Teach Your Parents Well…

When I came into work today, these two fine feathered friends on my featured image greeted me. So close to Thanksgiving I bet they’re happy to be touring elementary schools. Then, when I got home from work, my son came home from school just full of useful advice. He had listened to a dietician lecture about what we should, and should not be eating. He explained in great detail how meat products are extremely bad, they cause heart disease and cancers, and we should be eating more plant based foods. He said all of this, as though it should have been the revelation to me as it was to him. Ego and teenagers are close friends. Little does he know, that sans the degree, I am practically a dietician at this point. Years of being a WW member, reading countless books and articles, watching documentaries, and news programs, I have learned a lot about nutrition.

Here’s the thing, he does raise a good point though. Maybe we are eating too much meat. Maybe a few meatless meals a week, are a good idea. Don’t tell him I said so but he might raise a good point. As it happens I had planned to make the Butternut Squash Soup tonight – it was delish! I think I may try this Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash sometime over Thanksgiving weekend:

I guess my take-away from today is to be open to trying new things. Keep an open mind because maybe there is always something more to learn. And to try to live my life in a way that shows I really believe those things.

If it Makes You Tired it Can’t be That Bad…

It was a busy day! I worked all day, I picked my my son from school, I ran some errands, and made dinner. Now I just feel exhausted. My body is saying, “Enough! Go to bed.” My muscles are all protesting my return to the gym. and all I can think of is an expression that I learned today,

“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

Military Expression

Tonight’s post is short and sweet. I prepped dinner before I went to work this morning. I’m rolling over two SmartPoints, I went to spin, my lunch is packed, and the kitchen is clean. I’m proud of all of these accomplishments. Really, I knocked it out of the park, today. Go me. Sometimes you just have to be your own cheerleader.

Hunger Pains…

I woke up hungry this morning. Being hungry is not a great thing for me. I find that if I get too hungry, I am more likely to lose control and overeat. The day began with eating an egg and a banana. Protein in the morning helps to curb hunger and keeps me satisfied longer. Later in the afternoon, I made the decision to eat an earlier lunch. I drank lots of water, but I was still hungry after lunch and resorted to eating my snacks. So on the drive home all I could do is drink some seltzer water.

Dinner was in the oven cooking (I had prepared a lasagna yesterday to cook today) so at least I didn’t have to spend so much time thinking about what to make. By the end of the day I had eaten all my SmartPoints. My day was balanced: Breakfast: 2 sp. Lunch 7 sp. Dinner 19 sp., Snack 2 sp. I feel good about my sense of control, and I think the reason why today worked out so well was because of planning. It did take a bit of time and effort over the weekend to plan but it all paid off today.

Being Brand New…

Have you ever gone to Boot Camp? I thought I knew what Boot Camp was, but I didn’t really. I imaged it as kicking a heavy bag – obviously, I had it confused with Kickboxing. So when I walked into my first Boot Camp class, I made it my business to find the instructor and introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Jenn. I’ve never done this before.” She looked me in the eye and nodded her head, then she scanned the room to get an appraisal of the others entering the class. She told me where to put my things, and said she would touch base with me once the class got going.

When I go to Spin class I always feel energized and powerful. I feel like I know what I’m doing, and I get a great workout. Boot Camp is not Spin Class. Boot Camp, was REALLY hard for me. To say I was a total amateur is being generous. I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, but that’s what it’s like to be brand new. This experience made me feel so vulnerable, everyone seemed just way better than me. Then by the end of class, as people were stretching, I noticed that I was more flexible than some of the others. For that brief moment I felt like I belonged.

Belonging comes with competence and confidence. If you are considering taking on a weight loss goal, or are newly committed, and don’t feel so competent, it’s hard to be confident that you’ll succeed. If you’re feeling this way, know this – you’re not alone. I remember trying to lose weight and not knowing how to begin. Everything was overwhelming, What was the right food? How much food should I be eating? At that point it all felt insurmountable, this was a very difficult period in my life. That was pre-WW.

The WW program has given me a structure to organize my efforts. If I follow the program, I know it will work because it has a research base that has proven results. It works on a physiological and behavioral level. Rolling over points is a behavioral incentive, SmartPoints measure macronutrients in foods to render a numeric value. That is what I mean by a structure. However the reason why I’m losing weight and am able to follow the plan, is because I’ve told myself I can. I believe in me, and more often than not, even on the hardest days, I can think of something I did well.

Turn kindness inward, and recognize something good you did today. You can do this, it’s difficult, but you can do it nonetheless. Come on, I’ll do it too and together we can all reach our goals.

The Power of “Re”…

A new plan offers up a fresh start, and it really paid off this week, I lost 3.8 pounds. Pretty sweet.

Rewriting My Why…

WW recommends that members write down your “why”. I’ve maintained that reason why I’m on this journey for life was because I wanted energy and confidence. Being able to move freely in the world, feeling like I was apart of it all. Just being comfortable to take pictures is life changing. This is all possible, for me, because I lost the weight. I don’t have to go back, I can manage it from here. That is my “why”. I believe I can do it, because I believe in me.

That Thanksgiving Feeling…

I had a friend named, Donna, who used to say, “Oh Jenny, I’ve got that Thanksgivin’ feelin’.” When she used that phrase it was usually followed by groans, eye rolls, and mostly laughter. Thanksgiving is coming soon, and I’m thinking about how I want to feel. Recently at a workshop, I heard a member share about the outfit she envisioned wearing, how confident she would feel. She was describing her ideal outcome. That’s another kind of Thanksgivin’ feelin’.

I’m ending a very strong week. I know I’ll go down on the scale tomorrow. I don’t know how much but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m back. I’m heading into the holiday season feeling really good. The change in the program was the perfect timing for me. I like that we have options:

Using My Strengths to Help Me Succeed…


Statistically speaking only 17% of people maintain weight loss after a year.

