Keep it Simple…

Have you ever lost something spent hours looking for it? Then as an afterthought, not really expecting to find it, you open the junk drawer in the kitchen and there it is looking at you in the face. “Hi, I’ve been here all along just waiting for you.” That is where I’ve been. I’ve been looking for my motivation to keep going on this journey to better health and weight loss since the pandemic began. I think I finally found the right drawer, in the very last spot I could have looked; and now, I am ready to begin again.

Beginning again, is an extremely generous gift I am giving myself. I have to confess, I have gained weight since #COVID19 took away the supports that helped me to get where I was. No more in person #WW meetings with my Greenlawn Goal Setters. The community that held me and kept me going has been dismantled by corporate and even though there are virtual spaces to “see” each other, it is not the same. I miss being with my dear sister every Saturday, carpooling to Greenlawn be with our friends. I have always maintained that it is the sense of community that makes #WW a successful program for me. This is not the only loss, #COVID19 has also taken away the 5:15 am spin with my favorite instructor, Michelle. Now I do not get the physical release that helped me deal with stress, and give me the boost to take on the day. And just when it couldn’t be worse, worry has been my constant companion throughout this dark time our lives.

The match that lit this flame to my newly found motivation was that my hubby convinced me to buy a new Peloton. I don’t have it yet, but just knowing there is one being made for me and that it is on its way is enough to stoke my inner motivation.

Arrival Date January 8, 2021

I’ve missed you, readers. I’ve missed the woman I am when I write for you too. I have felt like a failure, like an imposter, over these months. So many starts and stops only to dissolve into defeat. I have to keep reminding myself that I am not a failure, I am not an imposter. I have to keep telling myself my own story, that I have done this once and I can do it again. It’s not like I’m starting completely over. I am still way ahead of where I once was. I am going to keep it simple. I’m going to track my food in my tracker, next week I’m going to weigh in at home, and I am going to get enough rest. And if you’ll have me, each day I am going to write you and let you know how it is going. I hope you are well, Let’s just believe in ourselves together that we can do this. Ok? More tomorrow.

Even When…

By the time I got home from the city today, I was tired and hungry. This is not a winning combination. I made some poor choices, and am now regretting them. Regret is a reason to reflect. If I had tracked my choices while I was making them, I probably would have made better ones. My dad liked to say, “Kick yourself once, then let it go.” So, I’m starting over. I am drinking a big glass of water, washing my face, brushing my teeth, and going to bed.

All day learning at Columbia University Teachers College

Tomorrow, I’ll go to spin and start again. Even when I feel like I’m failing on my weight loss journey, I know that’s not true. Just being on the journey, investing in the thought, the planning, the ambition to change my life and make healthier choices is a marker of great success. This is not easy, and it’s a mistake to minimize that. However, I know I can accomplish difficult things. My choices today do not define me. They are a product of physical and emotional exhaustion.

More Not Less…

After reflecting on my day, the topic for tonight’s post came with great clarity – weight loss requires more not less. A weight loss journey requires more energy and joy. It requires an abundance positivity over scarcity. The thing is, weight loss is often associated with sacrifice, depravation, and stringency, and that’s a shame. I’ve come to grips with the reality that my weight loss journey will go on for the rest of my life, and there is no way I could be successful if I lived my life with such harsh restrictions.

Embrace more of the good in life. Carve out spaces for the good stuff, be present and seize opportunities for more good times as they come your way. That was my attitude today.

More great food to enjoy…

More chances to find beauty..

More time enjoying life…

Sometimes food can be substituted for other things. It can suppress unwanted emotions, it can distract from loneliness, it can provide temporary energy when we really need sleep. The more present I become in my journey, the more I learn about myself. I hope you are reflecting, and learning as you go. You are totally unique, and are worthy admiration and love.

Self-Care Check In

Workshop Wisdom…

Purposeful planning is what has been sticking with me all day. It was a topic of conversation this morning, and I think it’s a good subject for me to explore. Planning and control are a powerful combo. Knowing when and how to exercise control, and how to set up the environment to make weight loss goals doable is worth thinking about.

