Flashback Friday…

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.

Night Owls & Early Birds…

Night Owl, that is the name of my ring tone. It’s kind of a funny name for an early morning alarm, now that I think of it. Early morning means 4:20 am this morning. Wake up! it burst open into the quiet dark, I rolled over, sheets twisted around my torso and tapped it to silence. Darkness and silence filled the void again and I thought quickly, Just get up…

I went to spin class before work today and (to me) it was so worth the early morning wake up. Activity helps me to maintain weight loss and it also just makes me feel good. What activity makes you feel good? Think about it and try to figure out a way to make that activity part of your life. If you’re not sure, make a goal to try out different activities until you find something you really like.

Get Tracking…

The most important thing I do to either lose or maintain weight is to accurately track the foods I eat. WW makes this super easy with the app that comes with membership. I especially enjoy the bar code reader that tells you how many points are in foods. I use it when I grocery shop.

Today’s post, and yesterday’s, Keep Things In Proportion, are like two parts of one whole. Tracking foods works, but I have to be super honest about portion sizes, otherwise I’m just wasting my time. The truth is, most people I meet hate tracking. They don’t want to put in the time and energy to do it, and all I can say is that I understand.

I read an on-line article from, Harvard Health Publishing, Why Keep A Food Diary, and it helped me to think of ways to extend my uses for tracking in ways I hadn’t considered before. The major reasons why we should track were well known to me:

  • It helps to know what you’re eating
  • It helps to know how much you’re eating
  • It helps to know when you’re eating (I could track this better)

If you’re already doing all three things, you’re way ahead of the game. You will lose weight if you track your food it’s a simple matter of awareness and accountability. It’s hard though, sometimes we just don’t want to face it, and we just want that extra scoop of ice cream. When I make the choice to track, I’m gathering data about myself, I’m always blown away at how easy it is for so many of us to put our needs as a secondary thing to others. Tracking only takes a few minutes, and it can be a game changer.

Tracking 2.0

If you’re already tracking your food, you may be ready for the next level. According to, the author Katherine McManus, using these lenses for tracking can yield even more good information:

  • Where are you eating?
  • What else are you doing while eating?
  • Who are you eating with?
  • How are you feeling when you’re eating?

So, I’ve created a Google Form, Tracking 2.0, that can help me track my results. You are welcome to use it too. Just save it as your own form and see if it gives you any new insights.

To “Make A Copy” just click the three dots in the upper right corner next to my picture. That will open a menu so you can save your form and access your own data.

I figure if I create this form I can access it through my phone and that will help make this easier to manage. It also could be a big bust, but I’m curious so I’ll just try it and see what happens.

Cleaning Up Chaos…

Growing up is hard. As I think back to my emotional teenage years, I am grateful that I had such loving insightful parents. One memory came to mind as I was reading an article this morning. Teenage me had a huge argument with my mother, I sat in my messy room crying My dad came in my room and said, “Clean up your room, it will help put things into perspective.” He patted me on the shoulder and closed the door quietly behind him. Sure enough, as I picked up each piece of clothing strewn on the floor (dirty and clean alike) I began to feel lighter. Sniffling waned as I cleared off my vanity, putting away mascara, wiping down the mirror, hanging the blow dryer on the hook nestled into it side, and then capping the big white aerosol can of hairspray Halfway through I started feeling calmer and more centered. By the time I was done, I did feel better, dad was right.

I used to watch sitcom reruns from the 1950’s & 1960’s as a kid this was a recurring theme.

This was a lesson I’ve kept with me my whole life. Cleaning up the chaos around me, helps me find the calm within me. Funny thing, decluttering your environment also happens to help with weight loss. I’m dong a deep dive this week into all the articles that helped me to develop my tool, WW Recovery Checklist.

Today, I’m thinking about the Prevention article, How Getting Organized Can Help You Lose Weight. Essentially, science agrees with my dad: organizing your environment helps to organize your mind. If we are faced with too many choices off the bat we can struggle to pick the best option. Decluttering the environment helps to make our options more readily available and that helps to put control back in our hands. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

My dad used to come home with little gifts for me and this album was one of my favorites. As a kid I fell in love with the music (even commercials) of his generation.

