Throwback: Loving Yourself When Your Too….

This post first appeared on June 30th, 2016…Woman-at-beach

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Last week, I had an AHA moment.  A moment when the brain fog lifted and I realized I had to stop making excuses for why a few (okay, 20) pounds were back.  Yes, I could blame health issues.  The truth was I was slowly slipping back into old habits I had BEFORE I lost 100 pounds.

B4 picture with Belinda

Yup, me and my cutie of a daughter (she hates this picture). It is REALLY old but the truth is there aren’t many pictures of me when I was heavy.

Back to the AHA moment….I needed to take control of what I could control – my eating. I was repeatedly complaining about “gaining” or not losing weight as hubby’s weight kept going down.  The truth was, he was eating healthier and I was secretly eating junk! Okay, so the truth is out, now I have to be accountable.

I wanted the capris which fit so good over the last 2 summers to again fit.  I wanted the jiggle in my thighs to be gone.  I wanted the puffiness in my face to be gone.  There was no magic wand but there was the proverbial SMACK on the head which made me realize what I needed to do.  It was at the moment I opened my email to find an online special from Weight Watchers.  I didn’t delete it, I just let it sit in my inbox.  After a lot of prayer and thought, I did it!  I signed up again.

It was time for me to stop beating myself up and take some of my own advice…

1. Stop comparing.

Hubby loves me not matter what – I mean when we got together, I was on the weightless journey.  Over the last two years as I struggled with health issues, I was constantly comparing myself to others. I felt inferior because I hadn’t stuck to the program.

Once you stop comparing, you realize you will always be too fat, too skinny, too tall, too this when you compare yourself to others.  The comparison game will kill your dreams before you even start. Know you are exactly what you’re supposed to be—one of a kind and beautiful.

2. Change the way you see.

Have you had experiences where people you told you how pretty (or nice you look) BUT you thought you were unattractive? I have.  Where you say “thank you” and add “but I have….” negating their compliment.

Dr. Wayne Dyer often said, “When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.” I know this is true because I often experience it in my life.

Focus on what is wonderful about you, whether it’s your kindness, generosity, or thoughtfulness.  When you focus on the internal features, the external features seem to start to sparkle with radiance.  It’s not that you changed—your perception did.

3. Change your thoughts.

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How many times have you looked at a picture or a video of yourself and a barrage of negative self-talk dominated your thoughts? Those inner gremlins start to take over and before long they are in control.

How sad it would be if we allowed those negative voices to stop us from offering what we have to give: our knowledge, ideas, voice, gifts, our love, and more? We would be withholding these things from people who might need and benefit from them.

My Fierce Cheerleader and Abundance Coach, Eryka Peskin, has taught me how to celebrate those negative things so they no longer have control over my life.  Try it.  Step back and reframe those negatives into a positive.

You have so much to give (even if you feel like you don’t): your unique gifts, your experience, courage, ingenuity, creativity, and so much more. Don’t let the negative voices stop you from sharing what you have. The world (your neighbors, your friends, your grandma, or whatever your world may be) needs it.

The truth is, there will always be someone or some people who will find you undesirable or unlovable, but the world is also full of people who will feel the opposite.

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Ultimately, the deeper truth you have to find within yourself is this: If no one loves me, will I love myself?  YES, I will love myself.

In the moments when I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I make a choice. I make a choice to give myself total acceptance and love for all that I am: the good, the ugly, and the bad.

Will you make the choice to love yourself when you’re too short, too tall, too fat, and too skinny?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Throwback: Warm Water and Lemon

This post first appeared in my blog on March 23, 2015.  I have shared it multiple times since them.  I still do this every morning (even when I am away).

Over the holidays (okay, so maybe before, a few pounds started to creep back on.  I was no longer at my Weight Watcher’s goal weight and I was discouraged.  So, what is a girl to do?  I re-joined online with Weight Watchers and am embracing the new program.  I am now in my second month and it has been a struggle.  I could give you a million excuses but the truth is I haven’t been motivated.  I have been accountable though so I figure that is a step in the right direction.

One of the things I slacked on was drinking my warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.  Yes, before my coffee.  Yes on a totally empty stomach.  For those who don’t know the wonderful powers of this combination, I will admit I didn’t either until an episode of Dr. Oz.

To say the least, I was skeptical it could help my IBS or my hunger or anything. Then came the second confirmation this could work.  We were at the doctor discussing some new meds for IBS. Doc suggested something natural many of his patients were trying – it worked.  Okay, I am game at this point.  Guess what it was?  YUP – warm water and lemon first thing in the AM.

Okay, if one person says it is a duck – you question it.  If two people call it a duck, there is a possibility.  If 3 people say it, guess what?  It is probably a duck.

I heard this saying for years when I was in my early years of recovery.  So, I some bought lemons at the store to try this exact thing.

water and lemonI wanted to share with the MANY benefits of just a 1/2 cup of lukewarm water with the juice of a lemon slice:

1) Aids Digestion. Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body.  It balances maintain the pH levels in the body.  Lemons are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract. Lemon juice helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating. The American Cancer Society actually recommends offering warm lemon water to cancer sufferers to help stimulate bowel movements.

2) Cleanses Your System / is a Diuretic. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body and helps keep your urinary tract healthy. 

3) Boosts Your Immune System. Great for fighting colds. They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure.

4) Balances pH Levels. Drinking lemon water regularly can help to remove overall acidity in the body, including uric acid in the joints, which is one of the primary causes of pain and inflammation.

5) Clears Skin. Helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes and is vital for healthy glowing skin.

6) Energizes You and Enhances Your Mood. Provides your body with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. The smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and help clear your mind. Lemon can also help reduce anxiety and depression.

7) Promotes Healing. Promotes wound healing, and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage as well as displaying anti-inflammatory properties. 

8) Freshens Breath. Besides fresher breath, lemons have been known to help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. 

9) Hydrates Your Lymph System. Warm water and lemon juice supports the immune system by hydrating and replacing fluids lost by your body. 

10) Aids in Weight Loss. Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings.

Health benefits are courtesy of www..positivehealthwellness.com.

So, was this enough to convince you to try a cup of lukewarm water and lemon in the morning? Which of these benefits excite you the most???

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Things People On Weight Watchers Understand

Thursday morning weigh in with my extended family.  I have been on Weight Watchers for years.  I have lost more than 120 pounds and believe it is the best way to lose weight (for me).  Is it an easy road? NO!  Do I get frustrated? YES!  Do I keep going? YES!

If you are on Weight Watchers, can you pick out those who are also adopting this way of life.  No, it is not a diet but a change in the food we eat and the way we look at eating every day.  Those of you on WW will understand today’s blog – see how many you can identify with…

1. Your friends know you always have snacks stashed in your purse (or in the car) just in case.  Anyone need a carrot or a granola bar or maybe even a jerky stick?

2. You’re have a deeply committed relationship with your pedometer or your fit bit.  Have you been known to do the happy dance when you hit your steps goal before sundown?  Or maybe you have walked circles around your living room just to hit your goal before the clock strikes midnight?

3. You know exactly how many ounces of chicken fit in the palm of your hand.  Or maybe you measure tablespoons by the tips of your thumb?

4. And you’ve figured out how to include exercise into every space you spend time in.  Even at the doctor’s office — why not? Parking in the farthest spot away from the store or carrying one thing at a time up the stairs?

5. You’ve considered walking a few extra miles for wine…Yup, that’s me!

6. …or for a little reward when you deserve it the most.  Keep the dessert and give me wine!

7. You have a special lightweight outfit set aside for your weigh-in day each week. Yup, been wearing the same type of outfit every week for weigh in FOREVER and never denim!  Or maybe you have been known to change clothes once you weigh in?

8. You know the feeling of pure bliss after having all your work lunches figured out ahead of time.

9. You’ve grown accustomed to people asking “can you really eat that?”  Yes, that’s chocolate chip cheesecake. And yes, you can have the recipe.

10. You find yourself doing things you thought were impossible effortlessly.  Well, almost.  Maybe the stairs are a little easier.  Maybe you jog more instead of walk.

11. You find yourself talking to strangers about how amazing spaghetti squash really is.  “It’s just like spaghetti. But it’s squash! No, really!”  So guilty of this one and cauliflower rice!

12. Light whipped topping is basically your boyfriend at this point.  You’ve found a million and one ways to use it, and you’re never gonna let it go.

13. More than anything, people can’t put their finger on what’s different about you… …but you look and feel great — of course they noticed!

Whether you are on Weight Watcher‘s or not, I’m sure you can identify at least a friend or two who fit one of these things.

How can you spot a fellow Weight Watcher?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Drawing Lines in the Sand

Every once in awhile I get stuck, okay maybe more often then I care to admit.  Stuck on what to write about, stuck in my weightless journey, stuck in the comparison game – you get the picture, right?  What about you, are you stuck?

I was on a roll, the scale was steadily going down then something happened it STOPPED. When it stops (or creeps up), I get obsessed with getting on the scale every morning.  When the scale doesn’t move at home, the inner gremlins have a field day.

My business was on a roll (still is just not as crazy busy) and the inner gremlins started to creep in then the comparison game started.

So, for all of you who are with me, today is the day we draw a line in the sand… This is the day we SERIOUSLY hit the reset button and move forward.  

I often talk about setting the RESET button but truth be told, it tends to be just words. Am I committing to it or am I just going through the motions?  OUCH!  I have been going to weekly Weight Watcher meetings (I love my Thursday morning family) because it has been a BIG part of my weight loss journey and hitting goal.  Lately, I have been there in body but not in mind.  Focused on the number on the scale and missing the message.  Letting the inner gremlins talk about “wasting the money” since I am not at goal (just 8 pounds to go). You know what I mean, right?  You are there, half listening but the message doesn’t really sink in.  Or, you are listening and at the same time checking emails or scrolling through Facebook?  I have been a meeting person in some form since NA and found  it has always been my mental health therapy for the week when I am present!

