I’m Italian and I love food.
In November 2018, I signed up for Weight Watchers in hopes of losing ten pounds before my daughter’s wedding that was coming up that July. I had never tried a structured diet before, and I honestly wasn’t very hopeful.
From the start, I wasn’t sure I had it in me to stick to the plan, but I REALLY wanted to look and feel fabulous at the wedding. So, long story short, it turned out to be way easier than I anticipated once I committed to my goal, and I ended losing 34 pounds in about six months.
And it wasn’t even that hard to maintain my weight in the months that followed. I just had to eat sensibly, in moderation, and that’s what I did.
The pandemic hit. And in addition to managing my business and household, I was also managing my father’s household too.
As you might remember, some grocery items were difficult to get for several months. So, like many others, I stocked up on grocery staples.
Well, in no time, pasta (and other tasty carbs) had made their way back into my pantry and my tummy.
And as it often goes, once that train leaves the station, it picks up momentum and it’s hard to get it to turn around. As a result, my pants recently went from feeling a little snug to downright uncomfortable.
Eventually, this prompted me to bravely hop on the scale. And as it turns out, my jeans had not shrunk in the dryer as I had first suspected, but instead I had gained a few pounds.
I knew it was time to get back on the WW plan that had worked so well for me before. No regrets, no shame, but I didn’t want to continue gaining the weight that I had so diligently lost just a short time ago.
So, easy-peasy, right?
I already knew what to do and had proof that I was capable of it. So, I planned to shed the extra pounds in a few months.
But that’s not what happened.
I prepared well. I purchased the right foods, had things prepped and ready – started off with a solid plan.
And the first week I lost two pounds. Perfect.
Then the second week, a pound-and-a-half more.
“Cool”, I thought. “It’s working!”
But then week three, I gained almost all the weight back.
That morning, I stared at the scale in disbelief. What could have happened? I couldn’t figure it out, but I soldiered on.
Then, on week four, there was no change at all.
Again, I was confused. I even asked my husband to check that the scale was properly calibrated (insert eye roll and chuckle here).
As I went on my walk that morning, I spent more time thinking about this weight mystery. At first, I continued with my mind charade that I was doing things exactly as before, but then I finally dropped the sham.
I finally admitted to myself that I was doing a lot of negotiating in my brain with every food choice. I was measuring my ingredients loosely, making my servings just a little bit bigger, and not always entering the points for some treats. Like Saturday night snacks shouldn’t count, right?
Seriously, I was cheating on myself!
Who does that?
Welp, humans do I guess because I’m one of them!
Then, I thought about what was happening during the negotiation process in my brain and wondered why I was doing it this time but not before?
This is what I realized.
With each negotiation, I was telling myself, “It doesn’t matter”; meaning – this one time isn’t going to make a big difference and it doesn’t really matter anyhow.
I clearly had lost sight of my why and the insight that each-and-every small decision DOES MATTER – A LOT – when making a life change.
And of course, my physical and emotional health matters too! I mean, it’s actually quite a big deal!
And so, this is how I course corrected.
(If you’re working on a life change, you might find this helpful too.)
I created a new mantra that I repeat throughout the day and with every food decision, to remind myself of my “why”.
This is what I came up with: I love the way I look and feel at my ideal weight, and I stubbornly stick to my commitments. It matters. I matter!
I’m happy to report that it’s working, and I am back on track!
The key was to focus on the result I wanted and how I will feel once I get there. By keeping the big picture in sight, I am reminded that every seemingly small decision matters.
And this is true for any goal you are working on, not just weight loss, of course.
And furthermore, it all matters because every accomplishment helps to build self-belief and self-confidence, and this often leads to setting bigger goals and aspirations.
I want to reiterate here, this message is not about weight loss. It’s about this one and only life that you’re living.
Do you catch yourself saying, “What’s the use?”
Are you telling yourself that the changes you want to make are not important or possible, at least not for now?
Are you putting off your dreams?
Mindset is everything, my friend.
I encourage you to try what I did and create a new mantra that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day.
I mean it, don’t put it off. Intentionally create a reminder for yourself.
This is important.
Because, you know…
It matters. AND YOU MATTER!