Courage!!!

November 29, 2013

I have been thinking recently about the amount of courage it takes to set out on a journey – any kind of journey!  Traveling to see new places, moving, meeting new people, and of course weight loss.

As I’ve come to the end of my weight loss journey having met goal and now learning to manage the delicate balance of maintenance!  Over the last couple of months I have been reflecting more and more on the growth I’ve experienced over the last three and a half years – taking just one foot in front of the other!!  Truthfully, when I set out to lose weight and get healthy, I didn’t think “oh, this will be a courageous journey.”  I simply decided it was time, and I was ready.  Emotionally and spiritually ready finally to do the work it was going to take.  I set out to get healthy – end of story – or should I say ‘beginning of the story.’

Reflecting also on this journey, I don’t necessarily remember what it was like to be heavy – I know, that sounds kinda weird!  What I do remember is the milestones – the morning when I woke up and realized I’d had a good, restful and full nights sleep in I don’t know how long, the moment it became easier to reach down and tie my shoes, or when I finally could clasp my hands behind my back, and when I was able to do a whole cardio routine with tons of jumping jacks without needing to stop.

Now, I’m making my own tedious debut into the fitness world and have been given the beautiful opportunity to work with others who are trying to also be healthy – including those who are working on weight loss.  These are the people who are helping me learn how truly courageous it is to set out on a journey.  One that’s difficult, and frustrating, and beautiful — and worth every single step.  Courage to change patterns and habits in my life that were unhealthy.  Courage to grow in virtue – those virtues that make us better, stronger human beings.  Courage I did not know I had!!

My new mantra has become “one step in front of the other.”  People often ask me how I did it? How did you lose 88 pounds!  My first answer is: Weight Watchers and Exercise.  Followed immediately with – One foot in front of the other!  This is a journey. A journey of self discovery and self-knowledge; a journey of learning to love myself and become comfortable in my own skin.  In a word: Growth!!

So be courageous my friends.  Step out on that limb, allow yourself to be uncomfortable – and take your own journey that will make you a stronger.  It’s not going to be easy!  There are going to be tears, you will want to throw in the towel, and you will wonder if the light at the end of the tunnel really exists…but trust me, it does exist! (Because if I can do it, your can do it!) Remember also, that anything worth working for – is worth fighting for, no matter how scary it is!  So go, fight for it!  Be Courageous!

 

(after posting this I found this quote: “Courage is like a muscle.  We strengthen it with use.” – Ruth Gordon

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Trigger Food vs. Favorite Food! A.K.A. Ice Cream vs. Macaroni and Cheese

July 22, 2013

This is going to be a quick post….

But I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘trigger foods’ vs. ‘favorite foods’.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences – and how they affect me in my daily living.  There are foods that I love: Macaroni and Cheese, Chocolate, Hot Dogs…  And there are foods that I can’t bring into the house: Ice Cream!  For me, ice cream is a trigger food.  If I have, even just a little taste of that cold, icy, creamy deliciousness I just can’t stop (popsicles and frozen yogurt – sadly – also fall into this category).  However, when I find myself enjoying a hamburger or homemade Mac and Cheese (none of this blue box stuff) I’m good after one serving or a taste of it.  I’m learning to enjoy and savor every bite of my favorite foods…

Run the Race

July 21, 2013

I realize it’s been over a year since I’ve posted on this blog. Obviously we all live busy lives – and mine is evidence by this blog site and how often I think to write here. However, I still feel strongly about it, and hope that those who may be reading my journey can find inspiration and encouragement from it.

I was looking through pictures from my friend’s wedding (last summer) and was in awe of how I looked even in those pictures – in which I was 50 pounds lighter from when I started this road to health and wellness. It’s been quiet a process. Now, I’m 80 pounds down, and just shy of my final weight goal – but, I am proud to say that I have long since gained my health and fitness goals. Never did I think I’d be one of those people who feels weird without getting a daily workout in, and now, I can hardly stand it at the end of the day if I still haven’t gotten a full workout in (the one exception is Sunday – because I know I need to give my body a little rest, and it sure does thank me for it).

