Day Eight…

I decided I’m going to keep counting days until I get back to goal. I did lose a pound this week, and that is very welcome news. I worked to recapture a beginner’s mind this week. Giving up dessert was a good way to get in touch with those feelings. Insofar as my mindset, gratitude is the word of the day. It’s easy to feel grateful when things are going good isn’t it? However, while it’s always good to be grateful, it’s even more important when times are tough. It is also easy to be grateful for the big things, like my children, my husband, my family, and my friends. I am deeply grateful – they are all the most important people in the world to me, I am so blessed to have these remarkable people in my life. Sometimes, it is important to recognize the less obvious sources that make me feel grateful. These are three small things I’m grateful for:

  • the way the sun comes through my dining room windows.
  • living in a small town close to the water.
  • being able to have this time to reflect and write.

So, yes I am grateful for the biggest blessings but I also don’t want forget the small ones too. I realize that to someone reading this post, it may sound strange to write about gratitude here (since this is a blog about weight loss and maintaining weight loss) but I guess the thing is anything that is difficult to do requires a lot of energy. Energy that comes from gratitude is better than energy that comes from struggle. I aspire to keep a grateful heart no matter what comes my way.

Day Seven…

There is this little specialty shop in the village that sells infused vinegars and oils. The great thing about infused vinegar is that it adds a lot of flavor with 0 sp. and the olive oil is just 4 sp. for a tablespoon. Consider trying some, this is a little helpful tip that keeps things fresh.

Reflect on your week without sugar: What did you learn?

Friday, How Sweet It Is Seven Day No Sugar Challenge

As I reflect on this week, I believe this little challenge saved me. It helped me to get back on track by focusing on one thing, giving up desserts. I think the reason why this worked so well for me is that giving up desserts made me feel less hungry. I really hope I don’t feel frustrated if I don’t lose weight this week. I mean right now I feel empowered and have a great sense of personal satisfaction, and it would be awful if the numbers on the scale took that feeling away from me. I know, I know, I can’t let the numbers rule the day, no matter what it was a great week. I keep reminding myself, I’m doing this for me I am worth it. My hope is that you believe that your are worth it too.

Day Six…

Yesterday a friend confided that that she was missing chocolate and nuts. She decided to give them up because she has been gaining not losing. She works a lot, and they give her an energy burst that keeps her going when she’s tired. However, at the same time she also said, that she feels better now that that they’re off the menu. Her clothes feel looser, she is less hungry. She hates to admit it, but she is probably better off without them. Then, she also went on to say that the Wendy’s salad she has been eating each week on her way to her second job, has 16 SmartPoints! She enjoys the salad, and it is convenient but in no way is worth all those points. When her daughter looked up the salad, it was a real eye opener, and now she is bringing her own salad.

I have been encouraging her to track her foods for a while now, and I guess her WW coach joined the chorus and got her to promise to track this week. She was blown away by at how easy it is to stack up hidden SmartPoints (or calories however you work it) on what seemingly would be healthy options. Nuts, salad, even chocolate (in moderation) are “healthy” options but not if portion sizes are too large, or if they are laden with hidden fat and salt. Awareness is a very important tool that makes a huge difference in the results we get along the way.

Read an article about sugar and respond.


Thursday, How Sweet It Is Seven Day No Sugar Challenge

Ryan Andrews wrote this article, Sugar Daddy: My Year Without Sugar. I found this to be full of information and incite. Rather than summarize the article, because hey you can read for yourself. I would rather explore the parts that were most meaningful to me. There was quite a lot that resonated with me. Some of the ideas Ryan put out there are:

