New Year’s offers us a clean slate, and is there anything more appealing than a clean slate? Just like that (as if in a snap) all of the mistakes of the past are discarded, and everything is brand-spanking-new. A well-constructed resolution is truly something to admire. As if it were frozen in time, or under glass like the constitution or something. Especially one that has to do with weight loss, it catches the imagination, a new year, and a new me. It invites the willing heart, “This year will be my year to reach goal.” I can hear myself whisper it as if it were a magic chant just as the ball drops. For that moment it is easy to believe that a resolution will remain potent long after the strike of twelve. It is a belief that is, in a word – unspoiled – it is perfect.
Here is a secret, perfection is an enemy to process. Losing weight is a process of letting go of unhealthy habits while embracing healthy ones. So, why romanticize perfection when it comes to weight loss? For one, the inner critic loves perfection because it is unattainable. The very idea of it offers up bountiful opportunities to pummel the fledgling habits that are, let’s face it, a lot of hard work to establish. Another reason for the allure of perfectionism is it requires no work on our part. It is a symptom of a fixed mindset if I can’t be perfect, then it can’t be done. Intellectually, it is easy to call this out as being irrational and dumb. Emotionally, it is another thing altogether. It is like wearing a scarlet WW across one’s chest. Yes, you failed and everyone knows it because you sure can’t hide weight gain.
Is it all that dreary as we approach our end to another orbit around the sun? Chin up buttercup. It’s going to be okay. The good news is, I’m not perfect, and neither are you. There have been some false starts, and sudden stops to my weight loss journey this year, but I still believe I can do this. And you know what else? I believe you can do it too. Just don’t expect it to be easy and you are halfway there. Surround yourself with some inspiration, and some positive people who can help you along the way. So cheers to 2023 and imperfection! We are better together, and together (with a lot of hard work and persistence) we can get this done.
The most important promises we make are the ones we make to ourselves. Yesterday, I promised that I would track breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I did it. I’m over my points, thanks to what I can only call landmine cookies. I came home to holiday cookies at my doorstep. Two cookies later, I am over where I would’ve been – but I tracked it. So really, I am victorous at least insofar as my goal is concerned. That’s it readers progress is slow, but it’s progress just the same.
Weight loss is not easy, and this is especially challenging during the holidays. Stress abounds all around us. For some, the holiday season is a magical time of year a backdrop for happy memories to unfold. For others, this time of year is a terrible struggle. As for the rest of us, the holidays are a mixed bag of highs and lows. Try to remember this, no matter where you are on that spectrum, kindness to each other helps to even our varied perspectives on this season of hope, peace, and joy.
I am not really tethered to my goals and I am reaching for what is convenient rather than what is a better choice on plan. I really want to get it together. Yesterday I wrote some goals that were not specific enough. So here is my redo:
I will track breakfast, lunch, and dinner
I will use the Peloton 3 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes each time
I will continue to write daily posts and I promise to tell the truth
I’m doing this, not to stress myself out. Instead, I am doing it to help myself to recover. I love myself, and I want to be healthy. I want to feel good. I want to look good too. I have to believe that I can do it because I have a lot of people who depend on me and I want to be the best version of myself.
Half of the battle of weight loss is believing that that you can do it. It all seems so impossible at first. Sometimes it takes a while to catch on to the habits of healthy eating and regular exercise, but when it clicks, it becomes second nature. It’s really so strange the way it works, but the take-away here is that it does work.
I can’t say that it has clicked for me yet. I just really want to get through the holidays without gaining (more) weight. I am going to focus on tracking and I’m going to start a regular routine for spinning. I can do that and it is going to feel amazing when I make it happen. What are you ready to try?
How have you set yourself up for continued weight loss during the holidays? It is no joke, it’s hard to get through this holiday obstacle course. There is always something to do, and it’s easy to just order in. Then there is cookie making, and it just goes on and on. But the big question that can help is to ask yourself, what do I really want? No matter what the answer, so long as you’re being completely honest with yourself, it is the right one.
