Weekly Accountability- March 25th

No, I didn’t post last week.  And I am a day late this week.  But here I am, sharing for accountability. 

The last 2 weeks have been okay.  Not perfect.  Not a failure either.  Just okay.

When I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, the scale didn’t change.  I have maintained the past 2 weeks. 

Before I started writing these accountability posts, maintaining AFTER a gain would have sent me down the hole…. But this time it didn’t.  And it won’t.

I maintained.  This week there were really good days that had me making healthy choices and even getting out and walking.  And then there were days that were super stressful that had me making a few less healthy choices. 

That’s life, right?

It isn’t perfect.  Or easy.  Despite how much we wish it were.

So we learn and we continue, while making adjustments as we go.

Each of us are different.  And we each need to find what works for us.  Because, as I said so many times in the workshops I coached—”what works for one may not work for another, we each need to find what works for us.”

And that is what I have been working on since recommitting to myself, my journey, and my accountability.  Finding and doing what works for me.

How ironic, then, that the theme for WW Workshops this month has been “Do What Works”. 

This theme has hit home with me.  WW has asked us each week to find what works for us, because we all are individuals with different strengths, lives and needs. 

It is so important to find what works for ME.  To make this journey fit my life, my personality, my needs. 

Because really, will I continue on this journey if I HAVE to do it in a way that doesn’t work for me or in a way that doesn’t take into consideration my needs?  NO!  I would NOT do this if I had to do it another person’s way!!

So, what worked for me these last 2 weeks—many things!  And I learned much.

What didn’t—a few things.  And I learned much from those slips as well.

BUT there is one thing, ONE, that I now know, without any doubt, I need on this journey.  ONE thing that without a doubt helps me on this journey!  My workshop.  MY workshop.

So, this week what worked is- (there were many but I am going to focus on one)

               —MY workshop.  (finding the right workshop is important and keeps us attending)

I have been attending a virtual workshop every Thursday mornings.  It is really early for me as the workshop is in another time zone, across the country in another state.  This workshop is the workshop I attended in person from 2006-2009, where I lost my weight and achieved my lifetime goal.  My leader (cuz back then coaches were referred to as Leaders) has retired and no longer coaches, but I still attend.  My friend, the one I went to my first Leader Training with, is now the coach and she is very motivating! 

I started attending this virtual workshop regularly about a month ago.  At that time there was only a 2 hour time difference.  But now it is 3 hours.  I have to be up at 5 am to get ready to attend my workshop (I want to be on video so….)  It is NOT easy to get up and get ready that early every Thursday morning. I could make a lot of excuses NOT to attend.  But this is important.  Because attending a workshop works for me. 

I have not been regular in my workshop attendance since I left Virginia in 2009.  Lots of reasons why.   Lots of excuses NOT to attend. 

No more excuses! 

Workshops work for me.  Period! 

The Workshop is the ONE place where I KNOW I am not alone in my struggles!  Everyone else has been there at one time or another too.  THEY get it!  And there is NO judgement!  Only acceptance!  Workshops are that ONE safe place where I can share my struggles and my triumphs, my aha moments and ask questions and my celebrations. 

Workshops are where I find motivation!  As a coach, I was motivated by those who attended my workshops each week!   As a member, I am motivated by the others attending the workshop and by the Coach and Guide.  So much motivation!

Workshops work for me!  And since they work for me, I am going to keep attending.  (I am hoping WW will keep this virtual workshop going so I can continue to attend from across the country every week and one day I will also go back to in person workshops, when things are a little safer for my health).

What is working for you?  Do you have that ONE thing that you have found that works for you?  What steps are you taking to make sure you do that ONE thing?  How are you making that one thing and YOU a priority?

This journey is hard.  Excuses are easy.  Excuses hold us back and keep us from doing what works for us. 

Here is a quote that a member shared in the workshop I attended this week that really struck home for  me—“Be Stronger Than Your Excuses!”

