Noom Journey: 2-months

12 lbs down today. That double chin is getting smaller.

Happy Fall y’all. It is getting cooler, the leaves are turning and starting to fall, and I have the windows wide open. It is always such a thrill for me to experience the transition of seasons. I’m a Pumpkin-spice kind of girl, so I’ve put away my Lilac candles and Glade plug-ins for the anything-pumpkin-or-marshmallow smelling items. This includes my lotions and soaps. Anyone else relate?

Let’s get to where I am at currently in my weight-loss journey. Being on a weight-loss journey, I’ve made changes to my food choices and how I spend my time being active. It’s been exactly two months since I started this journey, and I want to share where I’ve struggled and also succeeded.

First, I started out weighing 248 lbs. I currently am at 236.6 lbs. I had been hovering in the 240s for what felt like forever. Once last week the number on the scale fell below 240, for about two hours. I didn’t believe it, so I went back to the scale a bit later and found that I was back to 241. It was on this day that I realized getting on the scale was a bit of an obsession, so I backed away from weighing myself for a few days after that. I needed to clear my head about the scale and check in with how I was feeling inside my body which is an even greater tool than any scale could ever be. Today, I weighed myself and saw 236.6. I said, “Holy shit!” and danced in my bathroom naked as a jaybird celebrating. “Finally,” I thought, “my body is ready to change.”

I’ve loved eating the summer vegetables and fruits, and have incorporated a lot of low-calorie smoothies and protein shakes in my daily meal planning. My favorite protein shake products are from Ideal Shape. They have a lot of delicious flavors, are easy to digest, and there is a great recipe book with a lot of ways to enjoy the shakes without getting bored. I’m not at all getting paid to tell you about them. I just really like them. I add some frozen banana to the chocolate flavor, or frozen strawberries to the vanilla flavor, and add in my coffee to the mocha flavor. They are always delicious and keep me feeling full for hours. I usually have one for breakfast or for an afternoon snack (before or after my workout). Check out their Weight Loss Program too for daily exercises and encouragement. Just the workout plan alone is fabulous if you’re like me and need a laid-out plan to get healthy because your own brain keeps telling you to stay in bed or stay on the couch because you don’t know what to do even if you tried.

This takes me to the physical fitness part of my journey. I’ve been very consistent with signing up and showing up for personal training sessions at the Employee-sponsored gym or at Planet Fitness for the Design Your Own Program. I really enjoy strength training and circuit training. I can already see a difference in my performance ability and my energy level. I push myself when I’m there, and I may complain about the cardio portion of the workout, but I do it telling myself “You can do hard things!” or “This is not going to be the thing that kills you. Finish strong!”

On days when I’m not in the gym, I take long walks or play tennis or walk my daughter’s dog around her neighborhood. I’ve considered myself generally a lazy person, but when I choose physical activity that lights me up, it isn’t a chore but a gift to myself. I CHOOSE to move my body in a way that is pleasurable and joyful. For example, when I choose to take a walk, I don’t just hop on a treadmill or walk around the apartment complex where I’m currently at. I love looking at beautiful homes or the water, so I often choose downtown neighborhoods by the Ohio River or along the sidewalks of neighborhoods where I would like to live. Manifesting on the Move! (Hey, a new program idea. Yay!)

As I’ve let you in on my successes and struggles during this journey, I want to emphasize that losing weight really sucks. It is hard mentally, emotionally, and physically. It takes perseverance and determination. It takes support. If you are struggling and want support, I can help. My superpower is encouraging others (and editing, but that’s a different subject). It’s why I’ve shifted into Life Coaching as a career. I want to be there for you and others, by being the person I always wish I’d had by my side as I’ve navigated adulting, weight loss, and critical thoughts.

Lots of love,

Jacki

P.S. I found online this beautiful artist/poet, Morgan Harper Nichols, who has an app that you can download called The Storyteller for daily inspirations and affirmations. Here is a link to a post she recently made which I thought was perfect to share in this seasonal transition time, “Let each season teach you.” I hope you’ll check out her work and support her if you feel called to do so.

NOOM Project-Weeks 2 and 3

I’ve been on NOOM for 3 weeks today. I’ve lost 8 pounds, and I’m regularly active. It’s hard for me to post photos, but it is important for me to be honest and as transparent as possible with this journey. And studies show that taking selfies or having someone else photograph you can prove beneficial as you watch yourself glow up and stop hiding in your own life.

