Like Butter…

My husband did a beautiful thing for me today. He painted our bedroom. Of course my favorite paint color is called (wait for it) Butter. That just makes perfect sense to me. Anyway, he was so sweet to do it, because it really was a lot of work. Now I can just sit back and enjoy how lovely it looks.

My view into the hallway

I wish I could report that today was a great day on plan. It was for the most part until this evening. Then I just snacked mindlessly. I’m am still getting over being sick, I am feeling sore, and just a little bit sorry for myself. I also think I’m also worried. The holidays are coming and while I do love this time of year, it adds additional stress that isn’t always so easy to cope with. I’m not trying to make excuses, I’m trying to understand why I made such poor choices this evening. The bad combination of feeling sick, stress, and worry are not a winning combination. So while yesterday was a battle I won – today was a battle I lost.

All I want for Christmas is to fully appreciate my weight loss journey. Getting to goal was difficult and now I find myself working to get back to Lifetime status. My weight loss journey is the gift I gave to myself, and that’s how I want to honor it – it is something I did just for me. I never want to lose sight of that. If I lose sight of that then it would be like I’m giving up on me. I am grateful that I found myself again on this journey. I know I can do this because I’ve done it before.

Self imposed 14 Day Sugar-Free Challenge

For the next 14 days, I will not eat any sweetened foods. For each day I forego desserts or sweetened foods I will do something “sweet” for myself. I think this is a good way to kickstart my plan again because it is something I can control. If you want to join me, I hope you’ll let me know. More tomorrow readers, remember we got this.

Being Brand New…

Have you ever gone to Boot Camp? I thought I knew what Boot Camp was, but I didn’t really. I imaged it as kicking a heavy bag – obviously, I had it confused with Kickboxing. So when I walked into my first Boot Camp class, I made it my business to find the instructor and introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Jenn. I’ve never done this before.” She looked me in the eye and nodded her head, then she scanned the room to get an appraisal of the others entering the class. She told me where to put my things, and said she would touch base with me once the class got going.

When I go to Spin class I always feel energized and powerful. I feel like I know what I’m doing, and I get a great workout. Boot Camp is not Spin Class. Boot Camp, was REALLY hard for me. To say I was a total amateur is being generous. I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, but that’s what it’s like to be brand new. This experience made me feel so vulnerable, everyone seemed just way better than me. Then by the end of class, as people were stretching, I noticed that I was more flexible than some of the others. For that brief moment I felt like I belonged.

Belonging comes with competence and confidence. If you are considering taking on a weight loss goal, or are newly committed, and don’t feel so competent, it’s hard to be confident that you’ll succeed. If you’re feeling this way, know this – you’re not alone. I remember trying to lose weight and not knowing how to begin. Everything was overwhelming, What was the right food? How much food should I be eating? At that point it all felt insurmountable, this was a very difficult period in my life. That was pre-WW.

The WW program has given me a structure to organize my efforts. If I follow the program, I know it will work because it has a research base that has proven results. It works on a physiological and behavioral level. Rolling over points is a behavioral incentive, SmartPoints measure macronutrients in foods to render a numeric value. That is what I mean by a structure. However the reason why I’m losing weight and am able to follow the plan, is because I’ve told myself I can. I believe in me, and more often than not, even on the hardest days, I can think of something I did well.

Turn kindness inward, and recognize something good you did today. You can do this, it’s difficult, but you can do it nonetheless. Come on, I’ll do it too and together we can all reach our goals.

Beauty Benefits…

I came home to the most spectacular sky. The sky was lit orange and salmon, with vivid blues streaking across the horizon, it was an extraordinary expanse of color. It was so surprising, so unexpected. A far cry from the icy, yucky, wintry mix that greeted me on my ride home.

