Category Archives: Healthy weight

Is it Groundhog Day?

I feel like I’m in that movie, Groundhog Day!  It seems everyday when I wake up, I have all the right intentions of working out, eating well and making healthy choices. For the most part, I do well until about 2 PM.  From there, it’s another story. I don’t make such good choices in the afternoon and evening. It’s the most frustrating thing and I feel at times like my life is a broken record. When people ask me how I’m doing with my weight loss efforts, my response is the same. Talk about discouraging.

What is it with these static patterns?  I’m not one to enjoy sameness, in fact, I’ve been known to do things in my life to ‘shake things up’,  In this area of life, I’ve done crazy diets, lost tons of weight but then I’ve gone back to the comfortable patterns again and again.  If I want to be a healthy role model for myself and family members, how the heck can I do that if I’m constantly going back and forth with the same patterns of behavior?

TOM was here again and I went right back into the ‘I can eat whatever I want because I’m not feeling good’ pattern and it latest several days.   Basically giving myself permission to eat what I want and how much I want because that’s how I take care of myself during TOM.  Seriously? How logical is this?  I’ve written about this topic in a previous post and it’s now coming up again this month.  It seems I didn’t carry over what I learned from last month.  I marked dates on my calendar, how come I didn’t take the time to prepare mentally to do something different this time? Self-sabotage? Maybe.

This next month, I am going to spend the necessary time to talk through some planning and preparation to make sure I don’t fall back into this pattern again.  Pausing and planning goes a long way. I’ve experienced different outcomes as a result of doing just these two activities.  The important piece which may be missing  is follow through and consistency.  I start off well, and then maybe after a few weeks or months, something happens and I resort back to the comfortable unhealthy patterns.

If my goal is wake up to a new day and not relive the old patterns from the previous day, following through and remaining consistent is going to be key.  I was saying the other day to the weight loss support group members how I’ve been consistent with planning and preparing for other things, it might be time to set up automatic alerts to remind me to focus on the follow through and consistency of healthy behaviors in the afternoons and evenings.

Let’s see how it goes this next week.

Taking the time to heal

I have to be honest and tell you, I did not want to post this week because it has been up and down.  I can’t pinpoint a specific event that happened, but my thoughts and emotions were erratic and I didn’t get to the gym.  I was off track and felt ‘disconnected’ if that makes sense.  My morning habits suffered and I know that’s a big piece of it.  The good news is when I least expected, I had positive thoughts.  Instead of the normal ‘beating myself up‘ routine I’ve been so used to, I actually stopped (when I noticed) and redirected my thoughts.  The only thing is, the repetitive thinking crept back in and depending on when I ‘caught‘ it, either I was successful or I wasn’t.

I started the week off by planning meals, cooking and prepping on Sunday.  However, when Tuesday rolled around, it was like everything was tossed out the window.  I realized I wasn’t sustaining my positive frame of mind and it impacted my emotions.  Again, probably because in the mornings, I didn’t have the time to sit in silence to pray, meditate and set my mind in the right direction.  If I wasn’t working on myself this year, I wouldn’t have thought twice about my thought patterns. It would’ve taken me longer to identify the source of my unhappiness. I’m grateful to see the progress and look forward to the day where it can happen in minutes.

To improve my mood, I registered for a meditation retreat. In the past I would have been skeptical about going to one, but not now. Taking the time to relax and learn different techniques to calm myself and refocus thoughts will improve my health and well being.  Not only that, but it teaches you how to connect and ‘trust’ yourself again.  This has been a major focus since the disconnection is what created the unhealthy ‘diet mentality’ that’s wreaked havoc on my mind and body from the beginning.

This weekend we have some activities planned and I’m looking forward to the time with family and the time to be in silence. I will reset and start again.  Is it frustrating? Only if I focus on the negative. This is a life long journey to heal my mind and body.  Instead of worrying about the scale and counting calories, I’m focused on learning how to trust myself again, to connect with my body to identify true hunger, satisfaction and ultimately to learn what makes me happy. This is the way to sustainable and lifelong health. It may take longer than I would want, but I lived the ‘diet’ route so long without success, I’m now ready to heal no matter how long it takes…


Emotional Eating Patterns – Another Discovery

The last few weeks, I’ve been working on tracking small healthy habits I’ve wanted to establish in my life.  It has been going well for the most part.  However, this week came TOM and all of the sudden, I found myself losing track slowly as the week went on.  I didn’t follow all the habits and found myself at one point binging on chocolate chip cookies and making cookie dough.

In the past, TOM has been a source of contention for me.  It came early in my life and caused a lot of hormone issues and weight gain.  I am only now trying to make peace with my body during these times because when it comes, cravings are strong and irritability follows.  I was reading that sugar contributes to a lot of the symptoms during this time of month, but I crave sugar so staying away sometimes seems impossible. As a matter of fact, when I went off sugar for 3 months back in 2012, it was during TOM I caved and went on a sugar binge.

