“There are so many people who want you to succeed. Believe me. Most of us already know that weight loss can be a difficult proposition, it takes time and effort. What some of us may not know? There are lots of and lots of people who will take the journey with you. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the process with an open mind and heart. If you travel this path with others you will be one of many leaders who will be a source of inspiration and support. You definitely don’t have to do this all by yourself.” This is my message today.
We live in a connected world. Technology offers so many ways to access each others’ lives. With a click on the trackpad, I can see family dinner at my cousin’s house in Florida, keep up with the latest news from colleagues in Washington, and follow my daring friend’s adventures in Hawaii. Then travel back home again to storytime with a friend’s grandchild. All of that leaves me feeling happy to know these things are happening in the world.
Yet there is also an underside to 21st Century life. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) one in five (22%) Americans say that technology leaves them feeling isolated, lonely, or anxious. I think that may be because we find ourselves on the outside looking into each other’s lives rather than being present in them. Being present and being an active learner is something that my #WW community truly lives by example.
Saturday Morning #WW Leaders Inspire Me
Being a member of WW who also attends meetings is a powerful thing. This organization continues to evolve and become something really special at a time when many of us crave a community. I love being a part of something bigger than myself, and today we all said, “Yes” to sharing our experiences. We did so as we celebrated each other’s success.
Lauren hit goal! She is going to be in the body she wanted in time for her wedding and is committed to making a permanent lifestyle change. Her story fills me with happiness.
Kim decided to make a change in her life, she said “I need to make a change. The time is now.” This week she lost 5 pounds, This is living your life with a sense of agency.
Erin is making intentional choices and says her success is 100% due to a mind shift. She lost 30 pounds as part of the virtual WW community and when she saw the weight coming back, she decided to start attending meetings. Bravo, Erin.
Betty lost 5 pounds and is learning how to navigate food choices during work. This is huge! This is empowerment.
Joanne lost 7 pounds in one week! Amazing. She is learning to say, “No.” and is taking care of herself. This is a life-changing reflection and it sends shivers down my spine.
Emily shared some real reflections on her week that were profound. She didn’t just keep doing what she’s done in the past to be successful she is being a responsive problem solver who refuses to get stuck. She shared her perspective that real change is all about mindset.
By now, it’s probably obvious why I am such a fan of #WW. I am not alone. I am part of this dynamic group and all I really want for anyone reading this blog is for you to feel included.
A word about my Featured Image.
Yes, we are learning about portion sizes, and healthy eating and activity. Yes, we are learning about the growth mindset and mindfulness. But more than that, we are letting each other into our lives because we want to make a change for ourselves and for each other. Take good care on the journey as we get ready for a new week ahead. Know that you can be part of something bigger than yourself, if only you say, “Yes.”
A strategic stance is just what I need to persevere through this next week. I am .8 away from my free seat and I am determined to get it back. My plan of action will be:
Build each meal around zero point foods. Click Tips & Tools for access.
Create a meal plan I plan on using Paprika (it’s a really neat app).
Reflect daily on how it’s going by blogging here.
Practice mindful eating using the Headspace app it is part of my WW membership (it is also very good).
Remember that even though I’m creating this action plan, it’s ok to be flexible. Changing my plan isn’t a failure it is being responsive.
I am optimistic that by next week, I will be within that two-pound range for my goal weight. That does mean a number goal of losing .8 pounds. Wait, isn’t it bad to have number goals now? Absolutely not. WW never said it was bad to have a number goal. They said there are other victories besides quantitive ones. As far as I’m concerned, once I’ve planned and executed these steps I’ve already won.
I think it helps to think of the number as feedback. Feedback is neither good or bad, it’s informative. I did this… and this was the result… I get into trouble when I personalize that number when the number becomes a reflection of my self-worth. If I’m trying and failing I am already winning. My resilience stems from my ability to adjust my plan and take further action that eventually leads to success. Does that make sense to you?
Food and memories are so deeply intertwined for me. I think of family dinners, holidays, and visiting relatives. I think of love and belonging when I think about food. I think of my little Italian Nanny, and my mother working all day in the kitchen to prepare the most delicious meals. Eggplant parmesan, escarole and beans, and pasta fagioli. Don’t even get me started on the pork sauce. Then there was the good sausage and Italian bread straight outta’ Brooklyn! I think of our kitchen table set for family and good times. It’s no wonder that food is so comforting.
Everything looked good to me.
These cookies are a guilty pleasure.
These looked yummy.
Even though I know these would be too sweet they were appealing.
I love pumpkin.
This is what I left with. A small win!
This blog is a place for the truth, and the truth is I am an emotional eater. The rational side of my brain says, “It’s just food.” The emotional side of my brain says, “Sweet relief! Yes, let me have another scoop of ice cream please.” However, the comfort is only temporary and is almost always followed with some regret. Since I began my journey, I am learning how to cope with emotions for what they are, and to deal with them without trying to distract myself with food. Somedays it is very hard to do, while other days it’s not an issue at all. It’s the self-awareness that I want to celebrate, getting to this point of really recognizing what has held me back in the past from achieving long-lasting weight loss.
Lovely outside my gym.
I’m in this for life, and that means I have to continue to work on this part of me until I really understand what it is and why it happens. It means knowing my triggers, and being more present. When I do go on “autopilot” and old habits creep back in, recognizing it and taking action. This stuff isn’t easy, and I think that’s why so many people give up on weight loss.
Just remember, it’s never too late for a “do over.” There is no shame in a fresh start even if it is every day or even every hour of the day. You are enough, and so am I we can do this, it just takes time.
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!