Influence…

I am thinking about what influences me. As I reflect on my interactions with my family and friends, the books that I read, my colleagues at work, and all the media I consume all have an impact. The decisions I make influence me also. Every choice leads in towards or away from success:

  • Do I pre-pack and track my meals for the next day the night before?
  • Do I go to bed early so I can make a spin class in the morning?
  • Do I stay up later and keep working?
  • Did I plan what we will have for dinner?
  • Do I have dessert tonight?

It’s all the little choices that have a big influence on the direction I take. So I plan on celebrating every choice I make that will render a positive influence. Tomorrow is weigh-in day, and of course, I am more than a number on the scale! However, I also believe the number is feedback on how I am doing.

I blog the truth. The truth is I really hope I make it within my two-pound range tomorrow. I will have 39 roll over points at the close of this week. That’s amazing. I made my fitness goal. That’s amazing! I included a variety of foods and made smart choices that left me feeling satisfied and not deprived. That’s amazing! I even took time to get a manicure on the way home from work today because I wanted to do something nice for myself. That’s amazing too!

If I don’t make it. I will be disappointed but I will not be deterred. I will keep working and doing my best. Right now, I’d love it if you promised to do the same. In my mind, I imagine that you say, “I will too!” We can do this, let’s go.

Organizing…

Getting myself together can be a real challenge. Sometimes, I just can’t get out of my own way because I overthink things. There are days when I just have to write a list for what needs to be accomplished. Today I want to:

  1. Work on the book (I am writing a professional book for teachers).
  2. Lesson planning for the week.
  3. Pack up the rest of Christmas and put it away.
  4. Clean the house.
  5. Create a dinner menu for the week.
  6. Go food shopping with a list.
  7. Pay my bills.
  8. Workout for 45 minutes.
  9. Spend some quality time with my husband.
  10. Prep for the week.

That is quite a list. It is a beautiful Sunday morning and I am very hopeful that I can make this happen today. I’ll let you know.

How’d I do?

So far… I’ve accomplished most of what I set out to do. I did not get to the gym but at least I walked the dog with my husband. Some quality time and activity rolled up in one. I prepped food for the week. My meals are packed for tomorrow. I paid my bills, and the Christmas decorations are packed away. The house is clean, and I did go food shopping. I have a little more planning to do before I go to sleep. Having clear intentions and organizing myself makes all the difference.

Day Ten…

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 y featured image is not from today. Today, was dreary, wet, and cold. Instead, I conjured up a picture from December of last year. It is so beautiful and makes me feel connected to a deep sense of wonder. This tree grew from a seed a small insignificant seed into this stalwart giant. A fixture on the landscape to guide my way home. 

It turns out I needed a little inspiration. I am finding that I am hungry and am looking to graze. I have not let that get away from me. But the past few days are rough! I am reminding myself to ask if this is internal or external hunger I feel. I am stirring away from sugar and am trying to eat a variety of foods. I only have 7 extra SmartPoints left (with today’s 3 point roll-over) and I don’t love that I’ve used so many points pretty early into my week.  Especially, since I’ll be traveling to Houston.

Yikes! It looks beautiful though. 

 This will be a little tricky but hey, I have you my virtual team on this journey with me. Believe it, that helps! I think there is just these “hungry” kind of days. Days that I have no business really being hungry because I’ve eaten and when I reflect on my overall being I’m not really hungry, I’m just craving something… I did, however, say no to these tonight:

Three reasons to be happy today: 1. I am happy about saying no these. 2. I am happy that I am working towards Lifetime status. 3. I am happy to know that so many people love me and that I love so many people. Life is crazy, but life is also very extraordinary.

My last words tonight are to hold on to all the beauty. Celebrate all the small wins. Be interested in yourself so you may be interesting to others :). You are worth all the effort this journey requires from us. I’m very proud of you, you are amazing, and don’t you forget that! More tomorrow. 

