There is no doubt that we are living in a stressful world. There is always plenty of bad news, hurt feelings, and depressing images. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed at each flip of a page, turn of a channel, or click on a screen because we are innodated with constant unyielding information. Know what I mean?
It turns out, the antidote to this crazed harried existence, we all seem to be living, is within the auspice of our own control. Practicing mindfulness is where it’s at. When I started to read a little more about this practice I realized that I have stumbled onto these practices in my effort to get to goal.
The following list names the markers of practicing mindfulness and how they were revealed through my weight loss journey.
Kindness counts: If it’s true that you write your own story in this life. The narrator of that story needs to have a kind voice. My daily reflections for my progress, throughout my weight loss journey is colored by kindness.
Drop the judgment: Acknowledge and accept things for what they are. I was talking to a friend just tonight about how it’s exhausting to think about people who zap your energy. I feel as though I’m surrendering my energy and to what end? The judgment doesn’t change a thing, it just lets negativity linger.
Practicing patience: I’ve had to learn how to wait. There were points in this journey where I’ve felt totally transformed on the inside but it wasn’t showing on the outside. Those were challenging times and I totally understand why so many people give up on the way to goal. Being patience conserves personal power because there is a belief that things will change eventually.
Beginning with a beginner’s mind: I kept that honeymoon phase of #WW going throughout the journey. It is toxic to assume a point of view that there is nothing new to learn. I opened myself up to the possibility of doing things differently this time around.
It’s a matter of trust: I believe in me. I have learned to trust my own personal wisdom. There is no magic book, or program, or pill there is only me and I am enough.
Non-striving: I have always been driven by goals. Getting through graduate school, getting a job, buying a house… It turns out it’s very different when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes being driven by a purpose is not so helpful. If it’s all about the “goal” itself, I would have missed all the good stuff that was happening at the moment.
Acceptance, the ultimate reality check: once I learned to accept wherever I was on the road to getting to goal I was able to be more responsive to what I needed in order to be successful. There were and are lots of challenges, for example being tempted by candy. I love candy and I accept that fact. I can eat it but then I have to track it. To my way of thinking, this is a form of acceptance.
Get ready, get set, let go: Being at peace with myself and not fighting the process is life changing. I now understand that things will unfold as they are meant to and in doing so I have made room for change.
I share these thoughts because I want to help others achieve their goals. I do believe that we all have the power to transform ourselves. However, there is not one right path, it’s understanding your path because you are the path.
It has been a while since I stood snapping pictures, thinking about how lovely the world can be even if I am just standing in the Stop & Shop parking lot. There is no reason not to appreciate this, and the truth is beauty makes the journey so much better.
I am happy to say I went to spin this morning and I felt great. I love owning a part of my day before the demands of the workday begin. It’s not that I don’t love my job, I love teaching, but it’s amazing to have that small bit of time that is for me, and me alone.
I’m still thinking about willpower. I read that every time you have a stepwise plan for how to handle a challenge you are building your willpower muscle. So when the alarm goes off at 4:30 am I know I have to…
Turn off the alarm.
Swing my feet out from under the covers.
Get up, and go into the bathroom
If I follow those three steps I am on my way to spin class. That strengthens my willpower muscle. Another example, when I come home from work I…
Empty my lunchbox.
Put a new water bottle inside.
Get out the scale and containers.
If I do that, I’m on my way to pre-packing, pre-tracking my breakfast and lunch for the next day. This is just how it goes. It’s not so hard and it does get easier. So think about your willpower muscle. Think about your “why” these are two important parts to a successful journey. You can do this, and I can too.
I am feeling frustrated, and no one would understand unless they have been on this side of weight loss struggle. It’s a productive struggle though, I am improving the quality of my life, and making long-lasting changes. This is true, but this is also true – enough already! I went to the movies last night and ate an apple and some carrot sticks! It’s not as though I’ve been slacking.
So, what’s a girl to do? Turn to her friends! I went to my “workshop” this morning and it turns out I’m not the only frustrated member this week. There were at least five people who could share in my feelings of frustration. It does help to see others who are working the program and are in a similar situation.
So, I shared my feelings and then I listened. Now I have a plan for the week:
Prepare meals and foods ahead of time. Know what you’re going to eat.
Track everything, if you eat it you track it no matter how big or small.
Acknowledge all that you’ve accomplished and be kind to yourself.
Switch up foods don’t just revert back to the same old foods.
Build up meals with zero point foods around an item with points.
Set an activity goal for the week, and work towards keeping it.
Share how you’re feeling with others.
Pay attention to your actions, think about why you do what you do.
Use the “Quick Add” feature to write something that you look forward to every day.
Keep looking for beauty every day no matter how busy you get.