This week, I was noticing my thoughts and realized some of the stuff I was saying was mostly self-pity and providing self-justification for eating things I don’t normally eat.  I ate an entire bag of chips when at most times, I wouldn’t be so tempted.  I caught myself giving permission to the child in me to ‘go ahead and eat, you don’t feel good and it will help’.  What type of logic is this and how is it going to help me live a healthy life?

I started thinking back when I would do well with eating until TOM arrived and then my efforts would go out the window, I would berate myself and give up all together until the next round of motivation would show up to try again.  This time, because of work I’ve done, I started immediately forgiving myself and saying ‘I love myself and it’s okay’  which I have to say was not easy after I downed cookie dough by the tablespoon.  I’m used to giving myself the riot act but I know that’s what I did in the past and it never worked so this time, I did my best to be kind to myself especially when it matters most, when I’m not making the right choices.

The self-justification and self-pity was the old way of doing things.  This was my mechanism to self-soothe during TOM. Growing up, people felt sorry for me and I capitalized on it because I didn’t get much attention, emotional validation or empathy so when I did, I ate it up (literally).   Only to see clearly now it has been hurting me in so many ways.  It’s what I have always done but unfortunately it never served me well, and in fact caused major destruction to my eating, weight and health.  It also did damage to my mental state as I felt myself getting discouraged and giving up quickly. With the hormones flowing during these times, things seem much more dramatic.

It’s time to let go of this old pattern.  I’m going to have to come up with some sort of game plan about 1-2 weeks prior to TOM and see how I can take better care of myself with positive talk and other ways for self-soothing rather then turning to food. A new way of thinking to serve me rather than hurt me and send me down into a self-destructive rut I’m used to falling into.  These are the times I realize, wow, I really need to take responsibility in this area.   It’s time to lift up the covers and really work on some of these patterns.  It’s not easy, but then again, nothing worth while is easy but it’s definitely worth it in the end. Emotional Eating Patterns, emotional eating, destructive patterns, Emotional Patterns Emotional Eating Patterns,  Emotional Eating Patterns Emotional Eating Patterns

One pound at a time

It’s been a long week getting back into the routine.  I have been working on my habits which has been going very well. It feels good to ‘check the box’ daily to see I’m doing something to support my life on a regular basis.  I feel really good about it and it doesn’t seem like this overwhelming goal I ‘have to achieve’ but instead small nuggets of progress that is encouraging me to continue.

I have also been diligently listening to podcasts on way to and from work which resets me for the day and keeps me thinking about the positive. I love ‘Half Size Me’. I’m only on episode 35 but so far, it’s been awesome.  I love the inspiration and the tips/tricks others have shared in their weight loss journey.  One major learning is that everyone has their own journey, everyone has their own ‘approach’ to losing weight and keeping it off.  It’s about finding what works for you.

I needed it because I found myself going into old thought patterns when I was back at the office. There were a few things that had happened this week where I felt myself tense up and get defensive and when that happens, in the past, I would shut down and go into Negative Nelly mode or Vani Victim where I would blame others for feeling bad.  After one meeting, I had to get up and go for a walk. I ended up taking the stairs, which was really good. It immediately put me into another state because I was upset and I new if I didn’t get up from the desk, I was going to ‘stew in my Negative Nelly juices’.   It was a big win. The key for me is to keep the positive messages flowing, whether through podcasts, movies, audio books, or reading.  If I do, it helps me stay positive and take time for myself to breath, it really helps me focus on the good.

I’ve been reading this amazing book which I recommend to anyone who’s looking to change. The book is called The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It  by Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.  I learned about it after listening to an “Addicted to Success” podcast.  This book is amazing. It’s the first resource where I’ve learned about more about why I self-sabotage.  I couldn’t believe it!! It was like singing ‘hallelujah’ because I felt like, okay, I’m not the only one who goes through this and now I know why.  Her chapter on “Moral Licensing” was genius. It’s so true for me.  The basic concept is when you are trying to achieve a goal, in this case lose weight, you often find yourself during the day making good food choices in the morning and then saying to yourself in the afternoon, “I’ve done so well this morning, I deserve to eat this ice cream tonight.”  OMG, this has been my life for TOO long and I realized, I’m not the only one.

I’m still reading the book but as I go, I’ll continue to share my experiences because everyone who has lost weight or tried losing weight will relate to these concepts.  I’m excited to continue learning because I find new things I’ve never seen before and it’s amazing to see how it debunks my old beliefs, thoughts and behaviors.  Each day I’m transforming and I know in a matter of time, the weight loss will follow.