Day Three Hundred Thirty-Eight…

I am a fan of Seth’s Blog. He is a marketer who writes these informative, brief, and entertaining posts that almost always make me think. There was a post I read this time last year called, The management of whales. A “whale” is a term that describes an online gamer who plays so much more than a typical player. When it comes to Weight Watchers, am I a “whale?” I do take advantage of everything they offer. The reason why “whales” need to be managed is that no company could sustain a client base in which everyone was a “whale”. Think about it how would it work if everyone at a Weight Watchers sat in meetings in a “free seat” that just wouldn’t work!

Free Seat

No worries, getting into the free seat is proving challenging.  However, “whales” really help a company too. They can generate a larger customer base for a company. People see my weight loss, they know I’m a Weight Watcher, and that persuades them to join.  It’s true I take advantage of everything Weight Watchers offers. However,  I also tell everyone that my 85.4-pound weight loss came to fruition because I dedicated myself to Weight Watchers’ program. I guess I am a “whale”.  So, how serious are you about weight loss journey to better health? If you are a Weight Watcher like me, do you take full advantage of the program?

#SelfLoveChallenge

Today’s challenge was to remove visible clutter from desks and surfaces. I really appreciated this task. Since I’ve been working all summer writing lessons I have been living amongst piles and piles of picture books. That’s a lot of clutter and I can handle it for a while but I have to confess it was making me feel overwhelmed. The truth of the matter is all the work I’ve been busy doing is – overwhelming at times. Organizing the work into more manageable bits does, in a manner of speaking “take the weight off.” It’s a relief not to see the piles of books waiting for lessons. I know I still have to complete the work; however, not seeing the piles does elevate some internal pressure.

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Seven…

What are five things you are grateful for?  That is the focus for today’s #SelfLoveChallenge. I tried to pick simple things that I am grateful for. Gratitude is not limited to the big stuff like family and friends. They are the people who fill your life and keep you going. For this challenge, I wanted to remind myself of all the small stuff that is easily overlooked.

Taking things for granted is the enemy of weight loss. This is a long process, and changing behaviors is difficult. The thing is we want behavior changes to go “underground” so we don’t have to constantly be thinking about the need to track food – we just track it. I think it’s a good idea to give myself a pat on the back to remind me that I’ve come a long way since last September.  I wonder, what behavior changes have you made that you’re proud of? Celebrate it because if you don’t, who will?

On Saturday, my Weight Watcher leader, Bonnie, suggested that we look up Gary Foster. Dr. Foster is the Chief Science Officer of Weight Watchers  International. Here is a video where he explains the rationale behind the #Freestyle program.  It’s a powerful three-step process:

  1. The SmartPoints formula is designed to encourage healthy food choices that are lower in saturated fats, sugars, and higher in protein. Not all calories are created equal! Some foods are more helpful when it comes to weight loss than others.
  2. Activity is part of the process. Making it a goal to move more and to fit activity into daily life is really important. We don’t have to become athletes in order for this to count start small and be consistent. Move more every day.
  3. Self-care (or fulfillment) is essential because it makes weight loss easier. We can fill ourselves up with good feelings about ourselves. Do some things that make us feel good and strengthen the connection to ourselves.

Reflecting on NSV’s WW Freestyle Pamphlet (pg3)

  1. Think about three things that have changed since you’ve started your journey, besides your weight:
    1. I have greater choice when selecting clothes to wear.
    2. I am no longer breathless when climbing stairs or during physical activity.
    3. I enjoy eating healthy foods
  2. For each of these changes reflect on how they’ve benefited your journey.
    1. Now that I have more choice when it comes to clothing  I feel more confident because I like the way I look.
    2. I have so much more energy and that feels so good. It feels good because I feel like I did when I was younger.
    3. Since I enjoy eating healthy foods, I know this is a lifestyle that I can maintain which makes this so much better.
  3. How does it feel to reflect on and celebrate these non-scale victories?
    1. I feel in control. Having a sense of control over a part of my life that has been historically difficult has put me in touch with my sense of power. I have a great sense of agency that I am the one who is making the weight loss happen and that is the best feeling.

Final Thoughts…

Question: What did doing this exercise do for me? 

Answer: Even though I didn’t get the result I wanted on the scale this week, I feel great about me. I encourage you to try this because it helps to build yourself up. We need all the strength we can muster if we are going to see this journey through to the ultimate goal. Make today a great one! 

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Six…

I gained .4 pounds this week and that’s ok. This is a process and these fluctuations are to be expected. I feel really healthy and my measurements are less than they were even a week ago. That is my rational mind. There is also a small childish part of me who says, “No fair I did everything I could to make up for cake and ice cream choices I made. This is taking forever.” That is my emotional mind. The reality is weight loss takes time, effort, and patients. This is the way it has to go for me. I can only do my best and hopefully, next week will yield better results on the scale.

img_3825.jpg

Today’s Weight Watcher meeting focused on what it means to have a Non-Scale-Victory (NSV).  Owning my real feelings about this week’s small gain and moving on from it without sabotaging myself is an NSV for me. Even now, with all of the behavior changes I have put into place, this acknowledgment of my true feelings is an NSV because there is a very unrealistic part of me that wants what it wants. It’s easy to find comfort in food but I don’t want that to be my story anymore.