I can’t say I’ve conquered all my food demons – I still have plenty to work out in that area of my life, but, I know where they are hiding – and that I think is the bigger gain. Knowledge is Power!

I was thinking the other day, after a conversation with a friend, about eating out. When I was heavy, I didn’t worry about what I was eating at dinner. Now, I’m more self-conscious about my choices cause in my head I’m wondering if they’re asking: “what’s the she-used-to-be-fat girl going to eat”??!! But, through this journey I’ve learned more and more about making choices – and when to choose a piece of pizza and when to go with the salad. It’s about real life, real food, real situations, and real people.

Today I bought my 80 pound charm! (in a quick effort to explain what this is, for every 5 pounds I’ve lost, I’ve gotten myself a charm for the bracelet I wear daily.) It helps me remember how far I’ve come – and that I’m never going back (and I totally have plans for a more permanent reminder once I’ve made it to maintenance). She gave me the smallest bracelet in the store! The one I was wearing broke not too long ago, so I’ve been carrying it around in my purse. When she compared them, and put the smallest one on me, I think I could have cried. Little Victories.

So, for now, I’ll leave it at that.
I’m feeling good and strong and know I can do this.
I’ve done it 8 times – I can do it once more.
That’s not to say final part of the journey won’t be a killer…”they” say the last 10 pounds are the hardest! But for me, I’m pressing on, and I sure hope you’ll walk beside me because I couldn’t have done this without countless family and friends to support and encourage me along the way!

Incentive

February 14, 2012

Heres the thing…I work really well with incentives.
The current incentive I’m working with is a dear dear friend’s wedding coming up in July. OK, I know July is still pretty far off – but the thing is, I know it will be here before we know it. And my goal is to look nice in a new pretty dress for her special day. (Which means, in practical terms, I’d like to be a size smaller.)

This is do-able…right?!

The problem is, I’m having a super difficult time getting myself motivated. After a week of going to the gym daily, my trips to the gym trailed off last week. Today, I even bought some work-out clothing, told a friend I’d meet her at the gym after I changed, and didn’t even go. (Surprise! Surprise!)

What’s with this lack of motivation? It’s not like I have been enjoying the better feeling I’ve had since I’ve upped the activity in my life.  Zumba has become my new addiction (but it’s only one night a week – though one is better than none).  I’m in search of more and more upbeat music to add to my iPod in an effort to help keep my pace high on whatever exercise machine I choose as my poison at the gym.

The thing is…I don’t love to exercise!  I love to feel better – and I certainly feel better once I’ve added exercise into my regular routine.  But, the process is just not enjoyable to me!  That being said: here’s a list of the types of exercise I do enjoy.  Swimming.  Zumba.  Pilates.  Gymnastics (though finding an adult class may be pretty darn difficult – but I know I loved it as a kid!).  Phew – now that those things are committed to writing…I just need to do it.  Maybe even try other things to add to this rather short list.  The options are endless…I just don’t like the options.

OK, enough lamenting!

I read this trick: add a dollar (or even some change – which I think my budget may be more conducive to) to a jar each time you’ve tracked (a.k.a. written down everything you’ve eaten) successfully each day.  In addition to applying this trick to my tracking needs, I’m also going to apply it to my need to get exercise in on a regular (daily) basis.

(I’ll have a new iPod, or shoes for exercising in no time if I try this technique).

If thats not incentive enough….off to label my jar for tracking and exercising! (with some pretty stickers and such)  I think I’ll even start a sticker chart.

No More Excuses

January 14, 2012

This being my first post of the new year, on the heals of 2012 there is much to talk about. Yet still, it seems as though it’s the same tale over again. Once again we find ourselves – ok, I find myself with the New Years Resolution to lose weight and get healthy. Thankfully, I have the year and a half of my journey behind me and I’m certainly not starting from scratch, but starting from forty pounds lost!

No more excuses!

I found myself stepping on the scale this evening with great dread…but I knew if I didn’t step on the scale, and face the inevitable, I would continue on this spiral and continue saying: I’ll start Monday, and I’ll track later!

