Results of Experiment ‘No longer weighing in weekly’

Ok so it’s taken me a while to build up the courage to admit to this- when I finally did weigh in 6 weeks after starting the experiment…….. I had put on 2 lbs.  Please don’t stop reading though, because I still think not weighing in weekly is the general way for me to go, all I need are a few added extras, and I’ll share what these are later!  Firstly let me run through the benefits of not weighing myself-

THE PROS

  • Less stress! It felt amazing not to go through the weekly emotional trauma which occurs each time I stand on the scales; the internal dialogue along the lines of ‘I could have done better’, ‘I could have tried harder’, ‘I should have lost more’, ‘What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I even do this simple thing’ etc.  As a result I felt much calmer and much happier.
  • More focus on behaviour. I really did focus much more consistently on the behaviours that will enable me to lose weight. Somehow, by not filling up my head space with worrying about the number on the scales, I had more time to really understand where my issues lie. I know now without any doubt that the ONE thing that STOPS me being consistently successful, is my evening grazing habit.  If I can fix that one, I’m pretty sure I’ll be mostly sorted.
  • No more emotional roller coaster. When I weigh in, whether it’s a gain, a stay the same or a loss, I feel (often far too intensely) some emotion-if not joy, then despair, sadness, disappointment and the emotion inevitably affects my motivation to continue to stick with my helpful behaviour changes.  Even a joyful weigh in experience can affect how I then behave- I might relax a bit and have the odd treat.  By limiting weighing in, I allow myself to get off the weekly emotional roller coaster that impacts on my behaviours.

SO WHY DID I GAIN?

I think the problem was that I had no clear plan of when I would be weighing in- in my head I had vaguely considered weighing in monthly; but after 4 whole weeks of not weighing, it became REALLY SCARY to face the scales.  Anyway the long and the short of it was, week 5 and 6 included a few social engagements, and also I lost my focus a bit (in the evenings again!).  The result was that I undid all the good I had done in the first 4 weeks.

MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT

My clients are seeing great success with their weight loss and yet they have also come to the conclusion that weighing in weekly impacts their motivation negatively.  How come they are doing well and I’m not?  The difference is…..wait for it…..they have a coach- ME!   (And I don’t!)

They get the focus of their weekly or fortnightly sessions with me.  Also they have a plan!  During the sessions they are able to talk in detail about what will work for them and when the best times for them to weigh in will be.

So guess what?  I finally decided that I could no longer afford NOT to invest (both money and time) in getting myself my very own coach to focus specifically on my weight loss!  In our first session I set about constructing my plan for measuring my progress fortnightly- I committed to weighing in once a month and I also committed to measuring my waist once a month. It feels wonderful to finally get the 1-2-1 attention and the accountability I have been secretly craving, and to have the opportunity to think in more detail about what stops me from being successful now, when I have been so successful in the past. I’ll keep you updated as to how it all works out.

It’s all about learning as we go along, right?  What have you learnt about yourself on your weight loss journeys so far?  Please tell me in the comments below

P.S.  For those of you who live in Berkshire, UK, and need some added focus in their lives, pop over to my facebook page Anna Jones-Time to sort it, for info on my new Coffee and Coaching group sessions which are happening in a couple of weeks’ time.

I have killed my number ONE excuse…………now what??

I have been quiet for a few weeks and here is my excuse…………there has been a major change to my life! Just over a week ago I delivered my last ever Weight Watchers meeting; I have left the job that I have done for the last 12 and a bit years and briefly, it has left me bewildered.  I still don’t know how I feel…….relieved, sad, excited, bereft, free, alone, grateful, empty, proud……hungry? (By the way ‘hungry’ was a joke J and emotional eating is a subject for another blog post.)  Seriously though I’ve had so many emotions and also new routines to work through, bewildered is a good way to describe how I have felt over the last few days.

