Monday, August 29, 2011

The Art and Necessity of Reflection + Subscriber Give Away!

(For Subscriber Give Away Please see Bottom of Post!)

If some of you have moseyed on over to my "12 Week Challenge Page" you will have noticed that my for week 3, I have gained (blerg!) 3 lbs. Any time you notice a substantial weight gain (and I would consider 3 lbs to be substantial) I think it is time for reflection.

Reflection allows you to process and look back on previous events and choices, and allow you to not only recognize where you may have faltered, but also to come up with proactive solutions to rectify the issue.

So here is my reflection on a 3 lbs weight gain:

1. I was on vacation --> now that I am home, back in my kitchen, I can get back on track with my eating, and my workouts
2. TMI alert - but it is that time of the month. Like most women, I certainly experience weight gain (which is usually water weight caused from excess bloating). That being said, I also find myself to be a bottomless pit when I am on my period. I can continue to shovel food into my mouth and simply ignore that signal that says: "Please stop now...please" (that signal is far to polite for my raging aunt flow to even acknowledge).
3. No consistent workout schedule - that needs to change! Now!

While there is no one way to reflect, here are some suggestions that I use in the classroom:

  • If you are a linear thinker (like myself), make a numbered list. You may find that one point leads to the next - seeing a list form, you can start to make connections.  
  • If you are a bit more of a free thinker consider reflecting in a journal. If you are consistent, you will be able to see patterns emerge of habits, routines, feelings, etc. 
    • Journals don't have to be in a book (however, there are some really pretty and fancy-schmancy ones out there), you can open up a word document on your computer, try an online journal service (like this one here), or write a blog for all to see!
  • Set up a chart like this one here - it's bare bones, and brings reflection down to the basics. Don't concern yourself with how juvenile this looks - it can be the most effective way to get down to the root problem and learn from it.
  • A combination of these options is always an option too. I personally am going to buy a new note book (not an excuse to go shopping...not at all), to use as a way to write down my "reflection" lists.
While going through teacher's college, we had to reflect upon our experiences ALL THE TIME. It got to the point that if I heard the word "reflection" one more time, I was going to throw up chunks...of apples.  That being said, it was certainly a powerful tool that started to unlock a lot of feelings, emotions and beliefs that I had never accessed before.  What's more emotionally charged that coping with body image, losing and gaining weight.

Once you have figured out what method for reflecting is best for you get going! There is no time line that you need to be fixed to.  It can take practice - I realized that no matter how much I wanted to be the idyllic girl, who sat beneath the oak tree pouring her emotions onto pages and pages, it just didn't stick...and that bark was hard on my back.

Joking aside, there are no real rules to reflecting - mine always come out analytical. However, once reflecting is done, it is necessary to become proactive about it. Taking my list as an example:

#1 and #2 I can't really change (as much as I would like too...#2 I'm looking squarely at you). #3 is where I can be proactive and take charge. I have lost my desire to workout. When was I most successful? When I had come up with a calendar of what all my workouts should be with specific times and activities. This is what I need to work towards. So a workout calendar it is! Hopefully this will get me back on track!

Reflection is an ongoing practice. There will always be something in your life to reflect upon. For my part, I'm going to start a "Reflections" page up there at the top! It will post links to the reflections I do on this blog! (and believe me, there will be many!)

Will you try reflecting? What are your favourite methods of reflection?

Subscriber Give Away

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1. Must Subscribe to the Blog
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It's that easy!


  1. Awww, how fun! I subscribed to you as soon as I saw you were a TIU sister! <3

    Love this article! Sooo good!

  2. Just subscribed with my Google Reader - does that count?