Today was my last official day at work and I have mixed emotions. I know this is a great thing for me and that God is closing this door for a reason, but it doesn’t get rid of my feelings of anger, disappointment and frustration. So I’ll let this passage from a book by one of my favorite authors, speak for me. This passage can be applied to any situation where closing a door is necessary to move forward.
…there are always some stories that are ‘interrupted,’ and they are the stories that remain nearest to the surface and so still occupy the present; only when we close that story or chapter can we begin the next one…
That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose.
People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.
Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability, or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life.
Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.
Over the past six months, I had gained about 15 pounds and in October I decided that it was time to do something about it. Some may say, only 15 pounds? Who cares? This was not about me wanting to lose some vanity weight, this was about me feeling good physically. I was uncomfortable and my clothes were super tight. It didn’t help that I was working in Caracas, Venezuela all summer eating amazing food every night (I can still taste the yummy black ink risotto as I type). The point is that I wasn’t getting any smaller and I needed to do something about it. In October, I started working out with a personal trainer. This is what I needed to kick start my weight loss and make me actually workout. She was great! I had one to two weekly sessions with her and after a few weeks started feeling a lot better and more energized. My frustration came when after a month I hadn’t lost a pound. I couldn’t believe this since I had been working out so hard and eating healthier. The interesting thing was, although I was frustrated, I never got down on myself. I new this would be a long process so I took steps to help me keep a positive state of mind. Here are a few strategies I used to stay motivated that might help you too.
- Buy Clothes That Fit. I went out and bought a new pair of pants. I was tired of squeezing into my regular pants and feeling uncomfortable so I found some that fit and made me look good. Yes, I had to go up a size, but I didn’t care. I highly recommend this. Often women get so caught in a size, that they end of looking bad because their clothes don’t fit them and I refused to be that person. Having the right style and fit of clothing the most important thing.
- Get Naked. I got comfortable seeing myself naked. I walked around naked. Instead of keeping on my towel when I got out the shower, I would look at myself naked in the mirror and say only positive things. It was important for me to love myself no matter what size I was. This completely shifted my body image and helped me stay motivated to workout and eat right. Maybe now is a good time to put some curtains up.
- Put The Scale Away. This was contrary to my WeightWatchers upbringing of weighing yourself every week. I knew it would take a while to get to a number that I was comfortable looking at, so I just stopped getting on the scale. This tactic worked wonders for me at this time around because I was no longer beholden to the scale. It also made me think about this as a lifestyle change and now a weight lost game.
- Don’t Talk About It. I never told anyone that I was trying to lose weight. In the past, I found that talking about it with other people led me to think about it more. So I just stopped. I acted like nothing had changed and therefore the transition did not seem as drastic to me. For me, talking about how uncomfortable I was with my weight only fueled thoughts of insecurity. So I turned everything into a positive.
- Find Good Cheat Foods. I found a few foods that were my saving graces. These were foods that kept me out of trouble when I had cravings. This worked because they foods that enjoyed and they were healthy too. I allowed myself to have these foods whenever I got a craving for something sweet or salty. My saving grace foods are: Cinnamon Swirl Oatmeal, Homestyle Microwave Popcorn, Jell-O Sugar Free Snacks and Pudding snacks. Notice that they are all pre-packed and therefore automatically portion controlled.
- 24 Hour Rule. This rule really helped me mentally change the way I dealt with cravings. People often struggle to loose weight because they are so strict that they end up binging and losing all self-control. I solved this by using the 24 Hour Rule. If I got a craving for something (e.g. Chipotle burrito or brownie sundae), I would simple tell myself that I would get it tomorrow. If I was still thinking about it the next day, I would extend it to the weekend. 99% of the time the craving would be gone by the second day and I wouldn’t feel deprived all. It’s the difference between telling a crying kid that you will come back at the end of the week to get the toy versus he can never have the toy.
- Pack Snacks. I started carrying around snacks wherever I go. This allows me to have control over what I eat when I’m out or at work. My snacks are usually a piece of fruit or a protein/granola bar. This keeps me from reaching for junk foods when there are no healthy options available. My girl Janel is the master of snack packing. Perhaps that’s how she keeps her tight, sexy curves. 😉
Here I am five months later down 15 pounds and back to my normal weight. I’m going to continue working out and eating right. I hope to continue a healthy lifestyle of moderation. I’m applying The 80/20 Rule to my eating habits: Eat healthy 5-6 days a week, with one day to indulge.