Stress Test

I found out some stressful news today. I have to travel to NYC for professional development. I thought it would involve a trip to Penn and an Uber to the school. Turns out, the school is an hour away from Penn, so taking the train would just add another hour to the commute! After some, vigorous texting back and forth with my friends, we decided to drive. After coming to terms with our new plan, she said: “I’m going to need lots of snacks.” So being a good friend I listened…

After buying snacks, I promptly went to Carvel with my husband and got a small Carvelite ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles (15 points). This took me out of my healthy eating zone but it was a great cone. Stress comes and so many of us look for comfort in food.

Here is what I also did today – I completed my 45-minute training class on the Peloton. I tracked everything I ate (37 points later). I drank all my water, and I weighed and measured my portions. I prepared a healthy dinner and figured out the point values by calculating the nutritional information in the app. I ate mindfully. So, overall, I would say this was a good day on plan. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to weight loss. It requires us to be fully present in our actions pretty much all the time. If it’s worth it to me – I can make it happen.

High Utility Habits

Do you have a junk drawer at your house? A drawer is a drawer that you allow yourself to just throw in whatever you want without any organization whatsoever. The only requirement is that the drawer can close. Out of sight out of mind. Until the tape is needed, or the little scale (don’t judge I do own two scales the little one is more precise with grams than the big one). The dog brush that untangles knots is there, right next to scented tartlets…

Some things are useless – like expired coupons or expo markers when there is no whiteboard in my kitchen. Some things are high utility objects, things I use every day like the tape, or pens you see in there. I think I have a condition that I always need office supplies on hand – but that’s a topic for another time.

In some ways, the habits I’m trying to cultivate are similar to this collection of stuff I hide away in my kitchen. Some habits are high utility – like tracking and movement goals. If I make those habits more accessible I am going to be more likely to lose weight. Others like meditation and bedtime routines are nice (and very good for me) but are not as likely to make or break my week when it comes to shedding weight.

So what habits are you trying to cultivate? As you think about it consider which ones are the most important – the ones you want to have on hand because they really make a difference.

Thanks for reading, and if you feel like it -leave a message, and let me know what you are thinking about.

A Little Imagination

I went for a walk today with my husband and our pup Sadie. It was cold and sunny, a welcome change from the soggy (unseasonably warm) grey weather of late. Along the way, we passed the telltale signs of post-holiday remains: condensed boxes tied neatly at the curb, a perfectly shaped Christmas tree rolled on its side, and houses stripped bare of their colorful lights. Then all of a sudden a splash of whimsy

Hello Mr. Narwhal

I just love a holdout. It sparked a little joy and optimism inside me like if you just look around you’ll find something special in the ordinary. Something that captures the imagination… I think it is very important to flex the imagination while trying to achieve any big goal. Especially when progress can be slow; as it sometimes is when it comes to weight loss. Think of it this way, imagination is the intellectual gift we give to ourselves. It is not something that is only reserved for artists, poets, and musicians. To imagine is to be human – it is innate to who we are and sustains us when the going gets tough.

Today has been a good day on plan. I hit my water goal, I am within my points, cooking dinner I planned out my meals for the week, and I had a very rigorous workout this morning followed by this leisurely walk that inspired this post. All of these tiny little goals knit together to form a strong foundation for my future success. No, I’m not perfect, as you can see by looking at my habit tracker… but the transformation to daily healthy habits is underway. I got this and if you believe it – so do you.

Dealing with Dinnertime…

I’ve noticed a pattern, now that I’m back at work. I am doing great with breakfast and lunch. I’ve made some time changes, I eat breakfast at home and I am careful to be attentive to eating in a quiet space. I usually eat in the dinning room and do my best to keep my mind quiet. Then at lunch, I am enjoying a nice variety of foods. I lean into zero SmartPoints foods, but I also eat foods that range from 1 to 3 to 5 SmartPoints. By dinnertime I usually have around 12 SmartPoints left. The problem is that I’m tired and hungry, and those conditions make it difficult to make good choices.

If I’m going to conquer dinnertime I have to have a plan in place.

