It took a while to get the hang of my habit tracker.
Don’t give up, just keep coming back, and before you know it you’ll be doing actually doing what you set out to do!
Embarking on a weight loss journey means one is attempting to redefine how a person will live life. For me, weight loss means being able to move more freely, with less pain. Anyone who has experienced pain in daily life would tell you that relief from pain is life-changing! Weight loss reduces the strain on my heart, and might fend off diabetes. So when I write about the significance of my own personal journey, I am not making any judgments on how anyone decides to live their life. This journey is for me alone.
Knowing why a weight loss journey matters to you is very important. When you can define why you want to lose weight, you can also begin to understand what is driving your motivation, and your knowing where motivation comes from, will predict how you experience the day-to-day work of weight loss. We already know that most times, change is a slow process. Weight loss requires a lot of work upfront before feeling the impact of those efforts. It is usually even slower for other people around you to notice. Are you motivated by the product, losing weight; or, are you motivated by the process of learning about yourself?
When motivation is tied to an outcome, weight loss only, it is evidence of a product mindset. When motivation is generated by accomplishing smaller goals leading toward a larger goal, it is evidence of a process mindset. A product mindset is fixed – there is either success or failure. Success is only tied to the number on the scale. A process mindset is predicated on growth, meaning there is an ebb and flow for learning and reflection through accomplishing or learning from smaller goals.
I am a process girl all the way. For the most part that is a good thing I think. I am happy and content to hit my daily goals while I keep working to hit “goal”. Although, I do have to be careful not to get too lax on the journey. When the process is what matters, the rate of weight loss becomes less important, and I think that is something to watch. In the end, I do want the product – to get to my goal weight, and I really don’t want it to take too long. However, I also don’t want to achieve it at the expense of experiencing joy. I do want to celebrate all the milestones along the way, and I don’t want to miss out on all the fun that the holidays and summer vacation brings with them. I want to make my life betters, and I want to experience my life right now.
Healthy people eat mindfully, work out, and stay hydrated, they know how to use moderation when it comes to food. How do they do it? Habits. The habits we keep reveal our real selves to the world. Well, I hate to burst the bubble but this is old news! If you belong to WW we talk about habits all the time.
Success is not about knowing that habits create systems for weight loss. Success comes from knowing how to establish and keep habits. What if one day, you made a commitment to a daily water goal? What if the next week, you made a commitment to weigh yourself once a day? What if the week after that you added keeping a food diary? Then, what if you got a fitness monitor and decided to do some kind of activity (even if it was just for 10 minutes) every day? You would lose weight.
If weight loss is what you’re after give this some serious thought. Maybe you need a visual reminder – leave a note to initiate your habits. It might be that you need an auditory cue – set an alarm.
You can do this, and I hope you know that I am here rooting you on! Do someone a solid, and a cheerleader for them too. The success of others is worth celebrating even if you’re not there yet. Kindness is a magnet it brings us together.
Here is a moment from my day to celebrate. Instead of ordering out with the girls, I ate the lunch I packed from home. The great part is that I didn’t feel as though I missed out on anything. I really enjoyed eating with my friends, and I still stayed on track. There have been times when it wouldn’t go this way. I felt good because my health and wellness journey is important to me. I want to make a positive impact on my life and it’s working. I feel better, even if sometimes it’s difficult, I am proud of myself for maintaining my resolve.
February 18, 2023, was fourteen weeks ago. I have worked out every day for the past 14 weeks. In that time we have changed seasons, moving from winter and are headed toward the end of spring. I can (mostly) keep up with my Peloton classes, and I feel much stronger and more fit and that feels like progress. At the same time, I feel like all the extra weight I am carrying around with me, has amassed in my torso. So while I feel my muscles working I also feel like they are completely submerged in excess fat. So even though I feel good when I’m working out, I’m also a little bummed out.