NSVSo if you’re on the journey, and you are feeling like it’s never going to happen this is the time where you have to lean in and say, “This is is a process and in time I will get what I really want. I really want to get to goal.” If wanting to get to goal is real for you, that will be enough to get you through your disappointment. Honor every feeling you have, don’t try to ignore what your thinking, and talk back to any disappointment you may be feeling, remind yourself of all that you’ve accomplished up to this point.  This is hard, but you can do it and so can I.

#SelfLoveChallenge Update

DAY 4: Take four “mini breaks” today just to breathe deeply for two minutes and be in the moment. Focus on what your body feels like: Is it tired? Are there areas that are tense? Try to relax, if the answer is yes.

I did one of these so far today. I felt some pressure at the base of my head into my neck.  I also felt a little pressure under my shoulder blade on my right side.  It felt good to be still and try to break up the tensions I was feeling. At one point it felt like a long time had passed even though I had my phone time set for two minutes.  I think this is worth doing because it strengthens my ability o be mindful and present. Try it for yourself, let me know what you found. More tomorrow, as always thank you for reading these posts.

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Five…

It’s the night before weigh-in and I have a little celebration. My measurements have gone down, and I am at the very top end of “Moderate Risk” this is a big deal to me. The reason why I am not at goal already is that I want to improve my health. Waist to Hip Ratio

Today’s #selflovechallenge was to name three things that I will do today that are fun. Since I’m still getting better from my pulled muscles in my neck – physical fun is really not on the table. This is what I did for fun today:

  1. Take a nap with Sadie…
  2. Cook something new…
  3. Watch a movie…

It was peaceful napping with Sadie, the burritos came out awesome (I used ground 98% fat-free chicken) 6sp for two of them.  Everyone loved them too and that is another celebration.  The movie choice was at my son’s suggestion. That is one of our things, we both enjoy Sci-Fi.

Will the scale be kind tomorrow? I hope so, but the truth is I don’t know. There were two days that were outside of my healthy eating zone. I was not able to go to spin classes, and I am ending the week with only 14 Rollover Points left in my bank. I usually have a lot more points. I ate ice cream and cake, and I ate out twice. So it’s quite possible that I may have gained weight. I’d be lying if I said I don’t care, but in the end, it is what it is.  The important thing is to face it and own the result.

I am a mere human who is doing her best to get to goal. There are hard days and other days are easy.  There is no secret to this, there is just dedication and patients.  I can do this, and so can you.

 

 

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Four…

I have decided to participate in a Weight Watchers Challenge. You may be thinking, why participate in a challenge?  For me, challenges are a way to stay engaged in this process. So much of the effort that is required to maintain this lifestyle may become invisible. What I mean to say is this, the changes I’ve made since embarking on this journey are becoming second nature. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have to be intentional.

Every day I set a new intention to rededicate myself to this cause. I want to get to goal and make these changes long-lasting ones that will continue to improve the quality of my life. It’s scary to think about all the people who start this journey only to peter out and give up. I don’t want that to ever be my story. One way to avoid that fate is to have a caring group of others who understand how hard it can be to lose weight or maintain weight loss. Having a community to share with a powerful resource.  One that I grateful for and one I’d like to extend here.

This blog is here for you. I am here to tell you even if you have a small amount of weight or a lot of weight to lose you can do this! Here are five insights that are helping me today:

  1. Begin by believing that you can do this.
  2. Keep the momentum going by saying yes to some things and no to others.
  3. Be realistic know that while you may eat whatever you want there are sensible limits to all food choices.
  4. Activity should be joyful not a chore.
  5. Practicing #selflove is not being selfish. You are worthy of great care and attention always.

What is the #SelfLoveChallenge?

I have updated my Tips & Tools page to include these resources if you are interested in taking on this challenge as well!

Day 1: I put myself first by taking time to think through this challenge by writing each day out on this calendar. I think this challenge will be helpful because it gives me something to look forward to each day.

Day 2: One thing I’m really proud of since joining Weight Watchers are the healthy eating habits that I’ve established. It’s not easy to change behaviors when it comes to food.  And, it’s really unfair because it’s SO easy to fall back into bad habits like eating instead of dealing with emotions. Having this awareness is priceless to me. 

#selflovechallengeWeight Watchers -Wellbeing – 30 Day Self-Love Challenge

 

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Three…

The summertime is made for grilling. I grilled wild salmon and rib eye steaks for dinner. I ate the salmon and I’m told that the steaks were very tasty too. It was a rough day when it comes to food choices. However, I did end today with one point to spare and that speaks to my dedication to my weight loss goals. I ate 10 points in ice cream. I knew when I made the choice to eat those points today would be a challenge. Some days the ice cream wins out and that’s just way it goes.