  • “Desserts are addictive.” For me this is a true statement! I find that when I eat desserts that are in the house, I want to go back for seconds, thirds, and sometimes the entire box of Enlighten bars. The best way for me to indulge in dessert is to go out and get an ice-cream cone, a piece of cake, or a cookie. This is my experience; however, it is not true for everyone. Ryan links to an article that details the effects of Dopamine on the brain that goes into why which is also an interesting read.
  • “We get to choose what we do.” Agreed! We can empower ourselves to make deliberate choices. It’s a little easier to give up dessert when I create some context by comparing it to the struggle of raising a family or sustaining a career. When I think of it that way, it is not such a big thing after all.
  • “We don’t eat sugar ‘in moderation’.” A fun fact, nearly 90% of the North American diet is comprised of processed foods (carb dense sugar rich foods). That’s why I’ve had so much success with WW because the #Freestyle plan leans so heavily into the 0 sp. foods (low fat whole food choices). this makes sense to me, as my coach Bonnie tells me, “We didn’t get here eating carrots, bananas, or grapes.” True! True!
  • “Food is habit forming.” Yesterdays post goes into my thinking and YES! This a very true statement for me as well. He found that taking dessert off the menu left him feeling less hungry – same!
  • “The ‘All or None’ approach can work with strong incentives . What he refers to an an incentive is how I regard as my why. Agreed. My why is a powerful one, I don’t want to gain back the weight I lost. It took a long time and a lot of effort to lose this weight because I wanted to feel good physically and build up my confidence. That is the most important thing.
  • “Internal dialogue sucks.” I hadn’t thought about all the internal dialogue that goes on with the struggle to be moderate with dessert. It creates unnecessary so much unnecessary tension. All the, “Should I eat another peanut butter chocolate bar? No. But, if I eat two that’s only 5 sp. as opposed to 3 sp. what’s the big deal?” Sound familiar? Exhausting. I don’t miss that.
  • “Taste re-calibration is possible.” It’s true, I am finding that I don’t even want sugary desserts (right now). Last night when my son was eating sorbet I had a ramekin full of fresh strawberries they were so sweet to me. What even does a ramekin hold, 1/3 of a cup 1/2 cup? So funny t think about – it was only five days sugar-free yesterday.
  • Think about attachments… Change occurs at the desire level… Tap into what you want, avoid declarative statements…

Day Five…

Rolling over another 4 points from yesterday is a great reinforcement that I’m on the right track with my food choices. I’m not hungry and I don’t feel deprived. I know that I will eat dessert again, but for right now the feeling of satisfaction and control I have don’t make me miss it a bit. It is really astounding to me how different I feel.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Take a picture of something “sweet” and write about it.

Wednesday,
How Sweet It Is Seven Day Sugar Challenge

Something sweet

This isn’t a recent picture but it is something sweet. The last time I was in NYC with friends, we went to a Mexican restaurant and I was so struck by this sweet gesture. It was close to Valentine’s Day and there was this lovely window display. It was there to represent beautiful feelings of adoration and whimsy. I really appreciate the effort it took to create the effect. It is here to remind me that if I look, I know I can find many examples of sweetness. What if I craved that, instead of dessert? What would that be like? The habit would still be there looking for something sweet but the my routine wouldn’t cause me to gain weight, feel sluggish, or defeated. What if, I could change my routine and still get that same reward? What would that habit loop look like? In terms of habit loops it would look like this…

Source for Habit Loop Template: http://charlesduhigg.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Slide11.jpg

Unfortunately, stress is one of my cues to crave sweets. I notice that when I eat something sweet I get that momentary sense of calm and wellbeing from it. Maybe, I can redefine that craving for sweet into a more productive routine, like looking for sweetness in the world. I am reminded of the beginning of this journey…

What if, I spent my time looking for beauty instead of overlooking it? What would I find? I want to adopt a generous lens, one that looks for strengths, not deficits.

Day Eleven…
SEPTEMBER 13, 2017

I think there is a lot to this. I think I may have been forgetting how important it is to look to the world for sweetness and beauty instead of looking to food. I encourage you to consider this because it might help you too. That is always one of my reasons for writing, to help myself figure out some stuff, and to inspire others to help themselves. It feels good to be part of something that sparks hope and discovery. Be well on the journey.

