blogging, finding balance, following your dreams, Maintaining Weight Loss

Diving in the Deep End of Life

Howdy, blogging buddies!!  I’ve clearly been MIA  for quite a while now.  I’m certain that it’s because I’m still struggling to create that imperfectly perfect life balance of family, career, school, fitness, etc.!  Way, way back in December I mentioned  two of my New Years’ resolutions; connect on a deeper level with friends and find a fulfilling career.  My weight loss experience definitely taught me the power of being a doer as well as a dreamer.  Imagining and visualizing your success is extremely important, but at some point the imagination can only go so far before the body has to dive in, head and heart first, to make things happen.  I’ve been quite busy diving in the deep end of life, because that tends to be where all the good stuff happens.  (Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to be allowed to swim in that mystical area beyond the ropes?)

My dive began in January when my husband and I began making an effort to become more social.  Instead  of casually talking about places and events that we might go to and do in the future, we just started going and doing.  In addition to making new friends, I’ve recommitted to getting together more with dear, old friends. There’s a richness in friendship that I’d forgotten just how much I’d needed.

I haven’t been letting my career goals flounder in the shallow end either. Knowing that I need to brush up on my Excel skills, I’m taking a class at a local college. The assignments are lengthy, but it feels great to exercise my brain (and yes, I do have homework that I should be doing instead of blogging).  I’ve also been making some great connections in the world of PR and marketing, as well as doing some volunteer work in that area that can offer me some credible references. I’m confident that when I’m ready, the right position will come my way.

My fitness level and weight are doing well. I’m continuing to hover around 132 pounds and am still following the basic high protein, lower carb eating plan that my dietician recommends. I’m making it to the gym about twice a week, but I’ve found a plethora of activities to do on my own that are keeping me fit; hiking, treadmill, yard work, swimming, etc.   I mostly visit the gym to make sure I do a thorough weight routine twice a week. I feel like I’ve found a healthy balance.

My family is continuing to thrive! My oldest daughter graduates from med school at the end of this month and she and her hubby are expecting their first child. (I’m going to be a Nana!!) My youngest is finding ongoing success at her job, and her fiancé just landed a wonderful position as a documentarian, editor, etc. in his field (perhaps wedding bells are in their future).   We’re all heading to the beach after my daughter’s graduation. So, basically, it’s all cool in our pool!

I need to swim on over to my study area and get to work and then head to the gym. I hope everyone is doing well. I plan to peruse some much missed blogs soon!

Have a great weekend everyone!

blogging, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, enjoying family, Exercise, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, optifast

Feeling Good!

Apples are awesomely delicious! :)
Apples are awesomely delicious! 🙂

The mental storms have subsided and after talking to the doctor and dietician yesterday, I’m feeling more stoked about my transition to food. I was assured by my doctor that my fears of returning to my old ways of thinking and eating are pretty standard among her patients. She said she would be more concerned if I wasn’t worried. Her only concern right now is my continually low blood pressure. I’ve been slowly going off of my beta blocker and am down to 12.5 mgs per day. By next week, I should be fully off of it and will be praying to not feel the annoying pre-ventricular contractions that my heart so loves to do! On, or off of, the beta blocker, my heart still does its flip-flops; the beta blocker just aids in masking the feeling, which triggers my anxiety.

The dietician reviewed my food journal, and was pleased with how well I was managing with adding protein and vegetables to my diet. We also went through the rest of the transition plan. This week I’m adding ½ cup, or 60 calories, of fruit to my diet each day. I love apples, so ½ cup of gala apple slices was my first addition. They were delicious! Next week, is the addition of dairy. I have to be careful about that one with my lactose intolerance! After that, I add an additional protein and vegetable, and finally a carbohydrate. By the time I’m finished, I’ll be having only two Optifast products per day and the rest real food. All total, it will be about 1,000-1,100 calories per day with everything.

