Day One…

If I just keep writing “Day One” one day my healthy habits will stick. In this moment, I am ready to begin again. I have not fully tuned out my weight loss journey over the past week (eight days to be exact) because it is always there, but I realize that I am trying to hide from it by saying, “On top of everything else, I just can’t do this right now.” That is the truth, and that’s ok.

This blog is a place for honesty, and in truth, I feel defeated and hopeful all at once. It’s like having a case emotional vertigo to cope with all the time. I go outside and it is a beautiful day and I am grateful for the sun and its warmth on my face. Then I see people walking around without wearing masks and I am resentful and feel cold towards my fellow humans. I remind myself that I can’t control what other people do, but that doesn’t give me any relief for how I feel.

Some questions I am struggling with are, is it even possible to decide to just live in the moments of gratitude? I don’t think that is possible, and more to the point, I don’t even think that is the answer I need. Am I being honest to say I am going to focus my own choices; to do what is best for me, and ignore what goes on around me? I don’t think I can do that, we are all connected, I don’t think that is possible, nor do I believe that is a path to personal growth.

I want this time in my life to teach me something, I want to grow wiser for having lived through this period in history. I imagine my life as the fulcrum and positive and negative experiences are the levers pivoting over me, radiating through me. I cannot support the weight of those experiences if I am not balanced at my core. I think I have to be fully present with each experience, and then let go of all of the feelings that come with it. Right now, this is a pleasant moment of reflection and I am grateful for this moment in time.

My intuition tells me this what I need to do and I am trust that. My wish for you dear reader is that you are finding a sense of balance and giving yourself permission experience life as it comes without scorn or remorse for how you are coping. This is hard, but we can get through it.

J: Joy Joy is a strength word for me because it reminds me to accept happiness as it comes without fear of loss. Being open to joy opens me up to beauty, laughter, curiosity, wonder, and awe.

Day Eight: Looking for Bright Spots in Trying Times…

It’s hard to be optimistic these days. Even my The Happiness Lab Facebook page I joined is filled with anxiety, isolation, and sadness. It is getting to the point where I cannot log into it because each time I do I read a post I feel the weight of my fellow humans. In one way I feel very connected and in another way I feel overwhelmed. Is that normal?

Then after working virtually all day, I tried to find paper towels and soap online and got a massive migraine and had to lay down. Now it’s nighttime and I can’t sleep, I’m a mess. Let’s face it I am stressed out. I went over my SmartPoints BUT I did track it all. So oddly that isn’t upsetting me so much. I tracked it, I weighed and measured my portions, and for the most part I was mindful. I also mediated this morning. So today as far as plan goes is a win. At least I can at control that part of of my life and that is very comforting. It is nice to be able to find a bright spot today. I wonder, how was your day readers? I hope you are coping with all this craziness. Be kind yourself, and know you’re not alone.

F: Family The word family gives me strength because everything I am is a reflection of them. The ones who raised me and grew up alongside me, my husband and children, nieces, and nephews. Friends who are like family. This gives me strength today for sure.

Day Three: Feeling Hopeful…

I am embracing the fresh start effect I feel right now and am very hopeful that I am finding my way back to healthy habits. You may read that a lot over the next week, because it is important for me to hear these words so I can make it be true. I am shifting my focus to a learning stance by setting goals and measuring my progress. I am using my Recovery Checklist and it is helping me to celebrate what I am doing and it helps to keep it real.

Thanks to Shelley who is a member of the Stanford CT/ Greenlawn NY WW Zoom group who made a suggestion to write a list of positive words for each letter of the alphabet. She inspired me to think about a list of words that make me feel strong and then I created this:

A: Anchor
The symbol of an anchor gives me strength because it reminds me that my resolve is is unwavering. I can do this.

I can do this, so can you. We can do this together.

