Friday, August 17, 2012

What I've Learned So Far...

Happy Friday All! Hope everyone is having a good week. I meant to get on here to post earlier in the week but we just returned from vacation Monday night and ever since, I have been eyeball deep in the job hunting process. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. Ugh. Not a fun activity to say the least. But certainly a necessary one. This mama needs a paycheck. Stat.

Other than experiencing the 7th level of hell while applying for teaching positions, not much else has been going on. It's been kind of a quiet week 'round these parts, aside from the racket the cicadas are making that is pretty much a constant noise these days. Summer is just about winding down (big wah!) and even though I know realistically the temperatures can stay well into the 80's into September, I have begun thinking about what fall will look like for me and how I plan to keep trucking along with my weight loss. It seems cooler temps and with them, the desire to bake, are looming largely ahead. Uh oh.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons and I have always found myself caught up in the "feeling" of the season. I embrace it like a warm blanket, or a warm cinnamon bun, depending on your preference. Nothing gets me me more jazzed about fall than the approach of Halloween, and all things pumpkin-y (pies, bread, muffins) and ghoul-y and well, yeah, trick or treat-y. I have been known to fall off the WLW (weight loss wagon) HARD during this time of the year, and so although it may be the hay fever talking, (I know it seems a tad early to be discussing this already), I feel like have to really get my game plan on if I expect to keep going in the right direction. And that direction is down, my in the number on the scale, to be precise.

Since part of this week's challenge is to talk about what we've learned during our journey thus far, I figured I'd share a few things I have noticed about my weight loss attempts this time around that maybe haven't been part of my 'Operation Shrink Rochelle' process before. First off, this summer I have "celebrated" the season far less than I have in the past. What does that mean exactly??? Well, I'm a girl who likes to get her party and entertainment on, so normally I'll find any excuse to have a get together or celebration or dinner out which involves food and libations that aren't necessarily health conscious. Traditionally summertime involved weekly indulgences of drinks on the patio, fruit pies and ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. THIS summer???....Not so much. Alcohol consumption has been the lowest it's ever been (even at the beach!) and I haven't had a hot dog all summer (say wha---??). As a matter of fact, I've only had 2 hamburgers during this season of sizzle and seriously, if you knew me prior to this summer,  you would understand just how freaking amazeballs that is because, ladies - I LOVE me some cow meat like you wouldn't believe. MOO.

So what have I learned this summer? Well, since the end of May, I learned that it takes a lot of hard work to lose weight. Now before you go rolling your eyes and whispering, "Well, no DUH!" under your breath, hear me out. We all know about the physical work it takes. I am learning the true meaning of calories in, calories out like I never have before. But I am talking about the mental hard work which I sometimes feel is the greater of the two evils. I have had to talk myself out of countless food items and drinks over the course of the last 3 months, and although it was tough in the beginning it is getting easier. Yes, I still have conversations with myself (sometimes out loud) in front of the pie display at Wegmans. I have had a large bottle of Belgian beer in my fridge that I bought as a celebratory beverage for my graduation in May that begs the question, "When the hell am I going to crack it open?" I have to talk myself out of doing it every damn time I go to the fridge. The battles are constantly happening all around me. But winning them is becoming more the norm, versus giving into them.

When I first began this challenge, even I didn't know if I was fully "on board." Maybe being at the helm of the challenge made me feel more responsible to do what I was asking others to do, but whatever the case may be, I have grown to understand that accountability is everything. Not that I have followed this challenge to the letter. That's not what the challenge is about. It is about testing yourself, but it also about making yourself more aware of what you do, what you eat, how you feel. When I look back on the past 3 months, I can honestly say I have done this more than I have in my previous attempts at weight loss (I rarely ever kept a food journal before, save for when I was on WW, and even then I did it half-assed. Here I am nearly three months into this challenge and I am still logging my food!). I'm now viewing this weight loss journey as something I can do long term, versus it being a "get it done quick so I can resort to my old ways" type of thing. That is huge.

I have also learned to be more patient with myself. Even though the weight loss has been relatively consistent, in that I have lost most weeks during the challenge, I am OK when even weight loss doesn't happen. Sure, I get disappointed, but I understand more about WHY it's happening (salt, less exercise, alcohol, etc.) so I don't just throw up my hands and say, "Well,  this obviously isn't working for me." I don't have that defeatist attitude anymore when the scale doesn't do what I want it to do. I know that most likely, next week will be better. Throwing in the towel is not an option. And furthermore, I do expect that somewhere along the line I will hit a dreaded plateau and it won't be fun. I hope that doesn't happen anytime soon, but if it does, I will be prepared. I will understand that this happens to everyone and the important thing is to not give up. For the first time I think I can actually DO this thing all the way.

I hope that all of you have taken some time in your week to think about your journey. If you are doing well and feeling accomplished, think about the things that are enabling you to reach your weekly goals. If you are struggling, think about one small way you might be able to change what you re doing to make a difference and bring you closer to your goals.

It's been a good week so far and although I know I am a week behind of my pictures, I will be posting them on Sunday. Until then, enjoy your weekend and stay strong!


  1. Patience and persistence - I've said it to myself (and probably on my blog) many times before. Change won't happen over night, and you've got to stick to it.

    The upcoming Fall/Winter seasons are tough for me. So many holidays and food temptations. The best thing is to go in with a plan. You saw this summer how much you can do with out. Foods you thought you had to have before, and ones that are hallmarks of summer - hot dogs, burgers, ice cream, etc. - you saw that you didn't really need them ... and look at how much that has helped with your progress.

    So think about what's most tempting and come up with a strategy to tackle it. Instead of a cinnamon bun, sprinkle some cinnamon in your coffee; try to find a recipe for a healthier pumpkin pie (e.g. no crust, no cream). Most importantly, if you have to, reserve your indulgence for just one meal on the day of the holiday - enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas lunch ... but not every single day leading up to and after ...

    A plan will help. It'll still take effort, but it IS possible to get through the season without gaining weight, and you CAN do it! :)

  2. You got this. You survived two beach vacations, you'll survive all the holidays too. =)

    Can't wait to see your pictures and good luck on your job search!!!