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!

Bounce Back

Setbacks happen to all of us.  Here’s how to get back on track.

Whether you missed a Weight Watcher’s meeting, unplanned eating, skipping your morning walk, or not keeping track, lapses like these are temporary when you identify, accept, and move past them.

Thinking of a setback as a time when an old, unhelpful behavior change.  The good news?  A setback is also a sign of success.  The new behaviors that you’ve acquired have been established themselves that your old behaviors seem – just that – old and unhelpful.

To bounce back from a setback, ask yourself what you can learn and what you can change to ward off the setback again.  Then, turn to your support systems – online, meeting room, friends or family.  Having a support system to lean on during times that you feel you’ve gone off track is an important tool to have.  They can help you find your way out of a dark time and remind you that the bad time you’re having now, may not be nearly as bad as it was before you started your journey.

An exercise provided by the Weight Watcher’s Weekly on this topic is to write a letter to your future self.  When you have a setback, pull out your letter and read it to help you get right back on track.  If paper and pen isn’t your style, write an email or save it in the notes app on your phone.  Now, what should you say?

  • Remind yourself – that your setback is a normal part of the journey and has nothing to do with who you are.
  • Cheer the progress – you’ve already made, including any scale or non-scale victories you’ve achieved or are closing in on.
  • List who can help and how – family members or friends, your WW team or fellow members.
  • Set a plan for getting back on track – for example, if you find tracking has helped before, aim to track your next meal or two.  If sharing with others motivates you – share online.
  • On the envelope or subject line – write “open me when you _______” (ex – have a slip up, get on the struggle bus or feel stuck)
  • Read it when you need it – you could ask a friend to send it to you when they notice you’ve had a setback or if you think you might need an extra reminder of how awesome you’re really doing.
Check out my Instagram to see my letter to myself – HERE
Source – Weight Watchers Weekly March 11 – 17 2018

Bust the Cholesterol Myth

What really affects your cholesterol numbers?
What is cholesterol?  We all have cholesterol in our bodies, a fat like substance that’s part of our cells.  You might already know your LDL (‘bad cholesterol) and HDL (‘good” cholesterol numbers and that high LDL can leaf to heart disease but dietary cholesterol the kind found in foods like eggs, shrimp and other proteins doesn’t actually affect our cholesterol levels.  Recent research has shown that there’s no evidence to support that eating foods with cholesterol causes heart disease.

So what does contribute to heart disease?  Dietary cholesterol isn’t the enemy, but saturated fat is.  We now know that a diet high in saturated fat can contribute to high LDL cholesterol and heart disease.  To keep your own cholesterol levels in a healthy range, be mindful of sat fat amount in different foods, check the nutritional labels of packaged foods for that information.

FACT: Animal sources account for most dietary sat fat, but some plant based foods have high levels too, coconut oil, for instance actually has over 11 grams of sat fat per Tbsp – even more than butter (7.3g)!

Check the image below for some quick sat fat numbers!

From Weight Watchers Weekly 10/15/2017 – 10/21/2017