After attending my WW meeting this morning, I am left thinking about some important issues. Today’s conversation reminded me that even though I am healthy and fit, I still have a lot of issues to work out. This week has been a challenging one for me, and there were times when I didn’t track, weigh, and measure my food and that is concerning to me. Maybe that’s why the group’s discussion lead me and another member to talk about what it is like to feel a loss of control over the process. We talked about the fear of “gaining it all back” and (for me) the public shame that would accompany that if it were to happen.
Gaining back the weight is a common fate for so many of us. Here is the thing, I think one reason that may happen is because once the weight is off it feels as if the problem is solved. In reality, the problem that caused the weight gain is most certainly not “solved”. I know because I can see some patterns now that were more elusive to me in my past. Now I see that most times, when I start picking and eating food mindlessly, it’s usually a stress response. Sometimes, when I feel like I need some kind of external comfort I turn to food, it’s a conditioned response. A coping mechanism that provides some relief in the short term but in the long term really hurts me. To some of you these insights may not seem like big revelations; however, they are for me personally. That’s what matters.
Weight loss and maintaining it is really difficult. Some days are harder than others. I tell you this because I don’t want anyone reading these posts to think I’ve got this all figured out. I don’t want anyone thinking it’s easy for me, or that I have the benefit of some special talent for this. It’s not that I have some kind of secret that I can sell. I write these posts to inspire myself and hopefully anyone else who decides to read them.
So here comes the inspirational part of my post for today. There is so much we can do to help ourselves be successful, we have a lot of power. Accessing this power in times of need comes down to three simple steps:
Take a beat to engage self-awareness over what is happening in the moment allowing yourself to become mindful of your actions, thoughts, and feelings. Think of it as being a quiet observer.
Then take aim and be strategic by executing control over something. Select one thing to say yes or no to and see how that makes you feel. Be thoughtful and present be mindful.
Win, lose, or draw make a choice. It doesn’t really matter if the choice you make is good for your weight loss efforts or hinders them. The point here is that by acting mindfully you are waking yourself up to a making an informed choice.
The word mindful is key to this recovery plan but it is not synonymous with success. The function here is to uncover what you’re doing so you can think about why the behavior is happening.
Goals provide some structure and help me get a sense of achievement. Since weight loss can be a slow process goals are the things that make me feel like I’m making progress. Goals are good and that’s the truth.
What happens when goals get away from me? I made goal setting my focus for this week and the truth is I wasn’t too successful. I can’t wait for my points to roll over and to start again. Stress was a major bummer this week and that had an impact. My goal was very numbers based – looking to rollover a range of points, focusing on losses on the scale – all of that didn’t help my frame of mind. So I have to really think about what I goal want to set for myself this next week. I want my goal to focus on self-care because I feel like I could use some TLC.
So many times when we see the word goals we see checks and lists and linear charts pointing skyward. The thing is a goal is not a linear path, it’s not a checklist. If a goal were easy it wouldn’t even be a goal it would be a task. Goals are meant to stretch us to grow. Growth is not easy, or fast. Growth involves making mistakes and reassessing, and trying again. Growth involves some pain alongside the glory. So even though I set some goals this week that didn’t come to fruition it doesn’t mean that I just give up, it means that I have more work to do and that I should try again. It means I need a new plan and it’s really important that I figure out why the first plan didn’t work. So cheers to trying again (with a new plan) and I hope this week I make it.
Revising a goal doesn’t mean I failed, it means I reflected. There is a difference. Sometimes I set goals that sound good, but in reality are not so practical. It’s been a stressful week for me and I don’t really want to be so hard on myself.
Even though I will not make my goals this week, I have not rolled over any points, and I have exceeded my weeklies to boot. i have had some good moments. Saying no to second helpings, being mindful about my choices, and reflecting on when I gave into cravings. I believe this is how I will continue to grow.
Being mindful means becoming more aware within the moment of doing something. I’d like to work on that as part of my goals. I think being more aware of my internal and external experiences would help me on this weight loss journey. Becoming more present and mindful would deter overeating because overeating is an escape. Mindfulness is like the exact opposite trying to escape. This is just what I’m thinking about.
Even though I have a reasonable goal and good plan executing it can be difficult. The only thing I can say about how it’s going is that it could be worse. I have not rolled over any points yet, tomorrow is another day, a fresh start, and it’s time to start over again.
