Saturday, December 31, 2016

Get your head--and your heart--back in the game!

"What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year." -- Vern McClellan

Well, 6 1/2 years and many pounds heavier, I am ready to be kind to myself again. Does anyone feel the same way? Not about the "many pounds heavier" part...the "be kind to myself again" part? Why are we so mean to ourselves???

I can actually pinpoint the day I stopped caring about my weight and my health. I had finished a 5K race, which, quite frankly, I never thought I would be able to do, and I sat across from my husband, announcing that I planned to train for the Army 10 miler which was six months away. He responded by saying, "Oh...that's something I always wanted to do." His voice and intonation hit a nerve, and I reacted with feeling guilty and unworthy. Crazy, right?! I never trained another day, after weeks and months of running in the rain, snow, sleet, heat, and cold to be, at that time, in the best shape of my life. Looking back, I still can't believe how drastically I responded to the comment. But...I did, and this is where I am now: overweight (again) and unhappy (again).

A lot has happened since then. Life has not necessarily been kind (more to share as time goes on...I'm sure we can all relate). But the time has come to cut the crap, stop the self-defamation, replace the worthlessness with worthiness, and make some changes.

I think it's hard to do that part--the "make some changes"--because, if you've ever tried to lose weight and create a healthy lifestyle in your past, you know that it takes work, planning, discipline, and accountability. We kind of gave that up for a while, though, haven't we? We slipped back into eating what we want, when we want, and making excuses with so many reasons about why we don't have time to take care of ourselves. The emotional eating got WAYYYYY out of control. All those healthy responses that we had once trained ourselves to follow were unlearned along the way, replaced with the familiar soothing benefits of food. Sound familiar?

I am committing that, for 2017, I will blog weekly--the good, the bad, and the ugly. When I reflect on these past few years of unhealthiness, I realize that what contributed most to my continued self-sabotaging efforts was a lack of accountability. The blog posts will make me accountable--the accountability is really to myself, but writing it down opens it up to sharing my shortcomings with others who understand and don't judge, who relate but don't hate. In that way, it also makes me accountable to you, too.

So...happy 2017 to each of you! Feel free to jump on the wagon and invite others to jump on, too--the more, the merrier!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Talking Like a Winner : )

Hi all,

Well, I was cleaning off my desk and came across these "17 words to live by" that someone shared with me a while ago. In my ongoing effort to get each of us to find the positive each day and to speak to ourselves with hope, I thought I'd share the words with you. Learn them. Embrace them. Live by them. You will be amazed at how differently your outlook will become.

Have a great week!

Mary Ann

17 Words to Live by
(sorry--I don't know the original author)

Weight loss will be yours when you...

Prepare - yourself to be thinner
Listen - to positive messages
Smile - through the challenges
Care - enough about yourself to do the work
Succeed - in doing whatever it takes to make things happen
Choose - to embrace the changes that are occurring
Focus - on your Winning Outcome (your GOAL, kids--you should know what these two words mean by now...)
Believe - in yourself
Relax - and don't expect yourself to be perfect :)
Act - on making the changes that will further your progress
Forgive - yourself as necessary
Trust - the program (not the program that you've created with your own self-imposed rules--I mean the program as it is designed and meant to be lived and followed)
Change - the things that you can and embrace that change!
Persist - in the face of obstacles
Accept - that success doesn't happen overnight
Risk - becoming thinner (yep, some of us hesitate to become thin people...)
Wait - even when it is the hardest thing to do

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday...It's a new day, it's a new week

Hi kids!

So, if you've been struggling a little on this trek we lovingly call our "weight loss journey," listen up: it's never too late to start, and it's always too soon to quit. Isn't that a great saying??

So, the kids are home now. Vacations are coming up. The pool (and the concession stand) is now open and will be frequented often. Summer baseball is in full swing (get the pun?!). Picnics and barbecues are happening every weekend. Festivals and carnivals are EVERYWHERE! In the midst of all of that, crises still pop up, family members become ill, spouses lose their jobs, cars need expensive repairs, kids get into trouble. Do you know what all of this combined is called? LIFE. So...let's find a way to be successful while managing this thing called LIFE.