I think the thing that made me feel the best this week was the loss of another three pounds!! That proves to me that I can eat real food and still lose weight. The formula of portion control and exercise doesn’t fail me. (Thank goodness!) Another amazing thing about exercise is the number of inches that I’m losing. They actually make my body look smaller than the number on the scale reads. Anyone out there trying to lose weight-don’t dismiss the wonderful benefits of physical activity!!

I’m taking a rest from the gym today and staying home to clean my house and get an oil change for my car. My stepson is coming for a visit this weekend and I need to get things in order and go to the grocery store to get his favorite foods. I’ll have a happy, full house this weekend.

I hope everyone has some great adventures planned for their upcoming weekend. Tell me about them in the comments. 🙂

More award posts coming up this weekend!

blogging, Building self-confidence, Exercise, Food Addiction, Friday Fixes, learning, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, optifast, setting goals, Tips fot weight loss, weight loss journal, Writing

Friday Fixes–The Late Edition: Enhancing Your Self-Confidence

aaaaDo you believe that you can follow a healthy eating plan?  Do you trust that you can dedicate yourself to maintaining the amount of exercise that your body needs to stay lean and healthy?  If you answered yes to both of these questions, chances are that you have a fairly good level of self-confidence.

Self-confidence is the feeling that you have a sense of control over your actions.  Having self-confidence, and believing that you have the ability to follow a healthy dietary and exercise plan,  is a strong predictor of weight loss success.

Building confidence takes work, however, each positive experience that you have will show you that you’re capable of handling whatever comes your way. If  you feel yourself lacking the confidence that you need to change your eating and activity habits, you may benefit from trying some of these suggestions that I’ve learned in my Lifestyle Education Classes at the bariatric center:

  1. Take care of your needs:  Remember that only you can make yourself happy.  Just as it’s not your job to solve the problems of others, you can’t depend on others to make things happen for you.  Set goals that are based on the things you need to do for yourself and make those goals happen.
  2. Become self-reliant: The more you handle things on your own, the more competent and capable you’ll see that you are. In turn, knowing your capabilities builds confidence.
  3. Recognize your own uniqueness as a person: Begin seeing yourself as special and worthy, because you are! ❤
  4. Love and accept yourself: Be introspective; get to know yourself and why you think, feel and act the way that you do. List all of the things that make you unique and special.  Keep the list somewhere that you can read it frequently, especially if you’re feeling down.
  5. Don’t fight change: To change the way that you feel about eating a healthy diet and exercising, you have to give up your old habits in order to develop new, healthy ones.  Even though change can be difficult, you’ll feel such a sense of pride in yourself when you do make positive changes.  Don’t fight it!  Ride the pride!
  6. Surround yourself with positive people: Positive people build you up and make you feel energized.  I’ve found some wonderfully supportive friends through my classes at the bariatric center, through my gym, and of course, here on WordPress! 🙂
  7. Make a list of positive affirmations and say them to yourself regularly: There’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself every once in a while, especially if you’re saying nice things!  As I work out, I tell myself over and over, “You’re getting healthier and more fit!” Give it a try!!
  8. Imagine your best you: Create an image in your mind of the person that you want to be. Visualize how you want to look and feel.  Then tell yourself that you’ve reached your goal.  Feel how you would if you were that person.
  9. Use good posture and keep a smile on your face: According to my almost doctor daughter, not standing up straight can stimulate the chain of nerves on the sides of the vertebrate which can trigger a sympathetic nervous system response (aka fight or flight) causing feelings of stress in the body. Using good posture makes you feel better, and a winning smile makes you more approachable.

Before I began my weight loss program, my confidence wasn’t the greatest.  My past weight loss failures weighed heavily against my ability to commit to eating right and exercising.  The good news is, that all it took was a spark of hope to start me on my way. That hope was simply my imagining myself healthy and strong, and able to do the things I want to do. With each week of success, my confidence has grown exponentially.  Give these suggestions a try and see how they work for you!  