Day Two: Feels Like Work…

Why do this? If I am going to be real with you I have to say, today feels like a lot of work to stay on track with healthy habits. It would be nice to ignore serving sizes, or not to not to have to debate one food choice over another. I really would like two pieces of pizza and that glass of wine. Don’t say it. I know I can have both but if I want more immediate success I really can’t. So now is a good time to circle back to my why – not just in the words that I share but with my whole being. Why do this?

Thank you, Fresno WW members for welcoming me today!

I am doing this because I like having energy. I like being able to move more freely. I want to remain in the best health possible for the rest of my life. I like having lots of choice in the clothes I can wear. I like recognizing my own face in the mirror, when I was at my heaviness I was unrecognizable to myself. I remember how I felt back then, I remember how I felt after I achieved Goal and Lifetime status. The thing I remember the most was the good feeing of self control. These are the reasons that define my “why” so I am going to stick with it and power through.

Get it Together…

I feel like I am in a groove. I am making progress. I tracked everything I ate and continued to keep a photo journal. I used 28 SmartPoints for the day:

A challenge for working from home is that I am here and so is everyone else. They all understand that I’m working, but since I’m right there in the dining room, I am very available to them too. I am going to clean up my office and move in there. It’s a more removed part of the house and I think that will help the situation.

Here are some things I am missing today:

  • I already miss spending time with my sister.
  • I miss being able to go to spin class and my in person workshop.
  • I miss feeling secure walking around with other people.
  • I miss dropping off my son at school – his last year of High School.
  • I miss working in classrooms of students.

Being afraid takes a toll and today I am feeling it more today than yesterday. I am scared for myself, my loved ones and friends, and for everyone else. Acknowledging how I really feel helps. Uncertainty is all around but the best thing I can do is be real with myself.

Keep trying. There is something powerful about naming this as grief. It helps us feel what’s inside of us. 

David Kessler 

Our House…

I was working in a quiet corner of my bedroom when the phone rang. It was Dave’s sister needing to talk. I put the computer aside on the ottoman and left the warm yellow embrace of my room, and went into the hallway past the blue lights seeping out of a gaming consul in my son’s darkened room. Down the wooden steps past the stained glass windows into the living room where Sadie pawed at a ball and did that cute growly bark I so adore. Then through the kitchen, where my daughters were playing Asian music, cooking tofu and vegetables. “Where’s daddy?” I asked. “I dunno upstairs?” Hayley offered, “No, I was upstairs…” I said as I headed down another set of stairs. I past the washer/dryer and walked into the office. There was Dave, laying on his back stretching out his back on a mat on the floor. “It’s for you.” I handed off the phone and thought for a moment, there is so much life in the house.

Comfort is waiting there in plain sight, all I have to do is to notice it. I really want to remember this moment I want to appreciate how it made me feel. I am home with my family – I love them and for this I am filled with gratitude and I want to make that feeling linger.

I took a picture of everything I ate today because I am putting in the effort to build up my healthy habits:

Here are somethings I did today to help me :

  • I tracked my food and planed ahead
  • I ate my meals without distraction
  • I wearing jeans, not sweatpants or workout clothes
  • I put on makeup and did what I could with my hair
  • I danced in the kitchen with my kids just for fun
  • I played with Sadie
  • I am appreciating my husband and all that he does for us

What are you doing to help yourself mange this crazy time in our lives? If you are looking for something engaging to do – here is a fabulous opportunity, The Science of Wellbeing:

Yale University is offering a free course online,
The Science of Well-Being, that teaches you how to be happier.

It is a really interesting course, and if you sign up, let me know. I’d rather spend my time finding comfort and thinking about personal happiness if I am able to.

One last thing, I got lucky today look what I found with my school books:

Finding this in my book bag felt like winning the Lottery

Keep it Together…

Long Island isn’t visible on most maps of the United States. It is a small outer island, belonging to the state of New York. I live in a quiet suburban town on the north shore of western Suffolk. This is a place of tree lined streets, local schools, houses of worship, shopping malls, and big box stores. Driving down any given street you will see local contractors, landscapers, and delivery trucks.

