Weight Loss: A Journey of Losing, Gaining, and Maintaining

The Struggle with Losing Weight

I’ve seen many friends and family members struggle with weight loss throughout my life. My weight didn’t start tipping the scales of unhealthy until I hit 40. Then like a speeding bullet, pound after pound started piling on. Now, as many of my friends know, I do not like the burn of working out. I focus too much on the feeling and it messes with my creativity and flow of writing. I attempted going on the treadmill to lose the weight, but it didn’t do anything. No matter how fast I walked or the incline, it just sucked up my time and felt pointless. At the time, I wasn’t trying to lose weight for the right reasons. I thought if I lost weight, I would feel better about myself. A trap I’ve watched so many people fall into, just like I would be happy if…

The Importance of Self-Worth, Self-Esteem, and Self-Image

When we put our self-worth, self-esteem, and self-image outside of ourselves, we will STRUGGLE. We set ourselves up for failure, disappointment, and lack. We don’t have to lose weight to be lovable. We do have to choose to love ourselves in order to see the love that is presented to us. That doesn’t come from what we are not right in this moment. If we struggle with loving ourselves, we will manifest struggles in our lives. Our energy that comes from our core will permeate throughout. You can read more about in the inward journey:

90-Day A Better Me Series

Enjoying Losing the Weight

I knew if I was taking care of myself mentally, taking care of myself physically would feel natural and right. I decided to walk outside in nature, because that is something I love to do. I walked 5 miles a day listening to self-help books, meditations, podcasts, and anything that encouraged positive thinking. I love food so I wasn’t about to give anything I loved up, so I just started counting my calories and being accountable for what I was putting in my body. The weight came off. Then, in the busyness of life I just couldn’t find the time for walking the 5-mile walks and lost interest in counting the calories, and the gaining commenced. The maintaining got lost in the busyness of trying to fit more into my day than I had time for. 

Mindset Matters

Now, as a writer of a blog called From A Loving Place, I have talked about the energy of against thinking and what that does to us. I know negative energy attracts more of what we don’t want to see, so if I go at weight loss with the energy of working against accepting the person I am right in this very moment, I know that I’m putting a negative energy into the process and I will feel like I’m in a struggle to lose weight. If I focus on there not being time, the time for it goes away. I decided I wasn’t going to try to lose weight. I was going to accept myself exactly as I was and focus on being the healthiest version of me. 

When the Student is Ready…

Then came the road trip. I love road trips. I can be in cars for hours, days, and/or weeks and as long as I’m not in an area with excessive traffic, I’m at total peace. Road trips are an important part of my self-care, but not this particular road trip. I was in pain. There was a new roll of fat over my ribs that was causing me pain while driving. This roll was messing with my joy and my self-care. I found myself completely focused on the roll of fat the whole trip. It’s not like it changed my outer looks that much, but it definitely was affecting what was going on inside of me. That pain showed me something needed to change to be the best version of myself, so I started focusing on how I WANTED to feel. My energy was aligned with a healthy mindset.

The day after I got home from the trip, I decided it was time to commit to healthier practices. I had bought a knock off the Simply Fit Exercise Board some time ago, but just like any gadget it had sat in a perfect place ready for the day I would start getting on it. I went onto YouTube and found tons of great workouts to do with the board and weights. What I loved about the thought of this workout was that I didn’t have to make any time to do it. I simply did it while watching a television show that I already made time for. For the first time, I actually ENJOY strengthening and toning exercises, and it is strengthening my whole core and my arms!!! WHAT?!

