Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

Ode To The Food Journal

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Food journalEveryone who hires me as their coach has a similar starting point; they all agree to keep a food journal.

They are not all excited, however, to keep this food journal.

In fact, it’s probably one of the least popular assignments I give.

It’s generally met with some pretty automatic arguments.

…no time.

…feels like a diet!

…it hasn’t helped before.

…why bother?

And these are all valid points.

So here’s my equally valid answer:

If you want to lose weight, or do any major work to change any aspect of your life, you need data.

You need to know where you are.

What you’re doing.

And which direction you’re headed in.

If weight loss is your goal, then writing down:

  • what you eat,
  • how hungry you were when you started,
  • and how full you were when you stopped…

…these are some of the most important pieces of data you can collect.

Looking objectively at something you’re doing gives you clues.

And, like a good detective, you will use those clues to figure things out.

There’s only one big caveat here. And that is, whatever you eat, whatever you do, no beating yourself up about it.

Be kind.

Be curious.

Be gentle with yourself.

It’s just data.

That’s it.

Use it to make changes.

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.

Taking a Leap of Faith

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Dear Cookie,

I start my day with the best intentions:

  • I will stick to my eating plan today.
  • I will do a workout early in the day.
  • I will drink lots of water today.

But then, something happens that throws me off course.

And I don’t do anything that I planned!

I’m so frustrated with myself and even worse, I am beginning to lose hope that I can EVER get to my natural weight.

What’s wrong with me?

C.S., Brooklyn, NY

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Taking a leap of faithDear C.S.,

There is NOTHING wrong with you.

At all.

Read those words again.

And try to relax.

Here’s the deal:

When we’re trying to create new habits, and at the same time get rid of habits we’re not happy with, we all tend to do what you’ve done. That is, make a list, get excited and plunge in.

The first problem with your scenario is that you are trying to change too many things at once:

Your eating.

Your workout.

And even your water intake.

So for starters, pick one.

(Yes, I know you want to do all three yesterday. Still, pick one.)

It’s far easier to put your focus on one desired action than on three.

Pick one and write out your intentions of what you want to do in the morning.

Then choose a way to remind yourself several times during the day to focus your attention on the new habit you want to cultivate.

Most of my clients either set the alarm function on their phones or on their computers to ring or vibrate at different intervals. This wakes you up and reminds you that you want to focus on your goal. There are also small, inexpensive timers… I use one called Gymboss.

Now, another thing I see you doing is a common mistake.

You’re focusing on the action you want to change, for example, you want to drink more water during the day.

Drinking the water is an action.

But what creates that action is the thought you think right before you do it.

So you need to wake yourself up (figuratively) and then program your mind with a thought that will make drinking the water easier.

Some examples of thoughts for this goal are:

  • Drinking lots of water during the day gives me energy.
  • I feel great when I get enough water.

I’d like to leave you with one more thought and that’s about losing faith in yourself.

If anyone in the world has done or is doing what you want to do, then you know it’s possible.

And if you create the right scenario, with supportive thoughts, and set up your environment for success, then there’s no reason that you, too, won’t succeed.

Think of the things you’ve accomplished in your life that took practice, and didn’t necessarily come easily.

Draw on these memories for strength and resolve. Have faith in yourself.

Then relax and focus on your goal.

You’ll do it.

Take that first leap of faith.

Why The No Hurry Approach To Weight Loss Works

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

the no hurry approachWhen it comes to achieving our goals, no matter what the goal, we all have one thing in common:

We want it now.

As in today.

Or even yesterday.

Why do we expect everything to happen so fast?

Well, we do live in a pretty speedy world.

  • Instant chats.
  • Faxes.
  • Emails.
  • Overnight express.
  • Microwaved food.
  • Express dating.

We have a drive thru for everything… meals, banking, oil changes, even dry cleaning.

In our life today it’s more outside of the norm to do anything slowly. We hurry from one thing to the next.

Consciously.

Deliberately.

And when it comes to food, eating and our bodies, we want to make changes that have instant results.

Want to change a habit?

Bingo! That shouldn’t take long, should it?

Sometimes we think that if we want change and are clear about what we want, and know why we want it, well then, it should happen immediately.

Real change can be quick.

As in an ‘aha’ moment.

An awakening.

A sudden shift in your perspective.

But for change to be lasting and deep, you have to practice it.

You have to create new pathways in your brain.

You have to set a new default for how you think.

And this takes time.

When you are trying to lose weight, you are looking for a physical change.

