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.

Honor…

Honor is such a perfect word. As a noun, honor means “high respect; great esteem” or “adherence to what is right or a conventional standard of conduct.” As a verb, honor means, “regard with great respect” or to “fulfill an obligation or agreement.” Honor is the kind of word that wraps up so many other great words in its orbit. Words, like admiration, distinction, morality, integrity, and honesty. Really, it’s just a beautiful word.

How do I honor my life? I think my weight loss journey is one way to honor the life I have been given. Weight loss honors my body’s systems and helps me to be the healthiest version of myself. It’s a miracle just to be born, and yet I find that it’s so easy to get lost and caught up with all of the “stuff” I either don’t have or am afraid of losing that I can lose sight of what’s really important. The truth is, every day I can run up the stairs, or get around a chair easily, or sit next to children to listen to them read or walk across the parking lot is a gift that can be easily overlooked.

How do I honor the process? Lately, I’ve been worrying about old habits coming back and losing control. In the book, Daring Greatly, the author Brene Brown refers to this idea of scarcity. Essentially, scarcity means there is not enough and so not everyone can have what they need. When it comes to my weight loss journey a scarcity mentality would presuppose that my success is not something I get to keep. Adopting a scarcity mentality (one that thrives on losing or loss) would mean that I am not honoring the process. A process that helped me to lose 93 pounds – that’s just crazy. I think I had a burst of clarity today…

  • I know what to do
  • I have what I need
  • I am enough

These words seem simple glowing back at me on the screen, but they make me feel centered and content My wish for you is that you honor yourself and all that you are doing to help yourself along the journey to better health and wellness. Believe this, it is a miracle that any of us were even born, so let’s all take a beat to appreciate that and know we are all enough just as we are. Thank you for reading.

Healthy Habits…

It’s the day before work begins again, and I have packed and tracked my breakfast and lunch. I know what I’ll be making for dinner, chicken, and potatoes with a vegetable. I might go to spin class at 6:30 PM tomorrow but I have to see how the day goes. I go to spin for fun, not for an obligation. This is my “new normal” These are the healthy habits that have helped me to lose 93 pounds.

This is a friend to weight loss.

Is my weight loss going to be permanent? On the surface it’s simple. If I maintain these habits and don’t let my old ones resurface – yes. If I let myself fall into old habits then no. I know the truth, and the truth is I cannot sustain eating the way I used to and maintain my current weight. I realize it may sound crazy but it would be so easy to fall back. It helps that I am self-aware of this truth. It helps but it doesn’t solve it. The only person who can decide my fate is me and that is pretty daunting.

I tracked everything I ate today. I am carrying over two SmartPoints and that feels good. If I get through the next two days maintaining my healthy habits I think I’ll be in good shape. I’m going through this rough patch and it has lasted longer than I’d like. It’s almost like I’m trying to absolve myself of my past discretions by writing them down here for you to read. But that’s not really it – I think I’m doing this because I hope that you can understand how difficult this is for me. I hope that you can relate to my struggle. This is definitely hard, but it’d be worse if I thought I was the only one. It helps to know that others are able to overcome their old habits. When I think about it that way, it makes me feel like I can do it too.

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I think my rough patch is ending. I think I’m on the way back to the routines that have served me so well. I don’t think I could get myself back if I had stopped writing. If you read my posts I hope there is something of use in them for you too. If you are feeling like you lost your way on the road to better health know that the trail is waiting for you to find your footing. Take my words as markers to find the way back. You can do it. I know you can because I know I can do it too.

Home Base…

Like most children, I had a vivid imagination when I was a kid. If I was afraid of something, scary movies, spiders, or dogs with big sharp teeth, I’d pretend there was a vault in my mind. Stationed outside, were two big burly guards who would throw the thing (whatever it was) inside and then slowly turn the lock to make sure it stayed put. Then they would stand as centries with arms folded to make extra sure I was safe. Analyze that, why don’t you? Crazy, I know – but it worked… every time.

It’s Saturday, and it hit me that my WW workshop is really like a “home base” for me. It’s my chance to rest up and catch my breath before the race is on again. During the meeting today we had a long discussion about what to do when old habits come back. Needless to say, this really resonated with me because I felt at odds with my old habits all week long. So while people were sharing I sat and listened closely writing my notes and reflecting on my feelings. This is what I think, I think it is easy to feel conflicted about past choices and what to do next when it’s been a rough week. Honestly, it doesn’t feel great. However, the thing, that does feel great (and it’s only now that I can see past my own feelings of guilt and inadequacy that I really appreciate it) is that I’m aware of how my choices make me feel. In the end, mindless eating makes me feel numb. It’s not the food it’s the choice to check out that makes me feel so bad – I feel bad because I’m relinquishing my power.

Sugar-Free Spice Cake 4 sp for 1/12 of a slice
You can get the mix here: https://www.edietshop.com/bernard-spice-dietary-cake-mix/539143/

So just for fun, I can imagine those two burly guards grab that mindless eating and stuff it into the vault and keep it under lock and key. Strange but that does make me smile and it helps a little. The thing is, I know the truth – the truth is I’m the guard and it’s up to me to handle it – not with blunt force but with sensitivity and care. Life is hard sometimes and sometimes I make choices that are bad for me. But not today. Today offers a great time for a fresh start with greater awareness. I know that when I plan and act strategically I feel more in touch with my sense of personal power – I just feel better.

I can do this, I really can, and so can you. Ready! Set! Go!

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?