Archive for the ‘Manage Your Mind’ Category

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.

Where Will You Be In Your Future?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Woman gazing at futureCoaches often use future focused tools to help their clients envision how they’ll feel when they reach their life goals. These goals could be career goals, relationship goals, money goals or health and fitness goals.

Just about anything.

These tools focus on your ‘end game’. How will you feel when you reach these goals? Exactly what will your life look like when you get where you want to go?

The theory is if you can identify how you will feel when you lose weight or get out of debt, you can create that feeling right now in your life. And this will make reaching your goal much easier.

I’ve done it myself, and many of my clients do it all the time. It works.

But, in the heat of the moment when you’re facing down an unplanned purchase on an already maxed-out Visa, or a double fudge chocolate cupcake on an already maxed-out full tummy, the vision of your end game is harder to conjure up.

It seems that in the moment, the temptation of the food or the sale feel stronger and more tempting than your vision of your possible future.

So here’s what I do:

Start asking yourself what the consequence will be for you if you buy this, or eat this, and keep doing that for the next five years.

  • How will you feel?
  • What will you weigh?
  • What will your Visa bill look like?
  • Will you feel healthy and fit and energetic?
  • Will you have saved enough to buy your dream house or start your business?
  • Will you have the relationship you want?

In other words, if you keep doing what you are doing now, stop for a moment and really think about the road you are traveling on.

Where will this road lead?

If you don’t make a U-turn, are you okay with where you will end up?

If not, then use that vision of the future you DON’T want to spur you into action: put down that cupcake, put on your gym shoes, stop spending money you don’t really have and get away from that reality show.

Sometimes, knowing what’s ahead of you and what you don’t want can be a stronger motivator than the vision of what you do want.

Look at the Big Picture

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Look at big pictureMaybe you’re one of my readers because you want to lose weight.

So many women do.

But you know in your heart that food, eating and weight are just pieces of the whole big picture of your life.

And if we stay on the surface, and just focus on the pieces, we’re not really solving the bigger puzzle.

Instead, looking on the surface, you may have found the answer to a question like, ‘How do I not raid the refrigerator this weekend when I visit my mother?’

But you didn’t find the answer to the Big Question, which is, ‘How do I lose this extra weight once and for all AND lose the whole problem?’

You don’t want a quick fix.

You want a real, lasting solution.

Who wants to be dealing with the same problem over and over again?

So many of us tend to look at solving the weight loss puzzle as a series of separate, unrelated situations:

  • If only I could learn how to not gain weight over the Christmas break.
  • How can I entertain for work this week and still be true to my eating plan?
  • I need to learn to stop snacking when my kids are moody after school today, when I’m not really hungry.

While each of these situations occurs frequently for many of my clients, it’s not each individual situation that’s our stumbling block.

Our stumbling blocks are the thoughts and patterns that keep showing up and ruling our lives.

And it’s our reactions to these repetitive habits that allow us to take that first unneeded bite, and not stop until the food is gone.

Stop reacting.

Step back from your life.

What seems to come up over and over again for you that derails your best efforts to lose weight?

Well, once you have identified the patterns, start creating some strategies.

Make your own rules for yourself.

You’re in charge.

You are not at the mercy of the world.

Things don’t just happen to you.

Just step back and think.

Put away the magnifying glass and look at the big picture.

Plan.

Strategize.

Prepare for what you know will show up.

Create personalized rules for yourself.

And get back in charge.

Goin’ Gray!

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Woman coloring her hair to remove grayAllow me to clarify for a moment here.

The hair coloring process of Cookie Rosenblum will not be stopping anytime soon.

Nope. Covering my gray hairs will continue indefinitely.

The gray I’m talking about is beneath my crowning glory. And yours too.

It’s your mindset.

You know how you (and a million others) may have a tiny tendency to think in black and white?

Here’s how it goes:

  • You see yourself as either a good person or a terrible person.
  • Either you’re on a strict diet or eating everything that doesn’t have a pulse.
  • You might be glued to your couch eating chips, or you find yourself training for a marathon.

