Statistically speaking only 17% of people maintain weight loss after a year.
That is a staggering number. But I’ll tell you what readers, stories beat numbers every time. What’s your story? What do you believe when it comes to weight loss? The great news, we get to decide what we do with our lives, and if living your life in the body of your own design is something you want then it’s worth the fight.
Somedays, living on plan is going to be colored with struggle, like angry jagged red marks on a white piece of paper, Those days will come for all of us no matter what. In a way doesn’t naming that ahead of time help? If I know it’s coming, I wont be surprised when it arrives. So what do I do when struggle comes to call? As I would do with any unwelcome guest, I will show it to the door. Here are some things I can do to help myself:
I can think it through using precise language. I can identify the source: I am hungry and that is creating this struggle right now. I am overtired and that is creating this struggle right now. Naming leads to knowing – that is always good.
I can exercise control by provoking a physical response to struggle. I can stretch, breathe deeply, wash my face, get a drink of water. Actions matter so change the focus.
I can accept that willpower has limits and requires training. Willpower is a muscle, so when it is overused and tired I will be weaker. In those moments I can use a kindness to way soothe negative self talk. Self-perception is king, so keep it kind.
Nothing is more powerful (even statistics) than personal belief. Are you going to hand over your power to a statistic? Or, are you going to invest your power within yourself? So join me by thumbing your nose at that 17% and prove em’ wrong. We got this.
The topic of my WW meeting was to reflect on poor choices and hit the “rewind” button. Think back and pinpoint what would you do differently. Then “replay” the tape with the improved outcome. This is a strategy that gives us opportunities for to rehearse effective decision making. When practicing this strategy it’s important to do it from a kind stance. This is meant to be a strategy that encourages reflection and problem solving not self-loathing.
I shared this strategy because it’s a good idea, one I hadn’t thought of before, and maybe it can help someone. I plan on trying it when I find myself wishing I had made different choices. I will rewind my mind and find a better way whenever I need to, and I will be kind to myself. I will be careful to remember that it’s not one choice that makes or breaks this. It’s many choices over time.
In November 2018 I made it to my WW goal. My motivation for getting to goal was to get my energy and confidence back. I wanted to get back that sense of “lightness” that sense of ease I used to have moving around in the world. That why was enough to sustain me and carry me through over a year of effort. I was elated.
Since achieving goal, I have gone on to be a Lifetime member. In WW world that means you no longer have to pay so long as you maintain a two pound range. I was able to maintain that until August this year. Right now, I am above that two pound range and have some work to get back to my “free seat”.
Things are a bit different this go around though. Even though I’m outside my range, I still have the energy I strived for, and I do feel that same sense of confidence. My clothes fit; although some of my jeans are a little tight, which I don’t care for that very much… I am 13 pounds away from Lifetime. This time, getting back to goal has to be driven by a why, it has to be one that fits my current situation.
I don’t want my why to be driven by fear of gaining back the weight. I want my why to be a positive thing, something that will inspire me and (I hope) others. I want to learn how to be mindful, someone who understand herself better. I want to try to grow beyond this struggle. I’m not sure exactly how I will do this yet… but this is what I’m thinking. My why is a work in progress but I think I’m getting closer.
Every September teachers working in the north east know it’s time to open up classrooms to the community. Tonight was our Open School Night and it went really well:
I had a good day on plan; however, dinnertime didn’t go so well for everyone at home. I brought a salad with some chicken for dinner, and everyone at home was supposed to eat the flank steak that was marinading overnight. I did all the prep work for that on Sunday, and unfortunately it was a bust. It was a little too rare and a little too spicy for my husband and son so I came home to some gripes and complaints. Well… everyone just has to get over it. I can’t do everything.
I’m a little discouraged, but I’m going to keep at this. Tomorrow is another chance to try again.
I’ve noticed a pattern, now that I’m back at work. I am doing great with breakfast and lunch. I’ve made some time changes, I eat breakfast at home and I am careful to be attentive to eating in a quiet space. I usually eat in the dinning room and do my best to keep my mind quiet. Then at lunch, I am enjoying a nice variety of foods. I lean into zero SmartPoints foods, but I also eat foods that range from 1 to 3 to 5 SmartPoints. By dinnertime I usually have around 12 SmartPoints left. The problem is that I’m tired and hungry, and those conditions make it difficult to make good choices.
