Category: Life Strategies

Life Strategies: How to Survive an Airplane Flight full of food!

Life Strategies: How to Survive a Long Airplane Flight Full of Food

Short flights are Easy….they don’t even offer much more than drinks and maybe a tiny, easy to resist snack bag of salty trail mix…but a long flight is a different story!

Now, let me share what I ate after takeoff on a 5 hour flight to Las Vegas from NJ…and this flight was through dinner time so I planned to have a ‘snack dinner’.

😊I started to eat the snacks I brought from home (SmartPoints listed in parentheses):
✔️Homemade Kodiak Banana Chocolate Chip muffin (4)
✔️Big Bag of sliced Green peppers (0)
✔️Homemade bag of air fryer wrap chips (2)
✔️1 Laughing Cow Wedge (1)
✔️Clementine (1)
Current On-The-Plane total at this point is 8sp.
And at this point, I had approximately 3 hours of plane time left…⏰✈️

📲I brought plenty to do, but was bored…our takeoff was delayed an hour, so that was an extra hour on the plane…then, my TV thing didn’t work….but that was ok as I had many non-tv things to do: New Book to read, 2 magazines, I downloaded 2 magazines on my iPad, I had a small notebook for ideas, to do lists, doodles, etc. I had a variety of posts to work on for my blog. I had PLENTY to do that didn’t involve the internet…but eating can be so comforting in some ways when you are a bit bored…

😜Then, the Flight Attendants started to serve the food selections…and this airplane went from a transportation vehicle to a food court!
My resolve momentarily weakened…
With eager anticipation, I realized I could buy myself:
🍔a hot cheeseburger on a pretzel bun!
🌯tiny chicken wrap!
🍭a candy pack of sweets!
🍴chips!
🍫chocolate!
🍝a warm pasta and meatball plate!
🧀an artesian cheese and 🥜 nut assortment!

🤔But would I actually buy food on the plane when I brought a big bag of carefully planned snacks from home??

I would say a majority of the people on the flight were eating at this point and about half purchsed food or ate the food they brought with them. Imagine hearing the popping sound of many soda cans….the rousing rustling of food bags opening…the sounds of people chatting about food…the smells of all kinds of food filled the plane instantly! No more ‘plane smell’, just a menagerie of food sounds.

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

😩Everywhere I looked, there was food! 😳

>Some had brought yummy fast food on the plane…
>I saw a FAMILY-sized bag of Peanut M & M’s being passed around a group of 6 people. (I actually had to stare at this bag my entired flight as I was on the aisle and it was just 2 rows up!)
>Colas and Alcoholic drinks were being poured for almost every passenger.
>Bad coffee being served. (If I wanted coffee, I would have whipped out one of my Starbucks Via Packets or the Trader Joe’s 3sp Coffee with Sugar and Creamer added instant packets and asked for hot water)…but I didn’t want coffee at this moment.
>This one couple directly in front of me had seemingly endless bags of chips and snacks and food they brought onto the plane…I think they ate for most of the 5 hours of plane time.
>Across the aisle from me were 3 men…probably a bachelor party (this was a plane to Vegas)…who had many drinks and many cans of soda and lots of snacks. They never got rowdy, but boy, were they hungry and thirsty.
>Every TV screen that wasn’t on a movie was showing commercials (It is Direct TV on the plane) and I felt that there was FOOD everywhere I looked!

💫Luckily, as I was ‘weighing’ my options, I asked myself a few questions:

❓Did I really want a hamburger from a PLANE menu? No.
❓If I was home right now, would I be eating snacks every 20 minutes? No. It would be close to 8pm and I’d be closing down the kitchen.
❓Was I actually hungry at this exact moment? No.
❓Was I feeling full? Actually, yes. Very full.
❓Was I thirsty? No, but I had a bottle of water 💦 if I needed it.
❓Did I just want something to munch on? No, but I still had a Bag-O-Snack choices I brought from home.
❓Did I just need chocolate at this exact moment? Well, I always need chocolate, but at this moment, no, I did not…and I had some with me if I absolutely wanted some.

So…..
NO! I did NOT buy anything from the lovely friendly flight attendants pushing convenient 🛒 carts of convenience food & drink around the aircraft.
THIS story is part of the reason travel days can be SO hard…

I did NOT need to overstuff myself.
I stopped myself before I made a decision I would totally regret.

FYI: I always travel with a small toothbrush and tooth paste and floss. I figured that another deterrent would be to go brush my teeth (although not ideal in a plane bathroom!…..I also had mint gum 🌱, so that was a better option, but I didn’t end up needing it.)

