Day Thirteen…

Some days are easier than others to find a sense of gratitude. There are days that present a challenge – if I’m not feeling well, it’s hard to feel grateful. If things don’t go the way I had hoped, it’s hard to find something to be grateful about. When I wish things were different – wishing for gratitude seems like a big reach.

It may sound hokey but this is when I need to find gratitude the most. As I think about today, I am grateful for:

  1. a good story.
  2. a hot shower.
  3. my sweatshirt.

Day Eight…

I decided I’m going to keep counting days until I get back to goal. I did lose a pound this week, and that is very welcome news. I worked to recapture a beginner’s mind this week. Giving up dessert was a good way to get in touch with those feelings. Insofar as my mindset, gratitude is the word of the day. It’s easy to feel grateful when things are going good isn’t it? However, while it’s always good to be grateful, it’s even more important when times are tough. It is also easy to be grateful for the big things, like my children, my husband, my family, and my friends. I am deeply grateful – they are all the most important people in the world to me, I am so blessed to have these remarkable people in my life. Sometimes, it is important to recognize the less obvious sources that make me feel grateful. These are three small things I’m grateful for:

  • the way the sun comes through my dining room windows.
  • living in a small town close to the water.
  • being able to have this time to reflect and write.

So, yes I am grateful for the biggest blessings but I also don’t want forget the small ones too. I realize that to someone reading this post, it may sound strange to write about gratitude here (since this is a blog about weight loss and maintaining weight loss) but I guess the thing is anything that is difficult to do requires a lot of energy. Energy that comes from gratitude is better than energy that comes from struggle. I aspire to keep a grateful heart no matter what comes my way.

Day Seven…

There is this little specialty shop in the village that sells infused vinegars and oils. The great thing about infused vinegar is that it adds a lot of flavor with 0 sp. and the olive oil is just 4 sp. for a tablespoon. Consider trying some, this is a little helpful tip that keeps things fresh.

Reflect on your week without sugar: What did you learn?

Friday, How Sweet It Is Seven Day No Sugar Challenge

As I reflect on this week, I believe this little challenge saved me. It helped me to get back on track by focusing on one thing, giving up desserts. I think the reason why this worked so well for me is that giving up desserts made me feel less hungry. I really hope I don’t feel frustrated if I don’t lose weight this week. I mean right now I feel empowered and have a great sense of personal satisfaction, and it would be awful if the numbers on the scale took that feeling away from me. I know, I know, I can’t let the numbers rule the day, no matter what it was a great week. I keep reminding myself, I’m doing this for me I am worth it. My hope is that you believe that your are worth it too.

Day Six…

Yesterday a friend confided that that she was missing chocolate and nuts. She decided to give them up because she has been gaining not losing. She works a lot, and they give her an energy burst that keeps her going when she’s tired. However, at the same time she also said, that she feels better now that that they’re off the menu. Her clothes feel looser, she is less hungry. She hates to admit it, but she is probably better off without them. Then, she also went on to say that the Wendy’s salad she has been eating each week on her way to her second job, has 16 SmartPoints! She enjoys the salad, and it is convenient but in no way is worth all those points. When her daughter looked up the salad, it was a real eye opener, and now she is bringing her own salad.

I have been encouraging her to track her foods for a while now, and I guess her WW coach joined the chorus and got her to promise to track this week. She was blown away by at how easy it is to stack up hidden SmartPoints (or calories however you work it) on what seemingly would be healthy options. Nuts, salad, even chocolate (in moderation) are “healthy” options but not if portion sizes are too large, or if they are laden with hidden fat and salt. Awareness is a very important tool that makes a huge difference in the results we get along the way.

Read an article about sugar and respond.


