Be Optimistic and Realistic

disney-inspirational-life-quotes-Favim.com-956876“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  It’s a catchy tune, sure, but it’s not the best approach to success!  Overly optimistic thinking goes like this ” I went WAY over my calorie budget today, but I’ll get back on track tomorrow, somehow”.  While it’s helpful to assert good intentions (rather than beating yourself up) being vague about how you’ll recover isn’t helpful.  Thinking things will get better somehow, without having a plan to make it happen, can derail your weight loss efforts because we need to identify what needs to change and than set specific steps to change it.  So for instance the fix for going over your daily calorie budget could be to plan out your day for tomorrow. While most unhelpful thinking styles are negative (example beating yourself up) the don’t worry be happy style feels helpful and positive.  But it too can lead to feelings and actions or more often, inactions that undermine our journey.  Because it masquerades as something positive, this thinking style might demand a little practice and shift.

An example on how to manage this type of thinking was provided by the Weight Watchers Weekly on this subject.  It teaches you a way to “balance your thinking”.

  1. Identify your “don’t worry be happy” thought. (Example: I ate way more than I planned at my lunch date today. I’ll get back on track later.)
  2. Reality check it.  Ask yourself “what needs to happen to make this true?”  Use your answer to shift to a helpful thought that has one ot more back on track solutions. (example: If I make a plan, I will be able to get back on track later.  I could track what I ate.)
  3. Plan what you’ll do.  Choose one action from your ideas above that’s doable.  Make a specific plan for what you’ll do, when you’ll do it and who you’ll do it with (if anyone). (example: I’ll track what I ate at lunch during my 3pm break at my desk by myself.  That’ll help me see how many calories I’ve used and decide what to eat for dinner)

I’m a good one for this kind of thinking.  I am a big “don’t worry, be happy” thinker when it comes to my weight loss journey.  That’s why it’s ben so SLOW!  I’m always saying to myself “it’s ok tomorrow will be better” – spoiler alert- tomorrow is never better.  The action plan above is great and something I am going to give a try!

Boost Awareness

Tracking gives you insights, keeps you focused and helps you succeed.

The evidence is clear!  Tracking helps you lose weight by making you aware of what and how much you’re eating,  BUT…it’s up to you on when and how to track!  Some people pre-track all their meals, using it as a guide for the day so they won’t stray.  Others prefer to track as they go.  I know I vary between the two.  Some weeks I’ve sat down on a Sunday and planned my whole upcoming week.  Other weeks, like this week, I’m playing catch up on my tracking.  It’s not about being perfect, its using that mindful piece and using your tracker as a tool to help reach those goals.

How it helps- when you’re tracking, it helps you stick to your calorie or point goals and you are able to budget on if something is “worth” eating. This is especially important at certain times in your journey, like when you’re just starting, after a vacation or when you haven’ t been to a meeting in  awhile and you want to get back on track.

The infamous “BLUE DOT” and Weight Watchers Weekly’s Tips on how to get them-
We consistently talk about the blue dot in the meeting room and there are still so many people who aren’t sure what they even are!
To help you better understand how the blue dot works, it’s based on your healthy eating range. The healthy eating range is considered to be up to 3 points below to 7 points above your daily SmartPoints target. Each day that you track within your healthy eating range you earn a blue dot.
There were mixed feelings about these blue dots in the meeting room this past weekend. Some people love them and use them as a challenge to see how many blue dots they can get each week or each month. Others hate the blue dot because when they don’t see one it represents failure for them. So obviously you have to do what’s best for you when it comes to this. No one needs to add any additional stress to the already stressful process of losing weight.

Week Seven, No Change

Week seven, no change. I guess it’s better than falling into that lose/gain cycle I was in the last couple of weeks. I’m on vacation next week, so my intention is to get out and get moving all week!  James will be logging some miles with me. I picked up a used jogging stroller so I can do some hiking with James too. My biggest challenge for next week is going to the Big E, which in New England is a big to do. Most people including myself, eat their way thru the fair. The state buildings are my absolute favorite. Maine baked potatoes, Fresh Lobster Rolls, clam fritters, maple sugar candy and kettle korn. All of my favorites. I guess I could use my bonus points for the week and do a little extra walking to make up for the food. 
What’s your biggest challenge for the next week?