🎰I was on my way to Las Vegas for gosh sakes!
Plenty of wonderful food to be had there! I just needed to get there.
I planned. I had plenty to do and EAT…
I could resist the smells of fast food & coffee
I could resist the temptations of watching others in close proximity ingest chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, candy, hot chocolate, and more. I just had to stick to my plan…but it was NOT easy!

👍So, I stayed strong, paced myself, and ate the following snacks for the remainder of the 3 hours on the plane (SmartPoints listed in Parentheses):
✔️A Jayone Crunchy Rice Log (1)
✔️My single serving of Harvest Snaps (1)
✔️1 Cheese Stick (2)
✔️1 baggie of baby carrots (0)
✔️1 Laughing Cow Wedge (1)
✔️1 Clementine (0)
✔️Half bottle of water (0) – don’t want to drink too much on a flight😉
So, 5 SmartPoints for this half of the flight PLUS 8 from earlier made this a 13 SmartPoint flight…not too shabby, if I say so myself!!!

🌈On a brighter note, In our row of 3, I really did luck out a bit…the 3rd passenger in our row was obviously health conscious and brought her own bag-o-snacks from home, too….all healthy options. She had a bag of veggies like me. She ordered herself black coffee only. She brought an avocado on the plane. She rocked! I didn’t really get to chat with her much, but we both eyed each other’s snack haul with a pleasant, non-verbal seal of approval on both of our personal snack selections.

I kept reminding myself that this time will pass.
I would be on vacation for a few days soon enough
and this long flight would be a memory.
I could turn this very stressful food situation into a win instead of a defeat.
Yes. I. Could. Do. That.
I could and I did.

🏆Yay, Me! 🏆 Victory was mine!

*I thought this might be good to share because it is so easy to quickly forget what it is like to be on a plane for hours. It is easy to forget how frustrating it can be to be watching what you eat while many around are overindulging.  I wanted to write about my experience because I see that other people have challenges on travel days, too…Hope you found my experience useful. I fly a few times a year (or whenever I can) and I enjoy flying….and it’s much easier without extra pounds….no seatbelt extender…easier to get through the narrow aisles to use the tiny bathroom…fitting better in the tiny airplane seat….oh, yes…plenty of motivational reasons to not go hog wild on the airplane were all around me…✈️

Right next to the Peanut M & M’s. 😎

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

Ode to a Blank Grid

Ode to a Blank Grid: A Fun & Mindful Way to Track Goals 📊📈📉

📊📈📉 Blank Grids + Pic Collage (or any collage app) = Fun & Mindful Way to track goals & plans. Instructions for saving the pictures are at the bottom of this post.

😉  The following is my playful attempt at Organizational Planning Poetry:

🎶  A Mindful Ode to the Blank Grid 🎶

get lost in the beauty of a blank page!

Oh, the endless possibilities that this empty grid holds for me!

Will it become my next week of meal planning?

Will I track my way to increased fitness?

Will I plan out my monthly goals?

Will I use it to check off items on my to-do list?

Will I use it as a graph or a chart?

The future is unwritten on my blank grid.

Will I motivate myself to accomplish more when I fill it in?

Will I decorate it with pictures to symbolize my personal goals?

Will I ignore this grid once I set it up?

Or use it as the tool it was always meant to be?

Oh, how I bask in the beauty of my blank grid.

😁 I hope YOU will find these grids useful to help YOU achieve your goals. Data is power, so find a way to track your own data so you can leverage it for increased empowerment. Use this blank grid mindfully to help you plan your way to a successful achievement!

Download these grids by clicking on the pictures above and saving them to your computer. Then, use them digitally or print them out to help you track participation in a challenge, food goals, fitpoints, monthly meal planning…or fill them out with your own vision for where you want to be in a few months.

So, use mine or Search on Google for endless images of blank grids. Import the image of a grid into a collage app (I love Pic Collage) to customize it for your own use.  You can find Pic Collage in most app stores for your cell phones and iPads and Tablets.

I love good chart, calendar, planner, or anything that will track my progress (like the Weight Watchers Members app).

How do YOU keep yourself on track? What is YOUR favorite method?  Let me know in the comments.

Happy Planning!

