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Making the Negative, Positive

Almost caught up on blogging 🙂  March 17th’s meeting was about “Nix Negative Thoughts”.  Something that we as humans often do that undermines our successes.  I wasn’t sure how this meeting would go but I loved how Pat, our leader, focused on the positives and not the negatives.  She turned those frowns upside down.  And so did the members.

One member mentioned that having children can actually help you.  Because they are so active they keep you more active.  You can take a moment while waiting between soccer games, dance practice, etc. to move.  Be inspired by your kids and their energy levels.

Pat asked us if we got motivated more when the scale was up or down.  Several members said that when it’s down it motivates them more, pushes them to tighten up the program, makes them mad so they refocus their efforts.  One very wise member pointed out that her life isn’t about the scale but about being healthy.  She didn’t want to focus on the number on the scale but all the healthy choices she was making because of joining Weight Watchers.   In the long-term it isn’t about a dress which will be gone in a few years while she will still be here.  I loved her very POSITIVE attitude!

Although tracking can be a chore for some (I’m one of them) let’s turn it around.  We all agreed that when we track we do much better.  One member said she tracked everything religiously.  It didn’t matter if she went over her allotted number of points she just tracked it all.  What great accountability and a fantastic record to look back at and see what worked for you and what didn’t.  I truly love all the wisdom shared by our members.  Another member said that she liked tracking because she was in control of that instead of food being in control of her.

One member who said it made him angry when he gained (it motivated him to do better because when he thought about it he knew what he did wrong that week) – shared a very funny quote from Rodney Dangerfield “Willpower is when you get the electric chair and for your last meal you still stay on Weight Watchers!”

Some things we can do when those negative thoughts creep up on us:

  • recognize them – sometimes just giving them a name or acknowledging them gets them out-of-the-way
  • don’t dwell on them – counter them with some positive thoughts (okay, I gained this week but it was ONLY .6 lbs! or okay, I gained this week but it will motivate me to look at what I did and correct it)
  • embrace flexibility – one of the great things about this program is you customize it so it works for you (e.g. simply filling vs. tracking)
  • bounce back – when things don’t go exactly as planned, acknowledge it but focus on what you can do to move forward – forgive yourself, after all you are only human 🙂
  • plan in advance – planning out your menus or things you have to do that week will help you keep on track

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!