Happiness Happens…

At my last WW workshop we talked about happiness. I think WW must be a fan of Shawn Achor. He gives a compelling TED Talk about the secret to happiness. If you haven’t watched this, watch it. It’s very entertaining and he shares important research about positive psychology.

Anyway, during my workshop session, I started thinking about all the people, places, and events that make me happy to think about. I could tell you stories about all of these things. There is so much about life to be stressed out about, isn’t there? Instead, why not think about about the parts of life that bring or have brought about feelings of love, security, and joy?

Weight gain comes a great cost. My health and wellness are dependent on my success. I am on this weight loss journey so I can be my best healthiest version of myself. That doesn’t just mean smaller sizes, it also means feeling confident, having energy, and exercising control. I encourage you to try creating one of these picture galleries. They are a great reminder to safeguard your why.

Some good food…

A Daily Challenge…

My niece posted this picture today on Instagram. I really like it I think it could be a fun challenge do for the week:

I spent some time indulging my hobbies today: writing, reading, drawing.

Working the Environment 101…

Today was a big day for getting ready for the week. I did a lot of work optimizing my environment for weight loss success. Having the right food in the house is the first and maybe the most important thing.

Here is another pro tip, it’s very important to try new foods. Who knew? But I really enjoy Quinoa as an alternative to Oatmeal. The good thing about Quinoa is that it offers protein, and it left me feeling satisfied for hours.

One cup of Quinoa is 6 sp. I could have been easily be satisfied with 1/2 cup for 3sp. The fruit has a 0 sp. balance and it was a very satisfying lunch.

Organizing spaces to create an environment that supports my weight loss goals is a good exercise. As I inventoried my kitchen tools, I thought about what I’m using and how they are helping me. I also thought about what I’m not using and whether I’m missing an opportunity. These are the tools I have to work with:

Then I got choppin’. There is not time like the present to get ready when it comes to food prep. For me, it helps to do it right away, that way I don’t forget about all though healthy fruits and vegetables that the bulk of shopping money goes to:

After all that work, I was pretty hungry. I had a late breakfast/early lunch with the Quinoa at 11:40 am, so I made myself a little lunch/ snack thing at 3:30 pm:

4 sp. Almonds 3 sp. Baby Bell cheese 1 sp. So good!

This is what living life on plan looks like. It’s a good mental check for me since I’ve been at this for a while. Here is my WW Recovery Checklist This tool is helping me to stay centered, and to continue to strengthen the good habits that have made weight loss possible for me:

Recovery Checklist…

So I did the thing that every WW member dreads when it hasn’t been a good week on plan – I weighed in. This is it, weighing in (even when it’s been a rough week) is part of the process. On the flip side, now I’ll know how great I did next week after it’s been a great week on plan. I’m not going into this empty handed. Great weeks on plan do not just happen – they are very intentional. So I created a tool to strengthen and monitor the healthy habits that enabled me to lose 93 pounds. It’s called, Getting to Goal WW Recovery Checklist. Since everyone likes FREE stuff, if you want a copy for yourself click here.

If you know me then, you know, I like research. As part of this tool, I explain what each habit is and provide links to articles and studies that bear out why these habits are important for weight loss success. It was a good exercise for me because doing this centered me and made me feel empowered. I really like to create tools and try them out. If I monitor these habits this week, I will learn what I’m doing well, and that information will help me to plan for what I really want – I want to be back to Lifetime status.

On a side note…

In keeping with my Superhero theme – my son thought of this one and I laughed out loud and thought well I have to make it:

What Superhero’s Know…

I woke up this morning and thought, “If I were a superhero, what would my powers be? “

  1. Bounce Back: I am resilient, no matter what life sends me I keep at it and figure out ways to recover after setbacks.
  2. Mindset Maneuvers: I am self aware of the importance of mindset and am able to make critical adjustments when needed.
  3. Insight Initiator: I value the wisdom of others, and I want to give back wisdom whenever I can. I’m stronger with my community.
  4. Longevity Learning: I value continued education (in all aspects of life) and I experience real joy when I’m learning something new and I apply my learning to my life.
  5. Opportunity Opener: I actively look for opportunities in life. I find examples of beauty in the everyday. If I think of things I am always able to feel a sense of gratitude for the things I already have.
Believe it…

Blogging is a funny thing. It captures the writer’s voice over time, it’s a glimpse into the writer’s day-to-day life. I received a notification that a reader “liked” this post: Day Three Hundred-Fifty. I wrote this post almost exactly a year ago. As I read my own words back to myself, it was though I was reliving past motivation.