To Download:

  1.  Click on the pictures in my blog post.
  2. Then, click on the link that says, “View Full Size”.  This will open the photo in its own page.
  3. Save the photo as you would any other photo image from Google or Pinterest.  If you are on your computer, a quick way to save, is by draging the photo from the page to your desktop…or see step 4.
  4. Usually, if you are on your computer, it means clicking on FILE and then, SAVE AS.  I prefer to save photos to my desktop first and them store them in my photos app.
  5. If you are on your cell phone or tablet, follow instructions 1 & 2, but then click on whatever button you would normally use to save a photo.  I have an iPhone, so I click on the box with an arrow in it and it brings up various choices, but I choose the ‘save photo’ option.
  6. Still not sure?  YouTube will have actual videos on this subject & I like Wikihow.com for things like this.  As an example, here is a link to how to download from an iphone to your computer.

Special thanks for an adorable Summer take on the summer theme on the blank chart design by Weight Watchers Member @ingridalifetime.  She made the one with the cute ‘Summer’ image in the title.

6/15/17 – Just adding two more for a virtual summer challenge. Click on them (like the others) and download the full photo file.

6/17/17 – Tricia @tliberty63, from Weight Watchers Connect sent me another #summerpixchallenge grid to share!  It is wonderful!  Tracking progress is a great way to stay on track!

Edit: 8/18/17

And here is a lovely grid from WW member @ingridalifetime for her Labor Day Bingo Challenge. These challenges help us keep a great mindset & achieve short-term goals.  Below is a link to a PDF file.  You can click on it and print it out…or click ‘file’ and then ‘export as pdf’ to download the file for yourself.

LaborDayChallenge3 2

OR here is a picture file if you want to add it to your ‘photos’ folder.

LaborDayChallenge3 2

 

Optimism Strategies: 10 Ways to Let Sunshine Into Your Life ☀️

Optimism Strategies: 10 Ways to Let Sunshine Into Your Life ☀️

Each day, we wake up to a choice: embrace the day with positivity, or let our emotions get the best of us. Looking at the ‘sunny-side’ of life is a skill that can be learned and practiced, even for naturally pessimistic folks. I just wanted to share a few ideas for staying mindfully positive.

Happiness is easier to carry around than misery, so I do my best to limit my pity parties to as little time as possible.

Today only happens once & I do not want to waste it swimming around in a bad mood any longer than necessary. Staying positive is not easy, but I am always looking for ways to enhance my methods.

Sunshine can take on many forms, but in our personal journeys, sunshine can light up your day in the following ways:

  1. ☀️ Literally: Open every single shade in your home to let as much light in as possible. Natural light can fill your home with physical warmth & makes everything sparkle!
  2. ☀️ Figuratively: Sunshine can fill our soul with light, love, and joy! Natural sunlight brightens our moods as well as our homes.
  3. 😍I bet you have friends and/or family that bring extra sunshine into your life. Treasure them & send some light back their way.
  4. 💡Replace those broken lightbulbs. Why? Because you should be able to brighten your home at night as much as possible. Living in a ‘dark’ place isn’t motivating for anyone.
  5. 🍴Eat TASTY, GOOD food. HEALTHY food digests well & promotes happy good feelings in your whole body. You’ll feel satisfied & that joy brightens up anyone’s day!
  6. ❤️ Give of yourself because your whole heart will be filled with sunshine after you do.
  7. 🤣Laugh! Watch a comedy, go see a comedian, or read the Sunday Comics because when you laugh, you will feel light & bright!
  8. 👗👔👠Wear Brightly-Colored clothing as color totally affects your mood. We all like to wear black, but try a few days of days of bright colors and see how much bolder & brighter you feel!
  9. 👍 Chose to have a positive outlook because happy people glow from within & brighten everyone around them.
  10. ☕️ Drink Coffee (ok, maybe that one is just for me as coffee lights up my morning! 😂)

Tuck these ideas away for a day that you wake up feeling lackluster about the world. Consider creating your own optimism strategies for your ‘less-than-sunny’ days.

Optimism Strategies: 10 Ways to Let Sunshine Into Your Life ☀️

Venice, Italy

☀️☀️☀️How do you, or How can you bring sunshine into YOUR life?☀️☀️☀️
Please add your own ideas in the comments.

Take some time for yourself

🌻Anti-Grazing Strategies: Nurture Yourself With a Bit of ‘Me-Time’🌻

I am always looking for ways to keep myself from grazing my way through my kitchen and pantry. Over the past year, I have worked on many Anti-Grazing Techniques. Self-Care is one of my main ways to distract myself when the need to feed strikes. Stealing a few moments to nurture my mind, body, or spirit is a necessary part of my personal weight loss journey. Today is the first day of Spring & it seems fitting to chat about personal growth.

So, following my self-care logic, if you don’t carve out any ‘me time’, how can you properly nurture yourself? Living life ‘beyond the scale’ involves looking to things other than food for personal happiness and satisfaction. Seeds need fertilizer and fresh soil to grow, and just like seeds, we must attend to our own needs or we cannot continue to progress in our ever-evolving, lifestyle change.

