I had no idea I’d lost 20 pounds.

My pants were easier to button, my dresses easier to zip. But since I usually only step on a scale when a medical professional forces me to do so, I had no idea I’d lost 20 pounds.

Then I went to a wellness screening mandated by my health insurance provider, stepped on the scale, looked down and saw a number 20 pounds less than the number I saw the last time I’d weighed myself.

“Your scale is broken,” I declared to the nice nurse practitioner filling out my paperwork. She just laughed and assured me it was not. I didn’t believe her. When I got home I weighed myself again and those 20 pounds were still nowhere to be found. “Maybe my scale is broken, too,” I thought.

Last week my fellow teachers and I returned to work after a two and a half month summer break and that’s when I realized those scales must have been right.

“Oh my gosh! Javacia, you look great!” one co-worker exclaimed. “Wow! You got so skinny!” said another. “Girl, what did you do?” a colleague asked.

Good question. What did I do? And how can I use the same principles I used to lose weight to help me with my writing and blogging goals?

I’ve realized that there are four things that helped me lose weight: mindset, movement, motivation, and momentum.

Mindset

I didn’t go on some extreme diet to lose 20 pounds. I attempted to do Whole 30 but failed because God made bread and cheese. So instead of doing something drastic, I decided to just be an adult. I decided to stop eating like a teenager. Yes, I can have burgers and tacos. Yes, I can eat ice cream and cake. But I can’t eat this all the damn time! Likewise, I have to be an adult about my writing and blogging goals. Yes, I can give myself a break sometimes, but if I want to grow my blog, my brand, and my writing career, I must choose productivity over procrastination most of the time, just as most of the time I must choose lean meats and veggies over pizza and Doritos.

Movement

Last year I ate potato chips for one hour every day. No, really. I did. I would come home from work and from 4 to 5 p.m. I would sit on the sofa, watch NCIS on USA and eat Lay’s Cheddar and Sour Cream potato chips. I justified this by saying it was much-needed downtime. It was my reward for getting through the school day and a reprieve before starting my second shift of working on See Jane Write. It was also a fast track to gaining a whole lot of weight.

At the end of 2016 I bought myself a FitBit as a New Year’s Eve gift. I instantly became obsessed with tracking my steps and thus obsessed with movement. I never wanted to sit still! So, I put my skills as a former fitness instructor to use and created a home aerobics routine for myself that I call Freestyle Cardio. In January I continued to watch Gibbs and the gang after work each day, but instead of sitting on the sofa eating chips, I worked out.

Now I’m asking myself what moves I need to make to take my blog and my brand to the next level. Is there one simple, yet important change I need to make?

Motivation

I knew a FitBit would help me lose weight because it would give me the motivation that I needed. Weight loss alone does not motivate me. To me, a number on a scale isn’t a true measure of health and wellness. I know a lot of skinny people who can’t walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. I would need something more. I would need a challenge. I would need smaller fitness goals to focus on such as getting in my 10,000 steps every day or beating people in the Workweek Hustle or Weekend Warrior challenges. And this summer I went after my yearly goal of running 100 miles in June.

As I pursue my goals for my blog, brand and writing career, I can’t just focus on my 5-year, 3-year, or even 1-year aspirations. I must have quarterly, monthly and even weekly goals to keep me motivated along the way.

Momentum

One of my favorite quotes is the saying, “Finishing things creates momentum.” In January I set out to lose 20 pounds by the 2017-2018 school year and I’ve done that. This accomplishment has created the momentum I need to keep exercising and keep eating like an adult so that I can soon reach my goal weight. Likewise, completing projects will create the momentum I need to keep going after my long-term goals. Right now, for example, I’m determined to finally complete and self-publish the book project I’ve been working on this year. And my hope is that I’ll be at my goal weight for my book launch party. Yes, you’re invited!

13 Comments on What Losing 20 Pounds Taught Me About Writing

  1. Tasha M Scott
    August 18, 2017 at 9:14 am (1 month ago)

    This was great and motivational, Javacia. Thanks

    Reply
    • javacia
      August 19, 2017 at 6:11 am (1 month ago)

      Thank you so much for reading. I’m a huge fan of yours, so it’s an honor for you to stop by my blog!

      Reply
  2. Debra Marshall
    August 21, 2017 at 9:10 pm (1 month ago)

    This post was awesome!!!! All things I needed to hear and the Fitbit challenges has motivated me to move as well. I guess I’m pretty competitive!!!! Great job on conquering small goals!!!!

    Reply
    • javacia
      August 22, 2017 at 5:20 am (1 month ago)

      Thank you so much for reading! Find me on FitBit so we can be friends.

      Reply
  3. Jaronda Little
    August 23, 2017 at 10:47 am (1 month ago)

    Congratulations Javacia! Full disclosure–at first I was slightly jealous because I’ve had the same goal since June. But now that I see how you did it, I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!! You go girl! You did that!!!!!!! Now, back to me. Tips needed: What home cardio did you do for an hour each day? How did manage 100 miles in June? That’s 5 miles a day for 5 days a week, at least. I forgot, when your mind is made up, you do switch to BEAST MODE. My ankle injury in March really set me back and that’s what delayed my comeback. But I’m okay. I’m down 8 pounds since July 14. So only 12 more to go, right? Your blog just inspired me to Keep It Moving Sister!!!!!! I’m with you.

    Yes, you will finish that book, and I’ll be in line to buy it! You know what to do. Now, just like you lost the weight, set benchmarks and FINISH IT! We all know you can and know that you will. 🙂 Love, Jaronda

    Reply
    • javacia
      August 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm (1 month ago)

      I’m so glad this post has inspired you to keep it moving!

      As for your questions: I used to be an aerobics instructor so I basically just do a routine that I would do when I taught. It’s like circuit training with a variety of exercises. But when I get bored with that I use Jillian Michaels DVDs and Shaun T DVDs.

      I walk/run 100 miles every June. I always start with the goal of getting in 4 miles a day six days a week but it never turns out that way. I just do what I can when I can and usually on that last week I have to do something crazy like 8 to 10 miles in one day. I run half-marathons, though, so my body can handle it (most of the time).

      Reply
      • Jaronda Little
        August 23, 2017 at 3:35 pm (1 month ago)

        Good deal! Thanks for explaining.

        Reply
  4. T.K. Thorne
    August 23, 2017 at 11:31 am (1 month ago)

    Way to go, J! You are an inspiration and I look forward to your book as well.

    Reply
    • javacia
      August 23, 2017 at 3:02 pm (1 month ago)

      Thank you, Teresa!

      Reply
  5. Stephanie BwaBwa
    August 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm (1 month ago)

    Now THIS was a great pick-me-up and motivational article. Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing Javacia. This certainly inspired me as both an author and someone who wants to shed a pound or two. 🙂
    Cheers,
    Stephanie

    Reply
    • javacia
      August 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm (1 month ago)

      Thank you so much for reading, Stephanie! I am so glad that you found this post helpful. I can’t wait to hear about your progress with your writing and weight loss goals.

      Reply
  6. Delanea
    August 24, 2017 at 6:29 am (4 weeks ago)

    Yes! I love this post. I am inspired. Thank you for sharing Javacia! I can definitely see your progress.

    Reply
    • javacia
      September 1, 2017 at 4:38 am (3 weeks ago)

      Thanks so much!

      Reply

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