Day Four Hundred-Thirteen…

It was a great day at work, I did a training with a really nice colleague who I enjoy working with. Everyone got a lot out of our time together and that is a very rewarding feeling. However, with professional development (PD) comes the awful temptations of snacks.  So here is a tip to avoid eating the snacks and staying on plan. If willpower is a muscle, and having a plan helps to train that muscle, this is what I do:

  1. Acknowledge that the snack is something I would enjoy eating because I would…
  2. Take a picture of the snack and pass it on down the line knowing that I would be sharing my “win” here later…
  3. Post the picture and celebrate!

I know to a “civilian” this seems so basic, but believe me, I’m doing my happy dance. I have made up for my over indulgences from Saturday and that feels fantastic. I do like that I can “recover” with the rollover points because it’s something I always thought about and it helps to see the number decrease.

I have another thing to celebrate, I am almost at “low risk” according to my Waist to Hip Ratio…

I’m in this to feel more confident, to increase my energy level, and to improve my overall health. The Waist-to-hip ratio is better than the BMI as far as predicting serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and fertility.

This journey has changed my life for the better in so many ways. I can’t encourage you enough to give yourself a chance to be successful.  I know it’s hard when you have a lot of weight to lose. You may be feeling hopeless and that it’s all too much and you don’t even know how to begin.  You’re not alone I understand. This is hard. However, I can also say that it also puts you in touch with your inner power. That is an incredible feeling and it is only possible because this is hard.  Vulnerability sucks.

Embrace it, run to it, be vulnerable so you can be brave. When you are ready to begin that will be an amazing day because that means you are kindling the hope for change. In the meantime,  I am sending you my best hoping these words will be the kind words in your head that you decide to listen to. So, listen… You are spectacular, there is no one else like you and you matter. You deserve to live your life in the body that you want for yourself. Start small but start, and celebrate every little thing.

Day Four Hundred-Seven…

Last night, before I went to bed I was reading The Power of Habit and it turns out that researchers are very interested in willpower.  It seems that willpower is like a muscle and the more demanding the task the more depleted your stores of willpower can become. That’s why it can be hard to go for a run after work. You’ve used up all your willpower to get through answering a stack of emails and or reading some new protocol.

In the old days, a full day of professional development would have been a struggle when it comes to staying on track with my SmartPoints. There are always granola bars, candy, and sometimes cake, chips, or cookies to nosh on throughout the day. I was not tempted, not once. I did have one piece of candy (2sp) after lunch but that’s it – that’s all I wanted. My habits have become so rooted in my daily life that it doesn’t take the same amount of effort (or at least as far as today is concerned) to say no to food.

It was a full day of learning and I have lots to consider as I wind down tonight.  I’m thinking about the kind of language I use with my students. It is so important to be careful with language. Having the privilege of being part of a child’s education means that I get to be the one who cheers young readers and writers on as they learn to find their voice in the world. I get to amplify their success and honor their struggles. Learning cannot happen without some struggle. There is always a flip side: success and failure; safety and vulnerability, courage and fear. The thing is, we need both and we have to make both ok if we are going to continue to evolve into the best version of ourselves.

  • There is no success without failure so give yourself permission to fail. Fail without shame and lean in and learn more about yourself.
  •  We will never truly feel safe until we have put ourselves out there and opened ourselves up to vulnerability.  Share how you feel especially when the feelings make you feel small or unsure about who you want to be.
  • There is no way to be courageous if we don’t feel fear. Fear is the thing that makes courage so extraordinary. Do something new that you’ve never done but have always wanted to try. Grow into the person you want to be don’t just take shelter in a lesser version of yourself.

Learning and struggle are part of the journey. Whether you are learning to read and write or trying to change your habits to sustain a healthier lifestyle. Eventually, you learn and what was once a struggle is now just part of what you do, like saying “No thanks”  to candy. If you’re not there yet, it’s ok to be kind to yourself. Every single day your willpower gets a workout, life is hard sometimes. I think just acknowledging that makes it better.

