Monthly Archives: December 2014

How positive podcasts support the weight loss journey

I have been listening to a ton of podcasts lately because I drive approximately 2 hours daily and can listen to them in their entirety which is awesome.  These uplifting messages are really helping my mood as well as my motivation to keep going.

I focused on a few of the podcasts these last couple of weeks.  The most impactful is Heather Robertsons “Half Size Me” which focuses on weight maintenance. Heather interviews people who have already accomplished success in either weight maintenance which is extremely helpful. They talk to Heather about where they came from, how they lost the weight and how they live their lives on a daily basis to keep it off.

After listening to so many, I’m picking up on some common themes.  I initially thought there would be some sort of ‘secret’ revealed but reality is, most have found their own ‘way’ or their own ‘strategy’ which has worked for them.  And this is after years of yo-yo dieting and going on all the popular programs.

Essentially, it started with a decision. This decision either came from a major event (i.e. Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis) or some type of ‘pain threshold’ where they said ‘enough is enough’ and decided to take action.

In the past, when I’ve lost 65+ pounds, it was because I had a specific goal. For example, one of the times was to lose it by my wedding.  Unfortunately after the wedding, I didn’t sustain the weight I lost because I didn’t take the time to set up new goals or think about the experience as changing my life. I was young and thought once I lost the weight, I could eat what I want. I laugh thinking about how young I was in the way I approached weight loss.  Now years later (and I like to think wiser), I realize, it’s so much more. It’s about your psychology.  What are you beliefs? How do you talk to yourself, what do you think about on a daily basis, what habits do you have in place and of course, how is your relationship with food? What makes someone make the decision to lose the weight for good and not go back?

I’ve made the decision in the past, but went back to old behaviors as early as 4 hours later.  I don’t think it’s just about making the decision to change your life (i.e. beliefs, thoughts and behavior) but more importantly ‘committing’ to that decision no matter what. That’s where I’ve fallen down repeatedly. I don’t believe my ‘why’ was strong enough in the past. It wasn’t enough leverage to move me. Overeating has been meeting all my needs in the moment. Beliefs like I could start again Monday, or I’m young and can lose it quickly were what played in my head. Sadly, those beliefs are not serving me anymore.

I have learned a lot this past year and most recently, I’ve learned so much from hearing about others success stories through podcasts and I’m grateful they have been made available (thank you Heather!).  It’s inspiring and I will continue because if you watch mainstream media, it’s not always positive.  I will continue to listen to positive messages because I believe that’s what’s going to accelerate those changes I am making to live a healthier life. It takes time, patience, consistency and commitment.

Have a happy holiday!

Taking it Day by Day

I have been reading other blogs and listening to positive podcasts to and from work which have been really helpful.  “Half Size Me” is a really good one! Heather Robertson interviews women who have lost the weight and kept it off.

When I lost the weight times before, it was for short term goals, wedding, trip etc.  In the interviews, these successful women all have said the same thing which essentially is that you have to have another goal set when you reach the first one otherwise, it won’t be sustainable. The other big takeaway was doing a plan that works in your lifestyle and you can maintain it even after you lose all the weight.  Things I’ve heard in the past repeatedly but for some reason, it’s resonating more with me this time around.

I installed ‘MyFitnessPal’ on my phone and I love it. I was always a paper tracker in the past and didn’t like using the online tools but I really like this one. It’s so easy and has just about every food in there…for the low price of FREE (an added bonus).

As the holidays approach, I’m thinking more about 2015 and what I want to achieve big picture rather than losing/gaining weight. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but in the past, I’ve always focused on eating plans and menus. I would spend a lot of time baking cookies but scaled back when I lost weight in 2008 and it has stuck ever since.  I do some baking but not even close to what I used to do.  I know myself and t’s not a good idea for me.  I realized I can still enjoy the holidays without baking 15 days out of the month.

It’s been up and down these past few weeks. I’m going through a lot of different emotions and thought patterns. I’m not beating myself up as I’ve been so used to, instead, I’m really focused on accepting myself on this journey.  One other thing I heard the other day that really impacted me was we are on this weight loss journey for the rest of our lives. Even if we lose all the weight, we still will watch what and how we eat.  At that moment,  it seemed like the ‘pressure’ was lifted from me.  Why did I put on this pressure in the first place? Because I kept thinking, “I’m getting older now and I have to get this weight off right away.” When reality is that if it comes off slowly, it will be more likely to stay off.

Rushing has been a theme in my life and as I’m getting older, I’m seeing that rushing in various aspects actually impedes my ability to be successful.  Taking a step back and thinking about this moment, rather then thinking I have 65 pounds to lose is much more tolerable.  I’ve always been a ‘planner’ and even with weight loss, I’ve planned out how much I’m going to lose, by when and had the menus and lists to back it up.  All good stuff, but it was limiting.  I was setting myself up for failure (can you hear ‘all or nothing’ thinking here?).

My approach today is taking it day by day…that’s the key to weight loss and maintenance. I’m ready to relax and see where this journey takes me…and I know I’ll learn a lot from others along the way, including you.  Have you rushed in the past and how did that help/hurt your weight loss efforts?

5 Reasons Why I Overeat

I have been thinking about the complexity of managing my weight and realized I only eat because of a few reasons. If I can capture these reasons by posting them here for my own accountability hopefully it can help someone else.  The first step is acknowledgement, right?

