Archive for the ‘Habits’ Category

Do You Always Save the Best for Last?

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

saving the best for lastRecently I had a nice restaurant dinner with my husband and we decided to share a dessert. It was a large, delicious piece of banana cream pie, a specialty of our favorite local restaurant.

David did what he always does with dessert; he plunged right in. And I did what I always do: I tried to save the best for last.

Why do we eat pleasure food so differently?

I know that my eating style comes from years of dieting. Dessert was considered either off limits or so special that you needed to make it last. And if you did have dessert, you knew that restriction and a fresh start were just around the corner.

Because as soon as you were finished indulging, you were headed right back to the old lean eating plan.

So what happened with me and David was that while he dug in and got his best bites, full of thick, crunchy sweet crust and soft creamy filling, I was trying to make mine last. I started nervously watching how much he was eating. I worried that I wasn’t getting my share. And I lost the whole experience of the pie.

I missed it. I missed my pleasure.

Also, by trying to save my share of dessert, I saved the best delicious part (the crust is my favorite) for last, and when the end came, I wasn’t really hungry anymore. But I ate it anyway.

Why? Because it was the best part.

If you are either always watching what you eat with strict, hawk-like vision, or eating whatever you want with total abandon, you probably spend more time worrying about your eating than enjoying your food. And that’s a waste.

If you give up the idea of dieting, and allow yourself to eat banana cream pie, and French fries and Snickers bars, you won’t be worried about when they will be gone.

You’ll know that they will always be there. When you’re hungry you can eat them again.

So right now, in the moment, there is no need to save anything.

Instead of saving, and building a little fort around your dessert so no one takes a bite, it’s time to actually savor.

Take your best bite first.

Make every bite a delicious experience.

And get rid of that scarcity mindset. You don’t have to overindulge. And you don’t have to hoard it for the bare winter to come.

Just enjoy it now. Like David does.

The Scale: Are You An Addict Or An Avoider?

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

feet of a woman on bathroom scaleThe scale.

An inanimate object made of metal and plastic, that has the power to change moods, ruin days and create binges.

Wow.

That’s a lot of power.

And it’s all how we look at it.

Some of us, you know who you are, cannot walk by one without somehow accidentally stepping on it.

Even at a friend’s house.

And others, well, we just give the scale a blind eye… like the friend you fought with in the 9th grade and never spoke to again, it doesn’t exist.

And yet, the scale, the innocent scale, is simply a tool.

But we make it mean so much more.

If you’re a scale addict, no doubt you have certain protocol you observe before you step delicately on its surface.

Perhaps you undress. Go to the bathroom. Mentally add up everything you ate recently. And maybe say a silent prayer.

And then you take that step up.

And as a result, your life is either wonderful, or it sucks.

If you are a scale addict, you have given your power to this simple tool, and have chosen to interpret the data it gives you to determine your worthiness as a person.

On the other hand, maybe you’re a scale avoider.

You will go to all lengths to not step on that scale.

Like miss a few years of doctor appointments to avoid hearing your number. Or when being weighed is inevitable, I’ve seen people get on the scale backward… they not only don’t want to see the number but have taken sworn affidavits from the medical staff not to whisper the number out loud.

And never knowing their number lets them live in that euphoric yet empty state called ‘denial’. If you never know your number, you might be ignoring important clues to the state of your health.

So where do you stand?

On or off?

Can you weigh yourself without letting it ruin your day?

What if you like the number you see and you are euphoric? Is that okay?

Here’s the deal. The scale is neutral. The number is neutral. But what you make it mean is pretty big. Good or bad.

I’m wondering why someone like you, someone who has so many amazing qualities to bring to the world would default all judgment to a scale. Really??

I guess what I’m coming to is that neither extreme is in your best interest.

What you weigh is just a momentary fact… a measurement of your physical being. It means nothing about you: you as a person, a mother, a wife, a friend, a creator, a giver, a lover.  Nothing.

Unless you give your power away to your scale.

How often you weigh in is up to you. No need to be obsessive about it.

But no need to be in the total dark, either.

You decide. Just don’t make it mean more than it does. It’s just a number.

Don’t Save It For The Prom

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Red Prom Dress on HangerDid you ever hear the saying, ‘Don’t save it for the prom’?

It means, ‘What are you waiting for?’

What are you saving something for?

Why are you not doing it now?

Many of us wait.

We wait to wear nice clothes until we lose weight.

We won’t speak up in a relationship until we feel better about ourselves.

We won’t put our needs first until we deserve it.

The big question is: Why are we all waiting?

For this big event, the good feeling, the right number on the scale.

And then, we’ll give ourselves what we need.

We’ll stop saving it for the prom.

The prom is now.

The prom is your life.

Feel good today.

Wear clothes you like now.

Ask for what you need daily.

This is it.

Today is all we have for sure.

Stop waiting!

It’s Not in There

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

it’s not in thereDo you open your fridge every time you pass it?

Do you ever wonder what you’re looking for?

Are you looking for happiness?

For relief?

For a nap?

It’s not in there.

Are you looking for love?

For a friend?

For comfort?

It’s not there.

Are you looking for a better job?

Smaller bills?

A bigger paycheck?

It’s not there.

Are you looking for grateful kids?

For a more attentive husband?

For the answer to what you want to do with your life?

It’s not in there.

Nope.

Nothin’ in there but food.

Only good for hunger.

And some pleasure.

That’s it.

Loving Yourself Changes Everything

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Loving YourselfLoving yourself feels better than loathing yourself.

We’ve all heard these words.

So, what else is new?

The question is, what does self-love look like in your daily life?

Here are some examples of self-love from my own life and the lives of my friends and clients.

  1. When you love yourself, you listen to and honor your body. You rest when tired, you eat when hungry.
  2. You spend most of your connection time with people who genuinely care about you  and value you.
  3. You always put fun things in your ‘to do’ list because you always deserve to have fun. You don’t have to earn this.
  4. You give yourself food that is healthy, and also delicious.
  5. You take the time to care for your body in ways that make you look and feel great.
  6. You choose to exercise in some form, because it’s a gift you give to yourself.
  7. You have the same compassion for yourself that you’d have for a beloved friend.
  8. When you don’t do something you’re trying to do, you gently look at the ‘why’ with compassion and curiosity.
  9. When you fail at something you’ve attempted, you simply step back and try another door. No judgments.
  10. When your thoughts take you to a dark place, you question these thoughts, instead of automatically believing them.

How do you love yourself?

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.

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.

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.

You’re More In Control Than You Think

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

You're more in control than you thinkOne of the lies we tell ourselves when we’re not happy with our weight is that we’re out of control.

So, let me ask you: What’s your weight right now?

Okay, now tell me why you don’t weigh 50 pounds more than that?

What’s that you say?

Oh, I see. You have an ‘upper limit’. That is, when your weight reaches a certain number, a number you have decided is a line you don’t want to cross, you change your behavior.

In most cases, when the scale reflects your upper limit back to you, you start thinking, feeling and acting in a way that promotes weight loss. Or at least stops weight gain.

So here’s my point.

We’re never really out of control when it comes to what and how much we eat. When we think a particular thought, that thought creates a feeling. That feeling prompts us to take an action.

When our thoughts are aligned with our true desires, we get what we want.

We eat with more awareness.

We make better choices.

We stop eating when we’re satisfied.

We stop gaining weight and eventually release our extra weight.

You’re In Control

Be open to the idea that you’re always in charge.

In the world of weight loss, you are constantly choosing thoughts that either move you towards overeating, or thoughts that move you towards listening to your body.

All you have to do is draw the line sooner.

Lower your upper limit.

You are in charge. In control.