Non-Scale Victory

Tomorrow morning is my weigh-in day.  And I am ready.  My mindset is changing (more on that another day) and I am focusing on taking care of me and doing what I need to do in order to move myself just a little bit closer to my goal. 

One of those things I am doing, is paying attention to those little changes I am making… the small everyday victories that build my self-confidence, remind me I CAN do it and inspire me to keep going.  I am paying attention to all those non-scale victories!

This week I had two days that were VERY stressful.  The kind of days that makes someone want to drink.  The kind of day that makes me want to eat-anything and everything. 

I had to do my weekly grocery shopping in the midst of some heavy stress that first day and that had my mind saying “go ahead and get the cookies, candy and chips.  It’s early in your week and you will have time to get that back off!  I went to the store, determined that I would eat this stress.  No one would know.  No one except me, of course. 

I came home from the store that first day, with NONE of the things I had wanted in order to eat my stress.  HOW did I NOT give in?  HOW did the cookies NOT make their way to my cart? 

Well, the cookies (chocolate sugar cookies with marshmallow frosting and bits of graham crackers on them) did get picked up.  I stood there in the bakery and held the package of 10 cookies in my hand.  And it was then that I remembered the card in my purse.  I had written my “whys” and the advantages of losing weight for me on that card.  And I read it right then.  And then I put the cookies down.  

Losing weight and being healthy is far more important to me than that package of cookies. I am worth far more than that package of cookies.

So, instead of eating my stress, I went home, put away the healthy groceries and I patted myself on the back!

I was so proud of myself!  I AM so proud of myself! 

If I had given in to the stress eating, I would have felt guilty, which would have sent me down a hole for a bit.  Instead, I was proud.  And I didn’t feel deprived, because those cookies were a WANT born of the stress of the day and not for any other reason.  Instead of feeling deprived I felt that I was finally taking care of me.  And THAT feels awesome!

The next day was just as stressful.  And the thought crossed my mind again, because I needed to make a run to the store for a non-food item I had forgotten the previous day.  And I knew the temptation might be stronger this time, so instead of going to the grocery store, I went to the pharmacy.  Less temptations there.  I found what I needed and then walked straight to the zingers…. I picked up the chocolate and vanilla ones and then remembered.  And I put them down and left (after paying for the one item of course). 

So, when I step on the scale tomorrow, it does not matter to me what it says.  I am proud of my week.  I am proud of myself.  And this week proved to me that I CAN and I WILL reach my goal! 

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Anchor of Shame

Ashamed!

Embarrassed!

Small!

Worthless!

How I felt sitting there listening. 

The shame was immediate.  Intense.  An anchor around my neck pulling me under.  FAST!

Shame has a way of doing that.

Where was I that was making me feel so worthless and ashamed?  I was at the doctor’s office.  I was being examined by a PA, instead of my primary care doctor.  I was there for a specific issue that would need antibiotics. 

The PA walked into the exam room with her laptop open to my medical record.  She asked me how long I had been dealing with this sore throat and painful sinuses.  Her response to my answer was a sucker punch to the gut that came straight out of left field!

“Before we get to that, let’s talk about your exercise and weight.  Did you know there are new medications to help with weight loss?…..”

WHAT?!?!?!

In that moment I held my breath so that I could stop the tears welling up inside me.  

In my silence I was boiling inside- a cauldron of shame, disappointment, shock, fear, worthlessness all threatening to bubble over and erupt at any moment.

She continued. 

I sat in silent disbelief.

She continued.  Trying to convince me that I needed medication, a little pill, that would curb my hunger and make me lose weight.  A pill that would balance the metabolic hormones that were obviously (to her) out of whack in my body.  A “miracle” pill.

I remained silent.

When she was done and finally ready to examine me, all I could manage was- “I went back to Weight Watchers.” And “I need to do my research before I agree to take a pill” (knowing full well I was NOT going to take the “magic” pill).

I was so ASHAMED in that moment.

She didn’t know me.  She didn’t know my history.  She didn’t know how Weight Watchers has worked for me.  She didn’t want to hear me. 

This was HER issue.  HER value.  HER kickback forefront in her mind.

