Take a Bath

What I am feeding myself on this journey is not just about the physical.  It is also about the mental.  From humor to inspiration to practical advice and suggestions, I am on a constant diet of motivation.  The good news is, motivation doesn’t cost points, calories, carbs or macros.  No matter what you are counting, motivation can be a part of your daily intake.

My favorite Zig Ziglar quote is, “They say motivation doesn’t last, but neither does bathing, that’s why they recommend it daily.”  This constant daily diet of motivation is what it takes to counteract all of the things in our environment that can pull us away from our goals.  From those damn TV commercials for the big burgers or the amazing ice cream to the people who “kindly” bring cupcakes and donuts to work, challenges surround us.

My daily motivation comes from many sources: Instagram, Weight Watchers connect, My WW buddy/bestie, friends, and family, podcasts, and Facebook.  Any time I want to turn to food, I have been turning to technology or someone in my life I trust.  Motivation and support is just a click away in many cases.  Use all of your resources!  I have set up a pinterest board called “Wisdom” for the motivating quotes I like – check it out!

How do you bathe daily in motivation?  

TED Talk Tuesday 5.23.17: Mindset

I love TED Talks.  I love that they are short and on a variety of topics. So for the next few Tuesdays I will be showcasing a different TED talk and discuss how I will be incorporating it into my journey.

TED Talk Tuesday

This week’s TED talk is by Carrie Green and is entitled “Programming Your Mind for Success.”  She discusses the extreme importance of mindset on your road to better health.  By describing a series of experiments she an her colleagues preformed with hotel housekeepers, factory workers, and university students drinking milkshakes, she was able to show how one small tweak in the way we think of things has a huge impact on the outcome.

The hotel housekeepers for instance, by the nature of their jobs, get a significant amount of exercise each day.  But when they were asked if the exercise, most of them said no because they don’t intentionally exercise.  By very simply showing one group of housekeepers a poster that showed how many calories they were burning with each cleaning task they did,  that group had statistically significantly better health when the researchers returned.  Their weight and blood pressure was down – and they did not report adding any extra exercise.

So all of this made me wonder if the mindset we have during our weight loss journey by default has the potential to impact our weight loss one way or the other.  If we go in worrying that this will be another time to fail is it inevitable that we will fail.  If we go in with a mindset set on success and feed that positive mindset regularly, are we more likely to succeed? I’m going to take a guess and say YES.

So what is your mindset? Are you convinced you are going to be successful?

 

Are You a Diamond or Dung?

Or are you priceless or poop?  However you phrase it, my question today is how do you view yourself?  How do you talk to yourself?  Do you treat yourself like your best friend or your worst enemy?

diamond or dung

One of my goals is to determine why this time feels different than all the failed attempts I have had at weight loss before.  I am putting in the work, but it doesn’t seem to be a chore or a constant internal fight.  And one of the things I realized is that this time I like myself – a lot.

Before I joined Weight Watchers on February 4th, 2017, I vowed I would never try to lose weight again.  I was over 300 pounds and tired of fighting an constantly being on some form of a diet.  I could look in the mirror and wasn’t upset about who was looking back at me.  She was cute, smart, funny, and becoming more sassy by the minute (apparently turning 40 will do that to you).  And while there are always things I could improve about me, I really started to embrace a strengths and growth mindset.  I focused less on what was wrong and more on what was right.

And honest to goodness the only thing that took me to Weight Watchers in February was a 5K race I committed to in April.  I started training and realized that it would be a whole lot easier to do if I wasn’t taking so many pounds on my walk.  It was a matter of being practical.  Of course, now there are a gazillion reasons I can think of to continue, and on my Facebook page and WW Connect, I am on a quest to name 100 of those reasons.

But back to the diamond/dung question?  Are you living your life as a poop emoji?

photo of a box of poop emoji suckers

Are you wearing a mask – smiling and happy on the outside and working to convince everyone you are chocolate ice cream or a Hershey’s Kiss?  Do you really feel like shit on the inside?  What are the thoughts that run through your head on a daily basis?  It’s time to take a look at them and decide if that is how you want to continue to see yourself.  I challenge you to begin talking to yourself like you would a cherished friend.  Give yourself a break.

You aren’t dung.  You are a diamond.  You aren’t poop.  You are priceless.

What is one step toward mentally caring for yourself you can take today?

Feel the feelings

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a million times, “I am an emotional eater.”  And quite honestly, I have said it too.  However, it seems like for me, being an emotional eater doesnt’ just happen when I feel negative emotions, it means eating when I’m happy, sad, bored, angry, discouraged, encouraged… and the list goes on.

So how do we get out of the emotional eating cycle?  I’m honestly not 100% sure and I certainly don’t have all the answers – but I am being mindful of making sure that I have a physical hunger before snacking especially.  Before Weight Watchers, I am not sure I could tell you the last time I actually felt physical hunger.  Believe it or not, your tummy will actually growl if you are hungry!  I thought it was a myth, but it turns out it is true! And yesterday, I noticed physical hunger two whole times!  #rockstarstatus

scale

So what happens if we want to eat and are not physically hungry?  First, check your thirst.   Are you thirsty?  Grab some water or crunch on some ice.  Second, check your mood.  How are you feeling?  Mad, sad, bored?  Is there something other than food that your body is asking for right now?  Do you need to cry, scream, take a deep breath, journal, exercise?  Try that first – see if it helps!

I am working on getting more accurate at identifying how I am feeling and what my body needs – and just like anything else, the more I practice, the more I learn and succeed.

