Thank you…

The human body is made up of complex systems. It is said that there are 86 BILLION neurons in the brain. Your body is a highly connected structure made up of organic molecules interacting within cells, hooking into tissues connected to organs. All of these systems are interconnected, all working together in harmony. Amazing.

Yet so many of us who are actively trying to lose weight take our bodies for granted. It’s easy to forget to be grateful for what we already have. So often, many of us are self-critical and sometimes even feel loathsome about our outward appearance to others.

So for today, I took a long look in the mirror. I took in my form and thought about all the things my body does for me. I said, “Thank you, for letting me move in the world. Thank you, for letting me spin and dance (albeit without any sense of rhythm). Thank you, for letting me hug those I love. Even if it’s not forever, I am so grateful for what my body can do today.

I truly feel better about myself. Now, the journey continues with a refreshed sense of deep gratitude and self-love. Thank you, readers, for coming on this journey with me. Onward!

Do a Favor for Someone

All day long I felt like I was on a secret mission. I was on the hunt to do a favor for someone. It was an interesting feeling because it felt like I was taking an active stance for kindness. All I kept thinking was I am a force for good… even if, it’s just a few small acts. Whether I was helping a friend, lending a hand with a colleague’s project, or just doing something thoughtful for my husband. I can go to sleep tonight knowing, I made things just a little nicer for the people in my life. This knowledge filled me with a great deal of happiness. See there is joy on the journey.

What’s Your Why?

Today is the first day of the #MayChallenge and today’s mission is an important one: “Write your why…” I’m not sure how many times I have written this (but here goes again) a weight loss journey takes a whole lot of effort and care! I know, for sure, I’m not alone on this. Given that weight loss is so challenging for so many of us there has to be a good reason why anyone would want to take it on.

Before I tell you my why, I want to tell you a story first. I was having lunch with a close friend who is also losing weight. She told me that she and her husband went out to dinner with a few other couples the other night. Everyone was eating and drinking, and she was feeling left out of the fun. One of her friends said to her, “Don’t you think you should just enjoy your life? You’re older now, and you’ll never be the size you were when you were younger. Wouldn’t it be better just to be happy now, instead of being miserable and missing out?” After my friend told me her story, she asked me what I thought.

I imagined her feeling neglected at the dinner, and I said, “It depends on what you really want. If you want to lose weight then there is no reason you shouldn’t have that. If your extra weight isn’t impacting your health, and you are happy with how you feel about yourself insofar as your mobility, and appearance; then (if all those things are yes) maybe she is right.”

Knowing why weight loss matters to you is an essential thing. I know why I want to lose weight. My why helped me through the hardest part of this latest chapter of my weight loss journey, it helped me gather the energy to start the process again. Yes again… I got to goal and then Lifetime before COVID. After months of lockdown, without being able to go to Spin class, or being able to attend in-person Weight Watcher meetings, I slowly (and steadily) put on weight. Working from home was consuming, and food was a comfort during some scary times.

No, I didn’t put on all of my lost weight. However, I certainly gained way too much. In the aftermath of all of that, I could have given up on weight loss. I could have just accepted the fact that I would never be like I was when I was younger, and I could get along being “good enough” for my older self. The reason I didn’t is because I really understand why I am doing this. I am doing this for me. Life feels better when I’m healthier. I am happy with where I’m at right now, I have energy and I see myself progressing. I think at any stage in life, it is human nature to aspire to learn and grow. I don’t have to be at goal to be happy with myself. I’m happy right now because I know I already have everything I need to be successful.

As I end this post, I can’t help but think of Rose. She is a fellow member of my Weight Watcher community. How do I describe her, so you might know her a little bit? Rose is a mature stylish woman. She is so funny and pokes fun at us and herself. She is living her life on her own terms, challenging herself in ways that are both wise and inspiring. When I think about loving myself enough to do this, she comes to mind because she lives by example.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

–Martin Luther King Jr. 1960

Be Curious!

Chances are good, that if you are reading this blog, then you are interested in weight loss, and/or improving your health. Being part of a caring community makes such a difference because you know you’re not alone there are plenty of people like you. I always say this, but then something struck me during my WW meeting this morning, even though we are all on a weight loss journey, all of our experiences are so very different.

