A Little Imagination…

Where do you want to be one week from now? How about a month? What do envision for yourself by the time June rolls around? Creative Visualization is one way to center yourself around your weight loss goals. Imagining a positive outcome helps all of us stay on track. I like to think of it as writing a narrative for to inhabit. Why not write a positive script for your weight loss journey? Here is how to do it:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Take a deep breath and picture yourself one day, one week, or one month from now. What about your situation is different? What is the same? How will you be different? How will you feel?
  3. Picture yourself interacting with this new reality. You are not your circumstances, but your feelings about them change how you function within them.

If you imagine a better outcome for yourself, you may find that you end up living that reality. I think we are more powerful than we know. We have it within us to change our lives for the better.

Feels Like Saturday…

I woke up happy. Saturday morning, a bright sky, the smell of coffee brewing wafted upstairs. And like a kid dressed in pajamas I went down the stairs filled with a sense of wellbeing and optimism for the day ahead. Appreciating happiness has to be part of the journey, because treating weight loss like a punishment is just no way to live. To do that, would be contrary to the heart of why it is worth all the struggle. Really, embarking on a weight loss journey, is like giving life a bear hug.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

William James

So here is the challenge, make an intentional choice for happiness. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Think of it as a way to honor all those who love you, and all those who have loved you. So what will it be? Sing along with a favorite song, call a friend and have some laughs, hit the beach and breathe it all in. Dance in the kitchen, hey it worked for my parents. Create some art, or music, and experience the creative process. Whatever it may be give yourself permission to experience it fully. Go ahead, be happy even if you are not where you want to be, it is enough just to be who you are right now.

Look a Little Closer…

Habits go underground. They either save us or betray us. Today the focus is on how to save ourselves by building positive habits. When it comes to losing weight the habits we keep show up in every way possible. When we have create a habit that builds up healthy food choices, a sense of control and physical health follow. Habits that increase activity may generate feelings of strength and confidence. If we center our efforts around building efficiency like prepping meals for the week, it becomes way easier to stay on track.

Take some time to take a closer look at all those habits that are running on auto-pilot. Are you drinking enough water? Are you sleeping well? Are you getting those steps in? Small attainable goals are friend to setting up better habits. Consider this, and then pick something that you want to improve upon. Weight loss takes a lot of time, focus on the things you can change right away, and momentum will follow. Anyway that is what I am thinking about tonight, I hope this helps and thanks for reading.

Because who doesn’t want a glittery rabbit clinging to an egg next to a crystal bird bath.

True Stories…

This not an earth shattering statement, but I need to say it just the same, losing weight and maintaining weight loss is hard. There are a trio of negative feelings that linger over me as I write this post. Disappointment, gaining weight during the pandemic and losing my focus on my health goals is the first. Sadness, is the second, I am mourning the loss of the WW community. I canceled my membership because they are closing all the centers in my area. It is the community, that was the thing made WW special. I can’t imagine why they would give that up. Anxiety, will I be able to do this again? It takes so much energy to accomplish this, do I have it in me to do it again?

I am taking it one meal at a time.

Yes. For starters, there are a few things I need to remind myself about. I am not starting over, I have slid backwards but I’m still better off than I was when I began my journey the first time. I know what I need to do make this work for me, and having this knowledge is a huge asset. I have people who love me and who will support me as I go through this, and that is priceless. I still believe in me, I believe I can get to goal. I dowloaded Noom to keep me balanced and engaged. So far, I like it. I like the small goals I am setting. I know that goal setting is a friend to me in this process. I like the idea that all foods have a value and need to be counted. I think I want to establish a habit of a daily weigh in. The platform is sleek and easy to use, I can log my meals in advance so that will be helpful once spring break is over.

Springtime 2021

Are you with me? Whether you’ve been on a weight loss journey for a long time, or if you are just thinking about starting you are welcome here. Any step towards better health is s step in the right direction. We can do this together.

Change Agents…

Today my husband picked up a belt he had repaired at our local shoe and leather repair shop. A simple act that resonates deeply with me, I love this. I love it because taking care of what you have is as important to me as making a goal for what you might want next. I love it because the owner of the shop possessed the skill to fix the belt. He had the knowledge and the tools to make the needed repair. It’s never too late to fix it.

Yesterday, I got to see my WW friends from the Greenlawn Moose Lodge. If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I credit much of my weight loss success to my Saturday morning friends. Together we created a supportive community and we all felt better for being part of it. Saturday mornings have not been the same since COVID-19 became part of all our daily existence. A year later, and now we are finally planning to get together at an in-person meeting next Saturday at 8:15 am. I will let you know how it goes.

