Day Three Hundred Ninety-Six…

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.

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.

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.

Day Three Hundred Twenty-Nine…

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.

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:

  1. Stop taking what I already have for granted.
  2. Food is not a time machine to bring me back to happier days.
  3. 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:

  1. Focus on someone who cares about you.
  2. Examine that person for a minute – how they look, what they sound like, eye color, height, imagine this person smiling at you, personality…
  3. Ask, What makes this person special to me? Then observe how you feel.
  4. 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!