Mindfulness is often recommended to those of us who are on a weight loss journey. When I read about it, it makes sense – being present in the now, is better than just looking forward to the healthier version of yourself. I know that mindfulness helps, and yet I do struggle with it. Life is hectic and busy, and it is hard to break that rhythm and slow down. So I decided to practice mindfulness through writing. I have preserved an unremarkable evening. Just one of many from my home to yours.
Dusk Fading to Evening
Outside, the darkening sky envelops the front yard, the driveway, as the minivan slumbers under a moonless sky. Darkness is on the move like a black cat creeping up the brick walkway leading to the house. Inside the house, all is quiet. No TV, no games, no music, only the sounds of the keyboard – click, click, click. Meanwhile, the laundry is hung, the dishes are away, and my lunch is packed. The dog lays sleeping on her side, drawing long slow breaths her belly moving up and down. A small yelp, and flickering paws running in her deep dream state. I wonder what is giving her chase. I smile and think how good it is to have this moment right now. To be present in this moment, not looking to the future, or rehashing the day’s events, or remembering the long past. Now, is what matters most and for me, that is enough.
A twenty-two day streak, that is what I am on. I have been doing Noom, and it has been really helping me. I have lost 10 pounds of COVID weight. Plus, and maybe even more importantly, a cascade of healthy habits are taking root. Feeling good these days and I will happily take it. What kinds of habits?
Drinking more water (at least 8 glasses a day)
Preplanning menus for dinner (extremely helpful)
Working out on the Peloton more frequently (even before work)
Weighing and measuring my food (I have adjust well from points to calories)
Mindful eating (eating in the dining room and being more present)
Trying new recipes (they have been surprisingly good)
Engaging in my learning (Noom feels like a course and I do like to learn)
Keeping up with increasing step goals (they increase a little bit each day)
Recording my weight each morning (this is a big deal it is giving me insight)
Mediating before bed (making it part of a bedtime routine)
If you read my blog, then you know that many of these habits are ones I have written about in the past. It’s not like these habits are new, or earth shattering, but they do work. And, they work better in combination with each other. So just start, pick one thing focus on that, then add another. You can do this.
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:
Close your eyes
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.