Monthly Archives: February 2015

Small choices add up!

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that’s going on with my personal life and work and it seemed as though the new daily routines and habits took a back burner. Right now, addressing my weight and health has to be a full time job. I cannot let distractions or changes in my schedule impact what I’m doing dramatically.  The goal is to get back on those healthy habits immediately.  Small choices add up

I started tracking my food again this week and I decided to kick up my workouts. I was thinking about working towards a 5k again.  I’ve done many 5k’s, 10k’s and even a half marathon so I know I can do it, but for some reason, back in 2011 after I had meniscus surgery, I stopped all running. I know it has been the fear of doing further damage to my knee. I’ve injured it so many times before, but running is the only exercise I truly enjoy and ‘feel’ like I’ve done something. I use the stair-master and cross trainer in the gym and they are awesome as an alternative because I don’t run daily and don’t recommend it. I just feel if I have something to work towards, it would increase my motivation to keep moving in the right direction.

I prepared a bunch of food last Sunday and it worked out very well for breakfasts and lunches. I will continue because from my past experiences, it’s what made all the difference. Over the last few years, I’ve talked myself out of doing those things which support my efforts to living a healthy life. It sounds crazy, why would I do that if my ultimate goal is to live healthy?  I believe it goes back to the self-sabotage and fear of failure.  “Why bother if I’m going to gain it all back.”  This question has lingered and I’ve had to knock down the associated thoughts and emotions to keep myself moving in the right direction. The emotions pop up more frequently when I’m tired which is typically early evenings.  Anticipating this internal dialogue has been helpful although I haven’t been 100%.  But that’s not the goal right? I cannot be 100% however, if I am 75%-80%, to me that’s success.

Last night, I ate a lot more than I should have and I know it was due to feeling a loss of control (hence feeling overwhelmed). When I went to log in my food intake this morning, I realized, I didn’t really eat that much and the scale reflected it, I was ecstatic. I had a good workout yesterday which probably counteracted the overeating in the evening.

This morning I was craving cereal so I mindlessly poured it into the bowl and before I poured the milk, I started logging it into My Fitness Pal and realized the calories. I immediately said, “I don’t want to eat that much but I would like cereal, I haven’t had it in so long”.  Then the question came up, “If I don’t eat it now, will I binge on it later?”. Good question since I’ve operated here before.  Instead, I took out a smaller bowl, took out the measuring cups and measured a true portion of cereal, 3/4 cup (when I measured the original portion I poured, it added up to 2 cups!!).  I measured 1 cup of FF milk to add and sat down at the table, logged in the portions and enjoyed eating the cereal. It was awesome, I didn’t feel deprived and it seemed like a lot of cereal in the smaller bowl.  When I finished with the cereal, there was milk left over, I went over and poured it back into the measuring cup and saw I had only consumed 1/4 cup with the cereal. So I poured the rest down the drain.  What a difference!!! I know it seems like a small thing, but it really empowered me to say, I can eat things I enjoy using the correct portion sizes, sitting down and eating without distractions. 

If this happened later today, I don’t think I would’ve taken the same steps so I’m grateful I was able to ‘pause & plan’ and make the right decision.  I typically have operated on auto-pilot on such small choices, but I realized, if I take that extra time, I’m putting myself in a position of power. I’m also building self-efficacy which last year was at an all time low.

I’m honoring the small choices today and you should too! It’s the small choices that get us to our big goals!! Small choices add up Small choices add up Small choices add up

 

 

Do you need motivation to lose weight?

I was listening to an old podcast on ‘Half Size Me’ yesterday on my way home from work and Heather was talking about motivation.  Someone had written an email to her asking about how to get the motivation to lose the weight.  I was thinking in my head how similar I felt to the writer.  The writer said she had lost the weight before and knows what’s it like to feel good and have energy, but at the same time, she’s having such a hard time getting the motivation to start again.  I have to agree. I know what it feels like to be thin and fit, it’s amazing.  I long for that feeling again but for some reason, I’m ‘comfortable’ right now or is that a lie I’m telling myself?

