Thursday, October 1, 2015

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Current Weight: 304 lbs
Total Loss: 45 lbs
Avg. Loss/Week: 1.73 lbs
- Body Weight %age: 13%

It's my favorite time of the year! Having nothing to do with the fact that my birthday is the day before it, I LOVE Halloween. But I am already mourning the absence of one of my favorite holiday traditions: buying a mega bag of candy (or three) "for the kids" and eating it myself. In fact, I always associate scary movies with the rustle of candy wrappers and the crunch of Kit-Kats but this year I'm planning to dig into my yarn stash and starting some knitting projects to keep my hands busy instead. Anyone need a scarf? Or a badly misshapen hat??

This week was a big improvement over the last two as Jordan and I continue to get back on track. I attribute part of this success to an article I read this week from MyFitnessPal’s blog, HelloHealthy, called “The Secret Ingredient You Need for Stronger Motivation.” I'll save you the legwork and spill the secret here:

“A common misconception is that people who are able to create healthy habits have a tremendous amount of discipline. They are able to wake up early and go to the gym no matter how dark and cold it is outside. They are capable of torturing themselves indefinitely, and that trait somehow makes them better people.

This is a myth.

Psychology research has shown that people who are able to create healthy habits don’t have more discipline, they have more self-compassion.

I attribute the other part of our success to my husband. On Saturday, both of us had done some game-day binging so he suggested we burn off a few calories doing Just Dance on the Wii. I asked him what the point would be; neither of us was going to burn off all the extra calories we’d taken in so why bother? He suggested that my not-so-hidden perfectionism was showing and that we didn’t have to scrap the day over some bad decisions. “I guess I just figure it couldn’t hurt so why not try to burn off some of it?” 
So we had a dance party together.
In our underwear.
I love that man.

And it was enough to get me back into walking this morning. I had been trying and failing to get back into my morning walking routine for about two months but this morning, I naturally woke at 6:30 on the dot and suited up for a stroll. What is it about exercise that after a break you have amnesia about how good it is until you DO IT then you're like "why the crap was I avoiding this??" The walk was restorative—the sunrise was purple and gold, Cooper was ecstatic, and the crisp October air elevated my mind and my mood.

For once, I didn't bully myself into getting back into walking. I let it happen organically and it went from a chore to a luxury just like that. I unknowingly exercised a long-unused reflex—self-compassion—and waited until I was ready to return to my routine without forcing it.

I say all of this because if you're where I was for 30 years and had no idea how to begin a new way of living healthfully, please don't start where I did so many times with "C'mon Meg, you cow, get to work and let's work on those thunder thighs," only to admit defeat days or even hours later. Instead, talk to yourself like you would a friend or someone you love. In my case, this means talking to myself the way my husband does "You're up early today, feel like going for a walk?" or "Easy on the popcorn, Pretty Girl, dinner will be ready in a minute."  I married someone who speaks to me more kindly outwardly than I talk to myself inwardly.

"There’s no value in beating yourself up. If your best friend or child were struggling with a similar situation, would you just assume they’re hopeless and give up on them? Of course not. You would be kind, listen to their concerns, do your best to point out the positives and steer them toward the answer.

You must treat yourself with the same dignity. Not only do you deserve it, but it’s also actually the only way to solve your problem."

And don't you forget it.


  1. Let's walk next week. I'd love to share a sunrise.

  2. Only if you let me walk around with that goofy-butt grin on my face basking in the glow of streetlights taking selfies of myself. (Really, how could you refuse?)

  3. Hey Al! Thanks a lot and you're a great teacher of this concept. You are always talking about finding contentment and I think that's a key ingredient in self-love.