Category Archives: Confidence

How Life Can Interfere with Eating

One of the things I’ve been working on is mindful eating or intuitive eating.  When I make the food myself, sit down at the table, thank the food and eat it without distractions it’s a different experience. It also includes taking the time to actually taste the food and enjoy the food. When I do, the meal is much more pleasurable.

The key is having the time. While in the day to day bustle of a full time job, running around going to various activities, it’s an accomplishment when we can sit down as a family to enjoy a healthy meal.  What I am doing now to maximize my time is to plan menus ahead and cook or prep dinners ahead.  Sometimes it’s worked out very well and other times I’ve come home and the food I had planned to make went bad because I waited too many days to make it. But I’m learning new techniques as I go which helps.

Another focus is understanding where I am emotionally and psychologically from day to day. For the days I’m in a good mood and high energy, I’ll do well to take my time and it feels great. However, when I’m not feeling the best (like when BFF is visiting) or it was a stressful day at work, I’m less likely to take the time to do anything.  In fact, I find myself reaching for food to ‘relax’ which is not the best choice to change my emotional state.

It happened this past week. I had some incredible moments of remaining present, preparing meals ahead and taking the time to enjoy them.  It was awesome!  However, there were other moments where I rushed, didn’t really taste the food and went searching for more because I felt I ‘needed’ it.  The good news is I’m fully aware and can specifically point out the different times this happened.

One of the things I did not do this past week was exercise.  Exercise has always been a big part of my life. I started yoga again last week and because of BFF, I talked myself out of doing it this week.  It seems as though my ego does a great job ‘coddling’ me when BFF is here. Honestly, it’s not doing me any favors and I realize it.

But, i’m committed to this journey of becoming aware of these unhealthy patterns of behavior I learned over the years.  I know it takes time to change but it can be done and there’s no rush.  I feel so much better emotionally than I’ve ever felt in my life. I feel stronger, more peaceful and I experience joy all the time now.  It’s not situational or dependent on others.  It’s just an overall sense of peace and joy and that’s the best of all. I’m on my way and I feel it every day.

 

New Year, New You!

This is the mantra I’m seeing all over the place these days.  It’s a time of resolutions where I will typically write down goals for the year.  However, again this year, I only have 4. They feel doable and not overwhelming. In the past, I would write 20 goals and it was ridiculous.  Thankfully, wisdom comes with age.

It’s been a while since I’ve written. Mostly because I’ve been doing some self-reflection on my life. Last year, as you know, I went off sugar for 3 straight months. It was fantastic! I felt great, lost a lot of weight and was doing well.  Then I started in the on the sugar again and it all came back. That’s when I decided, enough is a enough.  I am done with diets.  They work, don’t get me wrong, but they are not sustainable for me.   Yes, not eating sugar and flour is fantastic for your health and if you stay off it, you’d probably be in the best shape of your life.  The problem for us emotional eaters, is that there are emotions involved and because they can be pretty strong, it’s not that simple.  I have always believed in the 80/20 rule and decided, it’s time I apply it to all aspects of my life.

I want to live my life, not be so focused on my weight. This topic has taken the majority of my brain power too long and for too many years.  I want to enjoy my life. To do that, I have to give up this obsession with losing weight.  Instead, how about feeling good now.  In the past, I would get anxious thinking about doing that because does it mean I don’t care? How could I be perceived as not caring? I look in the mirror everyday.  But that’s just it, I am caring about myself if I’m focused on being happy.  If I’m happy, I’m more likely to take care of my body and enjoy myself along the way…

What’s better than that?

Focus on Happiness To Feel Happy NOW

It’s been a rough couple of weeks.  I really good friend passed away and it was difficult. She was just 44 years old.  I didn’t blog because I took the time to remember the good times with my friend and how much I’ll miss her. I also took time to reflect on my life and how important it is to keep myself happy and healthy.  That includes how we think, how we view ourselves and what we say to ourselves on a daily basis.  That is the true predictor of good health. Depending on how you think, determines how you feel and how your body reacts.  I’ve known this all along but I’ve always been focused on dieting, eating, and exercise.  Of course, those elements are all important, BUT if my thought life is not loving and positive, none of those things will ever come together.