Tonight at the weight loss support group, one of the questions I want to ask everyone is, “Are we in denial?” and if so, “What are the stories we tell ourselves to keep us in denial?”.  I’m looking forward to what they will say.  My story is I’m just not ‘feeling’ like doing it because it takes so much effort.  Why bother if I’m going to gain it all back? I can lose the weight, I just haven’t been successful at maintenance or the lifestyle change required.  Can that change, absolutely and I believe it logically.  Emotionally, a totally different story.

Emotional mastery as I was talking about before, is the linchpin (thank you April) that holds it all together.  My friend April and I were talking about positive thinking and how important it is to keep yourself going in the right direction.  There’s one initial step that has to occur prior to knowing and changing your thinking to be positive, and that’s the awareness – the key to emotional mastery.  When you know your thoughts are going in the wrong direction, it’s the practice of turning them around immediately.  I’ve been working on it and I’m a whole lot better than I used to be, but I’ve got a ways to go.

On the podcast, Heather responded to the writer saying you cannot wait for motivation to appear, but instead to take action in the right direction. This has been something I’ve been doing with the habits.  It’s true what they say, when you start something, you’re emotions will catch up. Joyce Meyer talks a lot about if you don’t ‘feel’ like it, doing the right thing anyway. To apply it to lifestyle changes, I have to add, ‘Do it anyway when you’re at your best, which for me is in the AM‘.  If I wait until later in the day, forget about it.  I’m tired both physically and mentally so my emotions are amplified after 1 PM.   The habits are helping, but there are a few things I need to tweak with my food intake. Specifically incorporating healthy proteins as a snack in the afternoon.  I noticed if I don’t eat enough protein, I’m struggling and reaching for carbs mindlessly.  The after thoughts and resulting emotions are typically going in the wrong direction shortly afterwards.

Do you need motivation to lose weight?  Maybe not, maybe we just push ourselves in the right direction by taking small actions. Maybe we do something today to get us closer to our goals and forget waiting for the ‘ah ha’ moment or epiphany.  Yes, it would be wonderful to have that to drive me, but honestly, if it’s something negative, I don’t want it.  I believe not everyone has serious motivation just ‘appear’ or ‘click’ and instead, just find themselves moving in the right direction slowly.

All my life I’ve operated at the pace of a hare, hurrying and rushing under pressure.  Typically I failed often and got discouraged.  Now that I’m older, I realize, it’s about taking all that you’ve learned and applying it more often then not with ease.  Instead of rushing and trying to be perfect, appreciating the journey, the learnings along the way, the slow pace as you practice habits and new ways of doing things to support the success that comes later.   I know this is the case for me and I have in a sense changed my ‘race’ to reflect the pace of the tortoise this time and I’m okay with it because I know in the end, that’s who wins the race.

Do you need motivation to lose weight? Do you need motivation to lose weight? Do you need motivation to lose weight? Do you need motivation to lose weight? Do you need motivation to lose weight? Do you need motivation to lose weight? Do you need motivation to lose weight? Do you need motivation to lose weight? Do you need motivation to lose weight? 

Managing Emotional Eating – Easier Said Then Practiced

This week was just ‘okay’.   I wasn’t as diligent about tracking my food intake. In fact, I noticed myself ‘not caring’ when I got home and reaching for the carbs again.  I ate much more then I intended.  I often find myself ‘ignoring’ or going into denial about my weight as to give myself permission to overeat. It’s cowardly and not truly who I am, but yet at the same time, I find myself using this logic more often then not. I’m not sure why, maybe out of habit?

When I think back to the times where I lost 60+lbs in the past, I try to remember how I was feeling and what I was telling myself. I had a specific goal and I didn’t let anything stop me to reach that goal. It’s as if I was a different person. I long to have that person back and I am frantically searching for her again. Where did she go? How far away is she?  It bothers me to think I got away from who I want to be for so long.