Gaining Wisdom About Healthy Living

I’ve discovered that when I enjoy the process, I don’t feel like I’m in a struggle to lose weight. As I enter my third month of doing these workouts and being accountable for the food that I put into my body, I’ve lost 18 lbs. and counting. I’m not dreading anything; there is no painful recovery time. The exercise doesn’t make any of my body parts hurt after. My creativity is intact. I can go on for short 10-15 minute spurts, 30-minute variations, or just go at a steady pace for an hour. I feel good while I’m doing it. As I started to feel better and better, I started adding leg lifts with ankle weights, variations of weights from 2-10 lbs., and mixing it up with yoga stretches. I’m no longer focused on losing the weight, but enjoying the feeling and the energy I have to get me through the day. I’ve noticed how much healthier I feel inside and out, and because my mind is focused on the good stuff, I’ve noticed I WANT to eat healthier. I WANT to research healthier meal planning. I’m no longer naturally drawn to things that don’t make my body feel good. I’m not longer feeling the STRUGGLE of losing weight. I still LOVE food, I’ve just found a way to enjoy new and different ways of preparing, cooking, and when I do want to splurge—I do. 

Maintaining Healthy Weight by Attracting the Good

I FEEL great, inside and out.  My energy is in line with attracting what is good for me, and I find more and more things that make me feel good. Maintaining is no longer a chore, because the goal is about living a healthy and joy-filled life.  Outside of exercise and nutrition, I’ve also committed to keeping my head in the right space by writing out a page of positive intentions and gratitude daily. There will be a post to read more about that on Friday, September 6, 2019 on this website. If you haven’t signed up to follow this blog, you can do it by scrolling down on your phone or going to the sidebar on your computer. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Author of upcoming book: Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World

3 Ways to Remove the Clutter that Self-Abuse Creates

3 Ways to Remove the Clutter that Self-Abuse Creates

Self-abuse is one of the many ways our self-hate, low self-esteem, lack of worth, and negative self-image manifest themselves. We create clutter both inwardly and outwardly when we don’t become self-aware of how we are treating ourselves. This doesn’t help us lead productive lives. This doesn’t help us stay away from the chaos and drama that surrounds us. The more we hate ourselves and treat ourselves with disrespect, the more chaos and drama we will attract to our lives. The clutter in our minds is fuel for the fear, hate, shame, guilt, and violence that is spreading in and around us.

If we want things to get better around us, we have to start within us. Our energy that we put into the world comes from the energy we are feeding ourselves daily. If we want to stop the abuse, we have to stop creating a space where we are apart of the problem. Self-abuse is not helping us or anyone else! When we self-abuse we are showing others that it’s okay to disrespect us, walk on us, and treat us as if we have no value. Many times people don’t even know that that is the way we feel, because our own behaviors have led them to believe that what they are doing is acceptable.

For years, I wanted to be the victim of my own thinking. I found a sick pleasure in being the doormat, but what I didn’t want to see is that I laid down in front of the person who chose to walk across my back. I was trying to find my value because I hated myself so much that I just gave myself away over and over expecting someone to see what I couldn’t. Our lack of value clutters our minds and distorts our realities into believing that we are trapped and that we can’t stop what is happening to us. Just the thought is self-sabotaging and attracts more of what we don’t want.

When my mind is cluttered, it spreads into my personal spaces. I’ve had my bed so covered in stuff that I have barely been able to fit on it to sleep. That’s when I know I have some real cleaning to do. The last time my bed was like that I dove head-first into figuring out how and why I kept sabotaging myself. It was time for me to look at how I was treating myself.

Here are three ways you can help yourself:

1. Become Aware of the Clutter —INVENTORY NEGATIVE MESSAGES

  • How do you talk to yourself when you are looking in the mirror?
  • What do you think about all your features?
  • What do you think about the person you are?
  • How do you feel about how your life looks to you when you look in the mirror?
  • How do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake for the first time?
  • How do you talk to yourself when you’ve repeated a mistake?

This inventory won’t be done in one sitting. As life situations come up, see how you are talking to yourself:

  • Are you calling yourself names?
  • Are you criticizing yourself?
  • Are you beating yourself with an emotional 2×4?

Just to give you an idea, life situations can still hit me off-guard from time to time and I go back through these steps in order to keep my headspace clean and clutter free.