Now, I find myself asking lots of questions like: Why did I let myself gain so much weight back? How long will it take to not feel so heavy? When will I see a decrease in my waist size? None of these questions are very helpful but this blog is a place, to be honest, and these are thoughts I’m having today. I would rather share them, and look at them than let them keep playing unchecked in my head. I think by reflecting on these negative thoughts, I can disempower them and relegate them to the background instead of letting them have center stage.
None of these feelings steal my joy of working out every day. I am so happy I am making time to do that and the habit is well-established now. There are ups and downs on a weight loss journey (hahaha I just read that back) but you know what I mean. Feelings are fleeting and the most important thing to do, when dealing with negativity, is to be honest about it – feel the feels and keep going.
Members of Weight Watchers know about “blue dot days”. Blue dots represent a range of points (all foods have specific point values) and when members eat within that range (a healthy eating zone) the day turns blue. It’s just another way to gather some formative information on the journey to lose weight:
I am living my life, and I’m losing weight. It really can be done. Sunday was Mother’s Day and for me, that meant using up all my extra weekly points (we get a set number of weekly points to use at our discretion). Then on Wednesday, I went over my daily allotment of points too, and that’s ok too. I’m not interested in feeling deprived or disappointed; but, this doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all either. I am learning how to (I just can’t help myself) have my cake and eat it too.
Did you notice the wording on today’s mission? “Try” to meditate for 10 minutes. Meditation is one of those practices that continue to elude me. I want to meditate because I believe it would be good for me. It is a frequent guest on my habit tracker, I moved it from a daily habit to a weekly one, and I think it may get another demotion to a monthly status.
I did meditate this morning. I used my Peloton app to do a “Morning Meditation” (for 5 minutes). When it was done, I felt a sense of energy and calm. Walking down the stairs I felt completely conscious of my surroundings. I felt the benefit of doing it, so why don’t I do it more often? I can’t say. Even though I am an intermittent (that’s being REALLY generous) meditator, I recommend it.
Satisfaction can come from many sources. Yesterday’s, mission was to search for beauty in nature. Today, the mission was to breathe deeply for one minute. These two challenges seem to dovetail perfectly.
If you have been blessed to be a mother, or are a special woman, who is making a difference in the lives of others, I honor you today. I can think of no better challenge than to ask you to give yourself a compliment. Be intentional, and use your internal voice (you know the voice that is often critical or worrisome) for something good today. This challenge is something you are doing just for yourself. If you want it to be private, yes. If you want to share it with someone else, yes. If you want to post it in the comments for other readers to see, yes. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself is the whole point.
If only this post’s featured image was my kitchen. It comes from a beautiful blog called, The Spruce. What is it about looking at organized spaces that are so appealing? Perhaps it has something to do with the brain and patterns (the brain LOVES patterns). Maybe it has something to do with exercising control over the environment. Or could it be the appeal of having others think, “Wow, she really has her life all figured out.” Ha!
Whatever the reason, I do love an organized space. Yet, I’m the kind of person who, when she is working, makes a big mess. I pull things out, I make piles, and I don’t always make the best choices for how to store things away. My goal is to declutter one cabinet in my kitchen. I decided on one cabinet because I don’t really want to spend hours doing this, and I don’t want to feel overwhelmed. This is a doable goal for me, and if all goes well, I will do another cabinet tomorrow. Maybe.
Why the kitchen? Since I have been so engaged with my weight loss journey, my kitchen has been taking a beating with all the COOKING I’ve been doing. I actually do like to cook, and I do enjoy the food I make. I enjoy it when I have the time, I’m not too exhausted from working all day, and when I can find everything I need. So mostly, I enjoy cooking on the weekends and during the summer when I work a little less. In the meantime, I still have to cook on all those other days, and if I am a bit more organized I think it will help me.
Simply, having small doable goals brings me joy. Small goals also spark momentum. Having a sense of momentum is especially important when you have a lot of weight to lose. I say this because a successful weight-loss journey relies on habits that form a network of predictable systems. I think of these daily challenges as a way to mix it up.