Small Steps – 3rd Month

Another month – more weight gone. September has been the “hump” month. July and August were the beginner months. I was full of enthusiasm and there was no temptation for me to stray.  I had the beginner’s energy and motivation. September came, and some tedium set in. I am pleased that I persevered. I kept at it. After all, I reasoned, this is what I plan to do the rest of my life – track my food and be mindful about eating. So I tracked it all – even the days I used lots of weekly points – even the two weigh-ins during the month when I gained weight.

With the month being such a challenge, I’m thrilled that I ended up with a loss at all.  I had some NSVs this month (non-scale victories), as well. 

  1. I worked more on self-care. I started a skin care routine. Since the first of September, I’ve had a nightly ritual of washing my face with a good quality cleanser, using a toner and night cream on my face. I spent my 71 years taking my good skin for granted. I have always worn makeup every day, but I rarely took it off before going to bed. I’d take off the old makeup immediately before putting on fresh makeup each morning. No more. 
  2. Part of my self-care has been another nightly routine of sipping a large cup of herbal tea prior to going to bed. That’s actually rather funny because I had a box of herbal teas that sat on my kitchen counter for a couple years, and I never drank any of it. So I gave it away a few months ago. Now I’m drinking it every night. That’s okay, though. A new box should be delivered today, and I already have the teas the fill it. 
  3. I have been exercising more. Not a lot, but I’ve made a start, and that’s good. We have a great exercise room with all the equipment I could ever want. So I have no excuse for not exercising. 
  4. I’ve gotten back into reading the Bible and having a morning devotional. That’s something I’ve done off and on for a long time. I’ve been consistent with it the past month.

So, even with the challenges, I am pleased with how September ended.  The total weight I’ve lost since I began on July 19th is 8.4 lbs. Slow and steady . . . . 

 

You’ve got to get momentum

idenk > Supporting Teams > Are You In A FFO?The dictionary defines momentum as “strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events.” After two weeks of gaining weight while completely sticking to my WW plan, I realized my enthusiasm for sticking with my commitment was compromised – and I yielded to that lack of enthusiasm over the weekend. It’s almost humorous to think of the things that I eat when I’m feeling defeated.  It varies. This time it was Rice Krispies Treats. I actually lost count of how many I ate. I logged it as 8, and I think that’s accurate . . . but I’m not 100% sure.

Adam Braun Quote: “For any movement to gain momentum, it ...

I was starting down a familiar path – that of thinking about what a loser I am – except for weight – can’t seem to lose that. How I start things and don’t finish them. How I have never successfully lost weight and kept it off long term. Those voices in my head were gaining strength.

I stopped, though. Did I want those voices to gain momentum like they have in the past, or did I want to change direction and gain momentum in a positive direction?

You know what stopped me? Last week in one of the Facebook WW groups that I’m in, someone wrote something about how we should stand naked in front of mirror and name ten positive things about our bodies. I did that a few days ago – and I couldn’t come up with ten. I could only see the negatives – the extra weight, the scars, the blemishes. I wondered if maybe in my heart I feel I don’t “deserve” to be at a healthy weight.  I also wondered what made me become so hard on myself – so critical and unforgiving. Why is self-judgment my go-to response?

This morning when I woke up, I knew I had to stop, change course, and build some momentum away from Rice Krispies Treats and towards success. One success builds momentum towards another success. It all goes back to the Atomic Habits I’ve written about several times before.

So I logged my breakfast, and then left to run a bunch of errands – first I had a dentist appointment, then to the post office and UPS office to mail packages. I picked up some papers at my husband’s office and made a quick grocery store stop for fish and some herbal teas.  Except for the dentist office, those were errands I’d been putting off since last week. I got it all done. I felt good about handling so many little nagging errands. I stopped by Chick Fil A and had their grilled chicken nuggets for lunch. I got only the nuggets. No, I assured them, I didn’t want to “make it a meal” with fries and a coke.

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I came home and felt good. I did some work around the house, took a 20-minute nap and, with my husband, planned our dinner.

Today was my STOP-REASSESS-CHANGE COURSE day. I started with a small act (handing errands I had been procrastinating on since last week). I continued to build momentum by sticking to only grilled chicken for lunch.  And then I had fish and vegetables for dinner. Snacks were all low point and moderate-sized servings. I’m ending the day having used only 19 of my 23 daily points. The extra points will roll over into my weekly points, which is good since I used so many weekly points yesterday.

Momentum. I learned I can get it back or shift its direction simply by stopping and deliberately doing something in the direction I want to go. That success moves me to another success, and so it goes.

And one day soon, I intend to do the naked-in-front-of-the-mirror thing again. This time I will come up with ten positive things. After all, this body has seen me through 71+ years of life, it grew two amazing babies, rocked children and later grandchildren to sleep. I like my green eyes and the fact that my hair has just a little natural curl to it. That’s a good start.

Being overweight is hard. Losing weight is hard. I have to choose my hard, and I choose losing weight.

 

The Voices in My Head

I have voices inside my head. We all do. Mine can be quite mean! I find myself muttering things like, “That was stupid!” “Why on earth did you do that?!” “You fat slob!” I still worry and obsess at times about things I did when I was a child – a teen – a young wife and mother.  I think about what I “should” have or “should not” have done or said. Guilt sometimes seems to be the leading emotion of my psyche. I’m unkinder and harsher to myself than I would ever be to anyone else.

In the past few years I’ve thought a lot about “grace” – specifically extending grace to others. However, I also want to extend grace to myself. I know I’m doing my best. I know I have struggles and areas of weakness.

At various times over the past five years I’ve gone to a therapist – Melinda. She helped me a lot. She stopped doing therapy this past winter. So I won’t be returning to her. One time several years ago she said that I seemed to lack “affect.” I wasn’t sure what she meant, and I asked her to elaborate. She said that I seemed unemotional – didn’t get excited or upset about much at all. I’m paraphrasing what she said. I imagine when I described some of the unpleasant situations of my life, I didn’t appear upset about them.
When I got home, I looked it up: “As nouns, the difference between emotion and affect is that emotion is a person’s internal state of being and involuntary physiological response to an object or situation, based on or tied to physical state and sensory data while affect is one’s mood or inclination; mental state.”
My affect: I’ve learned to do my best to keep my outward emotions in check and neutral. I don’t see that as necessarily a bad thing. It is the way I am. As a teacher, it was important not to over-react. One of the classroom management techniques I learned was that as a class got louder, if I started talking softly, everyone would strain to listen; whereas if I tried to talk above the noise, the noise tended to get louder. I was able to get the class’s attention more quickly by whispering. As excitement rose, I purposefully grew calmer (at least outwardly).
I have dealt with emotionally volatile people, and I’ve learned that it is important to do my best to stay calm and not respond emotionally since that only escalates a situation. So I work hard to keep emotions in check – to keep calm – to keep my feelings hidden. I’ve had the experience of having my words, facial expressions, and actions misinterpreted – sometimes with the worst possible intentions applied. So I have worked to keep everything neutral. That’s me – and it can be good, and it can be bad.
And perhaps that is part of the reason I’m not particularly kind to myself. With myself, I can let all the emotion out. I can say what I want to say without repercussions. 

I’ve been working on being kinder to myself – treating myself with the courtesy and kindness I treat other people. I want to give myself the grace I extend to others.