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.
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.
Today my husband picked up a belt he had repaired at our local shoe and leather repair shop. A simple act that resonates deeply with me, I love this. I love it because taking care of what you have is as important to me as making a goal for what you might want next. I love it because the owner of the shop possessed the skill to fix the belt. He had the knowledge and the tools to make the needed repair. It’s never too late to fix it.
Yesterday, I got to see my WW friends from the Greenlawn Moose Lodge. If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I credit much of my weight loss success to my Saturday morning friends. Together we created a supportive community and we all felt better for being part of it. Saturday mornings have not been the same since COVID-19 became part of all our daily existence. A year later, and now we are finally planning to get together at an in-person meeting next Saturday at 8:15 am. I will let you know how it goes.
I don’t know if it’s the luck of the Irish or if I just needed a change, but I switched over from the Purple plan to the Green plan. I think it is helping me.. I like that WW offers some choice now, it feels like a more responsive program for weight loss. I have also had two great spin classes on my Peloton. I have started stretching after the class and I notice a huge difference in how I’m feeling. So if you are working out – don’t forget to stretch your body will thank you!
So how are you doing on your weight loss journey? If you have found yourself backsliding into old habits, and gaining weight, know you’re not alone. Do not be hard on yourself. You are amazing, there is no one else in the world like you and you deserve better. Losing weight is REALLY HARD to do and to maintain. I am not suggesting that ignoring it is any better. That won’t help either. So take stock, what can you do to honor your health and wellbeing? Find some people who will back you up – know that I am cheering you on as I do this work too. Take small consistent steps towards change and before you know it your healthy habits will come back strong. You have the tools and the knowledge to make change happen.
January 17, 2021 is a late for an end of the year reflection, but I guess I needed some time to process all that happened and is still happening. To say so much has changed for all of our lives in an understatement. I could write about loss in almost every aspect of my life. Covid-19 has been and continues to be shadow of death and despair the world over. I am wrestling with my feelings of loss for my country both politically and socially. Systematic racism has been revealed to me and it is something that I cannot “unsee” so I am doing the work for how to be an anti-racist.
“When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression, we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.”
All the of the deep rooted problems of my nation are being laid bare for all to see this year, I can take some comfort that our society is one where that can happen. We are imperfect, and the work that comes next is to continue to try to “form a more perfect union” a goal which will not be attained in my lifetime but is one worth fighting for for the rest of my life. I do take some solace in knowing that violence, for any cause is not to be tolerated. No one is above the law and people who either incite or promulgate violence will be punished within the parameters of the law.
My health and wellness goals have taken a beating this year. Overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges of these times, combined with the theft of my systems of support (in person WW meetings, and Spin classes) to maintain my health and weight loss have proved devastating. Community is an invaluable part of my success and I am still grieving the loss of that community but I am not the type of person to give up on a worthy cause. In this case, my health is the worthy cause here. I am dedicating myself to get back to goal.
I weighed myself yesterday and can now quantify the impact of my struggle in terms of black and white. I am working WW for all that it is worth. I am on the Purple Plan because I think it is still the best fit for me right now. The other action I took (with the full support of my husband, Dave) is I bought a Peloton. I can tell you that it is a real bonafide spin bike and I leave my workouts with that familiar sense of relief and wellbeing. It is a great stress reliever for me and I am very grateful to have one.
If I am to be completely honest, and this blog is a place for compete honesty or else what is the point? Not everything I lost was bad, and not everything I found was good this year. Maybe the lesson I am supposed to learn is that it is not really about what was lost or found, it is what remains. My resolve to be the best I can is what remains. Let’s promise to believe in ourselves and try to make the world a little brighter along the way. I will and I hope you will too.
A full week of being fully present on plan has come to a close. Forty-four SmartPoints are left over in my bank, and I am still full from dinner. Switching to #purple and eating whole foods is working for me. It has given me a welcome boost to help me get my head back in the game. Whatever path you are taking on your journey to better health, change it up from time to time because it really does help to keep it keep going.
Weigh in day is tomorrow so wish me luck. I’ll let you know what we discuss over our Zoom workshop.
Weight loss involves an ongoing interior dialogue. Sometimes that “self-talk” is helpful, and sometimes, it isn’t What can be done with an unhelpful thought? Defusing those thoughts so they don’t ruin my progress is really important and was the topic o today’s WW workshop. Here is what I am going to do:
Pay attention to what I am thinking. Like right now there is a piece of chocolate in the kitchen that is 4 SmartPoints. I don’t have anymore SmartPoints for the day, But I keep thinking about it and then thinking, if I eat that piece of chocolate I will probably start snacking on other things too. I just won’t track those things.
How is that thought making me feel? Thinking about eating that candy, not tracking it, and possibly snacking on other food is very upsetting. This thought makes me feel small and weak. It makes me feel like I am losing control and I will fail at this. I don’t want to eat that piece of chocolate but I probably will.
Interrogate the thought and the feelings it evokes: Is this thought true? No, it doesn’t have to be true. I can decide not eat that chocolate. Or even if I did eat it, it doesn’t mean I have to lose control, not track the foods I eat. None that is true. I’m not even hungry.
What do I really want? I really want to get back to goal. The candy is there for another day when I have more SmartPoints or when I don’t feel like eating will trigger a snack attack.
My version of the WW strategy is a little different but it is very effective. It helped to push me through this moment, it really helped. If you find yourself dealing with some kind of nagging inner dialogue, try this it works.
Some good news, I lost 5.9 pounds this week. It was a big win for me and to be honest I needed a big loss to help me gain some momentum. Let’s all have a great week.
Yes! Almost through an entire week back on plan. Here is my day so far:
Do you like the little fire emoji for my 5 day streak? It reminds me of the old days when WW gave out BRAVO stickers. Being back on track on WW has a big impact on me. Food tastes better, I am more intentional, I am motivated to move more. It’s incredible. Complacency must be the root cause for the disconnect with my weight loss journey.
What made me complacent though? I suspect it is because I stopped putting myself first. Man just writing that is hard because as a wife and mother it sounds selfish. Putting myself first doesn’t mean I don’t love my children or my husband, it means I love me TOO. It is so easy to get caught up in bad news of the world. It is so easy to get pulled into personal drama. It is so easy to put myself last on the list when living and working from home makes me physically available to everyone else. These are the reasons, I fear, that is what made me gain back some of the 93 pounds I lost.
I hope I learn this lesson for real this time. Remember, hope is one of my “strength” words. If you find yourself in a similar situation, say it with me:
“I am worthy of self-care. I love me TOO. Everything I am doing for myself will also benefit the people I love the most in this world. I believe in me.”
I am just a traveler like you on a weight loss journey
Gratitude is at the heart of everything today. Catching my rhythm on my weight loss journey, being able to ride my bicycle, having healthy food available, a safe home to live in, a family to love, meaningful work. All of this is so easy to take for granted, when really it is all a gift. I just don’t know why I forget that sometimes.
Really, truly today is was a strong “Day Two”. I felt different the moment I woke up in the morning. I felt like a fog had been lifted and a reassuring sense of personal control had been restored. Here are some of the great things I did to help myself today:
I mediated last night before bed.
I weighed myself in the morning
I tracked my sleep
I tracked, weighed and measured my food
I was mindful about the food choices I made
I worked out and rode my bicycle for 30 minutes
I went for a walk with my husband.
All of these choices are helpful, and the great thing is that I savored each one. Every time I did something I was intentional about it because I was taking care of myself.