Thank You For Your Support!

Yesterday, I sat back to think about what has been the most important factor in my maintaining my weight loss. I would have to say the number one thing that has helped the most is support.

Not only almost daily support for meeting my weight loss goals, but support and acceptance of who I am—the good, the bad, and the ugly—as well as encouragement to be the best possible version of me.

There’s been a number of ways that I have gotten this support. My husband has been incredible, and I know how fortunate I am to have a spouse who not only cheers me on, but helps facilitate the process. My Mom has been awesome, as have some of my friends, particularly one who has been an unwavering pillar of support and accountability. (Thanks, Julia!) In fact, it was Julia’s encouragement ringing in my ears back in August 2009 that got me out of bed that first morning to go workout. I don’t think I would be where I am right now without her.

The community on Bill Phillip’s Transformation.com has also been invaluable. This is a free website for people who are focused on losing weight, getting fit, and creating the life they want to live. Checking in daily with an accountability group, working with an accountability partner, and offering support and encouragement to others has truly been a huge factor in my success so far—and was where I discovered my love of coaching.

Social media and writing this blog has also put me in contact with amazingly supportive and giving people. One of the great things about the Internet is how you can become friends with people not only that you’ve never met, but that you’ve never even spoken to!

The fact that support has been the key factor for me is not surprising because research backs that up.

When doctors and researchers from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health set out to discover the best diet, they found that all the plans worked about the same. As long as people lowered their calorie intake, they lost weight and improved their health.

What did make a difference was attending support group sessions. Study participants in the support group lost an average of 20 pounds over two years and the people who didn’t have the support lost only 9 pounds over the course of the project. That’s a 225 percent difference!

Sometimes, all you need to do to get support is ask! (It’s surprising how many people don’t think to do this.) Tell your partner, family, and friends what you are doing and why, and what you need help with. People are often willing to help you meet your goals.

But sometimes, even when you ask, your family or friends for whatever reason are not encouraging, or are actually opposed to the changes you want to make. In these circumstances, it’s even more important that you seek out the support you need.

Transformation is a great place to start. Others you can look at include P90X, which has a partially free support group, and Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat that has a fee-based support group. You can also get support at Weight Watchers, or you can hire a coach.

It is not weak to ask for support. It is one of the best things you can do to help you meet your goals and ensure your long-term success.

What can you do today to seek out support? How might this help you become the best possible version of you?

Together we can do it!

 

Photo by twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Transformation Mastery Challenge: Wins for Week One

Aside

Week one of my 18-week challenge for Transformation Mastery is complete! Here are my wins for the week:

Win! Got in six 60-minute plus high-intensity workouts and set a baseline from which to improve

Win! Met my goal of eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and made good choices when I had to stray from my meal plan due to the unexpected.

Win! Except for a planned free meal Saturday evening with friends, I kept my eating healthy while on a weekend road trip.

Win! Checked in with my accountability group six times and offered support and encouragement to others.

On to week two! Meals and workouts planned, and exercise is complete for today.

Want to take on your own Transformation Challenge? Check out Transformation.com for information and support.

 

Vacation Accountability

I’m sitting here drinking a green protein shake (spinach, banana, flax-seed, vanilla protein powder, cold water, cinnamon, and ice) feeling good about getting back on track nutrition-wise.

My husband and I in Labadee, Haiti

My husband and I just returned from our first cruise, which we took to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. And boy, people are not exaggerating about the food on cruises. Delicious food is everywhere in massive quantities!

Before I left, I blogged about my plan to deal with food and exercise during the trip and asked you fabulous readers to help keep me accountable.

My intention was to enjoy myself and to feel like I was having a vacation, but also to come back feeling good, balanced, and with my healthy habits intact.

While I didn’t write down what I ate every day (hey, I was on vacation!), knowing that I would be reporting to you all on how I did, I kept a running tab in my head and was planning to give myself a grade of “B” for how well I navigated the week.

But rereading my intention has me re-evaluating that grade. I actually met that intention spot on! I never felt deprived, kept my indulgences mostly in balance, and feel the momentum to resume my healthy habits. Good on me!

Here’s how I did.

