A Habit to Happiness

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to
look beyond the imperfections.

Very often, I hear people say things like “I’ll be happy when I lose weight, I’ll be happy when I finish college, get a promotion, find a spouse, have more money etc.”  The truth is that if you’re waiting for happiness in the present, you’ll be waiting for it in the future.  According to Harvard University Professor of Psychology, Daniel Gilbert, “people believe that if good things happen, they’re going to be ecstatic and that joy will last a very long time, in fact they are ecstatic and the joy quickly dissipates”.  Although it’s human nature to want more, a movie I watched over the weekend suggested a habit to prevent the aforementioned.

The documentary “Happy” (check it out on Netflix) conducted a study which asked students to make a weekly list of five things they were grateful for.  After a few weeks of reinforcing their blessings, the students who counted their blessings the most became happier than the students who had forgotten to write them down. Other studies asked people to commit random acts of kindness (i.e. putting change in someone else’s parking meter, assisting another with a project, or volunteering at a nursing home) on a regular basis.  The studies showed that committing altruistic acts had the most positive effect on happiness levels.  Last month, I volunteered at a soup kitchen and was so overcome by the amount of happiness I felt, that I committed to volunteering once a month.

Begin writing your list of five things you have to be grateful for, and set a weekly reminder on your calendar or cell phone to re-write the list each week. I guarantee you have more than five blessings!

Until tomorrow,

Suzanne

p.s. excuse any grammatical errors on this post (my original was accidentally deleted forcing me to remember and re-write everything all over again) .

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Size Matters

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“Start measuring your progress by the steps you climb versus the mountaintops that you reach”-Robin Sharma

I was making Tuna salad for lunch yesterday, and reached for a spoon to get my mayonnaise out of the jar. I realized that my spoon was somewhat large and wondered if this was more than the “tablespoon” that I thought it was. To compare, I grabbed my set of measuring spoons and realized I was WAAY off. Normally, I would’ve added two regular spoons (the spoon on the right) of mayo to a can of tuna and calculated it as 180 calories of Mayonnaise in my calorie count. When I used two actual tablespoons (on the left) only then, was it actually 180 calories of mayonnaise. I was cheating my calorie count by 100-150 calories because I didn’t know what a tablespoon of mayonnaise or (anything for that matter) looked like.

It’s amazing how far off we can be when we assume portion sizes so I would suggest buying a set of measuring spoons and dry measuring cups to help you along the way. The measuring cups that I have, I bought at Weight Watchers many years ago. They look like big serving spoons and I think that they still make them today, so drop into a Weight Watchers, tell them you’re a member at another location, and see if you can find them.

Bottom line, small changes will amount to big differences.

57 Pounds and Counting

While I was pregnant, I ate whatever I wanted; I couldn’t stomach salads or vegetables(foods I had eaten on a daily basis prior to my pregnancy) and 65 pounds later there I was, looking like Princess Fiona’s understudy. While it was fun letting myself eat as much as I wanted, by the end of my pregnancy I could barely breathe properly because of the excess weight. I knew what I had gotten myself into and take full responsibility for having gained so much weight.  Although 28 pounds came off at delivery, I still had to lose (and still losing) 37 pounds. Although I am 8 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, I had 15 pounds to lose before getting pregnant. What can I say? I really enjoy good food but in the meantime its important for me to get to where I want my body to be without obsessing over it all day long.

When it comes to weight-loss, I am finding out that Honesty, Moderation, and Time are key.

  1. HONESTY- By honesty, I mean REALLY being honest with yourself. If I had a dollar for every person who said “I don’t know why I can’t lose weight, I don’t eat that much” I’d be rich. Yes, I know that people have health problems and some may take medications which cause weight gain and I am not referring to them. I am referring to that person who is constantly complaining but constantly eating junk food. (muffin for breakfast, cheese steak for lunch, etc. etc.) There is nothing wrong with a cheese steak a day when you are trying to lose weight, as long as you are willing to eat nothing but plain green vegetables the rest of the day (NO FUN). LOL… you get the point. This week I am asking you to commit to writing down EVERYTHING you eat (including that cookie you just ate while reading this) and you’ll see what you are doing wrong. The calorie range you want to stay in is 1200-1600 calories a day. For those of you who’d like to track online or on your phones I HIGHLY recommend the Myfitnesspal.com application. If you’d like to join me, my user name on there is arabamira17.
  2. MODERATION- If there is a “weakness” food you can’t live without, have it everyday, but in a portioned amount.  For me, this is food is ice cream. Anytime I’ve dieted in the past, I ate ice cream everyday and lost weight.  I can eat a half-cup of REAL ice cream and be satisfied and I refuse to eat that low-fat junk sweetened with splenda or aspartame. It isn’t natural, and it doesn’t taste good.  If you are going to eat ice cream, go hard or go home and grab that pint of Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s.  If you can’t control your “weakness” food/s and have to eat the whole bag of family sized Doritos’ (GUILTY), or the whole box of pasta, don’t keep it in the house.
  3. TIME- I’ve been able to lose 30 pounds on my own so far because I haven’t given up. I take each day as it comes, and if I indulge one day, I pay for it the next day by shutting my mouth. Though I am not a lazy person, I am not a fan of “working out”.  It stresses me out, makes me hungry and I’d rather spend my time doing something I enjoy or find an activity that I can commit to while changing my body (I am open to suggestions). I love to dance and I take an hour and a half salsa class once a week.

Remember to track what you eat for a week and look at what you may be eating too much of.  With this said, I leave you with a quote from Ralph Marston “Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.

Take everything a day at a time and keep on moving. We can do this!

Until next time,

Suz

Hello world!

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am really excited to be starting this but before you think this is “just another weight loss blog”, think again. My posts will provide you with weekly motivation which will include my specific weight loss journey as well as articles about healthy eating.  In addition, I will be throwing in my “foodie” flair and blogging about the delicious restaurants, foods and recipes I come across.  W150271_10152243358120282_146057916_nhether you are trying to lose 5 pounds or 500 pounds, I hope my posts will inspire you along the way .