It took a while to get the hang of my habit tracker.
Don’t give up, just keep coming back, and before you know it you’ll be doing actually doing what you set out to do!
Healthy people eat mindfully, work out, and stay hydrated, they know how to use moderation when it comes to food. How do they do it? Habits. The habits we keep reveal our real selves to the world. Well, I hate to burst the bubble but this is old news! If you belong to WW we talk about habits all the time.
Success is not about knowing that habits create systems for weight loss. Success comes from knowing how to establish and keep habits. What if one day, you made a commitment to a daily water goal? What if the next week, you made a commitment to weigh yourself once a day? What if the week after that you added keeping a food diary? Then, what if you got a fitness monitor and decided to do some kind of activity (even if it was just for 10 minutes) every day? You would lose weight.
If weight loss is what you’re after give this some serious thought. Maybe you need a visual reminder – leave a note to initiate your habits. It might be that you need an auditory cue – set an alarm.
You can do this, and I hope you know that I am here rooting you on! Do someone a solid, and a cheerleader for them too. The success of others is worth celebrating even if you’re not there yet. Kindness is a magnet it brings us together.
February 18, 2023, was fourteen weeks ago. I have worked out every day for the past 14 weeks. In that time we have changed seasons, moving from winter and are headed toward the end of spring. I can (mostly) keep up with my Peloton classes, and I feel much stronger and more fit and that feels like progress. At the same time, I feel like all the extra weight I am carrying around with me, has amassed in my torso. So while I feel my muscles working I also feel like they are completely submerged in excess fat. So even though I feel good when I’m working out, I’m also a little bummed out.
Now, I find myself asking lots of questions like: Why did I let myself gain so much weight back? How long will it take to not feel so heavy? When will I see a decrease in my waist size? None of these questions are very helpful but this blog is a place, to be honest, and these are thoughts I’m having today. I would rather share them, and look at them than let them keep playing unchecked in my head. I think by reflecting on these negative thoughts, I can disempower them and relegate them to the background instead of letting them have center stage.
None of these feelings steal my joy of working out every day. I am so happy I am making time to do that and the habit is well-established now. There are ups and downs on a weight loss journey (hahaha I just read that back) but you know what I mean. Feelings are fleeting and the most important thing to do, when dealing with negativity, is to be honest about it – feel the feels and keep going.
Members of Weight Watchers know about “blue dot days”. Blue dots represent a range of points (all foods have specific point values) and when members eat within that range (a healthy eating zone) the day turns blue. It’s just another way to gather some formative information on the journey to lose weight:
I am living my life, and I’m losing weight. It really can be done. Sunday was Mother’s Day and for me, that meant using up all my extra weekly points (we get a set number of weekly points to use at our discretion). Then on Wednesday, I went over my daily allotment of points too, and that’s ok too. I’m not interested in feeling deprived or disappointed; but, this doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all either. I am learning how to (I just can’t help myself) have my cake and eat it too.
Satisfaction can come from many sources. Yesterday’s, mission was to search for beauty in nature. Today, the mission was to breathe deeply for one minute. These two challenges seem to dovetail perfectly.
If you have been blessed to be a mother, or are a special woman, who is making a difference in the lives of others, I honor you today. I can think of no better challenge than to ask you to give yourself a compliment. Be intentional, and use your internal voice (you know the voice that is often critical or worrisome) for something good today. This challenge is something you are doing just for yourself. If you want it to be private, yes. If you want to share it with someone else, yes. If you want to post it in the comments for other readers to see, yes. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself is the whole point.
If only this post’s featured image was my kitchen. It comes from a beautiful blog called, The Spruce. What is it about looking at organized spaces that are so appealing? Perhaps it has something to do with the brain and patterns (the brain LOVES patterns). Maybe it has something to do with exercising control over the environment. Or could it be the appeal of having others think, “Wow, she really has her life all figured out.” Ha!