Words of Wisdom

Strengthening good habits and making better food choices is the thing that will get me to goal. My small goal for this week is to end it strong. I only have 5 Smart Points left in my bank. If I rollover points tomorrow and Friday I will have 13 by the end of the week. These little goals are so helpful.  They keep me engaged with my new lifestyle they make me feel like I’m making progress. I would love to weigh in and be in a new weight range. As of last week, I’m only 2 pounds away.

Summer Flowers red

It’s not about the numbers, it’s about me and my choices. I do believe that the numbers play a role in this. I do want to lose weight… they do offer validation that my efforts that are generating results.  The tricky part is not letting myself get overly involved with numbers on the scale, rollover points., or measurements. The numbers are a yes/no thing the real work in doing this is not that simple. So as I end today I am proud that I stayed in my healthy eating zone, and that I took this time to reflect on my choices.  Reflection is the key that unlocks this process. Take some time to care for yourself. You are worth it.

 

 

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Two…

One of the reasons I joined Weight Watchers is that their program is rooted in scientific research. It is built to sustain life-long behavior changes when it comes to eating right and getting active.  A benefit of the program is that we receive a Freestyle publication that shares research and insights into weekly topics. Our topic this week is self-esteem.

Self-esteem

Having a healthy self-esteem helps with weight loss. The sad part of this equation is that we tend to have lower self-esteem just when we need it most! There is certainly a lot of judgment and prejudices embedded in our society when it comes to weight. I have been on both ends, and have experienced it first hand. People treated me differently when I was 85.8 pounds heavier. It is heartbreaking and it is true. I am thinking that is why Weight Watchers Science Team coined the phrase “weight independent self-esteem.”  It is essential that we all value ourselves for who we are not what we weigh.

Years ago I read Geneen Roth’s book, Women, Food, and God An Unexpected Path to Almost Anything. Her book had a profound impact on me.  I’m annoyed too because I lent it to someone who never gave it back The thing is I am struck by how many lessons I learned about myself reading that book  Things have stuck with me even though I wasn’t fully ready to understand her message until now. Read the book  My top three lessons I learned:

  1. Stop taking what I already have for granted.
  2. Food is not a time machine to bring me back to happier days.
  3. Get out my head and into my body; be appreciative for what it does for me every day.

It’s no wonder that Geneen’s work has had an influence on Oprah too:

If you want to improve your self-esteem here is an exercise I learned this week:

  1. Focus on someone who cares about you.
  2. Examine that person for a minute – how they look, what they sound like, eye color, height, imagine this person smiling at you, personality…
  3. Ask, What makes this person special to me? Then observe how you feel.
  4. Ask, How does that person see me?  List all the things that you do that makes your special person appreciate you. You are so worthy of love and self-caring!

These are suggestions from Weight Watchers. Why not try them? There is nothing to lose and maybe a lot to gain. My wish for you is that you have a successful day on the journey!

Day Three Hundred Thirty-One…

My featured image was from Friday night. We went into Northport Village, some friends of ours were playing music in the park. I saw people who I haven’t seen in a while, and they were blown away by my physical transformation. I’ve looked this way for a while, and although I am so happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish, it’s easy to forget how much I’ve changed. It’s funny how quickly the human body adapts.

Let them eat Cake
This is a lemon bundt cake was so delicious! I had a slice yesterday during my birthday celebration yesterday. I went into my weekly points and that is exactly

I’m trying to channel some good feelings because I had to stay home today from work, I pulled the muscles in my neck and have been in (a lot of) pain all day. Being down physically is demoralizing the very next day after my 50th birthday! It’s just a reminder that I am a mere mortal and I am grateful this is not an everyday occurrence. I’m trying to look at the bright side and at least I’m at a point where it’s possible to write this post.

Words of Wisdom

I may be daydreaming about the scrumptious lemon pound cake (that I threw away after the party) but I’m not eating it and that’s a big deal. In the past, it was easy to spread out my party celebration eating into the next day, week, or it had the potential trigger a total weight loss setback. That is months and months of care and attention to making behavior changes in how I approach food. This did not happen overnight and it’s not like it’s something I don’t have to work at. That might sound too hard, but I do feel so much better about myself this way. For me, it always comes home to one question, “What do I really want? I really want to get to goal.” 

So, I wonder, what do you really want? This is a good question to think on. When you know the answer everything else becomes clear.

Day Three Hundred Thirty…

It’s my birthday and I’m celebrating with gratitude. I have written notes of appreciation to give to family, friends, really anyone who is helping me to grow. I wrote notes to my husband and children. I wrote notes to my siblings and their spouses, I wrote notes to friends who are always there for me. My heart is so full and I have nothing but love today, and that is a pretty wonderful birthday gift.  If you want to feel a sense of wellbeing and happiness write a note of gratitude to someone who has made a difference in your life.

Birthday

I want to thank those of you who read this blog, and to the 41 others who have decided to join me on this journey. We can do this together because we all deserve to live our lives in the bodies we want.