The Benefits Of New Habits

old-habits-uc-san-diego

 

So I got to my fav coffee cave before a crazy storm broke loose. I love sitting and watching the clouds gather and hear the thunder rolling in.  I love watching people come running in, even with the skies emptying around them.

It definitely makes for interesting people watching.

I sipped my hot coffee watching the dark sky,  thinking about what on earth I wanted to talk to you about in this post… shocking … I know…as I’m never at a loss for words 😉

I mean, really, there are so many topics I could discuss with you.

I thought I might discuss the topic of habits with you and how important those are in your quest to lose weight and get fit.

Let’s just review the definition …

Habit: is a routine or behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously .

Habit formation is the process by which the behavior, through regular repetition, becomes automatic or habitual.

Now let’s think about that in terms of how you eat, what you eat, when you eat. Let’s think about it in terms of exercise and if you get it done.

Your life is smack full of habits.

The time you get up for work. The things you do in the exact way getting ready in the morning.  How you brush your teeth. How you take your coffee. The things you do in your day, many are habits. What you eat. What you don’t eat.

So many of the things you do in your life are driven by habits. Things you’ve done over and over until you do them mindlessly without thinking about it.

This… is where you want to get with the disciplines of exercise and eating well.

If it’s not something you’ve done then you will have to practice at doing it. It means if your “habit” is walking into a convenience store and buying chips and a coke, you’re going to have to intentionally, purposefully, restructure a new habit to replace that negative one.

And trust me, you will have to be completely intentional to make it happen.  And it will take time. But each time you make a better choice you get further along building that habit in you.

If your habit is to go through a drive thru for fast foods, you will have to intentionally keep your car driving on by.

You can remind yourself, you won’t be dead from hunger before you get home. You can remind yourself that you won’t accomplish your health goals if you feed yourself that.  You can also be proactive and maybe keep some healthy snacks in your car if you feel you need something .

This will be an action you are proactive at doing.

When it comes to exercise, again, it’s not a natural thing for you to go out and do activities that make you sweat or breath hard. Most people want to avoid it.

This is where you will have to be absolutely intentional about getting up and getting out.

Perhaps, in the beginning, you might just get yourself to the store and get some good shoes and some athletic clothes to do your thing in. For me, the very act of getting in my athletic clothes and slipping my shoes on puts me in the mental place of what I’m about to do.

Maybe, it’s looking at your week and planning it out and determining what you are going to do and when. What are your days like? What times are best for you?

Then you make a commitment to it. And you will have to be intentional. Purposeful.  No excuses.

New habits don’t happen.  Remember our definition ….

“Habit formation is the process by which the behavior, through regular repetition, becomes automatic or habitual.”

If you want to build new habits ( like exercising and eating better) you will have to practice and keep repeating until it becomes automatic for you. You won’t think about it.

You will do it. You will want to do it.

I often get asked how I do it? I’ll tell you.

It’s been several years of constant repetition that has built new habits in me.

I can’t IMAGINE not exercising now. I feel worse when I don’t, than when I do.

It has been days of making myself get geared up…get out.. and do it. It has been overcoming any goofy excuses that would distract me.  It’s knowing I’ll feel better if I do follow through, mentally and physically.

When it comes to food, I know how much better I feel, how much energy I have and how good I feel about myself when I nurture my body and feed it good food.

It makes passing on junky food or not so healthy food lots easier.  I feel more “off” now if I do eat foods I’m not used to.

It’s a good place to be.

It’s taken time. It’s taken practice. Lots of practice building new habits. But they are habits I’m glad to have now.

I wish I could tell you there’s just this “quick fix” that shapes up years of negative behaviors in you.

There isn’t.

But I’ll tell you this, if you are persistent and make intentional choices to do positive things, you WILL build new habits, and that is something that will make a huge difference in your life. Just like you’ve built negative habits, you can rebuild new positive ones.

Tell me, have you built a new habit in your life that’s good? How has that impacted you?  What habits would you like to change or improve on ? Remember, having a plan and intentionally following through puts you on the road to new habits.

 

The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Eating

diet-rollercoaster

 

 

Oops you did it again. Somehow, that bag of Cheetos just disappeared. Did you eat that many? the BAG?? It’s gone ??

You immediately feel the guilt and stuff the bag in the can… hating yourself….the familiar feeling settling in over you..

ok maybe Cheetos aren’t your “thing” perhaps you’ve set out to only have a little of something and somehow, before you know it, it’s gone.

The ice cream. The cookies. The bottle of wine.

Perhaps it’s at meal time. You determine you will eat what you need and no more, yet by the time you push away, seconds have graced your plate even though your hunger was satisfied a long time ago.

Or your at the office brunch/breakfast/lunchy thing where there’s usually a plethora of crappy food with a lone veggie tray hanging out at the end of the table like an ugly step child. You think you’ll only get “a little” of something yet before you know it your plate is overflowing and so is your self imposed food guilt.

Been there. Done that.

Guilt. Remorse. 

All or Nothing.

Eat to much…feel bad about it… eat more to feel better about it…feel worse. Then go to starve and deprive mode.

Repeat guilt and remorse cycle using food to comfort your crappy feelings from doing it.

 

Where do you get off the roller coaster ??? It’s a horrible place to be yet, so many of us live there or have lived there.

Life shouldn’t be lived that way nor should we have such a distorted relationship with food and eating.

We’re in it together for our entire lives .. we need to be able to eat, be satisfied, and enjoy food in reasonable portions without feeling guilty.

Why do we behave this way?