If you are struggling know you’re not alone. You can do it even if it’s not going well right now. It’s never too late for a do over.
March is one of those fickle months that fluctuates from wintry cold to warmer hints of spring. Today, is one of those rainy, grey, and icy cold March days. But I know that old man winter is shuffling around packing his bags and making his plans to move out to make way for the spring. Now is the time to think about what kind of spring and summer I want to experience.
As I am getting ready for a new week, I am thinking about what I can do to continue to grow. But before I can do that, I have to take stock of where I am right now. Although, I am still within my margins for Lifetime status I do want to lose about 3 pounds. My reasons for this is that my waist-to-hip ratio can still be improved. Click on the link if you want to read more about waist-to hip-ratio what it is, and why it’s important. For me, beginning the process for goal setting involves three steps…
I want to reinforce the rituals that have been helping me to maintain my weight loss.
I want to clearly name my intention by answering three questions: What goal do I want to develop? How how much time will I give myself? How will I monitor my progress?
I want to think about what would come next, or what would be a reach goal that I might think about for the future.
So I need visuals and a way to engage and organize my thinking to help myself. Here is the work plan I created called, Got Goals? Planning Intentional Goals.
As I go forward this week, I’m going to try to remind myself that I am taking this bit of time to help myself achieve my goals. I am going to try to honor this process and value it because I am worth the effort. If you decide to take this on, I hope you will do the same.
Part of making weight loss and adopting a healthy lifestyle last is knowing how to change things up. I went to the movies tonight, instead of popcorn I ate grapes, instead of candy – 1/3 cup of pistachios. It’s not that I am not “allowed” popcorn or candy it’s more that I am electing not eat them. I really enjoy grapes and pistachios and I am happier because I can manage the points better.
I saw Captain Marvel tonight. It was not only a whole lot of fun but it was also offered up great messages about beliefs and what to do right after failure. I can’t stop thinking about Stan Lee and how he was able to create these characters that so many of us love. I do love science fiction but what is the appeal of these movies to all of us? In the end I think we are all rooting for the good to win out over the bad.
I had a great WW workshop today. We talked about goals. For me, setting goals is a big part of me showing up and being the best I can be. I do tend to set goals that are doable, goals that push me in the right direction, goals that help me to understand that I am changing over time. The other part of keeping up with my goals is learning to trust and believe that I can do this. Telling myself, “I can do this.” and “I am enough.” help.
So, if you are unsure if you can do this, start small and start from a position of strength. Ask yourself, “What do I really enjoy?” Then think about ways to leverage that into a doable small goal. One that will lead to positive changes. Then keep going with your end destination in mind. That was the thinking that got me to where I am now: maintaining my weight loss, feeling so much more energetic and confident, wearing clothes that I love. So keep at it and I will too – together we can do this.
In terms of my weight loss and maintenance goals it was a great week. I achieved my fitness goal: I went to spin class three times. In terms of food, I will rollover 35sp. today and I did not feel deprived or hungry. Plus, there are a few little moments that happened during the week that I can celebrate:
I was mindful about what I chose to snack on my ride home today. I went with a (very) small apple instead of a snack bag of chips.
Two days ago, I read my action plan that is hung on my refrigerator and that helped me to realize what was really going on – I wasn’t hungry I was stressed in a moment.
I reflected and worked on some strong emotions about a disappointing relationship
Well, it’s no wonder I’m so tired! Busy week, and a lot to deal with. I am just glad to be home on this cold March night and am looking forward to getting some good rest. I weigh in tomorrow and I think my efforts will be reflected on the scale, but even if they aren’t I had a great week.
I ate the lunch I brought to work today, rather than ordering out. Everyone got takeout and I decided to stick to the plan and I feel really good about my decision. On WW you really can eat whatever you want (in moderation of course) but today, I just wanted the food I brought with me and that really makes me happy.
Learning how to say no is a powerful thing. Here is a tip, the next time your on the fence about eating something, it’s not your favorite, or you really aren’t sure that you want it… try saying “No thank you.” Then don’t say anything more, you don’t have to explain why, or go into detail, and see how that feels.
For me it feels like confidence and empowerment! The truth is sometimes on my weight loss journey I really need to feel that way.