What have you noticed as emotional eating triggers and what are you trying to do to handle those triggers in a healthy way?

It’s Only Gravity

Everyone has a story and everyone brings a unique perspective into this world.  When you begin to lose weight you begin to learn people’s stories and their perspective on their weight, their self-esteem, and their journey.  I am thankful when people trust me enough to share their struggles and know that I am judgement free.  That is one of the blessings of being over 300 pounds.  I am a safe place to talk about weight loss struggles.  I have heard many things I have thoughts on that I will address in the next few blog posts.

First and most importantly: YOUR WEIGHT IS ONLY A MEASURE OF THE PULL OF GRAVITY ON YOUR CURRENT MASS.  The number on the scale does determine that you are good or bad, and it certainly doesn’t determine your worth.   So stop letting it have control over your day.  And if you get discouraged when you weigh yourself every day – either stop or throw away your scale.  I threw mine right in the trash and it was the most freeing moment ever!  I bought a new scale and I am back to weighing daily now and I am keeping it in perspective.  If you are weighing yourself daily, keep a log so you can see trends.  You didn’t gain 2 pounds yesterday, your body fluctuates.  Below is my daily weight log.  I could be mad I gained a pound yesterday, or I could look back and see that I am 2 pounds down from last Wednesday.  Be kind to yourself.

daily weight log

I have heard a million times, “You didn’t put your weight on overnight, it won’t come off overnight.”  Guess what?  That’s true!  But one day at a time working toward your goal gets you one day closer than not working toward your goal.  And those “one days” add up to a month, a quarter, a year and beyond.  And if you string almost three months of those “one days” together, you get a chart that looks like this:

3-month-chart.png

In case you were wondering, the first dot was 335.8

But this picture of my weight loss in log form or in graph form is just one way to measure the choices I am making for better health.  I also daily log my blood pressure and my blood sugar level because this is a fight my health, not an pursuit to wear smaller clothes (but I won’t argue when that is the case!).

Friends, no matter what goal you are working toward — I believe you can do it!

What struggles are you facing?  What do we need to talk about?  How will you celebrate your “one days” even when it isn’t fun?

 

Finding My Why

When you work for a goal, there has to be a reason.  If there isn’t, why would you spend your time and energy working toward something that will require sacrifice?

why3

I have a theory that finding “my why” for weight loss and maintaining my focus on that why will lead to weight loss success.  The challenge is that it hasn’t worked before.  I have made a list of 100 reasons why I want to lose weight – everything from sitting in a single plane seat to skydiving.  And here we are 2 years after my last post on this blog and I am now back to trying to lose weight again.  Am I not finding a reason that is strong enough or important enough to continue for months on end to eat in moderation and move my rump?

I have always heard that “nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”  Heck, I wouldn’t know.  I have never in my life been thin – and I have tasted a ton of things that are freaking delicious!  So thin must be pretty amazing.

I am going to be working on my why list.  In the meantime, I am working my plan with just the shear will and determination that I will make it one more day and someday all of those “one more days” will add up to arriving at somewhere closer to thin than I am now. Why or no why, I will keep moving forward.

What is your why?  And what do you think is the most important ingredient in reaching your goals (not just weight loss goals, but also life goals)?

 

 

I Carried the Poop.

Howard and I took a walk tonight and it never fails that he poops within a block or two of home no matter how long he has been outside.  And being a good citizen, I scoop it up in a bag and we continue on our way.  So, for the first part of our walk, my mission is to get to the doggy poop trash can in the park which is about a half mile from our house so I can dispose of the gift I have been given.

But the problem is, Howard doesn’t care that mommy is on a mission to rid herself of the poop bomb. He is just happy to be on the walk!

Dog and Fire Hyrdant

That dog will stop and smell EVERYTHING.  Trees, grass, hostas, lillies, clover, fire hydrants, more trees, concrete walls, wood fences, sewer grates, telephone poles, stop sign poles.  You name it, he sniffs it.  He is tuned in to every little thing.  I have read a lot about dogs and their sniffers and the importance of what they learn about their environment from their noses, but dang!  He sure does do a lot of stopping and smelling the roses (and the hydranga, and the busted balloon, and the Coke can – you get the picture).

And then I realized something.  Why am I not more like Howard.  Why in the world am I rushing through our walk?  Why am I not enjoying every step?  Why am I constantly saying “let’s go buddy,” “leave it,” “come on Howard,” “let’s keep moving.”  The only one of those that I can justify is “leave it” because there is some pretty yucky stuff on our walks.

But for the rest of it, I need to chill.  I can go on a power walk later.  I don’t walk fast enough for him to be able to jog with me, so for him we are on a stroll.  So instead of rushing to dump the poo, why I am I not enjoying and being thankful for the things I am encountering – the flowers, the people, the breeze, pretty landscaping and homes?  What a great time to get away and just think…

That kind of spills over into my life.  The rushing to the destination is not how I want to remember my life. I want to hurry up and loose all of my weight so I don’t have to diet anymore.  But maybe I would be better off taking my time and learning to enjoy healthy food.  I want to hurry up and get into a new house, but I would be better off still enjoying the memories we can make while we are here.  I want to hurry up and be out of debt, but maybe focusing on learning to budget our money and learning to be a better steward be a more beneficial view.

What bag of poop are you rushing to dump in your life?  Is there anything you can enjoy along the way?  What lessons can Howard the mutt and his sniffer teach you today?