Tag Archives: weight loss

How I Reached My Weight Loss and Wellness Goals Using Distanced Self Talk. Here’s How You Can Do It Too!

We all talk to ourselves. Some of us beat ourselves up on a daily basis. It is true that our mind believes what we feed into it. Whether it’s by the people we surround ourselves with, what we read, what we watch on TV, what we tell ourselves when we look in the mirror, our mindset is defined and shaped continually by what we feed into it.

I think we are all aware that positive self-talk is crucial to achieving our goals, but, did you know that distanced self-talk, or, talking to oneself in the third person is a tool utilized by some very successful athletes? According to a New York Times article, “The Benefits of Talking to Yourself,” research has found that it can influence behavior and cognition. If you love to read scientific studies, “Distanced Self-Talk Enhances Goal Pursuit to Eat Healthier” can be found at journals.sagepub.com.

Distanced self-talk can be instructional, like talking yourself through a task, or, motivational, like “You can do this” or “Mary can do this” instead of “I can do this.” The little trick to make this effective seems to be doing your self talk in the third person. So, instead of saying “I can do this” you need to say “(your name here) can do this!” It’s the objectivity that it lends to the situation, or the distancing from the situation, that seems to make it effective. Think of it as stepping outside yourself and talking to yourself like you were your own best friend. Distanced self talk is proven to work, I know for a fact that it has worked for me. Distanced self talk works really well if you talk out loud but, of course, you can’t always do this. Go ahead and use it silently in your head. It still works.

Tomorrow morning, put your health and wellness goals (health primes) front and center. Practice distanced self talk tomorrow to stay on course–remember, third person! Step outside of yourself and advise yourself like you would your best friend to get through those difficult moments. You got this! 2021 is going to be your year! Distanced self talk will difinitley help you and it’s a free tool to get you to your goal!

Write It Down On Paper And Leave It There

In January I will acknowledge the start date of my 3 year personal weight loss and wellness journey with WW. This is not meant to be an endorsement of WW as I believe every weight loss and wellness journey is very personal, but, WW was and is my choice and what works for me.

I came from a dark place back in 2018. About 100# heavier than I am now, physically uncomfortable, and struggling to stay positive. I joined WW on my birthday and bought an auto-renew monthly pass as a birthday present to myself. I have a supportive husband who quickly hopped onboard and has given me his full support every step of the way. He even drove me out to Oprah’s 2020 Tour event in Minneapolis and attended it with me.

One tool that I used to launch the beginning of my new journey was journaling. My first entry is hard for me to go back and read. A writing tool I learned back in nursing school was to take a blank sheet of paper, a pen, and for 1 minute write whatever words flow. The trick is to just keep writing, whatever comes out. Words, short 2-3 word phrases poured out. Even a sketch. Sometimes pictures say it all. I have never showed my first journal entry to anyone and intended to burn it because I never wanted anyone to see it. Almost 3 years later I still have it tucked away. I have pulled it out and read it twice along with the couple of entries that followed. Each subsequent entry was a bit brighter and it seems that once I wrote that initial entry my demons were somehow released and I was on the path to a better version of me.

My point is, put it down on paper and leave it there. Maybe it is a journal entry. Maybe it is writing down everything you ate on a day when you were totally derailed. Or for me, writing down my weight every morning followed by a + or – of how it relates to my WW goal weight. Writing things down empowers me and I use a paper planner/journal every single day. I take my planner everywhere and use my WW app daily (even if on some days I am missing some of the entries.) If I have stayed at your house overnight, I know where your scale is, and have used it!

2020 brought me to my WW goal in the midst of the pandemic. I remember crying during a virtual WW meeting along with my WW Coach, Pam, when it happened. I also remember her arriving at my door during the pandemic with a beautiful plant and a butterfly flag for me to celebrate. I was in my pajamas of course, not expecting anyone. We hugged and cried (again.) My WW crew has been a Godsend and they have carried my through the times when I was not able to stand on my own in this journey.

I am a different person now than I was on 1/23/18. My health is at the forefront. I am more focused and optimistic. Most importantly, I have learned how to let go of things which I cannot contol and acccept that some things just are what they are. I have learned how to avoid picking up a problem that is not mine. I have learned how to experience something bad in the world but not stand on it. I am changed and I have no regrets about any part of my journey. It’s all part of my story.

Thank you for reading the Platinum Muse. For more like this go to: http://www.platinummusecom.wordpress.com

Driving Your Mindset to Attain Your Goals

I woke up to another beautiful morning! I am starting to feel those wisps of autumn in the air and the daylight hours are noticeably shorter now. I have a good week laid out in front of me and plan to savor each day.

It seems I just can’t stress enough the importance of keeping one’s head in a good place these days. It turns out, I do have quite a bit of control over my mind set. For me it means replacing every negative though with a positive thought or taking that extra second to take note of something beautiful–even something small. I give away more smiles to people passing by It literally turns my day around. I am better now at walking away from negativity and drama than I was before. It is essential for me to do that if I want to hold on to a mindset that permits me to reach and maintain my goals.