It’s no secret I’ve been traveling a rocky road in terms of weight loss and maintenance for a while. Now more than ever, I feel as though I’m at a crossroad in my journey. I feel as if, now is the critical moment, the choices I made now will set a course for my mission’s success or failure. That is certainly the way it works in the movies, but… real life isn’t a movie and my choices are not that simple. It’s not one choice I have to make but a myriad of choices everyday, over time that make the difference when it comes to weight loss. Despite this daunting truth, I have decided that I am going to be my own real life superhero.

I am going to believe that I am stronger than I think I am right now and I’m going to keep going. I will crush it one choice at a time. Join me, suit up and tap into your inner strengths. We can do this.

Day Nineteen…

I am down 2.2 pounds! This is pretty exciting since I weighed in three days early. I am taking a trip this week, and so I made it a point to get to a WW studio this morning. Finally, some traction! Fresh starts, can be especially challenging when it comes to long lasting routines, and sometimes you’ve just got to shake it up.

Preparing food and thinking ahead feels like control. I have decided I’m going just embrace that good feeling and make the most of it. Who knows why it took so long to get my rhythm back, the thing that matters is that I didn’t give up. As I read that last sentence back, I realize that sounds trite, but it’s the truth. It really would have been easy to keep sliding backwards. The horrible truth about that is each slide back makes it a little bit harder to get back on track.

So think about what you can do to help yourself. Here are some options:

  1. Clean out your kitchen, and get rid of unhelpful foods.
  2. Decorate your dining area with something you enjoy. Fresh flowers, new placemats, or glassware can make it so pleasant.
  3. Burn some fragrant candles like apple, peppermint, or citrus that make you feel good.
  4. Get some fun containers, use your fancy bowls and put healthy food choices where you will see them first.
  5. Leave some “love notes” to yourself reminding you how everything you are doing is to reach your goals.
  6. Try something new: fruit, vegetables, recipe, and eat mindfully really experiencing it. What did you like? What didn’t you like?
  7. Write out the SmartPoints values on single servings.
  8. Mix and match your snacks. Like have a cup of cherries with 1/3 cup of pistachios a nice sweet and salty snack for 3 sp.
  9. Get a variety of seltzer water flavors squeeze some lemon, lime, pineapple or orange slices to make a colorful and refreshing drink to sip on during these warm summer months.
  10. Wind down at the end of the day with a nice cup of soothing hot tea. It will take some time to drink and you can use that time to do something relaxing that you enjoy

Keep working on you. Don’t give up even if you’re having a rough time. If you’re on an upswing, help someone out by lending them some of your strength. Be good to yourself, and be good to others. You got this.

Day Eighteen…

I did great today. Tracking, making good choices, getting activity. It was a very busy day, and I find myself feeling exhausted. I thought about going to bed and skipping my post, but I decided I could do better. So here I am writing and reflecting.

I was extremely hungry by the time I ate dinner, but I kept it together and kept myself to a portion size. Later, I had a cup of Half Naked popcorn and a frozen banana. Frozen fruit is a great alternative to a high SmartPoint dessert.

I’m good. I hope you are as well. Keep going, keep believing. Remember, most times, believing comes before achieving.

Day Fourteen…

I am a contributor to the group called: #dailyjournalchallenge. Each month I write a journal prompt and so I thought I’d share the one I wrote for yesterday, July 25, 2019 – The Elephant & The Rider:

Journal Prompt July 25, 2019 – Jenn Hayhurst

The Elephant: An Emotional Journey

When I think about an elephant I think about a humongous beast who will go and do whatever it wants. They are smelly and have the capacity to trample over whatever gets in their way. They can be fierce, loud, and scary – thundering over the landscape. On the other hand, elephants can be quiet and gentile. They caress each other with their delicate trunks. They are extremely intelligent creatures who are able to communicate with each other, loyal to their herd, and are loving mothers. Elephants, visibly grieve when faced with loss, and it’s true they do have remarkable memories.

How are you shaping your path on your weight loss journey?

If my emotions are an elephant – then I can honestly say I have experienced the destructive elephant and the nurturing elephant. There have been times when I just eat in ways that are mindless and destructive; there have been times when I eat mindfully and view nutrition as an extension of self-care.

The Rider: A Rational Journey

The rider is part of me that attempts to chart the course for my weight loss journey. This blog is an expression of the rider. It is my rational mind trying to get a hold of this huge life goal; to lose the weight and maintain weight loss. My rational self wants to control the story, in a very real sense this blog is my attempt to just write my own story. Every time I track, plan meals, measure my internal and external hunger cues my rider is at the reigns.

It does take some courage to take the riegns and get back control.

