Happiness Happens…

At my last WW workshop we talked about happiness. I think WW must be a fan of Shawn Achor. He gives a compelling TED Talk about the secret to happiness. If you haven’t watched this, watch it. It’s very entertaining and he shares important research about positive psychology.

Anyway, during my workshop session, I started thinking about all the people, places, and events that make me happy to think about. I could tell you stories about all of these things. There is so much about life to be stressed out about, isn’t there? Instead, why not think about about the parts of life that bring or have brought about feelings of love, security, and joy?

Weight gain comes a great cost. My health and wellness are dependent on my success. I am on this weight loss journey so I can be my best healthiest version of myself. That doesn’t just mean smaller sizes, it also means feeling confident, having energy, and exercising control. I encourage you to try creating one of these picture galleries. They are a great reminder to safeguard your why.

Some good food…

A Daily Challenge…

My niece posted this picture today on Instagram. I really like it I think it could be a fun challenge do for the week:

I spent some time indulging my hobbies today: writing, reading, drawing.

Working the Environment 101…

Today was a big day for getting ready for the week. I did a lot of work optimizing my environment for weight loss success. Having the right food in the house is the first and maybe the most important thing.

Here is another pro tip, it’s very important to try new foods. Who knew? But I really enjoy Quinoa as an alternative to Oatmeal. The good thing about Quinoa is that it offers protein, and it left me feeling satisfied for hours.

One cup of Quinoa is 6 sp. I could have been easily be satisfied with 1/2 cup for 3sp. The fruit has a 0 sp. balance and it was a very satisfying lunch.

Organizing spaces to create an environment that supports my weight loss goals is a good exercise. As I inventoried my kitchen tools, I thought about what I’m using and how they are helping me. I also thought about what I’m not using and whether I’m missing an opportunity. These are the tools I have to work with:

Then I got choppin’. There is not time like the present to get ready when it comes to food prep. For me, it helps to do it right away, that way I don’t forget about all though healthy fruits and vegetables that the bulk of shopping money goes to:

After all that work, I was pretty hungry. I had a late breakfast/early lunch with the Quinoa at 11:40 am, so I made myself a little lunch/ snack thing at 3:30 pm:

4 sp. Almonds 3 sp. Baby Bell cheese 1 sp. So good!

This is what living life on plan looks like. It’s a good mental check for me since I’ve been at this for a while. Here is my WW Recovery Checklist This tool is helping me to stay centered, and to continue to strengthen the good habits that have made weight loss possible for me:

Recovery Checklist…

So I did the thing that every WW member dreads when it hasn’t been a good week on plan – I weighed in. This is it, weighing in (even when it’s been a rough week) is part of the process. On the flip side, now I’ll know how great I did next week after it’s been a great week on plan. I’m not going into this empty handed. Great weeks on plan do not just happen – they are very intentional. So I created a tool to strengthen and monitor the healthy habits that enabled me to lose 93 pounds. It’s called, Getting to Goal WW Recovery Checklist. Since everyone likes FREE stuff, if you want a copy for yourself click here.

If you know me then, you know, I like research. As part of this tool, I explain what each habit is and provide links to articles and studies that bear out why these habits are important for weight loss success. It was a good exercise for me because doing this centered me and made me feel empowered. I really like to create tools and try them out. If I monitor these habits this week, I will learn what I’m doing well, and that information will help me to plan for what I really want – I want to be back to Lifetime status.

On a side note…

In keeping with my Superhero theme – my son thought of this one and I laughed out loud and thought well I have to make it:

What Superhero’s Know…

I woke up this morning and thought, “If I were a superhero, what would my powers be? “

  1. Bounce Back: I am resilient, no matter what life sends me I keep at it and figure out ways to recover after setbacks.
  2. Mindset Maneuvers: I am self aware of the importance of mindset and am able to make critical adjustments when needed.
  3. Insight Initiator: I value the wisdom of others, and I want to give back wisdom whenever I can. I’m stronger with my community.
  4. Longevity Learning: I value continued education (in all aspects of life) and I experience real joy when I’m learning something new and I apply my learning to my life.
  5. Opportunity Opener: I actively look for opportunities in life. I find examples of beauty in the everyday. If I think of things I am always able to feel a sense of gratitude for the things I already have.
Believe it…

Blogging is a funny thing. It captures the writer’s voice over time, it’s a glimpse into the writer’s day-to-day life. I received a notification that a reader “liked” this post: Day Three Hundred-Fifty. I wrote this post almost exactly a year ago. As I read my own words back to myself, it was though I was reliving past motivation.