Maybe this holiday season, you want to let go and start in earnest in the new year. Maybe you want to maintain your weight wherever you are right now. Maybe you want to lose. If you are clear about your intention the rest will become more manageable because you know what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.
If weight loss were a destination its route would not be a straight shot from one place to the next. I would involve lots of stops along the way for directions, with plenty of wrong turns. This is a journey, and even when things don’t go as planned, it’s worth remembering that engagement means something. This was not a perfect weekend for me on plan. I went to lunch with one of my kids, and I didn’t track it. We had pizza for dinner, and now I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach. Tomorrow is another day and (with some effort and care on my part) be a better day.
How many hours have I spent wrapping gifts? I can’t even begin to guess. I carefully select the paper (making sure to keep it varied). Then I find the right-sized box, tuck the gift in, folding over tissue paper to suspend the delight of the recipient for just a moment more. During the good times, we always want to hold a moment just a little bit longer, knowing that this space in time is one of many fleeting moments that make up our lives.
I think the reason why the holidays present such a challenge for so many of us trying to lose weight is that nostalgia is all wrapped up in the traditional foods we eat. My sister makes my grandmother’s eggplant parmesan and it is out of-this-world delicious. I make my mom’s spaghetti aglio which is quite good too. All of it comes hot from the kitchen with a message attached, “I love you, I’m here to care for you. Family, this is who we are, let’s have a great time.” So it goes, another glass of wine, one more cookie… anything, just let’s let this moment linger before it’s gone forever.
This is life, and if I can’t indulge in these moments then there is something seriously wrong. At WW today we talked about strategies for how to be in the moment so we don’t go overboard. One member spoke very eloquently about how she is selective and chooses that one cookie that looks really good. Another spoke so wisely about how she savors the food to fully experience it. These are good tips, and I for one plan of keeping them in my back pocket to use when the time comes.
So, in the meantime, my friends, “Eat, drink, and be merry” and remember that real love stems from that our most precious gift; the time we have with each other.
Today is the last day for my WW goal. I blogged every day for a week to reflect on my “why.” On one hand, I feel really good about keeping my promise – I set a goal and I achieved it. I tracked every day, I thought about my food choices, and I did not deprive myself. All of these things are a total win. On the other hand, I know I have a long way to go (again) and that can be extremely daunting. It is extremely daunting. This blog has always been a safe place for me to tell the truth and this success this week is a celebration, and it’s also a little bit sad.
I am doing this to improve my health, to have more energy, and to feel better about myself. I am worth this effort, and (if you want to lose weight) so are you. Come on, let’s do it together. This can be the best gift we give to ourselves.
At the end of each WW meeting, we are asked to share one goal with the group. So, I didn’t really think about it when I volunteered to share my goal of writing daily posts and posting them in the private FB group. After I did it and was on the ride home, I thought about it a little more, sharing this goal would be very public, and anyone would be able to see if I was keeping it or not. It felt accountable – and I think maybe I needed some accountability. I am so glad I shared it with the group. Having a community of others who care about you and your goals makes a big difference.
One more day before this week comes to a close and I accomplish this one small goal. The thing about goals is that they need to be attained if any momentum is going to happen. So I stayed in my “blue dot zone” every day except Tuesday. I recovered from that slip-up, and I feel a little better about this whole process. If you’re like me and on a weight loss journey I hope you are in a good place. If you’re not and reading this blog, know that you’re not alone. This is really hard for so many of us. My advice, for what it’s worth, set one small goal and do your best to stick to it.
The best thing about a person’s day can be so many things. What’s the best thing to me, may seem insignificant to someone else. It really doesn’t matter what the “thing” is it matters that it is acknowledged. For me, the best thing was that I got right back on plan. I didn’t spiral into a binge, and I didn’t make the decision to put this goal of weight loss away on a shelf until after the holidays. That’s the best thing for me today.