Well, hello, June! How did you get here so fast?
It seems like about 20 minutes ago that I shared my thoughts on the New Year with several articles to keep us focused. Already it’sJune and time to put away our jeans. Or is it? To my New Years articles on One Thing and One Word For One Year followed by the article One name , I now add one article of clothing that can be the ticket to many healthy choices over the summer: your jeans (or a snug fitting dress or pair of slacks.)
Several years ago a snazzy lady named Heidi Roizen realized that she had a beautiful life at home and professionally, but somehow 35 pounds had sneaked upon her, leaving her heavier than her 6 foot, 188 pound husband. At 190 pounds she knew she was both extremely uncomfortable and unhealthy. But here’s where she was different than many of us: Instead of getting depressed, she looked at all the ways she was blessed and successful, and recognized how her personal power had created a life she loved.
True, she had failed at countless diet attempts, but NOT at a long-term lifestyle change! As she came to terms with that, she realized that she often used music to motivate herself at work and at home to get out of a funk and get busy, then wondered why there weren’t any great songs to motivate smart health choices? She decided she’d be the one to take it on, and the rest is history. Her CD, “Skinny Songs” is now available at Amazon, and the too-tight black jeans in the back of her closet inspired my favorite song on the CD, “Skinny Jeans.”
The chorus — “Skinny jeans, skinny jeans, you’re still hanging round
In the back of my closet, bringing me down
This morning I woke up and I made me a vow
Gonna get back into you, just watch me and how!” is fun and spunky. It makes ME feel fun and spunky just listening to it! (You can see a fun snippet of her skinny jeans songs HERE and it’s all available at Amazon.com.)
Here we are in the first week of June, and it’s time to make a plan. Along with this cute”skinny jeans” song we could start humming that oldies tune “See You In September” while stuffing our own pair waaaaaaay away in the back of the close, OR be fun and spunky while humming “Today While the Sun Shines” as we keep them readily available for a weekly “chat.”
Now, I hope you’ll indulge me when I say that there’s great magic in a pair of jeans, as they can actually talk! Please note that I’m not talking a pair of unrealistically sized jeans that you wore years ago, or too-stretchy jeans. I’m talking about one specific pair that are reasonably comfortable when you have been taking care of yourself. If you don’t have a pair, then get a pair that’s snug on you just for this summertime strategy. Whether you actually wear these particular jeans in public or not is not the point.
So! If your own jeans could talk, what would they tell you? Are you happy with how they fit now? What will they tell you in September when it’s time to really wear them again?
Summer weather has most of us turning to looser clothing and cover ups to beat the heat. Those clothes, though comfortable, cover up the extra inches that are easy to acquire over the next three months with sugary cold drinks, ice cream treats, barbecue and picnic foods, potato salads, chips, etc. that come our way far too often. Add the havoc that travel, holidays and guests bring to our scheduled exercise times and it’s no wonder to find that that instead of maintaining or losing through June, July and August, we’ve actually gained inches and pounds … with a lot of labor ahead of us after Labor Day.
How does it work? Just leave your jeans where you can see them daily and try them on weekly. I’m choosing Monday mornings and plan to think of it as a little “visit.” I’ll ask my jeans “How do you feel?” They’ll immediately answer back, “Just right!” or “Loose and very roomy!” or “Could be better, but not bad!” or, “It’s time to take care of things right now!”
From that first question I’ll let the conversation evolve naturally as I assess both the fit along with my choices through the past week and then mentally make plans for the present week.
Most importantly, after chatting with my jeans, I’ll chat with myself and my Heavenly Father. I’ll ask myself “Am I happy about my choices this week? Did I honor my body, this precious vital and important gift from Heavenly Father?”
No doubt about it, our jeans can launch this helpful conversation and the choices it will inspire. It doesn’t need to take a long time or be a big deal. We just have to do it. It will be fun to let our jeans and these weekly conversations guide our health choices from this very first week in June, through July, August, and, right until it’s Labor Day and time to really wear them again!