A friend next to me shared her struggles, and I could feel myself getting pulled into her story because it resonated so deeply. Her hardest meal of the day was dinner. Me too friend! But then as I listened I soon discovered my reasons are different. Dinner is a problem for me because during the workday, I make hundreds of decisions, and by the time dinner rolls around I have decision fatigue. I handle this by having a plan for dinner, Here I am sitting next to a friend who has the same problem yet my solution would be useless to her. We are the same but not the same.

Weight loss is a journey that is meant to teach us something important about ourselves. While it’s easy to relate and see yourself in others’ problems, what works for them may not work for you. What then? It may seem daunting but you need to think about yourself. A friendly way to begin is by being curious about one thing. Here are some ideas to start you off:

  1. How many nights do I eat dessert?
  2. How much sugar am I eating?
  3. How does my weight fluctuate from day to day?
  4. How can I apply what I’m learning about health/nutrition?
  5. How do I feel right before and right after a workout?
  6. How does mindful eating impact my hunger levels?
  7. How does the quality of my sleep impact motivation?
  8. How do my community/family/friends help or hinder me?
  9. What habits are or are not sticking?
  10. What would happen if I changed (…)?

Being self-aware unlocks so much of this process. Invest some time and do an inquiry into yourself. See what you learn, because there is no one in the world who is like you. You are unique and worthy of study – turn an “admiring lens” (Gravity Goldberg) on yourself and appreciate all that you are and all that you give back to the world.

A habit tracker is another great way to be curious about yourself.

Stress Test

I found out some stressful news today. I have to travel to NYC for professional development. I thought it would involve a trip to Penn and an Uber to the school. Turns out, the school is an hour away from Penn, so taking the train would just add another hour to the commute! After some, vigorous texting back and forth with my friends, we decided to drive. After coming to terms with our new plan, she said: “I’m going to need lots of snacks.” So being a good friend I listened…

After buying snacks, I promptly went to Carvel with my husband and got a small Carvelite ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles (15 points). This took me out of my healthy eating zone but it was a great cone. Stress comes and so many of us look for comfort in food.

Here is what I also did today – I completed my 45-minute training class on the Peloton. I tracked everything I ate (37 points later). I drank all my water, and I weighed and measured my portions. I prepared a healthy dinner and figured out the point values by calculating the nutritional information in the app. I ate mindfully. So, overall, I would say this was a good day on plan. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to weight loss. It requires us to be fully present in our actions pretty much all the time. If it’s worth it to me – I can make it happen.

High Utility Habits

Do you have a junk drawer at your house? A drawer is a drawer that you allow yourself to just throw in whatever you want without any organization whatsoever. The only requirement is that the drawer can close. Out of sight out of mind. Until the tape is needed, or the little scale (don’t judge I do own two scales the little one is more precise with grams than the big one). The dog brush that untangles knots is there, right next to scented tartlets…

Some things are useless – like expired coupons or expo markers when there is no whiteboard in my kitchen. Some things are high utility objects, things I use every day like the tape, or pens you see in there. I think I have a condition that I always need office supplies on hand – but that’s a topic for another time.

In some ways, the habits I’m trying to cultivate are similar to this collection of stuff I hide away in my kitchen. Some habits are high utility – like tracking and movement goals. If I make those habits more accessible I am going to be more likely to lose weight. Others like meditation and bedtime routines are nice (and very good for me) but are not as likely to make or break my week when it comes to shedding weight.

So what habits are you trying to cultivate? As you think about it consider which ones are the most important – the ones you want to have on hand because they really make a difference.

Thanks for reading, and if you feel like it -leave a message, and let me know what you are thinking about.

A Little Imagination

I went for a walk today with my husband and our pup Sadie. It was cold and sunny, a welcome change from the soggy (unseasonably warm) grey weather of late. Along the way, we passed the telltale signs of post-holiday remains: condensed boxes tied neatly at the curb, a perfectly shaped Christmas tree rolled on its side, and houses stripped bare of their colorful lights. Then all of a sudden a splash of whimsy

Hello Mr. Narwhal

I just love a holdout. It sparked a little joy and optimism inside me like if you just look around you’ll find something special in the ordinary. Something that captures the imagination… I think it is very important to flex the imagination while trying to achieve any big goal. Especially when progress can be slow; as it sometimes is when it comes to weight loss. Think of it this way, imagination is the intellectual gift we give to ourselves. It is not something that is only reserved for artists, poets, and musicians. To imagine is to be human – it is innate to who we are and sustains us when the going gets tough.