🌺When is the last time you made time for yourself? 🌺
Make sure that you carve out time each day, or at the very least, each week, for yourself.

🌻Sooooo….What should you do during that time?
Here are a few ideas & please feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section:

  1. ⏱Take 5 minutes of Quiet to use for meditation, prayer, a cat-nap, or just sit in complete silence. It may not seem like much, but try to sit still for 5 minutes….it is harder than it sounds!
  2. 📚Read for 10 minutes. What to read? Read something that makes you happy. 1 chapter of a book. Set aside 10 minutes to read through a favorite magazine, blog, or an actual newspaper. Just read something just for you that doesn’t involve list-making, planning, or work.
  3. 💇💅Take some time to beautify…this applies to the guys, too! Go get a haircut or just get your hair done. Go get those highlights you have been wanting to try. Go get that manicure or pedicure you have been putting off. Make an appointment right now and put it in your calendar.
  4. ☺️Take time to relax…this is an obvious ‘me-time’ activity, but go get a massage or ask a friend for one or just go to the mall and sit in one of those massage chairs at Brookstone.
  5. 🤗Stretch! Take extra time to stretch at the gym. Download a stretch video. Look at Pinterest for stretching exercises. Take a relaxing yoga class. You’ll feel so fabulous afterwards.
  6. 💡Go to an extra Weight Watchers meeting. Yep. Maybe it has been a rough week and maybe an extra Weight Watchers meeting is just the thing you need to do for YOU this week. Online Only? Maybe just try out a meeting for a change of pace. Not doing Weight Watchers? Maybe spend a little extra time looking over what you are personally doing for health & fitness this week. See if you can come up with some new ideas to take your current routine to the next level.
  7. 🚶🚶‍♀️Pump up your normal walk by taking a walk in a NEW place…a garden, a different neighborhood…a change of scenery is good for your soul.
  8. 🎨Get Creative: Color…Doodle…Draw…Build…Create SOMETHING because flexing your creative muscles nurtures your brain, your heart, and your mind…it is also an excellent anti-grazing technique.
  9. 🤹‍♀️Play! If you have kids, it is easy, but even if you don’t, go to a video arcade or an amusement park. Just go do something that keeps you young at heart.
  10. 🎭Indulge in some local culture…a museum, a show, an arts festival. Just make the effort to go somewhere that will stimulate your mind, not your appetite.
  11. 🏀 Play a sport or go see a sporting event. Your mind will enjoy the distraction of the game and your body, obviously would enjoy the exercise or even the excitement.

Whatever you choose to do to nurture yourself should be non-food related. We do use food to nurture, but marching forward into Spring refreshed & renewed can be enhanced by taking a bit of ‘me-time’. Coming up with your list of how to nurture yourself can be part of your own anti-grazing strategy or just a way to be kind to yourself.

🌻What do you do when you have a bit of ‘me-time’?🌻

Life Strategies - Why Do I Track My Food Every Day?

Mindful Strategies: Why Do I Track My Food Everyday?

❇️I used to dread tracking until I realized that it wasn’t a chore, it was a lifesaver! ❇️

TRACKING every bite in my Weight Watchers app has made all the difference. There are many apps out there or just use paper and pencil, but knowing what you ate today can be the difference between success and failure in the weight loss universe!

🤔So, Why do I track every single day?

💠Because I know what not tracking looks like (see 2009)
💠Because it is the BEST of all the tools for helping me eat all the foods I want to eat, be satisfied, & NOT gain all the weight back.
💠Because tracking gives me data and since data is power, I get to have power over what I eat.
-This helps me be in charge of the food instead of feeling like the food has a magical power over me.
-Tracking Data can help me figure out WHY I gained, maintained, or lost weight….the memory of my last 7 days is just not reliable.
-Tracking Data is another way of journaling and chronicling our journeys.
💠Because tracking tells me if I moved today. 128 steps or 10,000? What DID I DO today? Tracking tells the tale even when I cannot tell it myself.
💠Because tracking helps us make informed, really great decisions about whether we want to have that extra helping or special dessert or not. If we didn’t track all our foods, then how can we truly know if we can have that extra cookie or even a 2sp snack?
💠Because when I track, I feel IN CONTROL of my food destiny!
💠Because when I track, I can see the flaws in my meal plan & save time and money by streamlining my choices.
💠Because when I track, I can use the tracker and points system to MY advantage for MY life! I do not have to fit into some pre-set, restricting diet plan, I track because I get to decide that I want half a Hershey bar today and a yummy omelette tomorrow.
💠Because when I do not track, my body knows anyway – so why not have the data to go with those calories?
💠Because I have tracked my way to a -47 pound loss & if a system isn’t broken, I am not going to fix it.
💠Because you will get used to tracking. It is very routine now after 15 months on SmartPoints.
💠Because I deserve to be in control of what I eat and tracking gives me that strength and adds to my willpower!
💠Because tracking is empowering & is like a secret willpower weapon against all those unknowns out there.
💠Because I am worth fighting for and if tracking my food for the rest of my life is something I have to do not to succumb to the evils of obesity, then So. Be. It.

