Taking Action…

Yesterday, I noticed a pattern and today I’m taking action. I am the kind of person who turns to experts in books, blogs, and articles when faced with a problem. I make it a goal to learn as much as I can so I can make more informed judgments. I find the process breaks down when I spend too much time thinking about my failures, without reflecting on what to change. Sometimes, that little voice pipes up, “Well, it’s been a good run, but it’s only a matter of time before you start gaining again.”

Lovely…

What’s different this time, is that I don’t believe that little voice anymore. It’s like a benign protester who’s urgency has been diminished by my success. I have been on Maintenance now for six months. This is what I have learned about myself over the past two days. Each time I ate too much, it was because I was either preoccupied or allowed myself to get too hungry.

4 SmartPoints

Today was different. At 5:30 pm I noticed I was feeling very hungry. I stopped and thought about it. It had been over four hours since I ate, I was hungry for any food (not craving something) andI had a slight headache. This means internal hunger was the culprit. Now I’m eating slowly, mindfully, and I’m not going to make the same mistake as yesterday.

I am beginning to think that it’s easy to kick old habits back into action if I’m not reflective about what I’m doing. Like so many of my other big discoveries on this blog, this one sounds obvious, but this is a revelation for me. I hope you are learning about yourself too. I hope you are feeling strong and capable. I hope you are firmly squared within your resolve that you can do this – because you can.

Tips for Maintenance…

Top ten tips for being successful on maintenance from WW members.

Knowing how to maintain weight loss is something I’m interested in. So, I was very happy to listen to the wisdom of others at my Saturday workshop. I so value the collective wisdom of other WW members, and here is what they had to share:

  1. Weigh and measure portions
  2. Eat without distractions
  3. Track all the foods eaten
  4. Know triggers what foods trigger binging
  5. Pause and take a breath
  6. Check how many zero point foods are being eaten
  7. Practice mindfulness
  8. Mix up activity, get out there and move
  9. Plan ahead
  10. Keep positive fill your head with good thoughts

All of this advice is so helpful. It may seem somewhat obvious; however, following this advice in the moment is not so easy. This week, I’m going to make my goal to keep it positive. It’s been a particularly stressful time for me and I think that goal would be kindest one I can set for myself this week.

Celebrations & Gratitude…

There was so much to celebrate at my WW workshop

  • Beth lost over 6 pounds!
  • Loraine had an aha moment of clarity about how to change up her snacking!
  • Pam hit a mile stone and lost 25 pounds!
  • Jackie measured out her wine and realized that it was more than a serving and is now drinking it out of a smaller wine glass!
  • Angela hit goal
  • Rich is making huge progress as he is training for a half challenge at Walt Disney World January 2020. He walked 15 miles before our meeting!
Truth!

Look at what people can do when they have a growth mindset. A growth mindset means that we come into a process looking for challenges, knowing that there will be some hard work ahead. In taking this stance you begin to look at failures as a chance to grow rather than a label to define. What a hopeful way to view our lives, and what a great group of people to spend my Saturday mornings with, people who are out there meeting the struggle for a healthy lifestyle and who are digging in and doing the work to make it a reality. They are the kinds of people I want to be with and I am so grateful.

New Week, New Goal

We had a thoughtful conversation about why we get stuck along the way. Our take was that it was a combination of over doing it with the zero point foods combined with the indulgences. The indulgences are the snacks, wine, and other higher point value foods. For me, I do not over indulge with my zero point foods because I weigh, track, and measure.

I think I need to mix it up when it comes to indulgences. I want to make a list and try to be strategic. This is what I’m thinking, list all the foods I want to eat, and drink that have points, and then mix and match as this week goes. For example, 5 ounces of wine with grapes one day. Peanut butter and celery another day. Pistachios and blueberries and pomegranate seeds another day. When I eat these things eat them very mindfully and in a pleasant setting. I’ll put my list up on my Tips & Tools page if you’re interested in checking it out.