  1. Eating due to hunger (appetite) – Hunger would be the first reason and is a natural physiological reason to eat.  Everyone shares this reason across the board.
  2. Eating due to cravings –  Cravings can appear whether it’s from watching a commercial on television or smelling popcorn at a movie theater.  They can sneak up on you and sometimes, they are strong enough you feel like you have to give in for it to pass. Cravings also come when your body is out of balance like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or when you’re body becomes accustomed to eating certain foods and then you don’t eat them, cravings can come on strong (i.e. sugar or carb cravings).
  3. Eating due to boredom – Lately I’ve been noticing this pattern which is sometimes when I’m not ‘into’ doing something.  It’s a dangerous reason because it’s easy and becomes habitual. Probably one of the most detrimental reasons in my efforts to lose weight. The easy cure is to not become bored in the first place.  Finding other means to occupy my time rather than reaching for the chips and zoning out on reality shows or the Hallmark channel.
  4. Eating due to emotional triggers – This one is popular.  The emotions don’t all have to be negative ones (sad, lonely, angry etc) but can also be happy and excited emotions like celebrations. I read somewhere that emotions are a 90-second physiological response in the body and if we learned to recognize them and let them ‘pass’ we would have more control over our eating. In my experience, typically emotions have lasted longer because my thoughts sometimes ruminate over the same set of thoughts which triggered the emotions in the first place.  Definitely something I’m working on…
  5. Eating due to habitual behavior – My experiences have led to eating ‘desert’ after dinner and has now become a daily habit.  This habit was born many, many years ago and is going to take a while to replace, but it’s definitely a habit.  It’s like driving down the same road repeatedly for so long, now the road has deep grooves in it.  In order to change this one, I have to think about replacing it with a better habit and creating new grooves. Now, finding that new habit, that’s the challenge.

Food has become such an influential part of my life.  I realized even in my family it’s a huge deal, and not around birthdays and holidays.  Everyone in my family talks about food constantly and they don’t have weight problems!  It’s like food is the center of our lives and why?  I think it has to do with love and connection, where we as a family find common ground in a crazy world. It’s the one thing we agree on together, where we spend time together and it is enjoyable.  A much deeper issue, I know.

I was talking with some friends last week about weight and eating and finally we got to a root issue, not practicing self-love. Now overall if you asked me if I love myself, I would say “Yes, I do love myself.” but if you asked me what happens after I overeat, what do I say to myself? I would tell you it would be a series of punishing words, “You shouldn’t have eaten that! What were you thinking? You are getting fatter and fatter by the minute! You slob!”   It’s awful and something I would never say to loved ones if they overate.

I remember Joyce Meyer saying one time that she didn’t feel right unless she felt wrong. This is the same concept.  I grew up in a perfectionist environment, if I didn’t punish myself, then I wasn’t feeling good about myself no matter what I did.  I had to punish myself because that’s what you did when you didn’t live up to expectations.  We are our own judge and jury.  The pain we feel is much more then what others put on us…it’s the pain that keeps us eating, because it’s when we feel better for the moment.  We just keep eating to rid of that empty feeling and when we keep gaining weight and then try to force ourselves to stick to a food regimen, we fail because it’s overwhelming . It’s just easier to punish ourselves with words and keep eating.This self-punishing is another habit, one that has deep grooves but I can overcome with practice, new habits and acknowledgement.

Can anyone else relate? Are you your own judge and jury? Is your self-talk awful?  What do you say to yourself after you overeat?

 

 

 

Starting a virtual weight management support group

Do you ever think to yourself, I know what to ‘do’ to lose weight, but don’t do it?  Heck, you probably could teach a class on nutrition because you know what foods you ‘should’ be eating.  Why do we choose the ice cream and pie instead of the fruit? Bread stuffing instead of the green beans? You know you ‘should’ choose the better choice but instead, you end up choosing the carbs and sugar.

These last few weeks, my thoughts have been, “I need to get on a plan, I need to eat better, I need to do ‘something'”.  I thought about going back on a popular plan, but then again, I’ve done that and have not followed the plan.  Yes, they work, but you have to follow them which I have not been successful doing lately.

I was writing in my journal the other day and was thinking about what it’s going to take to make a life shift in this area. It’s funny because when I decided I was done with dieting, I thought the weight would come off because I wouldn’t be so obsessed about it. Instead, I’m thinking about weight and food more than ever because I’m anxious about gaining weight which I have been doing consistently.  I’m used to tracking daily, weighing and measuring food etc. I know those tactics all work.  However, I was burnt out and now rebelling.

But, I realize I need the support of others who are at the same point. I think we are all on our own journey and we need to discover what works for us, which may not work for others.  We all have our ‘thresholds’ when we get to that point where the life shift takes place but that timing is something no one else can determine, it’s individual.

I have enough strategies to fill my entire bookcase (and it does). I want to really focus on the cause of the behavior and that’s my belief system which has been formed throughout my life from role models and reinforced by life experiences.  If I do not work on this now, all the strategies in the world will be short lived.

I’m starting a virtual support group if others out there willing to join me.  Instead of reviewing tactics like staying off sugar or tracking calories, we will actively support each other while changing our beliefs and thinking. Given we are moving into a new year, I believe now is the time to ditch the diet roller coaster weight loss/gain and really dig deep to change those beliefs which fuel our thinking and behavior around food, health and fitness.

Interested? Let me know…