Saturday, January 11, 2014
I'm so excited that I finally finished my motivation board. It is going to get me through the next half of my journey! I have posted it on the side of my refridgerator so I can see it every time I am in the kitchen. It will remind me of where I used to be and how close I am to where I want to be. Here is a photo of it:
I hope you are having a productive Saturday too! XO
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Mentality - by one definition means:
Noun 1. mentality - a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations
mind-set, mindset, outlook
I've often thought that if I could get "out of my own head" sometimes that I would not have any trouble losing weight. The mentality, or mindset, that most often trips me up is the "all or nothing" mindset - the one that says "you screwed up - do what you want now and start over another day". Where did that come from? How did it become my life's mantra? When did I begin to see something so complex as so black and white?
In an effort to get out of my own head I am seeking to change that mentality this year. So I ask myself "if I make a poor choice or series of choices and it is not an *all or nothing* situation, then what is it? And how can I prove it?"
Let's take a concrete example. Say I have not exercised in days and my food intake has been okay but then I find myself invited to Friday night happy hour where I indulge way more than I should have on food and drink. The scale goes up and my mood plummets the next day. It's Saturday and I decide that I will begin again on Monday. Why? What's wrong with saying - hey, that was fun last night, but now I have to get my butt in gear today? Mental attitude - that is what. Most of the time I find I have a good mental attitude, but sometimes I fall into that pit and can't seem to crawl back out. You know I'm simplifying this of course...But I look over the past several months and I have watched the scale climb back up 15 pounds - how did I let that happen? Mental attitude. "I'm stressed at school (work) it will even out later, I'm just going to get through the holidays", then all of a sudden "I'm ready to "start fresh" it's a new year"! Wait, what? There must be a better way. I want off this teeter-totter. I want a new mindset.
For starters the scale has power - too much power. It's a tool, not Jillian Michaels. It's my friend when I like the number and my screaming degrading enemy when I don't. I'm a smart woman - I know that my body is more than a number on the scale and my success can be measured and proved in many ways. The number is just a number. So in order to change my mindset on what constitutes success I am going to create a motivation board which will help me create a new mindset by constantly reviewing and memorizing quotes I like to replace the "all or nothing" quotes I currently use in my head (start tomorrow, etc) and also keep in the forefront of my mind the success I have had and changes I have made.
Here are some examples of things I want to track and say to myself:
How do you feel today?
Progression with exercise endurance - times and distances, weights
Changes in food prep, additions to help with sugar addiction, ways of eating healthier
Photographic evidence of how far I've already come
Feel good and motivational quotes about exercise and well-being
Change takes time and new habits take practice. Last year I learned how foods affect my body and how my body responds to exercise. I learned and practiced how to like foods not because they taste good, but because they make my body feel good. This year I want to take the next step and for me that is making a change in my mentality about what it means when I over indulge and about how I view success. This motivation board is my first step - my "let's go team"! I will continue to gain control over my health this year. I will post a picture when my board is complete. I'm excited to create a new mindset in 2014!
Sunday, August 25, 2013
I've been in this weight loss thing long enough to know that it goes much deeper than shedding a few pounds. The number on the scale is just the tip of the iceberg - it's the part sticking out of the water. You know, the part you can see with the naked eye. But if you only address the part you can see, you will never fix the rest of the iceberg. That is the journey I have been on for the last several years. Here is a diagram I drew to demonstrate what I mean:
In case the image isn't clear (I can't see it right now) - the bottom of the iceberg has these things listed:
Past successes and failures
These are some of the major issues that need to be addressed for permanent weight loss (ie a healthy fulfilling lifestyle) to be achieved. Here is a quick snapshot of where I am coming from on these:
Emotions - identifying triggers and effects of emotional eating
Justifications - my focus for today (see below)
Past successes and failures - here we go again (facing yet another "start" and "falling off the wagon" acceptances
Misconceptions - desperate attempts to follow an unrealistic lifestyle long term. Not understanding how food affects your particular body.