It’s no secret I’ve been traveling a rocky road in terms of weight loss and maintenance for a while. Now more than ever, I feel as though I’m at a crossroad in my journey. I feel as if, now is the critical moment, the choices I made now will set a course for my mission’s success or failure. That is certainly the way it works in the movies, but… real life isn’t a movie and my choices are not that simple. It’s not one choice I have to make but a myriad of choices everyday, over time that make the difference when it comes to weight loss. Despite this daunting truth, I have decided that I am going to be my own real life superhero.

I am going to believe that I am stronger than I think I am right now and I’m going to keep going. I will crush it one choice at a time. Join me, suit up and tap into your inner strengths. We can do this.

Everyday…

Maybe the most difficult part of being on a weight loss journey is that it’s a journey without ending. It’s a journey full of making choices, and attempting to grow awareness and it’s something I have to work on everyday.

Each day holds opportunities that will either help or hinder my goals. Go to a spin class, decide prep foods, smart grocery shopping, eat a lower point choice instead of a cookie. These are the kinds of decisions that will get me where I want to be.

Workshop Wisdom…

Purposeful planning is what has been sticking with me all day. It was a topic of conversation this morning, and I think it’s a good subject for me to explore. Planning and control are a powerful combo. Knowing when and how to exercise control, and how to set up the environment to make weight loss goals doable is worth thinking about.

My vacation away was a good example of how to exercise control. I made an intentional choice to embrace experiences as they happened. I didn’t want to restrict myself; so, I didn’t say “No” to blueberry pie and ice cream (Oh yum, if you head up to Maine have some). I didn’t really want to worry about Wifi connections and take myself out of experiences so I could track all the food I ate. I wasn’t distracted by that internal dialogue about food that can take such a toll. Instead, I decided to feel free to and to be out in the world. I was completely present. These choices don’t make me a failure, I think they made me wise. I experienced it all, and I had so much fun.

Now, I’m home, and I have decided to totally embrace the plan in the same way that I was right before my trip. Before the trip, I had lost weight and felt like I had some momentum going. Now I feel ready to keep that going. I did gain this week, but not much and I’m fine with that. I am hoping I have a big loss next week, but either way, I’m good.

Purposeful planning has a lot to do with knowing yourself. An important question to ask, what do you need to be successful? Everything I need I can make happen:

  1. Buy a variety of foods that are prepped and ready to go.
  2. Keep a clean kitchen with easy access to containers and tools.
  3. Bedtime habits that ensure a good night’s sleep.
  4. Taking time to be active each day.
  5. Daily reflection or mediation that help keep me centered.

Think about how you can exercise control that gives you an advantage. Think about how you can take steps to implement some purposeful planning. This would be a very good start to achieve weight loss success. Think about who you are and what you really want. You are worth the work.

Back On Plan…

Ok, so I did not make my goal for being on plan and still enjoying vacation. I ate whatever I wanted, and I did not track any of it. I even let vacation behaviors drift into my routines once I got home. Now I’m done with that. How do I know? I was active, tracked my food, and am writing this post. I’m going to weigh in tomorrow because as I’ve written in the past, it’s an important part of my process.