Sound familiar?

Well, here’s the deal.

Nothing is all good.

Or all bad.

Especially not you.

Striving to be all good all the time is guaranteed to do nothing but make you feel bad about yourself.

And why would you want to do that?

Conversely, telling yourself you’re a terrible person because something you tried wasn’t perfect puts you down that slippery slope of self-judgment.

Neither extreme works.

Neither extreme feels good.

So, go for gray.

Be okay with being just okay.

And know that being okay doesn’t mean giving up, not trying at all, or doing your worst.

It means, simply, that sometimes it’s okay to just do okay.

Not great.

Not terrible.

But okay is okay.

Put On Some Socks!

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

I have to admit it; I love Raymond.Put on some socks

I mean, I love ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’.

Every single corny, over-watched, laugh-tracked episode.

With the familiar characters that almost everyone can find some version of in their own families.

It makes me laugh.

So a few nights ago, I watched as Debra and Ray were seeing their priest for some pre-marital counseling.

It seems that Ray was getting a little nervous before taking his vows, and wanted to make sure that Debra really loved him. He worried that in reality, maybe she was a little out of his league.

Well, my favorite line was when Debra yelled at Ray, “I don’t care if you’ve got cold feet. Put on some socks!”

And it made me think: maybe that’s what we all need.

A good old kick in the butt.

A reminder that a little fear isn’t the end.

Do what you need to do and get over it.

So of course I think about my dear clients.

They are brave and smart.

They figuratively climb mountains all the time in their life.

And sometimes they get scared.

But scared doesn’t mean stop.

It means getting help.

It means looking at your thoughts and questioning their validity.

It means tweaking what you are doing.

But it never means, “Stop! Turn around, and go back down that mountain…”

It simply means, “Put on some socks!”

Do You Try To Rush Through The Middle?

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Almost everyone I work with is very excited in the beginning.

Woman in the middle of a raceAh, the beginning.

The honeymoon.

The bright-eyed, bushy-tailed version of you.

Ready to do anything.

In love with the thought of what’s to come.

Hot for results. Hot for the end.

Relish the Middle

Very soon we progress to the middle.

The shine wears off.

The brow sweats.

The enthusiasm lags.

Where’s the end you promised? This in-between stuff isn’t for me!

But.

This is the juicy part.

It’s where you grow.

It’s the part where you solve problems.

This is where you do the work.

For real.

Unglamorous.

Messy.

Inconvenient.

But super important.

Relish the middle.

It’s the only way to get to your end.

Hold the Butter, Please!

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Hold the Butter, Please!I have a client who is lucky enough to be married to a wonderful guy who cooks.

Frequently he has dinner waiting for her after a long workday.

And yet.

Sometimes he does things related to dinner that annoy her.

Like butter the veggies.

Or put salad dressing on the salad.

So, what’s the big deal, you may be asking?

She doesn’t want butter.

She wants to put on her own salad dressing.

But isn’t she lucky to have this great partner who cooks for her? Why can’t she just go with the flow and eat whatever he cooks?

Well, here’s why she shouldn’t go with the flow, even though she is a lucky lady.

She gets to decide what she eats, and what she doesn’t eat.

She is learning to take charge of her life. Of her choices. Of her habits, and consequently, of her eating.

Why is it that so many of us have difficulty asking for what we need without feeling ungrateful, or finicky or overly fussy?

What happens is that we’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings. We want them to be happy, and especially be happy with us, and we try to control how they feel.

The problem with this is that it isn’t really possible to have any control over how someone else feels.

As the mother of two young women, I know this firsthand.

And I’m sure you do too.

But we all need to be able to speak up and get what we need. How can we do this without walking on eggshells all the time and obsessing and rehearsing all the potential outcomes before we speak?

We are walking a fine line between being authentic and honoring ourselves and trying to control another person’s reaction to us.

It’s ok to be nice when we’re asking for what we need.

So much more pleasant than dealing with a steamroller.

But we are not less than.

Our needs count.

Going with the flow all the time teaches us to bury our needs in order to keep the peace.

