My weight loss journey has taught me more about life than I ever thought it would. Instead of working on my writing project from home, I went to my local library and that helped. My weight loss journey is helping me to think more strategically in other aspects of my life. That’s so unexpected. It makes sense though because if I keep plodding along, not getting the results I’m after and without reflection; obviously, I need a strategy.
How do strategies work for weight loss? The same way they work with anything new you’re trying to learn. Begin by thinking about a behavior you want to change. Then think about your strengths. What are you really good at doing? When you have those two answers you can take a strategic stance to help yourself. This is how it works for me:
Identify a Behavior Change: I do not want to use food as a stress reliever.
Identify my Strengths: I enjoy writing.
Taking a Strategic Stance: I can blog each day to reflect on my weight loss journey.
This is the strategy that has helped me lose 87.8 pounds. Writing every day has helped me to deconstruct my behaviors around food. This particular strategy, writing every day, may not work for you, if you don’t like to write, the strategy becomes a punishment. Only you can find out what will work for you. If you’re the kind of person who really enjoys cooking, that is your way to a strategic stance If you’re the kind of person who gets a thrill from organizing stuff, that is your way to a strategic stance. If you’re the kind of person who loves to be outside in nature (I’m thinking of my WW buddy Regina) that’s your way to a strategic stance.
My point tonight is, think about who you are because it’s your strengths (not your weaknesses) that will get you to the person you want to become.
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.
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.
So 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.
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.
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.
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:
- Stop taking what I already have for granted.
- Food is not a time machine to bring me back to happier days.
- 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:
- Focus on someone who cares about you.
- Examine that person for a minute – how they look, what they sound like, eye color, height, imagine this person smiling at you, personality…
- Ask, What makes this person special to me? Then observe how you feel.
- 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!