 

blogging, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, Food Addiction, Friday Fixes, Having fun, learning, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, problem solving, Self-Soothing, sensory input, setting goals, Tips fot weight loss, weight loss journal

A Soothing Series; Friday Fixes

Enjoying nature is a wonderful way of soothing yourself. (Photo by Fotolia)
Enjoying nature is a wonderful way of soothing yourself. (Photo by Fotolia)

Yesterday, I attended an amazing behavioral modification class at the bariatric center.  The topic was Self-Soothing, and I know many of you who suffer from food addictions, emotional eating, or just general stress in your life, will be interested in tips and techniques  to combat stress, as well as the desire to eat when you’re not really hungry.

Food provides a series of sensory experiences.  We hear it sizzling, bubbling, or simmering on the stove and smell it’s tempting aroma as it’s prepared.  We see its glorious shapes and colors and taste its sweet, sour, salty, bitter, or savory flavors.  We experience its consistency and texture as we move it in our mouths. Temporarily, it fills a need.  Momentarily its a panacea that soothes out anxiety or makes us forget something in our lives that’s missing.  Then, like most fleeting fixes, it leaves us  guilt-ridden and hungry for more. Because of the sensory nature of food, replacing it with another pleasurable sensory experience as a remedy for cravings when you’re full or when your daily nutritional needs have been met, is often very effective.

Over the next two months, I’m going to offer a series of well-researched posts each Friday that I’ll call Friday Fixes.  These posts will focus on sensory techniques to combat overeating, as well as mindful eating techniques and general stress busters.  As always, I welcome your topic ideas, suggestions, or feedback!  

******Next week’s topic will be Self-Soothing through Visual Sensory Input.******

Doesn't this image make you feel calmer? (Photo from Microsoft Images)
Doesn’t this image make you feel calmer? (Photo from Microsoft Images)

 

 

Disclaimer (as I have no desire to incite trouble 🙂 ): I am not an expert on behavioral modification or weight loss. However, as a licensed teacher and public relations specialist, I am research savvy and able to provide information from reliable, scholarly sources.

 

blogging, Exercise, Having fun, losing weight, Medical Weight Loss Program, optifast, Thankfulness, Tips fot weight loss, weight loss journal, Wellness Center

Just a Quickie!

Hooray for weight loss success!!
Hooray for weight loss success!!

Yesterday, was weigh in, and I lost another 3.5 pounds!!  This puts me at a 27 pound loss at my midway point!  I have a busy day of classes at the bariatric center and a training session mid-afternoon (thankfully between classes).  I’ll write tonight or tomorrow about what I learn.

Next week, I get a brand new set of educational modules to complete, and I’ll be sure to share whatever I learn from them, too.  They always seem to be full of good little weight loss tips and tricks.  I also get measured next week, and I’m really eager to see how many inches have been banished by all of my exercise!

I hope everyone enjoys a lovely first day of Spring!  May you see daffodils blooming and flocks of Robins! ❤

Happy Spring!
Happy Spring!

 

blogging, Exercise, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, optifast, setting goals, Tips fot weight loss, weight loss journal, Wellness Center

Just Keep Moving and Smiling

See how they're all bending left?  I'd most likely be the one bending right!
See how they’re all bending left? I’d most likely be the one bending right!

In spite of the craziness of Daylight Saving Time, I woke up stoked, pumped, ready for action, and on a mission.  I was told by my trainer that the early morning pool cardio class gets filled up quickly, so I knew I had to be there early.  I saw the husband and kids off to work and then I did my five-minute beauty routine, which consists of brushing my teeth, washing my face, and combing my hair briefly with my fingers.  I grabbed my gym bag, that I’d prepared the night before, and headed down the road to the wellness center.

The parking lot was a madhouse of feisty little old ladies and high stepping  gentlemen beating feet to the front doors.  I politely let them through and then power walked to the front desk.  Victory was mine!  There was still space in the class!

I hit the locker room and found the most secluded place I could, a shower stall, to don my bathing suit. There’s still something about showing my goods in the locker room that brings back horrid memories of  middle school gym class.

