Write Your Own Rules…

I don’t think I ever fully appreciated the phrase, “that was a lucky mistake” before. It’s been my experience that it’s just no fun to make mistakes. There are lots of negative feelings that accompany them, feelings like, shame, embarrassment, fear, and vulnerability. Do you think it’s possible to move past these negative feelings and feel grateful for the mistakes you’ve made? How would looking at mistakes through a lens of gratitude be beneficial? I wonder, does it always have to be that way? I’m starting to think it doesn’t have to be that way, I think I can write my own rules when it comes to mistakes. I want to be more generous with myself, I want to lean into being more reflective and honest. I want to use my mistakes as a stepping stone for growth.

This week’s goal to be mindful during bedtime rituals and making sure I get enough sleep is going so much better than last week’s goal to roll over SmartPoints. Now I know, nurturing goals are working better for me. For where I’m at, right now on the journey, focusing on taking care of myself is more helpful. I only know that because I made a mistake last week.

So I used 47 SmartPoints today. Crazy. You may be thinking, ok that’s the real reason she’s writing about mistakes… But here is a little history lesson about my family. One of our traditions is that we spend St. Patrick’s Day with my brother and his family. All us “kids” get together have a great time and part of that is sharing a delicious meal. No one is left out; there is no drama, just good times. WW is teaching me how to do that and still be successful on my weight loss journey.

In my past a 47 SmartPoint day might have derailed my entire week. That’s not going to happen this time, I have learned from that mistake. I now understand how to avoid that outcome. That’s growth, and that self-discovery and that is a very big deal. How’s it going? What mistakes have helped you to grow? My advise, don’t run from mistakes look at them as an opportunity to learn, I think it’s just better that way.

Deconstructing Secrets…

After attending my WW meeting this morning, I am left thinking about some important issues. Today’s conversation reminded me that even though I am healthy and fit, I still have a lot of issues to work out. This week has been a challenging one for me, and there were times when I didn’t track, weigh, and measure my food and that is concerning to me. Maybe that’s why the group’s discussion lead me and another member to talk about what it is like to feel a loss of control over the process. We talked about the fear of “gaining it all back” and (for me) the public shame that would accompany that if it were to happen.

Gaining back the weight is a common fate for so many of us. Here is the thing, I think one reason that may happen is because once the weight is off it feels as if the problem is solved. In reality, the problem that caused the weight gain is most certainly not “solved”. I know because I can see some patterns now that were more elusive to me in my past. Now I see that most times, when I start picking and eating food mindlessly, it’s usually a stress response. Sometimes, when I feel like I need some kind of external comfort I turn to food, it’s a conditioned response. A coping mechanism that provides some relief in the short term but in the long term really hurts me. To some of you these insights may not seem like big revelations; however, they are for me personally. That’s what matters.

Weight loss and maintaining it is really difficult. Some days are harder than others. I tell you this because I don’t want anyone reading these posts to think I’ve got this all figured out. I don’t want anyone thinking it’s easy for me, or that I have the benefit of some special talent for this. It’s not that I have some kind of secret that I can sell. I write these posts to inspire myself and hopefully anyone else who decides to read them.

So here comes the inspirational part of my post for today. There is so much we can do to help ourselves be successful, we have a lot of power. Accessing this power in times of need comes down to three simple steps:

  1. Take a beat to engage self-awareness over what is happening in the moment allowing yourself to become mindful of your actions, thoughts, and feelings. Think of it as being a quiet observer.
  2. Then take aim and be strategic by executing control over something. Select one thing to say yes or no to and see how that makes you feel. Be thoughtful and present be mindful.
  3. Win, lose, or draw make a choice. It doesn’t really matter if the choice you make is good for your weight loss efforts or hinders them. The point here is that by acting mindfully you are waking yourself up to a making an informed choice.

The word mindful is key to this recovery plan but it is not synonymous with success. The function here is to uncover what you’re doing so you can think about why the behavior is happening.

Goals, Refresh, Repeat…

Here is what I know about weight loss,

  • It’s not easy so don’t feel bad about failing
  • It’s not quick so don’t feel discouraged if it’s taking a long time
  • It’s not a one size fits all solution so do take some time to figure out what you need to be successful

You are worth the effort so keep trying.

Goals & Mindfulness…

Being mindful means becoming more aware within the moment of doing something. I’d like to work on that as part of my goals. I think being more aware of my internal and external experiences would help me on this weight loss journey. Becoming more present and mindful would deter overeating because overeating is an escape. Mindfulness is like the exact opposite trying to escape. This is just what I’m thinking about.

Friday Reflection…

In terms of my weight loss and maintenance goals it was a great week. I achieved my fitness goal: I went to spin class three times. In terms of food, I will rollover 35sp. today and I did not feel deprived or hungry. Plus, there are a few little moments that happened during the week that I can celebrate:

  • I was mindful about what I chose to snack on my ride home today. I went with a (very) small apple instead of a snack bag of chips.
  • Two days ago, I read my action plan that is hung on my refrigerator and that helped me to realize what was really going on – I wasn’t hungry I was stressed in a moment.
  • I reflected and worked on some strong emotions about a disappointing relationship

Well, it’s no wonder I’m so tired! Busy week, and a lot to deal with. I am just glad to be home on this cold March night and am looking forward to getting some good rest. I weigh in tomorrow and I think my efforts will be reflected on the scale, but even if they aren’t I had a great week.