I already started focusing in this area, but now, I’ve decided, that’s going to be where my energy is going to flow full time.  My goal is to create a reality for myself that keeps me happy. This means letting go of all those things that do not make me happy.  It also means shifting my thinking towards thoughts of happiness.  What good is it to tell myself I’m unhappy with my body? Is that going to change my body? No, it’s going to keep me where I am or worse.  How do I know this?? Ah, because it’s been over 40 years of this thinking that hasn’t change anything. What I have been doing has not worked.  This is why diets don’t work either. Why not instead, declare how I want to see myself now? This will immediately make me feel better about myself and it will also move my body to align with my thinking.

You hear many teachers say, thoughts become things.  Well if I want to create a positive life, then I have to start thinking about this positive life now.  In the past, my psychology was, “When I have an amazing body, then I’ll live my life.”  Pathetic, but true. I would ‘punish’ myself by not buying clothes until I lost weight or not going on trips because I was embarrassed with my body.  This is all nonsense and kept me in this circle of unhappiness.

If I want to feel happy now, then I have to start doing those things which make me happy. For me, it’s being outside in nature, biking, walking, hiking, reading etc.  I love being outside.  Given this, I’ve done everything I can to start planning more and more activities to be outside and I have to say, I am happier for it.  Last week was tough emotionally, but to counter those thoughts of sadness, I kept telling myself, it was okay to feel sad and I’m going to be okay.  I then planned an outdoor biking trip with my family for the holiday weekend and it was amazing.  I was extremely happy.  Talk about a turnaround. In the past, I would wallow in my sadness for weeks. This would lead to overeating, negative self talk and I would miserable for a while.  Who does that serve? No one. Would that bring my friend back? No. Would it make me feel better? No.

This is the life I used to live. Instead, I am purposely choosing to change because I know, I can live a happy life now regardless of my current circumstances and that’s what I’m going to do. Do you want to join me?

Progress Fuels Motivation

Progress Fuels Motivation.  It’s been 18 days since I’ve eaten any sugar or flour.  It feels good. The first 10 days were tough. I had headaches, pains and strange things going on with my body. Although now, I feel a lot better.  If I drink caffeine though, I don’t sleep as well and I can feel it the next day.  I’m still somewhat tired in the afternoons but I don’t experience the typical sugar crash which leads to eating carbs or sugar.  I’m not experiencing cravings either which feels great. The key for me is I have to eat all that I planned to eat for the day otherwise I’m hungry and that’s when I can get into trouble.

Yes, I’ve lost about 7 lbs so far and there have been a couple of people at work mentioning it to me which I was surprised given it’s not really dramatic, yet.  Their compliments made my day and it feels good physically as well.

However, here’s what really hit me hard.  Yesterday, I had to present to ~80 ppl.  Typically, these types of events cause me to stress beforehand to the point where I can’t focus on anything else. But yesterday, I prepared ahead, went through the presentation material and felt really good. What really made such an impact on me was my brain. We’ve all heard a poor nutritional diet causes brain-fog, and I was the poster child for this symptom for years. I’ve had brain fog for a while but it didn’t really impact much when I was younger so I didn’t think it was a big deal (a.k.a. I was in denial).

I knew I was smart, but there would be times where neurons weren’t firing correctly and I wasn’t thinking fast enough to articulate what I needed to say. It was frustrating but I brushed it off because it wasn’t such an issue then.  However, after hitting 40, I noticed it more and more. As a result, I started not trusting my ability to articulate or think clearly. I know that sounds crazy but it’s the truth. I was very hard on myself and I knew deep down inside it was related to my poor diet of sugar and processed foods. I didn’t want to admit it because I was so addicted to those foods and didn’t want to give them up. In the meantime, my self worth was going down fast because I wasn’t processing mentally like I used to and yet I was denying the truth. It’s like a car that ages and if you continue to abuse it by not servicing it, going for oil changes or using the correct octane of gas, it deteriorates slowly.  You don’t notice because it’s slow, until one day when it breaks down.  It’s the same thing with our bodies. Most of us don’t focus on it until the doctor comes to give a diagnosis and we’re sitting there saying, ‘How did this happen?’ when in reality, we know what caused it.  Years of abusing our bodies.

