Weight Watchers tricks for everyone

Anyone who knows me knows I love Weight Watchers. I especially love the Weight Watchers app. For me, it’s a way of staying on track and in control, similar to My Fitness Pal for other people. This week I was -68 points, and that doesn’t even include my lattes which I don’t track..

The week before I was -61, and the week before that I was negative 92 points. Most people would panic at that but I look at those negative numbers as a positive. That’s because, when most of us start a diet we start with 1 goal, lose weight. And in that being our only goal, we completely forget to recognize other successes. But not only that, we set ourselves up for failure.

I started a new job about 6 months ago and it was a major life change for me, a change that had me feeling all kinds of emotions. And because of that I started emotionally eating. And I didn’t want to diet, but I also didn’t want to gain so I thought of another goal I could accomplish. I texted my friend and said, I’m going to track in my app until my birthday, keep me accountable.

My goal was to simply track my food in my weight watchers app, I said nothing about what foods I would track, just that I’d track. Sure enough, it’s helped  me stay healthy both physically and mentally.

I believe it’s so important to pick goals that don’t involve losing weight but make weight loss happen in the meantime. Because when you do that, you’re becoming healthy both physically and mentally.

It’s a small thing to focus on, that can fit into your life, without feeling overwhelming. And surprisingly, these habits do stick. So if you started your diet this Monday morning, I challenge you to redirect your thinking, pick a smaller goal that you can accomplish.

Here’s my advice in setting goals to set yourself up for success:

  1. Add something to your life, don’t take something away. (For example, instead of saying I’m not going to eat chocolate, say “I am going to eat two pieces of fruit a day”)
  2. Give yourself a specific end date. (ie: I am going to eat two pieces of fruit everyday until Dec. 9, 2018) I would try to keep your time frame around 1 month, not much longer
  3.  Tell someone. Tell your best friend, a co-worker, your mom, me! (nicole@mondaydieter.com) anyone that you respect and love that will kindly keep you accountable. I will happily be anyone’s person who is reading this.

 

And if you’re rolling your eyes and saying, “yeah nicole but I need to lose 50 pounds by next Tuesday, I need something more aggressive”, gently remind yourself all the times you’ve tried a more aggressive approach and failed… so try this instead…

And I want everyone to remind themselves that maintenance is success. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about not gaining also. That’s just as important and these little goals are so instrumental in that!

Happy Monday!

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Blog Post: My side hustle

This past week I had the opportunity to sit down with my friend Carla Marie and chat on her amazing podcast, Side Hustlers. In her own words, the podcast is about “stories of people who are crushing the game of life.” She talks to people who do their regular job and still follow their passion. And she talks to people who turned their side hustle into their regular job too.

Monday Dieter, is obviously, my side hustle. My full time job is as a television producer and Monday Dieter, this blog, is literally my passion project. I say that because, I make no money! (sadly but it’s the truth)

When I stopped to think about that fact that I’ve been writing this for upwards of 3 years, I kind of felt embarrassed when she asked to interview me. Am I getting anywhere? Is this worth it? Am I wasting my time? Does anyone care? Do I still care? What’s my end goal? Am I contributing anything to the world or am I white noise? Am I a better person because of this? Why is this my passion? Why do I keep going?

But with all these doubts…I’ve kept going. What’s keeping me going through? I gut feeling I think…

I think we have ALL felt that way about something in our lives. We feel like we’re working SO hard but we don’t think we’re getting anywhere. I think many of us feel that way often with dieting. We’ve been cutting calories, making healthier choices, going to the gym more and yet the scale moves SO slow. We feel like the return on investment isn’t enough to keep going.

When I feel that way it’s up to me to flip the narrative. It’s up to me to evaluate, is this something that feels like work or is this something that is enjoyable? What impact, if tiny, have I made? The truth is, progress is often EXTREMELY slow. But if you are further along then when you started, you are making progress. If you are a better person than when you started, you’re making progress. But also, don’t be afraid to walk away from something. Don’t be afraid to surrender and say, this isn’t working. I am not happy. Only you know, deep down, if you should give up or keep going.

Happy Monday!

Click here to listen to the podcast, Side Hustlers

 

 

I tried on the same size pair of jeans at every store in the mall…Here’s what happened!

If you are like me you have spent your whole life trying to find the perfect pair of jeans. Anyone who says jeans are comfortable, in my mind, can’t be trusted. I actually dread putting jeans on every morning. The first thing I do when I get home from work is walk to my room and take my jeans off. THE. FIRST. THING. Furthermore, we all say that size doesn’t matter but no one can deny that it does affect us emotionally. That’s why I did my own social experiment in vanity sizing. My friend Sarah dropped me off at the mall & I walked the entire perimeter of both floors and stopped in every store I’d typically buy jeans in. I picked up the same size pair of jeans at each store. To keep things somewhat consistent, the jeans I tried on in each store were the pair on the table in the front of the store. My rationale, those were the jeans I’d probably want since they are the most in style. I picked up the jean wash in all, no whites or blacks or colored jeans. I proceeded to the dressing room & tried each on. I took pictures & notes. Here’s what happened!

