What’s Your Why?

Today is the first day of the #MayChallenge and today’s mission is an important one: “Write your why…” I’m not sure how many times I have written this (but here goes again) a weight loss journey takes a whole lot of effort and care! I know, for sure, I’m not alone on this. Given that weight loss is so challenging for so many of us there has to be a good reason why anyone would want to take it on.

Before I tell you my why, I want to tell you a story first. I was having lunch with a close friend who is also losing weight. She told me that she and her husband went out to dinner with a few other couples the other night. Everyone was eating and drinking, and she was feeling left out of the fun. One of her friends said to her, “Don’t you think you should just enjoy your life? You’re older now, and you’ll never be the size you were when you were younger. Wouldn’t it be better just to be happy now, instead of being miserable and missing out?” After my friend told me her story, she asked me what I thought.

I imagined her feeling neglected at the dinner, and I said, “It depends on what you really want. If you want to lose weight then there is no reason you shouldn’t have that. If your extra weight isn’t impacting your health, and you are happy with how you feel about yourself insofar as your mobility, and appearance; then (if all those things are yes) maybe she is right.”

Knowing why weight loss matters to you is an essential thing. I know why I want to lose weight. My why helped me through the hardest part of this latest chapter of my weight loss journey, it helped me gather the energy to start the process again. Yes again… I got to goal and then Lifetime before COVID. After months of lockdown, without being able to go to Spin class, or being able to attend in-person Weight Watcher meetings, I slowly (and steadily) put on weight. Working from home was consuming, and food was a comfort during some scary times.

No, I didn’t put on all of my lost weight. However, I certainly gained way too much. In the aftermath of all of that, I could have given up on weight loss. I could have just accepted the fact that I would never be like I was when I was younger, and I could get along being “good enough” for my older self. The reason I didn’t is because I really understand why I am doing this. I am doing this for me. Life feels better when I’m healthier. I am happy with where I’m at right now, I have energy and I see myself progressing. I think at any stage in life, it is human nature to aspire to learn and grow. I don’t have to be at goal to be happy with myself. I’m happy right now because I know I already have everything I need to be successful.

As I end this post, I can’t help but think of Rose. She is a fellow member of my Weight Watcher community. How do I describe her, so you might know her a little bit? Rose is a mature stylish woman. She is so funny and pokes fun at us and herself. She is living her life on her own terms, challenging herself in ways that are both wise and inspiring. When I think about loving myself enough to do this, she comes to mind because she lives by example.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

–Martin Luther King Jr. 1960

Getting Grounded…

Understanding why weight loss is so important is the one thing that separates long lasting success from a temporary victory. Weight loss is too hard to maintain unless there is a real and meaningful reason to keep at it. The conversation this morning was very honest and real, and it is really making me think.

I listened very carefully and I heard four categories of people on the journey:

  • WW Mavins – Erin became Lifetime! Go Erin! She shared her strategy of keeping peanut butter cups in the freezer to have on hand when she needs one. She also shared about going out for dessert and not keeping that food in the house. She is a fan of the Schmidt 647 Italian bread (as I am). Having this bread on hand helps because it offers a full sized sandwich that is more substantial for 2 sp. Members like Erin are flying high and feeling amazing because accomplishing this goal is a life changer.
  • Motivated Mamas – Lorraine shared how how she is finding new ways to keep her food interesting and satisfying One new thing to try, she is using Better’n Peanut Butter at 1sp per serving it sounds very promising. Members like Lorraine are in the I can do it phase and are doing just that – they are both inspiring to others as as they can be perplexing. They seem to have figured out something that can be so elusive to others.

It’s easy to use names when people are successful or feeling strong, now I’m just going share profiles I notice. These members are heroic to me because I understand in a deep and personal way what they’re going through.

  • Foxhole Fighters – Other members are in survival mode. They are fighting the weight loss or maintenance battle and don’t know if they will win or lose. They are fatigued and worn out. They attend the workshop, they share, and they are in a very real sense phoning in for backup. Members like these are in a tenuous situation – this phase may either lead to a comeback or a setback. These members inspire me because they are fighters. Even though this is hard, they are fighting the battle and that is really quite remarkable.
  • Nay Nays – Some members are beaten to the point that they have almost given up on weight loss. They come to the workshop but inside they aren’t convinced this will ever work. They start to say things like, “This program just doesn’t work for me.” When people say that, I believe them. I believe them because who can blame someone for feeling this way. The most amazing thing about these members is they keep coming. They come because inside there is still some hope that they can turn things around.

I can describe these phases because I’ve experienced each one. The thing that pulls me to one over the other is the proximity to my “why” and how deftly I am able to grow my #willpower. This post, is dedicated to my #why and #willpower. Here is a quote from my updated page #Why:

Being on Maintenance has taught me to appreciate and value willpower. I used think that willpower was the thing that made weight loss unsustainable and that it made this journey more about struggle than joy. I was wrong. Now I think that my willpower is like the fuel and my why is like the motor.

Jenn Hayhurst #Why

I’m glad you’re reading my post. I’m glad that you are on this journey. No matter what phase you’re in be grateful that you’re in it. You are not unconscious to the issue – you’re in it and dealing with it. If you need to refuel your willpower or tune up your why. You can do it.

