Archive for the ‘Manage Your Mind’ Category

How to Keep Doing What Works

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Keep doing what worksA while back, I completed a class on weight loss coaching. It was one of the most intense experiences in my life.

In a good way.

I love taking classes and view it as an integral ingredient for my happiness.

So, I finished the class and was certified.

And I had gained a few pounds.

What?

A weight loss coach, training on weight loss and gaining weight?

Yup!

Here’s what happened.

When you’re trying to make a change in your life, it usually involves stopping something you are doing and starting something you aren’t doing.

You pay attention.

You keep track.

In my case, I was on a daily forum, posting my thoughts, my feelings, my weight(!) and what I ate.

We were all totally focused.

We got into a groove.

And it worked.

After a few weeks of doing a new thing, we started to get some momentum.

Aha!

We created the good feelings we wanted.

We think we’re over the hump.

And suddenly, wham!

We slip and slide and lose touch with ourselves and assume we’re back where we started.

That’s what happened to me.

During this intense class, I lost several pounds. Very close to my ideal weight. I felt great!

And then when class was over, the weight came back.

This happens all the time to my clients.

First, know that when you slide backwards from a change you’re making, you’re never really back where you started.

You can’t erase what you’ve learned.

It’s in your head.

But notice what you did.

You stopped.

Stopped focusing.

Stopped paying attention.

And stopped taking the actions that were working.

So, does this mean you need to keep doing what works, what you were doing to lose weight if you want to keep it off?

YES!

You do. Keep doing what works.

Change is a long-term process.

It’s challenging.

You are re-training your brain to take a new route to work.

And this requires practice.

Knowing this ahead of time helps you prepare yourself for your change to be permanent.

So, what can YOU do to make your change more permanent? (I am right with you here.)

When things are going well, stop and notice how you feel. This good feeling is your goal.

Look at what you’re thinking when things are going well. These are your new go-to thoughts that will keep you on track. Put them on an index card, on your fridge, in your car and on your computer. I’m not kidding. These thoughts got you where you are. Capture them!

Now, take a good look at the actions you’ve been taking. They worked, right? So, you need to keep doing them. For a long time.

Any change you make is a series of steps.

Of thoughts.

Of feelings.

And of actions.

You don’t just do them a few times and wake up a new person.

But once you’ve done them, and you feel good, just keep going.

Keep focusing.

Keep tracking yourself.

And keep doing what works.

That’s the secret.

Ready for Black Friday?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Black Friday shoppers waiting to get in

Black Friday.

You know.

The day after Thanksgiving when everyone lines up at their favorite store at 4:00 a.m. to get a shot at getting one of 50 heavily discounted iPads, Prada purses, leopard print doggie raincoats, or Cabbage Patch dolls.

(Yes, I know I’m dating myself with that last one but I couldn’t resist.)

When the doors open, grown women stampede each other to get in the door and score the coveted goods.

The feelings:

Excitement.

Lust.

Competitiveness.

Why? Because if you are one of these shoppers, you want to get your prize.

Now, come back to Black Friday.

Here’s another perspective:

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving

The feelings I hear most about on this day, after indulging in a day of family, great food, maybe a little Dysfunctional Family Bingo, and a nap are:

Regret.

Shame.

Disgust.

Why? Because if you are a typical American woman, you overindulged.

You ate too much.

So what!

Let’s look at this holiday another way.

Your end game, your body, your weight are all the result of what you do on a regular, consistent basis.

Most months.

Most weeks.

Most days.

Most meals.

One meal? Thanksgiving?

It’s not a big deal.

It’s just a day.

You overate.

Life goes on.

So put away the shame, the remorse, and the disgust.

Move on.

And get out there and get in line for the thrill of the Black Friday hunt at your favorite retailer.

What To Do When You Can’t Stop Eating

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

 

Stop eating

Who hasn’t been there?

You’re eating something delicious.