So I maintained my weight loss and am still sitting in my “free seat” that is an amazing feeling coming into a new season. I hope you are happy wherever you are in this journey. Keep positive and be reflective it helps.

Outcomes & Self-Worth…

After work, the race is on! I commute, I get home and the wild rumpus starts. Peel the potatoes get them into a pot, take out the pot roast I cooked on Sunday, wipe down the counters, and play the messages, throw my ice pack in the freezer, and dump the plastics in the sink. Load the dishwasher, schedule the car for service. All of a sudden it struck me as I was running around my kitchen, pulling dinner together, packing my food for tomorrow, scheduling the car for service, while keeping a close watch of the time because I knew I had to pick up my kids from work and the gym – I am such a mom.

Moms (and dads) get the job done! We do whatever it takes to keep the house going, kids cared for, cars on the road, and (literally) dinner on the table. However, there is an important part to my little story from today that shouldn’t be overlooked. I included my needs in the flurry of jobs that needed to get done. When I prioritize my needs I am setting myself up for a better outcome. If I elected to skip my needs this afternoon, tomorrow morning would have been so much harder. Or, I would have just skipped it all together and gotten some food on the fly that may not be plan friendly.

Maintaining my weight loss is very important to me. If I value that then I have to make time for it – even when it’s crazy busy. I hope you are doing the same thing. I hope you are carving out a little time to take care of you.

Write Your Own Rules…

I don’t think I ever fully appreciated the phrase, “that was a lucky mistake” before. It’s been my experience that it’s just no fun to make mistakes. There are lots of negative feelings that accompany them, feelings like, shame, embarrassment, fear, and vulnerability. Do you think it’s possible to move past these negative feelings and feel grateful for the mistakes you’ve made? How would looking at mistakes through a lens of gratitude be beneficial? I wonder, does it always have to be that way? I’m starting to think it doesn’t have to be that way, I think I can write my own rules when it comes to mistakes. I want to be more generous with myself, I want to lean into being more reflective and honest. I want to use my mistakes as a stepping stone for growth.

This week’s goal to be mindful during bedtime rituals and making sure I get enough sleep is going so much better than last week’s goal to roll over SmartPoints. Now I know, nurturing goals are working better for me. For where I’m at, right now on the journey, focusing on taking care of myself is more helpful. I only know that because I made a mistake last week.

So I used 47 SmartPoints today. Crazy. You may be thinking, ok that’s the real reason she’s writing about mistakes… But here is a little history lesson about my family. One of our traditions is that we spend St. Patrick’s Day with my brother and his family. All us “kids” get together have a great time and part of that is sharing a delicious meal. No one is left out; there is no drama, just good times. WW is teaching me how to do that and still be successful on my weight loss journey.

In my past a 47 SmartPoint day might have derailed my entire week. That’s not going to happen this time, I have learned from that mistake. I now understand how to avoid that outcome. That’s growth, and that self-discovery and that is a very big deal. How’s it going? What mistakes have helped you to grow? My advise, don’t run from mistakes look at them as an opportunity to learn, I think it’s just better that way.

21st Century Life

“There are so many people who want you to succeed. Believe me. Most of us already know that weight loss can be a difficult proposition, it takes time and effort. What some of us may not know? There are lots of and lots of people who will take the journey with you.  Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the process with an open mind and heart. If you travel this path with others you will be one of many leaders who will be a source of inspiration and support. You definitely don’t have to do this all by yourself.” This is my message today.

We live in a connected world. Technology offers so many ways to access each others’ lives. With a click on the trackpad, I can see family dinner at my cousin’s house in Florida, keep up with the latest news from colleagues in Washington, and follow my daring friend’s adventures in Hawaii. Then travel back home again to storytime with a friend’s grandchild. All of that leaves me feeling happy to know these things are happening in the world.

I felt this way a couple of times this week. My results? I lost 1.4 pounds this week. Woo Hoo!

