A 5-Step Weight Loss Game Plan

Jenny was just plain tired of the heat. She was tired of wearing long pants to her son’s baseball games in the summer, tired of her thighs rubbing together until they were raw and tired of the embarrassment she felt for being overweight. So last December Jenny made a decision. She was going to lose the weight. She didn’t know how she was going to lose the weight. Or, even when she was going to lose the weight. But she knew in her heart she was definitely going to lose the weight.

You’d never imagine that this slender size 6 wife and Mom of 3 had ever been 100 pounds overweight. She’s bubbly. Engaging. Talkative and energized. She’s got gorgeous long auburn hair and a smile to match. So when she casually mentioned that she’d lost 100 pounds the year before as I perused her garage sale, I just had to know more. How she did it. Why she did it. What was her magic bullet, her trick?

The One Thing at a Time Diet
Jenny told me there was no trick. She woke up the day after Christmas and decided that she was important. That she mattered to herself, and to her family and to God. So she took the ‘one thing at a time’ approach to weight loss. No fad diets. No insane workout schedules. Very little calorie counting. And no deprivation. Jenny simply decided to take care of herself. That’s it.

“I decided that I would start taking care of myself, as well as I take care of everyone else. I started small. Simple things like doing my hair in the morning and shaving my legs every day. Those little things were the catalyst to my 100 pound weight loss.” Jenny joined Weight Watchers Online and worked the program. She even deviated from the program. But Weight Watchers Online combined with Jenny’s intentional declaration made all the difference. The pounds came off slowly but steadily at the rate of about 3 .5 pounds per month. She added in some light exercise in the form of Piyo (a combination of Yoga and Pilates).

Fighting Back Fear
You can tell from Jenny’s smile that 100 pounds lighter feels delightful. She still battles her inner demons…the ones she fights when she wakes up in the morning and still believes she’s a size 22 until she pats her tummy and checks her hips and assures herself she hasn’t gained the weight back.

Jenny just went back to work after 14 years of being a stay at home Mom. She’s reveling in the fact that she can wear shorts to the ballpark. “I wanted to feel young, to be active with my kids and to end my never-ending adult battle with weight.” Jenny went from fat to fit in just under a year with her basic principles of self-care, moderate eating and light exercise. But her true inspiration comes from fielding kid stuff and the joy of being a Mom. “I’m more relaxed now…not so anxious and uptight.” As the weight melted off, so did some of the worries. “Losing weight isn’t about what you eat, it’s about what you think.”

Jenny’s 5-Step Weight Loss Game Plan:
1. Decide. You are important.
2. Take care of yourself. Put yourself first.
3. Eat moderately. Smaller portions. Less junk. More water.
4. Keep the demons at arms length and don’t believe what they tell you. They are lies!
5. Enjoy your life. Celebrate your success.


Is it Ever OK to Say You Look Good?

Yes, it is.

It’s okay to tell yourself you look good.

God made you and he doesn’t make junk.

That doesn’t mean you have to go around telling everyone.  It doesn’t mean you have to send out Christmas cards saying “I look good” or post it on Facebook.  (Post that and see how many people unfriend you immediately.)  Plus, the people that already think they look good always post pictures of themselves anyway.  One young woman I know changes her profile picture at least 1-2 times a week.  She thinks she looks REALLY good.

Continue reading “Is it Ever OK to Say You Look Good?”

The Epitome of Vulnerability

I haven’t worn a bikini since I was 13 and inwardly struggled with my “outie” belly-button.  Oh, I remember the summer of 1974…I spent every afternoon of my 9th grade summer with 4 or 5 of my girlfriends all oozing in baby oil infused with iodine to ensure our bronze tans.  The junior high bikini was green and yellow and had palm trees all over it.  I weighed 118 pounds so there wasn’t much to filling it out.  It simply fit.  Well.

Continue reading “The Epitome of Vulnerability”

The Most Critical Concept I Learned from Weight Watchers

Six months ago I joined Weight Watchers for the second time.  Always a competitor, I’d become a lifetime member (being within 2 pounds of my goal weight) almost 15 years earlier and let it go to pot over a decade and a half.  I was back up to 207.4 pounds, a good 57 pounds over my ideal weight.

(Well, maybe not my ideal weight, I consider that 118 pounds, the size I was as a senior in high school wearing my short cheerleading skirt and eating Cheetos and pizza to my hearts content.)

It was time to tackle the monster.  I didn’t want to.

Jennifer Hudson was singing Believe all over the television and flaunting her 80 pound weight loss and her svelte body.  Then, I ran across a personal fitness trainer named Drew who had gained 75 pounds so that he could know what it felt like to be fat.  His clients were always saying to him “you don’t know what it’s like.”  He didn’t.  He lost all 75 pounds in typical personal trainer fashion.  (See his story at www.fit2fat2fit.com)  Jared was still eating Subways and staying thin.

It was my time.

I knew Weight Watchers worked.  My daughter had lost 36 pounds.   I had two acquaintances who were both nearing the 90 pound weight loss number.  I could do this.

So I started.  I was lazy.  I didn’t count points.  I didn’t make Weight Watchers recipes except for Veggie Stew.  But I was losing weight, anywhere from .6 pounds to 2.7 pounds a week.

It’s 6 months later.  I’m down 24 pounds.  I’ve lost 4 inches off my boobs, 4.5 inches off my waist and 2.5 inches off my hips.  Each of my legs is an inch and a half smaller.

