Last Saturday our meeting was suppose to cover the topic of STRESS. I certainly could relate to that last weekend and wish I had gone to the meeting but I didn’t. If anyone reading this attended the meeting I’d love to know what tips/tricks our members brought up in the meeting. Please feel free to comment and let me know.
I had a very full day last Saturday. First there was 1.5 hours at the gym (including sauna), then at 12 noon I had to be at our Miller Branch to help take the computers down in preparation for our gala fundraising event – Evening in the Stacks: Masquerade! After that I had to come back home (work in Howard County, live in Baltimore County) and hit the grocery store. That meant I had to prep my list, look at recipes and figure out what other items I needed…once home it was time to put away all my little gems. Next I had to fix dinner for the boys and then get ready for Stacks (I was working the event). I didn’t get home until 12:30 and I had been up since 5am, needless to say I was tired.
Other than missing my meeting (something had to give that day and even though I missed it I was glad I did as it gave me a little breathing room in my hectic day) I feel I pretty much stayed on track with things and didn’t let the stress of the day get to me. I made sure I had my protein shake before hitting the gym, came home and had a yogurt and then before going to the store I had a salad with cheese, lunch meat and no-fat dressing. While unpacking the groceries I had a Weight Watchers snack for only 3 points. My biggest challenge was going to be the event as there is always yummy, tempting food a plenty.
Once there I allowed myself only 2 glasses of Prosecco (4 oz. = 3 pts) and I headed to the veggie bar. Had plenty of raw veggies, a little bit of spinach dip (with no bread) and only 2 small pieces of cheese. I kept away from the Cesar salad and pasta bar (although it did look good) and headed over to the carving station where they had roast beef and turkey. I did help myself to a 1/3 cup of mashed asiago cheese potatoes (they were too good to pass up). I ended the night with water and a couple of yummy cookies and a whoopie pie. I totaled my points the next day and found that I had only had to use about 4 of my weekly points. After all the activity points (1.5 hrs at the gym, 1.5 hrs logging computers around, 4 hrs walking the event in 4″ heels) I earned that day I felt I had done really well!
All of this made me reflect on what a difference a year makes. Last year when I attended Evening in the Stacks I was not at my most healthiest but this year I’m much better all thanks to Weight Watchers, the members and most importantly my great leader, Pat!
|Evening in the Stacks 2011 (or before WW)||Evening in the Stacks 2012 (or after WW)|
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!