Yesterday proved to me yet another reason why eating a healthy diet is so important (not that I didn’t know this already, but actually ‘KNOWING’ it is something different).   I was confident going into the presentation.  Thoughts came to me easily, I felt comfortable about what I was saying and honestly, those in the audience could feel it. I received a lot of positive feedback afterwards and it was exhilarating! I knew at that moment, this is why I’m taking the time and the effort to clean up my diet. I spent 20 years eating garbage and it’s going to take time to heal this body, but I now know this is right track.

I’ve done so many diets, so many fads and failed consistently because of cravings and deprivation.  I cannot say I’m deprived now because I eat more food then I ever have in the past.  I haven’t experienced cravings which caused me to fail in the past.  I’m also listening to lectures and books on why sugar and flour is causing the ‘diabesity’ in our country and it keeps me motivated.

I will continue with preparing ahead of time, creating menus and prepping foods for the week ahead.  It takes work, but it also takes work to think when you’re brain isn’t operating at full throttle, it takes work to get in and out of a car when you’re severely overweight. It takes work to walk up stairs.  I provided a lot of excuses as to why I continued down the unhealthy path, ‘It’s too hard.’ ‘I’m too tired (my favorite one).’ or ‘I’ll do it next week.’ These were all helpless/hopeless lies I told myself to feel better, to justify why I couldn’t do it. Honestly, I can say, if you have help, you can do it. If you don’t have friends or family support, hire someone to help you or start a support group at your local library which is free, to create that support for yourself.

I strive to be the example we can all live a happy, healthy life if we take the time and effort to move forward and refuse to give up.

Making my health a priority

It’s been an interesting week.  BFF is here and on time as usual. It explains my emotional roller coaster last week.  I’m on day 11 not eating sugar or flour.  I feel okay but it’s hard to say how much it’s impacted my health because it’s so early.  I’m not experiencing physical hunger. The food I’m eating (whole grains, veggies, lean protein) keeps me satisfied for the day. I was feeling very tired yesterday and believe its because of BFF right now and why I ate some ‘Mary Gone Crackers’ (flax crackers) last night.  I didn’t have it planned but it satisfied the ‘crunch’ that I was looking for all day.  I’m wondering if those types of cravings eventually disappear with time.

Time – that’s the key.  It took me 20 years to get to this point, I know it’s going to take time to get used to eating this way for the rest of my life and ultimately ‘reset’ my body to where it’s supposed to be.  I may have to give up caffeine but I’m not doing it just yet. I have made a huge shift and I think if I add another major one it will add too much at once. It’s going to have to wait until I get used to this initial shift first . But, I noticed when I drink caffeine, my skin gets agitated.  It’s got to be the acid. I’ll look to drink decaf at some point. However, for now, I’m going to continue to be aware of what’s going on with my body.  I have lost some weight, although I feel bloated this week because of BFF, but overall I feel good.

For so long, I’ve been ‘waiting’ for the right time to ‘work on my health’. It’s funny because back in 2011, I made a major move to ‘work on my health’.  But I never realized it had to start with my mind. I was so unaware back then (and it’s only been a few years). I thought for sure I would figure out what I needed to do to lose weight, but what happened was so much more and for that I’m eternally grateful. I learned about my mind and my feelings and how they are connected. I learned how my thinking was causing my current reality.  If I never learned all of that, I wouldn’t be where I am today which is facing reality as to why I’m overweight, how it began, how my thinking and resulting behaviors contributed to an unhealthy body.  If I didn’t gain that knowledge, I would be on another diet again, failing and wondering why I’m gaining and losing the same 10 lbs when I have over 50 to lose.

This is the focus in my life right now. Everything else is on the periphery. I’m okay with that because I have been wanting to focus just on this and yet, things seemed to get in the way. Not this time. I’ve got weight to lose and a body to transform. I cannot do that when distracted with so many other things in my life.  Of course, those distraction were cause by me making those other things a priority over the true priority which is my health. I also know, doing this will help me achieve one of my other goals – being a role model for my son which I believe is going to be the case as I go through this transformation.

 

Would I lie to you (I mean myself)???

(I used to love that song back in the 80’s!!)