Today has been a good day on plan. I hit my water goal, I am within my points, cooking dinner I planned out my meals for the week, and I had a very rigorous workout this morning followed by this leisurely walk that inspired this post. All of these tiny little goals knit together to form a strong foundation for my future success. No, I’m not perfect, as you can see by looking at my habit tracker… but the transformation to daily healthy habits is underway. I got this and if you believe it – so do you.

Tracking Transparency

How do you feel about writing down everything you eat? Have you ever done it? I have. When my healthy habits are ticking along under their own volition – it is somethingI do without even thinking about it. Meaning, it takes very little energy or thought to keep it going. Today’s WW meeting was all about how research says that people who track what they eat, lose weight.

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”

Mother Teresa.

I believe that research because I lived it. On December 22, 2018, I reached “Lifetime!” (click here to read all about it) Faithful, honest tracking is a big reason I acheived this. If you are reading this (and are not a member of WW) “Lifetime” is a term meaning you have maintained your goal weight for 6 weeks and now you no longer have to pay to be a member.

So if you’re serious about reaching your weight loss goals, here are some tips that can help you started with tracking:

  • Write down the food or beverage as you eat. If you wait until the end of the day you may not be as accurate.
  • Be specific when tracking. For example, if you have a snack of pretzels, note the amount (a good kitchen scale helps with this).
  • Get ready, this can be a tough one, cocktails count – track the booze it adds up.
  • Writing in a journal or blogging works just fine, or a smartphone app like WW or My Fitness Pal can support your efforts. These apps also offer lots of helpful information.

So join me! Get on the right track but tracking. We can do it.


The word victory seems too big for turning down candy at professional development. It is hyperbole to use a word like that for such a small act. Victory is a special sort of word; one that sits high in the curio cabinet, bathed in the light waiting for “company” to arrive. To do something to earn such a word is to be admired. A rarified word that is meant for greatness, and not all meant for simply having some self-control during a work day.

Do you believe that? I really hope you don’t because weight loss is just plain old hard work for so many of us. And listen, if you turn down the candy bowl, or eat the lunch you pointed out and prepared instead of ordering out, and that makes you feel like a winner, I say, “Celebrate your victory!” It’s time to embrace these small acts because they add up and when you’re standing on the other side of “Goal!” with a big grin on your face it will certainly feel like VICTORY then.

A Clean Slate

New Year’s offers us a clean slate, and is there anything more appealing than a clean slate? Just like that (as if in a snap) all of the mistakes of the past are discarded, and everything is brand-spanking-new. A well-constructed resolution is truly something to admire. As if it were frozen in time, or under glass like the constitution or something. Especially one that has to do with weight loss, it catches the imagination, a new year, and a new me. It invites the willing heart, “This year will be my year to reach goal.” I can hear myself whisper it as if it were a magic chant just as the ball drops. For that moment it is easy to believe that a resolution will remain potent long after the strike of twelve. It is a belief that is, in a word – unspoiled – it is perfect.

Here is a secret, perfection is an enemy to process. Losing weight is a process of letting go of unhealthy habits while embracing healthy ones. So, why romanticize perfection when it comes to weight loss? For one, the inner critic loves perfection because it is unattainable. The very idea of it offers up bountiful opportunities to pummel the fledgling habits that are, let’s face it, a lot of hard work to establish. Another reason for the allure of perfectionism is it requires no work on our part. It is a symptom of a fixed mindset if I can’t be perfect, then it can’t be done. Intellectually, it is easy to call this out as being irrational and dumb. Emotionally, it is another thing altogether. It is like wearing a scarlet WW across one’s chest. Yes, you failed and everyone knows it because you sure can’t hide weight gain.

Is it all that dreary as we approach our end to another orbit around the sun? Chin up buttercup. It’s going to be okay. The good news is, I’m not perfect, and neither are you. There have been some false starts, and sudden stops to my weight loss journey this year, but I still believe I can do this. And you know what else? I believe you can do it too. Just don’t expect it to be easy and you are halfway there. Surround yourself with some inspiration, and some positive people who can help you along the way. So cheers to 2023 and imperfection! We are better together, and together (with a lot of hard work and persistence) we can get this done.