Thursday, How Sweet It Is Seven Day No Sugar Challenge

Ryan Andrews wrote this article, Sugar Daddy: My Year Without Sugar. I found this to be full of information and incite. Rather than summarize the article, because hey you can read for yourself. I would rather explore the parts that were most meaningful to me. There was quite a lot that resonated with me. Some of the ideas Ryan put out there are:

  • “Desserts are addictive.” For me this is a true statement! I find that when I eat desserts that are in the house, I want to go back for seconds, thirds, and sometimes the entire box of Enlighten bars. The best way for me to indulge in dessert is to go out and get an ice-cream cone, a piece of cake, or a cookie. This is my experience; however, it is not true for everyone. Ryan links to an article that details the effects of Dopamine on the brain that goes into why which is also an interesting read.
  • “We get to choose what we do.” Agreed! We can empower ourselves to make deliberate choices. It’s a little easier to give up dessert when I create some context by comparing it to the struggle of raising a family or sustaining a career. When I think of it that way, it is not such a big thing after all.
  • “We don’t eat sugar ‘in moderation’.” A fun fact, nearly 90% of the North American diet is comprised of processed foods (carb dense sugar rich foods). That’s why I’ve had so much success with WW because the #Freestyle plan leans so heavily into the 0 sp. foods (low fat whole food choices). this makes sense to me, as my coach Bonnie tells me, “We didn’t get here eating carrots, bananas, or grapes.” True! True!
  • “Food is habit forming.” Yesterdays post goes into my thinking and YES! This a very true statement for me as well. He found that taking dessert off the menu left him feeling less hungry – same!
  • “The ‘All or None’ approach can work with strong incentives . What he refers to an an incentive is how I regard as my why. Agreed. My why is a powerful one, I don’t want to gain back the weight I lost. It took a long time and a lot of effort to lose this weight because I wanted to feel good physically and build up my confidence. That is the most important thing.
  • “Internal dialogue sucks.” I hadn’t thought about all the internal dialogue that goes on with the struggle to be moderate with dessert. It creates unnecessary so much unnecessary tension. All the, “Should I eat another peanut butter chocolate bar? No. But, if I eat two that’s only 5 sp. as opposed to 3 sp. what’s the big deal?” Sound familiar? Exhausting. I don’t miss that.
  • “Taste re-calibration is possible.” It’s true, I am finding that I don’t even want sugary desserts (right now). Last night when my son was eating sorbet I had a ramekin full of fresh strawberries they were so sweet to me. What even does a ramekin hold, 1/3 of a cup 1/2 cup? So funny t think about – it was only five days sugar-free yesterday.
  • Think about attachments… Change occurs at the desire level… Tap into what you want, avoid declarative statements…

Day One…

I’m back to “Day One” I am over my Lifetime Goal by 4.2 pounds, and I would like to lose 11.4 pounds in total. It may seem like a mistake or strange to make the first words of this post, be about “the numbers” because WW is about more than weight loss. This journey is about choices, beliefs, planning, and empowerment – however, it is also about maintaining and losing weight. The numbers don’t define me, but they do help to focus me. Does that make sense?

Here are somethings I’m thinking about after my WW workshop:

  • Bob has lost 102 pounds over the past 72 weeks. He shared how he keeps it fresh by finding and sharing recipes. Another important part of his success story involved our community. We help each other. There is so much good in our community and like Bob, I appreciate how valuable it is to my life. Listening to him this morning was a real gift to me – it was what I needed to hear.
  • Joan had an important discovery that after she gave up Milano cookies she has been consistently losing weight. She is down over 7 pounds. She examined a pattern and made a meaningful change that is getting her closer to her goal.
  • Bonnie talked about the importance of setting small goals – and she is exactly right about that. I know that setting small goals help me.

My goal this week is to cut out added sugar.

Jenn Hayhurst

How Sweet It Is… Instead of eating added sugar I will…

SatExplore your reasons for cutting sugar and reflect.
SunGive one little word (OLW) for sugar cravings. Why?
MonWrite one memory in detail that involves eating sugar.
TueWrite a list of alternatives to a sugar filled dessert?
WedTake a picture of something “sweet” and write about it.
ThuRead an article about sugar and respond.
FriReflect on your week without sugar: What did you learn?
Explore your reasons for cutting sugar & reflect

This is all subjective but I think eating sweets makes me hungrier. One thing for certain is that eating sweets uses up a lot of my SmartPoints balances and that is not helpful. I also think it’s important for me to select a goal that is finite this week – one that I either accomplish or don’t accomplish. I want to give this goal my full measure of devotion. I need a good goal – think this is the right goal fro right now.

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.