WD Slimdown blog - Woman's Day Blog


Are you Competitive?


I have been asking myself this question all week.  Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to Skype in a question to Joy Bauer on the Today show. 

“Everyone is always so gung ho at the beginning of the year, how do you keep your motivation going?”

Joy’s answer made a ton of sense.  Put yourself on a weight loss schedule.  Use your calendar, pick a day each month and write down the goal weight.  The example she gave was “If you start at 188 pounds this month, write down 180 for February 1st, 174 for March 1st, and continue to fill up your year.  Make it official and take it serious.  Mark it on the calendar or on a spread sheet.

She said, “That we thrive on structure and are competitive by nature, even if it is just with ourselves”

What if you aren’t competitive? Or what if you don’t like competition?  Those are the things I have started to look at.  For example, Celeste and Allison talk about the sisterly competition between the two of them and that kept them motivated.  For me, the comparison and competition is something I tend to try to stray from.  It often puts me in a negative thought pattern. 

So, I am taking the time to look at that competitive nature.  There is so much behind Joy’s advice and I have seen so many who are successful in this weight loss – healthy living journey that are competitive.

I feel, somehow, that is the key component missing and why I struggle so much.  I want to learn more about this.  So, what about you?  Do you have a competitive nature?  Do you feel that is the basis of your success or lack of success?  How tied in is competition to self-esteem?  These are all questions I am asking myself and honestly need your help in looking at this.  What do you think?


Size Does Matter

WD-blogicon-75x110-juleshubertIt is an incredible feeling to start a new year with a plan that is already working for me.  But as most other people, sometimes things start to waiver at some point in our journey.   Many of you may just be starting your new year with the plan. 

 This past week, I went back and reread Step One – Release; the time to re-capture that sense of endless possibility and enthusiasm.   Step One was the time to let go of all of the memories of previous diets and body related disappointments that I seem to fall fall back on often.  

The thing that I was remind of were what I consider the most important thing about food that I need to remind myself of every so often; appropriate serving sizes.  It still amazes me that items we purchase are deceiving in serving sizes.  Learning to read food labels is so important.  It is like the instruction manual for eating.   But here are a few pictures so you can “see” the difference. 

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Look into my crystal ball


New Year’s is filled with predictions, resolutions, wishes, goals, good intentions and future thinking. Sometimes it feels like we are looking into a crystal ball to “show” us and motivate us to change. Last year, on New Year’s Eve, I wrote Why We Drop the Ball. I questioned why millions of Americans celebrate dropping the ball in Times Square every year.  It seemed a bit odd to me how we “ring” in the New Year. 

This year, I see things differently.  It amazes me, the thought, the intent, the deep sentiments and care that go into creating that beautiful crystal ball.  For 2011, Waterford Crystal has designed the Times Square New Year’s ball with 288 new “Let There Be Love” crystal triangles featuring a romantic pattern that blends a modern cascade of hearts with diamond cutting.  288 triangles are emblazoned with last year's "Let There Be Courage" design of a ribbon medal defining the triumph of courage over adversity; and 1,152 triangles sparkle with the "Let There Be Joy" design of an angel with arms uplifted welcoming the New Year.  The remaining 960 triangles are the original "Let There Be Light" design of a stylized radiating sunburst.  (Description taken from timessquarenyc.org)

If you are like me, I have taken that New Year’s Eve ball for granted.  Or another tradition that celebrates the New Year is the Rose Bowl and the parade.  It will celebrate building dreams, friendships, and memories.  That just seems to naturally fit with the foundation of the crystal ball.  Hours and hours and hours of planning, coming together, creating, and action fill both of these traditions to share with millions each and every year.  But how many of us actually stop to appreciate all the hard work and thought behind these two long held traditions that are constant.

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Preparing for the New Year


The gamuts of emotions that overrun the holidays seem to put me in a funk each and every year.  Call it depression, stress, anxiety or any other list of things that carry a heavy burden, it happens.  This year seemed to be particularly hard.  The budget was a little tighter than usual.  Princess Viola and her end of school, Santa dilemma. The favorite child with his hip injury, and well, honestly, trying not to use food to make me feel better, all played a part.

But the week between Christmas and the New Year is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  It is a week of getting things back in order.  I am fortunate to have the time off work every year.  I can take care of business.  Get my plans in order.  Get my house in order. And prepare for the New Year. I use the time to create a dream board and take time to do the things I often say I would do if I had more time.

But I learned something pretty big this year.  It isn’t about starting fresh.  It isn’t about resolutions or the grandeur of something new.  It is just another day; a flip of the calendar page.  It’s about re-committing and getting focused.

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Yes Viola..There is a Santa Claus & he is REAL


Yes Viola…There is a Santa Claus and he is real. 

I know your little friends told you a different story.  I know they teased you because you believe.  But, what you don’t know yet…is that this is just the first of many, many times that your friends will tease you or judge you for the things you believe to be true. 

Yes Viola…There is a Santa  Claus and he is real.    

Over a hundred years ago, a little girl named Virginia, who was exactly the same age as you, wrote a letter to ask that very same question.  She had her doubts because some of her little friends had told her different.  The answer she received still warms the hearts and hopes of children and adults alike. 

Yes Viola…There is a Santa Claus and he is real.  

Amy and Matt asked me this question when they were about your age.  I told them the same thing that I told you the other day.  Do you believe?  Well, then he is real.  All that matters is whether you believe or not. 

Yes Viola…There is a Santa Claus and he is real.

Just believe…. Believe in yourself.  Believe in what you feel inside.  Remember trust your tummy.  Close your eyes. Listen to what your heart says to you.  As you get older, there will always be something that scares you.  You will find times when it so hard to believe, especially when you CAN NOT see the answer. 

