about this post. Here are some new strategies I’m planning on trying:
Try using smaller dishes
Adding milk first before pouring my coffee (that may be hard)
Asking for a take home box and halving my dinner portion while eating out
I am starting to think that maybe part of this journey is to find joy in the mundane habits that continue to contribute towards my health and wellness goals. Maybe it’s good to just slow down and find some deep appreciation for the simple things. I wonder if this makes sense to you. No matter what you’re thinking, I wish is that you believe you can do this, know that even if it’s hard, you can do it.
Just for fun…
Have you heard of something called, “Slow TV”? Apparently, this is huge in Norway. It is hours of TV devoted to things like knitting, train rides, and shearing sheep. Check it out I find it strangely compelling:
Growing up is hard. As I think back to my emotional teenage years, I am grateful that I had such loving insightful parents. One memory came to mind as I was reading an article this morning. Teenage me had a huge argument with my mother, I sat in my messy room crying My dad came in my room and said, “Clean up your room, it will help put things into perspective.” He patted me on the shoulder and closed the door quietly behind him. Sure enough, as I picked up each piece of clothing strewn on the floor (dirty and clean alike) I began to feel lighter. Sniffling waned as I cleared off my vanity, putting away mascara, wiping down the mirror, hanging the blow dryer on the hook nestled into it side, and then capping the big white aerosol can of hairspray Halfway through I started feeling calmer and more centered. By the time I was done, I did feel better, dad was right.
This was a lesson I’ve kept with me my whole life. Cleaning up the chaos around me, helps me find the calm within me. Funny thing, decluttering your environment also happens to help with weight loss. I’m dong a deep dive this week into all the articles that helped me to develop my tool, WW Recovery Checklist.
Today, I’m thinking about the Prevention article, How Getting Organized Can Help You Lose Weight. Essentially, science agrees with my dad: organizing your environment helps to organize your mind. If we are faced with too many choices off the bat we can struggle to pick the best option. Decluttering the environment helps to make our options more readily available and that helps to put control back in our hands. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
The author, Joni Sweet, recommends starting with the refrigerator:
Getting organized is just the good strategy I need as I get ready to head back to school. As I took some time to clean my refrigerator I kept thinking, “I’m doing this for me. This is a way to be kind to myself.” I had a my candle burning, the cheerful music playing, and in the end a clean, well-organized refrigerator was not my only reward, I felt really good. I felt calm, centered, and cared for. This is one way to help myself lose weight and live my life in better health.
WW’s focus this week was about sleep, and now I’m thinking about how important getting quality sleep is to my weight loss journey. I think the reason I gained weight in the first place was because I would stay up late to work and wouldn’t get enough sleep. I would eat when I should have been sleeping. Here are some reasons to consider:
Studies suggest that poor sleep leads to obesity.
Sleep depravation increases appetite.
Well rested people can stave off cravings and make healthier choices.
Late night snacking can becomes a very unhealthy habit
Muscle loss results in poor sleep.
Sleep improves physical performance.
Poor sleep over a few days may result in insulin resistance
If you want to read more about sleep, click here it’s a good read, and very informative.
A couple of things…
I couple of things I did today that in the moment was hard to do but afterward made me feel great. I bought good options when I went to the food store including: cotton candy grapes, cauliflower, snap peas, lean pork tenderloin, and chicken. Later, I wanted a snack, and I put it into my tracker first, when I saw that it would take me out of my “Blue Dot” zone, I decided to pass on it. Then I selected a lower point snack that was satisfying and I am still on track.
It was my turn to submit a journal challenge to the group. I named it, “On Fire! Tools Spark Weight Loss & Wellness” I found reflecting on my tools to be very useful and I thought other people might too. If you would like to do the challenge… here it is::
In my past, when I was not so self-aware I’d let superstition keep me from celebrating weight loss success. Like if I allowed myself to be present and experience the joy of my accomplishment I would be inviting trouble. I would hear that little voice say, “Don’t be too enthusiastic,” it would say “because maybe next week won’t be so kind and the weight will just boomerang back.” That voice was me abdicating my own sense of power I can’t really describe it but it was like I let something else take over and I was left feeling out of control.
