Tracking Transparency

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.

Victory

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.

Something Sweet…

It’s funny how a song can bring you back in time. I was watching the movie, Crazy Rich Asians, and heard a beautiful version of Only Fools Rush In. My uncle, Big Frankie, sang, that same song at my wedding. I remembered all the family and friends who were there to celebrate with us. It’s a very special memory.

A beautiful version of Only Fools Rush In

You might be thinking, “Ok, so? Isn’t this a wellness and weight loss blog?” It is. Weight loss can be transformative experience. While it changes how I live my life, inside I am still me. I think, in order to stay on this journey, I need to gather everything I am, all I was, and all I hope to be and use that so I keep going. I need to embrace it all if I want to hold onto the best version of me.

So as you do the work to reach your goals, why not turn your gaze to something sweet? It is especially important to remember how much love there is in life. So this is what I have to say to you, remember the love, just remember that. Hold onto that and know you are worthy of accomplishing your goals. Even when you fail, or slip up, or have days that don’t go as planned. You can do it, you’ll get there. Say that and believe it.

The King, Only Fools Rush In

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.

My Kindness Mantra…

You are worth all the effort maintaining weight loss takes. It is ok to take time to plan, to weigh and measure foods, to focus on you and what is important to you. The stronger you are, the better you can take care of yourself and everyone else that relies on you.

In times of stress and worry it’s easy to put your needs on the back burner. Try not to do that, because you are important too. Treat yourself as you would someone who you really love. Self-love is not selfish – it is kindness turned inward. You can do this and just remember how remarkable you are.

This note is for me, and you. Weight loss is a difficult thing, maintaining it is also difficult, so remember that if you get down on yourself. You are doing something difficult but it’s something you are doing just for yourself.

Finding Beauty…

Under an onyx sky the wind is a prankster swirling around the house restless and full of errant energy. It jostles the wind chimes that hang from the eves of the garage. Undulating clanging that is sometimes loud kicking up a big fuss and then muted and remote as they falls quiet. My mind whispers back, “I hope I never forget to appreciate the mystery of the world.”

Noticing the beauty in the everyday is a surprise gift I have rediscovered on my weight loss journey. The more I look for beauty in the world, the more I find it. Finding beauty helps in so many ways because it fills me up and gives me strength to keep going. The more I find it in the world the more I find it within myself. There is no other person like me, or you. That has value and worth and that is something important to remember.

My bluetooth speaker came today ! Thank you WW!

Celebrations & Gratitude…

There was so much to celebrate at my WW workshop

  • Beth lost over 6 pounds!
  • Loraine had an aha moment of clarity about how to change up her snacking!
  • Pam hit a mile stone and lost 25 pounds!
  • Jackie measured out her wine and realized that it was more than a serving and is now drinking it out of a smaller wine glass!
  • Angela hit goal
  • Rich is making huge progress as he is training for a half challenge at Walt Disney World January 2020. He walked 15 miles before our meeting!
Truth!

Look at what people can do when they have a growth mindset. A growth mindset means that we come into a process looking for challenges, knowing that there will be some hard work ahead. In taking this stance you begin to look at failures as a chance to grow rather than a label to define. What a hopeful way to view our lives, and what a great group of people to spend my Saturday mornings with, people who are out there meeting the struggle for a healthy lifestyle and who are digging in and doing the work to make it a reality. They are the kinds of people I want to be with and I am so grateful.

New Week, New Goal

We had a thoughtful conversation about why we get stuck along the way. Our take was that it was a combination of over doing it with the zero point foods combined with the indulgences. The indulgences are the snacks, wine, and other higher point value foods. For me, I do not over indulge with my zero point foods because I weigh, track, and measure.

I think I need to mix it up when it comes to indulgences. I want to make a list and try to be strategic. This is what I’m thinking, list all the foods I want to eat, and drink that have points, and then mix and match as this week goes. For example, 5 ounces of wine with grapes one day. Peanut butter and celery another day. Pistachios and blueberries and pomegranate seeds another day. When I eat these things eat them very mindfully and in a pleasant setting. I’ll put my list up on my Tips & Tools page if you’re interested in checking it out.

So I maintained my weight loss and am still sitting in my “free seat” that is an amazing feeling coming into a new season. I hope you are happy wherever you are in this journey. Keep positive and be reflective it helps.

Progress Not Perfection…

I met my weekly goal to get some activity each day. It wasn’t some crazy workout routine for me – it was to walk my dog. The sun was out the weather was mild and we both enjoyed it a lot….

On the downside I said yes to eating a Carvelite Small Cup and that was 14 SmartPoints. So, I’m over today. But isn’t the point of this journey to learn how to live and eat the things I want? I’m learning how to be more moderate and those lessons only come with these kinds of experiences.

I hope you are saying “Yes!” to the things you really want. I hope you are experiencing the power of saying “No.” and sticking with it because that feels pretty awesome too.