Showing up in the face of adversity and putting in the work, and getting “it” done is the ideal. “It” can be so many things – passing a difficult test, getting the job you wanted, or achieving a health goal like weight loss. Those are the times when”it” is the thing that is hard to get but is something that you really want. Other times, “it” means doing something that you really don’t want to do at all, but you do for the sake of someone else. Maybe “it” is having the hard conversation with someone you love, or getting on an airplane even though you’re afraid of flying, or maybe “it” is losing weight because your health is important to the people who depend on you.
This is a weight loss blog, a dairy of my efforts to improve my health and make the most of the time I have left on the planet. For me, my “it’ is all about doing all that I can to help me to be healthy and to take control over my life. In a world that feels so out of control – I can do this one thing for me. That is the truth but so is this, I am doing this so I can remain healthy and be there for my loved ones the people who rely on me. Sometimes I am driven by this goal and I really want it in my heart. Sometimes I don’t want to deal with this goal, I want to hide from it because it scares me.
People often say things (especially nowadays) “Keep it simple” or “Don’t overthink it” but that only makes me feel worse! I am the kind of person who needs to understand why something is hard so I write to reflect and hopefully connect and build community. Even though I have such a deeply felt why, it has been monumentally difficult for me to stay engaged and on plan with WW since the pandemic began. But lately, as if a switch in my brain has been flipped it’s becoming easier to engage my healthy lifestyle again. Why? What changed?
I have come to grips with the reality that I am living during dangerous times, and being afraid does not make me safer. Experiencing my fear is not the “knock on wood” that wards off bad luck. I cannot do anything about COVID19, it is here to stay and it is a real threat to us all. What I can do is control my weight. Obesity puts me at an increased risk to developing a more severe case should I contract the virus. I have decided to show up and do whatever I can to be healthy.
Last night I got some news that threw me for a loop. The news itself is not so important for this post, but the emotional response that came with the news, matters a lot. Nervous energy, and running mental lists franticly started instantaneously filling my head, even though there was nothing I could do at 9:00 pm last night in my kitchen. I started pacing around and thought about the unopened ice cream in my freezer. But I really was not hungry, and ice cream was not going to help alleviate my stress, so I went to bed.
Pragmatism ruled the day and that made all the different. Thinking apart from the emotional response allowed me to be pragmatic. The unvarnished truth; my problems would not be solved, nor would my weight loss goal be helped by a “feel good” bowl of ice cream or the dessert hack of nonfat yogurt (which also flashed in my mind) deal with my current reality.
Now that I have had a good night’s sleep, I am reflecting on why yesterday’s response, in the face of uncertainty, yielded a clear path forward. Thanks to #COVID19, we’ve all been living in an “un-reality.” The world is not normal, it feels threatening to just leave the house. It makes sense my initial response has been to retreat to home, family, and safety. Food’s narrative that is interwoven throughout all of that.
The morning has come in more than one way for me. I feel like I have woken up and have a new perspective on things. I have been reminded that I have the ability to prioritize my weight loss goal. That, and my recent switch to purple is leaving me more satisfied and not feeling hungry helps to keep my cool. This new beginning, and feeling more confident is a welcome shift. I am very grateful for the change.
A strategy goes a long way for staying on plan. Dinner is by far the most difficult meal for me to manage. Planning what to eat, when to start cooking, while thinking about what everyone will or will not eat. It is pretty exhausting. I needed a simple strategy to help me get it done. Here is my three-step mantra:
Prep food for dinner ahead of time.
Start cooking / prep work at a consistent time.
Stick to my plan, if family members don’t want it, they’re on their own.
I am baking potatoes and plan to top them with chili that I cooked yesterday (made with 98% lean ground chicken). I am going to cook dinner at 5:30 pm. If my kids (my husband is easy and likes everything I make) don’t want it they are adults they can make something else. Just knowing this makes me feel like “I got this.”
Hope this helps you, and that you are having a great day on plan.
Every day is a chance to change my life for the better. I believe it is never too late for positive change. Whether that change comes in the form of inner enlightenment or an awakening to the perspectives of others – it all counts. I hope I never stop learning and aspiring to be my best self. In terms of my weight loss journey, here are some choices I made today that are going to help me get closer to my goals:
What are you doing to be your best self? How are you helping yourself to rise so you will meet the challenges you’ve set? Finding ways to stay engaged and to learn from others is a good start. My friend, Kathleen suggested a great podcast: @HalfSizeMe https://www.halfsizeme.com/category/podcast/ I listened this morning and felt very validated. Check it out.
Today was a great day on plan. I’m rolling over points and feel good about it. I hope you are finding your way on your weight loss journey, and are feeling proud of what you’ve been able to do for yourself. Every positive choice you make for yourself is a victory for the good. Don’t be discouraged, keep at it, just think, I can do this, and eventually you will achieve your goals.
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.
Living a healthy lifestyle in quarantine is hard and at this point I feel a little bit like the comeback kid. I was down for the count and now I have renewed energy to keep at it. I am in the midst of pulling myself out of my funk and into a good routine. That’s amazing, and I don’t take it for granted. Yet a nagging question persists, what am I learning from all of this? If I am not learning why this happens I am missing the point.
What am I learning?
I have the power to decide to change my behavior
I have the knowledge and tools to help myself live a healthy life
There are many people in my life who want to see me succeed
Caring for myself is not selfish it is necessary
Asking for help is a sign of personal strength
Having a community share my ups and downs keeps me grounded
If you are trying to improve your health, no matter where you are on that journey, GOOD FOR YOU! Treat yourself with kindness and self-care because there is no one in the world like you. You are irreplaceable, you are special, the world needs you. We are all a work in process and we need each other more than we know.
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.
I am doing my best. My goal is to take good care of myself so I may be a better wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, and teacher. In short I can work on being a good human. That is where I am going to focus my energy.
More and more it is becoming clear to me that my weight is a barometer of my stress levels. And while I cannot control what is happening in the world, I understand that it is unreasonable to try to make everything better, I can work on my own personal growth.
I’ve written Day One… a lot lately. I weighed myself this morning, and I know I have a lot of work to do to get back to goal. I am left thinking, what do I still have to learn? Clearly, since I am struggling, there is something more to this journey and the way I see things, I can believe one or the other:
I will never really get control of my weight. I’ve tried and failed it will never be different for me.
I am faced with new circumstances and I need a new strategy. I am a learner who can grow from this.
Either one of these perspectives might be the truth for me. It is up to me to decide which one to believe. I believe in me. I am a learner, who has experienced a set back and I am going to figure out why. The most important thing is for me to understand my own situation so I may find a path for what is best for me to do.
If you’re struggling right now, I invite you to reflect on your journey. Make a plan and take small steps. Believe in you, do you, and try your best to be flexible with what it means to be successful. Right now I feel like a winner, because I am not giving up. I am gathering my strength and I am starting again. I will start again as many times as it takes until I get back to goal.