Day Three Hundred Seventy-Eight…

I had Open House so I only got home around 9:30 pm. I was really hungry and ate dinner and then I had 1 and 1/2 servings of Edy’s Moosetracks Sugar-Free Ice-cream. I went over my SmartPoints allowance so I did not earn a “blue dot”. In retrospect, it wasn’t really worth it but this was just one choice out of so many others. I thought about not tracking it for a moment, but then who would I be kidding? Myself. I am proud that I recorded it and am continuing to be honest with myself and anyone who happens to read my post.

Now I am looking forward to washing my face, getting into p.j.’s and hitting the sack. Tomorrow is a new day.

Day Three Hundred Sixty-Nine…

This post is coming at you late because it has been a long day of work. I spent most of today writing on my computer. I found myself thinking about food a couple of times. Two times were because I was experiencing internal hunger. Time had slipped by and I had not eaten in over four hours and I wasn’t craving anything, in particular, I just wanted to eat something. However, one time I was thinking about a Carvelite Ice Cream Cone and that was a desire to alleviate some stress. I didn’t go for the cone because I had a chocolate chip cookie after lunch. I’m ending the day with one rollover point. Breakfast 2sp; Lunch 8sp; and Dinner was 10sp.

So while I have this tremendous workload going I decided, I needed a boost. So I did two things to help myself…

One: I prepared a really delicious dinner. I cleared my dining room table of all my books and the whole family sat and enjoyed the meal together. It was homemade sauce (with pork) and pasta. A true comfort meal for me and I was able to eat it, enjoy it, and still stay on plan. I did weigh and measure my serving, and I had a piece of bread to dip in my leftover sauce. So darn good.

Two: I needed a visual anchor to remind myself of how far I’ve come in terms of weight loss. On my right, is my mother’s ring sparkling up at me. There to remind me of all the years it was tucked away in a draw because I couldn’t wear it.  On my left, my engagement ring, and wedding ring which were at one time, too small for my fingers. Now they are so loose they turn to the side. I did that.

I think it’s important to give yourself a chance to be successful. When you know you are going to be up against it you’ve got to plan in some relief. Celebrate all the victories none are too small. Believe you can do it even when your circumstances aren’t ideal. You are worth every ounce of effort. I’ll be back at this tomorrow. Do this with me we can all get to goal.

Day Three Hundred Fifty-Eight…

The end of August means getting back into routines. Packing my lunch and breakfast. – check! Pre-tracking my food for tomorrow – check!  Laying out my workout and work clothes  – check! Scheduling my morning (5:15 am) spin class – check! It means early bedtimes, and planning ahead. Even though this summer has been hard, I will miss it.

I am so grateful that I’ve been able to put so many good habits into place. The habits are the muscle that keeps the lifestyle going.  Having a better understanding of how habits work is helping me. Now I don’t feel defective when I sense the tug of old habits. Old habits never die, but they can get crowded out by new ones.  I picture that in my mind and it helps. The secret sauce for habits – beliefs. You have to believe that what you are doing will work – then it works! Strange that it’s that simple,  but it’s true.

Back in December,  I had this epiphany about beliefs and that’s when I really turned the corner. I remember it because it was very profound, it was like a lightbulb went off in my mind. I began to really believe I could do this and then I never looked back.

If you want to lose weight, begin by:

  1. understanding why you want to lose weight – is your “why” compelling?
  2. changing one habit, for example, tracking your food intake.
  3. finding an activity that is enjoyable – you’ll be happier.
  4. setting small goals, and find some time to reflect.
  5. getting a community of like-minded others to help you along the way (I’m in!).

#selflovechallenge

DAY 27: Tune out. Shut your phone off give yourself a social media vacation. Don’t answer emails or texts right away.

To be honest, this not one that would be helping me to care for me right now. However, I do understand the intention.

Day Three Hundred Fifty-Five…

What do you think of when you read the word, craving?  I think of this as a negative word, one that has deep roots primitive behaviors that spell trouble for changing my lifestyle when it comes to food and fitness.

Well, it turns out I’m half right. A craving is a primitive behavior. One that is generated from the hippocampus, a part of the brain that houses memory.  Whenever we establish a habit, the brain learns to anticipate a reward and kicks a craving into action. The longer we delay the reward the stronger the craving becomes.

However, we can use this part of human nature to our advantage. Instead of craving chips, cookies, or cake, we can train our brain to crave the sensation we get after a good workout. I think that’s why it’s so important to have non-scale goals because when we crave weight loss in numbers we can be easily disappointed.  Sometimes, even when we have a perfect week, we don’t get these ideal numbers we were hoping for and end up feeling frustrated and despondent. No good.