Yes Viola…There is a Santa Claus and he is real. 

Today, when you wake up, this beautiful Christmas Eve Day, you will see…Yes, Viola  Santa is real.  The Santa Tracker (NORAD Santa Tracker) will be on the computer and we will follow him as he travels the world to remind us…

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Change in Plans


I had my draft for my post all composed and ready to go.  I left it for some final revisions this morning, before posting.   But, life changes constantly. Most of the time, those changes come in an instant; a blink of an eye. 

The things you can’t prepare for, no matter how hard you try.  My weekend reminded me of that LOUD and CLEAR.  It started off on Friday.  I called Big Puppy, playfully asking him out on a date.  It has been a long time since we have gone and done something fun.  Princess V was going to be gone for the night and it was an opportunity.   After a moment or two, I sensed something was wrong.  He told me a long time friend had passed away and the funeral was on Saturday.  But yes, he would like to go out and do something. 

First the movie was sold out.  Next, the plans for Princess V cancelled.  Luckily, Princess #1 said she would come over and sit so we could at least go out to dinner.  Neither one of us ate as healthy as we should (Prime rib for both of us) but we skipped dessert.  The conversation was great and the time together was much needed.

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What Did You Expect


Disappointment comes directly from our expectations.  I entered into the Slimdown Project with high hopes and expectations of achieving my 50 pounds by 50 years goal.  With that being just over a month away, the truth is I am not going to achieve that goal by my birthday.  Nope.  My Shoot for the Moon goal appears to be a Pie in the Sky dream. 

Disappointment seemed to settle in, right before Thanksgiving.  That is when we heard that we had to submit the numbers for the “reveal” article.  Yes, disappointment.  I am NOT at my goal yet! What? Three months before the issue comes out!  What the Heck?  I am sure you have read from more than one of us, our disappointment.  But here’s the flip side of that coin.

The flip side is the “Landing Among the Stars” part of the quote.  The second half; the true reward.  The scale may not have turned out numbers I expected, throwing me into a temporary dark hole of unachieved expectation, but I forgot to look at ALL the other things I have received through this project. 

Maybe that is why hindsight is such a great teacher.  When we are not caught up in the disappointment of a lofty expectation, we can look at it we clear thinking.  Landing among the stars just seems SO MUCH more than that one goal of achievement. It is that vast, wide open sky of possibilities.  In just 4 short months, I have:

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Girl Talk


The things we talk about: clothes, weight, hair, make-up, cooking, relationships..oh yes..relationships, kids, girlfriends, bosses, co-workers, and probably our relationship with the scale and food.  All of it, girl talk.

I got to enjoy just that this week.  I didn’t post on Monday, anywhere, because I had an incredibly surprise last Sunday.  My cousin, Tammy, who is more like a sister than a cousin, surprised me and showed up at my door. I haven’t seen her for about 7 or 8 years.  She lives too far away to just drive to see her.  I didn’t realize just how much I missed her until she was here.

We use to talk on Sunday mornings .  Just girl talk.  We only had one day to spend together but it was a reminder of that closeness of the girl talk.  Just hanging out.  We cooked, we chatted, we hugged . We promised to get back to the Sunday morning chats.  And now its my turn to hop on a plane and see her the next time.  The best part—I felt okay.  Okay and comfortable. 

This Slimdown project is winding down.  The reveal article has gone to print to be published in a couple of months  Our last conference call is next week and my weekly support with my nutrition coach, Beth, ends in just a few weeks.  I will truly miss having Joy, Johannah, Barbara, Abby, Amy, and Beth right there for me.  But what I will truly miss is the wonderful group of women who have shared this journey with me and all our “virtual” girl talks.  Not just the other bloggers, but you the readers.

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Date Night


Tuesday night, I had a significant date night.  It was yet another life changing moment for me.  Alan and I went to the gym together.  We walked on the treadmills, side by side, not saying a word.  But I can honestly say it was the BEST date night.  Why?  It reminded me why I fell in love with this guy, in the first place.

First and foremost, he makes me laugh.  His nickname is the “Big Puppy”.  And sometimes, (well, honestly a lot of times) he is just that.  Like a big puppy.  Think Marmaduke or Clifford.  I saw him “run” for the first time in all the years that I have known him.  The last few moments of his treadmill journey, he added a bit of a run to the workout.  At the end of the workout, when the treadmill showed the distance and the calories burned, the first comment out of his mouth, “Oh look, I earned a cheeseburger!”  His earphones were still in, so quite a few people heard this declaration!  At first, as usual, I was a little embarrassed, and reminded him of that.  He just smiled.

Why is this so significant to the Slimdown project? It represents BIG changes in me, bigger than any measurement on the scale.  I asked for his support AND told him how I could feel that support.  I told him that instead of it feeling separate or the thing that just I was doing, I needed his support by being a “part” of this healthy journey.  Something we could “do” together.  Anyone that knows the Big Puppy, knows he isn’t much on the athletic side.   The sports he enjoys watching are motor sports and “the fights”, oh and just his TVin general.   I was quite surprised by how easily he agreed and how much we both are enjoying this. 

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Perfect Outfit


Last Friday’s weigh-in was a bit emotional for me.  A gain when I totally expected a loss.  It’s those expectations that often get me because I am searching for the “perfect” things to happen in my life.   You know, the perfect diet, the perfect relationship, the perfect idea, that perfect circumstance.  And yes, that perfect outfit.  The one that makes you feel on top of the world.

I had one of those outfits.  It was my traveling outfit when I was 10 yrs old.  It was an outfit that stirred a lot of memories for me.  I have been asking my Mom if she had a picture of that outfit for months.  I went looking for the pictures of that outfit on Thanksgiving.  And, as luck would have it, I found a few of them along with a ton of other pictures, other memories. 

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