This week don’t let your excuses get in the way of doing that ONE thing that works for YOU!  

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Accountability and Commitment–Making me a Priority!

A few days ago, I wrote about excuses and that it really comes down to making me a priority.  Since writing that, I have been mindful of making me a priority.  I have been more aware of my thoughts.  And I have been more purposeful in my choices, choosing me as a priority.  It is not pretty or perfect, but I am working on it. 

I have been, still am and will always be a work in progress.

This morning I took a step that made me a priority.  And in the process I found accountability beyond myself and commitment to myself.

I went to a WW Workshop.  And?  What is different about that?  Haven’t I always gone to workshops? 

Well, yes, I have gone to workshops.  I lost my original weight going sitting in those chairs.  I continued to go to workshops even when I worked for Weight Watchers as a Coach…..most of the time, anyway.  And once I quit working as a Coach, I continued going to workshops.  But I didn’t go regularly.  I didn’t want to pay…..

And when I did go, I did not step on the scale.  I didn’t want to see the number written down, though I already knew what the number would be, because I weigh myself at home.  I also didn’t step on the scale because I would be weighing in front of former co-workers, some friends of mine.  I didn’t want them to know how much I was struggling (as if they couldn’t tell by the clothes I wore or the way I looked….).  Excuses.  Excuses.  Excuses!

This morning I had planned to go to the workshop because someone I know was going to reach Lifetime and I wanted to celebrate with him and his wife.  Before yesterday afternoon, I had no plans to step on the scale.  I was just going as support for someone else and this wasn’t about me and my struggles. (yes, more excuses)

And then last night I thought about how I can move forward making me a priority.  And it hit me that workshops are important for me and my goals.  I had been making so many excuses all these months for not going to workshops for me and instead only going as a support for others therefore I did not need to step on the scale.  I was not making me a priority!  I was missing out on a tool that works for me.  A tool that keeps me accountable.  A tool that provides the support I need.

So, I made the decision that when I got up this morning I would go to the workshop and I would pay.  Not just pay for this one workshop, but I would purchase the three-month pass for three months of weekly workshops.  That would be my commitment to me.  Finally!  Commitment to making myself a priority.  No more excuses! 

I was still on the fence about weighing on the scale in front of former co-workers.  I didn’t want them to know.  I didn’t want my weight submitted so that my former bosses could see.  I just wanted to be anonymous.  I wanted to keep it a secret.  But NOT STEPPING ON THE SCALE does not work for me!  I need the accountability.  So, I told myself to suck-it-up buttercup and get on the scale at the workshop regardless of who would see the number.

And I did.  I stepped on the scale.  I hated the number I saw.  I hate that I am not the only one who saw that number.  And you know what, that means that I cannot hide any longer.  I cannot deny any longer.  It is so easy to push the reality deep inside the back of my mind where I don’t think about it, if no one else sees the number.  This morning I went back to what works for me because what I had been doing for a year now, wasn’t.  And the accountability was real.  No denying now.  No hiding behind oversized jackets now.  No excuses! This is real!  This is my journey.  This is me making myself and my health a priority!

At the workshop this morning I found another form of accountability beyond the scale.  I said out loud, in answer to someone else, that I was committed to being there and to myself.  I said I would be there every week.  And then the Coach looked around the room at everyone else and said that they heard me and now were going to hold me accountable to be there and the room all said they would. 

CRAP!  What did I just do??  Now I had to be there every week because they were expecting me to be. 

Good move, Coach! 

When I was a coach, I often said that saying something out loud in the workshop gave everyone accountability, to themselves and to the group.  And now here I was, at the receiving end of that accountability.  THAT is just one of the many reasons that Workshops work for me!

I am listening to me now.  I am making me a priority.  And I am creating accountability beyond just myself.  Because, honestly, accountability just with me, doesn’t work for me.  It is too easy to excuse it away, to hide and to deny.