Strength…

Every day I walk to and from spin class I see a sign that says Strength. I think that all strength is something that can be developed. Our minds, muscle, will, faith… It takes training and resilience and a steady belief in oneself.

How do you want to grow? What do you believe about yourself? What have you done to develop your strength? These are some questions I’m thinking about as I close out my Sunday.

I stayed in my healthy eating zone and I had two Mallomars (6sp). I went to spin class. I just made it in I was on the Waitlist but I showed up for class first and won the seat. I worked out really hard and now I am ready for bed. We are strong capable people – believe it.

Attitudes…

Added from the “Waitlist” I was happy to be sitting on a bike. I was in the front row between two other riders. The instructor was new to me, I had never seen her before. She seemed a bit disorganized and was having trouble connecting her microphone. She turned on the music, and it was very, very LOUD! I started to cover my ears my bandana.

I’m going to buy some new bandanas…

The woman to the left of me started saying, all the things I was already thinking, “I’m not going to be able to hear her.” and “The music is way too loud.” and “I have to call her over…” And she did, she spoke to the instructor privately. The noticed the instructor smiled and nodded, and went back to the front of the room. She tried to adjust her equipment again, but it was clear she was having issues.

The lights went out, and the fans turned on and she said, “I’ll be loud.” But I could scarcely hear her. Then, the woman on the right of me said, “Don’t worry, we’ll just watch you. We’ll do what you do.” She was smiling back at the instructor, and I turned my head to the left and saw the other woman frowning and squinting.

I felt like I had a devil and an angel on each shoulder. I thought to myself, “I have a choice, I can either do this ride annoyed and disappointed, OR I can do this ride with an expectation for a good workout and be encouraging. It’s time to decide which one.” That helped. The music was still loud but I leaned in and got into the ride. Then I decided to sing along. “Ba! Ba! Ba!” I used my heart monitor to ensure a challenging workout. I yelled, “Woo! Hoo!” I realized that I was having fun but it could have gone either way,

By the end of the workout, we all clapped, even the woman to the left of me. This makes me think of leadership. I think each of us always has a choice to create something good. Even though I wasn’t leading the class, even though I was not the person who first sparked the positive vibe – I still made a choice to take the ride where I wanted it to go. Who knows, maybe I even inspired the woman to my left to change her attitude? Could be. I mean, what did we really want? Everyone in there wanted a great workout so don’t we have a responsibility to make it a great one?

This is a lesson I can apply to my weight loss journey, my professional life, even my attitude about being a better cook! When faced with a poor attitude or a good one – choose the better one. Be the person who builds the others up and tries to be the best she can be. I realize I won’t always be my best self but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep trying.

Full Disclosure…

Sometimes I go over my points allotment. It’s ok that’s just living my life. I think the important thing is to track it even when it’s outside of the healthy eating zone. If I don’t the only person I’m lying to is me. That’s just silly.

Full disclosure, I used 40 Smartpoints today. I went out to dinner with my husband, I had a cocktail and that’s all it took. WW is designed to accommodate real life. That’s why they give us these extra points, I used some today. How do I recover? Well, I put myself on the list for spin tomorrow and I plan on making great food choices tomorrow. I had a nice time. Yes, I had some fun 🙂 and I’m moving on.

My sister gave me this recipe. I am going to try it.

One thing I’m proud of is that since I decided to have a cocktail, I didn’t have dessert. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this is progress for me. I am really learning how to maintain my weight loss.

Normal…

I was in NYC today attending a conference at Columbia University. I was feeling so proud of being able to lead my colleagues through the subway system. Then, all of a sudden, on the way, I saw a second grader board the train. He was all by himself! That put some things into perspective for me. This was a big deal for me, but it was commonplace for him. I stood there in awe of this child doing his thing, off to school in the morning – it’s just another day in his life.

What is normal? Leading my colleagues on the subway was a big deal for me because I was stepping out of my comfort zone. Does my accomplishment mean less now that I saw a child doing the exact same thing? No, I don’t think so. I think the important take away here is that the most important thing is to keep growing and improving. My life isn’t a competition to be better than everyone else. It’s a challenge to be better than myself.

When it comes to weight loss, fitness, or health-related goals I think it’s very important to focus on everything that I’m doing to improve the quality of my life, while encouraging and supporting others in the same pursuit. There will always be other people who are healthier, more fit, and better informed than I currently am. I want to be part of what is good. If I make my journey a comparison to everyone else, I might be in danger of feeling inadequate instead of empowered. Maybe jealous instead of inspired and what a shame that would be. I’d be missing out on the best part being a witness to the accomplishments of others, admiring their strengths, and getting a glimpse of their stories.

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.