At our weight loss support group meeting, we talked about what works when we are ‘on track’ or ‘being good’ and what doesn’t.  Then it came to me, am I telling myself the truth about what works?  Am I telling myself the truth when I say things like, “I don’t have a sugar addiction.” or “I can eat just a little bit and I’m satisfied.”  Really?  Is this true or how I manipulate the truth to ‘justify’ my actions? Or should I say, give myself permission?   Similar to being in a unhappy relationship, we lie to ourselves over and over to justify our decision to stay in the relationship without even thinking twice. If I know this, why do I keep doing it?

I’d rather ignore the damages of what is being done to my body and eat food that ‘makes me feel good in the moment’ than face reality.  I’d rather give myself permission to eat as much as I want, when I want and what I want to appease the inner child in me because that’s how I’ve historically shown love to myself. This logically makes no sense, but if we are being honest, it is exactly what happens. This ‘love’ I’ve shown myself has resulted in the following:

  • BMI that’s off the chart
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Insulin Resistance/Pre-diabetes
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Brain Fog
  • Lack of sleep
  • Female issues
  • Indicators for heart disease, leading to Syndrome X
  • Apple shape/Belly fat
  • Hair loss
  • Decline in physical appearance (i.e. can’t find clothes that look good, skin is bulgy etc.) which significantly impacts self-confidence and self-esteem

I have issues with food. I lose control more often then I’d like to admit. Here’s the thing, if I continue to lie to myself all the time, guess what the results will be 5 years, 10 years from now…you know the answer! Ding, ding: Unhealthy & unhappy with serious medical issues.

I’ve done a lot of self-development work over the course of the last 3 years. This work has opened my mind up to some of the self-destructive behaviors we all do that have sadly become habits.  If continued, these habits will lead to either early death or years of suffering.   I consider myself relatively young and yet, I feel like I’m in my 60’s because it’s hard to move around, be active and have the energy necessary to live a full life.  It’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder and harder. Yet, I lie to justify!  I ‘try’ not to think about it, but reality is, I’m thinking about it obsessively and that’s not working either.

It’s time to get real.  I have been avoiding the mirror because I don’t want to see the truth. When I went shopping for clothes, I was angry and wasn’t taking responsibility. I was blaming the clothing companies  and stores (my blog entry from last week) for not carrying or producing flattering clothing in my size.  While I still stand by the fact that there should be more tailored clothing available in plus sizes, the truth is, I didn’t want to take responsibility and own the anger.  Instead it was easier to blame others and continue lying to myself instead of the truth that it’s been my choices that landed me where I am today. Granted, there are many factors that go into those choices, like lack of knowledge, awareness and physical changes, but ultimately, it’s my life, my choices and I have to own that. I cannot continue to sit around making up stories to justify those choices.  I made them and it’s over. Now it’s time to accept where I am today and move forward.

I’ve made a lot of progress with incorporating healthy habits into my life, but I have a long way to go. That’s the truth.  The other truth is that in order for me to significantly improve my health, I have to start getting real about food.  I need to eliminate many of the offending foods from my diet.  There’s a reason most diets recommend ‘cleaning your environment’ and that’s to remove temptation from the equation. It’s difficult to incorporate changes to your diet but it’s extra hard when you have the offending foods in your face.  In the past, I would get angry, why can’t I have those foods available (going back to my childhood)?  I should be able to ‘handle’ them. The truth is, I cannot. I binge on them. Its time to remove them from my life. They do not add to my life, they slowly take it away.  I have to start saving my life today. I know if I don’t, I won’t be here as long as I should be. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s reality, and since I’m starting to give up lying to myself, I will give myself the gift of truth from this point forward.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be working to remove sugar and flour from my diet.  I’ve done it before unsuccessfully because I didn’t have the support system in place ahead of time.  Today, I do and I’ll be testing this in the coming weeks.  I’m so grateful to have this venue available so I can share with you my thoughts and emotions during this process.  It’s going to be tough but what will be tougher is if I don’t try and instead give up.  That I cannot do.

 

 

Shopping for clothes is not fun when you’re overweight

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. I’ve been really hard on myself and been noticing things bothering me more than normal. One thing that bothered me a lot had to do with clothes not fitting.  Because I’m an apple shape, it’s really hard to find clothes that fit well and look good.  I was doing some research online for tips for those who have apple shapes and honestly, ideas of what looks good were not consistent.