Reflecting back on this (almost) year-long-journey I have learned to crave productive rewards that are helping me to get to goal. I’m so close, almost there. I feel great and am filled with gratitude.

#SelfLoveChallenge

DAY 24: Get out in nature—take a walk, do some gardening, or just lay in the grass.

This was the perfect challenge for today. It was such a lovely summer day. My husband and I went to the beach and had a nice time. Until our quiet shady reading spot was invaded by a raucous group of 13-year-olds celebrating a birthday. Loud and full of energy – so we left and went to the village to enjoy a walk on the dock. It was sunny and breezy and we thoroughly enjoyed the weather.

Northport Village

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Three…

I gained .4 pounds this week and that’s ok. This is a process and these fluctuations are to be expected. I feel really healthy and my measurements are less than they were even a week ago. That is my rational mind. There is also a small childish part of me who says, “No fair I did everything I could to make up for cake and ice cream choices I made. This is taking forever.” That is my emotional mind. The reality is weight loss takes time, effort, and patients. This is the way it has to go for me. I can only do my best and hopefully, next week will yield better results on the scale.

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Today’s Weight Watcher meeting focused on what it means to have a Non-Scale-Victory (NSV).  Owning my real feelings about this week’s small gain and moving on from it without sabotaging myself is an NSV for me. Even now, with all of the behavior changes I have put into place, this acknowledgment of my true feelings is an NSV because there is a very unrealistic part of me that wants what it wants. It’s easy to find comfort in food but I don’t want that to be my story anymore.

NSVSo if you’re on the journey, and you are feeling like it’s never going to happen this is the time where you have to lean in and say, “This is is a process and in time I will get what I really want. I really want to get to goal.” If wanting to get to goal is real for you, that will be enough to get you through your disappointment. Honor every feeling you have, don’t try to ignore what your thinking, and talk back to any disappointment you may be feeling, remind yourself of all that you’ve accomplished up to this point.  This is hard, but you can do it and so can I.

#SelfLoveChallenge Update

DAY 4: Take four “mini breaks” today just to breathe deeply for two minutes and be in the moment. Focus on what your body feels like: Is it tired? Are there areas that are tense? Try to relax, if the answer is yes.

I did one of these so far today. I felt some pressure at the base of my head into my neck.  I also felt a little pressure under my shoulder blade on my right side.  It felt good to be still and try to break up the tensions I was feeling. At one point it felt like a long time had passed even though I had my phone time set for two minutes.  I think this is worth doing because it strengthens my ability o be mindful and present. Try it for yourself, let me know what you found. More tomorrow, as always thank you for reading these posts.

Day Three Hundred Twenty-Nine…

One of the reasons I joined Weight Watchers is that their program is rooted in scientific research. It is built to sustain life-long behavior changes when it comes to eating right and getting active.  A benefit of the program is that we receive a Freestyle publication that shares research and insights into weekly topics. Our topic this week is self-esteem.

Self-esteem

Having a healthy self-esteem helps with weight loss. The sad part of this equation is that we tend to have lower self-esteem just when we need it most! There is certainly a lot of judgment and prejudices embedded in our society when it comes to weight. I have been on both ends, and have experienced it first hand. People treated me differently when I was 85.8 pounds heavier. It is heartbreaking and it is true. I am thinking that is why Weight Watchers Science Team coined the phrase “weight independent self-esteem.”  It is essential that we all value ourselves for who we are not what we weigh.

Years ago I read Geneen Roth’s book, Women, Food, and God An Unexpected Path to Almost Anything. Her book had a profound impact on me.  I’m annoyed too because I lent it to someone who never gave it back The thing is I am struck by how many lessons I learned about myself reading that book  Things have stuck with me even though I wasn’t fully ready to understand her message until now. Read the book  My top three lessons I learned:

  1. Stop taking what I already have for granted.
  2. Food is not a time machine to bring me back to happier days.
  3. Get out my head and into my body; be appreciative for what it does for me every day.

It’s no wonder that Geneen’s work has had an influence on Oprah too:

If you want to improve your self-esteem here is an exercise I learned this week:

  1. Focus on someone who cares about you.
  2. Examine that person for a minute – how they look, what they sound like, eye color, height, imagine this person smiling at you, personality…
  3. Ask, What makes this person special to me? Then observe how you feel.
  4. Ask, How does that person see me?  List all the things that you do that makes your special person appreciate you. You are so worthy of love and self-caring!

These are suggestions from Weight Watchers. Why not try them? There is nothing to lose and maybe a lot to gain. My wish for you is that you have a successful day on the journey!