Every morning I weigh myself and log it into the NOOM app. There are those who believe that weighing in each day or ever is not necessary and even harmful to the success of someone trying to lose weight. NOOM suggests that the psychology of weighing yourself is beneficial to your success. As a life coach, I have to side with those who are against it. The scale is a tool to use for weight gain or loss, but to feel the need to get on it each day can be addictive or obsessive, which can trigger unhealthy feelings of worth based on the number on the scale. I’m doing so in order to follow the plan, but I’m grateful that I have the training and coping skills around thought work to move past these unhealthy triggers. For you reading this, please hear me when I say, from the bottom of my heart, your worth is NOT tied to the number on the scale. If I was a science nerd, I would explain to you the relationship between weight, mass, and gravity to help better define this. But I’m a word nerd, so I’m just going to explain to you that people come in all shapes and sizes, and no number on any scale can define the worth of a person and their light in this world. I’m using the scale to gauge my progress towards my overall goal of wanting to lose 100 lbs. That is the ONLY reason I use the scale. At some point, I may put it back in the closet and ignore its existence once more, but for now I will stand on it each morning and log the number for my NOOM coach to see my work.

Throughout the days I also track or log all of my meals and snacks while also completing the daily articles, quizzes, and challenges. Each day I’m learning something new, and checking into the app every day is still like having a life coach to check in with each day, moving me forward and helping change my thoughts about food and my lifestyle to eventually be at peak health.

Since my last post, I’ve started seeing a personal trainer twice a week for 30-minute sessions. Through my husband’s employer, I can use the employee and spouse provided fitness center and have access to a personal trainer. They save money on insurance expenses if we’re healthy. The trainer kicks my butt with a full-body workout, but I also really need someone to tell me what to do or it’s not happening. I may try to workout at the gym by myself, but with a trainer, I don’t quit before completing the reps and sets. I mean, if I’m by myself, who cares if I do 3 sets of 12? Nobody has to know, right? But research shows that when an action becomes a habit, you do the action without a lot of thought or energy towards completing the action. Think, brushing your hair each morning or putting on your seat belt. And that is why I’m scheduling these workout sessions, so that it just becomes a habit to workout at the gym two or three times a week. I won’t even have to think about it, I’ll just do it.

When I’m not with the trainer, I go for walks, play tennis or ride my bicycle around the neighborhood. When I’m binge-watching a show like Schitt’s Creek on Hulu, I’ll do a plank during the commercial break or do as many squats or crunches as I can. It really isn’t hard to find ways to be active and move your body once you decide to show your body some love. I love my body. I’m grateful for every ability it has, and to move and sweat is to honor it and take care of it and be proud of it. The movements themselves aren’t the hard part of all of this. It was coming into a place of love for myself that was the hardest of all.

For you reading this, it took me years before I could say that I love my body. I would never try to imply that it is easy or be flippant with you about your own struggles with this subject. I still struggle on occasion. One day last week, I had a terrible mental health day. I won’t go into all of the details, but I did have to struggle with some pretty mean thoughts about myself and my body. BUT I did the thought work, and instead of punishing by body with self-defeating food choices, I chose to show myself kindness in what I ate (aka, instead of Five Guys for lunch, I chose Jason’s Deli). This act of kindness towards my body, was the turn around for the rest of my day. I felt like I had gone to war with my inner mean girl, and I did not let her win.

So, that’s it for these past two weeks. Persevering and keeping my eyes on the prize with a lot of love and kindness are what is keeping this girl on track. If you need help with your own thought work, and your own struggles, drop me a message in Facebook or to my email account, support@jackihallmurray.com, to see if we might be able to work together or simply become friends.

Lots of love,

Jacki

My NOOM Project – Week 1

A weight-loss journey. This post is a little long, but bear with me.

Recently, my family and I went to the Indiana Dunes National Park for a short vacation. We enjoyed sitting on the beach of Lake Michigan as we took in the sounds and sight of the water. Walking through the soft white sand in our bare feet was a nice change from the normal pavements of our home’s city sidewalks and streets. I took pictures of my husband, and our dog, and he took pictures of me. We felt happy and relaxed. But something that I didn’t feel, was in shape. I struggled in my walks in the sand. I declined the chance to climb the tall, mountainous sand dunes because I knew that my lungs and heart would hurt long before I ever reached the top, if I could even reach the top. I also didn’t put my swimsuit on and get into the water, not only because the water might be chilly. I went on a road trip, and I only enjoyed half of it. When I finally saw the photos of me on my husband’s phone, and faced the facts of my decision making on our trip, I decided that enough was enough. I needed a plan. I decided on NOOM.

I’m going to keep you informed of my weight loss journey and experience with NOOM. It is a long road that I’m on, but I welcome you to be a part of it. I’ll share with you my ups and downs, or as NOOM calls them “Slips & Surges” and my food choices and my exercises, what I like and don’t like. I’ve been on this journey for exactly one week. Here is how week one played out for me:

DAY 1 (7/30/2020)

  • Created a 2-week trial account. During the pandemic, it is free or you can give a small amount, up to their suggested cost of $18. I gave $10.00.
  • I also gave all of my information (credit card number, height, weight, goals, and habits, with quizzes to find out what type of person I am).
  • FYI: I am 5’2″ and have weighed 250 lbs. My Goal is to lose 100 lbs and feel better in my body.
  • Downloaded the NOOM app on my phone.
  • Went to bed that night ready to start my new weight-loss journey.

