Day Eighteen…

I did great today. Tracking, making good choices, getting activity. It was a very busy day, and I find myself feeling exhausted. I thought about going to bed and skipping my post, but I decided I could do better. So here I am writing and reflecting.

I was extremely hungry by the time I ate dinner, but I kept it together and kept myself to a portion size. Later, I had a cup of Half Naked popcorn and a frozen banana. Frozen fruit is a great alternative to a high SmartPoint dessert.

I’m good. I hope you are as well. Keep going, keep believing. Remember, most times, believing comes before achieving.

Day Seventeen…

Today is my birthday. This time last year, I was closing the gap to goal. It took me until November 2018 to get there. Now, I find myself working to get back to Lifetime status. This weight loss journey is not something to be taken for granted. It’s a mixed bag really, I’m both not ok, and I am ok.

A fun birthday lunch with my sister and daughter.

Not ok: I’m disappointed in myself. Some clothes are either too tight or don’t fit, and this freaks me out. It’s as though they are saying, “I told you so.” It’s easy to let a Negative Nellie voice take over in the face of my past success. I let old habits creep back in, and so I let myself slip backwards.

I am ok: I’m resilient. I have short-term goals that are working for me. I am making sure to be active each day. I am measuring and weighing my portions. I am making good choices when I go out. I am tracking everything I eat. This forces me to acknowledge when I go over my daily SmartPoint allotments. I am saying “No” to mindless noshing. I am going to meetings, even when I can’t go on my regular day. I’m talking about my goals with my family and friends. The thing that makes all these goals possible is that I believe I can do this. Believing in me the best present I can give myself today.

5 SmartPoints

I think it is so essential that I am honest with myself and how I’m feeling. It’s not possible to be present during this process without honesty. Feelings are complex, and it’s better to explore them so they don’t grow and become more than they ought to be. It would be easy to suppress those negative feelings but they’d eventually rise up and sabotage me. It would be easy to let those negative feelings take over and to allow myself to give up. None of those are good options. Keep some perspective, and keep going. I think that’s what this year is going to be all about.

Day Sixteen…

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how important it is for me to weigh and measure my food. If WW were going to ask me how they might improve the plan, I would say that they ought to keep the whole foods at zero SmartPoints but ask members to weigh and measure their portions.

How can 7 servings of cherries be counted the same as 1 serving of cherries? You might be thinking, well who is going to eat 7 servings in a sitting? Me, I love cherries and if I were not thinking I could eat a whole bag if the timing were right. I don’t think I’m alone on this one either, I think there are many people who might. This kind of behavior is not helpful for a weight loss journey. People are fooling themselves into thinking that a whole bag of cherries is the same thing as a serving of cherries because they are all zero points.

I great way to get some activity in my day.

WW tells members that they should only eat until satisfied but for some of us that’s very hard to do. It’s just easier for me, to measure out a cup and be done with it. By the time I finish it I usually am satisfied, I just have to be mindful.

A word on potential…

Jack Kerouac

An empty page can be daunting because it is ripe with potential. An empty page is an invitation to create a masterpiece, something profound, or a map for discovery. However, once a commitment to that one idea is made, we open ourselves up to imperfection, ridicule, or failure. Scary… The thing is I’d rather risk that than be mediocre. It’s better to fail at something, to be imperfect than to give up. If I squash my goals because I’m worried about what others might say if I fail then I’ve already lost. I choose to keep going.

Day Fifteen…

We talked about one of my favorite topics during my WW workshop:

Taking a few minutes to consider where those hungry feelings are coming from:
Is the real hunger in your gut? Is the hunger made up in your head?

I like this topic because exercising this thought process has the power to transform my weight loss journey. Sensing hunger ought to be like an alarm going off because one of two things is going on…

  1. I’ve waited too long to eat and now I’m hungry and the danger is that I will eat too much. Allowing oneself to get too hungry is the number one reason why people are not successful when it comes to weight loss.
  2. I’m feeling some sort of emotion, like boredom, stress, sadness, even happiness that has been mistakenly associated with hunger. This behavior leads to weight gain. It goes like this, “I’m stressed out, I want an ice cream cone.” – No… you’re stressed out.

These two scenarios are especially troublesome because they can play on each other. If I overindulge because I’ve had some emotional need the night before, I wake up and either I am not hungry or I’m trying to delude myself into believing I can counterbalance the prior night’s episode. It’s one big rationalization – and by writing it down here I’m trying to debunk it so I can make an important, meaningful change on my weight loss journey. I’m trying to be more than I am right now.