The truth is, I am not powerless (neither are you) I am very powerful (so are you). Figuring out how to be honest and claim that power is a big part of what helped to made the difference this week.
I am going to use my WW Recovery Checklist again this week because it was so helpful. It’s a light tool that is a place to remind me of what habits are most helpful and a place to capture my reflections for how it’s going.
We are celebrating my husband’s birthday today and it could have been a recipe for disaster as far as my weight loss journey goes. He asked for his favorite lasagna, garlic bread, and sautéed spinach. That, plus birthday cake would send me over my SmartPoints balance and into my Weeklies. It is true that is why they are there to be used for such occasions – but I wanted to try to do it another way. This is what I did instead:
I tracked a slice of cake for 14 SmartPoints first thing in the morning after my WW workshop.
I kept my points low for the whole day. Yogurt & berries 0 sp. for breakfast, Homemade chicken burger made with 98% lean chicken 0 sp. on a low carb tortilla 2 sp. and a slice of Velvetta cheese 1 sp. and tomato. I also had some vegetable sticks, Mini Baby Bell Light 1 sp. and grapes 0 sp.
When I prepared lasagna for the family, I also made a zucchini lasagna for me 5 SmartPoints Per slice.
I will forgo the bread in favor of the cake.
It comes down to an important question, what do you really want? I really want to take care of my husband and make sure he has a happy birthday, and I want to lose weight this week. My actions today are making that possible.
I am closing out a great week on plan. Of course, I hope I go down on the scale tomorrow but no matter what I’m happy with my progress. I did a lot for myself this week! My checklist really helped me tune into what was going on internally while reminding me of all the good habits I can lean into to feel great and lose some weight.
I made a point to practice mediation. I enjoyed it and it made me feel calm and helped me make better choices;
I took time to prepare and plate foods that I enjoy, and ate mindfully. I paired zero point foods and lower SmartPoint foods to keep my meals fresh.
These choices may seem small but they are potent. So if you’re feeling stuck pick one small change work on that and you’ll see one change leads to another. The better you feel about yourself the better a health and wellness journey will go.
I went to my favorite bakery, Copenhagen, and ordered my husband’s birthday cake today. Well, anyone who knows me, knows I love cookies (Hello, I’m Jenn and I’m a WW member). Copenhagen happens to sell my favorite bakery cookies, and so the cookies won today. My decision to eat cookies had the potential to blow to my SmartPoints daily budget. Now I need to make the necessary adjustments so I remain in my Blue Dot status:
Foregoing cookies would have made today easier; however, I find that sometimes when I say “No” to the thing I really want it becomes my downfall. I realize I have some issues here, like why not just have one cookie, not three. The only thing I can say is at that moment looking through the glass the cookies got the better of me. My internal dialogue went like this:
I am ordering a cookie, I like the oatmeal, chocolate chip, and a candy chip. I want all three. How many points will that be? I went to Spin this morning, I can have three cookies.
My inner dialogue about food
I tracked the cookies as 14 sp. One choice leads to another, and now I only have 4 sp. left for dinner, but on WW that is doable. As I sit here snacking on vegetable sticks, I have decided what my dinner will be:
2 cups Progresso Soup: Light Chicken Noodle 2 sp.
2 oz Boars Head Ever Roast Chicken: 0 sp
1 Josephs Flax Pita: 1 sp.
Green Salad with 30 ml Wishbone Light Italian Dressing: 1 sp.
I am trying to learn the give and take for control. That is something i’m going to be thinking about more in the future. Just think, if I lose weight this week, I will have done so with cookies in my life. That’s worth it to me. I am learning to co-exist with cookies.