I don’t know if it’s the luck of the Irish or if I just needed a change, but I switched over from the Purple plan to the Green plan. I think it is helping me.. I like that WW offers some choice now, it feels like a more responsive program for weight loss. I have also had two great spin classes on my Peloton. I have started stretching after the class and I notice a huge difference in how I’m feeling. So if you are working out – don’t forget to stretch your body will thank you!

So how are you doing on your weight loss journey? If you have found yourself backsliding into old habits, and gaining weight, know you’re not alone. Do not be hard on yourself. You are amazing, there is no one else in the world like you and you deserve better. Losing weight is REALLY HARD to do and to maintain. I am not suggesting that ignoring it is any better. That won’t help either. So take stock, what can you do to honor your health and wellbeing? Find some people who will back you up – know that I am cheering you on as I do this work too. Take small consistent steps towards change and before you know it your healthy habits will come back strong. You have the tools and the knowledge to make change happen.

Snow Day 2.0…

I live in a northeastern suburb and we can get some brutal winters. Not as bad as New England but bad enough. The great trade off for black ice, shoveling snow, and bitter cold winds whipping off the ocean is the thrill of getting a “snow day”. There is no better feeling than getting the call that the roads are “impassable for students, faculty, and staff’. It is like getting a free day unencumbered by an over scheduled life

Then and Now

Snow days used to be full of dressing kids for outside play, movies and popcorn, steaming hot coca, and art projects. I put my energy into making those days happy special times, for my family. Now snow days give me the chance to put my energy towards self-care. It is a day where I can refocus on my priorities and treat myself well. Today is one of those days, so how will I use my time? All of the items on this list, would make my life better:

  • Writing to center myself
  • Taking a Peloton class
  • Spend time with my hubby
  • Appreciate some beauty
  • Do some light cleaning
  • Cooking a new recipe compliments of: #journey.towards.health.ww
  • Reading for fun
  • Do some planning for work
  • Meditate and practice mindfulness

Writing this list has helped me to prioritize my health goals. Sure, maybe if I were more evolved I would not need a heavy snowfall to take time out for me. The truth is I’m not there yet, but I think just knowing this is a step in the right direction. If you’re like me, and need an excuse to take some time out for you, I suggest you try writing down a list of things that will help you to prioritize your health goals. For my type A friends, think of as a challenge or an assignment. Put it on your calendars and schedule it to make it happen.

Icy waters preceding the storm

In the meantime, I can look forward to six more weeks of winter and finding more opportunities to be be good to myself. I hope you are good to yourself too.

What! How? Why…

The truth is so many things in life are complicated. I think happiness is significantly decreased when the world is viewed through an oversimplified lens. Most times events in life are not only “good’ or “bad” they are deeply nuanced. So while a number on a scale is definitely gives the viewer concrete feedback; down one pound, or up one pound, that is just one small piece of a bigger story. To really appreciate the concrete feedback, in this case, the number on the scale and to help it to happen again, think on it a little more.

What happened this week that generated that result? Go through it point-by-point, this is the “how”. Then push yourself to think even higher, consider the “why”. Why motivates the actions taken (the how) and will generate a result, (the what). This is not to say that that knowing why you want to lose weight will guarantee weight loss each and every week! Sorry… it definitely will not. Our bodies do not work that way. We are not like Mystique who can transform into the shape she wants. I wish!

What I am telling you is that knowing why you want to lose weight lessens the importance of the stark glowing numbers on the scale good or bad. Why gives us power to motivate change, it is the reason to believe in ourselves even when weight loss is a challenge. Weight loss is certainly not limited to food. Weight loss begins in our minds.

The Right Tools Go a Long Way to Help

So I want to get better at cooking healthy meals and I want some added motivation to cook after a long day at work. For Christmas, Dave bought me these beautiful Caraway pots and pans! They finally arrived the other day, and I am shocked at how well they work. I knew it would be a better cooking experience but I did know how much better it would be! They offer “clean” cooking, need very little oil, medium to low heat on the stovetop, and are super easy to clean. The can go in and out the oven and can withstand up to 500 degrees. Trust me I did the research, check them out: https://www.carawayhome.com/

Who is With Me?

Looking for inspiration? Here is what I think I know so far, inspiration can be found through honest reflection. Think of inspiration as the flip side of personal truth.