If you’re an “Islander” chances are good that commuting is part of your life. The Long Island Rail Road bustles with people heading into Manhattan. The LIE is always backed up traveling west bound and there are usually speed traps along the Sunken Meadow Parkway heading north. I am one of many people living on this vibrant busy island trying to navigate my way through life.

Cow Harbor, Northport NY

Today I went food shopping for my neighbor. She emailed me her list and Dave and I went to the food store. While I checked off her items, I was careful to keep my distance from the others. Some wore masks, others gloves, and I just kept my head down looking at her list. I thought about her living alone in the house right next door to mine, I worried about her and I felt a little heartbroken that it took a disaster for me to feel so much for someone who lives so close. As we checked out, we bought her a bouquet of flowers and placed them in her bag. That would be cheerful.

When we got back home we left the bags on her porch, rang the bell, and briskly walked down the steps to back into her driveway. She cried when she saw the flowers, and so did I. There was this flood of gratitude mixed with an underlying sense of dread at the same time. This is not just happening on my little island, this is the whole wide world.

What Can We Do?

We will do whatever we can. We will take care of ourselves, and each other. We will share our feelings and be honest about what we need to get through this terrible time. We will nurture hope and be courageous. If you don’t believe that yet, it’s ok there are no rules for how to cope with this, it is surreal. In the meantime, don’t eat a lot of sugar, get some rest, and stay hydrated. Go outside when you can, and move your body. I will be posting, so if you want to share feel free to use this space. Make yourself at home, I’m scared too, we are all in this together.

There’s No Place Like Home…

Writing this post feels a little like coming home. Circumstances have made it difficult for me to find balance. I certainly have not been practicing self-care, or paid much attention to my health goals. The truth is, I have been struggling for a while now. This post is my small attempt to scratch out a little time that is dedicated to my own sense of wellbeing.

I went to my WW Workshop this morning and vowed to participate in the “Blue Dot Challenge” Day one is in the books, and I’m happy to report nothing but blue skies over here:


Monday – Friday were on and again off again tracking days that’s why you don’t see “Blue Dots”

I am going to track all of the foods I eat, because I know that is how this program works for me. I know that will feel more confident as I continue to make up for some lost ground when it comes to weight loss. There have been long stretches of posts on this blog where my weight loss journey hummed along at a good clip whereas this post is a baby step to help me start again.

Mindset Matters…

Sometimes things don’t go as I plan. I did so many great things today to support my weight loss goals. I packed my lunch, I tracked, I weighed and measured my portions, I cooked a healthy dinner. I did all of this and as I did it I thought, Ok I will have more than enough SmartPoints left over to have my Sugar-Free Skinny Cow Ice cream after I clean up dinner. All the dinner leftovers were away, and the kitchen was clean. I slid open the freezer door anticipating my special dessert. I opened the blue box… Empty.

4 SmartPoints:
https://www.skinnycow.com/products/sandwiches/no-sugar-added-vanilla-gone-wild/

Standing there, eyebrows furrowed mouth open, staring down at the empty box in my freezer. I actually had a little tantrum, How could this be – it’s bad enough to eat them all but to leave an empty box in the freezer – WHAT? Like a small child might I actually stomped my feet and said, “I wanted ice cream.” I’m not very proud of myself but this blog is a place to tell the truth and this is the truth.

True story, I read this book with a first grader today. Little did did I know how foreboding it was.

I ended up eating a scoop of regular ice cream, and I still rolled over 2 SmartPoints. Yet as I ate it the resentment still lingered from my let down. Sometimes things don’t go as I plan but that does not mean I am off plan. Making adjustments along the way is something I’m still learning how to do. Anyway, I am on plan making good choices and most importantly I believe in me. I can do this, and so can you.

Happy Not Hungry…

Two times today I was really hungry. Once before lunch and the other time as I was cooking dinner. For a moment I thought, Well I must be losing weight because I’m pretty hungry. You ever feel that way?

I think it is a false sign. Hunger means it is time to eat, and I’d rather eat when I’m not feeling out of control. Just a quick thought. It was a great day on plan overall.