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Eating Your Way To the New Year?

Holiday-Food-PresentationIt seems that from the first of November through the early part of January I give myself “permission” to eat whatever I want! The first weekend in November I go away with a group of girlfriends, then a week or so later is my birthday, then Thanksgiving, holiday banquet, husband’s birthday, Christmas parties, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, conference for work…and “suddenly” I am 10 pounds heavier! How does this happen each year?

And when I finally take a break around the middle of January, I promise myself (No resolutions–they never work!)  that I will eliminate sugar, stop drinking soda and get in shape.  I have also learned after doing this for more years than I can remember, I can’t do it alone.  That’s where UniqueU Weight Loss comes in.

This year, before the November first event, I pledged that I would stick to my  daily routine of good food choices and not load up on everything that I see, smell or pass by on the street. Why is it that we do this to ourselves? The good doctors and nurses at UniqueU say that loosing weight is as much as our mental attitude as our physical changes in what we consume. I know I certainly “gift” myself things that I would never eat any other time of the year. Cookies, desserts, new recipes to  “share” and lots more. But virtually, all the healthy choices are still available. Someone always brings fresh veggies and fruits to the party; others bring low-calorie desserts or sugar-free items for those who are dieting. Somehow my permission-to-eat over rules the logic in my brain that says “don’t do it, you’ll regret it later” and of course I always do regret it.

Not this time, not this year, not this season am I going to regrettably enter the New Year up on the scale. I have learned that substituting fresh veggies, drinking an herbal tea with sugar-free, non-dairy cream is just as delightful as a piece of cake or several cookies.  Do I ever give in? You bet I do! Not for long and most often I can eat one or two bites, and still get the enjoyment I need.

Let’s face it, food is a part of our lives. Unfortunately, I learned long ago that I don’t “eat to live” I “Live to eat!” and that is the problem. A mind-change is necessary to get where I am and with the help of UniqueU, my New Year will be a happier and healthier one than last year! Won’t you join me?

5 Lessons I Learned When Cleaning My Closet

It’s the time of the year when cleaning clothes closets becomes a necessity (certainly not a pleasure!) But this year, in particular, was a learning moment for me — actually it was over the course of several hours! I learned some interesting things which not only apply to my closet, but also to my life. In fact, I can use it as a guide to my spiritual life, my career and my wellness journey. Not to mention, my closet. So take what you will from these five life lessons.

1. I am a hanger hoarder. Yes, I admit it. I hoard clothes hangers. It’s kind of like ink pens; even though my daughter-in-law works as the VP of Bic pens, my greatest fear is walking into an appointment and not having a pen. Likewise, the thought of walking into my closet and having no hanger is terrifying. That may be an exaggeration, but it is frightening. Therefore, I hoard hangers. All hangers. Every kind of hangers. I especially hold on to the ones which are plastic and have metal hooks. I love those hangers. I also keep paper covered wire, white ones (my least favorite) and wooden hangers, both for pants and jackets.

After deleting a box of tops and a few pairs of slacks, I was left with a mountain of hangers on the floor of my closet. I sorted through them, organizing them into types and sizes and then had to make a determination of what to do with them. Keep, give away or toss. At one point I had a hand being used as a closet rod, filled with my favorite type, while I tried to grasp a hand full of white wires which had to be tossed. When both hands were full, I couldn’t open the closet door…..Finally I dropped the whole lot of white wires to the floor. Lesson One: Sometimes you must let go of something in order to hold on to something better.

2.  As I began to put my closet “in order” I began organizing my tops by color: All white shirts, sweaters, blouses together. Then light blues, pinks, corals, teals, navys, reds, browns and blacks. It was then that I realized Lesson Two: Not everything can be classified in one group.  What about that bold print top which has red, purple, black and navy? Or how about the black and white checks? What about the wild flower print with a multitude of colors? There are some things which just don’t belong in one category. They overlap in two or more groups.

3. Soon my closet began to take oncloset it’s own personality. One of neatness, organization, momentary sanity. I was getting excited about finding my vests when I envisioned looking for one; for a short sleeve navy blue sweater that was always sandwiched in-between the long sleeve black tops. Now I can see them. It was then I had the profound insight of Lesson Three: Not everything lost, is truly lost. Sometimes it is just tucked out of sight, waiting to be found.

4. Lesson Four should have been immediately obvious. Lesson Four: All things have value to someone. As I boxed up my clothes into piles of Give away, Set aside for later, donate or finally toss, there was much more in the first three piles than in the “toss” pile. Simply because someone can generally use whatever I no longer want or need. Just because the value for me has diminished, doesn’t make it less valuable to someone else.

5. With a sigh of satisfaction, I began to organize the bottom rack of my slacks, to the left and my sweaters and casual jackets to the right. Again by color and on my favorite pant hangers, the one with the cardboard tubes which keep them from getting creases in the legs.  I rifled through my worn jeans, my old wool skirt from high school (yes, don’t faint) its a mere 40 years young…or so. It was then that I understood Lesson Five: Some things are just worth saving, simply because.

My closet is now a delight of organization. Clothes I cannot wear have been removed; winter has replaced summer and too big has been replaced by just right sizes. It is a closet worthy of keeping in order. And it feels really, really good.

Getting There…IS the Journey!

