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.
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.
The best thing about a person’s day can be so many things. What’s the best thing to me, may seem insignificant to someone else. It really doesn’t matter what the “thing” is it matters that it is acknowledged. For me, the best thing was that I got right back on plan. I didn’t spiral into a binge, and I didn’t make the decision to put this goal of weight loss away on a shelf until after the holidays. That’s the best thing for me today.
This not an earth shattering statement, but I need to say it just the same, losing weight and maintaining weight loss is hard. There are a trio of negative feelings that linger over me as I write this post. Disappointment, gaining weight during the pandemic and losing my focus on my health goals is the first. Sadness, is the second, I am mourning the loss of the WW community. I canceled my membership because they are closing all the centers in my area. It is the community, that was the thing made WW special. I can’t imagine why they would give that up. Anxiety, will I be able to do this again? It takes so much energy to accomplish this, do I have it in me to do it again?
Yes. For starters, there are a few things I need to remind myself about. I am not starting over, I have slid backwards but I’m still better off than I was when I began my journey the first time. I know what I need to do make this work for me, and having this knowledge is a huge asset. I have people who love me and who will support me as I go through this, and that is priceless. I still believe in me, I believe I can get to goal. I dowloaded Noom to keep me balanced and engaged. So far, I like it. I like the small goals I am setting. I know that goal setting is a friend to me in this process. I like the idea that all foods have a value and need to be counted. I think I want to establish a habit of a daily weigh in. The platform is sleek and easy to use, I can log my meals in advance so that will be helpful once spring break is over.
Are you with me? Whether you’ve been on a weight loss journey for a long time, or if you are just thinking about starting you are welcome here. Any step towards better health is s step in the right direction. We can do this together.
Right now, I am feeling very positive about my weight loss journey. I think my feelings about maintaining this healthy lifestyle are a strong part of my new “why”. The journey is becoming part of my self-image, taking time to care for myself is important enough for me to keep going.
Right now, I am feeling strong on my weight loss journey. I have this feeling inside that makes me want to shout, “Energy!” I am grateful that I can move around, and that I’m healing from my accident in May. If I weighed what I used to, there is no doubt in my mind that my recovery would have been much slower.
Right now, I am feeling hopeful that I will get back to Lifetime status and achieve my goal. If I weren’t hopeful, I don’t think I could keep it going. My hope for future success feels all wrapped up in dinnertime. Figuring out the big family meal is still so much effort. It’s my hope that I can find a way to manage getting dinner on the table, feed everyone, and still be able to track the meal accurately that keeps me at this. Dinnertime is difficult, but I am still hopeful I can find a solution. If I want to eat good food, then I need to invest time and effort towards the cause.
Right now, I believe in me. My confidence is high and that feels really good. I think it’s so easy to get down on myself. The times I overindulge, the times when I struggle with certain foods, the times when I decide not to be active. All of those times feel bad and it’s no good to wallow. Instead, I’m just happy to acknowledge the good – I got this.
I wonder, where are you on your journey? Are you on the high end, the low end, someplace in-between? If you had to describe your resolve for this work, what would it be right now?
In November 2018 I made it to my WW goal. My motivation for getting to goal was to get my energy and confidence back. I wanted to get back that sense of “lightness” that sense of ease I used to have moving around in the world. That why was enough to sustain me and carry me through over a year of effort. I was elated.
Since achieving goal, I have gone on to be a Lifetime member. In WW world that means you no longer have to pay so long as you maintain a two pound range. I was able to maintain that until August this year. Right now, I am above that two pound range and have some work to get back to my “free seat”.
Things are a bit different this go around though. Even though I’m outside my range, I still have the energy I strived for, and I do feel that same sense of confidence. My clothes fit; although some of my jeans are a little tight, which I don’t care for that very much… I am 13 pounds away from Lifetime. This time, getting back to goal has to be driven by a why, it has to be one that fits my current situation.
I don’t want my why to be driven by fear of gaining back the weight. I want my why to be a positive thing, something that will inspire me and (I hope) others. I want to learn how to be mindful, someone who understand herself better. I want to try to grow beyond this struggle. I’m not sure exactly how I will do this yet… but this is what I’m thinking. My why is a work in progress but I think I’m getting closer.
WW’s focus this week was about sleep, and now I’m thinking about how important getting quality sleep is to my weight loss journey. I think the reason I gained weight in the first place was because I would stay up late to work and wouldn’t get enough sleep. I would eat when I should have been sleeping. Here are some reasons to consider:
Studies suggest that poor sleep leads to obesity.
Sleep depravation increases appetite.
Well rested people can stave off cravings and make healthier choices.
Late night snacking can becomes a very unhealthy habit
Muscle loss results in poor sleep.
Sleep improves physical performance.
Poor sleep over a few days may result in insulin resistance
If you want to read more about sleep, click here it’s a good read, and very informative.
A couple of things…
I couple of things I did today that in the moment was hard to do but afterward made me feel great. I bought good options when I went to the food store including: cotton candy grapes, cauliflower, snap peas, lean pork tenderloin, and chicken. Later, I wanted a snack, and I put it into my tracker first, when I saw that it would take me out of my “Blue Dot” zone, I decided to pass on it. Then I selected a lower point snack that was satisfying and I am still on track.
It was my turn to submit a journal challenge to the group. I named it, “On Fire! Tools Spark Weight Loss & Wellness” I found reflecting on my tools to be very useful and I thought other people might too. If you would like to do the challenge… here it is::
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.
What if today was the first day of the journey? This was a strange and unexpected thought I had as I was getting ready for the day. l was thinking about all the ambition and hope that gives me the boost to take on big work. Life is so consuming, so hectic and it’s really easy to to take my health goals for granted. Ironically, taking my health goals for granted, would be a big mistake.
When life gets hard, that’s just when I need to dig in and bring my best self to the table. Eating berries and non-fat yogurt is an act of self-love precisely because it is good for me. It’s something beautiful that I am eating to make me stronger. Going to spin class is the thing that helps me to be strong for the challenges ahead. Working together, these are the actions I can take to run into the fights that life doles out.
We fail because we forget about ourselves. Weight loss, living a healthy lifestyle is becoming a practice I keep, not a means to an end. I couldn’t have had these insights without all the experiences I have had. My perspective is earned and has been shaped by my community. The people I trust and share with on Saturday mornings, and in this virtual space.
My heart is light, and I filled with gratitude and appreciation, and that helps take on the heavy burdens that we all are given. Thank you for walking this path with me, thank you for inspiring me, thank you for helping me to see beyond myself.
This is what I have to say… I can do this. Even when I’m not feeling 100% I can do this. Even though sometimes it is hard to track, weigh, and measure my food I can do this. If I just take the time to think it through and reflect on why I’m doing this, I will see it’s worth it. Living in a healthier body is worth the work. So… even though it’s been hard to do lately, I will keep at it because I am worth the effort.