Breathtaking

How does beauty impact your weight loss journey? Appreciating beauty has some remarkable benefits that are easily overlooked. Today was hectic, and it would be easy to just dig into the “have to’s” that consume so much precious time. I have to get home. I have to get to the school to be on time to pick up my son. I have to cook dinner. I have to clean up. I have to work on that proposal. I have to wash my clothes for tomorrow. The list could keep going…

Waiting for my son this was my view out of my rear view window.

The thing is, all that stress makes it harder to stay on track with weight loss goals. That beautiful sky filled me up with a sense of wellbeing. I breathed deeply and marveled at it. I felt good. So, by the time I got home I was ready to do the “have to’s”. It also helped a lot that I planned ahead and had my lunch for tomorrow ready to go. There are choices that can be made that end up really making the difference.

No wonder it’s easy to get off plan and regain weight.

When we are stressed out it depletes our willpower. Willpower is nestled in the Prefrontal Cortex. My guess it’s in the sweet spot between emotion, attention, and judgment! Beauty is a way to offset the life’s stressors. Planning ahead when you’re feeling strong helps for the times when you’re feeling weak. It sounds cliche, but it is all about finding balance. I think my body is an extension of my state of mind.

“November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”
― Clyde Watson

Change is Possible…

Every week I learn so much as I listen to other WW members reflect on their journeys. I’m thinking about a reflection a member shared that really inspired me, she realized she was not truly following WW’s plan because she was being too rigid. She was not making allowances for special occasions, she had banned certain food choices, she was living her life as if she were on a diet. I was so inspire d by her realization and insight.

WW is a program that helps members reshape their relationship with food. In order to do that, we have to learn and grow. Now I’m wondering what my next big learning will be. I am tracking, I am cooking healthy food, I am packing my lunch, I am eating breakfast at home, I am meeting (and exceeding) my fitness goals. There are areas where I could improve. I could be more mindful, and I have to get snacking under control, and my tracking could be tighter, and bedtime continues to be a goal is to work on because I really think I need more sleep. I think it’s very important to pick one goal at a time. This week, I’m learning how to reflect rather than react. My goal is to think through my choices before I make them. I will stop, think, breathe, act. Just taking that minute to think things through would be a mighty accomplishment. Sometimes in the moment it’s difficult to exercise that kind of control. I think I’m going to make a sign and leave it out to remind me of what I want to do in the heat of a moment it may make a difference.

I do think this is a cool picture.

I’m glad I walked myself through my goal for this week. It’s only Monday, and I think it’s going to be a strong week for me. Of course I’d like a big number moving in the right direction on the scale, However, what I’m really after is a big insight for my own process for weight loss and better health. More tomorrow.

Keep Track…

Anything I ate was recorded in my tracker and that feels like a nice accomplishment. Some days, just tracking is enough to keep me going. There were two different times where I ate something where I could’ve made better choices. So I tried the rewind strategy and it did help. I think the power for this strategy is that it keeps me self-aware. Problems arise when I go on autopilot and I ignore the impacts of my choices.

Even When…

By the time I got home from the city today, I was tired and hungry. This is not a winning combination. I made some poor choices, and am now regretting them. Regret is a reason to reflect. If I had tracked my choices while I was making them, I probably would have made better ones. My dad liked to say, “Kick yourself once, then let it go.” So, I’m starting over. I am drinking a big glass of water, washing my face, brushing my teeth, and going to bed.

All day learning at Columbia University Teachers College

Tomorrow, I’ll go to spin and start again. Even when I feel like I’m failing on my weight loss journey, I know that’s not true. Just being on the journey, investing in the thought, the planning, the ambition to change my life and make healthier choices is a marker of great success. This is not easy, and it’s a mistake to minimize that. However, I know I can accomplish difficult things. My choices today do not define me. They are a product of physical and emotional exhaustion.

Caldrons & Cravings…

Has a craving ever gotten you under its spell?. A while back I found out that my husband opened the huge bag of assorted candy I bought for Halloween. Everything was fine when that bag was factory sealed – I didn’t want even one piece. Now that I know it’s opened I find myself wanting candy everyday. Being the problem solver that I am, I asked him to hide it someplace so I wouldn’t find it. Well, he did, and I’m still thinking about it.

