Failure…

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.

Me and my rational/emotional mind games.

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.

I put in “beauty” in my media library and this image showed up – it is truly beautiful.

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.

Let It, Snow…

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.

Beginners…

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.

Attitudes…

Added from the “Waitlist” I was happy to be sitting on a bike. I was in the front row between two other riders. The instructor was new to me, I had never seen her before. She seemed a bit disorganized and was having trouble connecting her microphone. She turned on the music, and it was very, very LOUD! I started to cover my ears my bandana.

I’m going to buy some new bandanas…

The woman to the left of me started saying, all the things I was already thinking, “I’m not going to be able to hear her.” and “The music is way too loud.” and “I have to call her over…” And she did, she spoke to the instructor privately. The noticed the instructor smiled and nodded, and went back to the front of the room. She tried to adjust her equipment again, but it was clear she was having issues.

The lights went out, and the fans turned on and she said, “I’ll be loud.” But I could scarcely hear her. Then, the woman on the right of me said, “Don’t worry, we’ll just watch you. We’ll do what you do.” She was smiling back at the instructor, and I turned my head to the left and saw the other woman frowning and squinting.

I felt like I had a devil and an angel on each shoulder. I thought to myself, “I have a choice, I can either do this ride annoyed and disappointed, OR I can do this ride with an expectation for a good workout and be encouraging. It’s time to decide which one.” That helped. The music was still loud but I leaned in and got into the ride. Then I decided to sing along. “Ba! Ba! Ba!” I used my heart monitor to ensure a challenging workout. I yelled, “Woo! Hoo!” I realized that I was having fun but it could have gone either way,

By the end of the workout, we all clapped, even the woman to the left of me. This makes me think of leadership. I think each of us always has a choice to create something good. Even though I wasn’t leading the class, even though I was not the person who first sparked the positive vibe – I still made a choice to take the ride where I wanted it to go. Who knows, maybe I even inspired the woman to my left to change her attitude? Could be. I mean, what did we really want? Everyone in there wanted a great workout so don’t we have a responsibility to make it a great one?

This is a lesson I can apply to my weight loss journey, my professional life, even my attitude about being a better cook! When faced with a poor attitude or a good one – choose the better one. Be the person who builds the others up and tries to be the best she can be. I realize I won’t always be my best self but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep trying.

Full Disclosure…

Sometimes I go over my points allotment. It’s ok that’s just living my life. I think the important thing is to track it even when it’s outside of the healthy eating zone. If I don’t the only person I’m lying to is me. That’s just silly.

Full disclosure, I used 40 Smartpoints today. I went out to dinner with my husband, I had a cocktail and that’s all it took. WW is designed to accommodate real life. That’s why they give us these extra points, I used some today. How do I recover? Well, I put myself on the list for spin tomorrow and I plan on making great food choices tomorrow. I had a nice time. Yes, I had some fun 🙂 and I’m moving on.

My sister gave me this recipe. I am going to try it.

One thing I’m proud of is that since I decided to have a cocktail, I didn’t have dessert. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this is progress for me. I am really learning how to maintain my weight loss.

Disappointment…

I am like many of you, I value work, and I am very dedicated to my career. It’s winter break and I am staying home. and I plan on being productive and organizing my house and working on projects for school. That will be good, but there is something else – I’m feeling pretty disappointed. I am not stealing off to some remote destination and kicking back away from my regular routine.

I guess I’m longing for some carefree fun. I am wishing for some time that I am not dealing with all the pressures of my life. I’m sure if you are reading this post, you may understand. Then today, I found myself looking and wanting to some of these…

Thankfully, my resolve held fast, and I didn’t buy any of them. It’s only now that I’ve had some time to reflect that I realize that it’s not this that I really want – it’s fun.

I wanted that feeling of freedom and good times. Why would I confuse food for fun? I don’t know. Maybe it’s some primitive response that enjoying something sweet triggers in the brain, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. It just is. I think the more important thing is that I recognize the behavior. I think that is the thing that is really essential. I also think that I am not alone, I think there are many of us who unknowingly turn to food as a substitute for some kind of longing.

If I didn’t have this insight and the behavior was to stay unconscious, I might eat something high in points and then say something like, “You’re an idiot! Why’d you do that?” (That quote actually comes to you right out of my WW Workshop today). But in reality, the truth is, I’m not going away this winter break and that is disappointing. I’m not doing some of the same things my friends and colleagues are doing and I wish I were.

I used to turn to food. I don’t do that anymore, or at least not today – yay! I think it would be hubris to say that I will never repeat that behavior again. I know that it’s dug down deep. Now at least, I can say, that I’m aware of it and I think that’s a big deal. I am going to trust myself and rely on that awareness to keep me from repeating past mistakes. That’s good enough for today.

I realize that I may sound insensitive to some of you. For that, I am sorry. Deep down, I know that I am truly blessed. I have a home, a family, I get to teach children to read and write and to believe in themselves. That is truly a blessing. I do know that to some people reading this post, my disappointment may sound self-centered and spoiled. However, this blog is a space that I’ve created, for me to be totally honest.

So, even though I know I am blessed, I am still disappointed. I’d rather put my disappointment here on the screen than make some foolish choices that take me away from my goal. Maintaining weight loss is hard to do for a reason. Thank you for reading.

Love…

The “x’s & o’s” gold bracelet is wrapped around my wrist like a drunken hug. Hugs and kisses, loose and loopy with warm tones that seem to welcome to my sleepy eyes, “You are loved.” It whispers, “You are loved.”

Happy Valentine’s day. No, the bracelet was not a gift from my adoring husband, Dave. The bracelet belonged to my Nanny Manzella. My mother had given it to her as a gift, and she loved it!. That’s what I’m thinking about, how about you?

Leadership…

I spent most of my evening writing a blog post about leadership. I am a contributor to an educational blog, and every three weeks or so I write a post. I started thinking about this post last Saturday, at my WW meeting. You might think that’s weird but it’s true. So many people there are mentors to me, they lead by example, they are empathic, they walk the walk and have integrity.

So many of these words describe my Saturday morning crew. I wonder if they know how important they are to me. I want to use this small platform to send this message if you are reading this post right now, I cannot underscore how important you really are. You have the power to not only transform your own life, but you can also have a profound impact on someone else’s life. Believe it.

Here is my post, in case any of you want to read more about leadership – http://literacylenses.com/ It was inspired by leadership guru, Drew Dudley. Drew wrote an amazing book, This is Day One A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters. Truly a powerful book.

This is beautiful, isn’t it? I am still so comforted by the aesthetic beauty of the natural world. It is there as a beacon to kindle inspiration.

Work Ethic…

I tend to work long hours and am up burning the midnight oil long after everyone in my house have gone off to bed. Snacking, was a way to stay up and keep working when the body says, “Just go to sleep.” living in my head and ignoring my body and that’s just not conducive to healthy living and self-awareness.

It weird that having a good work ethic, a strength that has enabled me to accomplish so much in my life, can also present a problem, weight gain. I’m happy to say, I have not snacked to stay awake in a long time. Tonight at dinner, I stopped eating when my body told my brain I’m done! Big stuff. These are things I’m thinking about.