Indulgences (or eating what I want to eat)

I am very accomplished at following directions and rules. If you want something done and tell me that the way to accomplish it is done a specific way, I’m your go-to person. I will get it done. WeightWatchers (https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/) tells me how to lose weight – and they are spot on. It works. Period.

My challenge as I move forward on this journey is that I want to eat what I want to eat and that desire is getting stronger. I’ve moved through my version of resentment over what I feel are my designated food options and discovered that I truly don’t like how that feels. I also don’t want to be resigned that because my body is a certain way I shouldn’t deserve to eat joyfully whatever it is that I want to eat. I definitely see those foods that give me the most joy as my indulgences and I know that if I don’t eat them I will successfully lose weight, but I’m done with giving them up. There must be a better view of how I’m looking at this dilemma. The reality is that one way or another I am going to eat whatever it is that I want to eat. My solution now needs to be how can I do just that and continue to lose and then maintain my weight.

Thinking outside the box is not my typical first choice. That seems a bit strange seeing that I can excel at singing on stage and that is definitely considered a creative art. My creativity lies in my ability to express feelings musically with SOMEONE ELSE’S blueprint.

AHA! I just figured something out!! I don’t have to do this all by myself. People have different strengths and I can use their support to give me the blueprint and then I can make it my own. WeightWatchers is definitely my foundational blueprint, it always will be, but now I need more insight on how to add my joyful foods to my everyday existence.

My WeightWatchers leader and personal coach, Joanie C., guided me to discover my approach to pizza. I LOVE pizza. Making my own knock-off version of pizza does not satisfy me and definitely doesn’t give me joy. Here’s my pizza blueprint:

  1. Order a cheese pie for delivery
  2. Serve out ONE slice and cut it into 3 smaller slices
  3. Put the rest of the pizza in the refrigerator to cool down
  4. Eat the pizza with a side salad and glass of red wine
  5. Take the leftover pizza out of the refrigerator and vacuum seal each piece separately
  6. Put leftover pizza in the freezer.

Now for ice cream. In my WeightWatchers meeting room I listened to a fellow member talk about the amazing ice cream sundae she had made with 1/2 cup of ice cream, cut-up fruit, and fat-free whipped topping. She said it filled up her bowl and completely satisfied her. That sounded perfect to me, so I tried it. WOW! It came out to 4 SmartPoints and it joyfully hit the spot. I didn’t feel deprived so there was no side of resentment.

Then there are waffles. My husband, Mark, and I go out to our favorite diner regularly and I always wistfully look through the pancake and waffle section of the menu. I know they are delicious but I absolutely will NOT spend the quantity of SmartPoints I would need to use to eat them. Sigh. Enter Mudhustler from WeightWatchers Connect. (He’s also on FaceBook and Instagram. https://www.facebook.com/mudhustler/   https://www.instagram.com/mudhustler_official/?hl=en) And, enter the Big Ass Waffle!

Perfection – at 4 SmartPoints including the sugar-free syrup. Joyful.

Thank you to my blueprint creators. I’m using your creativity as part of expressing my own creativity in living my healthy life.

Snow Day!

I am a public school teacher. I am a 10-month employee. I have built-in vacations throughout the school year. And, I have snow days from time to time. Today is a snow day! Usually “the call” comes between 4:30 and 5:00 AM, today’s call came early last night. That is a definite treat. No matter how the unexpected (or sometimes anticipated) day off comes I always feel excited – like 9-year-old, clap your hands, and jump up and down excited. When the call comes in the morning it’s sometimes hard for me to fall back asleep. When the extremely rare night before call comes there’s time to prepare for the celebration.

In my past I would have loaded up on comfort foods, grabbed a good book and movie, slept in late, and stayed in my PJs all day. It would basically be a day of eating and not moving very much where I’d end up feeling a bit achy and sluggish.

My new snow day reality is a bit different. I still feel all the excitement, I hit up the grocery store for provisions, and I sleep a bit longer than I would on a normal work day BUT my food choices have surprisingly adapted to my personal health goals and I seem to be no longer capable of sitting still for long periods of time. When on earth did this happen to me?!

My grocery basket last night included bananas, celery & carrots, blue cheese, Frank’s Hot Sauce, BOCA crumbles, Halo Top ice cream, PB2, Quest bars, and a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. Did I need everything I bought? Nope. But, I wanted options for making food on this snowy day. I’m seriously contemplating making Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips (http://www.skinnytaste.com/skinny-buffalo-chicken-strips/) and Low Fat Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing (http://www.skinnytaste.com/low-fat-creamy-blue-cheese-dressing/) from http://www.skinnytaste.com – hence the celery & carrots, blue cheese, and hot sauce. The BOCA Veggie Ground Crumbles I like to have on hand for one of our favorite Weight Watchers recipes of Pasta with “Meat” Sauce (7 SmartPoints). I had my typical breakfast of a Shakeology protein shake with banana, but I did add a little something special with an Eggo Nutri-Grain Low Fat Whole Grain Waffle spread with PB2. As for the Halo Top ice cream, Quest bars, and Diet Mountain Dew? Total splurges of comfort. Will I eat them any or all of them today? Yes to the diet soda (and, yes, I know it’s really not good for me) but probably no to the other items. Right now I’m splurging on having a second cup of coffee with half-n-half – I’m methodical in measuring out 1 tablespoon for each of my cups of coffee.