Maybe a favorite treat.

Maybe something you consider one of your ‘trigger foods’.

You’re full. Your body is satisfied.

But you get an automatic thought, telling you that you just can’t stop eating.

Not until it’s either gone, or you’re stuffed and sick.

You feel helpless.

Out of control.

Ashamed.

Maybe, for a moment, you just don’t care.

Nope.

In that moment, you tell yourself that:

You want to keep eating,

You couldn’t stop if you wanted to, and

You don’t care.

Guess what?

Lies.

Lies.

Lies.

Yes, you are lying to yourself.

Here’s the truth.

Truth: When you are eating without real hunger, your body doesn’t want to keep eating.

But your devious little mind does.

It’s playing tricks on your body.

Truth: You are in total and complete control of what and how much you eat.

Always.

When you think you’re not, you’ll act like you’re not.

But when you think you’re in charge, guess what?

Stopping won’t be a big deal.

Truth: You do care.

You always care.

You may go in and out of awareness of this truth.

But it will keep coming around to remind you.

That’s why, when you finish overeating, you feel regret.

Remorse.

Self-hate.

So, if you want to stop eating when your body has had enough, take a little break.

A pause.

Step away from the food.

Give yourself a moment to think.

Check in.

Are you hungry?

Physically in your body?

If you are, eat a little bit more and check in with yourself again.

If you’re not, stop.

Stop eating.

Take a leap of faith and listen to your body.

Tell your mind to shut up!

And tell yourself, ‘I’ve got this!’

Now, walk through the discomfort of not eating.

Not a super big deal.

Just uncomfortable.

Once you do this a few times, it won’t seem as hard as it does now.

It will be uncomfortable in the beginning.

Truth: You can definitely do this.

Why Does It Have to Take So Long?

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Why Does It Take So LongOne of the most common things I hear from my clients is, ‘Why is it so slow?’

Why does weight loss take so long?

Here’s the simple answer:

When you do the work needed for real, lasting weight loss, your results will come in three stages.

First, you’ll learn to think in a totally different way.

You’ll stop going to food to solve a problem.

Unless the problem is hunger.

This is mindset work.

It will give you shifts in how you deal with life.

After the mindset shifts, the next stage you’ll go through will be changes in how you eat.

Once you do the mindset work, the changes in your eating will flow naturally.

And last, after mindset changes…

After eating changes…

comes weight loss.

The extra weight you’ve accumulated now has no reason to stay.

Your thinking has changed.

The cause of your overeating is disconnected.

So your eating changes.

And last, so does your weight.

It’s not really taking too long.

It’s perfectly on time.

Losing Weight, Gaining Time

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

timeHow much time do you spend thinking about what you eat?

And about what you didn’t eat?

How about what you want to eat?

And what you wish you hadn’t?

What about your body?

Wish it were thinner, firmer, smaller?

And let’s not forget the guilt.

How much time do you spend on guilt and regret for things you’ve eaten, for what you weigh, for basically, well, for being you?

Do you spend time thinking about weight you’ve gained?

Weight you haven’t lost?

Weight you wished you had lost?

How about counting?

Do you count points, calories, fat grams or carbs?

Do you search the bookstores for an answer?

Do you spend time wondering what is wrong with you?

Searching the internet for a magic bullet?

And how about the way you torture yourself when you get dressed.

What looks good on a body you wish were different?

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired just writing about all the time we spend thinking about weight, food and our bodies.

What a waste of the life you have!

  • You could be finding the love of your life.
  • Running a race.
  • Writing a killer report for work.
  • Starting a business.
  • Reading an incredible book.
  • Painting a gorgeous picture.
  • Listening to kickass music.
  • Dancing around your house.
  • Bonding with your best girlfriend.
  • Loving your kids.
  • Writing a book.
  • Watching a sunset.
  • Taking in a great movie.

Wow.

All the things you could be doing.