IMG_1789Well I made it through the summer months, still on the downhill side of my new lifestyle journey. Although I haven’t quite reached where I want to be, I am plugging forward, now looking towards two family weddings in the next six weeks and wearing something remarkably smaller than I would have worn last year.
I saw a friend the other day that I hadn’t seen in a few months. As I walked up her driveway, she came outside and said, “Oh my gosh! Are you shrinking!” and of course I said a resounding “YES!” I love when someone notices the 35+ pounds that are missing.
Changing my eating habits has not been an easy task and I am certain I wouldn’t have been able to continue had it not been for the support and encouragement from the staff at UniqueU Weight Loss. Each week when I go in, whether with a ½ pound or a 1-1/2 loss (or sometimes gain!), they keep me excited to see what the following week will bring.
I still would like to get rid of another 20 pounds or so, and if takes me a while longer, so be it. I am no longer hiding behind my husband in photos and I can wear clothes that are three years old—which I don’t even mind! Getting smaller means that I am feeling a lot better and our evening walks no longer leave me breathless. The feel of tight jeans, because they are supposed to be “form fitting” are much more comfortable than the ones that required laying on the bed to zip. I truly am happy with who I am becoming. And there lies the danger…
Getting comfortable before reaching my goal can be a bad thing. I suddenly say, “Well, this one cookie (candy bar, muffin, slice of cake, ice cream) won’t hurt. I literally had a battle with a pound and a half for a month! Up a half, down three-quarters, up a half, down a pound! For four weeks it was an absolute wash. But now I am back on track and heading towards the weddings, Thanksgiving and Christmas with the many events and parties that I will be attending. I want to look spectacular, and eating the whole buffet table will not be an option!
If you are still struggling with what to do, DON’T wait until after the holidays when you are 15 pounds heavier than you are today. Believe me when I say, I’ve been there. No one wants to start a diet before the holidays, but if you don’t do it now, you will be sorry later. At least you will have the guidance and plan of what to do when you are confronted with sugarplums dancing in your head. Get on track at UniqueU Weight Loss. It really works!!!

A Story to Tell

The Tortius and the hare Once upon a time there was a very slow tortoise, let’s call him a turtle for the sake of simplicity, and a very fast hare, otherwise known as a rabbit.  Every day they would walk the same path on their way around the forest, let’s call it their life. And each day the rabbit would run circles around the turtle. But the turtle went at the same pace and always ended up at home. The rabbit noticed how slow the turtle was and poked fun at him, “You are soooo slooooow turtle, I can run circles around you.” But the turtle didn’t care. He just kept his same pace.

One day the turtle was tired of being ridiculed and challenged the rabbit to a race. The rabbit laughed but took the challenge. They both started at the same place and both left with the same enthusiasm. The rabbit quickly outran the turtle, but the turtle kept his same steady pace.  The rabbit, not wanting the turtle to feel too bad about losing, decided to stop on the side of the road and graze on some newly blooming clover. He filled his belly and even decided to take a quick nap. After all, the turtle would not be along for quite a while.  But soon the turtle, still has his steady pace, passed the spot where the rabbit was napping, not even noticing the sleeping hare.

When the rabbit awoke, the turtle was no where in sight and he assumed he hadn’t passed him yet.  And you know the rest of the story.

Sometimes I feel like a turtle, slow and steady at this quest for successful weight lose. I have watched several friends “dieting” and seen them lose weight quickly. For me, I am just teetering around the 30 pounds lost since mid-February. I have had some challenges along the way, but don’t we all in this journey called life?  I have continued to lose and am now seeing the quick-loss friends as they stop to nap, and watching them gain back some of their weight loss.

The truth is, most every diet works. The hard fact is, you have to stick to it. UniqueU has provided a way to adjust your life by following their program and, even when you have a detour or two, you get back on the path and continue to lose. Last week when I went in for my “accountability time” I told one of the gals that I had only done “ok” but my scale at home hadn’t changed.  My clothes feel looser and I can wear so many things that have been hanging. But much to my delight, I was down 3.8 pounds!

So and steady, step by step, over gravel, rocks and around the boulders, I know that I will continue to go, at my pace, until I cross the finish line where I will be quite comfortable staying for a very long time. Hang in there turtle, the finish line is just ahead!

Okay, so having been on this diet since mid-February, one thing that I have come to realize is that I can get too comfortable! I am familiar with how many calories I can eat, what foods are okay and even how much I need to exercise. The problem is that I can quickly become “too comfortable” with what I am doing. It is so easy to say, “well I actually have 150 calories left so I can eat…..(whatever I want and believe to be under my calorie goal).  That’s not a good thing. After being so good for so long, last week I went in to learn that I had gained…only the second time (first time on vacation). It was only 3/4 pound, but those pounds quickly ad up and then its 1 1/2 pounds, then three, then six,  then OMJ I am back to square one.

This week I had to refocus on my goal. I  put it in front of me, made a determined effort to “stick to it!”  The prize is worth the effort.  We all know that with any goal, there are ups and downs and dieting and wellness are certainly no exception. I have a mini-chalkboard on my desk that my daughter made for me and I change the message weekly. This week it says, “Choose to be GREAT!”  All of our life is made of choices. We choose to work hard; we choose to have a great attitude despite our circumstances; we choose to be kind to someone we really don’t want to be kind to; we choose what we do with our spare time; and we choose what we eat, drink and splurge on.  I put splurge in a separate category since many times it doesn’t involve real food–just junk!

Today I weighed in and lost another 1-1/2 pounds for the week! Steady wins the race! My other motto is–The turtle always wins!

Have a great week and don’t get comfortable!