Four Days In…

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It’s now four days into the new year. Four days have already passed in this new year “full of promise and potential.” 

I feel a little overwhelmed already… I am reminded of the old Weight Watcher’s mantra, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Ugh.

There is a certain burden I feel whenever the year changes, a responsibility to “make this the BEST year ever.” It weighs heavily on me, this responsibility to be, oh, I don’t know – super human or significant or special. I am not sure what I am “supposed” to be in this big, bright virgin new year. Sigh. I am in my mid-fifties; you’d think I would have a handle on all this by now.

I remember from my expensive-but-now-largely-under-utilized Franklin-Covey training that most people are good at the “big rocks” but the little ones just get lost by the wayside. This year, I want to address both my big AND little rocks.

So, call them resolutions, call them goals, call them objectives – whatever! – I have a few things on my 2015 “list.” I have to admit, I was inspired to create this list in no small part by my beloved husband Martin, who went to the trouble to create a personal “pin board” of all his plans for 2015. (He inspires me in so many ways, that guy!) Anyhow, here is my short list – just five, in honor of five – a blog – for the remaining 361 days of 2015:

1. I want to be healthier; to that end, I WILL lose 50 pounds by the end of June. Health is the main goal, but weight loss also plays into my next objective.

2. I want to travel. I WILL go to Europe with my Sweetie this summer, spending one week in his native Poland, meeting his family (finally!) and experiencing where he comes from, then spend an additional week – just the two of us – exploring France or Germany or England – somewhere. Once I lose fifty pounds, I will look sexy as hell in a bathing suit on some European beach, am I right?

3.  I want to live in the moment. I WILL acknowledge the past but leave it there and not let it define me in the present. Listen, 2014 SUCKED for me, personally and professionally. Were it not for Martin, I would have probably off’d myself. (Just kidding, kinda’). But, point is, I will not dwell on my suck-y past year and, instead, embrace the coming year with hope and optimism.

4. I want to spend more time with people I love. I WILL engage with friends more, and let the people I love know how important they are to me. All too often I am happy just being with my Sweetie but have come to understand that this behavior is a bit of laziness on my part, coupled with a fear of “falling short” – maybe I can’t cook as well, or maybe I am not flush enough to go out to fancy restaurants or maybe our sofa is a bit faded. The truth I need to remember is that with true friends, one never falls short. Bringing in Chinese take-out with true friends is as wonderful as dinner out at a four-star joint.

5. I want to remember to always be grateful. I WILL cherish every great thing that happens to me, every day, whether that is just driving home and getting all “green lights” or finally (potentially?) winning the HGTV Two Million Dollar Dreamhouse (OMG, please!!!) I sometimes forget that my life – as imperfect as I think it might be – is probably envied by many. I have a reasonable job (granted, it could pay more), my Sweetie and I have a pretty great apartment, we have some kick-ass friends, I have my health and I have a man I adore that adores me back. I often need to remind myself of these realities…

So there you have it – my “short list” for the coming year. I feel confident I can make all these things happen. I will definitely keep you posted and you remind me, too, if you catch me falling short. In the mean time, have a GREAT new year and always remember this:

find time

Frozen Treat

My family has a lot of weird games we play/invented – one of my favorites is “Death Row Dinner.” In Death Row Dinner, one of my siblings will call out – without warning –  “Death Row Dinner, Tim” and wherever I am, whatever I am doing – I have to stop and list aloud what my last meal would be if I were on Death Row right at that second (it is actually a lot more fun than it sounds, but I digress).

For me, entrees, drinks and salad dressings come and go but ONE item always remains the same: a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. You see, I love ice cream. No, seriously – I LOVE LOVE LOVE ice cream…

Ice creamI’m not sure why I love ice cream so much – sure, it tastes great but (in a scientific sense) I suppose I really love the “mouth feel” of ice cream – rich, smooth, creamy, delicious. I love the coldness of it in my mouth, the way the flavor/s come alive as the frozen treat melts and tempers, causing my taste buds to ramp up into overdrive. To slightly paraphrase an iconic literary character, “Ice cream? Gooooooooood.”