Yet there is also an underside to 21st Century life. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)  one in five (22%) Americans say that technology leaves them feeling isolated, lonely, or anxious.  I think that may be because we find ourselves on the outside looking into each other’s lives rather than being present in them. Being present and being an active learner is something that my #WW community  truly lives by example. 

Saturday Morning #WW Leaders Inspire Me

Being a member of WW who also attends meetings is a powerful thing. This organization continues to evolve and become something really special at a time when many of us crave a community. I love being a part of something bigger than myself, and today we all said, “Yes” to sharing our experiences. We did so as we celebrated each other’s success.

  • Lauren hit goal! She is going to be in the body she wanted in time for her wedding and is committed to making a permanent lifestyle change. Her story fills me with happiness.
  • Kim decided to make a change in her life, she said “I need to make a change. The time is now.” This week she lost 5 pounds, This is living your life with a sense of agency.
  • Erin is making intentional choices and says her success is 100% due to a mind shift. She lost 30 pounds as part of the virtual WW community and when she saw the weight coming back, she decided to start attending meetings. Bravo, Erin.
  • Betty lost 5 pounds and is learning how to navigate food choices during work. This is huge! This is empowerment.
  • Joanne lost 7 pounds in one week! Amazing. She is learning to say, “No.” and is taking care of herself. This is a life-changing reflection and it sends shivers down my spine.
  • Emily shared some real reflections on her week that were profound. She didn’t just keep doing what she’s done in the past to be successful she is being a responsive problem solver who refuses to get stuck. She shared her perspective that real change is all about mindset.

By now, it’s probably obvious why I am such a fan of #WW. I am not alone. I am part of this dynamic group and all I really want for anyone reading this blog is for you to feel included.

7 sp but worth every bite. Egg, Canadian Bacon, and Avocado Wrap 7 sp. 1/2 cup Fage Non-fat Yogurt with mixed berries 0sp

A word about my Featured Image.

Everything you see here was a gift from one of my WW friends. I am filled with gratitude, I am embarrassed to say that sometimes I forget how fortunate I am. Thank you.

Yes, we are learning about portion sizes, and healthy eating and activity. Yes, we are learning about the growth mindset and mindfulness. But more than that, we are letting each other into our lives because we want to make a change for ourselves and for each other. Take good care on the journey as we get ready for a new week ahead. Know that you can be part of something bigger than yourself, if only you say, “Yes.”

Refocus…

There is a reason that so much attention has been given to knowing your “why.” Simon Sinek began the conversation around the significance of “why” by giving us a framework called the Golden Circle.

This framework can be applied to all of us as individuals too.

Now, is a good time to revisit my “why”. I want to reflect on my actions and thoughts in an effort to be more self-aware. In order to do this work, I think it’s important to really know myself as a learner. After all, I am learning how to live my life as a healthier version of myself. I am asking: What does it take to do this? How am I going to get that done? Why is it so important to me?

  • What: I will stay engaged with #WW by following the plan as it is intended to be followed. I will participate in activities that I love doing like spin and yoga.
  • How: I am the kind of person to engages her learning intellectually and emotionally. Writing is an outlet for both. Writing helps me to stay intellectually emotionally engaged on this journey.
  • Why: I want to bring back vitality to my life.

If I were going to turn this blog into a book the title would be: 

Reimagining and Revising

My Transformative Journey to Better Health & Wellness (and yes, Weight Loss)

My story is not a one size fits all series of steps that would deliver health and wellness in a box to readers. There is no just follow the recipe and “Voila!” all your dreams will come true. Instead, my story is one that would teach readers the value and joy of self-discovery. That combined with the understanding that the most important day will always be – today.

I am learning that the more present I am in my life the more successful I am and the better I feel. Even if this day is not a successful day on plan – there is always that next choice to make. I have always been in love with the underdog, and nothing motivates me more than a comeback. Knowing that I can do this and still embrace optimism (because that’s who I am. I am an optimist) makes all the difference.

