A Two Week Lesson

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What earned me all these Weight Watchers bravos?

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This lesson:

After Labor Day I weighed in at my meeting and I was up 1.6 lbs. My first gain since being back on program. I was not happy but I was also not surprised. In the past, this is where I usually go into deep denial. “I don’t know why this happened? I knew it. This program doesn’t work!” This way of thinking has always worked against me. I believe this nonsense and I stop following the program and going to meetings. Oh no, not this time. I’ve been waiting for you…my first gain. I knew it was coming. During the meeting, I was going back through the week before. Here is what happened:

  • I was on vacation and out of my daily routine
  • There was the drive-thru lunch at Wendy’s with Mom after running errands
  • Oh yeah, ordering Chinese food when we got home from the beach
  • Since we were all home for the weekend, we made rice with dinner for the first time in months. Rice is one of my trigger foods, so I had more than a serving.
  • Late night pizza on another night
  • McDonald’s breakfast on Sunday…because we hadn’t done that in over a year
  • Ice cream at the beach
  • Too many 100 calories snacks
  • But I ran two miles each day we went to the beach

Once I was honest with myself, I accepted my 1.6 lb gain. I never do all those things in one week. My sister and I were talking about this and we both realized we reverted back to old behaviors…all in one week. We lost our minds! I’ll never be able to explain exactly why but I’m sure it was tied to the “I’m on vacation mentality”. So I owned my gain and I did not let it affect my next week. I wrote everything I did on the week’s tracker. My motivating phrase became: “You can have all your favorite foods, just not in one week.” This allowed me to get into a place of gratitude. I was REALLY grateful the gain was only 1.6 and not more! Thank goodness for running and being active all week.

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The next challenge I set for myself was figuring out how long it would take me to lose those 1.6 lbs. You know it never comes off as quickly as it goes on. The week after I lost 0.2 lbs. Yikes, it was like doing penance (Catholic school girl here) and I needed another week to work it off and think about my choices. So I kept doing what I normally do: menu plan, meal prep, run, extra strength workout at home, walk more, track meals, and switched from Simply Filling to PointsPlus. Yesterday I lost 1.4 lbs and learned a very valuable lesson.

My actions have consequences and it cost me two weeks of hard work to undo the careless choices made while in vacation mode mentality. I will think twice about repeating those behaviors in the future. In the past, any sort of gain would really derail me. I could watch it happen and I did nothing to change it. Not this time. I made myself a promise – I would be on the program for a full year to really get the most out of it and learn about my behaviors. I do not break promises in general. I won’t break a promise I made to myself. I truly value this lesson because it will serve me for many more instances to come.

Yes, I’d call this a personal breakthrough! The real win is not losing the weight but gaining this lesson. :)

 

Light in Two Photos

Sunlight

As the season changes from Summer to Fall, I become so sensitive to light. The lack of light that is and I notice it everywhere. On Monday I posted this photo on instagram.

I was walking home after work and the sun was setting a lot earlier than usual. I must admit noticing this thing change made me a little sad.

This morning on my walk to the train it was the complete opposite. The sun was rising over the same building. It looked so beautiful against the blue sky and the green trees below. I just had to snap a picture.

It’s the transition season. I must appreciate the contrast of the two photos and embrace the change into Fall. :) I love this picture because just looking at it makes me happy and reminds me to be grateful for the little things that put a smile on your face.

Sunlight

 

Running Thoughts

Thoughts On

I am a runner again! :) In late Spring I decided to run a 5k. I had not run a race in over a year and I wanted to get back to it. Setting a goal to run a race is the best motivator for me to get out there and run. My next 5k  is this coming Saturday and I am so excited. I am a slow runner but I do hope to improve my time with this race. Frankly it’s not about the time, it’s about completing my goal to run a race. I do not care if I am the last one to cross the finish line. I want to run and enjoy it. I am even more excited to be running this race with my sister. She’s a lot faster, so she is always in front of me and keeps me motivated to keep going.

We did a hysterical 5k race on Jan 1st 2013. I say hysterical because I was freezing and I stopped running midway, which was a mistake. My sister kept saying that I’d be warmer (and finished) if I just run. We burst out laughing debating this. :) I was too cold and between the laughing and the cold wind I could barely breathe. It was a great experience but I don’t think I will do that again. I was just too cold. I prefer our Summer 5k races. The last one we did together was in July and it was HOT! I can run better in the heat for some reason. This Fall/Winter I am determined to build up my resistance to cold weather running. Tips, anyone? Please share in the comments.

I also could run more during the week but my schedule sometimes makes it difficult. Ever since my work schedule changed to start at 8 AM instead of 9 AM, it has taken away my chance to run before work. I am not too keen on running at night in a park or in the neighborhood. Maybe if I do it with a friend, so we will see. I have learned to make the most of the weekend runs and running on my days off. #wycwyc. Running on the weekends has been a ritual of mine for 4 months now and I do not plan on stopping. I do wish that we lived in a part of the country where it is warmer year round but I will make do and run outside until the first blizzard hits us. Let’s hope that is a far, far away event. I am not a member of a gym so the treadmill is not an option. I may consider the extra expense but I’m not sure yet. I enjoy running because it is not only a good workout, it is my time. I get to be alone with my thoughts and it gives me time to work things out mentally as well. There are times when I am annoyed by some little problem, I let it go, focus on running, and somehow after the run the solution is right in front of me. It’s pretty amazing what exercise can do for you physically and mentally. I will have to remember this when I feel “too cold” to run! :)

Are you a runner? What is your favorite part about running?

 

 

 

 

We Remember September 11th

September 11th

Thirteen years after 9/11, my heart is still very heavy on this day. I have written my 9/11 story in the past. I will most likely go read it again today. As long as I live I will never forget the events of September 11th.

