Tag: Mindfulness

We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden - Voltaire

🌷Tend To Your Own Weight Loss Garden🌿

🌷We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden – Voltaire 🌿

Just a little ‘Spring-Inspired” Mindful Musing introspection as we finish up the month of March.

🐉Untended gardens look wild and overgrown. Overgrown with weeds means the plants are at the mercy of animals and insects. Sometimes, a neglected garden looks pretty on the outside, but get up close & you’ll see all the lost potential. Don’t let a few wild off-plan days ruin all the efforts you’ve planted in the past. Seeds take root somewhat quickly, but sometimes, sprouts may take weeks or months.

🌀We MUST tend to our own personal gardens of weight loss & maintenance. It is not optional, we must take care of ourselves & place our personal needs at the top of our lists (most days!). Old habits will creep back into our routines & it could lead to a complete collapse of our other hard work to lose or maintain weight.

🎋I chose the Voltaire saying “We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden” for this post because it sums up all the prepare-for-spring ideas I had for this month of March. When we focus on mini-goals each day or week, looking at the calendar or our watches becomes unnecessary. Instead, we can measure the passage of time by what we have or haven’t accomplished. We can look back and see what we learned & what still needs work. This gained knowledge marks the time more than any calendar could…or SCALE for that matter!

🍁We cultivate our weight loss wins by working on creating better habits that will serve us well for the long term. Review your larger goals & break them down into their components. See if you can create a routine for regular ‘maintenance’. A garden has to be attended to regularly, because if you just gave it everything it needed in one day, it wouldn’t help with the growing process.

🔆We are the owners of our own unique ‘gardens’ of functional routines, joy, fitness, & food, so we have to take responsibility for nurturing the seeds of our personal growth. No one else is going to magically know what you need unless you have taken the time to identify what those needs are…and even then, you need to tend to those needs on a regular basis. Never forget that YOU are in charge of you!

🌞Sunshine is a key nurturing agent for our mental health & it also reminds us to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Spring is a great time to get some more outside time.

🌸So, pull out the weeds, drink plenty of water, and tend to your own soil so you can grow more confident, joyful, and secure in your ability to lose/maintain the weight. 😊

😁I am ‘rooting’ for ALL of you! Let’s do this. The time is now.

How will YOU tend to your weight loss garden?

🌷We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden - Voltaire 🌿

🌷We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden – Voltaire 🌿

(And fyi: I do not garden as I have zero patience for it. My plants think they live in a desert!) 🌵🌵🌵

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

 

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