And then there’s anything BUT peace on the inside.

When you get your needs met, it allows you to feel good, grateful and satisfied.

So you will act generous, and giving and more pleasant to be around.

Aren’t you more attractive to be around when you’re getting what you need?

When people do something for you, often the drive to do this ‘thing’ comes from within them. Doing something nice for you makes them feel good.

So, in this whole cycle of all of us getting our needs met, the next time your significant other prepares a lovely meal for you, it’s really okay to say, ‘Honey, hold the butter.’

Writing Down Your Weight

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Writing in JournalIf you’re anything like me, or one of the many women I have coached, you’ve read a weight loss book or two.

Maybe you have shelves and shelves lined with them.

Perhaps they know you, in Barnes and Noble in the Weight Loss section. Or maybe they see you clicking away in amazon.com, the world’s largest virtual bookstore.

Wherever you are, if you’ve read ANY of these books, I’m sure you’ve read the advice ‘Keep a journal’.

Now, you know I’m anti-diet. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two from some of these best sellers.

So, when most weight loss professionals talk about writing things down, they are usually referring to two types of writing.

One, of course, is the old food journal. Some people like it, and many people hate it. What it does is help you become aware of what you’re really doing. Become more mindful.

Left to our own devices, we all think that we eat less than we do, and exercise more than we actually do.

The food journal helps us play detective with our reality.

But the kind of writing I am really talking about here is simply journaling.

Journaling what you are thinking, and feeling.

Why you do the things you do.

It’s how you get to the root of any problem behavior.

And that’s what puts you in the power position to make changes.

So, what’s the big deal about journaling, and why does it work?

When you think about why you’re doing something, and it stays in your head, it’s hard to be objective.

The story in your head sounds like the truth.

The only truth.

But when we take a few minutes and write down what we observe about a troubling situation, it’s like taking your thoughts and downloading them from your head, onto the paper.

Once there, you can examine them. It’s a perfect way of separating yourself from your story.

In your head, it feels like the only possible reality.

On paper, well, it’s just one possibility.

A whole new world of different perspectives suddenly becomes available to you.

It’s like having a deep conversation about you and your situation with someone else, only that someone else is you.

It’s truly amazing.

And the better you get at it, the quicker you will see the truth.

Eventually, you’ll see things clearer even before you write it down.

But seeing things spelled out in black and white, well, there’s just nothing like it.

So next time something is bothering you or you find yourself doing something you know isn’t in your best interest, and you don’t know why, sit down with a pen and paper. (Of course, computer docs work fine, too!)

  • What’s happening?
  • How are you feeling?
  • What were you just thinking?
  • Is there another way to look at this?
  • What would feel right to you at this moment?
  • What do you choose to do?

Don’t tell yourself you have to sit and write daily for an hour.

There is no minimum daily requirement.

This tool is for you.

When you want to feel better.

When you want to get to the bottom of something.

When you know you could be happier.

Isn’t that what we all want?

Stop Running From Discomfort

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Mother_DaughterXSmall-300x199Recently I found myself in an old familiar setting.

One of my teenage daughters had come home from school in a mood. Let’s just say, it was one of those teenage moods.

I was in the kitchen with her, and suddenly realized that I was mindlessly snacking.

I did a quick check-in with myself.

No hunger.

And I realized that just like that I had slipped into an old pattern… I started to feel uncomfortable and immediately started eating to remedy the discomfort.

Although most of that behavior is gone for me, it still occasionally rears its head.

And it’s good to notice that even after doing lots of work, sometimes you react with old patterns.

So here’s the story:

When you begin to feel uncomfortable, about anything you’re thinking about, notice the feeling coming over you.

Pause.

And then welcome the discomfort.

It’s here to teach you something.

To give you the inside path to your thoughts.

And only after you allow yourself to feel the feeling, can you go inside and work on it. Change it. Or not.

But first you have to feel it.

Then you can figure out what’s going on.

If you eat you will smother the feeling, and lose touch with the thought.

So grab the opportunity.

Stop running from discomfort.