Day Four Hundred-One…

I weigh-in tomorrow, I’m feeling good. Reflecting on my week I can say that it’s been hard to focus on myself. I’ve had to put my needs on the back burner while I handle everything life is throwing at me. It’s a pretty safe bet to say if you’re reading this post you can understand.

I had a few small wins this week. I went to spin two times, I was mindful about my food choices, I tracked even when I knew it would put my weeklies at -4 SmartPoints. I’m ending the week with a +2 so that makes me happy. I had some cravings for comfort foods that I didn’t indulge. When I thought about how far I’ve come and why I’m doing this it was easier to say no to temptations. The rational part of my mind understands that it’s not really the food I want as much as a reprieve from stress.

So either way, no matter what, I am better off today than I was a year ago. Even if I don’t make goal tomorrow I’m proud of myself because I’m not giving up. So, stay at this with me, ok? Believe it, I can do this and so can you.

Day Three Hundred Ninety-Eight…

Tonight’s post is going to be even shorter than last nights because I am deliriously tired.  However, there are TWO things I can celebrate about today:

  1. I am going to bed having accomplished my work goal for the day
  2. I rolled over two SmartPoints

I’ll take it and keep going tomorrow.  A little beauty found me while I was working:

Day Three Hundred Seventy-Nine…

The day was busy, there was so much to do at work that I barely had time to eat. I ate most of my lunch on my ride home. It was not a “blue dot” day but it wasn’t a disaster. I had my basic breakfast (greek yogurt and fruit), and lunch (sandwich, fruit, 1/3 cup pistachios, cut up vegetables, mini baby-bell cheese, low-fat Triscuits). Dinner – two tacos, a chocolate graham cracker from Starbucks with a tall nonfat skinny latte. So, I used 29 Smartpoints (one over the limit). I really enjoyed the graham cracker, unlike yesterday’s sugar-free ice cream, it was a big ticket item at 7 points.

As far as activity goes, I have been signing up for (and canceling) spin class. I have not gone because of all the late nights. When it comes to spin or sleep, sleep has to win. However, I did sign up for tomorrow, and I really want to go. Fingers crossed I get what needs to be done tonight at a reasonable hour so that happens. There is still so much work for me to do so work is taking priority.  However, this is a temporary (albeit extremely demanding) situation that will eventually come to an end.

So in the meantime, I am grateful for the latte and chocolate graham I enjoyed so much. I am grateful that I took Sadie for a walk the other day. I am even grateful for washing my face before I go to bed. These may be very simple things but they help. I am learning that even though I can’t control everything that comes my way, I can always appreciate what I have. It feels good to take this moment and think about the good because I want the good to grow.

My last words for today are I am rooting for your success on your weight loss journey.  This is a day-in-day-out kind of endeavor. It’s hard to see progress sometimes, and other times you wake up and feel totally different. I am 89.2 pounds and I made this happen. You can do this too,

Day Three Hundred Seventy-Six…

Here are my results in numbers for the week:

September 15, 2018

It’s been three weeks that I have (essentially) stayed the same weight. Two weeks ago I didn’t gain or lose weight, last week I gained 1.4 pounds, this week I lost 1.4 pounds. The last time (prior to today) I had a loss on the scale was, August 25th when I lost one pound. I am grateful that this slow patch is coming at a time when I’ve built up so many good habits.

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A member of my Saturday morning group made Lifetime today and I am so happy for her. I think her success is something to celebrate because she did it, she made it to Lifetime. Anyone who is on a weight loss journey can understand why this is an amazing accomplishment. She called herself a “habit girl” habits are the thing that got her to goal and lifetime. I also believe that it’s the consistency in my approach and mindset that is enabling me to persevere. I really do believe I can do this, it’s only a matter of time.

I hope you are experiencing success on your weight loss journey.  You can do this, and so can I so let’s keep moving forward.