Here is a moment from my day to celebrate. Instead of ordering out with the girls, I ate the lunch I packed from home. The great part is that I didn’t feel as though I missed out on anything. I really enjoyed eating with my friends, and I still stayed on track. There have been times when it wouldn’t go this way. I felt good because my health and wellness journey is important to me. I want to make a positive impact on my life and it’s working. I feel better, even if sometimes it’s difficult, I am proud of myself for maintaining my resolve.
Living the Plan
Members of Weight Watchers know about “blue dot days”. Blue dots represent a range of points (all foods have specific point values) and when members eat within that range (a healthy eating zone) the day turns blue. It’s just another way to gather some formative information on the journey to lose weight:
I am living my life, and I’m losing weight. It really can be done. Sunday was Mother’s Day and for me, that meant using up all my extra weekly points (we get a set number of weekly points to use at our discretion). Then on Wednesday, I went over my daily allotment of points too, and that’s ok too. I’m not interested in feeling deprived or disappointed; but, this doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all either. I am learning how to (I just can’t help myself) have my cake and eat it too.
If you have been blessed to be a mother, or are a special woman, who is making a difference in the lives of others, I honor you today. I can think of no better challenge than to ask you to give yourself a compliment. Be intentional, and use your internal voice (you know the voice that is often critical or worrisome) for something good today. This challenge is something you are doing just for yourself. If you want it to be private, yes. If you want to share it with someone else, yes. If you want to post it in the comments for other readers to see, yes. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself is the whole point.
Ever notice how many people will say crazy things like, “It’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone.” This is said without any real regard for the experiences that come about from having done the thing that pushed you out of your comfort zone. Sometimes those are rough experiences! I don’t think the “good” actually comes from the experience, To me, it only does good if I reflect following the experience.
I went to Manhattan for work, and all of it was out of my comfort zone. Now that it’s over, I can honestly say, I’m glad I went, but I’m really tired. Was it worth it? Did it help me grow? I’m not sure yet, it depends on how much the experience impacts my practice. So time will tell.
Speaking of challenges, is cutting sugar out of your comfort zone? My answer would be, no cutting out sugar is pretty easy. It’s easy because I have already put in the sweat equity into my habits. I don’t eat a lot of sugar these days, and I don’t really miss it. Without any real evidence; my gut, thinks limiting sugar/added sugar has been very helpful. The weight is coming off, I have more energy, and I am a happy traveler (for now) on my journey.
Do a Favor for Someone
All day long I felt like I was on a secret mission. I was on the hunt to do a favor for someone. It was an interesting feeling because it felt like I was taking an active stance for kindness. All I kept thinking was I am a force for good… even if, it’s just a few small acts. Whether I was helping a friend, lending a hand with a colleague’s project, or just doing something thoughtful for my husband. I can go to sleep tonight knowing, I made things just a little nicer for the people in my life. This knowledge filled me with a great deal of happiness. See there is joy on the journey.
Chances are good, that if you are reading this blog, then you are interested in weight loss, and/or improving your health. Being part of a caring community makes such a difference because you know you’re not alone there are plenty of people like you. I always say this, but then something struck me during my WW meeting this morning, even though we are all on a weight loss journey, all of our experiences are so very different.
A friend next to me shared her struggles, and I could feel myself getting pulled into her story because it resonated so deeply. Her hardest meal of the day was dinner. Me too friend! But then as I listened I soon discovered my reasons are different. Dinner is a problem for me because during the workday, I make hundreds of decisions, and by the time dinner rolls around I have decision fatigue. I handle this by having a plan for dinner, Here I am sitting next to a friend who has the same problem yet my solution would be useless to her. We are the same but not the same.
Weight loss is a journey that is meant to teach us something important about ourselves. While it’s easy to relate and see yourself in others’ problems, what works for them may not work for you. What then? It may seem daunting but you need to think about yourself. A friendly way to begin is by being curious about one thing. Here are some ideas to start you off:
- How many nights do I eat dessert?
- How much sugar am I eating?
- How does my weight fluctuate from day to day?
- How can I apply what I’m learning about health/nutrition?
- How do I feel right before and right after a workout?
- How does mindful eating impact my hunger levels?
- How does the quality of my sleep impact motivation?
- How do my community/family/friends help or hinder me?
- What habits are or are not sticking?
- What would happen if I changed (…)?
Being self-aware unlocks so much of this process. Invest some time and do an inquiry into yourself. See what you learn, because there is no one in the world who is like you. You are unique and worthy of study – turn an “admiring lens” (Gravity Goldberg) on yourself and appreciate all that you are and all that you give back to the world.