But I was the one wearing the anchor of shame. 

I KNOW I need to lose weight (thank God I have only gained back 35 of my original 85 lb loss). 

I KNOW what I need to do.

I KNOW it can be done.

I DO NOT need a pill.

I DO NOT need to be shamed.

I DO NOT need to be judged by anyone.  I judge myself quite harshly.

What I NEED is to feel less shame.  To feel supported.  To take care of myself. 

I left the doctor’s office with a prescription for antibiotics and that anchor of shame, disappointment and self-loathing wrapped around my neck.  And I did what I know to do, as a food addict, to make me feel better….to stuff the emotions that were threatening to erupt….. I ate.

I went home from the pharmacy and found the jar of peanut butter.  I made 2 pieces of peanut butter toast and while the bread was in the toaster, I also made a half sandwich.  I ate those.  And then I ate, not 1, but 2 (TWO) Hershey candy bars.  I went to what I know. 

And I felt better for a little bit.  Until I didn’t. 

I am a food addict.  Being hungry isn’t my issue, so a “magic” pill to curb my appetite is not going to fix me.  Finding a new way to deal with the emotions, without food, is the only way to fix me. 

I wish more people, especially medical professionals, understood food addicts.  It isn’t a lack of will power.  It isn’t being hungry all the time.  It isn’t a moral failing.

Food addiction is real.  Difficult.  Shameful.  Demeaning.  Navigating food addiction is about finding MY worth when I am feeling worthless.  And it is also about learning new ways to deal with emotions and life without food.  Hard to do when we HAVE to eat to live.  And food is EVERYWHERE!

I wish more understood.  I wish there was less judgement.

Yes, I ate to stuff my emotions today.  BUT I will NOT let this moment define me as it has in my past.  I will NOT let the anchor of shame weigh me down any longer.

I WILL move on, grateful for ALL that I have learned on my long journey.

I will remind myself that I AM worth it.

I CAN and WILL do this- in my imperfect way.  WITHOUT a little pill!

30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge- Halfway Through

“If you eat when you are not physically hungry, then how do you know when to stop eating?”

I heard this question in week one of my 30-day challenge, and it hit me.  I was listening to a Mindful Eating masterclass on my CALM app, while swimming laps in the pool. 

I stopped mid-lap when I heard the question.

How do I know when to stop eating? 

This question the first week of my mindful eating challenge, brought me to a new level of awareness- I did not let myself get hungry.  Truly physically hungry.  I had lost that somewhere over the years and didn’t even realize it.  And when I did think I was hungry, it was really that my blood sugar took a nose-dive because of the amount of sugary foods I had been eating.  I still wasn’t truly physically hungry.

So, hearing the question had me reflecting.  What made me stop eating?  It was definitely NOT being full, as I was stuffed, painfully stuffed, more often than I wasn’t.  So, what was making me stop eating?  The empty bag of chips I just finished?  The acid reflux that was painful?  The nauseous feeling of overeating?  Having to change from my jeans to my sweats for comfort?  My husband walking through the door? 

That question changed the trajectory of my journey.  And I started paying attention to my physical signals for hunger, instead of the emotional, head and heart, signals.  THAT has made a difference.  I have eaten less this second week.  I am eating when I am physically hungry, most of the time, instead of for other reasons.  When I eat for true physical hunger, I eat less.  I am not stuffed.  I don’t have huge blood sugar drops.  I don’t have acid reflux.  I don’t hide food.  And I can wear my jeans all day.

This is what mindful eating does!  I am still not tracking my food.  But I AM paying attention.  I AM being more mindful.  Yes, there are still moments of mindless eating, but they are becoming less often, as I get more mindful. 

This is what this challenge was about. 

So, what is driving you to eat?  Do you know when you are physically hungry?  What tells you that you are physically hungry?  What differences do you see when you are mindful and eat mostly (because this is not a perfect journey) for physical hunger rather than emotional hunger? 

I am feeling so much better already!  More to come on what I have learned these first 14 days.

My 30-Day Challenge– Day 1

I have been slowly trying to change habits and my mindset and I have been working on doing the things that I know to do that work.  But it isn’t working. 