I walk 30 minutes a day on the treadmill, 6 days a week, typically averaging about 12 miles a week.

It’s working.

But what I like to do best is analyze.  It’s my personal occupation.  I analyze everything.  What’s working.  What’s not.  Why is it working.  What can I do better.  Why is my friend losing faster than I am.  (I know the answer to that one…because she’s more disciplined.)

So is weight loss about discipline?  No.  Is weight loss about willpower?  No.  Can you only eat certain foods and be successful?  No.

People are more successful at Weight Watchers than any other weight loss program because of one thing:  Accountability

It’s stepping on that dang scale once a week and having the lady show me what my ‘new’ weight is.  Up or down.  Even though it’s private, it’s public.  The lady knows.  And I know.  No one else knows (unless I tell them) but it doesn’t really matter.  One person is enough. 

AND, they print it out in writing and sticker it to your program book.  It’s documented accountability which is even better.

Accountability keeps me moving forward.  Accountability makes me think twice before I eat the candy bar.  Accountability is what keeps me from driving through McDonald’s any ole time I want to. 

There are other great perks of Weight Watchers…new recipes and amazing camaraderie.   Heavily researched weight loss tips and their Points Plus program.  Stickers for every 5 pounds you lose (kinda like kindergarten).  Having a place to show up that takes your money.  (I find it amazing that we pay to lose weight.)

But it all comes back to good old accountability. 

What other areas of our life could we apply this to?  Finances?  Career?  Friendship?  Marriage?  What could we accomplish if we were accountable to someone (or something) in the other areas.

I still have around 30 pounds to go.  It’s slow, but steady unlike how I like to do most things in my life (fast and furious).  And after much contemplation, I think I can attribute my weight loss success to the lady weighing me in every week on that darn scale.

(The quote at the top of the post can be found at www.lifelovequotesandsayings.com)


The Angst of Anxiety

I used to take pills for my anxiety.  10 mg of Prozac, and a dose of Adderall.

The Prozac worked for about 6 years.  It added a sense of calmness.  The Adderall lasted less than 2 years.  If you’ve taken Adderall, you know there’s a sense of well-being that inhabits your being for about 2-3 hours after taking it.    My Dr. was happy.

I wasn’t bothering him about being anxious anymore.

I wasn’t really bothering him for anything.

But something was still bothering me.  I was still anxious.  My life wasn’t getting any better.

The pills weren’t working.  My goals were still out of reach.

I had the worst personal failures of my life while I was taking these pills.

I was impulsive and scattered and still having trouble connecting the dots (probably my ADHD).    I got fatter.

So I made a decision.  I weaned myself off the pills.  Because in reviewing my life progress…while I was on the pills I was actually WORSE as a person, rather than better.

The fact is…if you have anxiety, it’s because you’re supposed to be doing something different.  Your life will get better when you get better.  Anxiety is a clue.  Are you listening?

Michael Phelps’ Mom used to put him in the pool to quiet his energy (he won 8 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics).  Extreme Home Makeover wouldn’t have been the huge success it was without over-the-top screamer host Ty Pennington.  Maneesh Sethi dropped out of Stanford, wrote 6 books including a bestseller, travels the world and creates online businesses that work while he plays.  What do they have in common?  ADD and ADHD.

Anxiety is part of the success formula.  Not the demon.

Now, I don’t take pills but I do spend at least 30 minutes a day on the treadmill.  I can wake up totally anxious and by the time I step off the treadmill 30 minutes later, I’m calmer, more collected.

My life isn’t perfect.  I haven’t reached my utopia of lifestyle design.  I’m still working on it.  Now, I write about my quests.  I blog about my angsts.  I set goals and fall short.   But I’m closer to my own definition of success than ever.  I’m human and proud of it.

Anxiety is a clue.  Use is for good.  It’s not evil.

Liability Disclaimer:  Cheryl Thompson and EncouragementToGo accepts no liability for decisions you make regarding your own well-being.  I am not a physician, a psychologist or an attorney.  Any advice I give is solely and purely for personal ingestion and should not be confused with a trained professional.  What works for me, is for me.  You have to take care of you.  This disclaimer absolves me from any liability in the event you do something stupid.

Pumpkin Custard Pie Recipe

This is a crustless pumpkin pie which severely lowers the calorie count. 1/8th of the pie is just 3 WW points. A sliver of regular pie (not 1/8th but less) is 11 WW points. Perfect for Thanksgiving if you’re prone to cheat.


1 can Pumpkin
1 can Fat-free Evaporated Milk
3/4 cup Egg Beaters
2/3 Cup Splenda
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. Vanilla

Spray your pie pan with Pam. Mix all ingredients together.
Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes.

Top with Lite Cool-Whip!

6 Words To Getting Fit

“I believe everyone has the ability to achieve something important and with that in mind I regard everyone as special.” -Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

I did it. I lost 4.2 pounds over the past week in spite of stopping at Dairy Queen and Outback Steakhouse (and a few others). I can already tell a difference and I think alot of it may come from drinking more water. I’m excited to see where this journey will take me, and I’m going to do my best not to become obsessed while I do it. I want the weight loss to be for LIFE, not for a season.

My plan is a hybrid of Weight Watchers and just good healthy eating. I know there are 6 words I need to know to be successful…eat less, move more, drink water. It’s amazing how easy the intellect is and how hard the mind can be to manage.