Why do I constantly look for an escape route? Maybe it’s a primal brain thing with the amygdala (fight, flight, freeze). In the face of danger I’m not someone who naturally goes to “fight” – I’m not someone who’s natural disposition is to “freeze” – I am a “Run for your lives!” flight kind of girl. This is something I have to actively work on because let’s face it, feeling stressed over looming deadlines is not the same stress as running away from a lion. The thing is, my brain doesn’t know the difference.

Weight loss is sort of like an evolution isn’t it? It’s not that I’m saying that if I’m at a healthy weight I’m more evolved. It’s more to the fact that I want to live my life at a healthy weight, I want my energy to be the best it can, and I want to feel confident. Those are my reasons, and they matter to me. My job is to figure out how to get past my reptilian brain so I can accomplish this goal.

I would be wise to remember that this is big work, and it takes time. If you find yourself in a similar situation, finding weight loss difficult and the feeling of being stuck, then don’t beat yourself up. You’re in this and that is what matters, it’s not the slip ups, nor is it the moments of weakness. Understand there is a reason why weight loss can be a struggle. It’s not some kind of flaw in your personality. It’s not that you don’t have willpower (you do have willpower and it gets depleted as you use it – for real). It’s simply a challenging goal. Don’t focus on what other people do and have focus on you. You’re the most important person in your weight loss journey. You can do it -remember that and believe it.

Day Fourteen…

I am a contributor to the group called: #dailyjournalchallenge. Each month I write a journal prompt and so I thought I’d share the one I wrote for yesterday, July 25, 2019 – The Elephant & The Rider:

Journal Prompt July 25, 2019 – Jenn Hayhurst

The Elephant: An Emotional Journey

When I think about an elephant I think about a humongous beast who will go and do whatever it wants. They are smelly and have the capacity to trample over whatever gets in their way. They can be fierce, loud, and scary – thundering over the landscape. On the other hand, elephants can be quiet and gentile. They caress each other with their delicate trunks. They are extremely intelligent creatures who are able to communicate with each other, loyal to their herd, and are loving mothers. Elephants, visibly grieve when faced with loss, and it’s true they do have remarkable memories.

How are you shaping your path on your weight loss journey?

If my emotions are an elephant – then I can honestly say I have experienced the destructive elephant and the nurturing elephant. There have been times when I just eat in ways that are mindless and destructive; there have been times when I eat mindfully and view nutrition as an extension of self-care.

The Rider: A Rational Journey

The rider is part of me that attempts to chart the course for my weight loss journey. This blog is an expression of the rider. It is my rational mind trying to get a hold of this huge life goal; to lose the weight and maintain weight loss. My rational self wants to control the story, in a very real sense this blog is my attempt to just write my own story. Every time I track, plan meals, measure my internal and external hunger cues my rider is at the reigns.

It does take some courage to take the riegns and get back control.

Sometimes my rider is absent or let’s be generous and say delinquent from her post. When that happens it’s as though my rational mind acts like a tourist instead of a trail blazer. It becomes a passive sightseer on the ride. “Oh, look, you are going to eat another Enlightened bar, and an extra serving of chips.” or, “Look there is Baskin Robbins in you go…” While on other days the rider is in perfect control anticipating every single bump in the road.

Shaping the Path

The most important work I can do right now to help myself is to shape my path to a successful outcome. I have to get over it and recognize that some days are just going to be very difficult. I can lean into my Headspace app, I can write, I can talk to a friend. I can take pictures of the foods I say no to and I can examine why I want to overindulge at times. I can be active, and appreciate how well my body is recovering. I can tell myself that I am worthy of good things, I am strong, and I can do anything I set my mind to doing. Then, more importantly, I can believe it. I can do this, I’m up for the journey. How about you? Come on let’s go.

Day Thirteen…

It’s so easy to get lost in weakness and to focus on my mistakes. If I’m not careful, I can narrow my focus to see all my negative choices while taking for granted all the work that has gone into this journey. I can fool myself to think that my weight loss success just happened and was not the product of deliberate work, that was crafted through great care and dedication. But I know the truth, this healthy lifestyle is the result of years of ongoing effort.

Success happens one meal at a time. 3 sp.

I was revisiting some words of wisdom to look for encouragement. These words resonated with me today, I think it’s just what I needed to read:

Life is miraculous and it’s so important to remember that we are all sacred beings whose very existence is an extension of grace and love. How can I improve my health and wellbeing if I believe I am am worthy of positive change? I begin the road to change by honoring and loving myself. I hope you will do the same.