This week is going to be different because I have a plan. I have planned out each day’s meal, and I made a deal with my daughter to help me prep foods so that it’s easier to get dinner going after a long day at work. Tonight’s dinner was big success…
I’ve got a goal this week – to plan ahead for dinner. Let’s see how I do. I wonder, do you have a goal? What is it? How will you make it happen? Goals are so important, so if you don’t have one yet – think about what you really want and set a goal. More tomorrow.
You took Sadie for an evening walk when things got stressful.
You went food shopping and bought good choices.
You are taking some time to write this post.
These are all things I did to help myself be successful this week. If you decided to write your own list, what would say? Sometimes we have to be the ones who give ourselves a pep talk. The inner voice has a lot of power, and we get to decide how to wield that power. Put your inner voice to good use, lift yourself up with appreciation and awe. You are worthy at least that much.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Whether is help with health and wellness goals, or something more. It’s really a sign of strength because when we ask for help, we are advocating for ourselves. So why is it so hard to do?
I’m working on recognizing when I need to ask for help. My three big triggers that have the potential to derail my health and wellness goals are when: I’m very stressed out, overly hungry, or tired. I can’t do it all, all by myself all the the time. So when I feeling overly hungry, just by telling someone, “I’m really hungry,” it helps. Or if I’m dealing with a stressful situation, acknowledging and naming the emotions help me to be specific with the kind of help I need. When I’m too tired to stay up and work, I name it and make arrangements to carry the work on into tomorrow.
We all need help sometimes. My wish for you is that if you need some help to stay on track with your goals that you ask for it.
It’s funny how a song can bring you back in time. I was watching the movie, Crazy Rich Asians, and heard a beautiful version of Only Fools Rush In. My uncle, Big Frankie, sang, that same song at my wedding. I remembered all the family and friends who were there to celebrate with us. It’s a very special memory.
You might be thinking, “Ok, so? Isn’t this a wellness and weight loss blog?” It is. Weight loss can be transformative experience. While it changes how I live my life, inside I am still me. I think, in order to stay on this journey, I need to gather everything I am, all I was, and all I hope to be and use that so I keep going. I need to embrace it all if I want to hold onto the best version of me.
So as you do the work to reach your goals, why not turn your gaze to something sweet? It is especially important to remember how much love there is in life. So this is what I have to say to you, remember the love, just remember that. Hold onto that and know you are worthy of accomplishing your goals. Even when you fail, or slip up, or have days that don’t go as planned. You can do it, you’ll get there. Say that and believe it.
Down another 2.2! Woo! Hoo! I just want to enjoy this moment. It feels good to see results when I’m putting in so much effort. Moments like these make me feel capable, and in control. For every positive there is a negative. Moments are funny because while the good ones seem to go so quickly, the hard ones seem enteral.
Sometimes a moment can seem like everything. The pull of wanting something can consume me, it’s like I want this… cookie, bread, pasta, or whatever it is and I lose perspective. My perspective becomes very narrow, and I think, I want it and that’s all there is. Then interior dialogue pipes up and begins to rationalize as if I’m playing, Let’s Make a Deal. Sometimes, the trajectory of a day lays in the balance of a single moment.
The Power of a Pause…
Learning how to pause, and think through a momentary craving or impulse is a big step on the journey. I believe learning how to do this is the work ahead of me now. While I’m not there yet, I am aware of the need to get there and that’s a good beginning.
You know when friends and family post old pictures on Facebook? Flashback Friday! they’ll write. I always pause to look at those posts. Their faces are younger, I see cute babies who have since grown, first cars, and childhood homes. Flashback Friday, gives us all a glimpse to remind, or imagine, what each other’s past was like. I think we all long to share our stories.
We share our stories in pictures. The problem with pictures, is that they are two dimensional. They only hint at the depth of our real lives. I could easily post a Flashback Friday pic that would tell my weight loss story. You would see the physical change. However, it would leave out the really important stuff and it would make it look easy.
As I write this post, it occurs to me that I am coming out of a… slump? Let’s call it that, this period of gaining and losing and gaining again. This fluctuation didn’t change my clothing size, so it would be hard to detect in pictures. However, it was a pivotal period I could have gone either way. I learned something important about myself, I learned to fully believe in my personal power. Whatever lever in my brain that needed fall, has, and now I actually feel my healthier habits taking over I’ve turned things around.
This period is just another chapter in my weight loss story. It’s important to look back at it and to try to reflect and learn what I can. I can use that information to help me grow. The journey is really about enlightenment, weight loss just comes with it. So, if you’re struggling my friend, try to look at it like just another chapter in your weight loss story. Look at this period as a chance to learn more about you. You can do this.