Biological/physical issues - beating candida, diabetes, heart disease, family obesity, physical limitations etc.
Today my focus will be on justification because this is where I am struggling these past few weeks. Justification is just a fancy word for excuses. The excuses I make to justify making choices I should not be making. Let me give you a few real-life examples:
My family came to visit last weekend from PA. I had 8 women to feed. Instead of feeding them the foods I claim to have adapted as my new normal, I recipe searched and found lots of delicious casseroles to feed a large crew. They were not in the least bit healthy. I have spent months talking about how I avoid processed foods and make yummy healthy recipes based on meats and veggies and occasional quinoa (the total truth) yet I failed to live by example when they came here for the weekend. I used their visit as an excuse to eat the old way - it's only for a weekend after all! Desserts and pastry and yummy chips and dips - oh boy, did I live it up - all the while saying to them how "its been months since I got to indulge in these things..." Well, guess what? On Sunday one of the ladies told me that she had been looking forward to coming down and trying out some of my healthy recipes - yikes, a knife in the heart. Fail. Epic fail. I missed this great opportunity to be a living example of how you can eat healthy and delicious at the same time. I feel like a fraud. Justification - it's a special occasion - they only come to visit twice a year, enjoy yourself.
I returned to work two weeks ago. Leadership development training - all day sitting and listening. Breakfast and lunch provided! Well, again, when feeding a crowd what is the most inexpensive way to feast? Processed food - carbs! Lots of them! Bagels, muffins, coffee cake, donuts - yeah, baby! Pizza, subs, sandwiches - you betcha! Well, again, teachers fussing about how much weight I lost as I eat plate after plate of what I shouldn't eat. Justification - once school starts its all food from home so go for it. Oh, I'll just exercise when I get home (nope, too tired).
The pity party. It's Friday night after a long week eating my way through leadership development. I'm tired and don't feel great (wonder why?!) and it's not fair that my hubby can come home and eat pizza and drink a glass of wine and relax his way into the weekend. Poor pitiful me. I'll just workout extra over the weekend - pour me a glass of wine honey and what do you want on your pizza, I'm having chicken and spinach on mine! Justification - I deserve to relax too and I can make it up later.
All three of these examples show just a sampling of how I can talk myself into going down a wrong road very easily. Until I can quiet these voices I won't truly have victory over my weight loss. No wonder I go up and down so much. No wonder I have been struggling to get healthy for over 10 years. I have to get control over the justifications. But how?
I really believe it is practice, planning and accountability.
I need to be held accountable. Don't wait until the end of the weekend to question my cooking decisions - tell me now while I can still do something about it! Draw attention to the fact that I am over doing it - I won't like it but I'd rather face my folly when I can limit the damage than beat myself up later when more damage was done. I need to also hold myself accountable for my choices - I know that Friday nights are typically when friends want to kick off the weekend with happy hour - so I should plan for it by making better choices during the week so I can have some fun on the weekend. Planning in advance helps me to indulge in a healthy way - not a throw in the towel for a days-on-end kind of way. And most importantly, as with anything else, practice makes perfect. I know I'll never reach perfect, but the more I say no to myself the easier it is to follow through and ignore that voice that wants to justify making a bad choice.
Hey, we are all a work in progress. As long as we keep trying, keep reflecting, keep tweaking who we are we will succeed in become a better, healthier, more informed us. I am learning that it is so much more successful when we have a large support group. Thanks for being such an important part of my support group!
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Here is what I looked like at my highest weight back in 2008 at 282 pounds:
and here is what I looked like now at 222 pounds - 60 pounds lost:
I still have 30 pounds to go for my new goal of 195. Once I am there I will decide if I want to lose more or not. My naturopath says that would be a good weight for me. I know my body has changed after having 2 kids and gaining 100 pounds - the extra skin alone weighs some. We'll see - I am telling myself that I am happy with the weight I am right now and anything more lost will be a bonus!
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