2. Cleaning out the Clutter—INSIDE AND OUT

  • Start a self-love Journal —Pick a number of days you will commit 35, 45, and/or 90 days. Each day write a minimum of three things you like about yourself. Here’s a hint, if you spot certain positive qualities in others it’s usually because you have them yourself. Do your best not to repeat, especially in the beginning. As you see more and more things you like about yourself, then you can start reusing ones that you are really connecting to.
  • Clean up your physical clutter—Start with a drawer and just keep going. Throw away what you don’t need. Pitch, sell, or donate the things that are just taking up space in your life. Make space for what you want more of in your life. Remember, clear space is peaceful space.

3. Keep the Space Clean—STAY AWARE OF WHERE YOUR MIND GOES

  • Living in gratitude is the best way to keep your space clean. Anytime our minds go to lack, deprivation, fear, hate, blame, etc. we are creating more clutter.
  • Watch your reactions to people. I find this one entertaining. If  a person’s actions work you up: First question your own thinking about what is happening to see if you are fully aware of where your reaction is coming from. Second, I imagine the person saying or doing whatever it is to themselves. Our negative behaviors start from how we are treating ourselves, so we can gain clarity about the situation if we are not taking the person personally. This doesn’t mean we have to accept unacceptable behavior. We just don’t add our own clutter. How someone treats us shows us their love or fear that they are internally dealing with. How we respond to them shows us where we are.
  • Stop the Cycle of abuse. If you see, hear, or feel abusive thoughts about yourself come up, correct them and clean up your self-talk. Treat yourself with love, respect, loyalty, honesty, and compassion. We have to have it inside us before we have a chance of cleaning up what’s around us.
  • Give from a Loving Place. This means you are giving because you want to, not because you think it will make you worthy of someone else’s time, affection, love, respect, etc.

Side effects of these steps are: sleep better, eat healthier, enjoy self-care, kinder thoughts, less judgmental towards others, more compassionate, attract healthier people to our personal and professional lives, more opportunities to do good in the world, appreciate peace, and so many more. 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Did what you just read resonate with you? I hope you will explore FromALovingPlace.com and keep reading. I’ll be bringing a new series to the blog starting September 1, 2019. If you are not following along, make sure to sign-up below.

For my female readers, I have EXCITING news! Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World is available for pre-order! Click the link to order your copy today!

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 73 – Constructing My Self-Care Regimen

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 73: Constructing My Self-Care Regimen

Dear Self,

I’m taking the time to construct my self-care regimen by going through what I use to help me in different areas of my life. Once I’ve done this, I will figure out how to make time for the tools on a daily basis to continuously help me appreciate and improve my life and my relationships with others.