Well, here I am. In the wake of Christmas, New Years, and PMS up on the scale. I can no longer hide behind these excuses; but rather press forward and begin again.

Happy New Year. No – Happy New Week!!!
This journey called weight loss doesn’t happen in a year – a calendar year or otherwise. It happens in a moment. The moment in which I have the courage to say no to that piece of chocolate I desperately want and say yes to the drink of water I probably need more. It’s the ability to grow in self-control, planning my next meal – and my next splurge on Birthday Cake or Ice Cream.

No more excuses is about ending the mindless of battle in which I find myself seeing food and eating it, but rather knowing that the journey is worth every difficult moment of temptation.

I certainly haven’t come this far to turn on myself now!
The journey continues, one moment at a time.

One Bite At A Time

September 27, 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged! I truly enjoy blogging – however, life gets busy and taking the time to sit down and blog on a consistent basis is not my forte.

In the time since I last posted, I’ve moved past a three-month plateau, and recently passed my 40 pound weight loss goal!  At the moment, I’m setting my sights on 45 pounds and sneaking towards it ever so slowly (ok, it feels slow).  Certainly within reach, I mean, I’ve made it this far!  

My recent struggle is this: I often gain a pound once a month.  It’s part of how my body works.  I know this – but I still get discouraged!  Thus, the following week is difficult for me to get back into the swing of things and I don’t pay as much attention to how I’m doing, what I’m eating, and I’m certainly not tracking as well as I should (ok, not at all).  I’m in this second week as we speak.  I struggle with picking myself back up, and starting from scratch after my week of gain! 

To add to this difficulty, we are in a period which Weight Watchers calls “Loose of Good!”  It’s a campaign where for every pound you loose – weight watchers will match it with a dollar to feed the hungry (children).  With this in mind, I’m so sad that I’m unable to get back on track as well as I had hoped this week!  However, that being said, the week isn’t over, I still have time to get back in gear and  loose this week.  I forget that one bad choice doesn’t equal a week of bad choices…though I often think in this direction. 

Thus, I need to work hard to not only change my eating habits, but my thinking habits.  Getting off track does not mean I’m going to always be off track…now, to get back in line!

On the other hand, I’ve been reflecting on the things I’m able to do because I’m 43 pounds lighter!  43 Pounds!!

  • I sleep better. 
  • I move and walk better, and faster (now, to get exercise in on a regular basis). 
  • I can put my  hands behind my back (and even tie a bow at my waist)
  • And…I can tie my shoes

For now, I’ll keep in mind these things that only get easier as the weight comes off…and with that, vow to make better choices at my next meal (or snack).  Taking this journey one bite at a time! 

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels…

June 4, 2011

The “real” title of this post is: Whatever You Do – Don’t Throw In The Towel!!!  But the mantra I really want to remember is: Nothing Tastes As Good As Being Healthy Feels…  I mean, isn’t this the goal – being healthy, and the secondary result is weight loss. 

More than once over the last week – no, months – I have wanted to throw-in-the-towel!  I’ve been fighting with the same three pounds for months now – with little success.  I seem to make one step forward and one step back!  I was super-discouraged last week at my weigh-in.  I did everything right.  I tracked, I stayed within my points range, I exercised – I had a “good week” and was up a pound on the scale!  I realize that this was more likely biological, but I found myself in a spiral.  My frustration last week showed this week!  I ate and ate and didn’t got o my weigh-in because I was sure the results would be poor.  Now, with all this said..I realize that this process has little to do with the scale, and everything to do with growth and the process of getting healthy – but I am in it for the weight loss – so the number on the scale makes a difference. 

It came to me today… I’VE COME TO FAR TO LET THIS GET IN MY WAY!  I mean – I have a size “huge” pair of pants in my closet that say in big bold letters NEVER AGAIN!!!  I never want to find myself in that place again.  So while I’ve hit a wall in my weight loss process — walls are meant to be broken, right!!!! 

