Today we celebrate women! March 8th is a global holiday called, International Women’s Day. It is a day we set aside to honor women. If you’d like to read more about how this holiday came to be: click here. As for me, I celebrated by taking a 20-minute Peloton ride this morning before going to work. I loved the idea of earning this badge in my Apple Fitness App because it was a nod to empowerment.
So find what motivates you. Find what makes you feel accomplished and good about the journey. There are so many parts to this process that have the potential to not only transform your physical self but also define the core of who you are in the world.
Yesterday, I was admiring spring flowers during my walk with Sadie. Today, I woke up to a light coating of snow. Surprise! This has me thinking about surprises. A surprise disrupts a pattern, you expect one thing and something else happens – SURPRISE! For so long I’ve treated the scale like a literal platform for a surprise to unfold before me. Step onto it and… surprise! You’re down, “Yay!” Your up, “Agh!” In my mind, I would think, “I did this or that, and now I have an expectation for how things are supposed to go.” But hey, sometimes the pattern is broken and there is a surprise.
Whether it’s a good surprise or a bad surprise is not the point. A surprise is a momentary blip. No different than the snow that was there in the morning and gone by the afternoon. It’s what happens after the surprise that really matters. It matters because that’s the part where I get to decide what will or will not happen – next. This is a process, and if I stick with it, over time, I will achieve my weight loss goals. Believe it, and it will be so.
Yesterday I set an implementation intention to work out before work. I wrote it down taking care to note the behavior, the time, and the location. For some reason, when we write down our goals with that degree of specificity we usually meet them.
It felt great to get a workout in before work and that I kept my promise to myself. I battled the candy again today and I was victorious! When I got home from work it was unseasonably warm and took my dog for a walk around the neighborhood. In short, it was a very active day.
What if instead of focusing on how challenging weight loss can be, we focused on how the journey can be a testimony of our inner power and strength? How would that other narrative make us feel? Who is telling your story? Is your story being written by others, or are you the author of your own life? I say your life is your story to tell. I am tenacious. I will perservere. I am optimisitic that I will acheive my goals. Who do you choose to be on this weight loss journey? Think on that for a moment.
Weight loss is a complex issue, and unfortunately, there are many people out there who think it’s as simple as not eating so much. This is (in my opinion) a mean spirited and very unwelcome message the world sends out on the daily. It is especially hard for those of us who are giving so much care and attention to weight loss goals. If it were so simple it to lose weight, the weight loss industry wouldn’t have a projected a market share of 3.8 billion for 2023. Incomprehensible!
So here is a tip to keep you working your healthy habits. In the book, Atomic Habits, James Clear writes about “Implementation Intention” this is a percise plan about the behavior, the time, and the location. Does that really work? Could it be that simple? I don’t know but I’m going to give it a go. Here is mine, and I promise to let you know if it worked or not:
Here is a weight loss tip I can share that I know for sure works, it is planning ahead. My husband and I went to the movies to see Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Movie popcorn is very, very delicious. Many times, I have gone to the movies and said, “I will tough it out. I just will not have any popcorn because it’s too many points.” I can tell you, that doesn’t work for me. So instead, don’t tell, I made popcorn and home and snuck it into the theatre. I would buy air-popped popcorn at the theatre if they sold it. Maybe they should since we Americans are spending 3.8 trillion on weight loss! My husband and I snacked on the popcorn, and I remained true to my goals for the day. Win-win!
There is no miracle cure for losing weight. Sorry if you opened this post thinking, ” Oh good someone is finally going to tell me the shortcut to losing weight.” Today is definitely an I wish there were a miracle kind of day. Wishing for it doesn’t help, and maybe it makes it a little bit worse. Wishing implies weight loss out of my control like it’s something like winning the lottery. Someone wins, but chances are good that’s not going to be me. That would be a real bummer if it were true. Ready for the truth? What is true, is that I (and anyone reading this post) can lose weight. Here is what it takes:
Dedication – having the personal resolve to see it through
Skill – knowing what to do to help yourself achieve weight loss
Belief – believing in yourself completely, you can do it
Today it was not a struggle to say, “No.” to the candy bowl. I stayed in my points zone. and I was able to enjoy a glass of pinot noir. I am living a healthy lifestyle, and the habits I am working to cultivate are finally beginning to feel, “normal.” It feels especially important to acknowledge my top three on my gratitude list:
I am grateful that my children are happy.
I am grateful that everything my husband does for our family.
I got a text from a friend who is also on a weight loss journey. This is how it went:
“Only down 14 now. Was at 20. Ugh.”
“Ok. What’s your goal this week?”
“What are you going to do to make that happen, small goals.”
“Think about it commit to one thing.”
“A little self-care.”