  1. How am I taking care of my connection to my spiritual life and beliefs? I take time to connect everyday with my gratitude with prayer, gratitude lists, free writing, letter writing, meditation, listening to music, and/or embracing nature. I also connect to other’s in my spiritual community.
  2. How am I taking care of quieting my mind? I use meditation, yoga, nature, breathing exercises, mindfulness meditations, get enough sleep, listen to instrumental or chanting music, and/or practicing presence
  3. How am I taking care of accepting myself in the mirror? I use positive self-talk, affirmations, letter writing, and/or gratitude for what my body does for me.
  4. How am I taking care of my body and organs? I get enough sleep, yoga, dance, walking, drinking lemon water in the morning, water throughout the day, drinking fruit/vegetable smoothies, eating nutritious foods, occasional cleanses, and/or quieting my mind to listen to what my body needs. I also write love letters to my body for loving me and taking care of me on my journey.
  5. How am I checking in with my perspectives of truth (Days 42-46) to make sure they are working in my life? If a perspectives cause me pain, worry, anxiety, depression, fight or flight response, rage, and/or vengefulness, I question what I believe and come up with different ways I can think about the situation. I write letters to help me write new stories. Then I practice applying new perspectives of truth that bring me more peace.
  6. How am I showing myself love? I practice self-care regularly, do things I love to do, get enough sleep, practice positive self-talk, give myself quality time, write myself letters, and take care of my body, mind, and soul.
  7. How am I showing myself respect? I take care of my mind, body, and spiritual self. I have healthy boundaries with others. I honor the person I am. I do the best I can in each moment. I put the oxygen mask on myself first, then I assist others.I take time to breathe. I write myself letters.
  8. How am I investing in my quality time with myself? I go for walks in nature, watch sunsets, write from my heart, do yoga, read, and/or dance.
  9. How do I feed my mind? I read, research, solve puzzles, come up with creative solutions, talk to people who believe differently than I do, and/or try to understand something I didn’t before.
  10. How do I practice presence? I meditate, focus on spots in nature, actively listen to the people I’m with, enjoy what I’m doing, practice mindfulness, or live gratitude.
  11. How do I live gratitude? Write gratitude lists, practice seeing gratitude in day-to-day activities, use gratitude in challenging situations, look to nature with gratitude, look at the love in my life,nd/or meditate with a guided meditation focused on gratitude.
  12. How do I take care of myself in the presence of other’s darkness (fear, anger, rage, resentment, jealousy, envy)? I remind myself, I don’t have to engage in the energy that they are. I take space to strengthen my own energy. I pray for protection from their dark energy. I pray for them to find some light. I pray for guidance in how I communicate with the person if I have to. I take deep breaths to stay calm and peaceful. I laugh with friends. I write letters that I don’t send to properly process what is going on inside of me.
  13. How do I take care of myself in the presence of my own darkness (fear, anger, rage, resentment, jealousy, envy)? I pray, write in my gratitude journal, take deep breaths, practice mindfulness to quiet my mind, write letters of encouragement to myself,  walk, and/or DANCE.
  14. How do I take care of myself when I’m feeling depleted? I get rest, quiet my mind, do yoga, write something inspirational, write letters, sit outside, make time to play, and/or spend time laughing with friends.
  15. How do I take care of myself when I’m feeling a lack (loss, grief, disappointment)? Write down as many things I can be grateful for as possible! I question the perspectives of truth I’m engaging in and I write out as many positive perspectives I can look at instead. I write letters about how I’m abundant in my life. I focus on love instead of grief, opening doors instead of closing ones, and change instead of stagnation. I also pray and work to connect with Source energy.

With this list, I will take the items that can be used to handle multiple areas and work them into my daily self-care regimen. I will look at where I use some of the tools to take care other items on the list and be conscious of where my head is to see how I can best serve myself in the moment. I know I have the tools to live my best life.

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m grateful that I have the tools to live my best life.
  2. I’m grateful for my realization of how to better manage my self-care.
  3. I’m grateful for having the time to invest in my own care.
  4. I’m grateful for my ability to help others when I’m taking care of myself.
  5. I’m grateful for how I feel when I take care of myself.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Side note: This letter is not edited intentionally. This list isn’t about being grammatically correct; it’s about just writing out tools however they come out. You can add to sections, delete, and add some more. You want to see the overlap in what you can do on a daily basis to handle multiple items of self-care. Those are the ones you want to implement first.

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 73 – Constructing A Self-Care Regimen

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 73 – Constructing A Self-Care Regimen

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 73: Constructing A Self-Care Regimen

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings you joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”

-Jean Shinoda Bolen

In this 90-Day A Better Day Series, I’ve given a lot of suggestions about self-care. We each have to choose what items of self-care resonate with us, because a self-care regimen, routine, or ritual will only work if we are connecting to the process of doing the activity. I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried a lot and I mean a lot of things in my life because people told me it would make me feel better. It could be about how to practice my faith, eating, drinking, dieting, exercising, meditating, mindfulness, positive affirmations, lifestyle, prayer, gratitude, mindset, weight loss, etc. No matter how good something has worked for my life or anyone else’s, you have to come up with your own regimen. No two regimens will ever look exactly the same and not any two people doing them will get the exact same results. As I’ve said before, I don’t expect everyone to do what I did and get the same exact results, because each of us has our own unique journey. Here are a few examples:

  • One person drinks lemon water everyday and it improves their digestive health. Another person may have an adverse reaction from the acid in the lemon and have digestive problems because of it.
  • One person may use nature therapy to help them reach levels of mindfulness and peace within themselves. Another person’s fears may create so much anxiety that triggers fight or flight response.
  • One person does a hard-core exercise routine and she/he feels alive and energized. Another person may not like the feelings that come after that level of exercise, so it doesn’t benefit her/his overall well-being, because that feeling could be their body giving them a signal that that is too much.