Another bewildering realisation is, that just like that, (abracadabra), I have removed, what over the last few years, has become my number one weight loss barrier.  Let’s see if I can explain this in a way that makes sense to me, to my readers, (and of course to you Mr Blog):

There is an assumption,  that working in the weight loss industry is all the motivation one could possibly need to stay at a healthy weight.  I know I am not alone and that many of my ex-colleagues will agree, it’s not quite that simple.  That’s not to say that everyone who works in the weight loss industry struggles-of course that’s not true and many admirable people lose weight and keep it off forever. There are however, challenges that present themselves specifically to people who spend many, many hours in the week thinking and talking endlessly about losing weight, eating less and being slim!  Over the last few years I have felt as though I have pretty much become ‘immune’ to it all.  It has ended up being a subject that I know lots and lots about, but I appear to have forgotten that what I talk about can be applied to me too! Someone along the way must have given me a sneaky booster jab, which has made me resistant to weight loss!

The other side effect of trying to help others to lose weight, is that the focus is on THEM and not on me.  I’m not saying this in a ‘woe is me’ kind of way.  I have found it incredibly pleasurable and rewarding to see others change their lives for the better. It was and still is my job, after all………..but come on……..who wants to take work home with them every day of the week? We all need a break right? I was recently coached myself, and one of the most interesting things that came out from the session for me, was that I may have been deflecting the desire to be a healthy weight onto others! (Bing! Switch that light bulb on!)

Here is one more ‘reason’ it is challenging to lose weight when trying to help others do just that- some members find it reassuring/comforting that their leader is not a ‘stick insect’ (who remembers that television programme?).  Many members have told me that they like the fact that I totally understand how challenging it is to lose weight. And who am I then, to take that comfort away from them?

As I write this down now (why didn’t I do it years ago??) I realise what a big, giant excuse I have woven for myself.  What an enormous barrier to overcome!  And now it’s GONE! And I have 2 choices………..I can dip into my big bag of excuses and come up with a different one……………OR I can ditch the excuses and look for a way to achieve my weight loss goals.

What is your BIG EXCUSE? And what needs to happen for you to get over it?

Please comment below-I’d love to know how ingenious (or not!) you all are.  And if you know anyone else who may have their own weight loss excuses please share this blog with them.

OOPS-I’ve had a binge!

Picture the scene….(excuse the clichéd beginning, but I’ve always wanted to start a piece of writing with this little phrase)-so…..
Picture the scene: I have had a very focussed and controlled food week. I have added to the little reminders I’d set up on my phone, by downloading a little free app called Diet Coach (it’s very cute)-and I am being reminded daily that my body deserves good healthy nutrition, that I should drink more water and less coffee, that I shouldn’t ruin a good day by eating too many sweeties and crisps in the evening, and I am even being advised to look at my motivational pictures at a set time each day (I’ll talk more about those pictures another time).
So all in all my ‘reminder’ tactic is working fabulously. I am starting to believe that I can actually do this. I even have evidence that I CAN do it- 2 and half lbs down since last weigh in. I’ve caught myself at odd moments walking with my head held a little higher because I am a woman on track to weight loss heaven. I believe that nothing can stop me now that ‘my head is in the right place’ and so are my healthy breakfasts, lunches and…….
Ah but hang on a moment. Last Friday afternoon turned out to be an irritating one. I had been summonsed to attend a family gathering which I did not want to attend. I won’t go into details because apparently blogs as well as walls, have ears, and I don’t want to have to cope with the irritation of another family altercation any time soon (one had already occurred when I originally tried to wriggle my way out of said family gathering). So I headed off to do my duty, and in order to reduce my resentment at having to waste a couple of my precious ‘catch up with some of the stuff on my to-do list’ hours, I decided that I could sort my daughter’s prescription out en route as the Pharmacy was on the way. Now who could have guessed what a big mistake that was?
The saga of the prescription had started 10 days previously with me traipsing around to 4 different chemists only to discover that this particular medication was not available-I needed to get the doctor to write an alternative prescription apparently. So on the way to my Mother’s (I didn’t mean to mention it was Mother’s house that I’d been summonsed to-oh well it’s done now!) I ‘popped ‘ into the doctors to see if the new prescription was ready. I queued almost patiently for 15 minutes, then waited another 5 minutes while the receptionist disappeared around the back and was eventually told that the prescription (and presumably me and my daughter) did not exist. ‘
Not a problem’ I said-‘Could I come back later, on my way back from a family event that I didn’t want to go to?’ I said.
‘Yes that’s fine’ the receptionist said, ‘Come back at 5.30pm and we’ll have it ready for you’ . ‘Great’ I said, and headed off bravely to dreaded family gathering (which incidentally I managed to survive).
So back to the Doctor’s surgery I went. I queued a little less patiently this time (and now we are getting to it……the defrosting salmon and roasted vegetables would take at least 45 minutes to prepare and if I didn’t get home soon they just would NOT happen). I waited in the queue for 20 minutes. A different receptionist this time disappeared behind the scenes for another 8 minutes. She sent someone else out to break the news that there was STILL no prescription. Look I’m going to cut this short and let you imagine the steam coming out of my ears, the deep breathing exercises and the scrolling through Facebook that occurred for the next 40 minutes!!!! (Can you believe it??40 minutes plus 8 plus 20 plus 5 plus 15 equals 78 minutes altogether and all on the same afternoon as dreaded family gathering!!)
Anyway the outcome was that the salmon was definitely no longer on the menu and the Doctor’s surgery happened to be across the Road from a Pizza Hut takeaway. After 2 large glasses of wine and 3 large slices (or was it 4?) of pizza the rest of the evening is a blur. I think some chocolate biscuits came to the party and some peanuts and I really can’t remember what else. But do you know what? It doesn’t really matter. Because sometimes that’s just how life is-sometimes we do eat a bit too much pizza and sometimes things just don’t go according to plan and sometimes life is stressful. And yes I know Pizza can’t possibly fix life’s stresses but sometimes in the moment we forget that, right? As I say it doesn’t really matter.
While I was waiting in the doctor’s waiting room (the 40 minute wait) a youngish woman came out visibly shaken and upset. I think the reason I had to wait so long was that her session with the GP had overrun substantially-but seeing the state she was in made me realise that although I’d had a stressful day, things can always be much worse. And OK so I had lost control briefly of my eating-but tomorrow is always opportunity for a fresh start. In the old days if I’d had a binge I would have carried on bingeing until Monday. Nowadays I just start the next day with a clean slate and have a bowl of porridge. I believe this is one of the most important weight loss behaviours that we can practice. What do YOU think?