Day Four…

I don’t know what it is about counting days that I find so helpful. But it is helpful. Perhaps it helps because the numbers knit a context for Today is day four of the “How Sweet It Is Sugar-Free Challenge, and I feel less hungry than I have in weeks and more in control. So to say that this challenge is making a huge difference for me is an understatement. Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say, I am taking sugar off the menu indefinitely. Summer is coming and if you read my blog, then you know I have a penchant for Carvelite ice-cream! I am going to try to bring it back slowly and with limits built in. I don’t have a plan yet, but that’s a start.

Write a list of alternatives to a sugar filled dessert

Tuesday How Sweet It Is Seven Day Sugar Challenge
  1. Fresh Fruit: 0 sp.
  2. Rainbow carrots, english cucumber, cherry tomatoes: 0 sp.
  3. Grapes and slice up a Mini Bell Low-fat Cheese: 1 sp.
  4. Celery with 1 Laughing Cow Cheese wedge: 1 sp.
  5. 1/4 c Roasted Chickpeas: 1 sp.
  6. Frozen Banana dip in 1/2 c 2% Fage Greek Yogurt w/cinnamon sprinkled on top: 2sp.
  7. 24 g Pop chips Sour Cream & Onion: 2sp.
  8. 12 g Jiff Whipped Peanut Butter & apple: 2sp.
  9. 15 g mixed nuts, blueberries and pomegranate seeds: 3 sp.
  10. 51 g part-skim ricotta cheese with 1/2 cup strawberries: 3 sp.
  11. 1 c Cherries & 1/3 c Wonderful Pistachios: 3sp.
  12. 1 Jarlsberg Cheese Snack with 10 Utz Classic Pretzel Sticks: 4sp.
  13. 5 c Half Naked Popcorn w/a Hint of Olive Oil: 4sp.
  14. 30 g Jus Pea Puffs (it’s a lot they’re light): 4sp.
  15. 23 g Jiff Whipped Peanut Butter spread over 2 Corn Cakes: 6 sp.
  16. 1 c Fairlife Skim Milk 1 Kodiak Waffle (toasted): 6sp.
  17. 30 g Jus Pea Puffs mixed with 2 c Half Naked Popcorn: 6 sp.
  18. 1 Joseph’s Lavash Bread (toasted) with Sabra Classic Hummus Singles: 7sp.
  19. Apple Rings (cut apples into rings), 51 grams part-skim ricotta cheese, cinnamon, 14 g Blue Diamond Slivered Almonds, 14 g Craisins: 7 sp.
  20. 30 g mixed nuts, 1 Baby Bell Cheese, 28 g Boars Head Turkey Pepperoni: 7 sp.

This is a sweet or savory list of alternatives to traditional desserts that I have either tried already or plan on trying. As I was creating the higher point options, it was funny, I kept thinking: these are too many points to spend on a snack. However, whenever I get my Junior Carvelite cone it’s 7 sp. and I get that without blinking an eye thinking I”m getting off easy. It’s strange to put that context over this list. Anyway I hope you find this useful.

Day Three…

Day two is down, and I have to say, I’m not wishing for any of the sweet stuff. I rolled over another four points and I’m feeling good about that accomplishment. A pro tip to share, I mixed in spaghetti squash with a 1/2 cup of linguini and topped it off with homemade sauce, a 2 oz meatball and a spoon full of part-skim ricotta cheese. It was very delicious. I even had room for a piece of Italian bread which was also excellent. My whole dinner was 7 SmartPoints. Try it, it’s a nice alternative to just eating pasta.

Write one memory in detail that involves eating sugar.