This week is going to be different because I have a plan. I have planned out each day’s meal, and I made a deal with my daughter to help me prep foods so that it’s easier to get dinner going after a long day at work. Tonight’s dinner was big success…

10 SmartPoints

I’ve got a goal this week – to plan ahead for dinner. Let’s see how I do. I wonder, do you have a goal? What is it? How will you make it happen? Goals are so important, so if you don’t have one yet – think about what you really want and set a goal. More tomorrow.

Day Thirty-Five…

This is yesterday’s post (my blog wouldn’t let me post it last night):

So… I gained four pounds this week. I don’t know what to say about that. If you read my blog you know that I’ve been struggling. This is what maintaining weight loss is. I am trying to rewire my brain to understand that there are limits when it comes to food. I’m pretty disappointed about the gain. I know there are lots of people who understand how I feel. They understand because maintaining weight loss can be difficult. However, when I think about my life, I have accomplished many difficult things so really, why not this?  

I am determined to accomplish this goal. The rest of my life cannot be “less than” it could be. I want to have as much energy and physical strength as a possible. In order to make that happen, a big part of my  “why” has to do with maintaining my weight loss. I want to be able to wear clothes that I like and feel confident and (for me) that involves maintaining my weight loss. These are very good reasons to keep at this.

I am very proud of myself for making my weight loss journey happen. It took a lot of effort, care, and attention to get to goal. I worked hard at this, and manged to enjoy the process throughout my ups and downs. Having goals to work towards is great, but it is also very important to recognize and appreciate “the now” and where I’m at right now is pretty good.

My plan for the week:

  • Track all my food
  • Meet my fitness goal
  • Monitor my emotions
  • Eat mindfully

Hopefully this time next week, I’ll be celebrating “Lifetime” status. Fingers crossed wish me some luck because a little good luck never hurt anyone.   

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Day Six…

Losing weight doesn’t take away feelings of frustration, or disappointment. It’s not a magic bullet and it definitely wasn’t an easy thing to do. Losing weight doesn’t mean I’m a “stronger” person than I used to be. It doesn’t mean I’m more successful than I was before. It’s not that I’m more worthy and ought to be valued more now that I’ve reached this goal.

Yet, now that I’ve lost this weight, I am dealing with a new reality. People don’t understand why I would still need #WW. They don’t get it and they say things like, “Well, you don’t want to lose any more weight. Do you?”  I just have to shake my head and wonder why it seems as though everything to do with weight loss is colored by so much judgment.

Words of Wisdom

There is so much societal pressure wrapped up in appearances isn’t there? So whenever I see others who struggle with weight I feel a very strong connection to them.  I really understand what it feels like to be so visibly judged. One time I overheard two people making a joke at my expense. They were referencing the fluctuation in my weight, “Is she losing or gaining?” Yeah, that hurt and it made me feel bad. I would readily give up my will to those negative feelings and I would give away my sense of power and control.

I would feel “less than” as if I was somehow not as good as someone else.  Which is strange because I was not raised that way. I was a child who came from a loving family who built me up and gave me mountains of courage.  This journey to better health has put me more in touch with that part of me. The part of me who believes in herself and who is brave because she is willing to be vulnerable. My weight loss is doing that because it is an extension of self-love and caring.

I am not just one thing – a healthy weight or overweight. Disciplined or out of control. I am a complex person with many shades of all these things. Resisting the label or the box that we all seem to tend to construct around ourselves and others is the thing I have to be most wary of because it minimizes everything I’ve worked to achieve. I am trying to become more fully present and aware of who I want to be and how I want to live my life.

So … 

We shall see what tomorrow brings. I will let you know how the first week on maintenance went.  As always thank you for reading, for your generosity and support.

Day Five…

There is no doubt that we are living in a stressful world.  There is always plenty of bad news, hurt feelings, and depressing images. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed at each flip of a page, turn of a channel, or click on a screen because we are innodated with constant unyielding information. Know what I mean?

Mindful

It turns out, the antidote to this crazed harried existence, we all seem to be living, is within the auspice of our own control.  Practicing mindfulness is where it’s at. When I started to read a little more about this practice I realized that I have stumbled onto these practices in my effort to get to goal.