My WHY, My Charm…

It’s not magic, but it helps to remember my “why” I’m doing this. Here goes:

  1. I want to take care of myself, and eating Halloween candy is not the best way to do that.
  2. I want to continue to feel physically good, and if I eat too much candy I will feel sick.
  3. I can eat candy, but it will take me outside my healthy eating zone and that will mean it will take longer to get back to Lifetime.

As a WW member, I know that nothing is off limits when it comes to food. I could eat candy if I planned it and ate it in moderation. However, sometimes (for me) the best answer is, “No. No candy, right now.” I actually feel better writing that down.

Why is Right Now…

Right now, I am feeling very positive about my weight loss journey. I think my feelings about maintaining this healthy lifestyle are a strong part of my new “why”. The journey is becoming part of my self-image, taking time to care for myself is important enough for me to keep going.

Somedays I’m either one or the other, lol

Right now, I am feeling strong on my weight loss journey. I have this feeling inside that makes me want to shout, “Energy!” I am grateful that I can move around, and that I’m healing from my accident in May. If I weighed what I used to, there is no doubt in my mind that my recovery would have been much slower.

Right now, I am feeling hopeful that I will get back to Lifetime status and achieve my goal. If I weren’t hopeful, I don’t think I could keep it going. My hope for future success feels all wrapped up in dinnertime. Figuring out the big family meal is still so much effort. It’s my hope that I can find a way to manage getting dinner on the table, feed everyone, and still be able to track the meal accurately that keeps me at this. Dinnertime is difficult, but I am still hopeful I can find a solution. If I want to eat good food, then I need to invest time and effort towards the cause.

I will get dinnertime under control!

Right now, I believe in me. My confidence is high and that feels really good. I think it’s so easy to get down on myself. The times I overindulge, the times when I struggle with certain foods, the times when I decide not to be active. All of those times feel bad and it’s no good to wallow. Instead, I’m just happy to acknowledge the good – I got this.

Keep looking for beauty

I wonder, where are you on your journey? Are you on the high end, the low end, someplace in-between? If you had to describe your resolve for this work, what would it be right now?

Something to think about

Understanding How…

I went food shopping today, and bought everything I need to be successful. For me, understanding how to get back to goal begins with dinnertime. I still am having trouble getting this together on a daily basis. So, I planned out dinners for the week, including the day I go to Columbia University NYC. I brought back a tool I’ve used in the past:

Paprika is an app that helps to manage recipes. It organizes them and takes out all the ads. It’s helpful, because gives the recipes a consistent format for me to follow.

Very delicious Rustic Roasted Ratatouille Soup & 0 SmartPoints. Click here for the recipe

There is more to understanding how to get back to goal than just dinnertime, but I must say it’s a nice start.

Putting it Together…

Today is dedicated to my nephew, Zachary, who graduated college and is a bonafide Mechanical Engineer! Not only is he a gifted mathematician but he also has a work ethic to admire. When I think about him, and what he accomplished, I am truly blown away. He is proof that when we combine our natural talents with hard work anything is possible.

Mechanical engineering is defined as a discipline that applies engineering, physics, mathematics, and materials science principles to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. It is also one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering disciplines. This sounds very impressive indeed! Way to go Zach!

I weighed in today, and sometimes I get lucky – I lost 1.2 pounds even though I think I should have gone up. I’m not complaining, quite the contrary, “Thank you to the WW gods for this unexpected gift.” However, sometimes these “gifts” can be the start of a problem. For me, I find it’s easy to fool myself into believing this lifestyle doesn’t take some effort on my part. It really does, and lately I need to tighten up some of my healthy habits.

So, I’m working out a plan of action, and it’s going to begin with re-examining my why. Then I’ll figure out the rest.