Day Three Hundred Forty-Nine…

#SelfLoveChallenge

DAY 16: Find the gift in the day. It could be seeing a rare bird or a deer on a walk, or having an easy, fun-loving day with your kids.

I’m about to begin working and I’m afraid that I won’t get everything I need to get done – done. So the idea of looking for gifts today will be challenging. I guess that’s why this is called the #SelfLoveChallenge. I keep asking myself, what am I supposed to be learning here? Why are things so difficult for me right now?  Then I think, well that kind of stupid because life is difficult for all of us, it’s just my turn. That helps a little, it’s not personal it’s just a being a human thing.

So being an overwhelmed human who is trying to save herself from drowning, I think it’s time to think about healthy habits. In terms of weight loss, and better health, I am eating fresh strawberries (very sweet and delicious) with my favorite Greek yogurt (Fage). Later, I’m going to practice yoga in my living room using one of the DVDs that my friend Rose gave me. Do I have time for that? I am going to make time. I’ll use it as a “carrot” to keep me going when I want to stop working.

The other day I was venting on #Connect about how hard it is to deal with stress directly now that I won’t turn to food as an escape. Yup, I certainly have done that to myself. A fellow “Connector?” (is that what we call ourselves?) told me she is reading, The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. I know his work (search my blog for Habit Loop if you want to read more) but I haven’t read his book. I went down to my local library and reserved a copy (all of them are out which is a good sign).  Another “Connector” told me that she also used food as an escape and in time, I would learn new strategies for stress. Smart woman.

Why am I telling you all this? I think now that I’m figuring out how to manage my health better, I can start working on other aspects of my life. So in an effort to think of a more useful strategy, I am going to make a list with times parameters. Maybe this will help. I hope it does:  I’ll let you know.

I don’t want my last words for today to be about stress, work, and habits. So instead, let me share a little gift with you her name is Oliva. She is my niece, and she is delightful. A generous warm-hearted spirit who has a knack of making people smile. We have a little thing where when I see something whimsical, funny, or artistic I forward them to her on Facebook.   Here are some fun pictures of puffins Ralf Fletcher posted on Instagram.  She loved them. I think they make the world seem a little lighter …

 

Day Three Hundred Forty-Eight…

Building healthy habits on a weight loss journey will (eventually) include activity.  Weight Watchers gives members this great resource, Do What Moves You. Three important questions to help get started on building healthy habits when it comes to activity are:

  1. What is your why?
  2. What motivated you to be more active?
  3. What surprised you about being more active?

The answers to these questions can really help shape your outlook when it comes to activity. If you want to learn more about it, take a back to Day 130.

My kids bought me a Polar Heart Monitor for my birthday. Yes, it’s true I do have the best kids ever.  If you’re on the fence about using a heart monitor during a workout I say go for it! This device is changing my workout for the better. I have a sense for how the intensity of my workout and that I’m working more efficiently. I am also enjoying the feedback during my spin session:

#SelfLoveChallenge 

(I’m a day behind)

DAY 15: Move more. Exercise makes you feel invigorated. You can start small with 10 gentle leg lifts or other form of gentle stretching before rising from bed.

Day Three Hundred Forty-Seven…

Non-Scale Victory (NSV)!  I  can wear these jeans, and that is pretty exciting:

The style is a little young for me but I really like the flowers. So I bought them on sale at the beginning of the summer thinking one day they will fit like they should and today is that day. Which is great because I needed a little boost.

It’s been a good week on plan. I have not been hungry. I’m rolling over points, so far, I have 38 points in my Smart Points bank. I’ve been getting activity. I’m doing yoga and am scheduled to go to spin tomorrow morning at 5:15 am. I’ve been using my heart monitor that my kids bought me and I’m doing great with all the fitness stuff.

So much of this is just good habits. However, some days are easier than others. It does help to look back at the “wins”. As I think about my “wins” I can’t help but think is that losing a lot of weight is opening me up to so many more experiences. I went for a walk today at the beach and I was so comfortable in my own skin. I thought to myself I always wore black now I now, I’m wearing blue that’s kind of nice. I think that’s something to celebrate I wear more colors.

This is just my story, I realize lots of people wear great styles and colors throughout their journeys. I also believe there is beauty in every shape and form. But when I was 87.2 pounds heavier I was just trying to blend into the background.