Monday How Sweet It Is Seven Day Sugar Challenge

Looking across the table there were so many good things to try. A box of Russel Stover’s chocolates, a try of holiday cookies from my favorite, Copenhagen’s Bakery, a bowl of fruit with chocolate dipped strawberries, pineapples, and apple pieces sticking out of it on skewers. a tub of creamy vanilla Hagen Dazs ice-cream, homemade apple pie, coconut cream pie, lemon meringue, and a cherry pie glistening with a sugary crust. I sighed in anticipation, and took a plastic dessert plate, it was small and round with pleated edges lined with a gold stripe. I took:

  • a thin crisp chocolate chip cookie
  • a skinny slice of lemon meringue pie
  • a small slice of apple pie with a spoon full of ice-cream
  • a chocolate dipped strawberry
  • a piece of Russel Stover candy – a raspberry creme

My little plate had not an inch to spare. I bit the cookie and it was a combination of sweetness and crumbly sandy texture. I listened to the conversation, smiling and nodding. My brother had found a new house he wanted to buy and it sounded like it had the potential to be the perfect home. Then I tasted the meringue airy and delicious with a tart lemon taste that was anchored by the soft crust below. I listened to my nieces and nephew give me his college update, how it was going what he was learning. Now my fork dipped down into the flakey pie crust into the glistening gooey apples that are tucked within. I complimented my niece as she was the baker, she had created another triumph. My teeth broke through the thick chocolate shell into a sweet strawberry as I laughed out loud at a story my brother was recounting from his wild youth. I looked down at my plate at the last lonely piece of candy, the raspberry cream, another celebration was ending.

So many happy times are tied to food aren’t they? Eating is an experience, and it’s one that can be easily revisited when times get tough. It’s easy to turn to food if I’m not aware of its power and hold over me. Who knows maybe that is why I want a bigger dessert. Maybe, it pulls in some of those other feelings of love, acceptance, and home that I want to be connected to. All of that is very possible. It’s funny, after writing out this memory, I am not craving any of the food, the sweet stuff I am craving is being with my family. It’s about love not cookies.

Day Two…

I’m pleased to say that my day one, “How Sweet It Is” no sugar challenge went well yesterday. Strange thing, by the time I went to bed I felt more content than I have lately. I was not hungry, and I felt good about my choices. I took steps and I was in control. Control is a funny thing, it’s both a pro and a con on this journey.

A satisfying snack yesterday

Having a sense of control is a pro on the road to weight loss and maintenance because it affords a sense of personal empowerment. When I exercise control over my portion sizes, or I plan ahead, or I select better food options I feel really great. Yet sometimes I get carried away with control and I start to build up little rules, and superstitions that go with certain choices. Then when it’s not possible to keep up those rules I feel like I’m losing control and that lead to negativity. It’s something to think about.


Give one little word (OLW) for sugar cravings. Why?

Sunday How Sweet It Is Seven Day Sugar Challenge

PERSISTENT

All cravings are drivers for habits so it’s very important to reflect on what I crave and why I crave it. In this case SUGAR. When I start thinking about the Dove chocolates in the pantry or sorbet in the freezer the desire to eat sugar is extremely persistent. It’s as though the wish to eat sugar is setting up a course of action that is virtually impossible to pull away from. It’s a little unsettling to acknowledge that my sugar cravings are so strong that when they grab hold of me, they have the power to undermine what I really want. I’m working on it. I wonder what’s your OLW for sugar cravings?

Day One…

I’m back to “Day One” I am over my Lifetime Goal by 4.2 pounds, and I would like to lose 11.4 pounds in total. It may seem like a mistake or strange to make the first words of this post, be about “the numbers” because WW is about more than weight loss. This journey is about choices, beliefs, planning, and empowerment – however, it is also about maintaining and losing weight. The numbers don’t define me, but they do help to focus me. Does that make sense?

