Archive for the ‘Manage Your Mind’ Category

Eating Is Always Your Choice

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

girl makes a choiceYou are always in charge of your eating.

Whether your choice is to eat or not eat.

How much you choose to eat.

When you start eating.

When you stop.

And, of course, what you eat.

Being in charge gives us a sense of freedom. It takes away the need to struggle.

No need to call upon willpower.

You don’t have to be ‘good’.

Because you are not forcing yourself to follow some external rules.

You are simply in charge and are following the guidelines of your body.

Eat when it’s hungry.

Stop when it’s satisfied.

And give it what it wants.

But, as soon as you begin to tell yourself to ‘be good’, or to ‘be careful’, or to not have something so you can lose weight as fast as possible, you will begin to rebel.

You will feel like you are being deprived.

That there is some restriction on what you can and cannot eat. And that you are no longer in charge.

And that, my friend, is the kiss of death to eating like a naturally slim person.

When you make up rules for yourself, or you follow someone else’s rules for your body, you will want to rebel against the rules and eat with abandon.

Your brilliant brain will respond to restriction and deprivation with overindulgence.

Binge eating.

And weight gain.

It’s just a little thing called survival. And we’re all wired for it.

Your brain is just doing what it’s supposed to do.

So play along.

Stop telling yourself that you have to eat or not eat something.

Instead, you are choosing to eat or not eat something because you want to, and because you think it will feel good and right in your body.

Not because you have to.

Because as soon as your brain hears: don’t, have to, should, or must!… it will respond with the urge to eat…

And you are not in survival mode.

Be relaxed as you make your choices.

And teach your brain that is wired for survival that you are just fine, thank you.

You don’t need to overdo anything because you are always able to get what you need.

You always have a choice.

And having choices is what freedom feels like.

Why You Should Never Start Your Diet On A Monday

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Monday Green Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds - Days of the Week Series.Let me amend that statement.

I’m not a believer in diets. Diets actually cause overeating and binge eating. So let’s call it ‘your weight loss program’.

How many times have you said this to yourself:

  • I’ll just start Monday.
  • Or, I’ll start after the holidays.
  • Or after the New Year.

The thing about Mondays or any other arbitrary starting point is that those dates are meaningless.

What we’re really saying is ‘not now’… I just can’t commit right now.

And that is the problem.

We can imagine committing sometime in the future, but not now.

And that future date never happens. Because when Monday or New Year’s Day actually come, we then let some other little imperfection in our behavior push back our starting date again.

And again.

And we become more demoralized. Less confident. And our weight continues to add up from this psychic procrastination.

So what can you do? You still want to lose weight. And for whatever reason, you think you have just blown your effort and need to get back on the wagon as soon as it’s convenient.

Here is what you can do:

Always start now. No matter the day, the date, the year or the holiday. As soon as you deviate from your plan, first figure out what you can learn from it. And then continue. There is no big start. Just a continuing road that you will be on.

Always.

Does that mean you will always have to be focused on losing weight?

No! It simply means that taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is a life-long endeavor. And you are never done.

You never fail… you just get feedback.

It’s like the kids’ game of warmer or colder… are you getting warmer… closer to your goal? Or colder, further away?

Every step keeps you on your path of living your life. It’s like a huge experiment, where you are constantly checking your results to see if you like what you are creating.

And if you do, stay on that road.

If you don’t, well, make an adjustment. Right now.

With the next meal.

The next drink.

The next snack.

Now is what we have for sure.

So do it now.

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.

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.