Today, I think about all the things going on in my life and feel overwhelmed. The major move we had back in August really took a toll out of all us and it seems as though things are still so unsettled. Feeling unsettled is haunting me and I believe keeping me from ‘acting’ or making a decision. Here’s the thing, I haven’t been able to get clarity on what to do next in my life.  Yes, I know where I want to be in 5 years, but I’m not clear on the decisions I need to make to get there now.  Some of the decisions are major life-changing large financial decisions.

Some of this is contributing to feelings of ‘lack of control’ of different areas of my life. I haven’t been able to focus on one thing because I’m constantly thinking about ‘What should we do?” and it’s driving me to eat.  How do others manage? How are other women successful at navigating during tough times without leaning on food to ‘get them through’? I pray and meditate daily, but don’t feel it’s ever enough. If I had the time, I would pray 2 hours each morning, it really gets me into the right frame of mind and end up better days for me.

When I think of time passing by and missed opportunities, it adds the feeling of ‘helplessness’ that I’ve been working so hard to eliminate. Logically I know I am in full control of my life, by my thoughts and behaviors, but when my emotions take over, it’s like I’m a different person.  I started reading Dan Goldman’s “Emotional Intelligence” book and he cites a ton of studies in this area. As I’m reading through, I find myself saying, “Oh, I can see that in myself.” frequently.  Mastering this area of emotions is critical, I see that now.  But for some reason, I’m struggling with how to get from point A to point B.  In other words, how do I go from where I am today, to mastering my emotions so I can start achieving goals and living a life where I control my future?

I’m still working on this emotional mastery.  Learning to control my body, what I’m focusing on and what I’m saying to myself is so important and what I’ve learned from attending Tony Robbin’s events. What’s missing is remembering or getting into the habit of practicing these key elements. I typically get caught up in the social hypnosis of day to day activities and forget to think about what I’m thinking about and before I know it, I’m eating an unplanned bowl of cereal without even realizing it.

I have some ideas on how to continue to learn to practice emotional mastery and will need to really focus on changing my state immediately and not get into that ‘anxious thinking’ state but instead think about what I can control. This week is about noticing and pausing to think about how I can change my thinking.  Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional

 

Negative Thoughts Lead to Overeating

I struggled a bit these last couple of weeks with my thoughts and emotions. Some of it I believe is from PMS, but this past week, I still felt myself in a funk and was struggling to stay positive.

Yesterday, I became upset because when I was with a female colleague, who happens to be thin, I noticed she was receiving more eye contact from peers.  Normally it’s not a big deal, but for some reason it bothered me and I immediately attributed it to her being thin. I then began the familiar self-rant of why I should be thin and healthy followed by critical self talk.  No wonder why I wasn’t in a good mood when I left work.  It started a spiral which led to multiple bowls of cinnamon toast crunch cereal when I got home, a perfect example of how emotions lead to overeating.  Later, I had to forgive myself for my weak moment.

Thankfully I was able to reign it in and dig deeper into what was happening. I realized because of self-pity, I found myself doing a very modified version of the healthy habits I established like prayer, meditation in the mornings, positive affirmations and positive self-talk. But It wasn’t enough and left me vulnerable for internal negative attacks that went unnoticed. It started very subtle and then escalated to the point where I finally heard my thoughts and couldn’t believe what I was saying to myself. It took me over a week to catch on.

This is why I believe prayer and meditation are so important.  Because our world is filled with so much distraction, time alone to calm my mind and listen for the Holy Spirit is critical (for others its intuition, the universe, etc.)   If I don’t take that dedicated quiet time to settle down, my mind goes on auto-pilot with the same 60k thoughts I had yesterday and my progress becomes limited.

How are we to begin living a healthy life if we are not aware of our thoughts and how they are impacting our behavior, in this case overeating?  These last couple of weeks have really shown me the value of those healthy habits and why no matter what’s going on, I have to perform them thoroughly 80% of the time to make progress.

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