DAY 2 (7/31/2020)

  • Weighed myself first thing in the morning: 248 lbs.
  • Read through the inspirational quote, the article about thoughts and setting goals, and created my “Your Big Why” which is the big reason I am doing this. As I said above, I want to lose 100 lbs to get to my suggested body weight and to the weight when I felt my absolute best. I ultimately want to feel better in my body and to be fit and active in my life.
  • Logged my foods for the day. There is no good food or bad food, something I already preached as a life coach, but being accountable for my food intake and aiming for foods lower in caloric density would help me towards my weight loss goal. Calorie budget: 1200 / Logged 1429.
  • A goal of taking 2,000 steps for the day was set. Baby steps (pun intended) for my exercise plan. I sit a lot at a desk, or on my couch, and need specific goals to work towards each day.

DAY 3 (8/01/2020)

  • Weighed myself (you do this each day at roughly the same time): 247.2 lbs. Going down!
  • Logged my foods. 1297 calories / 1200 calorie goal.
    • Breakfast was Skinny Brew coffee with 3 T of creamer, and Raisin Bran cereal with skim milk.
    • Lunch was a huge salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, romaine lettuce, and 2 T of Buttermilk Ranch dressing
    • Dinner was a Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl (sausage & gravy) and 2 Ferrero Rocher chocalate pieces.
    • 2 snacks in the day included 2 Pizza Hut breadsticks and a hard-boiled egg.
  • Step count was 3332 for the day.

DAY 4 (8/2/2020)

  • Weighed in: 243.4 lbs. Woot! Woot!
  • Logged my meals: 1744 calories / 1200 calorie budget
    • Breakfast was a Kroger brand Sweet & Salty Nut Chocolate Pretzel bar and a Starbucks Doubleshot Vanilla coffee (1 can)
    • Lunch was a ham sandwich on wheat bread with mustard and romaine lettuce, 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 celery stalk with 1 T of peanut butter, and Diet iced tea to drink.
    • Dinner was 1 baked chicken breast with 2 ears of corn on the cob with salt and butter. Water to drink.
    • I had one pretty big snack during the day: a large iced vanilla coffee from McDonald’s and a McChicken sandwich. This would be more like a meal, but we were out running errands and I was triggered when my husband ordered food and he was in the car eating right next to me. I’m learning how to not give in to triggers and to keep my eye on the prize.
  • Thoughts today: My big ol’ snack wasn’t a mistake, and I’m not horrible for eating it. It was a choice I made, and I will own it, and learn from it, and continue to be aware of my triggers (negative and positive).

DAY 5 (8/3/2020)

  • Weighed in: 242.2 lbs. Still going down!
  • Logged my meals: 1524 calories / 1200 calorie budget
    • Breakfast was an iced coffee with creamer, and a serving of frosted mini-wheat cereal with skim milk.
    • Lunch was cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and 2 T of Buttermilk Ranch dressing.
    • Dinner was Fajita Chicken nachos with lots of veggies and a serving of refried beans and sour cream on it, along with a serving of Spanish Rice by Rice-a-Roni.
    • I had an Evening snack today: an M&M cookie ice cream sandwich. So good.
  • Thoughts today: I can still lose weight and not restrict my foods to only salads or no-carbs. I enjoy everything I eat, and out of love for myself, I will choose foods that taste good and give my body what it wants AND needs to be happy. Each day is a choice to show up for myself and to nurture myself in body, mind, and spirit.

DAY 6 (8/4/2020)

  • Weighed in: 241.2 lbs.
  • Logged my foods: 1269 calories / 1200 calorie budget
  • Thoughts today: I’m doing this! It’s not hard; it takes time, and effort, and energy to nurture my mind and body to achieve my goals, but that isn’t hard when you believe that you are capable and worth it. Why has this always been so hard for me? Because I have bigger issues than just liking food. I need to dig deeper into my thoughts and with each choice I make for myself, ask myself, “What feels like love?”

DAY 7 (8/5/2020)

  • Weighed in: 242.6 lbs. Up a little. No big deal.
  • Logged my meals: 1193 calories / 1200 calorie budget.
  • Thoughts today: That plate of nachos my have increased my weight, but it was delicious and absolutely worth it. My weight will fluctuate for a lot of reasons (water weight, food intake, less exercise in my day, the Moon is full – well, maybe not the moon), but I will not get stuck on what the scale reads for the day, and think of the scale simply as a tool, not my identity.

So, there you have it. One full week of being on NOOM. My opinion so far is that it is worth it. When my two weeks are finished, I am going to pay the $179.00 for an 8-month program. Having NOOM is like having a life coach working with you every day, and for someone whose willpower is generally lacking, and needs to be told what to do then receive gold stars for doing it, this program works really well for me.

I hope you’ll find inspiration in this, as much as I will in writing it.

Lots of love,

Jacki

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