See? That’s the “jean-ious” in a pair of jeans! They really can talk, much better than a scale that simply tells you how much you weigh.
Heidi slowly lost (and now keeps off) 35 pounds and got back into her jeans. Here’s how she did it:
1. TAKE IT SLOW. I told myself that it took me 18 years to put on 35 pounds, so I couldn’t expect to take the weight off in a month. This had to be a real lifestyle change, not a crash diet.
2. PENCIL IT IN. I put working out on my calendar as if it were a part of my job. It makes exercise as important a priority as brushing my teeth – something I need to do every day.
3. BUDGET YOUR CALORIES. I attached a “price tag” to food, which made it easier to pick the 150-calorie frozen yogurt over the 400-calorie sundae. I didn’t want to waste a quarter of my daily calories on a snack.
4. PUT YOU FIRST. I used to fall into the trap of thinking that taking care of my husband and kids was more important than taking care of myself. Now I have a new attitude: You know when you’re on an airplane and the manual tells you to put on your oxygen mask first and then help the person next to you? I feel the same way about my health. If I’m not healthy, I can’t help anyone.
5. MAKE EXERCISE FUN. I bought myself a DVD set of Lost and only allowed myself to watch it while I was strength training. Sometimes I’d exercise longer than I intended to because I didn’t want to turn it off. Talk about positive reinforcement!
6. HEIDI’S MEMO TO HERSELF: IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
You’ve just consumed a whole bunch of calories you didn’t need. You slipped, you splurged, and you hate yourself for it. What now? Give up? Eat some more? I think you deserve better than that. Here’s what I want you to do:
1. Forgive yourself. No one is perfect. Stop kicking yourself.
Everyone who has succeeded has had moments like this. You can still succeed too, but you must stop yelling at yourself and simply say, “I forgive myself for the mess-up.”
2. Put it in perspective. Even if you ate 1,500 calories in a single sitting, it is not a deal-ending amount. You have not permanently ruined your life. You have an extra half a pound to get rid of. Big deal.
3. Reaffirm your bigger goal. Remind yourself about the importance of the goal you have set out to reach and recommit yourself to working to achieve it. Look at the dress you ripped out of the magazine, or imagine yourself bounding up a flight of stairs in a black tracksuit. Just because you ate a quart of ice cream doesn’t mean you can’t meet your overall goal.
4. Eliminate the temptation. I don’t want to waste food, but sometimes the rest of the bag or carton needs to go down the garbage disposal. This is one of those times.
5. What can you learn from this? Take a step back and see if there is something that will help you overcome future moments like this. Did you deprive yourself so much that you were overwhelmed with hunger? Did you get mad and eat out of emotion? Think about what you can do to avoid this trigger or situation next time.
6. Don’t punish yourself. Don’t starve yourself. Don’t go on a cabbage-soup fast. Punishment doesn’t work; it just perpetuates a bad cycle.
7. Recommit to lose. Say out loud, “I’m over it, and I’m back on my plan.” Imagine yourself standing up, dusting yourself off, and getting back on a horse. Hold that visualization for a moment and feel great about that decision. Feel proud that you can recover so quickly. Now forget it and move on! You are back on track.
So many Meridian readers are getting a wonderful fresh summer-time start with our fabulous detox word of wisdom health drink. It’s truly a delicious, refreshing drink when made with lemon, and lots of ice: See it HERE. AFFILIATE LINK: www.mymiracletea.com
So what do you say? What’s your day of the week to try on your jeans throughout June, July and August? All I’ve got to say is :Skinny jeans, skinny jeans, YOU MAKE MY DAY!
Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success – One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life, available at her website.
She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She is the owner MyMiracleTea.com, an herbal detox tonic in keeping with the Word of Wisdom, now used by Meridian readers and missionaries everywhere. CLICK HERE
She is mother of five and the grandmother of a growing number of delightful grandsons and granddaughters and lives with her husband, Bob, in Springfield Virginia, where they serve as the nursery leaders.