This came in the mail and it was an unexpected early delivery! This was something I was looking forward to:
Food and memories are so deeply intertwined for me. I think of family dinners, holidays, and visiting relatives. I think of love and belonging when I think about food. I think of my little Italian Nanny, and my mother working all day in the kitchen to prepare the most delicious meals. Eggplant parmesan, escarole and beans, and pasta fagioli. Don’t even get me started on the pork sauce. Then there was the good sausage and Italian bread straight outta’ Brooklyn! I think of our kitchen table set for family and good times. It’s no wonder that food is so comforting.
Everything looked good to me.
These cookies are a guilty pleasure.
These looked yummy.
Even though I know these would be too sweet they were appealing.
I love pumpkin.
This is what I left with. A small win!
This blog is a place for the truth, and the truth is I am an emotional eater. The rational side of my brain says, “It’s just food.” The emotional side of my brain says, “Sweet relief! Yes, let me have another scoop of ice cream please.” However, the comfort is only temporary and is almost always followed with some regret. Since I began my journey, I am learning how to cope with emotions for what they are, and to deal with them without trying to distract myself with food. Somedays it is very hard to do, while other days it’s not an issue at all. It’s the self-awareness that I want to celebrate, getting to this point of really recognizing what has held me back in the past from achieving long-lasting weight loss.
Lovely outside my gym.
I’m in this for life, and that means I have to continue to work on this part of me until I really understand what it is and why it happens. It means knowing my triggers, and being more present. When I do go on “autopilot” and old habits creep back in, recognizing it and taking action. This stuff isn’t easy, and I think that’s why so many people give up on weight loss.
Just remember, it’s never too late for a “do over.” There is no shame in a fresh start even if it is every day or even every hour of the day. You are enough, and so am I we can do this, it just takes time.
I wish I had more to share. For the most part, all I did was work today. I’m making progress, but I have so much more to do. I just have to keep at it.
I ate sort of sporadically I used a total of 24 SmartPoints. I had a salad with chicken for dinner and I decided to eat half of it and use the other half for lunch tomorrow. I still have to pack my breakfast and lunch and get myself ready for the workday.
I am going through this phase where I’m not hungry and then I’m starving. I think I am waiting too long to eat between meals. I did sign up for spin again. So, maybe tomorrow is the day I actually make it there. I’ll let you know.
The day was busy, there was so much to do at work that I barely had time to eat. I ate most of my lunch on my ride home. It was not a “blue dot” day but it wasn’t a disaster. I had my basic breakfast (greek yogurt and fruit), and lunch (sandwich, fruit, 1/3 cup pistachios, cut up vegetables, mini baby-bell cheese, low-fat Triscuits). Dinner – two tacos, a chocolate graham cracker from Starbucks with a tall nonfat skinny latte. So, I used 29 Smartpoints (one over the limit). I really enjoyed the graham cracker, unlike yesterday’s sugar-free ice cream, it was a big ticket item at 7 points.
As far as activity goes, I have been signing up for (and canceling) spin class. I have not gone because of all the late nights. When it comes to spin or sleep, sleep has to win. However, I did sign up for tomorrow, and I really want to go. Fingers crossed I get what needs to be done tonight at a reasonable hour so that happens. There is still so much work for me to do so work is taking priority. However, this is a temporary (albeit extremely demanding) situation that will eventually come to an end.
So in the meantime, I am grateful for the latte and chocolate graham I enjoyed so much. I am grateful that I took Sadie for a walk the other day. I am even grateful for washing my face before I go to bed. These may be very simple things but they help. I am learning that even though I can’t control everything that comes my way, I can always appreciate what I have. It feels good to take this moment and think about the good because I want the good to grow.
My last words for today are I am rooting for your success on your weight loss journey. This is a day-in-day-out kind of endeavor. It’s hard to see progress sometimes, and other times you wake up and feel totally different. I am 89.2 pounds and I made this happen. You can do this too,
It’s been three weeks that I have (essentially) stayed the same weight. Two weeks ago I didn’t gain or lose weight, last week I gained 1.4 pounds, this week I lost 1.4 pounds. The last time (prior to today) I had a loss on the scale was, August 25th when I lost one pound. I am grateful that this slow patch is coming at a time when I’ve built up so many good habits.
A member of my Saturday morning group made Lifetime today and I am so happy for her. I think her success is something to celebrate because she did it, she made it to Lifetime. Anyone who is on a weight loss journey can understand why this is an amazing accomplishment. She called herself a “habit girl” habits are the thing that got her to goal and lifetime. I also believe that it’s the consistency in my approach and mindset that is enabling me to persevere. I really do believe I can do this, it’s only a matter of time.
I hope you are experiencing success on your weight loss journey. You can do this, and so can I so let’s keep moving forward.