(Ranked below in order of “Fit” to “I can’t get these jeans up over my knees”)

Forever 21: Fit, would purchase.

Charlotte Russe: Fit, would purchase.

NY & Co: Fit, would purchase

Banana Republic: Fit, but snug, would purchase BUT would need to wear a flowy top to hide the slight muffin top.

J-Crew: Fit, but snug, would need bigger size if I was going to purchase & wear comfortably.

Express: Zipped, tiny muffin top, would need 1 size bigger if I was going to purchase.

American Eagle: Zipped, but major major muffin top, major wiggle dance to get in them. I would need 2 sizes bigger if I was going to purchase.

Holister: MADE IT HALFWAY UP MY BUTT. That’s it. Would have been a major rip IF I had continued. Would need at least 2 sizes up if I was going to purchase.

Aeropostale: Nope, not gonna zip. Would need at least 2 sizes bigger if I was going to purchase

Gap: DIDN’T EVEN MAKE IT PAST MY HIPS. LEGIT stopped. I would need 3 sizes bigger if I was going to purchase- This was shocking to me!!!

These results aren’t shocking.  We all know that jeans fit us all so differently. And in no way is this a scientifically controlled experiment. It’s the real and raw reality of jean shopping. It’s a glimpse at just how frustrating it is to shop for jeans. How hard we work to find the perfect fit. How much money we spend on a pair of jeans that look good. And how often we DO think of that size. We often buy the smaller size as “motivation” to lose weight which is the most stressful thing we can do to ourselves. We often squeeze ourselves into the smaller size just so we know we are wearing the smaller size. And here’s what upsets me most, when you go try on jeans, if you’re like me, you always take the smaller size in hopes they fit. When they don’t, you subconsciously make a new goal to fit into those. It’s actually maddening. And we need to take back power of those tags.

I hope you think of this social experiment the next time you try on a pair of jeans and they don’t fit. There is literally only one reason I’d run around the mall trying on every pair, it’s because I feel so passionately about every woman ending the war they wage on their bodies. Remember, don’t blame yourself. As you can see from above, it’s NOT your fault that some jeans fit and some you can’t wiggle over your knees. You deserve more than to let a tiny number on the back of your pants determine your true value. And when all else fails, just f*cking wear leggings:)

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I weighed myself on 10 different scales… here’s what happened

This is something I have been thinking about doing for a very long time. The scale is something I get asked about more than anything else. It’s shrouded in mystery. When it’s too high or doesn’t move we question it’s accuracy. When it’s too low or too good to be true, again, we question its accuracy. We weigh more on certain scales and less on certain scales and it drives us nuts thinking which one is right. And to make matters worse, everyone knows that every single ounce counts.

The scale is something we fear. The scale is something we hate. Yet most of us just can’t stop getting on it day after day and letting the number weigh us down.

So will we ever know which scale is the most accurate?! Will we ever REALLY know how much we weigh? I wanted to find out any information I could so I set up an experiment. First, I had to get ten scales. Since I was hosting a brunch for my sister with my aunt this past weekend, I asked everyone coming to kindly bring their scale (nothing to do with the brunch I assured them).

First: I wanted to answer the question: Why do I weigh so much more at the doctors’ office or an afternoon weigh in? So I weighed myself for one week, every morning, and was the exact same weight. When it was time for the experiment, around noon, on that same scale, I weighed 3 pounds more. I was dressed, I had coffee and cereal. I had also gone to the gym. So that just proves that you DO weigh more as the day progresses. It doesn’t mean one scale is more accurate than another.

Then, I lined up all 10 scales and stepped on them one after another. I recored each weight. I used  my bathroom scale as scale 1, the point of reference, because it’s what I weigh myself on.

Here’s what happened:

 

Scale 1: My scale, my weight (or so I believe)

Scale 2:  2.7 pounds less than my scale (easiest 2.7 pounds I ever lost!)

Scale 3:  The same as my scale

Scale 4: Up .3 pounds from my scale

Scale 5: Down .2 pounds from my scale

Scale 6: Back up .4 pounds from my scale

Scale 7: Up 1 pound from my scale

Scale 8: The same as my scale

Scale 9: Up 2 whole pounds from my scale!

Scale 10: The same as my scale

Right there we have enough proof that no scale is “right” or “wrong.”