I keep talking to myself, having those conversations about what I am doing.  I tell myself “Today is the day” and then I tell myself, “Oh, one more day of eating chips or brownies won’t hurt.  Go ahead.” 

2 contrasting voices in my head, fighting to be the strongest and the loudest. 

Yesterday I decided it was ENOUGH!  ENOUGH! 

So, I asked myself what my biggest hurdle was, what the biggest saboteur (besides myself) and I realized then that sugar is a BIG issue for me.  I am a food addict and sugar is one of my biggest problems. 

Realizing that, I decided to start a 30 day “No Sugar” challenge.  30 days of not eating anything with added sugar.  No candy, cookies, donuts, cake, etc.  No sweet treats. 

Today was the first day.  And boy was it a struggle.

Today, I paid attention, ALL DAY, to what I was eating and craving.  And I paid attention to what was sending me to the pantry and the fridge. 

It was shortly after lunch when I found myself in the pantry.  Just standing there.  Looking.  What the heck?! 

Standing there, I asked myself what I was doing.  Was I hungry?  What was I looking for?  And my answer was that I was not hungry, and I had no idea why I was in the pantry searching.  So, I left the pantry and went to do something.  Something that would keep me busy.

I was beginning to realize that telling myself this would be 30 days of NO SUGAR was leaving me feeling deprived.  And when I feel deprived, I eat.  Period! 

Losing weight and getting healthy is not about deprivation.  It is not about doing something for a little while (until I reach my goal) and then going back to how I was eating when I reach my goal. 

Losing weight and getting healthy is about changing habits.  And the foods I eat now, need to be the foods I will continue to eat the rest of my life.  Is it realistic to think that I will NEVER eat another cookie or a brownie?  NO!  But if I plan, portion and pay attention then I do not need to deprive myself. 

If I eat mindfully, then I will feel satisfied and still lose weight and get healthy.

That was when it hit me!

My BIGGEST hurdle and my BIGGEST saboteur was mindlessness…. Mindless eating.  Yes, sugar is an issue.  Yes, chips are an issue.  Yes, snacking is an issue.  Yes, not tracking is an issue.  Yes, portions are an issue.  Yes, emotional eating is an issue.

 BUT the BIGGEST issue is not being mindful!

So, my first day of my 30-day challenge is changing.  I am still doing a 30-day challenge, but this one is now 30 Days of Mindful Eating. 

There is a lot to learn when we pay attention to not only what we are eating and when we are eating and how much we are eating, but also WHY we are eating.  And we can only pay attention to all of these when we are mindful.

So today is day 1 of my 30 days of Mindful Eating.  And today I paid attention.  I stopped myself when I was searching for hidden candy (and I have A LOT of hidden candy places!), and when I was standing in front of the open fridge looking for who knows what.  And I asked myself “what are you doing?”  “Am I hungry?”  “Is it physical hunger?”  and if not then “what am I hungry for”. 

I paid attention today.  And I learned that I eat more often for emotional reasons (a struggle I have had all my life) or just out of habit (sit down to watch tv = eat) than I do for true physical hunger.

Today I also learned (I have always known this, but it was reinforced today) that eating mindfully leaves me feeling more satisfied and I eat less. 

And though I did not physically track my food today, I consider Day 1 a success!  

Who wants to join me on a 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge? 

Just 20 lbs……..

“Just 20 lbs, that’s all”

This was said to me by my doctor in 2006 after I had thrown my back out.  Just 20 lbs and my back would have less stress on it and feel better.  He was right.  Losing those 20 lbs helped.  But I didn’t stop with just 20 lbs.  I went on to lose 85 lbs, reaching my goal weight in January 2008.  I vowed then, that I would NEVER need to hear those words again.  I was NOT going back to daily pain in my back.  Not after finally finding freedom from the pain. 

And then, a couple of weeks ago another doctor said to me, “Just 20 lbs”.  There it was. Those words again…… Only this time, it wasn’t my back that prompted those words, it was my hip. 