This week I will empower myself by writing down my weekly goal with a reward at the end of the week when I achieve it. I will commit to removing myself from drama and toxic conversations. I will be mindful of what I am eating and drinking. I will challenge my body just a little bit more.

I challenge you to go after what you want this week. Tend to your mindset like you would a garden. Pull the weeds trying to take it over, feed and water it. Make sure the sun can shine on it.

Thanks for reading the Platinum Muse. –Sending out smiles and positive vibes to my readers!

A Tale Of Stress Eating At It’s Finest–And Worst, And How I Fixed It.

This is a story I have only shared with a few people close to me, so far. That’s because it’s embarrasing and not something I am very proud of. I share it here, tonight, because maybe it will help someone else who has found themselves in the same bad pattern of behavior that I found myself in.

It was the summer of my oldest daughter’s wedding. She was beautiful and was engaged to a guy who was everything that we had hoped she would find in a husband. My husband was working out of town, my youngest daughter was out on her own, and I was working the afternoon shift as an RN at a local hospital.

The bridge by our house was being replaced that summer and the new construction going on meant that I had to drive the long way around a neighboring town, cross a different bridge, and then travel on to the hospital. Going to work was not bad, although a more lengthy drive for me. Coming home alone at midnight was a different story. Sometimes I had to drive over a torn up dirt road, through an empty, creepy construction site. Sometimes I had to park up the road and walk home for about 1/4 of a mile down a dirt road and through the woods at just after midnight to reach my front door.

The upcoming wedding, just a few months out, and my long “to do” list had me stressed to say the least. My intentions were to diet down several dress sizes but the stress of the summer proved to be a bit too much for me. I would usually eat sensibly all day but at midnight on the way home I had to pass several fast food establishments. With the fast food smells wafting in from outside I would wind up going through one of the fast food drive throughs to treat myself to some super-sized, delicious, high calorie fat and sugar bomb. Then, who wants that smell and garbage in their car, right? So, knowing better, when I hit an empty stretch of road, I would wind down my passenger side window and toss all of the garbage out of the car. That was so bad on so many levels. Each time I would tell myself that it was the last time, but night after night I continued right up until my week of vacation started for the wedding. I was now exceedingly fat. The dresses I wanted did not come in my size. I wore a stretchy, flowery dress to my daughter’s wedding hoping no one would really notice what I looked like.

That my friend is stress eating. Plain and simple. And, I am not proud of it.

It wasn’t until a few years later, after I was able to peel away the layers of emotions that I had myself hidden in, that I could began to curb my stress eating and lose my 100#. I started by trying to recognize what I was actually feeling when I was overeating. I had to learn to feel the raw emotion rather than feed it food. I learned that sometimes when I felt like stress eating that what I really needed was a nap, or that I was really thirsty and needed a big glass of water. I learned that sometimes I just had to wait and do something else and that the feeling would pass. Sometimes maybe I was actually hungry and an apple, some yogurt, or some low fat string cheese would suffice. I learned a new way to handle my stress and actually feel good about myself the next day. I liked that a lot. I learned to let my bad feelings and emotions go and I still sometimes have to work on that. I no longer let negative people or thoughts rent space in my head (not for long anyhow) and have come to learn that a lot of what causes my stress is actually not my problem–it’s someone elses.

I hope this akward story of mine helps someone else lighten their emotional load. Leave me a comment if you like or follow my blog. The Platinum Muse can also be found on Facebook.

Start you healthy weight loss plan now!

Hop on the old scale and write that number down!

Are you ready to commit to a weight loss program? Are you waiting for Monday? The first of the month? Until a Sunday hits the first of the month? Are your days spinning around like an old vinyl record that has reached the end of it’s song and is now just repeating the static click, click…click, click over and over?

I remember the exact moment I committed to a healthier lifestyle and began my 100# weight loss journey. It was 01/22/18, on the eve of my 63rd birthday. I was tired out, overweight, and on blood pressure meds. My body hurt and I was feeling pretty low. I knew I did not want to continue down the same path another day. My birthday gift to myself that year was a membership in Wellness Works (formerly known as Weight Watchers.) I asked my husband if he thought I was crazy, attending my first meeting on my birthday (no birthday cake for me, thank you very much.) Turns out I had his full support, and no, he did not think I was crazy.

Understand, there were struggles, tears, and set backs along the way. With my husband’s never ending suppport and the unending encouragement from my WW Coach, Pam, and my WW Meeting group, I acheived Lifetime Status 2 1/2 years later, in the middle of this COVID Pandemic. For those of you who don’t know, Lifetime Status in WW means that you hit your goal and maintained it for 6 weeks. It’s a goal I was not sure I could ever achieve. I did though and I am still feeling elated! It’s all about sticking to the plan–whatever that plan may be for you.

I sometimes can’t even believe what I’ve done. My life is good. I’m comfortable in my own skin again and having a blast. Who would have ever guessed I would be doing this–in my 60s?

My most recent high notes? Paddleboarding on Lake Superior, hiking Bear Bluff with my daughter, running, splashing, paddleboarding with my grandkids. Next up on my hit list? I’m going to give Mountain Biking a whirl.