Suit on, I made my way to the luxuriously  warm therapy pool with the rest of my classmates. ( I liken the therapy pool to a Jacuzzi about the size of my house.) It’s soon obvious that I’m the youngest in the class.  I introduce myself to the lady beside of me.  Her name is Kim and she assures me that the class isn’t too hard. She’s also nice enough to  warn me to watch out for a few of the older gentlemen in the class, because, according to her, they’re mostly  there to watch the bouncing breasts as we all jog.   I pull up the top of my bathing suit even further, as our instructor pumps up the music, ready to start the class.

For a girl who’s sometimes stumped by figuring out left and right, I didn’t do too badly–in the beginning, but then, the tempo of the music increased, and the little old ladies were sort of  kicking my butt!  I went forward when I should have gone back, left when I should have moved right, and I always seemed to be a beat behind the lovely white-haired lady in front of me.  The good news is, I kept moving, and smiling.  The pool water felt great and it was wonderful to be among people all trying to keep their bodies healthy. I soon realized that comparing myself to others was a fruitless venture. I’m probably always going to be a little clumsy and may possibly never turn left completely on beat, but that doesn’t mean I can’t one day be as physically fit as that cute white-haired lady that was kicking up waves front of me!

What’s something that you’d like to become better at?

 

blogging, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, Food Addiction, losing weight, Medical Weight Loss Program, optifast, problem solving, setting goals, weight loss journal

Days 17, 18 & 19: Journaling for Weight Loss Management

I made this on a Photofunia app.  It's a philosophy that I'm working to change!
I made this on a Photofunia app. It’s a philosophy that I’m working to change!

I had a busy, but nice, weekend with little time for blogging. Sunday was warm enough to get a few blissful miles of walking in.  Monday was a snow day, with everyone’s work and school cancelled, but it gave us all time to do a big group cleaning and get the entire house spotless from top to bottom.  Nothing feels better than enjoying a hot cup of tea in a cozy, clean house this morning!

Now that the roads are clear, and everyone is back to their proper positions, I’ve had some quiet time to read another one of my educational modules.  This one is on Journaling for Weight Management, which I’m attempting to do through this blog.  The module suggests that journaling can improve weight loss by:

  • aiding in identifying subconscious sources of self-defeating habits and behaviors
  • reducing stress through putting feelings into words
  • improving mental and physical health by counteracting the negative effects of stress
  • deepening self-awareness of emotions and triggers that cause overeating (List summarized from Optifast Lifestyle Education Series)

The module also stresses the importance of asking yourself the correct questions when you journal, so that your writing is focused and doesn’t lead to circular thought, but rather self-discovery. Some suggestions for focusing would be to:

  • write out dialogue between you and an unwanted behavior
  • describe a goal that you would like to achieve and then write the specific steps needed to reach it
  • respond to a quote that inspires you
  • write down the first five things that come to mind that you are grateful for that day
  • write about what your weight says or does for you
  • write about daily activities and discuss whether they pair with your values and priorities (List summarized from Optifast Lifestyle Education Series)

Though I haven’t written anything too deep in my beginnings of this blog, It’s my goal to use these prompts and to share some of the things that trigger my emotional eating.  I tend to be a person who has some difficulty in giving away negative details of my personal life with others. There are things that have occurred over the years that I have a hard time accepting.  Most people wouldn’t expect this from me, as I am a very private and guarded person when it comes to talking about myself.   I tend to always keep a happy, positive persona with others, even if I’m being eaten alive by anxiety on the inside.  I know that this anxiety is what fuels my overeating.  Food is the panacea that soothes me when I’m not gnawing inside for sustenance, but for comfort. More than anything, I want break my pattern of emotional eating by replacing it with something healthy and productive so I can live the best life possible. Journaling/blogging and writing down my feelings in lieu of eating them is a pretty good start!

Have you used journaling/blogging to cope with a problem and seek support?  What are some writing prompts that help you stay focused?  Tell me about it in the comments below. 🙂