I have had pain in my hip, at times so severe I can’t stand, walk or sleep.  So, I went to the orthopedic and heard those words again.  Weight gain affects so much more than my self-esteem and how I see myself, it also affects my health and my body.  My hip is not happy with this weight gain and no matter how many times I tell myself it is time to do something about it, I sabotage myself. 

Yes, I sabotage myself. 

16 years later, hearing those words again hit me hard.  I am NOT back where I once was (now needing to lose 35lbs not 85 lbs), but I am at a weight that is not healthy for me.  And healthy is far more important than how I look.  I have goals.  I want to participate in my granddaughter’s life, not watch.  I want to live to a very old age and enjoy my life, not spend it watching from the sidelines.  I want to hike and enjoy the outdoors.  I want to skip down main street at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.  I want to go on walks with my husband, swim in the pool, shop, dance and so many other things that require my hip and my back to be healthy.

So, I am working on it.  Imperfectly.  But working on it.  I have started to make changes.  I am working to change my mindset.  I am sabotaging myself a little less each day (I am not perfect and still fight that sabotage, while acknowledging the wins along the way)

Just 20 lbs. and then more……

One-pound-at-a-time.

Do One Thing Different

“If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you always got”

That mantra has been rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks now.  I first heard it when I was in the middle of my 5th journey with Weight Watchers, the journey that finally resulted in my reaching my weight goal and achieving Lifetime status.  That was a long time ago, now.

This quote is so accurate.  And it is one of the keys to success.  Doing something different….making changes, the kind of changes that become habit, is key to success.  And necessary.

I have been on a rollercoaster journey the past few years… up… down…. topsy-turvey……. It has been a difficult journey at times. 

A couple of months ago, a group of ladies and I started meeting virtually each week and in person once a month, to support each other on this journey and to discuss various topics.  Our own support group and accountability group.  Boy have I missed them and meeting as a group.

Through this group and our discussions I realized my why, and how to keep it close (more on that soon) and I revisited “the basics” that help on this journey.  You know, ALL those things I used to do and the things I KNOW work for me.

But I was still stuck.  Up and down and all around…… I just wasn’t getting anywhere.

And then my husband and I went on vacation.  A 3 week roadtrip…. 4100 miles driven….. 6 states…… lots of family and long-time friends visited….. and GREAT food (especially in San Francisco!). 

Yes, on vacation.  I told myself that I was NOT going to gain.  I had a plan.  I packed healthy snacks.  I prepped the cooler and loaded drinks and fruit.  I was ready.  But I had been on vacation before.  And I knew what happens…. 

Vacation mode.

Well…. something was different this time.  The long hours on the road led to long discussions with my husband.  And my desire to reach my goals and my reminder of my why were strong…. Very strong.  So….

I did not deprive myself because saying no and deprivation would only backfire.  So, I had a few cookies over the days in San Francisco…. Amazing cookies my son made for us.  I had sourdough bread, and pastries and pasta and croissants and so much more.  I had dessert in WA.  I had burgers, fish and chips, wine and beer. 

And I maintained.

How?

I go back to the quote at the beginning of this post— I did not do what I always did.  I stopped telling myself that tomorrow was another day, so what I was eating today wouldn’t matter (because tomorrow NEVER comes and it DOES matter).  I shared meals with my husband.  I ate half of my meal.  I listened to my body instead of my head and that made a HUGE difference.  When I was full I turned down dessert.  After dinner I stopped eating.  I didn’t buy soda and chips and candy bars for nighttime snacking in the hotel rooms. 

I DID something DIFFERENT. 

In order to get a different outcome, we have to stop doing the same things we have always done.  And that is HARD!!  Very HARD!! 

Doing what we have always done, doing the same thing is comfortable.  It keeps us in our comfort zone and then we end up with the same result. 

In order to get that different result we HAVE to do something different- just ONE thing will make a difference.  Something outside that comfort zone. 

That is what helped me maintain on my trip and what has helped me to lose 3.4 lbs in the week after returning home.  I am just doing things different.  Getting out of my comfort zone. 

What are you doing that you have always done, but it is holding you back and keeping you stuck?  What is one thing you could do different today?  Just one thing! 

Weekly Accountability- April 1st

I stepped on the scale this morning and it moved…. Down!