Today I share pictures from the Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. A beautiful tribute to all the lives lost on this day. I was lucky enough to visit the park over the Summer with my family. We felt so much peace as we recalled the sadness of 9/11. In a way it felt like we were paying our respects to all who were lost.

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September 11th

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The eagle represents our country, our city and all Americans. The eagle’s wings are open and ready to take flight while firmly grasping an iron piece of the World Trade Center. It symbolizes the strength of this country, New Yorkers, and all Americans.

We will never forget.

Drawings on the Wall

DC Comics

From my tour of the DC Comics offices last month. This is what you see when you get off the elevator at one of their floors.

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Football on Sunday Once Again

Jets Game Day 9-7-14

Sunday I was given the opportunity to go to a Jets game…opening day at MetLife Stadium. I instantly said yes when offered the tickets. (I even surprised myself!) Football, the Jets and going to a game was totally off my radar. In the last few years, I had completely lost interest in anything football related. Partly for personal reasons and partly because the Jets are a“challenged” team. LOL :)

MetLife Stadium is beautiful. I was only there once for the inaugural Bon Jovi concert when the new stadium was completed. It was my first time being there for a football game. I really enjoyed the energy of game day. I forgot how contagious the enthusiasm of Jets fans can be.  It was a beautiful September day, though a little too hot for football. Our seats were up in the end zone but the view was excellent. As soon as we got to the stadium I had to buy a Jets t-shirt.

Yes, an overpriced t-shirt totally not in my budget! :)

IMG_9157.JPGFor me, football was always more than just a game. It was (for many years) a special bonding time with my dad. When I first got into football it was because a date took me to a game. When that person was out of my life, I felt like I didn’t have someone to share this new-found interest with and my dad in the most loving way said to me, “I’ll watch football with you. It will be our thing.” From that day on it was our thing. My sister and I have so many good memories of watching games with my dad. We literally spent entire Sundays in the living room watching, game after game. My mom would laugh at us because we would not get tired of football. There was something so cute about a dad sharing this with his girls. We even shared this love of the game with him when he was in the hospital. All the way up to 2012 Super Bowl game, which was the last one all three of us watched together.

I expected to be emotional at this game but I wasn’t. I was happy to be there with my sister. There is no one I’d rather have shared this moment with. Without even knowing, the person who gave me the tickets gave me another chance to heal. To remember fun memories with my dad and make new ones with my sister. I know my dad was looking down on us and smiling.

The Jets did win this game…and so did I.

 

 

Scenes From The Beach

Jones Beach

Not ready to say good by to one of my favorite places…

Jones Beach

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Hello September!

Weight Watchers

Wow…it’s September already! I can’t even believe Summer is mostly over. Not until September 22nd people…we still have 20 more days. Don’t rush it! :) August was a great month. So many positive changes happened: I returned to Weight Watchers, kept my first budget, got to catch up with old friends, attempted Veda (vlog every day in August), got back to running and into PiYo. Not to mention lots of trips to the beach. I am very proud of my August tan…which should last me all the way until December. Hopefully! ;) There is a word I heard earlier this year that has pretty much taken over all aspects of my life. The word is congruence. Wikipedia defines congruence as the state achieved by coming together; the state of agreement. Ever since this word was used in a discussion about setting goals, I can’t stop thinking about it and using it in all I do. For example, being on Weight Watchers is completely congruent with working my first monthly budget. In order to pay bills and save money, I need to lower my eating out expenses and cook more at home. Preparing healthy meals at home is a key part of the Weight Watchers program. Two completely congruent things working together to achieve my goals – saving and getting healthy. One has literally helping the other. Meal planning became as much of a budgeting tool as a weight loss tool. Buy only foods consumed in a week so nothing goes bad (spend less) and a menu plan for the week makes eating healthy a breeze. The same goes for exercise and going to the beach.  Let’s face it, in the Summer, we (my family) are beach bums. We love spending the day in the sun but let’s face it, there are no activity points to be gained by lounging around all day, eating boardwalk food and treats. We started this late last Summer but really kicked it into high gear this year. If we are going to spend the day at the beach, we are first going to go for a run, we bring food from home, frozen fruit and if the chipwich guy comes along we indulge in an ice cream bar. (Anyone who has been to Jones Beach knows this guy’s voice). A huge change from the previous years where we would spend almost $30+ on mediocre hamburgers, soggy fries and soda just because we didn’t prepare better for days on the beach. Neither lounging around all day or boardwalk foods play a role in meeting our goals, so they were replaced by beach runs and a healthy packed cooler. I must say after a long run in the hot sun it feels good to jump in the ocean and then do nothing for a few hours. Those hours of relaxation were well earned. With all these changes in my routines I have something great to show for all my efforts. That’s right! Weight loss and a balanced budget with money still left in the envelopes. I learned a lot about the importance of planning to reach my goals. I know there is more to learn because two things have yet to happen: an unforeseen expense or a gain on the scale. I am planning for these things so I will handle them differently than I have in the past. This is not being negative, this is planning in it’s best form. Let’s go September…there is a lot of work to be done! :)

Getting Creative

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Welcome to a Word-less Wednesday! :)

Pardon the blog appearance over the next few days. I am trying to settle on a new theme and have been playing around with a few of them. This is my project for this long holiday weekend. This and spending a lot of time at the beach. We shall see which one wins out. ;)

Today’s photographs are another one of my creativity projects. Last weekend I made some planner dividers from card-stock and scrap-booking paper we had around the house. I am testing out the Filofax inserts for my 2015 planner before I invest in a brand new one. There are a lot of free printables online (though they are a little tricky to print out) which I am using. I got inspired to make my own dividers from the members of the Filofax group on Facebook.

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Are you a DIY expert? Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite DIY project.

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