My weight loss journey has taught me more about life than I ever thought it would. Instead of working on my writing project from home, I went to my local library and that helped. My weight loss journey is helping me to think more strategically in other aspects of my life. That’s so unexpected. It makes sense though because if I keep plodding along, not getting the results I’m after and without reflection; obviously, I need a strategy.
How do strategies work for weight loss? The same way they work with anything new you’re trying to learn. Begin by thinking about a behavior you want to change. Then think about your strengths. What are you really good at doing? When you have those two answers you can take a strategic stance to help yourself. This is how it works for me:
Identify a Behavior Change: I do not want to use food as a stress reliever.
Identify my Strengths: I enjoy writing.
Taking a Strategic Stance: I can blog each day to reflect on my weight loss journey.
This is the strategy that has helped me lose 87.8 pounds. Writing every day has helped me to deconstruct my behaviors around food. This particular strategy, writing every day, may not work for you, if you don’t like to write, the strategy becomes a punishment. Only you can find out what will work for you. If you’re the kind of person who really enjoys cooking, that is your way to a strategic stance If you’re the kind of person who gets a thrill from organizing stuff, that is your way to a strategic stance. If you’re the kind of person who loves to be outside in nature (I’m thinking of my WW buddy Regina) that’s your way to a strategic stance.
My point tonight is, think about who you are because it’s your strengths (not your weaknesses) that will get you to the person you want to become.
Did you know my featured image (and breakfast) is made up mostly of seeds? Almonds are not really nuts, they’re a seed of a fruit (drupe). Raspberries have around 100 tiny seeds around the drupelet (I think) and wild raspberries are carried and dropped by birds. While strawberries are actually their own class of fruit because they are the only berry to have their seeds on the outside. I don’t remember anything about blueberries… A baby owl is called an owlet, a baby hedgehog is called a hoglet. There is always a lesson to be learned like just be happy being a caper you will never be a lollipop. Another favorite, don’t envy the stars in the sky if you’re a starfish, happiness is the thing that makes you glow. Honestly, the world would be a happier place if more adults read picture books.
I can’t wait to be done with this project. I’m not there yet but I’m getting closer. I did wake up early (4:30 am) to go to my spin class. Once I was there, I saw my friend who gave me a message I kept close in my heart all day. She told me that I’ll never go back to what I was before my weight loss transformation because I’ve worked too hard to be where I am right now. She was the kind voice that I needed to hear and I am grateful. Then later in the morning, my sister called me and invited me out for a coffee and a manicure. I could have just kept working, and maybe have finished an extra lesson but instead, I (happily) said yes! I needed to take a break from the grind, and it was a sweet relief, I am grateful to be so loved.
I am pretty exhausted but I’m going to make my lunch before I head upstairs to bed. Packing my breakfast and lunch tonight will help me in the morning when I’m sure to need any help I can get. This is the secret to successful weight loss, consistency. Even when life throws you melons. I won’t bore you with melon facts! So keep it steady at the wheel you will arrive at your weight loss destination. You can do this even when life is difficult. Believe in yourself and keep your why close. We can all get there, really and truly it just takes time. More tomorrow…
This post is coming at you late because it has been a long day of work. I spent most of today writing on my computer. I found myself thinking about food a couple of times. Two times were because I was experiencing internal hunger. Time had slipped by and I had not eaten in over four hours and I wasn’t craving anything, in particular, I just wanted to eat something. However, one time I was thinking about a Carvelite Ice Cream Cone and that was a desire to alleviate some stress. I didn’t go for the cone because I had a chocolate chip cookie after lunch. I’m ending the day with one rollover point. Breakfast 2sp; Lunch 8sp; and Dinner was 10sp.
So while I have this tremendous workload going I decided, I needed a boost. So I did two things to help myself…
One: I prepared a really delicious dinner. I cleared my dining room table of all my books and the whole family sat and enjoyed the meal together. It was homemade sauce (with pork) and pasta. A true comfort meal for me and I was able to eat it, enjoy it, and still stay on plan. I did weigh and measure my serving, and I had a piece of bread to dip in my leftover sauce. So darn good.
Two: I needed a visual anchor to remind myself of how far I’ve come in terms of weight loss. On my right, is my mother’s ring sparkling up at me. There to remind me of all the years it was tucked away in a draw because I couldn’t wear it. On my left, my engagement ring, and wedding ring which were at one time, too small for my fingers. Now they are so loose they turn to the side. I did that.
I think it’s important to give yourself a chance to be successful. When you know you are going to be up against it you’ve got to plan in some relief. Celebrate all the victories none are too small. Believe you can do it even when your circumstances aren’t ideal. You are worth every ounce of effort. I’ll be back at this tomorrow. Do this with me we can all get to goal.