❗️❗️I choose to track because there is no tool as powerful as your own data!❗️❗️

👍Be strong today! Use every single tool at your disposal!📲💻🏋️‍♀️🚶🏃‍♀️💃🕺

What does your before, during, and after photo look like?
Let’s do this, people! We are sooo worth it!

Here’s a little #throwbackthursday photo comparison that would not have been possible if I had not been tracking my food since January 2016. I do these side by side photos to help me stay accountable to myself. Looking back once in a while reminds me not only how far I have come in my weight loss efforts, but how much I strongly I want to maintain my loss.

2009: Headed out to a holiday party and HATING my outfit.
2017: Today. Loving whatever I put on…even horizontal stripes and a clingy turtleneck!

Side By Side Comparisons Help Me Stay Accountable

Side By Side Comparisons Help Me Stay Accountable

 

Beat The Post Vacation Blahs by Reliving your Vacation after you are home

Beat the Post-Vacation Blahs

Let’s talk about beating the post-vacation blahs……or rather, this is about the ‘post-event’ blues or ‘post-vacation’ blues…or post wedding blues…could even be the post ‘new years’ blues because when there is so much excitement around an event, there is bound to be a let-down period. Going away in February is, of course, a great way to beat the Winter Blahs, but I think having an overall How-To-Beat-the-Blahs strategy is a great idea in general….any time of year!  I am all about having strategies for dealing with my life mindfully vs. using food to handle things mindlessly.

I just got back from a week in Disney World and I am sharing what I do to get over my Disney / Vacation blues. Please share how you get yourself back up after a trip or a big event.

So, I get back from Disney or a Cruise or any vacation at all…..

…what do I do to Beat the Blahs?  Here’s a short list:

  1. 📆I try to pick a date for the next vacation…immediately. Why? Because that way, I immediately have something to look forward to!
  2. 📸I download the photos and try to use them for fun…maybe I email them to family or plan for a holiday card or make them a screensaver or order a mug with a photo on them, or (gasp) have 1 printed from Shutterfly so I can actually frame it and enjoy the real deal!
  3. 🎁I figure out how I will use any souvenirs I have brought back with me. Maybe it is a pad of paper with the logo of somewhere? I will start using it right away. Maybe it is a pen? I might put it near the phone where I know I will use it or put it in my purse. Maybe it is a snack or some coffee beans? I will make sure I eat / drink the item sometime within the first week back home.
  4. ⏰I give myself a week to acclimate to life post-vacation. This way, I do not feel too rushed to unpack and run back into my routines. I try to start with the laundry and go from there. It feels less overwhelming that way. I used to try to get it all away within a day, but it would exhaust me and ruin that post-vacation happy feeling.
  5. ☎️☕️Relive the vacation by sharing the experience with friends over coffee or by working on a digital photo album or calling someone who would share my glee over my travels.
  6. 😎When I plan a vacation, I try to build in 1-2 days of recovery time…as in, if we have a whole week, I will not be away the entire 9 days, I will make sure we are back on a Friday, so we have the weekend to recover….or if it is a shorter time span, I would rather come back after 3 days and know that everyone has at least one full day to sleep in and ease back into life than spend every last moment at my destination and then head back to work or school. It is too much and that doesn’t help the vacation blues at all.

  7.  🤗Be grateful. Whenever I take the time to focus on the fact that we can get away at all, I feel nothing by thankful and grateful. It is hard to be too mopey, when you are counting your blessings. I try to drill this home to the kids as much as I can.

Having a plan to beat the Blahs is key to not letting yourself get swept up into emotions or get too mopey. I eat more when I am mopey, so I have to be super-mindful post-vacations.

But I went away during this hard month of February, so no Blahs in Disney World. I will float on the memories as much as I can. The sunshine was wonderful! Wearing short sleeves was great, too!  We do what we can to fight the mopey feelings…instead of eating the emotions.

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