You know when you leave for your morning commute and all of a sudden, you find yourself at work, but can’t really pinpoint the ride that got you there? Commuting to work is a habit, and established habits require very little intellectual energy. The brain is remarkable, and is trying to conserve energy and habits fit that bill perfectly, they run on an automatic script.
Change is coming, albeit slower than I’d like, and it is undeniable that I am definitely building momentum for weight loss. How do I know? Here are the keystone habits that signal weight loss for me:
There are other habits that I need to put more effort into like tracking my meals more consistently, getting regular activity, and better quality sleep. The thing is to be patient with myself (firm, but patient) because as long as I believe I can do it – then I will be successful, it just takes some time to get there.
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.
I live in a northeastern suburb and we can get some brutal winters. Not as bad as New England but bad enough. The great trade off for black ice, shoveling snow, and bitter cold winds whipping off the ocean is the thrill of getting a “snow day”. There is no better feeling than getting the call that the roads are “impassable for students, faculty, and staff’. It is like getting a free day unencumbered by an over scheduled life
Snow days used to be full of dressing kids for outside play, movies and popcorn, steaming hot coca, and art projects. I put my energy into making those days happy special times, for my family. Now snow days give me the chance to put my energy towards self-care. It is a day where I can refocus on my priorities and treat myself well. Today is one of those days, so how will I use my time? All of the items on this list, would make my life better:
Writing to center myself
Taking a Peloton class
Spend time with my hubby
Appreciate some beauty
Do some light cleaning
Cooking a new recipe compliments of: #journey.towards.health.ww
Reading for fun
Do some planning for work
Meditate and practice mindfulness
Writing this list has helped me to prioritize my health goals. Sure, maybe if I were more evolved I would not need a heavy snowfall to take time out for me. The truth is I’m not there yet, but I think just knowing this is a step in the right direction. If you’re like me, and need an excuse to take some time out for you, I suggest you try writing down a list of things that will help you to prioritize your health goals. For my type A friends, think of as a challenge or an assignment. Put it on your calendars and schedule it to make it happen.
In the meantime, I can look forward to six more weeks of winter and finding more opportunities to be be good to myself. I hope you are good to yourself too.
Looking for inspiration? Here is what I think I know so far, inspiration can be found through honest reflection. Think of inspiration as the flip side of personal truth.
The truth from my perspective is, I miss the loss of my in-person #WW workshops. I miss my friends who cheered me on, and whom I was able to support in return. Going to the virtual meetings that WW initially setup for us was disappointing. I found myself comparing the virtual experience to real life, and it came up short every time. What made our Greenlawn Goal Setters so special was the intimacy we shared. Zoom did not feel intimate. Another truth is that I have not felt like I have had much inspiration to offer my friends, and that has been very hard. But through sheer effort of sticking with this, I finally have some inspiration to share:
Don’t “Go it alone”
Everything about maintaining healthy habits for life, and being successful with weight loss is either hard or to say the least – COMPLEX! Community has always played a major role with my healthy living/weight loss success, and #covid-19 or no, I need it to play a role in my future. I tried a new virtual group today with a new intention. My intention was to lift my preconceptions, and to be open to change. The virtual coach, Marianne, has maintained a 100 pound weight loss since 1991. That does inspire me. The other part of this is, she is a leader here on Long Island. She not not close to where I live, but when I am ready, I can go and reclaim my lifetime status. It was a good experience, and if any of my Greenlawn friends are reading this, the meeting was 10:00 am Saturday. It would be great to “see” you there.
Rethinking a Successful Week…
Weighing in last week was really hard. Assigning the real number to my #covid-19 #setback was a bitter pill. Yes, I took my medicine but now I get to enjoy the benefits a bonafide loss on the scale. Losing weight matters here. My goal is to lose weight and reclaim better health. Now I know how much have to lose to get back to goal, and really, it is a relief. I didn’t gain back all my weight, and what did gain back is manageable to lose. Here is the important part, the number on the scale is not the “reward” of my efforts it is an outcome of staying on plan, moving more, and making a personal commitment to change. The empowerment of my personal choices is the reward. So if I don’t lose weight and there will be weeks ahead where I do not, it doesn’t change the reward. Do you understand what I am saying? I hope so because it may prove helpful to your weight loss/wellness efforts.
Thanks for reading, and reaching out. It means a lot.
Working through lunch was a bad idea. I was so busy and it was so cold outside that I didn’t want to stop to eat lunch in my car. I ate my sandwich on the ride home, and by then I was famished.
Dealing with pressure and coping with stress. There is a lot of work to do get services up and going for students. That, and there are many #COVID19 cases everywhere, and I am very afraid of catching it.
The healing power of a home cooked meal. When I came home from work, my daughter had prepared a delicious turkey breast, with gravy mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. The whole family ate dinner around the table and it was a special way to end a long day.
In the end, it was a good day on plan. I am rolling over two SmartPoints and that feels pretty great. I am relearning how to roll with the ups and downs of living a life on plan and thee is no place I’d rather be.
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.
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.