But that physical change needs to start on the inside.

So your thoughts, your deep beliefs and your feelings need to change.

Only then will it become easy to take the actions that will lead to weight loss.

Pounds of fat coming off your body are the results you want.

And this result is the last thing to show up, when you are making changes from the inside out.

So if you are looking for fast results, you are planting the seeds of failure.

You will be disappointed easily and give up on yourself.

This happens with some of my clients.

They start making small changes and start to move in the right direction. But very quickly they become impatient and fall off track. Their desire for fast results derails them.

So what’s a good way to think about time when you’re trying to lose weight or get fit?

  • There is no hurry.
  • Feeling pressured and rushed won’t allow you to be thoughtful and aware of what you are doing.
  • Tiny changes work.
  • Consistency works.
  • Time has a way of bringing together small efforts and repetition and multiplies their effects.

So instead of going the quick fix route, instead of looking for the magic pill, look to see what small, sustainable changes you can make.

Your results will be huge.

Be patient. Don’t hurry.

It will come.

Every Bite Counts

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Woman eating bite size portion

“But I’m only eating healthy stuff,” some of my clients protest. “And I can’t lose weight! I’m stuck!”

Great quality, healthy food.

But.

It doesn’t really matter what you’re eating if you’re eating more than your body needs.

We all have systems in our body that aim to keep us at equilibrium.

Balance.

We get signals when we’re hungry, and then we eat to stock up on fuel.

We get signals when we’re no longer hungry, and we stop eating.

When we stop listening to these little, sometimes subtle signals, we take ourselves out of balance.

Out of equilibrium.

We get too hungry or too full.

When we get too hungry we usually compensate by overeating, swinging to the other end of the pendulum.

Geneen Roth used to say that for every restrictive diet we go on there is an equally strong and opposite binge waiting in the wings.

I agree.

So what I see a lot, in between the extreme restriction and the constant overeating, is that some of us are stealth nibblers.

Little tastes of different things. A bite here and a bite there.

Some high quality fuel, some junk.

It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that when we are in this nibble habit, we are eating unconsciously.

My own specialty is passing the kitchen to get water to bring to my office and grabbing a handful of almonds. Healthy, right?

Or after a meal, I’ll grab some dried cherries, or dried papaya. Better than pie, I’ll think.

We pass the kitchen and grab what we left on the counter.

We don’t want to make a phone call, so we open the fridge and have a few bites of leftovers.

We’re tired in the afternoon so we make an apple and peanut butter plate.

But we’re not hungry.

What happens when we eat these little things and our body isn’t signaling us to eat?

We waste the food.

We waste it in our bodies.

Our bodies aren’t asking for a refueling, so we take it in and having no need for it we just store it as fat.

Just that simple.

So it doesn’t matter if it’s baby carrots and hummus or your kids’ French fries… if you’re not hungry, you don’t need it.

And if you eat it, it counts.

If it’s not water, it counts.

I challenge you, for one day, to notice every single bite you put into your mouth.

It doesn’t matter what it is.

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.

No Time To Lose Weight?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Woman consulting her time plannerAre you constantly telling yourself that you don’t have enough time?

  • To exercise?
  • To plan your week?
  • To take care of your body?
  • To see your friends?
  • To be alone?

As you know, we all have the same number of hours in a week. Yet some of us accomplish all kinds of things that move us closer to our goals, and some of us don’t.

The answer may be to grab hold of the time you have and choose how you’d like to spend it. Don’t let life just flow around you unless you are perfectly happy with where it’s taking you.

Being a natural planner, I just love to stand back and look at my time and my ‘to do’ list and figure out how they can meet up.

But many people don’t want to think about what’s coming next. They hide behind the thoughts that they have no control of their life, of what’s coming, and of how they got where they are.

It also stands to reason that if you’re always thinking you don’t have enough time to do what you’d like to do, you’re probably also thinking that now isn’t a good time to get things done.

  • Like lose weight.
  • Like change jobs.
  • Like really look at your relationships.

This is your wake up call.

Now IS the time.

Now is when to make changes, to make different choices, to take responsibility, to act.

I know that our time on earth is relatively short.

If we don’t stand back and get some big picture perspective, we can trick ourselves into believing that we have a huge future rolling out in front of us.

Maybe we do.

But maybe we don’t.

We just don’t know.

So stop putting off anything you care about.

Don’t worry about how hard something may be.

You can get help.

You can do research.

You can do a lot of things that would surprise you.

But seize the moment.

You have time right now.

Do something.

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!”