Here are somethings I’m thinking about after my WW workshop:

  • Bob has lost 102 pounds over the past 72 weeks. He shared how he keeps it fresh by finding and sharing recipes. Another important part of his success story involved our community. We help each other. There is so much good in our community and like Bob, I appreciate how valuable it is to my life. Listening to him this morning was a real gift to me – it was what I needed to hear.
  • Joan had an important discovery that after she gave up Milano cookies she has been consistently losing weight. She is down over 7 pounds. She examined a pattern and made a meaningful change that is getting her closer to her goal.
  • Bonnie talked about the importance of setting small goals – and she is exactly right about that. I know that setting small goals help me.

My goal this week is to cut out added sugar.

Jenn Hayhurst

How Sweet It Is… Instead of eating added sugar I will…

SatExplore your reasons for cutting sugar and reflect.
SunGive one little word (OLW) for sugar cravings. Why?
MonWrite one memory in detail that involves eating sugar.
TueWrite a list of alternatives to a sugar filled dessert?
WedTake a picture of something “sweet” and write about it.
ThuRead an article about sugar and respond.
FriReflect on your week without sugar: What did you learn?
Explore your reasons for cutting sugar & reflect

This is all subjective but I think eating sweets makes me hungrier. One thing for certain is that eating sweets uses up a lot of my SmartPoints balances and that is not helpful. I also think it’s important for me to select a goal that is finite this week – one that I either accomplish or don’t accomplish. I want to give this goal my full measure of devotion. I need a good goal – think this is the right goal fro right now.

Revisiting Success…

This post was from August 24, 2018 – it’s good read my own words and think about my journey…

The day before weigh-in is here and I’m pretty sure I will go up on the scale tomorrow.  This was a challenging week because I felt the pull of old habits,

  •  wanting to turn to food after having stressful encounters.
  •  strong food cravings for ice cream, and pizza.
  •  picking at foods and thinking about not tracking.

Any of these could have triggered for old habits. That is why it is important that I take some time for reflection and self-care. It all comes down to food, activity, and feelings.

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 2.11.55 PM

Food: I exceeded my weekly points balance. I was craving sugar for most of this week. I think it’s because I overindulged at my nephew’s party. I ate sugary foods and that’s not typical for me anymore. Over the course of the week, I ate two and a quarter of those delicious scones. At the party, I ate a quarter of one, then I ate a whole one on Monday, and the last one, Tuesday. Also, during the party, I ate two small pieces of cake. Then I had a slice (2 ounces) of cake last night for my husband’s birthday.  I did track it all, so that’s how I know I’m over my weekly allotment of extra points.

Activity: I went to spin class two days this week: Sunday and Thursday.  The classes were really good and I am feeling much stronger. I also did yoga two times, Monday, and Friday. Yoga is very good for me because it is making me feel more flexible, strong, and balanced. I love that I enjoy doing these activities and that doing them, is becoming part of my self-identity. I am also enjoying the Polar Heart Monitor I got for my birthday. It is a tool that is helping me to work way more efficiently and it gives me great insight for training while making me more self-aware.

Feelings: Right now, I feel really empowered. I saw the potential to fall back into old habits before it actually happened. I saw it coming and went in a different direction.  I elected not to turn to food when feeling stressed. That’s a big deal. I tracked, weighed and measured all the foods I ate. There was not unconscious eating, I tracked even when I didn’t want to face it. That’s a big deal too. I disrupted my habit loop. So, even if I go up on the scale tomorrow, I learned something vital. I am in control of me.

There is no mystery or superstition at play here. There are only my choices.  My choices that are rooted in my “why”. I am doing all of this so I can feel good about myself physically and mentally. I want to grow wiser about who I really am living an energetic lifestyle. It is very important to me that I enter this next phase of my life with a sense of grace and gratitude for the body that got me here.  Thank you for listening to my story. I encourage you to write yours as well because it really does help. Wishing you joy on the journey.

#SelfLoveChallenge

DAY 23: Revisit (and do) an activity that you loved as a child, whether it is finger painting, playing a sport or a video game, Rollerblading, or twirling.

Hands down, it’s riding my bicycle.  I’m going for a bike ride at some point today!

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