I get how my friend feels because today was a struggle for me too. Again, with the candy bowl within reach all day, to say nothing of the bag of candy that was right behind my desk. For some reason, I was also hungry all day. I could keep complaining, but who wants to hear any of that?
Sometimes, when the journey gets hard, you need to recognize when you need some help. Whether that relief comes by texting a friend, or permission to give yourself a self-imposed “time out” for self-care – it’s ok. There is no one right way to do this because weight loss is hard. Tomorrow is another day.
There are many roads to take when it comes to weight loss. When motivation is tied to an impending event, a wedding, or a special birthday, it may be easier to be strict on a weight loss plan. There is a real deadline and that ticking clock and the choice to follow the plan or not becomes simple. However, if the motivation for weight loss is centered around wanting to learn about oneself – choices can be a lot murkier. I am in that latter group of being curious to learn about myself through my weight loss journey. Today was a little test to see if I could maintain my resolve to stay on plan…
Before I go on, I should say, “I am a Weight Watcher member and I know there is no food that is ‘off limits’ I can eat whatever I like so long as I keep myself accountable by tracking what I eat.” This is something I that do appreciate about the program. Its design is such that I am learning how to live in the real world, making real food choices as I lose weight. My original motivation for weight loss was tied to the clock – I wanted to achieve my goal by the time I turned 50 and I did it! Yay me. However, I gained back 34 pounds of the 94 I lost 4 years later. So this time, my motivation stems from a desire to know myself better. I see this as work to become self-enlightened. I know… this is deep stuff.
I was tested today. I hosted collaborative team meetings at school. Anytime I bring teachers together it is customary to have a candy dish out. You might say, “Easy peasy, just don’t offer candy.” Frankly, it gets ugly pretty quick if there isn’t candy at these meetings, and as I said earlier – this is weight loss in the real world.
I am actively working to rewire my brain! I did not eat even a single piece of candy today. I sipped water, and at lunch, I had a sugar-free Black Cherry Jello-O snack, and that did the trick for me. I am doing my best to rewrite my story, and I am very appreciative of anyone who takes some time out and reads my posts. Today was a success, and I am hopeful for tomorrow.
We finally got our first significant snowfall, it came just in time to say goodbye to February 2023. Although it arrived late into the season, I think it’s safe to say, that we Long Islanders are just happy it made it before the spring. It’s kind of a relief to see that familiar white blanket because it confirms our expectations – it’s winter, and in the winter it snows.
When it comes to waiting, everyone can relate to feeling frustrated. Especially when what you’re wating for is something you really want… like ahieving your weight loss goal. Here is the thing you’ve got to consider, there is only so much energy you have on any given day, how do you want to use your energy? You might be thinking, “I can’t help it, I am frustrated because weight loss takes so… l o n g!” All I can say to that is, “I hear ya!” Let’s take a moment just to appreciate that weight loss is hard.
You can do hard things. There are lots of ways you can help yourself along the way. So just in case you need a word of encouragement or some tips to keep you going here is what I have to share:
Anticipate the best-case scenario, you will reach your weight loss goal.
Appreciate the journey by giving yourself well-deserved props you’re doing this!
Set small goals as you go and don’t diminish your joy for accomplishing them.
The benefit of practicing patience is perseverance and perseverance increases feelings of gratitude.
Shift your focus from “the work” to self-care it conserves energy to keep going.
Now I want you to think to yourself, “I got this.”
When the habits start clicking and the weight starts coming off it feels really great. In the beginning, it is very hard to get into the groove of living a healthy lifestyle. There can be many false starts (as I know so well). There is an amazing feeling of confidence, when the inner voice says, “You got this.” and you really believe you do have it. As with so many things in life, there is another side to this story. On the flip side, you may feel impatient with the process. A rift can form from how you feel inside and the progress you make with the rest of the world.
It’s no small feat to get these networks of habits working in your favor, and for that reason, it is completely understandable that you would feel great about being able to get to that place. The productive place where you are able to do the work of weight loss and feel good about it at the same time. But as with all complexities to life, there is another side to this experience. Since weight loss requires quite a bit of work on your part, it’s easy to see how frustrating the speed of weight loss can be. Sometimes we have these expectations that in reality, cannot be achieved as quickly as we’d like. As we know, if something is deemed too hard – the habit can be broken.
Unreasonable expectations are a weight loss journey’s enemy. They thwart all the good work and can set you right back to the beginning if you’re not careful. So here is my advice:
Appreciate your amazing qualities that have gotten you this far you’re great
Don’t put happiness on hold appreciate exactly where you are on the journey now
Have faith that the process is working just as it should and focus more on what you’re learning about yourself rather than what you see in the mirror
The more I learn from having been on this journey, the more I think that weight loss has the power to teach us about ourselves. It can deliver this intrinsic discovery that shows up to the world in our appearance. Losing weight matters, and learning from the experience of weight loss matters even more.