Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monbijoutheater - A cool place I want to visit

Lately, whenever I feel like my weight loss resolve is being compromised or I need a boast to keep me going, I do some virtual sight-seeing to remind me what I am working towards.  For me, Berlin isn't just a place to take a vacation.  It represents adventure and the freedom to have new experiences.  This is also a big part of my motivation to loss weight.  Nothing fuels me more than imagining myself 100 lbs lighter, being able to roam and explore this city rich in history, meeting new people and experiencing a multitude of cultural events.  It may sound odd, but it works for me.

Yesterday, while I was doing my virtual sight-seeing, I came across the Monbijoutheater.  This open amphitheater is located on the eastern bank of the Spree River across from Museum Island in the Mitte District of Berlin.  This is essentially the very heart of Berlin in an area filled with museums, boat tours along the Spree, fantastic restaurants and beach parties complete with sand on the river.

The design of the theater has the look of a Elizabethan playhouse complete with wooden benches and open timber.   The performances range from concerts to Shakespearian plays.  In fact they are performing Ein Sommernachtstraum (A Midsummer Night's Dream) this July.   The entire venue is in the shadow of the Bode Museum at the tip of Museum Island.  It looks incredible and I'm looking forward to attending a show there when I hit my 100 lbs mark!

Half way to Berlin! - Two milestones in one week

Last Saturday, I had my weekly weigh-in and I came in at 299.8 lbs.  This marks a double milestone.  First, I crossed the 300 lbs mark.  Second, this weigh-in puts me at a 50.8 total lbs lost.  That is over half way to my goal of 100 lbs and puts me half way to going to Berlin!

Sometimes I like to picture my success in physical terms.  I imagine the distance I have traveled between here and Berlin on a map relative to the amount of weight that I have lost.  Since I am now at the half point, I used a website called "Let's Meet in the Middle" to show me where exactly that is.  The map below shows that I am currently in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean just past Greenland.

The first time I went through Weight Watcher, I hit this same 50 lbs mark and received a success token.  Because I rebooted my weight loss after gaining it all back, I regained this success token this week.  It's nice to feel that I've truly earned this reward again.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Power of the Anchor

Last week at our weekly Weight Watchers meeting, we talked about anchors.  Not the heavy, iron kind.  An anchor is a reminder that helps you stay grounded and focused on your goals.  This object could be real or in your imagination.  As long as you can turn to it in your time of need.

Included in our weekly bulletin was a series of questions to help guide a member through selecting and using their anchor.  I decided to take the opportunity to make a blog post where I responded to these questions.  Here we go..... (my responses are underlined)

What's you trouble spot?  Think of a situation where you typically struggle to avoid overeating.  It could be dining out with friends, the weekly lunch meeting at work, or when you're stress or upset.

My trouble spot is when I am at work and things are very hectic, but I have not planned ahead and packed good options for the day.

How do you want to feel in that situation?  Confident?  In control of your choices?  Determined to succeed?

I want to feel calm and not stressed.  When I'm stressed or short on time, I simply grab something quickly.  If I'm calm and collected, I can think of ways to make better choices.

Now conjure up a past time when you had those positive feelings and you totally nailed it.  for instance you might have felt determination as you did your first 5K race.  Immerse yourself in that time: See what you saw, hear what you heard, and feel what you felt.

How I felt: I'm thinking back to my first year on weight watchers, specifically in the meetings that I attended.  I did very well during this time and lost almost 60 pounds.  I felt extremely confident and that I could face all the challenges ahead of me.  I saw the new possibilities available to me and heard the success stories of other members.

Now pick your anchor.  Anything that reminds you of that feeling - a gesture, word, or object - will work.  Perhaps the 5K medal you were awarded at the end of the race?

My anchor is my 33rd Degree Masonic ring.  This object reminds me of my hard work and brings me confidence.  It reminds me of new possibilities and of the successful brothers that I know.  It helps me to remember that I can overcome the challenges before me.

Make the positive connection: Look at your anchor (or think of it if it's not a physical thing) and call up those good feelings.  Keep doing it, and over time it'll become second nature.

How is this working for me:  Very well so far.  I always wear my ring, so it's always on me.  When I face a challenge that I need to face, I rub my ring between my fingers.  I have used it to fend off the wicked candy bowl that coworkers leave in the beak room and to fight the urge to pillage the snack cabinet in the office.

Finally, practice using it as defense!  Imagine the challenging situation, then wield your anchor - and focus on the feeling that helps you make good-for-you choices.  Rehearse often so anchoring is automatic and helpful.

Tips from members and my leader:  Make the anchor something visual that you can always turn to when you need it.  One member recommended her weight-loss chart on your WW phone app.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The past two weeks

The past two weeks have been a little packed and I haven't had a chance to write an update.  Although, I fell off the wagon of writing a positive thought publicly each day, I made it a point to focus on this internally, which was very successful.

As for my other goals, here's a quick look at how I did:

  • Track my Weight Watchers PointsPlus each day. - Mostly successful.  I did have 2-3 days where I didn't track each day (because of the Memorial Day weekend and multiple events).  However, I still made good choices and didn't fall off the deep end with what I ate.
  • Schedule a specific time to get activity every other day and keep to this schedule. - Successful.  I have continued walking almost ever day and have found specific times to go out and get active.
  • No cigar smoking during the workday. - Mostly successful.  I have significantly decreased my cigar smoking, however I did have two days last week where I went out for one during the workday.  I'm going to refocus on this goal and attempt to scale back even more this week.
  • 7000 steps per day - Successful.  I have been meeting this goal consistently and on days where I schedule extra activity, I can get into the 12,000-15,000 step range.  Unfortunately, my pedometer somehow reset itself and I lost all my data :(
These efforts continue to produce good results.  At my weigh-in on Sat. 5/24, I lost 1.6 lbs.  At my weight-in on Sat 5/31, I stayed the same, which isn't a bad result after a holiday weekend with several events.