If you could lose your extra weight.

No.

If you could lose the whole problem.

Losing the weight takes care of the symptom.

Temporarily.

Losing the whole problem is a permanent fix.

For good.

So stop wasting your time.

Stop looking and obsessing and wishing and hating yourself.

Find out why you overeat, and do the work. Make the change at that deep level.

And you will gain enough time to create an incredible life.

Or make the one you already have awesome.

Food Is Not Your Friend

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

friendOf course food is not your friend.

You already know that.

You don’t rely on food to comfort you, do you?

You don’t go to food when things aren’t going well, do you?

And you certainly don’t feel most understood when you are in the presence of your favorite food, do you?

Ok, well, some of us may have done these things at one point or another.

But we’ve learned, right?

Food is just food.

But, just because we all know that food is not our friend, I just want to make sure that we also know that FOOD IS NOT THE ENEMY.

Food is just food. Just a substance that can nourish the body. It’s not good, it’s not bad.

Food is neutral.

No need to fear it, to stay away from it, or to give it any power.

It doesn’t really have the power to make you feel good.

And it doesn’t really have the power to make you feel bad.

You can do that all by yourself.

Hmmmm.

Maybe it’s time to find some new friends.

What’s Blocking Your Goals?

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

My clients, and in fact most people I know, frequently set goals.

For all kinds of things they want to achieve.

Sometimes they achieve their goals.

They make plans, they think the right thoughts, and take the right actions.

But sometimes, they don’t reach their goals.

And often, it’s because their goals are running smack into their belief systems, and there’s a conflict.

goals

So, what’s the way around this?

Do you work harder, longer or faster?

Do you make more plans, bigger plans or different plans?

Maybe you need to take more actions?

Nope.

It’s none of the above.

First you need to look at your beliefs.

See what they are.

Is there a conflict between what you want and what you believe?

If there is, that work – the work of examining and perhaps changing some of your beliefs, that must come first.

If you want more close relationships, but one of your core beliefs is that you are unlovable, it won’t be easy.

If you want to earn more money but hold the belief that good people don’t care about money, it won’t happen.

Or, if you want a vibrant, healthy body, but you secretly believe that self-care is selfish, you may correctly guess that getting fit will be an uphill battle.

The funny thing is, we all have core beliefs that guide our lives.

We’re just not aware of them.

So, before you set those goals, before you go down the road of glory and achievement, pause.

Spend some time figuring out your deep beliefs.

Look at them and decide whether they serve you.

Deal with them if they don’t.

Then move towards your goals.

Now you’ve got a good shot at reaching them.

Take Off The Gloves

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Woman with Boxing GlovesAre you guilty of beating yourself up?

For things you do?

For things you wish you had done?

How about for how you feel?

Or for how you look?

Or famously, for what you weigh?

Am I leaving anything out?

At one point or another, we’ve probably all succumbed to self-beating. It’s a learned reaction.

Instead of feeling compassion and seeing what we might need to feel better, we whip ourselves with our words or our thoughts.

And we add insult to injury.

Maybe we think that if we don’t put on boxing gloves and whip ourselves into shape, we’ll be worse.

Do less.

Eat more.

Make more mistakes.

Gain more weight.

Here’s how the cycle goes:

  • We think something that makes us feel crappy.
  • Then we make it worse with how we talk to ourselves.
  • And then, in a desperate attempt to feel better somehow, we partake in a shadow comfort.

A shadow comfort gives us immediate gratification, but hurts us in the long run.

So if we overeat or overspend or overdrink to relieve the painful beating in our head, we’ll pay for it when we’re done.

And then the voice continues.

On and on and on.

There’s only one way out of this mess.

Stop.

Stop talking to yourself in a way that you’d NEVER talk to anyone else.

Be kind.

Take off the boxing gloves.

You deserve better.

How To Stop Running From Your Triggers

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Stop Running From Your TriggersWhen we talk about triggers in the world of weight loss, we’re talking about automatic behaviors.