That is a staggering number. But I’ll tell you what readers, stories beat numbers every time. What’s your story? What do you believe when it comes to weight loss? The great news, we get to decide what we do with our lives, and if living your life in the body of your own design is something you want then it’s worth the fight.

Somedays, living on plan is going to be colored with struggle, like angry jagged red marks on a white piece of paper, Those days will come for all of us no matter what. In a way doesn’t naming that ahead of time help? If I know it’s coming, I wont be surprised when it arrives. So what do I do when struggle comes to call? As I would do with any unwelcome guest, I will show it to the door. Here are some things I can do to help myself:

  1. I can think it through using precise language. I can identify the source: I am hungry and that is creating this struggle right now. I am overtired and that is creating this struggle right now. Naming leads to knowing – that is always good.
  2. I can exercise control by provoking a physical response to struggle. I can stretch, breathe deeply, wash my face, get a drink of water. Actions matter so change the focus.
  3. I can accept that willpower has limits and requires training. Willpower is a muscle, so when it is overused and tired I will be weaker. In those moments I can use a kindness to way soothe negative self talk. Self-perception is king, so keep it kind.

Nothing is more powerful (even statistics) than personal belief. Are you going to hand over your power to a statistic? Or, are you going to invest your power within yourself? So join me by thumbing your nose at that 17% and prove em’ wrong. We got this.

Be Prepared…

When my son joined Scouting, one of the first things he had to learn was the motto, “Be prepared”. Well, this is good advice for us all, and I have to say, I am pretty happy with the way things are going this week. So far every day since Monday I have rolled over four points or more. Having a big rollover balance gives me a sense of accomplishment. It’s just another signal that I’m back on track.

This last period of struggle is the longest one I’ve gone through since I got to goal. I feel like the comeback kid. like it’s all second acts, and underdogs over here. I mean it is a battle to keep it off. The other day a friend said, “Well you keep it off, but it consumes your life.” Ouch. Does this journey consume my life? It does take a lot of effort – but maybe this struggle is making a me a stronger person. One thing I do know for sure is that I feel a lot better, and I believe in me. I am hoping you are on the upside of the journey, but if you’re not keep at it, just don’t stop.

Beauty Benefits…

I came home to the most spectacular sky. The sky was lit orange and salmon, with vivid blues streaking across the horizon, it was an extraordinary expanse of color. It was so surprising, so unexpected. A far cry from the icy, yucky, wintry mix that greeted me on my ride home.


How does beauty impact your weight loss journey? Appreciating beauty has some remarkable benefits that are easily overlooked. Today was hectic, and it would be easy to just dig into the “have to’s” that consume so much precious time. I have to get home. I have to get to the school to be on time to pick up my son. I have to cook dinner. I have to clean up. I have to work on that proposal. I have to wash my clothes for tomorrow. The list could keep going…

Waiting for my son this was my view out of my rear view window.

The thing is, all that stress makes it harder to stay on track with weight loss goals. That beautiful sky filled me up with a sense of wellbeing. I breathed deeply and marveled at it. I felt good. So, by the time I got home I was ready to do the “have to’s”. It also helped a lot that I planned ahead and had my lunch for tomorrow ready to go. There are choices that can be made that end up really making the difference.

No wonder it’s easy to get off plan and regain weight.

When we are stressed out it depletes our willpower. Willpower is nestled in the Prefrontal Cortex. My guess it’s in the sweet spot between emotion, attention, and judgment! Beauty is a way to offset the life’s stressors. Planning ahead when you’re feeling strong helps for the times when you’re feeling weak. It sounds cliche, but it is all about finding balance. I think my body is an extension of my state of mind.

“November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”
― Clyde Watson

Going Green…

WW launched their new plans today. Members can select one of three options: Green, Blue, or Purple. It’s like a sliding scale that plays with a combination of ZeroPoint & SmartPoints foods. I think this is a very smart idea because it gives people more choice. When it comes to doing something really challenging (like losing weight) choice is king! Choice, helps me take ownership over my actions and that is a very good feeling.

Green offers the fewest ZeroPoint food options. However, it also gives the most SmartPoints to work with. So, for example, I used 23 sp. out of my 30 sp. Balance I am rolling over points and I feel totally satisfied. I am the kind of person who needs to weigh and measure my food. I find it useful to track and count up my SmartPoints. All of this helps me to be successful. I am feeling very positive about my weight loss journey as I head into the 2019 holiday season.

Blue offers more ZeroPoint food options. This is the #Freestyle plan. This plan does work, I got to goal on Freestyle. If you don’t need to weigh and measure foods, you have to do less of that with this plan. It does encourage healthy eating. For example my nonfat yogurt is 0 sp. on this plan. However, I think it can be easier to overeat if you’re not very mindful. It’s easy to forget that 0 sp. doesn’t mean that it’s “free” food. Also, I think I fell into bad habits of not weighing and measuring as vigilantly (which as I said helps me) because it’s all zero regardless of the serving.

Purple offers the most ZeroPoint foods. I may try this plan in the future. It is appealing because foods like potatoes (including sweet potatoes), whole grains and wheat pastas are ZeroPoint foods. They make up for that with a much smaller SmartPoints balance. This is a great option if you typically eat these foods. Weighing and measuring food is not a requirement; however, it is so important to eat mindfully. For me, I think this plan would be challenging going into the holiday season. Going over my SmartPoints balances bothers me. When I go over, I feel like I’m losing control.

This journey is deeply rooted in control. So I took some action today to help myself regain some composure. So I used my top three character strengths by prepping and planning, I cooked a new recipe “Love of Learning” with my supportive daughter, Hayley, “Love” as I embark on this new Green Plan “Hope”.