Count Your Blessings

Weight loss is not easy, and this is especially challenging during the holidays. Stress abounds all around us. For some, the holiday season is a magical time of year a backdrop for happy memories to unfold. For others, this time of year is a terrible struggle. As for the rest of us, the holidays are a mixed bag of highs and lows. Try to remember this, no matter where you are on that spectrum, kindness to each other helps to even our varied perspectives on this season of hope, peace, and joy.

I am not really tethered to my goals and I am reaching for what is convenient rather than what is a better choice on plan. I really want to get it together. Yesterday I wrote some goals that were not specific enough. So here is my redo:

  • I will track breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • I will use the Peloton 3 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes each time
  • I will continue to write daily posts and I promise to tell the truth

I’m doing this, not to stress myself out. Instead, I am doing it to help myself to recover. I love myself, and I want to be healthy. I want to feel good. I want to look good too. I have to believe that I can do it because I have a lot of people who depend on me and I want to be the best version of myself.

I’m a Believer

Half of the battle of weight loss is believing that that you can do it. It all seems so impossible at first. Sometimes it takes a while to catch on to the habits of healthy eating and regular exercise, but when it clicks, it becomes second nature. It’s really so strange the way it works, but the take-away here is that it does work.

I can’t say that it has clicked for me yet. I just really want to get through the holidays without gaining (more) weight. I am going to focus on tracking and I’m going to start a regular routine for spinning. I can do that and it is going to feel amazing when I make it happen. What are you ready to try?

A Change in Plans

If weight loss were a destination its route would not be a straight shot from one place to the next. I would involve lots of stops along the way for directions, with plenty of wrong turns. This is a journey, and even when things don’t go as planned, it’s worth remembering that engagement means something. This was not a perfect weekend for me on plan. I went to lunch with one of my kids, and I didn’t track it. We had pizza for dinner, and now I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach. Tomorrow is another day and (with some effort and care on my part) be a better day.

Yes It’s Real Love

How many hours have I spent wrapping gifts? I can’t even begin to guess. I carefully select the paper (making sure to keep it varied). Then I find the right-sized box, tuck the gift in, folding over tissue paper to suspend the delight of the recipient for just a moment more. During the good times, we always want to hold a moment just a little bit longer, knowing that this space in time is one of many fleeting moments that make up our lives.

I think the reason why the holidays present such a challenge for so many of us trying to lose weight is that nostalgia is all wrapped up in the traditional foods we eat. My sister makes my grandmother’s eggplant parmesan and it is out of-this-world delicious. I make my mom’s spaghetti aglio which is quite good too. All of it comes hot from the kitchen with a message attached, “I love you, I’m here to care for you. Family, this is who we are, let’s have a great time.” So it goes, another glass of wine, one more cookie… anything, just let’s let this moment linger before it’s gone forever.

This is life, and if I can’t indulge in these moments then there is something seriously wrong. At WW today we talked about strategies for how to be in the moment so we don’t go overboard. One member spoke very eloquently about how she is selective and chooses that one cookie that looks really good. Another spoke so wisely about how she savors the food to fully experience it. These are good tips, and I for one plan of keeping them in my back pocket to use when the time comes.

So, in the meantime, my friends, “Eat, drink, and be merry” and remember that real love stems from that our most precious gift; the time we have with each other.

I Did It

Today is the last day for my WW goal. I blogged every day for a week to reflect on my “why.” On one hand, I feel really good about keeping my promise – I set a goal and I achieved it. I tracked every day, I thought about my food choices, and I did not deprive myself. All of these things are a total win. On the other hand, I know I have a long way to go (again) and that can be extremely daunting. It is extremely daunting. This blog has always been a safe place for me to tell the truth and this success this week is a celebration, and it’s also a little bit sad.

I am doing this to improve my health, to have more energy, and to feel better about myself. I am worth this effort, and (if you want to lose weight) so are you. Come on, let’s do it together. This can be the best gift we give to ourselves.

Watching Love Actually tonight looking at the tree and thinking about all the gifts I have to wrap.

One Small Goal at a Time

At the end of each WW meeting, we are asked to share one goal with the group. So, I didn’t really think about it when I volunteered to share my goal of writing daily posts and posting them in the private FB group. After I did it and was on the ride home, I thought about it a little more, sharing this goal would be very public, and anyone would be able to see if I was keeping it or not. It felt accountable – and I think maybe I needed some accountability. I am so glad I shared it with the group. Having a community of others who care about you and your goals makes a big difference.

One more day before this week comes to a close and I accomplish this one small goal. The thing about goals is that they need to be attained if any momentum is going to happen. So I stayed in my “blue dot zone” every day except Tuesday. I recovered from that slip-up, and I feel a little better about this whole process. If you’re like me and on a weight loss journey I hope you are in a good place. If you’re not and reading this blog, know that you’re not alone. This is really hard for so many of us. My advice, for what it’s worth, set one small goal and do your best to stick to it.

Am I Flexible or Fixed?

Today was a lot. I was in for a full day of work and then facilitating after-school professional development. I am always a little nervous when I’m going to present. It’s not because I’m not confident about the content, I always put in the work, meaning, I study and prepare. I get nervous because I really want it to be a great experience for everyone. So, I started the day off right – for me – I made time for breakfast before I left the house.

I packed my lunch carefully. Today there would be no almonds with lunch because I had granola for breakfast. I was going to reserve the apple and the cheese stick for the afternoon. I had a well-thought-out plan. Go me!

The day was going good, beginning with a morning meeting, and teaching – by 11:45 am I was famished. I looked around my desk – no lunch. In my haste to get to school, I must have left it in my car. That was not the case, there was no lunch. I left it at home. I felt overwhelmed, my plan was trashed. Now what?

I went to the deli and bought a small chili, a banana, and a bag of pretzels. I was short on time, and I made hasty choices. Then came the candy. Feeling stressed, I ate two hefty handfuls of candy from the bag set aside for professional development. Instead of having a flexible approach, I fell back into a fixed response. Afterward, I thought, “Well, that sucks.”

By the time the day was over, I was home and it was time for dinner. Today felt like a failure. We went to Chick-fil-A – I got a grilled chicken sandwich and fries. My husband’s meal included the chocolate shake ( I wanted that too – but I didn’t get one ). So there was a bit of redemption.

Today can be a blip in an otherwise strong start back to being on plan or it can be the end of that start and I can kick the can down the road. Will I have a flexible approach or a fixed one? I’m still here, blogging to stay true to my goal. It’s a blip, and I am going to keep trying.

Stop Overthinking It

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.

Learn More…

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Change Agents…

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.

Snow Day 2.0…

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

Then and Now

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:
  • 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.

Icy waters preceding the storm

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.