Next week I will step on the scale again and it will show a loss.  Why?  Because I am making me a priority on this perfectly, imperfect journey!

Positive Body Image…. Getting There

This week’s topic in WW Workshops is on Body Image. A hard topic for many of us. And it does not matter if you are old or young. It does not matter if you are male or female. It does not matter if you are overweight or thin. Many of us struggle with those negative body images.  Some of those thoughts have been ingrained in our minds for years, said by others to us, or just said to us by us.  And it doesn’t help that we are bombarded, daily, by images on social media and on TV that show us the “perfect” bodies.  The struggle is real for so many of us. 

Do you struggle with finding positive things to say or think about your body? I do. 

Do you find yourself speaking negatively about your body?  I do. 

Maybe it is your arms, or your neck, or your legs or your stomach or ???

This week, WW helps us to identify the negative things we think and/or say about our bodies and then gives us tools to help us change the way we think. Techniques that help us turn the negative to a positive. A shift in mindset.  And one that is HARD.  It requires awareness and honesty with ourselves.  And it requires INTENTIONALLY focusing on something positive rather than ALLOWING the negative to define us. 

As I sat in a workshop yesterday morning, I heard the negative things I have said and what I still say about my body. I do not like my arms, those who attended my workshops knew that.  I have shared it in workshops when we had body image discussions.  And I have been working on changing that mindset.  I am finding it a little easier and sometimes even automatic to say a positive about my arms now, but it took me time to get to this place.  I look for the good my arms can do now, rather than focusing on the jiggling loose skin on my arms.  The more I have practiced saying the positives and focusing on the positives, the more it has become automatic.  I am starting to like my arms.  I am wearing sleeveless shirts at home now, but not yet ready to venture out into the world….. almost there. 

But yesterday morning in that workshop I heard other negative things about my body. Ugh! Too many.  When did this happen?  Have I always been so negative?  I never noticed before because it was ingrained in me and automatic…. Said and thought without noticing what was happening.  Like being on autopilot….it just happens. 

Hearing those thoughts hit me.  Hard!  I wasn’t aware before, but I am now aware.  And awareness is the first step in making a shift in my thoughts, the first step in changing. 

So, this week, thanks to the workshop, I am working on shifting how I see just one body part.  Just one.  That I CAN do.  I am focusing on how I see my stomach/abs. I do not like my stomach/abs. Period!  NEVER have!  Loose skin sucks— a negative thought.  Stretch marks are incredibly ugly—another negative thought.  Look at those rolls…. Ugh— another negative.  I look pregnant from the side in this shirt—negative!  And even more negatives run through my head, especially when I look in the mirror—with or without clothes, it really doesn’t matter.

The leader asked us to come up with something positive, something that part of our body can do for us.  Hmmm….. I struggled with this.  My first thought was- “Really?  What can this do?  Nothing.”  But then I really started to think.  And I came up with something—

-My stomach is strong enough to help hold my spine steady, keeping me from throwing my back out and landing in the hospital.  Okay—positive.

And…. Well….. nothing else comes to mind, just yet.  So, one positive right now.  And that one positive is better than none.

Now, to do an old activity from a WW Workshop in the past—this week, every day I will stand in front of my mirror and look at my stomach (THAT is going to be hard, but CHANGE is HARD!) and I am going to think about the positive, the one positive I have come up with (and I will try to come up with another).  By practicing saying and thinking about the positive, then it will become easier and eventually will replace the negative.  Eventually…..

What ONE body part are you negative about?  What ONE body part can you focus on this week?  What positive thing can your body part do for you, right now?  Once you pick the body part and find the positive(s), then practice saying them while looking in the mirror….or, if you cannot look in the mirror, then practice saying the positive while visualizing your body part.  The more you say it, the more you will believe it.  And that is how we shift our negative thoughts to positive!

Can you do this one thing this week?

Will you do this one thing this week?

I can and I will!  I am traveling this imperfect journey and changing my body image along the way!