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Reflecting On Things Past To Move Forward

I guess it’s inevitable that at the last Weight Watchers meeting of 2011 we should do some reflecting on our success this past year.  More importantly I like to look at where I might have failed (or in less harsh terms – where I slipped up and had learning moments).   Mistakes are what make us human and give us the most opportunities to grow/learn.   There are so many great quotes regarding mistakes I can’t pick just one.  But looking back at the good and the bad is important part of your health journey.

If you subscribe to eTools you have reports on your fingertips that can help you see patterns.  Take time to review them.  Look at the weeks where you lost and the ones you didn’t – what is different about the weeks that you lost weight?  Do you track often or rarely?  How about your healthy checks – do you succeed at completing those each day?  If you don’t use eTools try tracking your weight loss on a graph that can help you to see patterns sometimes as well.

Several members looked back at the year but especially the holidays and saw where they needed to improve.  One member mentioned that she realized that she drank a lot of diet soda while off for the holidays (something she doesn’t do so much the rest of the year).  It struck a chord with me and I got to thinking about how much Diet Coke I had the past week (and may have explained some of my weight gain that week – although a lot of it was from giving myself a bit too much permission to have goodies during Christmas).  Our leader mentioned that a lot of sodas have too much sodium in them.  I found an interesting article on all the diet soda/sodium and breaking the habit.  I mentioned that canned foods (such as tomatoes which I use in a lot of recipes) also have sodium but luckily we have the no-salt version as well.

So take a moment to look back at 2011 so you can move forward with your health goals in 2012.  I for one am going to limit my soda intake to 1 per day now that I’m back at work.  The rest of my liquids will be water (fizzy or flat).  Remember to track not guesstimate – guesstimating can work against us in many ways (either we aren’t allotting enough points or too many).  Try to make small changes as they are not only the easiest but make this health journey more of a lifetime goal than a momentary one.  But the one thing I think we all need to do when we look back at the past year is forgive ourselves for any slip ups and move on.  Look at those slip ups but use them as learning moments (what could you have done differently?).   Don’t forget while looking back to celebrate all those things you did that made a difference.  Look at those and continue (if not magnify them) these in 2012.

Need some help keeping your promise of a healthier you?  Here are 8 different apps/tools you can use on your journey to better 2012!

I wish all of my readers a very healthy, happy New Year!

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Give Credit!

Everyone is talking about credit these days.  Credit cards, debit cards, defaulting on loans, whole countries in trouble…but this is a different kind of credit.  Give credit.  Give yourself some credit.

Many of us on the weight loss/maintenance journey know it’s not an easy road.  We have our ups (which are always great) and our downs as well.  We need to take time and celebrate the small accomplishments instead of getting caught up in the little road bumps.

So give yourself credit:

  • for going to a meeting every week
  • for tracking your points (even if you forget to do all of them give yourself credit for the ones you DID track)
  • for exercising (even if it is just parking your car at the end of the lot)
  • for going online and using your e-tools
  • for changing your eating habits (healthier choices, smaller portions)
  • even give yourself credit for the slips ups you may experience because that means you are human and you are alive!

It is easy to give yourself credit when things are going right but when those eventual human slip ups happen (pound gained, exercise forgotten, un-healthy choices made) try to give yourself something else – a little slack.  Try to focus on what you did accomplish and not zone in on the slip up.  The slip ups give us an opportunity to learn.

Two weeks ago I knew I hadn’t been as faithful as usual so I wasn’t surprised to find that I had gained (2.2 lbs) that week instead of losing.  The first time that happened to me I was devastated.  I spent the whole meeting in my car on the phone to my husband crying.  The smartest thing he did was encourage me to go back in and talk to my leader.  I did and she was very helpful.  She gave me lots of food for thought (zero points!!!) and some suggestion plus the encouragement I needed.  The following week I had not only lost the pounds I had gained but an additional 2 lbs. as well.  So when this happened again I knew I needed to learn something.  I went back and reviewed my week – saw where I had not made some wise choices and made some changes.  Again at the next weigh in I lost those pesky 2.2 lbs. and 1.8 more!  Instead of the glass half empty this time I looked at it as half full.  I looked at it as an opportunity to learn and change so I could continue down the right path.  I didn’t beat myself up (which is my usual habit) instead I gave myself CREDIT for being calm, not crying, for learning and moving on.

So no matter what that scale says I know you did something this week that you celebrate – so give yourself some credit.  It may not be any good at the bank but it will make you much richer in the long run.