You might be thinking, “Well that’s all well and good for you. I don’t consider myself an optimist. I’m a realist.” To that, I would say, “Great. Use that to define your reality and work back from there.” Maybe my past failures with weight loss and my current success all boil down to a failed analogy. For so many years I was searching to find the key to unlock my potential. Now I know, I had it all wrong.

xo

It’s not about finding some arcane key to some unmovable padlock. That makes my future left to chance – some esoteric thing working to keep me apart from my dreams – my goals. What if instead, of a padlock it was a combination lock? Now beginning with understanding how my lock works become essential. My key is about knowing my combination of strengths because that is how I will open me up for success. For me, Optimism, Perseverance, Kindness, and Reflection are my winning combinations.

It’s a beautiful thing, you are the lock, and you already have the key. Something to think about.

Influence…

I am thinking about what influences me. As I reflect on my interactions with my family and friends, the books that I read, my colleagues at work, and all the media I consume all have an impact. The decisions I make influence me also. Every choice leads in towards or away from success:

  • Do I pre-pack and track my meals for the next day the night before?
  • Do I go to bed early so I can make a spin class in the morning?
  • Do I stay up later and keep working?
  • Did I plan what we will have for dinner?
  • Do I have dessert tonight?

It’s all the little choices that have a big influence on the direction I take. So I plan on celebrating every choice I make that will render a positive influence. Tomorrow is weigh-in day, and of course, I am more than a number on the scale! However, I also believe the number is feedback on how I am doing.

I blog the truth. The truth is I really hope I make it within my two-pound range tomorrow. I will have 39 roll over points at the close of this week. That’s amazing. I made my fitness goal. That’s amazing! I included a variety of foods and made smart choices that left me feeling satisfied and not deprived. That’s amazing! I even took time to get a manicure on the way home from work today because I wanted to do something nice for myself. That’s amazing too!

If I don’t make it. I will be disappointed but I will not be deterred. I will keep working and doing my best. Right now, I’d love it if you promised to do the same. In my mind, I imagine that you say, “I will too!” We can do this, let’s go.

Balance…

Sometimes living my healthy lifestyle feels like…

Some days, you just want to twist and shout!

Other times it feels like this…

Some days, you just want to ask, who said this was a good idea?

I felt in charge and in control today. I went off plan a few days this week; however, I am very happy about achieving my activity goals I wanted to go to spin at least three times and I went four!

I fully embrace that I am not perfect and I am confident at the same time. I am not afraid to fail publicly – if some good can come out of it. The only regret I would have would be if I missed an opportunity to grow – this journey is about personal growth.

The truth? There is no good or bad in my pursuit for lasting weight loss. It is not a success or failure sort of endeavor. There is only a continuous inner search for balance. Today I tapped into my balance reserves and I felt in control and empowered for most of the day. That is a gift and I am grateful.

Lifetime!

After forty-eight days from hitting goal, I am now a LIFETIME member! In the #WW world, the status of “Lifetime” means you no longer have to pay for your seat at the workshops. I made it it’s the best Christmas present I’ve ever given myself.

Now I’m heading into Christmas, knowing that I achieved this goal. That is an incredible feeling. Since my journey began I have lost over 90 pounds. This would have been insurmountable had it not been for all the support and love my #WW community has given me along the way. There are so many difficult days, but there is also amazing days. The thing is not get blinded by one or the other.

Sometimes this weight loss transformation feels like a gift I’m not allowed to keep. Sometimes it feels like it is something I was meant to have and have always been. The truth is neither of those two scenarios is real. The truth is that it is always a choice and the choice is mine.

My parting words for today, you can do this – BELIEVE that you can. Expect some days to be really difficult, expect some days to be amazing. Both will happen. There will be monotonous days along the way where you may be tired of all the work that goes into achieving this goal. There will be days that your habits will be so strong doing this will feel like breathing. Expect it and welcome all these days. When this happens to you, you will know you’re on the path to better health. I’m cheering for you. I’m sending all my positive energy out to you because I understand what it takes and I believe in you.

#WW #LIFETIME #Freestyle #weight loss transformation #HO! #HO! #HO!