How do you feel about writing down everything you eat? Have you ever done it? I have. When my healthy habits are ticking along under their own volition – it is somethingI do without even thinking about it. Meaning, it takes very little energy or thought to keep it going. Today’s WW meeting was all about how research says that people who track what they eat, lose weight.
“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”~ Mother Teresa.
I believe that research because I lived it. On December 22, 2018, I reached “Lifetime!” (click here to read all about it) Faithful, honest tracking is a big reason I acheived this. If you are reading this (and are not a member of WW) “Lifetime” is a term meaning you have maintained your goal weight for 6 weeks and now you no longer have to pay to be a member.
So if you’re serious about reaching your weight loss goals, here are some tips that can help you started with tracking:
- Write down the food or beverage as you eat. If you wait until the end of the day you may not be as accurate.
- Be specific when tracking. For example, if you have a snack of pretzels, note the amount (a good kitchen scale helps with this).
- Get ready, this can be a tough one, cocktails count – track the booze it adds up.
- Writing in a journal or blogging works just fine, or a smartphone app like WW or My Fitness Pal can support your efforts. These apps also offer lots of helpful information.
So join me! Get on the right track but tracking. We can do it.
The word victory seems too big for turning down candy at professional development. It is hyperbole to use a word like that for such a small act. Victory is a special sort of word; one that sits high in the curio cabinet, bathed in the light waiting for “company” to arrive. To do something to earn such a word is to be admired. A rarified word that is meant for greatness, and not all meant for simply having some self-control during a work day.
Do you believe that? I really hope you don’t because weight loss is just plain old hard work for so many of us. And listen, if you turn down the candy bowl, or eat the lunch you pointed out and prepared instead of ordering out, and that makes you feel like a winner, I say, “Celebrate your victory!” It’s time to embrace these small acts because they add up and when you’re standing on the other side of “Goal!” with a big grin on your face it will certainly feel like VICTORY then.
A Clean Slate
New Year’s offers us a clean slate, and is there anything more appealing than a clean slate? Just like that (as if in a snap) all of the mistakes of the past are discarded, and everything is brand-spanking-new. A well-constructed resolution is truly something to admire. As if it were frozen in time, or under glass like the constitution or something. Especially one that has to do with weight loss, it catches the imagination, a new year, and a new me. It invites the willing heart, “This year will be my year to reach goal.” I can hear myself whisper it as if it were a magic chant just as the ball drops. For that moment it is easy to believe that a resolution will remain potent long after the strike of twelve. It is a belief that is, in a word – unspoiled – it is perfect.
Here is a secret, perfection is an enemy to process. Losing weight is a process of letting go of unhealthy habits while embracing healthy ones. So, why romanticize perfection when it comes to weight loss? For one, the inner critic loves perfection because it is unattainable. The very idea of it offers up bountiful opportunities to pummel the fledgling habits that are, let’s face it, a lot of hard work to establish. Another reason for the allure of perfectionism is it requires no work on our part. It is a symptom of a fixed mindset if I can’t be perfect, then it can’t be done. Intellectually, it is easy to call this out as being irrational and dumb. Emotionally, it is another thing altogether. It is like wearing a scarlet WW across one’s chest. Yes, you failed and everyone knows it because you sure can’t hide weight gain.
Is it all that dreary as we approach our end to another orbit around the sun? Chin up buttercup. It’s going to be okay. The good news is, I’m not perfect, and neither are you. There have been some false starts, and sudden stops to my weight loss journey this year, but I still believe I can do this. And you know what else? I believe you can do it too. Just don’t expect it to be easy and you are halfway there. Surround yourself with some inspiration, and some positive people who can help you along the way. So cheers to 2023 and imperfection! We are better together, and together (with a lot of hard work and persistence) we can get this done.
Count Your Blessings
Weight loss is not easy, and this is especially challenging during the holidays. Stress abounds all around us. For some, the holiday season is a magical time of year a backdrop for happy memories to unfold. For others, this time of year is a terrible struggle. As for the rest of us, the holidays are a mixed bag of highs and lows. Try to remember this, no matter where you are on that spectrum, kindness to each other helps to even our varied perspectives on this season of hope, peace, and joy.
I am not really tethered to my goals and I am reaching for what is convenient rather than what is a better choice on plan. I really want to get it together. Yesterday I wrote some goals that were not specific enough. So here is my redo:
- I will track breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- I will use the Peloton 3 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes each time
- I will continue to write daily posts and I promise to tell the truth
I’m doing this, not to stress myself out. Instead, I am doing it to help myself to recover. I love myself, and I want to be healthy. I want to feel good. I want to look good too. I have to believe that I can do it because I have a lot of people who depend on me and I want to be the best version of myself.