Weight loss is deeply personal and public at the same time. One day no one notices and it’s totally a private affair. Then, suddenly, people just think you got a haircut. They know something is different but they just don’t know quite what it is.  Then there is the question anyone who has lost weight either dreads or loves: Are you losing weight?  So, it’s easy to get impatient with the process especially when you feel like you should look different on the outside because you feel different on the inside. Just keep going you can do this. I say this as much for you as I do for myself, thank you for reading.

 

Day Three Hundred Forty-Five…

Today was dark and rainy and all I wanted to do was to watch movies and hang out. Unfortunately, I am dealing with a deadline and that was not an option for me. So working like a mad woman, feeling extremely stressed what’s a girl to do? Where did I go? What did I do? I  went into the freezer and pulled out a Chocolate Peanut Butter Enlightened bar. I unwrapped it slowly anticipating a sweet treat… and it promptly fell to the floor with an ugly plop and splatter. Some days are hard.

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.21.00 PM

What makes this stressful day different than so many others? Self-care. I practiced self-care when I made myself take some time to practice morning yoga. Thank you, Rose!  I took the time to prepare foods I enjoy eating and I made sure to get plenty of water. Later, the whole family ate dinner at the dining room table and everyone enjoyed the meal. It was delicious, homemade baked ziti (2/3 cup 10sp) with a fresh green salad. I skipped the bread, hoping for my ill-fated Enlightened Bar.

In the past, I most certainly would have eaten foods like chips, cookies, or take-out. Food would have been my distraction and companion all day long. The truth is it was hard to endure my stressful day and keep on working despite it. However, this time I won’t be gaining 2 or 5 pounds and that feels empowering.

#SelfLoveChallenge

DAY 13: Name six people you have impacted in a positive way.

I can’t just name six people when it comes to weight loss. There are so many people who have impacted me in a positive way. So I’m going to handle this challenge by beginning with my sister, Virginia. She is the one person who has always been there for me and who understands my story completely. I am so grateful for her and she knows it too. Then I would say everyone who attends my Saturday Weight Watchers meeting. Boonie,, my leader, has created a supportive caring environment where everyone can share. Every time someone makes the choice to share, that person is making an impact because it helps to know that I am not alone. Thank you for reading.

Day Three Hundred Forty-Four…

When I am sad or under stress, I look for comfort foods. When I’m having a great time, I want to “eat, drink, and be merry”. When I’m bored I migrate to the kitchen and go on the hunt. Emotional eating sucks.

Breaking the habit of emotional eating began with an awareness that it existed. I know that sounds so obvious but the weird thing is, it wasn’t. Facing up to this reality, that I am an emotional eater, remained elusive for a long time.  I don’t know why it just was, I think writing every day on this journey has helped me to understand this about myself.

Breakfast
Food that is worthy for me to eat 1sp

Now that I really see it for what it is, it can’t be unseen. I am grateful for this awakening but it’s still hard. I still feel the pull to turn to food when I’m not hungry. Looking back is as important as looking forward, and I am starting to understand my journey better.

It took a long time for me to distinguish the difference between external and internal hunger  (Day 56 was the first time I wrote about it ). I have also paid a lot of attention to developing good habits. I started to write about ( Day 15  was the first day I wrote about that). The other part of this journey was to look for beauty around me so that I could see it in myself (Day 11 was the first mention of beauty).

“What if, I spent my time looking for beauty instead of overlooking it? What would I find? I want to adopt a generous lens, one that looks for strengths, not deficits.”

#SelfLoveChallenge

IMG_7550
DAY 12: Dress to impress yourself. Wear a favorite outfit today. Wearing jeans impresses me still.

Day Three Hundred Forty-Three…

On autopilot, I started to write “It was a good week on the scale.” It was, but really, that’s not a good way to think about my progress. If this is really about a lifestyle change it’s a great week, if I’m continuing to develop healthy habits. Then I think, well I do want to lose weight, and I would like to stop paying my monthly bill to Weight Watchers. Actually, it is worth every penny, I would recommend this program to anyone. It does work.

Maybe, both are true and the thing I should be wary of is being on autopilot. I don’t learn new things on autopilot. Complacency does not inspire me to make a change. When I decided I wanted to change my relationship with food, I had to go all in and that’s the definition of a good week.  I’m all in. I can do this and I can do this. The question you might want to consider asking (really for anything you want to accomplish in life) is are you all in? The only way I think you answer that is by having clarity as for your why.