A self-care program won’t work if you aren’t invested in doing it or it doesn’t feel right for you. I’ve gone through many regimens and I change them up if I don’t feel the effectiveness of a particular one anymore. What is important is that I give time to self-care. I do my best to trust myself to help me to figure out what I need at any given time, while making sure that my intentions aren’t blocking the results I’m looking to achieve. Numbing ourselves with drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling, games, social media, binge watching, etc. isn’t apart of self-care. They are contributors to self-destruction. I’m not talking about moderation. There is a difference, and it is a fine line—Self awareness is KEY!

15 Questions to Help You Construct Your Personal Self-Care Regimen

  1. How am I taking care of my connection to my spiritual life and beliefs?
  2. How am I taking care of quieting my mind?
  3. How am I taking care of accepting myself in the mirror?
  4. How am I taking care of my body and organs?
  5. How am I checking in with my perspectives of truth (Days 42-46) to make sure they are working in my life?
  6. How am I showing myself love?
  7. How am I showing myself respect?
  8. How am I investing in my quality time with myself?
  9. How do I feed my mind?
  10. How do I practice presence?
  11. How do I live gratitude?
  12. How do I take care of myself in the presence of other’s darkness (fear, anger, rage, resentment, jealousy, envy)?
  13. How do I take care of myself in the presence of my own darkness (fear, anger, rage, resentment, jealousy, envy)?
  14. How do I take care of myself when I’m feeling depleted?
  15. How do I take care of myself when I’m feeling a lack (loss, grief, disappointment)?

“Self-care is how you take your power back.”

-Lalah Delia

This list can give you ideas of what to implement into your daily routines. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to-do a list of things that are all new all at once. Take some things you are already doing and then try a couple new things at a time. If they work for 90 days and you want to add some more, do it. If what you were doing doesn’t seem to fit, try something else. Just don’t beat yourself up if things fall off. Trust that you are getting exactly what you need to get in this moment. When you are open to take on more, you will MAKE the space to fit more in your life. Just keep caring for yourself. Don’t forget how important you are.  Everything in life will run much smoother if we are committed to our self-care.

Today’s Letter from A Better Me in the 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 73 – Constructing My Self-Care Regimen will take you through my process of answering all the above questions. I highly suggest writing your own letter to yourself as a way of planting the seed to make sure it takes root.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

 

Living by Choice

Outsiders may look at my life and ask, how or why I would choose the life I have. A life lesson I learned a long time ago is that I can’t plan for an unknown future. Most of the best things that have happened to me were actually not in my plan at all. I couldn’t have even seen a future that looks like my life right now. I definitely couldn’t have imagined loving the life I have chosen for myself now. I don’t live the traditional life that society might expect me to live. I live the life that I’ve been led to live.

I went through years feeling like I’m not where I’m supposed to be. I had all these expectations of myself to have a different life. When I was a kid, I wanted a different family. I held the image of the perfect television family from the 70s-80s. My life was far from that. My family life was messy. A little too much freedom led down a very dangerous path for a girl with incredibly low self-esteem. An extrovert with low self-esteem can be a brutal combination. My lifestyle was risky and unhealthy to say the least.

img_3485

I planned to go to college right after high school. I got into my first and only pick. I was one of 100 students picked for a special program, and then comes the financial aid problems and BOOM, no more college. At the time, I thought of this as proof that my life sucked. Little did I know at the time not being in college would lead me on some amazing adventures. After, a few retail jobs and a lot of moving I found a job in customer service. I couldn’t have planned to become a national sales trainer from having to make a minimum of 75 cold calls a day, plus checking on existing clients. The positions I got from that point on didn’t exist in the companies I went to until I got there. I CHOSE to see outside the box and find a niche in the market that needed to be filled. I just kept coming up with ideas and bigger companies kept coming to me. By 25, I had been to all but 8 states in the US. My choice to make the most out of a simple position as a phone customer service representative turned into an amazing career. My experience in retail helped me to understand the importance of retail, service, teamwork, and incentive. My life would have looked much different if I went to college right after high school.