The truth from my perspective is, I miss the loss of my in-person #WW workshops. I miss my friends who cheered me on, and whom I was able to support in return. Going to the virtual meetings that WW initially setup for us was disappointing. I found myself comparing the virtual experience to real life, and it came up short every time. What made our Greenlawn Goal Setters so special was the intimacy we shared. Zoom did not feel intimate. Another truth is that I have not felt like I have had much inspiration to offer my friends, and that has been very hard. But through sheer effort of sticking with this, I finally have some inspiration to share:

It’s not the number, it’s the empowerment of my outcome. I worked WW this week and it worked for me. By the way, don’t you miss the days when WW gave us BRAVO stickers?
CLICK HERE FOR SOME HOMEMADE STICKERS YOU CAN PRINT ON POST-ITS

Don’t “Go it alone”

Everything about maintaining healthy habits for life, and being successful with weight loss is either hard or to say the least – COMPLEX! Community has always played a major role with my healthy living/weight loss success, and #covid-19 or no, I need it to play a role in my future. I tried a new virtual group today with a new intention. My intention was to lift my preconceptions, and to be open to change. The virtual coach, Marianne, has maintained a 100 pound weight loss since 1991. That does inspire me. The other part of this is, she is a leader here on Long Island. She not not close to where I live, but when I am ready, I can go and reclaim my lifetime status. It was a good experience, and if any of my Greenlawn friends are reading this, the meeting was 10:00 am Saturday. It would be great to “see” you there.

Rethinking a Successful Week…

Weighing in last week was really hard. Assigning the real number to my #covid-19 #setback was a bitter pill. Yes, I took my medicine but now I get to enjoy the benefits a bonafide loss on the scale. Losing weight matters here. My goal is to lose weight and reclaim better health. Now I know how much have to lose to get back to goal, and really, it is a relief. I didn’t gain back all my weight, and what did gain back is manageable to lose. Here is the important part, the number on the scale is not the “reward” of my efforts it is an outcome of staying on plan, moving more, and making a personal commitment to change. The empowerment of my personal choices is the reward. So if I don’t lose weight and there will be weeks ahead where I do not, it doesn’t change the reward. Do you understand what I am saying? I hope so because it may prove helpful to your weight loss/wellness efforts.

Thanks for reading, and reaching out. It means a lot.

Lost and Found…

January 17, 2021 is a late for an end of the year reflection, but I guess I needed some time to process all that happened and is still happening. To say so much has changed for all of our lives in an understatement. I could write about loss in almost every aspect of my life. Covid-19 has been and continues to be shadow of death and despair the world over. I am wrestling with my feelings of loss for my country both politically and socially. Systematic racism has been revealed to me and it is something that I cannot “unsee” so I am doing the work for how to be an anti-racist.

“When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression, we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.”

― Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

All the of the deep rooted problems of my nation are being laid bare for all to see this year, I can take some comfort that our society is one where that can happen. We are imperfect, and the work that comes next is to continue to try to “form a more perfect union” a goal which will not be attained in my lifetime but is one worth fighting for for the rest of my life. I do take some solace in knowing that violence, for any cause is not to be tolerated. No one is above the law and people who either incite or promulgate violence will be punished within the parameters of the law.

The US Constitution

My health and wellness goals have taken a beating this year. Overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges of these times, combined with the theft of my systems of support (in person WW meetings, and Spin classes) to maintain my health and weight loss have proved devastating. Community is an invaluable part of my success and I am still grieving the loss of that community but I am not the type of person to give up on a worthy cause. In this case, my health is the worthy cause here. I am dedicating myself to get back to goal.

I weighed myself yesterday and can now quantify the impact of my struggle in terms of black and white. I am working WW for all that it is worth. I am on the Purple Plan because I think it is still the best fit for me right now. The other action I took (with the full support of my husband, Dave) is I bought a Peloton. I can tell you that it is a real bonafide spin bike and I leave my workouts with that familiar sense of relief and wellbeing. It is a great stress reliever for me and I am very grateful to have one.

If I am to be completely honest, and this blog is a place for compete honesty or else what is the point? Not everything I lost was bad, and not everything I found was good this year. Maybe the lesson I am supposed to learn is that it is not really about what was lost or found, it is what remains. My resolve to be the best I can is what remains. Let’s promise to believe in ourselves and try to make the world a little brighter along the way. I will and I hope you will too.

All in a Day…

Here is a glimpse into my day:

  • Working through lunch was a bad idea. I was so busy and it was so cold outside that I didn’t want to stop to eat lunch in my car. I ate my sandwich on the ride home, and by then I was famished.
  • Dealing with pressure and coping with stress. There is a lot of work to do get services up and going for students. That, and there are many #COVID19 cases everywhere, and I am very afraid of catching it.
  • The healing power of a home cooked meal. When I came home from work, my daughter had prepared a delicious turkey breast, with gravy mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. The whole family ate dinner around the table and it was a special way to end a long day.

In the end, it was a good day on plan. I am rolling over two SmartPoints and that feels pretty great. I am relearning how to roll with the ups and downs of living a life on plan and thee is no place I’d rather be.