I think my why is starting to shift. My why was to recapture the energy I had when I was younger. I’ve done that I have my energy back. I feel lighter, it’s easier to move and to be in the world just like it was when I was a kid. I am so grateful for that I’m able to feel this way again. Now my why is becoming more about how to maintain it while getting stronger.

AUGUST 11.png

#SelfLoveChallenge

DAY 11: Reflect on how far you’ve come and what you’re capable of. Consider this: every two-tenth of a pound you lose, equals a stick of butter off your body.

Day Three Hundred Forty-Two…

Making a behavior change is like learning a new dance step. Af first you have to really concentrate, but eventually, you can let the rhythm of the music guide you.  It’s the day before weigh-in and I know that I couldn’t have made better choices this week.  I’m not at goal yet and that’s ok. I know in my heart it’s not going to be too much longer. I have all my energy back, and I feel years younger. The truth is the only person who will (most likely) see the difference between me now and me at goal is – me.

The beat goes on and tomorrow I will take my measurements to see if my Waist to Hip Ratio (see Tips & Tools for the chart) has changed. That, more so than the scale is the number that will decide when I reach my goal. Unfortunately, I have a family history of heart disease and I want to do everything I can to stay healthy for as long as possible.

screen-shot-2018-08-10-at-10-58-33-am.png

Never doubt that you can accomplish your goals. It might take more time than you anticipated. At times, reaching a goal might take more effort than you think you can muster, and that’s when you have to dig in and push through it. When you feel that way just try asking yourself two important questions, “What if I don’t give up this time? What would accomplishing this goal do for me?” The answers to those questions will shape your future.

#SelfLoveChallenge 

DAY 10: Take a selfie and focus on your smile. Consider posting it to Connect with the hashtag #selflovechallenge.

selfie
This is me. When I look at my smile I see mom. I love that about myself.

Day Three Hundred Forty-One…

I caught myself in the mirror today and I had a moment where I was surprised by my own reflection. This has happened to me before, but this time it was in a good way. I have really transformed my body over these past 341 days! I am really proud of myself. Just writing down these words is an act of self-caring and is a sign of real growth for me.

Every morning I look forward to a little inspiration on the Facebook group, Weight Watchers, Yes You Can.  Each day, Margaret posts something that makes me think. And this morning’s message really hit home. Thank you, Margaret, for letting me share this here:

Words of Wisdom

Why is it so easy to be self-critical, while at the same time, it can be hard to celebrate my own accomplishments? This is something I’m working on because it feels better to be positive. Take today, for example, I made some very smart food choices and ended it feeling very satisfied. I used zero point foods as a base for my meals and then built in other foods I really enjoy around them. I had pistachios, cheese, a terrific cheeseburger, a hash brown and even dessert (Enlighted Frozen Hot Cocoa Bar 3sp). I can do all of this and lose weight and that’s amazing to me. My whole relationship with food is changing.

#SelfLoveChallenge

DAY 9: Name two foods you will eat today that are worthy of you.

Breakfast
Organic Strawberries

Dinner

Trader Joe's Hashbrowns
Grilled these over the barbeque  4sp for me!

 

Day Three Hundred Forty…

I’ve been struggling with work and family issues lately. Fortunately every so often something happens to counterbalance life’s stressors. This time it was my beautiful child. My daughter prepared a delicious dinner for me and the whole family tonight. This was a beautiful gesture; one that has left me feeling very loved. There it is again, food and love. However, this time I know how to manage the food. What was for dinner? Well, she made spaghetti, homemade sauce, meatballs, and garlic bread. I mixed my pasta in with some zucchini and decided to skip the bread ( 14sp). I did without the bread so I could have an Enlighted bar for dessert. (3sp). While it’s true I can eat whatever I want, that doesn’t mean I can eat everything I want. I am rolling over one sp and I will have a total of 39sp  in my bank as of tomorrow.  So, yes, on Weight Watchers, I can have a wonderful Italian dinner and still be “on plan”.

#SelfLoveChallenge  Update…

DAY 8: Clean a clothing drawer or closet. Only keep the clothes you love and that you feel great wearing.

SelfLoveChallenge

I loved many of these clothes and I am grateful that I had them when I needed them. It’s strange to go through my clothes and get rid of them.  You might be wondering if I feel nervous about giving away my bigger sizes. Yes and no. Yes because statistically speaking, the odds are stacked against me. Lots of people lose a huge amount of weight only to regain it back plus some more.  No, because it is also true that I have my resolve and this time is very different for me because my “why” is more appealing than the d