The author, Joni Sweet, recommends starting with the refrigerator:

Getting organized is just the good strategy I need as I get ready to head back to school. As I took some time to clean my refrigerator I kept thinking, “I’m doing this for me. This is a way to be kind to myself.” I had a my candle burning, the cheerful music playing, and in the end a clean, well-organized refrigerator was not my only reward, I felt really good. I felt calm, centered, and cared for. This is one way to help myself lose weight and live my life in better health.

What’s next?

  • Clean and organize the counters
  • The freezer
  • Measure snacks that are readily available
  • Get on top of the laundry

Sleep On It…

WW’s focus this week was about sleep, and now I’m thinking about how important getting quality sleep is to my weight loss journey. I think the reason I gained weight in the first place was because I would stay up late to work and wouldn’t get enough sleep. I would eat when I should have been sleeping. Here are some reasons to consider:

  1. Studies suggest that poor sleep leads to obesity.
  2. Sleep depravation increases appetite.
  3. Well rested people can stave off cravings and make healthier choices.
  4. Late night snacking can becomes a very unhealthy habit
  5. Muscle loss results in poor sleep.
  6. Sleep improves physical performance.
  7. Poor sleep over a few days may result in insulin resistance

If you want to read more about sleep, click here it’s a good read, and very informative.

A couple of things…

I couple of things I did today that in the moment was hard to do but afterward made me feel great. I bought good options when I went to the food store including: cotton candy grapes, cauliflower, snap peas, lean pork tenderloin, and chicken. Later, I wanted a snack, and I put it into my tracker first, when I saw that it would take me out of my “Blue Dot” zone, I decided to pass on it. Then I selected a lower point snack that was satisfying and I am still on track.

#Dailyjournalchallenge

It was my turn to submit a journal challenge to the group. I named it, “On Fire! Tools Spark Weight Loss & Wellness” I found reflecting on my tools to be very useful and I thought other people might too. If you would like to do the challenge… here it is::

Thank you, everyone!

Kickstarting Change…

I am closing out a great week on plan. Of course, I hope I go down on the scale tomorrow but no matter what I’m happy with my progress. I did a lot for myself this week! My checklist really helped me tune into what was going on internally while reminding me of all the good habits I can lean into to feel great and lose some weight.

Writing notes really made the difference. This tool helped me.

I made a point to practice mediation. I enjoyed it and it made me feel calm and helped me make better choices;

Headspace

I took time to prepare and plate foods that I enjoy, and ate mindfully. I paired zero point foods and lower SmartPoint foods to keep my meals fresh.

These choices may seem small but they are potent. So if you’re feeling stuck pick one small change work on that and you’ll see one change leads to another. The better you feel about yourself the better a health and wellness journey will go.

A good snack 1 sp. and fun to eat in this playful cow pattern measuring cup!

Pausing for Presence…

I had to take a beat and pause so I could be more present for decision making today. Whether it was being very hungry and snacking on veggies instead of popcorn, or getting up when the alarm went off so I could get some activity, or even just reflecting on my WW Recovery Checklist – it all comes down to my resolve for weight loss success.

Keeping this around is helpful because it reinforces healthy habits.

Having the self-control to think things through is an important step in a weight loss journey. I am thinking of it like this, it’s not that I’m saying “No” to tempting foods, it’s that I’m asking myself to consider the impact of my choices. Or, if I find myself in the kitchen, I’m making it a point to be intentional so I don’t go on autopilot. I think I’m at the point in my recovery plan where my healthy habits are taking over. My unhealthy habits are retreating. It’s a strange thing really, I can feel it happening. Transformational change happens the moment a person really believes that it’s possible.

Pausing to remember beauty…

I’m thinking about how incredible it was to see real humpback whales. There is something wonderful and beautiful in just knowing they are out there in deep ocean right now.

New foods to try…

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: