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Work in Progress

Finally caught up on blogging, well until I attend today’s meeting 🙂

Last week’s meeting was about acknowledging what works for us in the program.  Lots of great info came out of that meeting.  One member commented that she had been going crazy with grapes the previous weeks.  Turns out you can have too much of a good thing.  I know this as well – if I eat too many high glycemic fruits I pay for it.  Even though fruits are zero points you can have too many and they can add points on.  If you still want to keep fruit in your program just try to pick more lower GI (glycemic index) ones like berries and less high point ones like bananas or watermelon.

Several of us commented that sleep is very important to the weight loss journey not to mention just general health.  I know for a fact that weeks where I didn’t get enough sleep that scale (as well as my general well-being) reflected it.  Make sure you get at least 6 or more good solid hours of sleep.

One member had a wonderful insight (I do like where she comes from – she makes me see things differently and for that I thank her).  She sees each meeting as a class.  It is a refresher on what she needs to learn.  What a wonderful way to look at things.  I was really surprised that I, as a trainer, didn’t think of that.  Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees and you need someone else to point it out.  I’ve always said my favorite part of training is when I too learn something.

One member said that she used to say “well I only lost __ lbs.” but when she picked up a 5 lb. bag of flour it reminded her of just how much she lost and what she had been carrying around.  Sometimes we need those tangible reminders to see what is working for us.

We then listed all the things we know work on the Weight Watchers program:

  • Number one thing mentioned was – Tracking!  Indeed I had fallen off the tracking bandwagon and last week really saw the results of it.  This week I got back on and look forward to my weigh-in today.  Tracking really is the strongest tool in our arsenal  You can’t change your bad eating habits if you don’t know what you are eating.  We think we know but we can easily block out that candy bar or bag of chips if we don’t write it down!
  • Exercise – just move.  It doesn’t have to be at the gym just add more movement to your daily routine and the effects will show.
  • Portion control – along with tracking these two really make a big difference.
  • Water – drinking it not only fills you up but your body needs it.  I read an article once that said most of us walk around dehydrated – we just don’t get enough water.
  • Setting small OBTAINABLE goals – instead of looking at that final number and thinking I can’t possibly lose __ lbs.  Focus on the first 5 lbs, 5%, 10%, etc.  Not only are they easy to set and reach when we celebrate at the meetings all of us feel good.
  • Setting REASONABLE expectations – if our expectations (I’ll lose 4lbs this week) are set too high we really are setting ourselves up for failure and get easily discourage.  Don’t sabotage yourself that way.
  • Forgive yourself – this segue ways perfectly from the previous point.  If your expectation is set too high – learn from it, forgive yourself and move on.  We are all human, we are going to make mistakes but the best thing we can do is learn from it first and then forgive ourselves.
  • Don’t deprive yourself – this is one of my favorites.  So many people start off with good intentions and try to cut every bad thing out of their diet (no sugar, no salt, no chocolate, no……)  That is great but not very realistic.  Go ahead, have your cake and eat it too.  Just make sure you track it, acknowledge it and forgive yourself if you need to.  Giving into those occasional “goodies” (whatever yours maybe) makes doing this program a whole lot easier than those “diets” out there that make you give up everything.  Goes back to being realistic with expectations.
  • Honesty – I liked this one.  Let’s be honest, we aren’t always so honest with ourselves, our tracking, our exercise, etc.  We are only fooling ourselves but really we aren’t because we know.  Be honest in your tracking, exercising, etc. even if your honesty is that I didn’t track this week or I didn’t exercise as much.  Just keeping yourself honest will let you see patterns and figure out how to do things different or better next time.
  • Healthy Checks – making sure we get all of those in (love seeing the smiley face).  I was one who didn’t believe that the 2 teaspoons of healthy oil was important.   I knew that oil was high in fat what on earth was Weight Watchers thinking?   But I remember how things changed for me once I started doing that religiously.  Good lesson for me to learn that they have researched this, tested it and it works.  What I was doing wasn’t so don’t think I know better.

And I’ll add to this that Meetings is definitely one of the things that work.  They are now my Saturday morning class.  I owe that to myself.  I love the wisdom that comes out in each meeting.  I love learning new things or being reminded of old ones.  For me it is an important part of my program and it is part of what works for me.

We are all just works in progress but hopefully we can use some of the great wisdom documented here to help us with our progress.



The “Ouldas”

Shoulda, Woulda and Coulda.  They get us into trouble every single time.  Especially during the holiday season.  “I should finish my holiday shopping now…”  “I would love to do ____ but…..”  “If only I could get ____ done before…”  Many of us know these sentences as they run in a continuous loop in our heads this time of the year.  This adds to the stress and stress can lead to making bad choices which can lead to weight gain which can lead to….well you get the  idea.

I stopped myself this week from doing a shoulda.  I should have written this blog post long before now but I had a very busy week work-wise.  So I forgave myself and let it go.  Normally I would have stressed over getting this blog post done, I would have stayed up late (depriving myself of sleep – bad choice) and then gotten stressed which would have made me give into stress eating (another bad choice).  I do have a responsibility to my readers but more importantly I have a responsibility to myself.

This is a small stress compared to what most of us experience during the holiday season (decorating, shopping, family commitments, cooking, cleaning, visiting, etc.) so what can you do during this season to help you through those stressful moments?

  • Have someone on your side.  One member at last week’s meeting talked about one of her children being her cheerleader at home.  This child is really helping Mom to stay focused.  Find a friend or family member who can be your cheerleader.
  • Identify your stressors.  Knowing them ahead of time is part of the solution.  If you know certain people or situations add stress to your life you can be a bit more prepared for it.
  • Lower your expectations.  Our leader, Pat, shared that often she finds her expectations are what set her up for failure.  Try not to go into a situation/event with expectations so that when it doesn’t go according to your plan you aren’t stressed or disappointed.
  • Ask for help.  Not unlike that child who is a cheerleader ask others to help you.  It can be as simple as letting them know you are working the Weight Watchers plan so they can cheer you on or ask them to help you by not bringing certain tempting dishes during the holiday seasons.
  • Offer help too.  Sometimes by offering something of yourself you are not only helping the other person but yourself in the process.  It can help to remind you of your plan and your goals.
  • Think positive.  Negative thoughts can undermine all your good work you’ve done so far (especially if you are just starting out).  One member shared that her normal walking buddy and her made a pack.  Instead of gossiping or complaining they were only going to talk about positive things on their walks.  They went from normal 15 min walks to 45 mins because they were so caught up in sharing the positive side of things!
  • Forgiveness.  If you find that you are stressed and make some unhealthy choices – acknowledge it, forgive yourself and let it go.  We are all human and we are all going to slip and fall from time to time.  Trick is to not let those occasional slip ups deter you from your ultimate goal.

Don’t forget to take time out to enjoy the decorations (take a walk and enjoy the houses in your neighborhood), time to enjoy the company of friends and family (if you used to do cookie bake/swap why not continue the tradition this year but make them all Weight Watchers recipes), or take time to reflect after the last gift is wrapped and count your blessings (you have Weight Watchers,your leader and the great members on your side).  I hope you can all take time to enjoy the holiday seasons a bit and leave the “ouldas” out of your holiday this year!