Sometimes my rider is absent or let’s be generous and say delinquent from her post. When that happens it’s as though my rational mind acts like a tourist instead of a trail blazer. It becomes a passive sightseer on the ride. “Oh, look, you are going to eat another Enlightened bar, and an extra serving of chips.” or, “Look there is Baskin Robbins in you go…” While on other days the rider is in perfect control anticipating every single bump in the road.

Shaping the Path

The most important work I can do right now to help myself is to shape my path to a successful outcome. I have to get over it and recognize that some days are just going to be very difficult. I can lean into my Headspace app, I can write, I can talk to a friend. I can take pictures of the foods I say no to and I can examine why I want to overindulge at times. I can be active, and appreciate how well my body is recovering. I can tell myself that I am worthy of good things, I am strong, and I can do anything I set my mind to doing. Then, more importantly, I can believe it. I can do this, I’m up for the journey. How about you? Come on let’s go.

Day Twelve…

Drink water! That’s my goal today, I think part of my problem has been that I’m not getting enough water. I notice I feel better when I’m attentive to that need. Maybe it’s just bundled up with all those other good habits like, track my food, eat mindfully, be strategic, don’t get too hungry, be active, drink water… It’s no wonder people give up as I think about this list of things that help make weight loss a reality.

The thing is I didn’t take this all on all at once. I worked at it like a practice. Weight loss is a practice that requires some care and attention and it can feel overwhelming if you just jump into it without making smaller goals. Like today, I’m concentrating on drinking water and tracking. For me, tracking is an everyday deal. Like tomorrow it will be to be active and tracking. The next day might be eat mindfully and tracking.

Tracking is so critical to weight loss success for me because it is a simple habit that keeps me honest. Tracking makes it impossible to fool myself, it keeps me engaged with internal versus external hunger cues. Tracking is equivalent to truth. I’m not going to lie on my tracker that would be crazy so if I’m tracking I’m recording the real deal. Do you track? How does it make you feel? When I track, I feel like I’m getting some control back especially when I’m very tempted to eat when I’m not hungry. I bet most the people who are successful track their food. I don’t know it for sure, but I believe it just the same.

That’s it another day towards the plus column and I think I may be gaining a little momentum. Thank you for reading and supporting me along the way. I hope I am helping you as you proceed on your own journey to better health and wellbeing.

Days Eight, Nine, Ten…

With summertime comes graduation parties, and quick getaways and they are culprits that have pulled me out my blogging. It is an overall lack of commitment that I have to battle these days. I’ve written about strong starts and stops and that kind of captures where I’m at. It’s not all doom and gloom over here but it’s also not the way for consistent maintenance success either. Here are my food confessions…

Day Eight

I went to a graduation party and celebrated my nephew’s high school graduation. It was a beautiful party and it was great to be with my family. Of course with family comes food! And there was a lot of food! I ate small portions but I did try a lot of different things. I didn’t drink, and I didn’t eat dessert so those were wins. I did eat a piece of chicken cutlet hero that was very good. I toyed with the idea of not eating both pieces of bread but in the end I ate the entire slice. I also had a hot dog because it really appealed to me. Then I tried some macaroni salad, green salad, eggplant rollatini, and penne a la vodka. I did not eat a cheeseburger, chicken wings, french fries, or any of the other mayo based salads. Day ten goes to the negative column.

Day Nine

I went away – I saw Blondie and Elvis Costello at Mohegan Sun and they were terrific. I got dressed up, I bought a concert shirt, and I was relatively good on plan but I didn’t track. I said, “No” to the really bad choices like cake, onion rings, bagels, and processed foods in general. I did have a couple of drinks but overall, Day Nine goes to the plus column.

Day Ten

My weekend getaway was over and I was on my way home, and truthfully, I was pretty miserable. I can’t believe that on the ferry home there were no healthy choices, no yogurt, not even a piece of fruit. In the end I ate an apple cinnamon scone which made me feel hungrier. I over indulged later because I was too hungry. I wanted to track, but my WW app was down and I couldn’t get into my account. I’m not blaming WW, my choices are my choices, I could have just used a pen and paper or even recorded it here. Day ten goes the negative column with a bullet.

There it is the bad, the good, and the bad. Two bad days, one good one. Today is headed in the positive column and I’ll be posting on that later. Readers, I am struggling a bit. I don’t really want to write about struggle because, I don’t want that to be my story but I have to be honest. I had to reinstate my membership fees with WW because I’m outside of my range, and it’s dumb to keep paying week-to-week as though I can catch myself up quickly. I can’t, it is going to take time to get back to Lifetime status. I am not happy but I have no choice but to keep going. Anyway, if you’re reading this and are finding yourself in a similar spot, just know that failure doesn’t mean over. Failures open the doors to new beginnings. This is a process embrace it and just keep going.