Whatever the reason, I do love an organized space. Yet, I’m the kind of person who, when she is working, makes a big mess. I pull things out, I make piles, and I don’t always make the best choices for how to store things away. My goal is to declutter one cabinet in my kitchen. I decided on one cabinet because I don’t really want to spend hours doing this, and I don’t want to feel overwhelmed. This is a doable goal for me, and if all goes well, I will do another cabinet tomorrow. Maybe.
Why the kitchen? Since I have been so engaged with my weight loss journey, my kitchen has been taking a beating with all the COOKING I’ve been doing. I actually do like to cook, and I do enjoy the food I make. I enjoy it when I have the time, I’m not too exhausted from working all day, and when I can find everything I need. So mostly, I enjoy cooking on the weekends and during the summer when I work a little less. In the meantime, I still have to cook on all those other days, and if I am a bit more organized I think it will help me.
Simply, having small doable goals brings me joy. Small goals also spark momentum. Having a sense of momentum is especially important when you have a lot of weight to lose. I say this because a successful weight-loss journey relies on habits that form a network of predictable systems. I think of these daily challenges as a way to mix it up.
Ever notice how many people will say crazy things like, “It’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone.” This is said without any real regard for the experiences that come about from having done the thing that pushed you out of your comfort zone. Sometimes those are rough experiences! I don’t think the “good” actually comes from the experience, To me, it only does good if I reflect following the experience.
I went to Manhattan for work, and all of it was out of my comfort zone. Now that it’s over, I can honestly say, I’m glad I went, but I’m really tired. Was it worth it? Did it help me grow? I’m not sure yet, it depends on how much the experience impacts my practice. So time will tell.
Speaking of challenges, is cutting sugar out of your comfort zone? My answer would be, no cutting out sugar is pretty easy. It’s easy because I have already put in the sweat equity into my habits. I don’t eat a lot of sugar these days, and I don’t really miss it. Without any real evidence; my gut, thinks limiting sugar/added sugar has been very helpful. The weight is coming off, I have more energy, and I am a happy traveler (for now) on my journey.
In the early days of video games, my mom used to like to play Super Mario Bros. I remember I used to sit with her in my younger brother’s room, and we would talk while she played the game. I didn’t really enjoy the game, but I thought it was funny that she did. So, I would watch her make Mario jump up to hit the floating box until the mushroom popped out and be absorbed by Mario turning him into Super Mario!
If we were in a video game, water would be the mysterious super nutrient that would endow magical powers to empower weight loss. It does a bunch of interesting things, but for this post, I am going to share 5 big ones;
One thing I like about having a daily water goal is that it’s not complicated. All I have to do is to just drink water throughout the day and keep moving forward. “Let’s a-go!”
Mindful eating is an intriguing process because it has a positive impact on reducing unhealthy eating behaviors (like binge eating) and is about as effective as traditional weight loss programs (Fuentes Artiles, Staub, et al) It is also something that not everyone has tried before. Why not? For one thing, it’s kind of granola. It seems like something hippies dreamed up in an ashram…
Another reason mindful eating doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves, is who has the time? We are all living in a stressful busy world, but that stressful busy world is probably one of the reasons why you may want to lose weight. Stress packs on the pounds and we all know it. So maybe this technique is worth the time.
I am an enthusiastic novice, so I don’t really know anything much more than surface-level information. However, from what I can gather mindful eating consists of three important steps:
One of my daily habits is to eat one thing mindfully each day. I don’t feel like I can do a whole meal yet. Time is often an issue and I live in a house full. Eating is social, and think that is another reason why this technique is a bit tricky for many of us. So… I tried mindful eating with a chunk of watermelon today. It felt soft and released a lot of sweet liquid with each bite. It was strangely loud as I chewed it in my quiet kitchen. I still feel the coolness of it on my tongue. I was eating it as an experiment to share with you for this post. I am hungry still, I have not eaten dinner yet. That’s it. Give it a go and let me know how it went for you!