Vacation was a lot of fun. I really needed to get away, and I’m grateful that we were able to make that happen this year. It’s not always true for us, and that is a sad truth. This blog is dedicated to health and wellness, and it’s really it’s so important to get leisure time with family and friends. Yet for many of us, it’s so hard to make this happen. Being outdoors impacts everything from lowering stress, to strengthening the immune system. Check this out:

– boosts the immune system
– lowers blood pressure
– reduces stress
– improves mood
– increases focus,
– accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
– increases energy level
– improves sleep

Read More: https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html

I had some momentum before going away, and now I know I’ve gained this past week. I do feel strong and ready to get back on track. I know I need a plan to make my resolve take root. Here is my plan:

  1. Track all my food, weigh and measure my portion sizes.
  2. Eat mindfully and be present when making decisions about food.
  3. Get activity each day.
  4. Don’t hang out in close proximity to the kitchen.
  5. Name my feelings as I feel them.
  6. Go to workshops, participate, and get weighed.
  7. Stay hydrated.
  8. Look for beauty every day and try to capture it.
  9. Welcome and look for opportunities to be creative each day.
  10. Embrace bedtime routines/get at least six to seven hours of sleep.

This is my plan, if it helps you too that makes me very happy. I am back and ready to commit myself to my health and wellbeing. Sure, I could decide to feel badly that I have (without a doubt) gained weight this week. But I don’t. I am living my life, and that is not something to feel badly about. There is always room for improvement, and that is what the list is all about. Growing, learning, and loving myself.

I can do this, how about you? I hope you believe in yourself, and if you don’t I hope you talk to someone who does. Believing in yourself is a huge part of weight loss success. Think on that and make a plan. Share it with someone you care about. More tomorrow.

Roadtrip!

We hit the road and are officially on vacation. Driving down ribbons of highways, my first impression of Maine is that it is very remote, wild, and beautiful.

I made some healthy food choices for the car ride, but blew all my SmartPoints on ice cream (that was totally worth it) later on.

It wouldn’t be Maine without a nice lobster dinner. So we ate at a restaurant called C-Ray Lobster it is a family owned, roadside experience, and if you’re going to Bar Harbor, you’ll have a nice time and eat some delicious lobster!

I plan on doing whatever I want but holding myself accountable to tracking. I ended the day using 37 SmartPoints (29 of them was for the ice cream but again, so worth it). No pictures to share of that, but I’m sure we will go back.

Day Nineteen…

I am down 2.2 pounds! This is pretty exciting since I weighed in three days early. I am taking a trip this week, and so I made it a point to get to a WW studio this morning. Finally, some traction! Fresh starts, can be especially challenging when it comes to long lasting routines, and sometimes you’ve just got to shake it up.

Preparing food and thinking ahead feels like control. I have decided I’m going just embrace that good feeling and make the most of it. Who knows why it took so long to get my rhythm back, the thing that matters is that I didn’t give up. As I read that last sentence back, I realize that sounds trite, but it’s the truth. It really would have been easy to keep sliding backwards. The horrible truth about that is each slide back makes it a little bit harder to get back on track.

So think about what you can do to help yourself. Here are some options:

  1. Clean out your kitchen, and get rid of unhelpful foods.
  2. Decorate your dining area with something you enjoy. Fresh flowers, new placemats, or glassware can make it so pleasant.
  3. Burn some fragrant candles like apple, peppermint, or citrus that make you feel good.
  4. Get some fun containers, use your fancy bowls and put healthy food choices where you will see them first.
  5. Leave some “love notes” to yourself reminding you how everything you are doing is to reach your goals.
  6. Try something new: fruit, vegetables, recipe, and eat mindfully really experiencing it. What did you like? What didn’t you like?
  7. Write out the SmartPoints values on single servings.
  8. Mix and match your snacks. Like have a cup of cherries with 1/3 cup of pistachios a nice sweet and salty snack for 3 sp.
  9. Get a variety of seltzer water flavors squeeze some lemon, lime, pineapple or orange slices to make a colorful and refreshing drink to sip on during these warm summer months.
  10. Wind down at the end of the day with a nice cup of soothing hot tea. It will take some time to drink and you can use that time to do something relaxing that you enjoy

Keep working on you. Don’t give up even if you’re having a rough time. If you’re on an upswing, help someone out by lending them some of your strength. Be good to yourself, and be good to others. You got this.