1. Get out of the black and white thinking. You don't have to always be "good." You can be "okay" sometimes. Being 100% on target, every minute of every hour of every day will definitely guarantee success--that success, though, will be successful placement in a loony bin. So...practice moderation, not perfection.

2. Make a plan, and stick to it. If you're going to the pool and love the hot dogs or ice cream or candy or french fries, then find a way to periodically fit your favorite thing into your day. I am tired of hearing, "But it's so HARD when I see everyone else eating what they want." Here are some words to commit to memory: build a bridge, get over it, and move it along (these words are stolen from an anti-bullying program, but I loved them the minute I heard them). That's what THEY do. What do YOU do? Plan it, live it, enjoy success. It's that simple.

3. Do you want to lose weight? What are you willing to do in order to make that happen? "I want to lose weight, but I want to have french fries at the pool every day." Okay, then, you need to accept that your weight loss will not be as good as it could be if you chose to have the french fries once a week instead. Don't whine that the program doesn't work if you're not doing the program. Unless 35 points cover 7 days worth of french fries, then you're creating your own rules. Harsh words, indeed, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the truth.

4. Why are things not working for you right now? What things are getting in your way of making self-supporting choices? What can you change/alter? Do you REALLY need to take the kids to the pool every day? Why not set up a slip and slide in your back yard (plastic, dish detergent, water, hose = great fun!).'ll have complete control over your personal "concession stand."

5. Why do you keep sabatoging yourself? Why are other people's needs more important than yours 99% of the time? How can you begin to convince yourself that you deserve to be taken care of, just as much as you take care of everyone else? You really need to answer these questions before you find a resolution; otherwise, you'll just keep going back to the "same old, same old."

6. Before you go to bed each nite, identify one thing that you did that day that supported your efforts to lose weight, and write it down--keep a journal. The thing you write down doesn't have to be life altering, people--I had 1 burger instead of 2, I didn't lick the beaters when baking cupcakes, I drank a glass of water when making dinner. Let's focus on what we do right instead of all the things that we do wrong, okay? Positive self talk....

The most important thing on this journey is convincing yourself that you are worth the effort it takes to lose weight and believing that you are worthy of achieving a healthy goal weight. You really need to believe in your dreams, in your capabilities, and in your ability to navigate and overcome daily struggles. Eliminate "it's too hard right now" from your dialogue. Period. How about "It's hard right now, but a freaking candy bar isn't going to make it any easier." You'll then see how different this journey will become.

Have a GREAT week--see you in the meeting room!

Mary Ann

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A new month, a new start...

Hey kids,

It's hard to believe but Monday is the first day of June. May will be gone...finished...kaput...over. We can cry about it, regretting that we wish we had done things differently. We can anguish over it, lamenting our "lack of willpower" and poor choices. OR...we can start a new month with a new attitude! I WILL make the changes that have been hard to make. I WILL learn how to navigate food and food choices. I WILL challenge myself to do things differently when I face a crisis instead of reverting back to my comfort, sweet comfort, of food. I WILL learn to feel empowered, capable, and strong.

Start thinking in these terms, people, and we'll continue our dialogue on Monday. See you then!

Have a peaceful weekend,
Mary Ann

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Watch this clip...

Check out this site:

It's a great source of inspiration and a way to tap into your ability to do the work that needs to be done so that you can reach your goal!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Thinking differently" Thursday

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. ~Bill Meyer

Is that a great quote or what?!?! No matter what we do, no matter how much weight we lose, no matter how hard we've worked, it all comes back to how much you've changed your beliefs. If you lose 100 pounds but still believe you're a fat person, you will eat your way back to your highest weight. You have to change your core belief system FOR GOOD if you want change to be lasting change.