Then at the suggestion of one of the scale owner’s husbands, I put a 45 pound weight on each scale. The rationale, whichever scale read 45 pounds was the most accurate scale. Well guess what…NOT A SINGLE SCALE WEIGHED 45 POUNDS. The scales  ranged from 44.5 pounds to to 45.8 pounds.

AND the scale that the 45 pound weight was heaviest on wasn’t the same scale I was the heaviest on…

I’m not a scientist but I am someone who let the number on the scale rule over them for way to long. So let’s take the power back from the scale. It currently takes up too much head space that we don’t have room for. That number doesn’t define us. It never did and it never will. Happy Monday!

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Read more of my scale experiments:

I Weighed Myself Every 16 Hours…Here’s What Happened

Clearing up Water Weight Confusion

Making Peace With The Scale

 

Here what to do if you ate too much

MOVE ON!

Sometimes I have long drawn out posts written and then in my own life I’m thinking about how I feel personally and my post transitions into 2 simple words that I have to tell myself constantly… MOVE ON.

Move on from the self loathing, move on from the eating regret, move on from any and all extreme thinking of how to undo damage.

As I was driving home last night from my Superbowl party (which was highly documented on Instagram as my husband is the biggest Eagles fan ever) I was kind of beating myself up over what I had eaten that day. I had too many chips. One too many chocolate covered Oreos and then to keep myself awake on the drive home I polished off a bag of Twizzler’s Licorice Nibs that I keep in my glove compartment for “emergencies.” I feel the way we all feel after eating crap…like crap.

Physically feelings aside, the mental aspect is the hardest. That’s because in moments of eating regret we often look to a quick fix. We look to fix the damage we’ve done as soon as possible. We start thinking of fad diets and ways to starve ourselves the next day. We continue to beat ourselves up. Frankly, it’s exhausting. In those moments, I have to just say to myself, move on Nicole. You ate what you ate. Tomorrow is a new day and you will continue to do the best you can tomorrow. If you gained a pound, who cares. Literally who cares! You’re too good to be brought down by bad eating.

Move on. No need to dwell, nothing needs to be done, just enjoy this new day:)

Happy Monday!

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Images from Totallythebomb.com

 

I wore a fitness tracker for 1 week… Here’s what happened.

I’m the type of person who often says, “I literally ate nothing today.”  So I get home from work and eat half the refrigerator because after all I deserve it, I barely ate. Then after a few days  of “eating nothing” my jeans start feeling tighter and the scale starts creeping up. That forces me to rethink my days of “eating nothing.”  A couple food journals later I learn that I actually grazed all day and even though it felt like I ate nothing since I ate nothing of substance, I ate far from nothing. This is me being blissfully ignorance.

That’s how I felt upon receiving a fitness tracker for Christmas. I always wanted one. But every time I went to spend the money, I thought, just walk more Nicole. No need to pay money for something that you should be able to accomplish on your own. Plus, blissfully ignorant again, I always assumed I walked plenty. I assumed I easily got close to 10,000 steps a day. I assume I was active.

I set it up my new tracker and wore it for a whole week. And guess what? I take NO WHERE NEAR 10,000 steps a day.

Here are my step stats:

  • Monday: 5,879
  • Tuesday: 2,776
  • Wednesday: 2,654
  • Thursday, 4,456
  • Friday, 2,789
  • Saturday: 3,165
  • Sunday: 998

The one day I did make it halfway there was a day I had a show and was on my feet in the studio for 4 hours. But still, I wasn’t even half way there. I was actually appalled on Sunday when I took less than 1,000 steps.

During my experiment I even thought a couple times, well let me see if I can try harder to get close to 10,000. I can bundle up and walk around the block a couple times. Or I can simply walk back and forth in my kitchen while watching TV. I didn’t do any of these things on any days, as you can see. I am going to continue to wear my fitness tracker watch. But this experiment taught me, and reminded me or 3 important things.

  1. Like the scale, a fitness tracker isn’t there to judge you, it’s a tool that can simply give you information. Information that can motivate you to alter your actions to do better.  We shouldn’t fear health truths, we should embrace them.
  2. Often times we feel frustrated, stuck, like nothing we do is working, we’ll never lose weight. But in reality, we just need to make a couple alterations because we’re blissful ignorant about what we are actually doing.
  3. Small changes can make a big difference. I bet if all I do for the next couple weeks is work to get this number closer to 10,000 a day, I will see results. We don’t have to make every change and be perfect at everything when it comes to our health. Just make one change, focus on one goal, and the results will come. Be great at one thing, not mediocre at a lot of things.

Let’s all step into extra happiness and success this week.

Happy Monday!

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Also…I was privileged to be a guest on my good friend’s podcast this week! He’s inspiring and passionate about health. Feel free to listen into our conversation! Click the link below

Workout Wednesday with Anthony Podcast