Let’s “manhandle” the week in from of us! Set your goal (keep it real please.) Set your reward and follow through. Good luck! You are worthy!

Thanks for sharing in my story. Follow me on Face Book at “The Platinum Muse.” Share a comment and let me know what you think!

Addendum: Paddleboard tips for older, overweight, out of shape adults because I have not found it anywhere else:

  1. Practice stretching out your back and ham strings and balancing on one foot (even if you have to hang on to something.) Strengthen your core a bit, like by doing a few planks. Practice going from kneeling on the floor to putting your hands on the floor in front of you and scootching your feet up under you and going to a standing position. This is how you will get up on your paddleboard if you are like me.
  2. Get a paddle board big enough for you! The bigger the better! Go above your weight range for extra stability.
  3. Take your paddle board out far enough in the lake or river so that if you tip you will not hit anything thing and get hurt.
  4. Now, put your paddle across the board and get on it in a kneeling position. Find the sweet spot where you are the most stable which should be somewhere close to the middle. Plant your knees there. Paddle around kneeling at first.
  5. When your are ready, lay your paddle across the board again and put your hands down on the board in front of you. Rock the board a bit and get comfortable with it’s motion. Then, scootch your hands just a bit forward and scootch your feet up towards that sweet spot as far as you can underneath your body (you’re on your toes and balls of your feet now and not your knees,) grab your paddle, and slowly stand up. Then, smile that big smile of yours and start paddleing!
  6. If for any reason you can’t get to standing just kneel and paddle! Still a blast and hey, you are still paddleboarding! Go for it!

Install Update: ME.2020

No blog post last week as I was otherwise occupied helping to welcome a beautiful new granddaughter into the world. Looking into her eyes I was reminded that life is resilient and continually cycles forward. But, I’m off on a tangent. Let me get back to my blog topic: Install Update: ME.2020.

Have you ever gained or lost a significant amount of weight or had another significant physical change occur and then had trouble spotting yourself in a group photo? Or, didn’t immediately recognize yourself in a crowded public restroom mirror? That’s because your brain does not always update your own self image accurately to the most current point in time. Your mind warps and bends and photoshops your own self image to meet what ever needs your psyche has. It fills in missing pieces of information on it’s own and presents you with a picture of yourself based on the input it has received and it’s own modifications. It can make you feel pretty good about yourself or pretty bad about yourself on any given day. Your image of yourself may or may not be real. It might just be a feeling you have about yourself and the world around you.

Feeling good about yourself is all about what is swirling around in your own head. Take a look through some pictures of yourself and take a good look in the mirror. Who are you? Does the image in the pictures match the image in your head? What do you love about yourself? What is beautifully unique? And, what do you want to change about yourself? Update your mind’s eye self image. Love your body for all of it’s unique features and beauty. Your body will follow wherever your mind leads it and that is a good thing. Try to steer what is swirling in your head. Keep your image of yourself real and grounded and always keep moving forward with your goals of health and wellness.

As you head in to the new week, take a good look at yourself and get your feet back under you. Set up your goals and rewards, and make a decision to move forward strong and grounded through these turbulent times. The world is changing fast. Look past and through the COVID 19 Pandemic and street violence. There are good things happening in the world. Love yourself. Be your own best friend. You have the power to change yourself for the better and help lead the way into a better future for everyone around you.

Thank you for reading my blog this week. I welcome comments. If you like what you have just read please hit the “like” icon or better yet, subscribe to my blog! Thank you.

Weight Loss SMART Goals and Rewards

I always stress to people embarking on a weight loss journey how important it is to set a weight loss goal. The same goes for activity. Statistically, your odds of success are greater if you have a goal in mind and write it down along with the steps you will take to achieve that goal. You likely have heard about SMART goals: S = specific, M = measurable, A = attainable, R = relevant, T = time-based. It’s what nurses do when they write up your care plan in the hospital. Say you want to loose weight, for example. You might set your first goal at 5% or 10% of your body weight. Both goals have significant beneficial effects to your health. So, maybe your S = you want to loose 8#, your M = 6 weeks from now, your A = 8# in 6 weeks is healthy and doable, your R = it makes good sense, and, your T = you have set your target date 6 weeks from now. There! Simple!

Next, write down some interventions. How are you going to achieve your SMART goal? Your interventions can be a simple list of things to move you toward your goal like drink 8-8oz glasses of water a day, walking 30 minutes a day, limiting fast food to 1 time per week. It’s whatever changes you are going to implement to achieve your SMART goal. Simple but very important to the process.

Don’t forget to set rewards for yourself along the way for staying on track with your weight loss journey! It’s important. Just like chocolate and sugar can light up the pleasure centers in your brain, so can non-food rewards. Your brain doesn’t know the difference, just that you are being rewarded. Your reward can be anything. Say for example, after every 5# loss your are going to reward yourself. A bubble bath, a new outfit, the sky’s the limit! Be creative!

So, set your SMART goal, your interventions (how are you going to get to your SMART goal) and, set your rewards at specific times along your journey! Then GO!

I will see you back here next week! Thank you for spending time with me today.