Failure…

I ate too much yesterday and now I feel like a failure. I let old habits creep in and I ate mindlessly. Failure isn’t fun. My rational mind says, “Don’t be ridiculous, you’re being dumb.” While my emotional mind says “Yep, you blew it. Back to old habits.” The two vacillate back and forth as if it’s a vengeful tennis match and my neck hurts from whiplash as I watch the volley.

Me and my rational/emotional mind games.

Hey, did you notice that neither voice was very kind? I just did reading this back to myself.

As my friend, Regina would say, “I’m going to throw myself a pity party.” This is so damn hard sometimes. I wish, wish, wish it weren’t but it is and I don’t think it will ever get easier. I think I’m always going to have to think about this and fight my natural predisposition about food. That sucks, that really sucks, boo-hoo… That’s it. That’s all I have to say about that. It actually helps to say that here because this blog is my place to always tell the truth about what it takes to lose weight and maintain my weight loss. It just plain old sucks.

I put in “beauty” in my media library and this image showed up – it is truly beautiful.

So what’s next? Well, I printed my action plan. The one I wrote the other day – and I’m putting it up and am going to carry it around with me. I can try that. I can forgive myself because this is hard, and I have done something amazing – I lost 93 pounds. That’s literally a huge accomplishment. Today I entered my code for my #WW #LIFETIME status and that is something to be really proud of – I did that – me. I can remind myself of all of this as I write this post sitting in my kitchen, cooking homemade sauce in my size four jeans. I’m doing this for me and I am hoping my words are reaching you and inspiring you to do the same.

Beginners…

Some may think it’s hard to be a “beginner” because if you’re a beginner you don’t know much and have limited, or even, no experience. However, I think being a beginner is a gift. It’s a gift because everything is possible in the beginning. It’s all new and even though that can be a bit scary, it is ripe with potential. That is why, when it comes to being a better cook, I am going to try to adopt a beginner’s mind…

A beginner’s mind implies openness and eagerness to get started. There are no preconceptions either way. No good or bad expectations and that grants some freedom, doesn’t it? When it comes to cooking, I am using this week off to experiment with menu planning. I’m cooking and prepping dinner ideas to see if they would be feasible when I’m back to work.

So far so good. I’m two for two. The cauliflower fried rice was great. Last night I prepared the White Chicken Chili was really great. You can see all the meals I prepare on the What’s for Dinner page. I’m also using my Paprika App and that has turned out to be a great tool. Paprika is a recipe manager and I really think it’s great. It organizes the recipes and creates shopping lists and helps to plan out meals.

I’m like many of you – I get home from work and I’m tired and hungry. The truth is, what I value gets done. I know that in order to maintain my weight loss I have to prioritize cooking really tasty food. I am the only one who can make that happen for me so I have to just get over the fact that this goal is going to take time and effort to accomplish.

So… what do you say? I say, “Mangia!” Let’s eat really delicious healthy food that’s good for us too. I think that’s one way that makes this lifestyle change permanent.

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.

Disappointment…

I am like many of you, I value work, and I am very dedicated to my career. It’s winter break and I am staying home. and I plan on being productive and organizing my house and working on projects for school. That will be good, but there is something else – I’m feeling pretty disappointed. I am not stealing off to some remote destination and kicking back away from my regular routine.

I guess I’m longing for some carefree fun. I am wishing for some time that I am not dealing with all the pressures of my life. I’m sure if you are reading this post, you may understand. Then today, I found myself looking and wanting to some of these…

Thankfully, my resolve held fast, and I didn’t buy any of them. It’s only now that I’ve had some time to reflect that I realize that it’s not this that I really want – it’s fun.

I wanted that feeling of freedom and good times. Why would I confuse food for fun? I don’t know. Maybe it’s some primitive response that enjoying something sweet triggers in the brain, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. It just is. I think the more important thing is that I recognize the behavior. I think that is the thing that is really essential. I also think that I am not alone, I think there are many of us who unknowingly turn to food as a substitute for some kind of longing.

If I didn’t have this insight and the behavior was to stay unconscious, I might eat something high in points and then say something like, “You’re an idiot! Why’d you do that?” (That quote actually comes to you right out of my WW Workshop today). But in reality, the truth is, I’m not going away this winter break and that is disappointing. I’m not doing some of the same things my friends and colleagues are doing and I wish I were.

I used to turn to food. I don’t do that anymore, or at least not today – yay! I think it would be hubris to say that I will never repeat that behavior again. I know that it’s dug down deep. Now at least, I can say, that I’m aware of it and I think that’s a big deal. I am going to trust myself and rely on that awareness to keep me from repeating past mistakes. That’s good enough for today.

I realize that I may sound insensitive to some of you. For that, I am sorry. Deep down, I know that I am truly blessed. I have a home, a family, I get to teach children to read and write and to believe in themselves. That is truly a blessing. I do know that to some people reading this post, my disappointment may sound self-centered and spoiled. However, this blog is a space that I’ve created, for me to be totally honest.

So, even though I know I am blessed, I am still disappointed. I’d rather put my disappointment here on the screen than make some foolish choices that take me away from my goal. Maintaining weight loss is hard to do for a reason. Thank you for reading.

Love…

The “x’s & o’s” gold bracelet is wrapped around my wrist like a drunken hug. Hugs and kisses, loose and loopy with warm tones that seem to welcome to my sleepy eyes, “You are loved.” It whispers, “You are loved.”

Happy Valentine’s day. No, the bracelet was not a gift from my adoring husband, Dave. The bracelet belonged to my Nanny Manzella. My mother had given it to her as a gift, and she loved it!. That’s what I’m thinking about, how about you?