I lost 1 lb!

This week was better.  NOT perfect.  Better.

What made the difference this week?

Mindset!

Mindset!

Mindset!

I spent this week focused on my strengths and how they can help me.  THAT made the difference- in how I approached this week and in my mindset.

I used my strengths, my Superpowers—Kindness and Forgiveness toward myself when my plans went awry or I made a choice that wasn’t my best choice….. Creativity for coming up with meals last minute that were healthy for me….. Perseverance to keep pushing on when I took a detour or the candy bar landed in my grocery bag at the checkout…… And so many more of my strengths.

Harnessing the power of my strengths made the difference in my imperfect week! 

What made the difference for you? 

My Strengths…My Superpowers!

Last week at my virtual workshop, my coach asked us what our strengths were and when we struggled to come up with one, she asked what others would say our strengths were.  I have thought about this a lot since last Thursday.  And I have thought quite a bit about how these strengths can aid me on my journey.

If I can turn these strengths into Superpowers, well then I will be unstoppable!! 

We all have strengths.  They are part of who we are.  Sometimes it is hard to see our own strong attributes, but others see them. 

What are your strengths?  Are you compassionate?  Funny?  A survivor?  Quiet?  Kind?…….

My coach asked us to just pick one to focus on.  What one strength do you have?  I chose kindness. 

How can I use kindness on this journey?  It doesn’t really relate to food or exercise…. Or does it? 

I am kind to others. But am I kind to myself?  How would being kind to me, change this journey?  Would it have any impact?

What do you think?

Yes, being kind would have an impact.  A HUGE impact! 

 Our thoughts are so powerful on this journey.  My mindset is a HUGE part of becoming the healthiest and best version of me that I can be.  So, how can I become the best version of me if I am negative, critical, and mean to myself?  Wouldn’t I get farther and become a better version of me by being positive, by being kind to myself? 

Think about it.  What happens to our mindset when we are negative and focus on our faults or our failings?  What impact would the negative have?  How would you feel?  I know that I would give up.  I would feel defeated.  I would stop believing that I could achieve any goal I set for myself.  Being negative, unkind and only focusing on my faults sets me up to fail.  Every. Single. Time.

But if I turn that around and focus on my strengths, on the lesson I can learn and on the positive steps I have made, then I would feel far different.  I would feel empowered!  I would believe I could do anything!  Being kind to myself and focusing on the positives sets me up to succeed, even when I have a slip or take a detour!

Amazing what focusing on the positives, focusing on our strengths can do for each of us!   

Kindness is one of my strengths and the one I chose during my workshop.  And I realized I need to make being kind to myself a priority.  Being kind to me helps my mindset stay positive.  Kindness helps me continue when I have a slip.  Kindness helps me to forgive (another of my strengths) and move on, learning as I go. 

As I thought about my strengths this week, I came up with a list (not complete yet, as I keep adding to it)—

These are some of my strengths!  My Superpowers.  And the power of each of these strengths can be harnessed and used as a tool on my journey.  These strengths have gotten me this far and will keep me going!  Especially if I apply them to myself! (okay, realistically, I won’t use them ALL of the time, BUT I know they are there and I KNOW the power can be used to help me on my journey!)

Examples of how some of these strengths can help me on this journey–

Forgiveness, Kindness, Compassion, Love, Gratefulness, Empathy—When the power of these is harnessed I take the power away from my guilt and give it back to me.  Slips no longer mean failure.  I am more positive, and happier. I am more understanding of what I am doing and where my choices are originating from. I make better choices for me. I feel better, emotionally and physically, when I harness the power of these strengths.   

Thoughtful, Creative, Curious, Passionate—When the power of these is harnessed, I can keep the boredom and staleness at bay.  I try new foods, new recipes.  I find fun ways to move.  These strengths are powerful tools to keep things fresh and new.

Bravery, being a Survivor, Perseverance, Hope—When the power of these is harnessed, I am empowered to push through, to continue, to believe that I am capable of far more than I give myself credit for.  Slips no longer mean failure, instead those slips become stepping stones on my road to success.  When I harness the power of these, I am unstoppable!  Nothing is out of reach or impossible!  Everything is possible!  I CAN and I WILL!