My vacation away was a good example of how to exercise control. I made an intentional choice to embrace experiences as they happened. I didn’t want to restrict myself; so, I didn’t say “No” to blueberry pie and ice cream (Oh yum, if you head up to Maine have some). I didn’t really want to worry about Wifi connections and take myself out of experiences so I could track all the food I ate. I wasn’t distracted by that internal dialogue about food that can take such a toll. Instead, I decided to feel free to and to be out in the world. I was completely present. These choices don’t make me a failure, I think they made me wise. I experienced it all, and I had so much fun.

Now, I’m home, and I have decided to totally embrace the plan in the same way that I was right before my trip. Before the trip, I had lost weight and felt like I had some momentum going. Now I feel ready to keep that going. I did gain this week, but not much and I’m fine with that. I am hoping I have a big loss next week, but either way, I’m good.

Purposeful planning has a lot to do with knowing yourself. An important question to ask, what do you need to be successful? Everything I need I can make happen:

  1. Buy a variety of foods that are prepped and ready to go.
  2. Keep a clean kitchen with easy access to containers and tools.
  3. Bedtime habits that ensure a good night’s sleep.
  4. Taking time to be active each day.
  5. Daily reflection or mediation that help keep me centered.

Think about how you can exercise control that gives you an advantage. Think about how you can take steps to implement some purposeful planning. This would be a very good start to achieve weight loss success. Think about who you are and what you really want. You are worth the work.

Back On Plan…

Ok, so I did not make my goal for being on plan and still enjoying vacation. I ate whatever I wanted, and I did not track any of it. I even let vacation behaviors drift into my routines once I got home. Now I’m done with that. How do I know? I was active, tracked my food, and am writing this post. I’m going to weigh in tomorrow because as I’ve written in the past, it’s an important part of my process.

Vacation was a lot of fun. I really needed to get away, and I’m grateful that we were able to make that happen this year. It’s not always true for us, and that is a sad truth. This blog is dedicated to health and wellness, and it’s really it’s so important to get leisure time with family and friends. Yet for many of us, it’s so hard to make this happen. Being outdoors impacts everything from lowering stress, to strengthening the immune system. Check this out:

– boosts the immune system
– lowers blood pressure
– reduces stress
– improves mood
– increases focus,
– accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
– increases energy level
– improves sleep

Read More:

I had some momentum before going away, and now I know I’ve gained this past week. I do feel strong and ready to get back on track. I know I need a plan to make my resolve take root. Here is my plan:

  1. Track all my food, weigh and measure my portion sizes.
  2. Eat mindfully and be present when making decisions about food.
  3. Get activity each day.
  4. Don’t hang out in close proximity to the kitchen.
  5. Name my feelings as I feel them.
  6. Go to workshops, participate, and get weighed.
  7. Stay hydrated.
  8. Look for beauty every day and try to capture it.
  9. Welcome and look for opportunities to be creative each day.
  10. Embrace bedtime routines/get at least six to seven hours of sleep.

This is my plan, if it helps you too that makes me very happy. I am back and ready to commit myself to my health and wellbeing. Sure, I could decide to feel badly that I have (without a doubt) gained weight this week. But I don’t. I am living my life, and that is not something to feel badly about. There is always room for improvement, and that is what the list is all about. Growing, learning, and loving myself.

I can do this, how about you? I hope you believe in yourself, and if you don’t I hope you talk to someone who does. Believing in yourself is a huge part of weight loss success. Think on that and make a plan. Share it with someone you care about. More tomorrow.


We hit the road and are officially on vacation. Driving down ribbons of highways, my first impression of Maine is that it is very remote, wild, and beautiful.

I made some healthy food choices for the car ride, but blew all my SmartPoints on ice cream (that was totally worth it) later on.