Or automatic feelings.

Or automatic thoughts.

When something or someone triggers us, usually it sets off a chain reaction of thoughts, feelings and actions that lead us right where we don’t want to go, to results we don’t want.

Most weight loss wisdom has taught us to avoid these triggers.

Quick, get out!

Step away from the situation, from the aggressive co-worker, from the tempting Oreo.

But after years of advising this to my clients, and using it in my own life, I’ve come to a totally different conclusion.

Don’t run from your triggers.

In fact, run TO your triggers.

Yes, that’s right.

Welcome whatever has pressed your buttons in the past.

And use it as an opportunity for growth.

Because if we keep avoiding and running from things we are sensitized to, we’ll never confront our thoughts and feelings long enough to create new ones, ones that won’t lead us down the slippery slope.

I used to dread being with my husband or kids if they were eating sweets or something I was trying to avoid (since I’m gluten and dairy sensitive, there ARE some things it’s in my best interest to avoid).

I stayed as far away as I could, all the while internally whining about how unfair life was. And resenting them for being able to eat something I chose not to eat.

Now I see it differently.

If I don’t avoid my triggers, I have to deal with those resentful thoughts. And being with my family while they might be eating something that is off limits for me (by my choice) lets me examine my beliefs about life not being fair, not getting my share, and all the other ‘poor me’ victim thoughts floating around in my head.

I recognize them, bring them to the surface, and deal with them.

It feels a whole lot better than running to another room every time someone else chooses to do something I don’t want to be doing.

So now, when my hubby brings out the Chunky Monkey, I can have my own version of ice cream that agrees with my body, or I can have, as Geneen Roth calls it, ‘another f@#&%!g growth opportunity’!

Bring it on!

Are You Greedy For More?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Greedy womanSometimes, when I’m eating something really delicious, I have a hard time stopping. I was hungry when I started, and I thoroughly enjoyed what I ate, and now, well, I want to keep going.

Has this ever happened to you?

Sometimes, stopping brings up our issues.

Do we feel like we never have enough?

Enough love, money, food, connections?

Do we want to keep eating to avoid thinking about something?

Or feeling something?

Or doing something?

I’m sure you’ve been there.

But how about when you want to keep eating because it tastes so absolutely yummy?

I’ve been noticing myself doing that lately.

The one piece of chocolate becomes two or three.

The two little gummy bears are so good. I have to go back for more.

Well, here’s the deal.

Sometimes there isn’t necessarily an issue.

Sometimes we are just greedy for more of something good.

Often, we’re so stingy with ourselves, that we rarely give ourselves a treat.

Especially if we’re trying to lose weight.

And when we finally give ourselves a taste of something purely for pleasure, it’s tough to stop. We may feel overwhelmed by the pleasure of it.

So maybe sometimes, when we can’t stop, we’re just being greedy.

I don’t mean that you should use this thought to beat yourself up with. Or to use as evidence that there’s something wrong with you.

There isn’t.

But, even though something is delicious, doesn’t mean we should just roll over and keep eating it.

After all, we’re in charge of ourselves.

And while once in a while going overboard feels great, if we do it regularly, it won’t feel good.

Nor will it give us the results we’re looking for.

So if you’ve been feeling a little greedy lately, and there isn’t a life theme or big emotional issue driving you, here’s what you can do:

Take yourself by the hand, and lead yourself away from the gummies. Do what’s in your best interest. Resist being greedy just to be greedy.

When something tastes fabulous, watch your next thought.

The fact that it tastes great isn’t a command.

It’s just an observation.

This tastes unbelievable! I love it! It’s great!

Period.

The next thought does not have to be: ‘And I must have more’.

Just consider that even after observing how delicious something is, your next thought can be, ‘so what!’

Don’t create a command for yourself.

Enjoy, and step back.

There’s always next time.