Zest—When this power is harnessed, I am being present in the moment. I have a zest for life.  I enjoy the little things along with the bigger things.  I find joy in the moment– in a new recipe, in the quiet of nature, in the beauty of a hike, in the joy of a new food find.  This zest for life keeps me mindful, present and joyful.  All things that help me travel this crazy journey.

Organized— How better to be in control of me, than to be organized? Harnessing this power stops the chaos in my life and in my mind. THIS is how I plan, how I prepare, how I keep calm.

What are your strengths?  How can you harness the power of each of your strengths to turn them into tools that will help you move closer to your goals, closer to the version of you that YOU are striving for?  How can you turn your strengths into your SUPERPOWERS?

Ask yourself “what are my strengths?”  “what would my family and friends say are my strengths?”  “How can these strengths aid my journey to becoming the healthiest and best version of me that I can be?”

Our strengths, our Superpowers, once we recognize them, become powerful aids on our journey….. this perfectly imperfect journey we are all on.    

Weekly Accountability- March 4th

Last week I committed to a weekly update post on my progress as another form of accountability for me on my journey.  Though I am posting this a day later than planned, I did weigh in yesterday (March 4th) and I did attend my virtual workshop yesterday morning. 

Accountability is important.  It helps to keep me in check.  It helps to keep me honest. 

Yesterday morning when I stepped on the scale, I was expecting to see a gain.  Yes, it was that kind of week as far as food went.  And a gain would not have surprised me.  I was, however, quite happy when I saw that the scale did not change.  I maintained!  THAT is a victory for me, after the week I had. 

Last week’s topic about Non-Scale Victories (NSV’s) had me focusing on those this week and less on what number I may or may not see on the scale.  I think that focusing on those things that tell me I am changing and that I am moving forward on this journey, helped my mindset this week. 

It was a rough week, but I did not fail.  Life happens.  Life will always happen.  There are going to be days and weeks that just do not go as planned.  Focusing on other means of seeing change and success is important if I am going to stay motivated and if I am going to keep moving forward!  VERY important! 

Afterall, mindset is a HUGE part of this journey and has the greatest impact on my choices! 

So this week, what worked for me?  What were my NSV’s, those moments I am proud of?

               –I tracked, even the days that I ate way over my daily points and even after those weekly extras were gone!  I tracked 6 out of 7 days this week!  Yay!! 

               –I meal planned and created my grocery list from that in preparation for this next week.  I was reminded this week that I really do need to have that meal plan, and the foods on hand to create those meals in order to not make a run for fast food or to not order the pizza.  I also need easy and quick meals that I can make on those very busy days and those were added to my grocery list.  Preparing for any situation. 

               –I was able to walk a little more than the previous week because the daily pain is getting better!  I NEVER thought I would be THAT person who WANTED to move more or exercise, until I couldn’t.  Now I am excited that I may be back to long walks soon!

               –I used my calm app 4 days this week.  Taking care of me is important, but it is the thing I let go of first when life gets crazy.  I am getting back to those things that give me a few minutes to just breathe.  Just. Breathe.  Taking care of me first means I can take care of everyone and everything else! 

My week may not have gone how I planned it to go and the scale may not have gone down.  But I am still moving forward.  I am still changing.  I am still learning. 

One-step-at-a-time!

One-day-at-a-time!

One-NSV-at-a-time!

What was your success this past week?  What did you learn?  How do you know you are moving forward when the scales doesn’t show that?  What are your NSV’s?

This imperfect journey is perfect for me!

The Saboteur on My Shoulder

You know that old adage about the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other?

Well, I have a Saboteur on one shoulder.  And that Saboteur (my negative self) has been loud and in control more than I would like to admit and far more than the Supporter (my positive self) on my other shoulder has been. 

How do I know? 

I start every day with the same conversation with myself—“Okay, today it is time to get back on track.  Today is the day! Time to get serious!” and sometimes that conversation has some not-so-nice things to say about me.  I chastise myself for the choices I made the day before, but I KNOW that this is a new day and I CAN change that….. until I don’t….