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato – I love them all, which is probably one of the main reasons I am a life-long Weight Watcher’s “work in progress.” I would eat ice cream every day if I could (and I have, LOL!) I wish ice cream held the same place in the dieting tool box as, oh, say celery sticks. Yeah, instead of celery sticks and non-fat Ranch dressing, I wish I could substitute a bowl of Moose Tracks covered with chocolate syrup (which is, BTW, non-fat!) and whipped topping. If that were the case, I might have to leave behind my old affirmation (“Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels”) and replace it with something  like this: fat bad word

I Think The Number Was 17

I hope I am remembering this correctly but I seem to recall hearing that more than 90% of New Year’s Resolutions are abandoned or forgotten by 17 January. Wow. Only 17 days elapse before most people “give up?” That statistic makes me both sad and disappointed.

I know from personal experience how hard change can be, whether that change be something as simple as vowing to lose weight/lead a healthier life style (a personal goal for me in 2014) or learning to adapt after losing a dear friend to a terminal illness (a personal tragedy for me in 2013). One of MY many resolutions for 2014 was to focus on positive thoughts and acts to not only make MY life better, but the lives of those around me as well.

Some of my goals and resolutions will take time – probably more time than simply 2014. That said, I was pleased to find this graphic today – it spoke to me. See, I committed to MY resolutions on 02 January 2014 so (in my head) it has been NINE days so far, more than halfway to 17…

believe

I like the message of this graphic; in fact, I have committed this phrase to memory and will say it aloud from time to time, as needed.

I hope the New Year is coming along well for you, and that your resolutions – whatever they may be – are still “in play.”

The New Year Walk of Shame

One of my goals this year is to adopt a healthier lifestyle and lose some weight – fifty-five (55) pounds at least, ideally more. To that end, I have re-committed myself to Weight Watchers, the program that helped me lose almost eighty (80) pounds about a decade ago. The most recently-introduced Weight Watchers program is called “Weight Watchers 360.”

WW360

I’d like to make it very clear that I am not being “compensated for this endorsement” – I just know Weight Watchers works when you follow the program. And that’s where I trip up all the time…

Follow the program. To be honest, I have been a card-carrying member of Weight Watchers – this go ’round – since September of 2011. And, after only a few short weeks of membership in 2011, I had lost twenty-five (25) pounds. I got my award and everything. Then the trouble began.

You see, I need to constantly remind myself that membership alone is NOT what causes weight loss; it is participation and commitment. So, once I stopped tracking and weighing, started nibbling and, um, “slightly over-portioning,” well before I knew it, I had regained ten (10) of those precious lost pounds. Now, as anyone that has ever tried to lose weight will attest, a gain of ten ounces or ten pounds is no different – it is emotionally crushing. It saps your willpower. You become frustrated and angry, although you really have no one to blame but yourself. As weight-loss guru Richard Simmons used to say during his Deal-A-Meal informercials, “No one is holding that fork but you.” Meaning me…

This past Saturday I attended my weekly meeting and weighed in for the first time in 2013. The Weight Watchers counselor asked me to step up onto the scale. The numbers rolled past like I was playing a game on The Price is Right. When the numbers stopped she entered my weight, closed my weigh-in book and told me she was happy to see me. When I finally worked up enough courage to OPEN the booklet, I was happy to see the damage I had inflicted on myself by not weighing in for three weeks (and enjoying every Christmas cookie, candy and sweet that came within five feet of my lips) was not as severe as I had feared. I am, thankfully, actually UNDER a number I hate so in a way, I was happy with the weigh in. But I had gained weight nonetheless…

I always call weigh-ins where I gain weight “Walks of Shame.” 

In this week’s meeting we talked about “Hedonistic Eating,” which is eating for the sheer joy of it. That’s me, a hedonistic eater. To be totally honest, I am rarely hungry. I guess I have eaten hedonistically for so long that I rarely have a chance to GET hungry. I am a serial nibbler. I nibble on fruit, I grab a candy bar at the drug store, I pinch a cookie when I pass thru the kitchen. I don’t really have a trigger food – food IS my trigger.

So I have re-committed to the program. I have reminded myself that it’s not like I am in an iron lung, or a wheelchair or insulin-dependent (yet!) I stepped back and realized that, if counting oyster crackers and spending a few minutes posting in an online food journal were my BIGGEST challenges, I was lucky.

I am also lucky that I have a super-supportive partner who not only celebrates my successes but also comforts me when I am less than successful. He’s an amazing guy. So, I am moving forward into 2013, confident/hopeful that I will have no more walks of shame. Plus, besides myself and my sweet partner, I cannot let Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson down…

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