It is a new day!  A new week!  And – it’s summer!!  The best fruits and vegetables are available now, so what better time to get healthy!

Now that I’ve mastered the technicalities of weight watchers – my goal is to learn more about nutrition. I repeat, the goal is health!!  Not  necessarily weight loss. 

No better time to “get started” than today!

This is a Marathon – Not a Sprint

March 11, 2011

My cousin and I were watching a show a while back about a person weighing near 300 hundred pounds who is also on a quest to lose their weight.  When my cousin said “how does someone get to that weight?”  My response is simply: “I Know!  It is way easier than we think!”  This week, for me, has been an example of how I could easily get back to my heaviest point if left to my own devices and unchecked!  Thanks goodness I have weight watchers to keep me in check, jeans that are on the snug side, and too much work behind me to backslide for longer than a couple of days. 

Several seeds of wisdom have been my mantra’s as of late:

  • This is a marathon – not a sprint!  I didn’t put the weight on overnight, it took years to get to this point.  I won’t take the weight off overnight either.  In fact, it’s probably going to take me even longer to take it off than it took to put it on.  I need to be mindful of what I eat, and change behaviors.  Changing behaviors is a discipline I need to practice — just like running a race is.
  • If food didn’t do it – food won’t fix it! This is a statement one of my weight watchers leaders made and it has stuck with me.  She said she put a big sign on her fridge with this saying on it — and if her husband made her angry, it reminded her to go speak with her husband about it – not open the fridge and eat something instead.  She lost over 100 lbs. doing this.  I too want to remember this phrase – the next time I’m upset, or hurt, or discouraged, or whatever!  In fact, I have used this phrase recently. 

This journey is about dedication, discipline, and celebrating the victories along the way – not just the victories at the scale (esp. since I have at least one up on the scale every month). 

I had a disappointing thing happen to me recently.  I received a decline letter from a job I’d applied for — and I was super bummed!  For a moment, I almost indulged in the box of chocolates sitting in the cupboard to soothe the hurt – but I remembered my leaders comment about food not fixing it, and I jumped on my bike, rode to the library (or book store) and got myself a book I’d been wanting to read.  (Not to mention – I was heading to work, so the chocolates in the cupboard were not within my reach…and by the time I got home from work the desire to eat the box of chocolates had thankfully subsided — yet another lesson learned, that if you let the desire pass, it will pass.)  

I’ve been working hard on getting myself organized.  Spring cleaning, as it were, in preparation for lent.  In the process, I’ve been pulling out old clothes which I set aside and said “when I fit in these again”…not knowing for sure when/or if that day would ever come!  Well, it’s finally here!  I’ve fit into a number of my clothes that have been sitting in storage for a while.  Waiting!  How I let myself get out of them in the first place, I’ll never know — but, I know now that the only way I’ll get out of them again is into the next size down!  Then – they’ll be given away, for someone else to wear and enjoy while they too are working to get out of them.  I wore a skirt the other day – when my Grandma said “I haven’t seen that skirt” thinking, I’m sure, that I’d purchased a new skirt – when in fact, I’d just shopped my old clothes and placed them in my closet to be worn once again.  Victory!

Embracing the Journey!

“Embrace The Journey”

January 6, 2011

New Year = New Resolve.

As you know, I’ve been taking this journey for at least 8 months now — the last two or three have been more than challenging. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, Parties, and my own body working ‘against’ me as it were, it’s been difficult to lose pounds. Though I’m happy to say I’ve maintained and that too is part of the journey.

So, as we enter the new year – and a new program – I’m resolved to embrace it and move forward on the journey.

I recently purchased a bracelet which says “Embrace the Journey”! I’m wearing it daily – as a reminder that weight loss — or anything for that matter — is a process and a journey. Weight loss, for me, is as much a healing process as it is anything else. It’s a journey, as well, of learning and changing habits — one step at a time.

10%

September 18, 2010

While a quick (like two – three sentence) note is all I have time for right now – I do intend to write again soon. (With any luck – Sunday). But for now…I Made 10% WooHoo!!