And the Saboteur becomes the louder once again. 

The conversations with myself continue all day.  “Come on, you can have this _____ (insert anything sugary, salty and high in calories, including an entire bag of chips!)”  “You have plenty of time to reach your goal.  One day won’t hurt!  You can start tomorrow!”  “You had a healthy breakfast so these chips (or donuts or cookies) won’t hurt!”  “You went for a long walk today, why not reward yourself?  You deserve this!” 

And the conversation then continues into the night, with me ending the day in the same way that it started—“Seriously?!  You have got to get a hold on this!  You have got to do something.”  “Okay, in the morning I will!  No more messing around!” and these things are followed by some not-so-kind things about me once again.

And then the next day is a repeat… the same conversations, the same behaviors….

EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

The Saboteur is very good at her job…every day she entices me to make the choices that lead me away from becoming the very best and healthiest version of me and she makes me doubt myself along the way.  She does this by disguising her words in positives to trick my mind- “Tomorrow is a new day, you can start over.”  Or “You deserve this” or “You went for your walk and have eaten healthy, you deserve a treat.”  These and many other tricks of the mind are what the Saboteur uses to get me off track.

The Saboteur on my shoulder has been louder than my Supporter, who just shrinks away, thinking it is a losing battle at this point.  But is it?  Really?  Is there nothing I can do to quiet the Saboteur and increase the volume and power of the Supporter? 

Actually, there is!  And it is all up to me! 

How??

Awareness is the first step.

I have been reflecting on this for a few weeks now, really paying attention to the voices I hear and what is driving them.  And this is empowering ME!  I am more aware of what is happening and who is louder- The Saboteur or the Supporter. Awareness is necessary for change to occur. Awareness is THE key to quieting the Saboteur so that I can hear the Supporter!

You see, both the Saboteur and the Supporter are part of me.  They come from me.  They are born of my mind, my thoughts and my feelings.  They both affect my mindset and are affected by my mindset.  They both affect my emotions and are affected by my emotions.  They both affect my thoughts and are affected by my thoughts. 

These two are pretty powerful.  They are me.  I am the Saboteur and I am the Supporter!

I have learned that the Saboteur becomes more powerful when my emotions are at play—boredom, loneliness, worry, stress, and even joy….so many emotions at play. The less time I spend taking care of me allows the Saboteur to become louder.  The more mindless I become in my daily living, the more the Saboteur takes over.  And the Saboteur gains strength from my negative self-talk, my lack of belief in myself and from my stubborn self.

I have also discovered that there are some things that make the Saboteur quieter and allow the Supporter, who is naturally quieter, to become louder. 

What quiets the Saboteur so I can hear the Supporter?— Forgiveness!  Mindfulness—in my everyday living!  Self Worth—believing I am worth it!  Taking care of me!  Calm!  Positive self-talk!  Patience (a REALLY hard one for me)!  Time outdoors!  Family time!  Writing!  Walks!  And most importantly- Starting my day with these words “I am Worth It” BEFORE the Saboteur has a chance to say ANYTHING!  

The power is within me.  I get to choose which voice I listen to.  I get to choose how I react.  I get to choose to take care of me first, thus quieting the Saboteur.  I empower myself when I CHOOSE!    

I am in charge!!

THAT realization is so empowering!! 

Though the Saboteur has been loud the past few months and been in control far more than I would like, I am a NOT a failure!  I am still learning.   I am still growing. 

I am not perfect on this journey and I sometimes stumble. And then, awareness helps me find my way back! I may not silence the Saboteur forever, but I can make the Saboteur whisper (which is easier to ignore) and give power to the Supporter to be louder.  I can use the tools and techniques I have learned through the years and pull them out when I need them.  

This journey I am on, that we all are on, is not perfect!  Far from it!  Perfection is not important on this journey.  Perseverance is.  Progress is. Growth is.

I will keep on going, keep on learning, and keep on believing in me! 

(FYI- as I post this, the Saboteur is whispering in my ear that I should make brownies tonight, that that would be a real treat for my husband…. And I am NOT letting that voice get any louder than a whisper!)