The following list names the markers of practicing mindfulness and how they were revealed through my weight loss journey.

  1. Kindness counts: If it’s true that you write your own story in this life. The narrator of that story needs to have a kind voice. My daily reflections for my progress, throughout my weight loss journey is colored by kindness.
  2. Drop the judgment: Acknowledge and accept things for what they are. I was talking to a friend just tonight about how it’s exhausting to think about people who zap your energy. I feel as though I’m surrendering my energy and to what end? The judgment doesn’t change a thing, it just lets negativity linger.
  3. Practicing patience: I’ve had to learn how to wait. There were points in this journey where I’ve felt totally transformed on the inside but it wasn’t showing on the outside. Those were challenging times and I totally understand why so many people give up on the way to goal. Being patience conserves personal power because there is a belief that things will change eventually.
  4. Beginning with a beginner’s mind: I kept that honeymoon phase of #WW going throughout the journey. It is toxic to assume a point of view that there is nothing new to learn. I opened myself up to the possibility of doing things differently this time around.
  5. It’s a matter of trust: I believe in me. I have learned to trust my own personal wisdom. There is no magic book, or program, or pill there is only me and I am enough.
  6. Non-striving: I have always been driven by goals. Getting through graduate school, getting a job, buying a house… It turns out it’s very different when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes being driven by a purpose is not so helpful. If it’s all about the “goal” itself, I would have missed all the good stuff that was happening at the moment.
  7. Acceptance, the ultimate reality check: once I learned to accept wherever I was on the road to getting to goal I was able to be more responsive to what I needed in order to be successful. There were and are lots of challenges, for example being tempted by candy. I love candy and I accept that fact. I can eat it but then I have to track it.  To my way of thinking, this is a form of acceptance.
  8. Get ready, get set, let go: Being at peace with myself and not fighting the process is life changing. I now understand that things will unfold as they are meant to and in doing so I have made room for change.

I share these thoughts because I want to help others achieve their goals.  I do believe that we all have the power to transform ourselves. However, there is not one right path, it’s understanding your path because you are the path.

Day Four…

Short post today. I went over my points because we ate dinner at a local Greek restaurant and it was really good.  I went into my “weeklies” but I think it will be ok. I tracked everything and used a total of 32 SmartPoints. Now, I’m still kind of full and sleepy.

I hopeè you had a good day too. I hope that you are getting the results that you wanted. Know that fast or slow, just taking time to plan out your meals, get active, or examine your emotions is the way to take care of YOU.

So make a promise that you will do something special for yourself tomorrow. I wonder, what will it be? I plan on going to spin and going to bed earlier tomorrow. I think I’m a little sleep deprived. How will you take care of yourself tomorrow? Say, it; jot it; do it.

Day Four Hundred Twenty-Three…

Last week I was .4 away from GOAL! Now, it’s the day before weigh-in and I am wondering if this will be my week. I just don’t know. I don’t feel that different than last week. 

My husband and I went for a walk with our girl, Sadie. She enjoyed the walk as did we.

Rainy Autumn Day on a Walk 2018

I had a good week but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow will be my day to get to goal. I feel great, and I can’t believe how much change has happened over a little more than a year. I’ll let you know how it went.

Day Four Hundred-Seventeen…

I am .4 pounds away from goal!

PROGRESS 10 27 18

I am so close. During the workshop, many members shared how our time and support system is what is helping them to stay on track. I completely agree. This is a challenge but it can be done.

The other day a colleague told me that when she saw me in the hallway she didn’t recognize me. She looked at me with astonishment because I have been so transformed.  In many ways I am different but on the other hand, in some important ways, I’m exactly the same. I had a piece of lemon pound cake after lunch today, and I immediately wanted another slice. I actually stood with my hand on the refrigerator and told myself, “No. No more, you’re done. You already know what it tastes like, and you don’t need anymore.” This worked today. I walked away from the refrigerator.

So even after all these weeks of care and attention, I am still vulnerable to overeating. It’s ok because knowing that about myself actually helps me. Honest reflection makes this possible. I am in this for life and I am grateful that I am learning more about myself.