Quite often, I reflect back on my time at Dartmouth back in 2006 and the 50+ pounds I lost that year. The stars aligned that year and I got to my lowest adult weight within a year. I started working out, followed the Weight Watchers CORE program, and was surrounded by amazing friends in a new and gorgeous place. It was a tough start, but the healthy habits I was engaged in grew upon one another and those habits became permanent.
As I wasn’t’ blogging back then, or tracking what I ate, I don’t have much documentation of those 12 months. I followed the Weight Watchers CORE foods list, started working out (running, cycling, and playing squash), enjoyed nights out with friends, and took full advantage of living in New England (hiking, traveling, and relaxing). One thing that I do recall however, was how important it was for me to be a part of a challenge. I needed a goal, a deadline, and a network to hold me accountable.
I have been listening to The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working and Tony Schwartz even talks about the need to be held accountable by others. Throughout my year at Dartmouth, I participated in multiple 8 week challenge groups through the Weight Watchers message boards. After registration for the challenge groups had closed, members were placed into teams and together, teams would record their weekly weight loss and compete to be the “biggest loser”. I loved being able to talk to other women who were also trying to lose weight and found joy in sharing my weight loss success each week. I loved being held accountable, motivating others, and being motivated.
Just as my Scaleless Summer last year gave me the focus I needed to reach my pre-pregnancy weight, I have been hungry for a new challenge. The past 8 months have brought about a lot of clarity and I am grateful to be working with a behavioral nutritionist. While I am not following a structured diet plan, I am working with her on normalizing food, reducing my use of food as a coping mechanism, and eating a balanced diet.
After getting back from Vegas, I started using all of the tools in my toolbox and have set personal goals for the next 12 weeks. Neal’s and my 4th Anniversary is in roughly 12 weeks and I’m really pumped to work towards that date. I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel and am focusing on 4 things: Planning out my meals ahead of time, preparing meals for the week each weekend, tracking what I eat and how I felt in the Rise Up App, and working out.
I am not creating specific numerical weight loss goals, but want to feel better in my clothes and how I feel physically by early July. I have been in the habit of weighing myself every couple of weeks these past 8 months and plan to continue that habit. I weighed myself this morning and will definitely weigh myself again at the end of the 12 weeks.
I kicked off week 1 this past weekend by planning out all of my meals for the week, going grocery shopping, and preparing my lunches for the week. I have been 100% on track for 2 days now and am feeling really great. Here’s a peak at yesterday for example…
Workout – OrangeTheory 50 minute workout at 5AM
Breakfast – 2 slices of P28 bread, 1 tbsp light cream cheese, 2 eggs at 7AM
Snack – Carrots and 1/4 cup of cottage cheese at 10:30AM
Lunch – Brown rice, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and a chicken sausage link at 12PM
Snack – Mighty Muffin and 1 tbsp peanut butter 3:30PM
Dinner – Leftover Beef Enchilada Quinoa Bake 6:00PM
Dessert – Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich 8:30PM
I have a business lunch on Thursday and a work event on Sunday, otherwise I’m planning for my days to look similar to the past two days. I do have ingredients to make the Bubble Up Pizza dish mid-week after we finish up the Quinoa Bake, but otherwise my meals will stay the same.
In the end, I’m not looking to over complicate anything. I am staying focused, continuing to work with my behavioral nutritionist, and am not engaging in any extreme dieting. I am working to eat enough food, to spread out my food intake across the day, and to enjoy my workouts (3-4 a week).
I don’t have a challenge group established, but if that’s something you’d be interested in, please e-mail me. It would simply serve as a network to support others who are working to lose weight. My plan is to blog about this challenge every Tuesday, so be sure to check back in each week. I’m looking forward to challenging myself!