This week, when you find yourself being swayed by the negative thoughts--the ones that eventually keep you from doing the hard work--write the thought down. Once you've done that, take a look at the words, and think about how they've affected your life so far. What good has come from them? What change have they inspired? You already know the answer, but you have to walk yourself through the exercise to get the impact of it.

Now, think about what words you can use to replace that negative message. "It's hard right now, but I need to keep moving forward." Or, how about "I don't want to do this, but I know I will be proud of myself when I do." Or, what about "My family needs me right now, but I owe myself at least 5 minutes to take care of ME, too." We need to stop ignoring, minimizing, chastising, judging, labeling, and negatively prioritizing our needs at the expense of others' needs. We also need to be really honest with ourselves by realizing and admitting that we continue to do so in order to give ourselves permission to eat the food that comforts/calms/distracts/de-stresses/and keeps us company.

Plant a seed that will harvest Golden Delicous or Jonas Gold--crab apples are easy to grow but really distasteful to swallow. Rake up the old seeds, clear out the field, and plant brand new seeds. Will some crab apples still pop up between our Golden Delicious and Jonas Gold? Yes. But they will be few and far between and much easier to harvest and destroy.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Program Doesn't Work...

If you ever want to make the hair on my neck stand up, utter the words "the program doesn't work" with nothing to back up your words. This seems to be happening quite a lot lately, and I feel the need to vent, so pull up a chair or log off immediately.

Doing the program is not about starving yourself. It's not about going to the gym or working out several hours a day and not eating properly to refuel yourself. It's not about "getting in the points" but paying no attention to the quality of them. It's not about regularly eating below your points and then complaining that you're "starving all the time." DUH!!! This is not a "design your own" program. We give you guidelines to follow FOR A REASON! You can be flexible within the guidelines, but you should be following the guidelines and THEN doing your spin. It's hard to help a struggling member when there's no tracker to look at ("keeps track in his/her head" or "I eat the same thing so I don't need to write it down"), when there are no good health guidelines checked ("I don't have enough points to get in the oils and milks"), when no meeting is attended (those of you who attend regularly know what I mean), when activity is not tracked ("I don't ever use those activity points anyway" or "the machine said I burned 1000 calories in 30 minutes") OR when activity is avoided like the plague.

Look, we give you the basics, but YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THEM! You can keep verbalizing all of your old excuses (I'm really not into it, I have too much going on in my life, I'm in menopause, It's too hard to make choices at the ballpark/soccer field/pool, I don't want to "punish" my family, I travel all the time and it's so tough to find good things to eat, My job is a challenge, None of my friends have to worry about their weight, I'm too stressed right now, It's too hard to do this, and, my personal favorite, I need to take a break from this. Frankly, and this is going to hurt the feelings of some of you, kids, those words are, almost always, your built-in excuses to keep eating what you want whenever you want it. There are a few times when logistics prevent us from staying on as members (loss of job, health issues, etc.). It's HARD WORK to change. I know that. Remember? I do the program, too. BUT...only in doing the hard work will you get eventual and lasting results. The hardest part of losing weight is not what you put in your mouth but what you put in your head.

We ALL have stuff going on in our lives that challenges our choices. Some of us are verbal about it; others of us are not. But, trust me, we all have challenges. There are some of us who feel the need to say "no one has it as tough as I do right now." You would be surprised, people, at what your neighbor has going on--you just don't KNOW about it. So, acknowledge that life might stink right now, but don't minimize other people's struggles to be less than yours and don't magnify your issues to be ten times worse than everyone else's so that you can, once again, use food to comfort and de-stress yourself "because you deserve it."

Do you want to lose weight right now?"
If so, what are you willing to do in order to make that happen (not what you are NOT willing to do but what you ARE willing to do)?
Will you do that today?
Then, get to work!

So, if you don't want to lose weight right now, then say you don't want to lose weight. Accept it and move on. Stop beating yourself up. But don't blame the program--it works if you do it! If you DO want to lose weight, then embrace all that you have to offer and all that you are believing you will accomplish, and enjoy the journey...