Day Twelve…

Drink water! That’s my goal today, I think part of my problem has been that I’m not getting enough water. I notice I feel better when I’m attentive to that need. Maybe it’s just bundled up with all those other good habits like, track my food, eat mindfully, be strategic, don’t get too hungry, be active, drink water… It’s no wonder people give up as I think about this list of things that help make weight loss a reality.

The thing is I didn’t take this all on all at once. I worked at it like a practice. Weight loss is a practice that requires some care and attention and it can feel overwhelming if you just jump into it without making smaller goals. Like today, I’m concentrating on drinking water and tracking. For me, tracking is an everyday deal. Like tomorrow it will be to be active and tracking. The next day might be eat mindfully and tracking.

Tracking is so critical to weight loss success for me because it is a simple habit that keeps me honest. Tracking makes it impossible to fool myself, it keeps me engaged with internal versus external hunger cues. Tracking is equivalent to truth. I’m not going to lie on my tracker that would be crazy so if I’m tracking I’m recording the real deal. Do you track? How does it make you feel? When I track, I feel like I’m getting some control back especially when I’m very tempted to eat when I’m not hungry. I bet most the people who are successful track their food. I don’t know it for sure, but I believe it just the same.

That’s it another day towards the plus column and I think I may be gaining a little momentum. Thank you for reading and supporting me along the way. I hope I am helping you as you proceed on your own journey to better health and wellbeing.

Days Eight, Nine, Ten…

With summertime comes graduation parties, and quick getaways and they are culprits that have pulled me out my blogging. It is an overall lack of commitment that I have to battle these days. I’ve written about strong starts and stops and that kind of captures where I’m at. It’s not all doom and gloom over here but it’s also not the way for consistent maintenance success either. Here are my food confessions…

Day Eight

I went to a graduation party and celebrated my nephew’s high school graduation. It was a beautiful party and it was great to be with my family. Of course with family comes food! And there was a lot of food! I ate small portions but I did try a lot of different things. I didn’t drink, and I didn’t eat dessert so those were wins. I did eat a piece of chicken cutlet hero that was very good. I toyed with the idea of not eating both pieces of bread but in the end I ate the entire slice. I also had a hot dog because it really appealed to me. Then I tried some macaroni salad, green salad, eggplant rollatini, and penne a la vodka. I did not eat a cheeseburger, chicken wings, french fries, or any of the other mayo based salads. Day ten goes to the negative column.

Day Nine

I went away – I saw Blondie and Elvis Costello at Mohegan Sun and they were terrific. I got dressed up, I bought a concert shirt, and I was relatively good on plan but I didn’t track. I said, “No” to the really bad choices like cake, onion rings, bagels, and processed foods in general. I did have a couple of drinks but overall, Day Nine goes to the plus column.

Day Ten

My weekend getaway was over and I was on my way home, and truthfully, I was pretty miserable. I can’t believe that on the ferry home there were no healthy choices, no yogurt, not even a piece of fruit. In the end I ate an apple cinnamon scone which made me feel hungrier. I over indulged later because I was too hungry. I wanted to track, but my WW app was down and I couldn’t get into my account. I’m not blaming WW, my choices are my choices, I could have just used a pen and paper or even recorded it here. Day ten goes the negative column with a bullet.

There it is the bad, the good, and the bad. Two bad days, one good one. Today is headed in the positive column and I’ll be posting on that later. Readers, I am struggling a bit. I don’t really want to write about struggle because, I don’t want that to be my story but I have to be honest. I had to reinstate my membership fees with WW because I’m outside of my range, and it’s dumb to keep paying week-to-week as though I can catch myself up quickly. I can’t, it is going to take time to get back to Lifetime status. I am not happy but I have no choice but to keep going. Anyway, if you’re reading this and are finding yourself in a similar spot, just know that failure doesn’t mean over. Failures open the doors to new beginnings. This is a process embrace it and just keep going.

Day Seven…

Ugh. Not such a great day. It started out very strong, but I didn’t end so well. I don’t want to beat myself up, but I also don’t want to say it’s ok. I want to be kind, and I want to be stern at the same time. I don’t know why I messed up. I weigh in tomorrow and now I feel like all the good work I did will be for nothing. I sabotaged myself and I don’t know why. I’m not feeling a lot of positivity over here so I don’t even know what else to say about it.

I can say that at least I’m being honest, and owning my mistakes. I didn’t just write about something else. I am also weighing in tomorrow and I’m going to deal with the full impact that today’s choices will bring me tomorrow. I know what to do and I can do better.