After that amazing experience I felt like I was ready to plan the traditional future. I was going to settle down, have two kids, and be a stay at home mom. Still wanting the dream of the TV family, but didn’t have the self-esteem to know a healthy partner. Let’s face it, if I was a healthy person I would have attracted a healthy person. I attracted a person that fed my low self-esteem and kept me in the sick place that I was comfortable being in. This didn’t lead to a healthy family life. I ended up volunteering so much at my son’s pre-school that they saw my potential to work there. Again, not in the plan, but my choice to join the team led to some of the most miraculous developments in my adult life.

The women at the pre-school were AMAZING! They helped me to find my confidence as a person, woman, student, and teacher. As my confidence level grew, I started to feel better and make better choices for my children and myself. I started reaching out for help, finding faith, and growing as a woman. Choosing to embrace a path that was a little bit scary, helped me to open up in ways I didn’t know possible.

During that period, I chose to watch, listen, and pray for signs. A simple choice to go outside and meet a mother and daughter who were on the street led me to one of my closest friends now; a decade later. A simple prayer to be led in a direction that would help me feel better led me to look on-line and connect the signs that led me to AL-ANON. The choice to go there and get close to particular people guided me to a specific church where the Pastor was giving me the exact guidance I needed to learn the actions to take to feel better and make healthier choices. I chose books to read that fed the fire inside me and helped me to see exactly how unhealthy my current relationship was and how it wasn’t in the best interest for the children and I to stay. I chose to leave.

IMG_6771

When I left I had some decisions to make since I wanted the best life possible for the kids and myself. I wanted them to see what a healthy relationship looked like. At the time, I didn’t know if I was capable of ever having one, so I looked to my mom and stepdad. We moved in with them. Since I chose to live with them, I could make the choice to go back to school without having to worry about the care of my kids. I made the most out of my time at school and the hours I could spend volunteering in the kids’ school. I’m so grateful I made the choices I did.

Every time I try to plan for the unknown future, I laugh at myself. Now, I simply focus on living the best life I can. I get ideas and I see what doors open and which ones don’t then choose my next step accordingly. When I live there, I’m happy and free. I stop trying to put myself to standards for life, that aren’t my own. I don’t live like the average person, and that is ok. I get to make the opportunities and choices I choose. I can also choose to sit and wallow in self-pity and blame the world for my plans not working out. That doesn’t sound fun to me anymore. I will keep making choices to bring the most out of any given situation and trust that I will be led to the next right thing for ME. This is my life, the way I choose to live it.

IMG_7232

  • I choose my attitude.
  • I choose to see life’s hardships as lessons to learn from.
  • I believe in everyone’s right to choose his or her own paths.
  • I choose to make the most or the least out of every moment.
  • I choose to interpret life, faith, politics, arts, people, and nature however best suits the life I enjoy living.
  • I choose to trust or not to trust any person or situation.
  • I believe that my choices all have benefits and consequences, and that it’s my job to determine whether to halt or proceed on my current path at any given moment.
  • I choose to enjoy the life I have instead of the one I think society wants me to have.
  • I choose to enjoy being me.
  • I choose to fully embrace being a mom.
  • I choose to communicate to the best of my ability whether people like it or not.
  • I choose to put self-care high on my priority list.
  • I choose to live as full a life as I possibly can.
  • I choose to see God as love and anything that goes against God being all loving doesn’t sit right with me.
  • I choose not to judge others on their beliefs in spirituality or religion but on how they treat humans, nature, and animals.
  • I choose to keep my mind open and flexible in order to learn as much as I can and live and experience life in the most loving way possible.

 

With love and gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017