So, let’s turn this around – whether you are stuck in your business, in your weightless journey, your job or_______________(you fill in the blank).  Join me in drawing a line in the sand and moving forward.  Step over the line and out of your comfort zone

Here are some inspirational thoughts which might help you:

  • “I’m not perfect, I am HUMAN”.  A cliche saying for some but it is a reminder I need – a dim light bulb moment.  It may not rock your world but it may remind you how often you compare yourself to others.  Time to get rid of the ANTs!  No, I don’t mean the little annoying critters, I mean the “automatic negative thinking”.  Did your light bulb go from DIM to BRIGHT.  I have ANTS!  I am not perfect but no one is.
  • This is a journey without a finish line!  Thank you Lynn for reminding me of this fact every week.  I am always looking for the finish line and it keeps moving.  My weight loss has been a LONG journey.  Losing 120 pounds took an eternity but it is okay because I did it.  The journey will continue even after I reach my goal weight.  A light at the end of the tunnel – NO!  It will just mean no more monthly payments to Weight Watchers but this time, I will not stop going to meetings.  Once I reach my goal weight, my goal will change to MAINTAINing it.
  • OWN your journey!  This means squashing all of those inner gremlins who like to play games.  This is your journey, not anyone else’s.  You need to focus on what matter’s most to you.  When we play the comparison game, we lose perspective on what is important to us and try to live in someone else’s shoes.  The woulda, shoulda, and coulda becomes a way of life instead of being present in YOUR moment.  Be present in your journey.
  • Lastly, Enjoy the journey – thank you AnneMarie.   You always inspire me.  Your positive attitude helps me to put things in perspective.  I need to slow down and enjoy this journey.   It is a roller coaster ride and I am NOT a fan of roller coasters but I need to enjoy it.  We are always rushing to something or somewhere when we need to “stop and smell the roses”.

I am again drawing a line in the sand.  I have again found the strength I sometimes think is not there.  Thank you to my Weight Watcher family for these weekly reminders and lessons.  I have been applying them to my business as well as working my weightless journey.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Assert Yourself…

What do you think of when you think of someone who is “assertive”? Assertion is simply expressing yourself in a honest, straightforward way which helps you get what you need.  It shows respect for yourself and others.  So, why do we have such a hard time with it?  Why does it have such a negative connotation?

This was a recent topic at my Weight Watcher‘s meeting.  This people pleaser tends to have a hard time with being assertive when it comes to anything but food.  I can easily tell you what food I can and can’t have but when it comes to anything else – I am as timid as a church mouse not wanting to hurt other’s feelings.  I rocked being assertive when I was early in my recovery then somewhere along the lines, those nasty inner gremlins creeped in again.

Being assertive is not being aggressive although we tend to lump the two of them together.  We worry when we assert ourselves people won’t like us.  We allow others needs to outweigh our own (those people pleasing gremlins).  Honestly, I think this is a skill (yes, it is a skill) I never really learned.  The reality is, once you master being assertive in an effective way, you will be able to let go of the fear of coming on too strong.

Think about situations where you wish you would have been assertive.  Maybe it was saying “no” to a piece of cake or to adding another thing on your to do list.  Maybe it was simply making time for YOU in the course of a crazy busy day or week.  For me, it is usually about putting everyone and everything before what I would like.  Yup, the proverbial people pleaser.

Being able to respectfully but firmly express feelings and ask for support helps us in so many ways – staying on plan to reach our weight loss goal, overcoming an eating disorder, finding time to exercise, building our business or beating an addiction.  When we learn how to advocate for ourselves and NOT put others’ needs and feelings first, we are more in control of our lives.  We are in a better position to reach our goals, whatever they may be.

I love the DESC model (now I just need to practice it) when it comes to asking for support, or getting someone to stop (or start) something or simply asking what you need.

DESCRIBE: 

First, you need to describe the behavior you want changed.  For example “You watch TV and I have to do the dishes after dinner so I don’t have time to get in a walk”.  What is the behavior you would like someone in your life to change?

EXPLAIN:

Now you need to explain the effect this behavior is having on you.  Okay, here is where I either get emotional or worry about saying the wrong thing.  For example, “I end up not getting in my walk most days of the week”.  Short and sweet.  No need for a lang drawn out explanation.  “Just the facts Dano”…. am I showing my age?  LOL.

SPECIFY:

Now is the big step….specify what you want or need to get the behavior to change.  This is where you ask for what you want.  Not demand but present a possible solution.  For example, “Would you please do the dishes Monday, Wednesday and Friday after dinner so I can walk for 20 minutes?”.  Seems harmless right?  If you don’t ask, you will never know what the other person is thinking.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) mind reading is not in our genes.

CONSEQUENCES:

Clearly state the consequences for you or how it is going to help you.  This is when I have to overcome the inner gremlin which says “you are selfish” or “it’s all about you”.  For example, “I’ll be able to walk three more times than usual and it’ll help me reach my FitPoints goal”.

My challenge to you this week is to identify a situation where being more assertive could help you get what you need then use the DESC model to practice being assertive.  

Thank you Weight Watchers for this lesson which can be applied to all areas of our lives.  Would love to hear how it went, share your success or your challenge with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!