Food—I avoided the bread basket all but the night of our anniversary and selected fairly healthy meals. I did eat a lot more beef than normal, but since I am allergic to fish or seafood, I would have been eating the same chicken dish over and over otherwise. Instead of my normal five to six  small meals it was definitely more like three larger meals with one snack, but for the most part I avoided empty calories and indulged in healthy fruit because it was so good and fresh.

Sweets—My wonderful husband, David, surprised me which a romance package that included two evenings where appetizers and desserts delivered to our room. The good news was most of the canapés had fish or seafood, so I couldn’t eat them. But the desserts definitely got eaten. Other than that, I ordered dessert every night, but limited myself to a few bites.

Alcohol—The plan was to stick to one cocktail or glass of wine a night. Here I did pretty well. I only had two glasses of champagne twice—the night we arrived when David had scheduled a bottle of champagne to be waiting on us in our room, and the actual day of our anniversary. If I was going to indulge, lower-calorie champagne was definitely the place to do it!

Zip-lining in Jamaica

Exercise—We only hit the gym twice, but were walking, swimming, and active the other days. My body was letting me know that it was pretty good idea to also take a slight vacation from the gym. As a result, a slight back injury is feeling much better and I should be able to get back to hitting the workouts hard in the next week or two. And as soon as I finish this blog, I’m going to head upstairs to exercise.

Sleep—We did a good job of balancing our activities with adequate sleep. I definitely felt relaxed and rested at the end of the cruise.

Healthy Thoughts—Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts, as well as actions. One thing I noticed is that I felt much less self-conscious in my swimsuit than I have in the past. That is definite progress!

Arriving at Labadee to go snorkeling

How I planned to evaluate my success at achieving balance over our vacation was that I would come home having maintained my weight and feeling good physically and mentally. While I didn’t weigh this morning, my jeans fit just fine and I do feel good. Mission accomplished!

Fun, rest, and relaxation are absolutely an important part of our wellness journeys. Maintaining balance is the key.

Together we can do it!

Are You Tempted?

I’m packing today to go on my first cruise to celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

But I’m also aware that I will be facing lots of temptations, and it might be easy to let my attention to health and wellness slip a little—or even a lot. I’m already feeling vacation’s siren song of rest, relaxation, and indulgence.

Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts and actions no matter where you are, even a cruise. To me, it also means finding balance and a little bit of freedom without undoing all the mental and physical momentum I generate on a daily basis.

My intention is to enjoy myself and to feel like I’m having a vacation, but also to come back feeling good, balanced, and with my healthy habits intact. To fulfill that, I’ve created a plan.

I will know my plan was a success if when I come back I have maintained my weight and feel good physically and mentally.

Select and Sample

One thing I know I will be facing is lots and lots of food options. It’s important to remember that there’s no way I am going to be able to eat everything I want, and trying to go there will mean paying for it later.

So I plan to use the plentiful food options to my advantage. What that means is that I will be able to select healthy food and portions most of the time.

My intention is that I will be selective and eat those treats that I truly want, but I am going to choose not to eat as much of them as I might want. A bite or two that I savor and enjoy is truly enough. I find that after that, the taste of what I’m eating becomes less intense and what I’m doing as I continue to eat is trying to regain that first taste-sensation.

Although I’m having visions of drinks with little umbrellas, celebratory champagne, and superb wine pairings, I am also going to be careful with alcohol, which is where empty calories can sneak in so easily.

What I’m going to do here is choose one each day. Once a day I will have either a Pina Colada, a glass of champagne, or a glass of wine with dinner. (And I will choose lower-calorie and better for me wine or champagne most often.) Since I normally don’t drink much, any one of those will be an indulgence. My head and body will thank me in the morning (and after the trip), if I maintain some moderation here. Drinking plenty of water during the day will also be key.

I’m bringing along protein bars and individual portion packs of almonds for quick and healthy snacks while on excursions. By not letting myself get too hungry between meals, I will be much more likely to stick to my plan.

Pack Workout Clothes

The ship we’re sailing on has a gym, outside track, climbing wall, surfing simulator, and even an ice rink! While I’m nursing a mild back injury, there should be plenty of fun ways for me to move my body every day.