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.

21st Century Life

“There are so many people who want you to succeed. Believe me. Most of us already know that weight loss can be a difficult proposition, it takes time and effort. What some of us may not know? There are lots of and lots of people who will take the journey with you.  Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the process with an open mind and heart. If you travel this path with others you will be one of many leaders who will be a source of inspiration and support. You definitely don’t have to do this all by yourself.” This is my message today.

We live in a connected world. Technology offers so many ways to access each others’ lives. With a click on the trackpad, I can see family dinner at my cousin’s house in Florida, keep up with the latest news from colleagues in Washington, and follow my daring friend’s adventures in Hawaii. Then travel back home again to storytime with a friend’s grandchild. All of that leaves me feeling happy to know these things are happening in the world.

I felt this way a couple of times this week. My results? I lost 1.4 pounds this week. Woo Hoo!

Yet there is also an underside to 21st Century life. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)  one in five (22%) Americans say that technology leaves them feeling isolated, lonely, or anxious.  I think that may be because we find ourselves on the outside looking into each other’s lives rather than being present in them. Being present and being an active learner is something that my #WW community  truly lives by example. 

Saturday Morning #WW Leaders Inspire Me

Being a member of WW who also attends meetings is a powerful thing. This organization continues to evolve and become something really special at a time when many of us crave a community. I love being a part of something bigger than myself, and today we all said, “Yes” to sharing our experiences. We did so as we celebrated each other’s success.

  • Lauren hit goal! She is going to be in the body she wanted in time for her wedding and is committed to making a permanent lifestyle change. Her story fills me with happiness.
  • Kim decided to make a change in her life, she said “I need to make a change. The time is now.” This week she lost 5 pounds, This is living your life with a sense of agency.
  • Erin is making intentional choices and says her success is 100% due to a mind shift. She lost 30 pounds as part of the virtual WW community and when she saw the weight coming back, she decided to start attending meetings. Bravo, Erin.
  • Betty lost 5 pounds and is learning how to navigate food choices during work. This is huge! This is empowerment.
  • Joanne lost 7 pounds in one week! Amazing. She is learning to say, “No.” and is taking care of herself. This is a life-changing reflection and it sends shivers down my spine.
  • Emily shared some real reflections on her week that were profound. She didn’t just keep doing what she’s done in the past to be successful she is being a responsive problem solver who refuses to get stuck. She shared her perspective that real change is all about mindset.

By now, it’s probably obvious why I am such a fan of #WW. I am not alone. I am part of this dynamic group and all I really want for anyone reading this blog is for you to feel included.

7 sp but worth every bite. Egg, Canadian Bacon, and Avocado Wrap 7 sp. 1/2 cup Fage Non-fat Yogurt with mixed berries 0sp

A word about my Featured Image.

Everything you see here was a gift from one of my WW friends. I am filled with gratitude, I am embarrassed to say that sometimes I forget how fortunate I am. Thank you.

Yes, we are learning about portion sizes, and healthy eating and activity. Yes, we are learning about the growth mindset and mindfulness. But more than that, we are letting each other into our lives because we want to make a change for ourselves and for each other. Take good care on the journey as we get ready for a new week ahead. Know that you can be part of something bigger than yourself, if only you say, “Yes.”

Pressure…

There are so many things outside of my control that sometimes I have to just step back and breathe. I have a big job and I have big professional goals and together, they create a lot of pressure for me. This is not an original problem. Lots of us deal with stressful situations and people at work so handling pressure is something we all have to learn.

I am not rolling over four points today because I went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant in NYC. I had to go into the city and it was decided that Mexican food was on the menu. So I rolled with it because being a member of WW means that I know how to be flexible. I ordered a chicken burrito bowl and had kale instead of rice. It sounds weird but it was really good. So by the end of the day today, I’m rolling over 1 point, not 4 – that’s the honest truth.

I can say, I had an added bonus I walked the city at a high pace for many blocks. I would say I spent a 1/2 hour walking. So, I can put that in my “wins” column. So today, I am rolling over one point, and accumulated 7 “fit points”. I am scheduled for spin class and if I make it – I will have achieved another small goal. You know having these mini-goals is helping me to stay on track. I could have eaten a 3sp rice pudding for dessert but I decided against it because at least I’m rolling over the one point. See how that works?

Anyway, thank you for reading and for your likes and comments. It helps me to know that there are other people out there who are like me. As I close out today’s post, I want to share a picture I posted on #connect. This is one of those #TuesdayTransformation posts:

Even though today was hard I have a lot to be thankful for, good friends, loving family, a career I care about, a chance to do some good, and a family who loves me. Writing really helped me tonight to count my blessings. I recommend it if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Satisfaction…

There is this great feeling of satisfaction when I achieve a small goal. Small goals really help so much because they are doable and they all add up. Small goals help me to feel so much more confident about what I’m doing. I wanted to roll over 4 points today and I did!


Want some free unsolicited advice? I think it’s important to build yourself up not beat yourself up. Changing my lifestyle was not an easy undertaking. I have some stubborn habits and stress reactions that are not helpful when it comes to either weight loss or maintenance. Sometimes my choices set me back and I’m learning to just let it go when that happens. A bad day doesn’t mean I’m going to revert back to all those unhealthy habits. Just as a good day doesn’t mean I’m totally in control.

I’m starting to think there will always be an ebb and flow to living my life on maintenance. I realize that may sound obvious. However, accepting that intellectually is very different than real life consequences of the thing. I am going to be a work in progress forever. Really though, if we are lucky, aren’t we all?