One challenge is finding the right pants or skirts to wear, not just for work but casual clothing as well.  It’s frustrating.  I take the time to style my hair and apply makeup on a daily basis.  However, when I wear an outfit and the waistband rolls over, it’s embarrassing.  I was honestly thinking, manufacturers should consider this when creating clothing for those of us who carry weight in our belly. Maybe create pants/skirts that are similar to maternity wear where the waistband goes up and over your belly. It’s crazy that I considered shopping in that department (and potentially very embarrassing) but what other options are there? I don’t want to walk around with pants rolling down and exposing my belly because my shirts aren’t long enough.

I know this sounds crazy but even though I am overweight, I do like to look presentable.  Is that so much to ask? Why does it seem as though a lot of these clothing manufactures think women who are overweight want to look like a tent? Why do shirts look like tents and pants look like parachutes? I don’t carry weight in my butt or legs, it’s all in my belly. That being said, when buying pants, I have to purchase ones that fit my waist.

Unfortunately, obesity is on the rise. If it continues to grow, how clothes are made should be adjusted to accommodate the various body types.  I don’t want to (nor can I) look like a slob when I’m at work.  It’s going to take time to lose this weight and while I am, I want to look good no matter if I’m at sporting event or in a meeting.

Shopping for clothes should be a fun experience. But at times, I end up leaving the store defeated because nothing fits right. I’m tired of wearing the same clothes.  It’s not fun, it’s overwhelming. Not only are you not finding the right fitting clothes, but you’re also looking at yourself in the mirror not fitting into clothes and looking awful. How can you ‘tell yourself’ you look good all the time, when you look in the mirror all you see is yourself NOT looking good?

I’ve been working on the positive thinking (as you know) and it’s helped a lot but when I trying to saying things like, “I’m a healthy weight” or “I’m fit and look amazing.” it’s not believable and I say to myself, whey am I lying to myself? Why am I saying this when I know it’s not true and knowing is what trumps what you’re saying, correct?

 

 

Choose to ‘Be’ Confident

This week my focus was to try and get back on track with healthy habits so I can move myself in the right direction.  Overall I have to say it went better, not 100%, but better.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve struggled with loving myself and feeling confident about losing weight given my history.  I believe confidence comes from a decision we make to ‘be’ confident rather than waiting for something to happen to us to ‘feel confident’ which is what I’ve done in the past when it came to my weight. I also heard the other day how confidence is directly related to competence. I agree.

When I reached my goal weight before, I was extremely confident with my health and how I looked.  However, when I gained it back, my confidence plummeted.  My thought patterns sounded like this, “I don’t know how to lose weight and keep it off. I’m a failure. I won’t be able to lose weight again and keep it off so why bother trying again? It’s useless, losing weight might be easy but how the heck am I going to keep it off for life?”  This is the tape that’s played in my head ever since.

This week at work, I had a big meeting to attend and I had to present. The meeting was brought together unexpectedly and the attendees were going to be people I heard were ‘tough to deal with’ and I was nervous.  I had to manage my thoughts and emotions if I was going to be on my game.  To prepare, on the drive to work, I performed positive affirmations, and got extremely animated about it, to the point where others passing on the highway probably were calling medical services or were at least contemplating it.  The music was blasting and I was screaming at the top of my lungs (very therapeutic I might add). It felt amazing. I went to the gym, had a great workout and arrived early at my desk while listening to Louise Hay. I was very productive and 30 minutes prior to the meeting, I went into the Ladies room, looked at the full length mirror and started going through the affirmations again. I jumped up and down, smiled and went into a positive rant.  It felt great. I came out of there, ready to go.

Got to the meeting, met all the players and when they came to me to present, I took a deep breath and started presenting. I was on fire. I smiled at every attendee and it felt great.  When I was done, I took a deep breath and on my exhale, said mentally, “I’m sending love to everyone in this room.” I smiled at each individual when it was their turn to present and I was thinking, “I send love your way, you are loved.”

What an amazing experience. I was so grateful.  The actions I took in the morning boosted my confidence and I realized at the end of the meeting, I made the decision to be confident not matter what I encountered when entering into the meeting.  If I can apply this with all aspects of my life, how much progress can happen?

Have you experienced similar situations where you knew you could do something, starting having doubts but you ‘decided’ to be confident and move forward?  How can this be applied to living a healthy life?