A workout doesn’t have to be perfect to leave you feeling better and more energized. You just have to do it.

Catch Some Zs

One of the keys for making sure I stay on track while traveling is to get adequate rest, which can be a challenge in a strange bed hearing noises that I’m not used to, as well as having so many fun things to do that I’m not getting to bed until late.

I know what adequate rest means for me, so I intend have fun, but allow myself to get the sleep that I need.

Accountability

I would also like to ask you fabulous readers to hold me accountable when I get back. Knowing that I’ll have to report to you on how I did at following my plan will absolutely help me think twice before sticking my fork into some delicious dish.

And if I do find that I drank a second glass of wine, heeded the call of dessert, or chose having fun over sleep, I won’t beat myself up. To achieve optimal wellness, we only need to be consistent, not perfect.

What do you do to maintain your wellness while on vacation? Please share the travel and vacation tips that have worked for you. The best way to learn is from each other.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Accountability

In yesterday’s blog, I set out a plan for dealing with the mega-munchfest that I was facing last night that included being accountable to you Fabulous Readers.

The Plan

  • Eat healthy throughout the day.
  • Get in a workout.
  • Have a filling and nutritious meal before we go.
  • Look over all the food and choose one thing that I will indulge in. (This will probably be the crust-less fudge pie that my husband is planning to make. It’s totally calorie-worthy!)
  • Take a tray of vegetables and healthy hummus to give myself some nutritious nibbles throughout the evening.
  • Take some sugar-free gum along to chew if I start fighting cravings.
  • Go in determined to succeed and feel guilt-free.
  • Hold myself accountable by reporting to you all how I did.

The Report

It worked!

I ate clean all day, got in a 30 minute run/walk on the treadmill, and ate a filling soup for dinner before we left. I also included a serving of whole grain crackers and a low-fat cheese stick so that I would feel like I’d some “party” food.

Once there, I had a rye cracker out of one of the bowls of snack mix before I remembered my plan. After that I did great! I stuck to the carrot and celery sticks and home-made hummus, and avoided the cheesy, fatty dips that everyone else brought. (Mine was the only healthy dish there, so bringing something I knew I could eat was a life saver!) I was also pleasantly full, so I was definitely less tempted to stray.

I did promise myself a treat, and since David ran out of time to make the pie, I had three ginger-snap cookies that I spread out over the evening and 1 small chocolate covered strawberry. Another win was that I drank sparkling water with a squirt of lime-juice instead of wine or beer, and I did turn to the gum once when my stomach definitely wasn’t hungry, but my mouth still was.

So I did it! First time in months that I’ve left Bunco feeling good—and feeling good about myself.

Thanks for all your help! Knowing I would be reporting to you definitely helped me stay on track.

 

Accountability

Aside

Accountability for December 30, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

 

Weighed this morning and I have maintained over the holidays, surgery, and recovery. Woo hoo! It’s clear I will meet my goals of maintaining my weight and feeling great on January 2.

In addition to 20 minutes of walk/jog intervals, I got in two short walks yesterday. Also ate well with the only splurges at dinner out with friends being half a cocktail, two bites of apple cobbler, and two peppermint hard candies. I’ll take it!

Today I will do a low-weight upper body workout and will get in at least one short walk. Tonight’s New Year’s celebration with friends will be my free meal for the week, and I will be back on track tomorrow with our area’s traditional New Year’s day meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas.

Thank you Fabulous Readers for helping me meet my post-surgery diet and exercise goals!

 

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.

 

Accountability

Aside

Accountability for December 29, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

With my doctor’s OK to slowly go back to my regular workouts, yesterday I did a low-weight lower body workout and it felt awesome! Also go in a nice walk with the dogs. Am a little sore this morning, which lets me know I hit the intensity level just right for where I am in my recovery.

This morning I did 20 minutes of walk/jog intervals and I plan to get a walk or two in, as well.

Eating was pretty clean yesterday. Only thing off plan was two peppermint hard candies to satisfy my post-dinner sweet-tooth. We are going out to dinner tonight with friends, so will do my best to stay on track.

Definite progress!

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.