I slept an extra 2 hours from my regular work day wake-up time of 5:00 AM. That felt wonderful! I also stayed in my PJs and leisurely prepared and ate my breakfast. Then, instead of heading for the couch and my warm blanket, I tidied up a bit and changed into my yoga clothes for my daily practice with Yoga with Adriene (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFKE7WVJfvaHW5q283SxchA). I feel awesome! When I’ve been sitting too long my Fitbit will buzz to remind me to get up and move, which I will do. I also see some serious shoveling in my near future. Of course I will mix this all in with reading (YOGA: Mastering the Basics – Sandra Anderson/Rolf Sovik, PsyD) and watching some Netflix (The Crown). All-in-all a lovely day.

I still have the excitement for snow days, but now I physically and mentally feel great after the day has ended.

I Accept

I am a WeightWatcher member and always will be. I love their Beyond the Scale program. I have always wanted to be thin – and in my mind that also meant beautiful. Now I’m beginning to understand that I already am beautiful and I need to place my focus on being healthier not only with my physical body but also with what and how I think about myself.

It’s hard for me to mentally move beyond the scale, but I know that’s what I want to do. My struggle with my weight is more of a struggle inside my thoughts. When I was a teenager I thought I was fat – such an unkind word, but that’s how it was back then – but when I look at pictures from that time period I really was not fat. I wasn’t exactly like most of my peers in body shape and size, but I was NOT fat. Unfortunately that’s when my mental struggle began and I didn’t realize that all of it was so tied up with how I felt about myself. I have about 37 years of beating myself up mentally to release! That sounds overwhelming – almost. You see, I have had every tool and person that I need to help me find my way. I always have.

My WeightWatchers leader and personal coach, Joanie C., is a great source of encouragement, motivation, and acceptance. She introduced Yoga with Adriene (http://yogawithadriene.com/) to me and yesterday I finished the 30 Days of Yoga program (30 Days of Yoga). It was an amazing experience. I feel like yoga is changing me on the inside and it feels great. Today I began YogaCamp (YogaCamp) and this 30 day program is adding a daily affirmation to focus on during the practice. Today’s affirmation is “I Accept.” How perfect that not only did I inadvertently begin a new routine that is placing focus on positive self-talk but also that it’s starting out with I ACCEPT?

I do, I accept. I am exactly who I need to be and I am exactly where I need to be right now. Just saying, “I accept.” releases tension that I’ve been holding inside my body. “I Accept” is helping me to do what I need to do and taking away the burden of “I Should.” I accept that I have everything I need and am exactly in the right place at the right time.

Whatever tomorrow’s affirmation may be, today I accept and I will return to this affirmation again and again.

I accept.

Goodbye Christmas Tree

Today was my last morning workout in the peaceful light of our Christmas tree. I’m sad that we needed to take it down. I loved working out in the dark morning by the light of just the tree. So beautiful. So comforting. It was a lovely start to my day.

My routine has been to do my yoga practice first thing in the morning – another beautiful, comforting, and peaceful way to start my day. My Weight Watchers leader introduced me to a fantastic yoga program that she found on YouTube – Yoga with Adriene (http://yogawithadriene.com/). I love it! I’m currently doing her “30 Days of Yoga” program from 2015. I love how my body is feeling. I feel more centered and I’m finding that there are times during the day that I can focus on my breathing and it makes a difference to me whether I feel in or out of control. Yoga is one of the things that I love and make time to do for myself.

Yoga by twinkling Christmas lights is fantastic. The Christmas tree needed to be put away until next year, but the yoga can and will stay out all year-long. My Weight Watchers leader commented that twinkle lights can be used all year – no Christmas tree required. That sounds like a fabulous idea to me!

Eating by 22 Minute Hard Corps

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I’m a Weight Watcher for life. In fact, I’m a Lifetime Member of WeightWatchers. In complete honesty, though, I’m a Lifetime Member of WeightWatchers making my way back to my goal weight. The road back is more challenging than the road I took to get to my goal in the first place, but I’m personally assimilating the knowledge and skills this time around and that will serve me brilliantly for the rest of my life.

As I stagger through the end of the school year and deal with the various emotional ups and downs that pass my way I’ve found it more challenging to plan meals and even eat the meals that I have planned. It’s become apparent to me that when I’m stressed out and tired I lose all motivation to do what I know I need to do to eat for my best health. I completely understand how I’m feeling and I definitely know how to plan and prep for meals, but down to my bones I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO IT. In order to not think about it I decided to follow the eating plan that came along with the Beachbody fitness program “22 Minute Hard Corps.”

The nutrition plan is clean and straight forward. The recipes are easily prepared and quite tasty. I figured out my “Ration Plan” by answering a few questions and chose to follow the daily structure breakdown of what to eat for each meal and snack. The plan makes sense and I followed it quite successfully. Here’s what I learned –

  1. Eating more protein keeps me satisfied for a longer period of time
  2. Because I’m not starving going into lunch I can eat a smaller amount and continue feeling satisfied
  3. Eating a healthy fat for an afternoon snack seems small but it gets me through to dinner without a problem
  4. A serving of protein and vegetables for dinner seems skimpy but, once again, it’s enough
  5. I don’t need to have an evening snack because I’m hungry – I’m not hungry
  6. Although I love fruit I shouldn’t eat it endlessly because it’s good for me, watching my portion sizes and quantities will only benefit me in the long run

My big Ah-ha! though is that I need to adopt my “no think” method of exercising – which has made working out a natural part of my every day – to my approach for eating. I’ll think about what my body needs to feel its best, but I’m going to turn off that part of my brain that petulantly insists that it deserves to eat whatever I want whenever I want it.

What I really deserve and what I really want is to feel great – healthy and satisfied.