Finding Beauty…

Under an onyx sky the wind is a prankster swirling around the house restless and full of errant energy. It jostles the wind chimes that hang from the eves of the garage. Undulating clanging that is sometimes loud kicking up a big fuss and then muted and remote as they falls quiet. My mind whispers back, “I hope I never forget to appreciate the mystery of the world.”

Noticing the beauty in the everyday is a surprise gift I have rediscovered on my weight loss journey. The more I look for beauty in the world, the more I find it. Finding beauty helps in so many ways because it fills me up and gives me strength to keep going. The more I find it in the world the more I find it within myself. There is no other person like me, or you. That has value and worth and that is something important to remember.

My bluetooth speaker came today ! Thank you WW!

Good to Go…

When things are clicking on plan I feel like I’m in control and am able to make a positive impact. Today was a good day on plan and that is a fantastic feeling. I stayed within my healthy eating zone, I made good choices when I was hungry and I remained present. On its surface, these are not very big things but they are very important to my continued success. I have no great desire to be “amazing” or “awesome” I just want to be myself, I just want to be prepared for my day for whatever comes my way. I just want to be “good to go”.

Wishing you all the best on your journey and I am hoping that the lifestyle changes you’ve made are sticking. I am also hoping that you are ready to take on the day from a confident and empowered stance.

Fear shuts us all down – this quote resonated with me today.


I believe in the power of a well-positioned open-ended question to make huge impacts on people and the world around us. Questions, are there to make us wonder, pursue, and to change.

A question is there to change you.

Questions, help to organize the categories of the things we don’t yet know. I guess I’m thinking about questions because I love them. Every big thing I’ve ever done begun with a question. The catalyst for my weight loss journey was the question, “What do I really want?” Answering this question is how I discovered my why. Knowing why I wanted to do this was the thing that has given me the strength to keep going. It seems silly, but my why, is the thing that makes me shut the chip clip on the bag and walk away. Every little choice is my way of inching forward.

Day Twenty-Two…

The holiday season has begun and I am feeling conflicted.  I am in a rut and I think I have to change some things up. Today began with a great spin class but it was a struggle most of the day to stay on plan. I went food shopping yesterday, and I bagged all my vegetables today.  After I finish writing this post, I am going to pack and track my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow.

Thanksgiving marks a tricky time of year for me. I struggled this time last year too, and I pushed through it. I just have to gather up my resolve and keep moving. I love feeling energetic, and I also enjoy wearing a smaller size, and I know this is a much healthier way of living. Everything has a price and the cost of living this way is paid through constant effort and reflection.

It would be easy to fool myself into believing that this is my natural way of being. That it doesn’t take work to get to goal and to maintain it.  I could just turn off the reflective part of me and just ignore the warning signs that lead me to gain and lose and gain and lose and continue to the cycle.  I’ve come too far for that now.  I’ve seen the truth about myself and I can’t unsee it – so, here I sit writing these words for you to read.

I’m struggling but I’ll get through it. Want to know why I say that? I believe I can do this. I truly believe in myself. When I feel the tug of old habits I am going to lean into my newer ones. Habits are both a prison and key. Sometimes, they bore you into submission; while other times they set you free. It’s complicated.  If I can keep going, so can you. Just believe in yourself and trust that you can do it. Ok?

As always, thank you for reading and sending me your support. It feels good to know there are others who understand, and also know that I am sending my support back out there to you.  Go us! We can do this… together.

Lunch Box
Breakfast: 0sp Lunch: 4sp Snack: 1sp

Day Four Hundred-Twelve…

At dusk, the sky was beautiful.

It has been a while since I stood snapping pictures, thinking about how lovely the world can be even if I am just standing in the Stop & Shop parking lot. There is no reason not to appreciate this, and the truth is beauty makes the journey so much better.

I am happy to say I went to spin this morning and I felt great. I love owning a part of my day before the demands of the workday begin. It’s not that I don’t love my job, I love teaching, but it’s amazing to have that small bit of time that is for me, and me alone.

I’m still thinking about willpower. I read that every time you have a stepwise plan for how to handle a challenge you are building your willpower muscle. So when the alarm goes off at 4:30 am I know I have to…

  1. Turn off the alarm.
  2. Swing my feet out from under the covers.
  3. Get up, and go into the bathroom

If I follow those three steps I am on my way to spin class. That strengthens my willpower muscle. Another example, when I come home from work I…

  1. Empty my lunchbox.
  2. Put a new water bottle inside.
  3. Get out the scale and containers.

If I do that, I’m on my way to pre-packing, pre-tracking my breakfast and lunch for the next day. This is just how it goes. It’s not so hard and it does get easier. So think about your willpower muscle. Think about your “why” these are two important parts to a successful journey. You can do this, and I can too.

Day Four Hundred-Six…

I was reading my notes from past WW meetings. It’s very motivating to read about others’ success stories. Some members lost five pounds their first week, what a great way to grow momentum. Other members are feeling very motivated by the app and accumulating Wellness Wins points.   While other members find themselves eating in more thoughtful and strategic ways. All of these reflections are seeds for changing habits around food. Reading my notes was the perfect midweek boost I need to stay focused on why I’m doing this.

I can control “My Why” that is my choice.  I cannot control life. Life will come at me from every angle. When times get tough I need to separate the unpleasantness from the reality that food is not the answer. I can do this I believe it and that has changed the journey.