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.
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.
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?
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.
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!