It wouldn’t be Maine without a nice lobster dinner. So we ate at a restaurant called C-Ray Lobster it is a family owned, roadside experience, and if you’re going to Bar Harbor, you’ll have a nice time and eat some delicious lobster!

I plan on doing whatever I want but holding myself accountable to tracking. I ended the day using 37 SmartPoints (29 of them was for the ice cream but again, so worth it). No pictures to share of that, but I’m sure we will go back.

Day One…

I wonder how many Day One’s I’ll have on this journey. I’m sorry that I’ve been absent from my blog for the past eight days. I went away for half that time to Vermont. I had so much fun, I was surrounded with my family and for the most part everything went smoothly.

I have strayed from the WW path over the past few days, and now it’s the day before my workshop and I’m feeling the pressure. I don’t really want to weigh in but I’m going to because I know I need to face it. No matter how long I’ve been on this journey I think it ( I ) will always be a work in progress. That is ok, I’ve made my peace with that. I would be a liar if I didn’t say that I’ve disappointed myself over the past few days in particular. I don’t even know why I’ve checked out. As I look back over the past few months I see lots of struggle. Strong starts and stops and I’ve had enough of that.

It is time for a new beginning (I know, some of you may be like… again?) but yes, again. It’s the starting over that matters, it’s the pick myself up and dust myself off that matters. I’m very imperfect and this is my thing I have to work on forever. Thank you, for coming along with me on my journey I do appreciate it – you help me. I hope I help you to keep going too. I think backup is a good thing especially when it’s so challenging to keep going. So say yes, to new beginnings with me. Ok?

For What It’s Worth…

Today a teacher’s assistant made a joke that maybe I should gain some weight. Yes, that happened. I don’t think she meant to be insensitive, sometimes people don’t realize how their words may be received. I include myself in that crowd. I’m sure if you were to go through my posts, you’d find things that could be misinterpreted. Words are powerful. Sharing my story is one way I was able to get to goal and achieve Lifetime status. Now it’s an important part of how I manage maintenance. This is where I try to be completely honest about how it’s going.

So… how’s it going?

I’ve been struggling lately, I have found myself picking at food and not tracking. Eating some foods that are not helpful and tend to make me hungrier. For example, I love cereal but it’s not a good food choice for me. I’ve been finding myself in the kitchen on the hunt for something to eat when I’m not really hungry. It’s only just recently over the past few days, that I’ve been able to turn it around. I’m tracking and I’m rolling over points. I’m being thoughtful about what I eat and how much. I’m working on being mindful and that helps a lot.

I guess I’m learning not to be so fixed with my story and to just be open to what is really happening now. I can do this, I can do this. I can do this. So can you.

Keep Going…

Tonight I want to remind myself to keep going. I spent all this time and effort to regain my life back by losing 93 pounds. I did it so I could live the rest of my life as the best possible version of myself. For me, that had to involve weight loss. I did all of this as a gift to myself, because this was a gift that only I could grant. If I wanted to make a big change in my life, it had to begin with me. Jennifer, remember to…

Keep going – you can maintain your weight loss

Keep going – you can accomplish your professional goals

Keep going – you are a loving wife and mother who is what they need

Keep going – you have everything you need and you are enough

A Chance to Change…

If given a choice, would it be better to change or stay the same? Sometimes change can be completely daunting. It implies more work, it can make people feel unsure if they are up to the challenges change may bring. Change is a departure from what is known to a more uncertain future.

A chance to change is also an incredible opportunity. In many ways change is a gift that has the potential to redefine life itself. Change is the stuff of growth, it reveals inner strength and flexibility. Change flips old habits into better routines. Change is the very thing that can boost our relationship with ourselves and each other.

Weight loss, careers, relationships all of these things can rest on a chance to change. The most reassuring thing I can share is that the choice is up to us. Will you change your life? Or, will you embrace your life as it is now? I am voting for change. I’m going to remind myself to work from a positive spirit, to celebrate what is good about me so I may aspire to be more than I am now. Change, it’s scary but it’s also wonderful.