Confessions of a Weight Loss Expert

‘Practice what you preach’…….hmmmm……that’s a phrase that frequently pops into my head.  The reality is that I try very hard NOT to ‘preach’- my job is to encourage, motivate, inspire and coach people to lose weight ,and on the whole I am very successful in helping people to achieve their weight loss dreams. One of my members who suffers from MS achieved her goal weight this year; she lost a total of over 8 stones. Another member who has ME lost a total of 111 lbs. And these are just 2 of the many incredible successes that I have witnessed this year in my weight loss meetings. It’s amazing to watch these people take control of their eating habits and make such positive changes to their health and their lives. And it’s great to know that I have helped them to achieve what they thought was impossible.

So if I am able to help others, why, oh why can’t I help myself???

OK-so here is a quick summary of my weight loss journey so far. I have always had a weight issue-I was overweight as a child, and had a very dodgy relationship with food (maybe more about this in later blog posts) which started when I was around 12 and flourished during my teens and into my twenties. After I had my second child I was at my very heaviest and plucked up the courage to join Weight Watchers, and WOW what a revelation that was! I learnt so much, began to alter my relationship with food and lost 63lbs in less than a year.  I felt ‘normal’ for the first time and thought I would live happily ever after as a size 12.

WRONG!  Well not totally wrong, as I maintained my weight happily for around 12 years. 7 years after I had joined weight Watchers I became a Leader and felt that I had found my vocation.  All was well in my world. But…..some of you will know exactly what I mean when I say: ‘life got in the way’ and I ‘lost the plot’ and over the course of a few years my weight gradually crept up by around 28 lbs. And  for the last few years I just CANNOT for the life of me, seem to get a handle on it.

So I guess I should be honest with you, dear BLOG, and let you know that I am just using you. I am using you to help me discover why it is, that whilst I know exactly WHAT to do in order to lose weight, I  seem to be incapable of getting on and DOING it.

And there is something else I want to share with you my new friend Mr BLOG- I know I am not the only one who has ‘dieters block’- so maybe together we will discover ways of overcoming my inability to ‘get my head in the right place’? And if we do that successfully we may be able to help others who are in a similar predicament.

I think that is enough confessing for now……………..

Anna