Changes

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.

Honesty & Negativity

February 18, 2023, was fourteen weeks ago. I have worked out every day for the past 14 weeks. In that time we have changed seasons, moving from winter and are headed toward the end of spring. I can (mostly) keep up with my Peloton classes, and I feel much stronger and more fit and that feels like progress. At the same time, I feel like all the extra weight I am carrying around with me, has amassed in my torso. So while I feel my muscles working I also feel like they are completely submerged in excess fat. So even though I feel good when I’m working out, I’m also a little bummed out.

Now, I find myself asking lots of questions like: Why did I let myself gain so much weight back? How long will it take to not feel so heavy? When will I see a decrease in my waist size? None of these questions are very helpful but this blog is a place, to be honest, and these are thoughts I’m having today. I would rather share them, and look at them than let them keep playing unchecked in my head. I think by reflecting on these negative thoughts, I can disempower them and relegate them to the background instead of letting them have center stage.

None of these feelings steal my joy of working out every day. I am so happy I am making time to do that and the habit is well-established now. There are ups and downs on a weight loss journey (hahaha I just read that back) but you know what I mean. Feelings are fleeting and the most important thing to do, when dealing with negativity, is to be honest about it – feel the feels and keep going.

“You are…”

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.

Look for the beauty inside of yourself as well as others.

The Water Secret

In the early days of video games, my mom used to like to play Super Mario Bros. I remember I used to sit with her in my younger brother’s room, and we would talk while she played the game. I didn’t really enjoy the game, but I thought it was funny that she did. So, I would watch her make Mario jump up to hit the floating box until the mushroom popped out and be absorbed by Mario turning him into Super Mario!

If we were in a video game, water would be the mysterious super nutrient that would endow magical powers to empower weight loss. It does a bunch of interesting things, but for this post, I am going to share 5 big ones;

  1. Drinking water curtails drinking high-calorie drinks.
  2. Drinking water prior to meals may help decrease appetite.
  3. Drinking water after meals can help with digestion.
  4. Drinking water boosts energy during workouts.
  5. Drinking water may boost your metabolic rate.

One thing I like about having a daily water goal is that it’s not complicated. All I have to do is to just drink water throughout the day and keep moving forward. “Let’s a-go!”

Take a Break to Reflect

Did you do today’s challenge? Did you take an intentional break? I wish I could tell you I did, but I didn’t, and today was a real pressure cooker. When there is a lot of stress, it makes good sense to take a break from it, but instead, I just kept pushing. Does this happen to you? When things get really stressful, I get consumed with doing whatever it takes to get it done. It’s complicated too, because (for me) stress can be a motivator. Stress gets me moving, and I focus on the work at hand and tune everything else out. But… at the same time, I have to be careful that stress doesn’t trigger old habits, like snacking under pressure.

If you read my blog, looking for an expert, I would feel like a fraud. I am not an expert, I am still figuring out this weight loss journey every single day. What I am (I can say this confidence) is a learner. The path to personal growth is through honest reflection, so here it is – I had a moment after dinner when I didn’t really want to go upstairs and work out. At that moment, I turned to my husband and said, “I’ve got to work out, or I won’t do it and this whole thing can fall apart.” By “whole thing” I meant all my habits. Thinking in these terms is called, “black-and-white thinking”

Did I resort to this misguided thought to push myself? Deliberately piling on more stress after an extremely stressful day. Or, did I really believe that ALL my habits would disappear if I didn’t go for a 20-minute cycling class at the moment? Could my answer be a bit of both? I don’t regret working out, that’s not the point, I do feel really good post-workout. I am concerned by the thought of not working out, if I didn’t do this one thing, then all my good habits would go away. This heuristic thinking is not helpful for me in the long run because I am attempting to change my life. Change can only truly arrive if I stop repeating past mistakes.

Thank you…

The human body is made up of complex systems. It is said that there are 86 BILLION neurons in the brain. Your body is a highly connected structure made up of organic molecules interacting within cells, hooking into tissues connected to organs. All of these systems are interconnected, all working together in harmony. Amazing.

Yet so many of us who are actively trying to lose weight take our bodies for granted. It’s easy to forget to be grateful for what we already have. So often, many of us are self-critical and sometimes even feel loathsome about our outward appearance to others.

So for today, I took a long look in the mirror. I took in my form and thought about all the things my body does for me. I said, “Thank you, for letting me move in the world. Thank you, for letting me spin and dance (albeit without any sense of rhythm). Thank you, for letting me hug those I love. Even if it’s not forever, I am so grateful for what my body can do today.

I truly feel better about myself. Now, the journey continues with a refreshed sense of deep gratitude and self-love. Thank you, readers, for coming on this journey with me. Onward!

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.

High Utility Habits

Do you have a junk drawer at your house? A drawer is a drawer that you allow yourself to just throw in whatever you want without any organization whatsoever. The only requirement is that the drawer can close. Out of sight out of mind. Until the tape is needed, or the little scale (don’t judge I do own two scales the little one is more precise with grams than the big one). The dog brush that untangles knots is there, right next to scented tartlets…

Some things are useless – like expired coupons or expo markers when there is no whiteboard in my kitchen. Some things are high utility objects, things I use every day like the tape, or pens you see in there. I think I have a condition that I always need office supplies on hand – but that’s a topic for another time.

In some ways, the habits I’m trying to cultivate are similar to this collection of stuff I hide away in my kitchen. Some habits are high utility – like tracking and movement goals. If I make those habits more accessible I am going to be more likely to lose weight. Others like meditation and bedtime routines are nice (and very good for me) but are not as likely to make or break my week when it comes to shedding weight.

So what habits are you trying to cultivate? As you think about it consider which ones are the most important – the ones you want to have on hand because they really make a difference.

Thanks for reading, and if you feel like it -leave a message, and let me know what you are thinking about.

A Little Imagination

I went for a walk today with my husband and our pup Sadie. It was cold and sunny, a welcome change from the soggy (unseasonably warm) grey weather of late. Along the way, we passed the telltale signs of post-holiday remains: condensed boxes tied neatly at the curb, a perfectly shaped Christmas tree rolled on its side, and houses stripped bare of their colorful lights. Then all of a sudden a splash of whimsy

Hello Mr. Narwhal

I just love a holdout. It sparked a little joy and optimism inside me like if you just look around you’ll find something special in the ordinary. Something that captures the imagination… I think it is very important to flex the imagination while trying to achieve any big goal. Especially when progress can be slow; as it sometimes is when it comes to weight loss. Think of it this way, imagination is the intellectual gift we give to ourselves. It is not something that is only reserved for artists, poets, and musicians. To imagine is to be human – it is innate to who we are and sustains us when the going gets tough.

Today has been a good day on plan. I hit my water goal, I am within my points, cooking dinner I planned out my meals for the week, and I had a very rigorous workout this morning followed by this leisurely walk that inspired this post. All of these tiny little goals knit together to form a strong foundation for my future success. No, I’m not perfect, as you can see by looking at my habit tracker… but the transformation to daily healthy habits is underway. I got this and if you believe it – so do you.