Healthy people eat mindfully, work out, and stay hydrated, they know how to use moderation when it comes to food. How do they do it? Habits. The habits we keep reveal our real selves to the world. Well, I hate to burst the bubble but this is old news! If you belong to WW we talk about habits all the time.
Success is not about knowing that habits create systems for weight loss. Success comes from knowing how to establish and keep habits. What if one day, you made a commitment to a daily water goal? What if the next week, you made a commitment to weigh yourself once a day? What if the week after that you added keeping a food diary? Then, what if you got a fitness monitor and decided to do some kind of activity (even if it was just for 10 minutes) every day? You would lose weight.
If weight loss is what you’re after give this some serious thought. Maybe you need a visual reminder – leave a note to initiate your habits. It might be that you need an auditory cue – set an alarm.
You can do this, and I hope you know that I am here rooting you on! Do someone a solid, and a cheerleader for them too. The success of others is worth celebrating even if you’re not there yet. Kindness is a magnet it brings us together.
Satisfaction can come from many sources. Yesterday’s, mission was to search for beauty in nature. Today, the mission was to breathe deeply for one minute. These two challenges seem to dovetail perfectly.
In the early days of video games, my mom used to like to play Super Mario Bros. I remember I used to sit with her in my younger brother’s room, and we would talk while she played the game. I didn’t really enjoy the game, but I thought it was funny that she did. So, I would watch her make Mario jump up to hit the floating box until the mushroom popped out and be absorbed by Mario turning him into Super Mario!
If we were in a video game, water would be the mysterious super nutrient that would endow magical powers to empower weight loss. It does a bunch of interesting things, but for this post, I am going to share 5 big ones;
Drinking water curtails drinking high-calorie drinks.
Drinking water prior to meals may help decrease appetite.
Drinking water after meals can help with digestion.
Drinking water boosts energy during workouts.
Drinking water may boost your metabolic rate.
One thing I like about having a daily water goal is that it’s not complicated. All I have to do is to just drink water throughout the day and keep moving forward. “Let’s a-go!”
Yesterday was a strangely exhausting day. I started this post last night but found that I was too tired to finish it so here we are. The May Challenge was to share a goal with someone. I shared mine with my sister on my ride to work. The thing about goals is there is a right way and a wrong way to go about them. When goals are vague they are less likely to actually happen. You have to have a plan for a goal that you really want to achieve. Here is what I know about goals
Goals are good. They help to focus energy and effort. We all want something and a goal keeps that desire alive.
When setting a goal be very specific. Name the goal, say when you will work on it (like the time of day), and how you will work on it (real action).
A goal needs a deadline. A little pressure to achieve something is not always a bad thing. Just keep it in perspective.
I realize thinking back that the goal I shared with my sister didn’t meet my own criteria. It’s way harder when. goal has to do with something I don’t really want to do but I need to. The goal would benefit me and my family, but I hate the idea of doing it. It only underscores the important role attitude plays when I have to do hard things. I’ll get there, eventually. If you are feeling this way about your weight loss – don’t beat yourself up. But also… do the work reflect on why there is a block.
Today’s challenge is to listen to a favorite song. I have many favorites but lately, I’m loving this one:
It speaks to longing and reflection, and a wish to go back in time to someplace special and intimate. I kind of think about life as walking a trail – where one foot steps forward as the other lingers in the past. I know this is true for me. I am who I was and also who I am becoming.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.