We’ve been conditioned that foods are “good” or “bad”. We’ve been told if we need to lose weight we must “diet” and that means removing all tasty foods we love from our presence and not having them for a determined length of time, if ever, again. It means suffering…doing without…having no fun… restricitions and parties where you don’t get to eat cake while everyone else does and you sit on the sidelines forlornly stuffing a celery stick in your mouth.

A horrible, miserable existence in the pursuit of health and balance with food.

Over time, and on my own terms I learned it just doesn’t have to be that way. When I started my journey now ( 8 years ago) one of the things I rebelled against was some set “diet’ that told me what I could eat and couldn’t eat.

What if I didn’t feel like eating that particular “thing” at that meal?? What if there was a birthday party and I wanted a little cake? Why is every single, stupid, diet 1200 calories? Like we all have the same caloric needs??

No, no, no. I’m to much of a rebel and free spirit to be locked into some diet. So I set off determined to do things my way.

What did that look like?

First, I determined nothing was “off limits”. You might be thinking…”wow… wouldn’t you just go crazy and wolf down a bag of chocolate or something?”   No, ’cause I’m a big person in charge of myself and I can be trusted I won’t do that. .. and you’re a big person too with the same abilities.

Somehow, mentally doing that, took the power away from food… I knew it was there… I knew if I wanted it I could have it.. I just made choices based on whether or not eating those foods would help me get closer to my goals. 

Food has a tremendous power over us… we need to be the one in control of it… not the reverse.

There was a whole lot of freedom in that… there still is. Without that restriction on me it was easier to not be thinking of things I “couldn’t” have. I learned to enjoy my meals, to appreciate my food. To eat and move on to my next thing… which wasn’t obsessing over the next meal or when I could eat again.. I stopped thinking so much about food..

pure freedom…..

Second, I wasn’t obsessing over calories. I learned to start listening to my body and feed it enough food to be satisfied but not to full. I learned to feed it when it was growling and hungry. I didn’t eat just because “it was time” by the clock. I didn’t stuff “seconds” in just because it tasted good.

Yes, there were times I had a meal that I felt like wasn’t helping me to my goals. Yes, I was fully aware of it but I made a choice to have it and I made a choice to just keep moving forward each day.  I didn’t quit or beat myself up. I didn’t go just grab more food cause I felt like in some way I had “failed” so why bother?

Listen, you fail when you freaking quit.

I took ownership for my eating habits. I didn’t make excuses to myself for poor choices…but like anything… it’s a learning process. You do it till it just becomes second nature to you… an ingrained habit.

I learned to navigate dinners out, family gatherings, birthday parties etc. I ate food in moderation. I had cake! A small piece is just as satisfying if not more, than a big piece. I learned to get picky about what I ate… if I didn’t love it… I learned to pass on it and not take it cause it was there. There was again, more freedom in making my food selections and knowing I was in control.

And somehow, day after day, making intentional choices I lost the weight. As time went on it got easier and easier to leave behind things that once might have landed on my plate. Healthy foods began to be what I craved over other things.

There was no guilt or remorse. No shame cycle with food. Eat. Be satisfied. Move on.

I had meals. I allowed myself treats when I realllyy wanted something. I learned a small treat was satisfying.

It was a slow process of making changes and learning what worked for me. I didn’t need a “diet”. I didn’t need restrictions.  I didn’t need to live the rest of my life on a guilt and remorse roller coaster for what I ate.

Neither do you. Learn about yourself. Commit to making small daily changes that will become life long habits. Learn to listen to your body and respect it by treating it well…mentally and physically. Get off the roller coaster of guilt and remorse with food… life isn’t meant to be lived that way. It’s meant to be lived in freedom.

Detox Me!

Hand writing Time to Detox concept with blue marker on transparent wipe board.

 

Eat this! Don’t eat that! This food is bad. This food is good. Eat 6 times a day. Eat one meal and drink the rest. You need this supplement. You shouldn’t take that one. Drink this potion and it will cure all your ills. This tea will make you thin.  Wrap your fat belly in plastic wrap and get 6 pack abs. Drink this to “cleanse” your body. Follow this crazy regimen to get “clean”.

Have mercy. For the love of all things chocolate. Help me.

Help. me.

The times I have to keep my eyeballs from rolling outta my head.

As I’ve gotten older I’m more likely to call out nonsense  when I see it. Or maybe it’s not as much being older, perhaps wiser and simply paying attention and wanting to be intelligent in the ways of caring for myself.

I guess in some ways, it makes me sad when I see people buying ( literally) into hype when they could use their money for a lot of other things…. like you know… good food.

But we’re in a desperate world and people want to get fixed up “fast” and marketing companies know this and prey on those weaknesses.

Sadly, we don’t get fat overnight therefore, we won’t get thinner and more fit over night.

It’s a process that we have to go through one day at a time. Slow, steady, forward moving steps to losing the weight that has crept on from becoming more sedentary and careless with what we put into our mouths.

So among the snake oil and smoke and mirrors things that I’ve heard more about recently although it never goes away is this thing called…

Detox.  Detox teas, drinks, cleanses and blah, blah, blah.

Use this drink or this combination of things to “detox” and clean your body. Lose lots of weight fast! Get healthy! Feel great!

Something about losing 21 lbs in 21 days? Like… if you’re still alive and not fogged over from starving….

Can I be blunt?

It’s bird poop. Awwww look how nicely I said that 😛

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. If you missed science class back in the day, your body has a God given, built in detox system. If it wasn’t working, you’d know it.

The take away I get from people who decide to tough out doing a detox? They are miserable. They are hungry. They want food. They don’t want to drink everything that goes in their mouth. They would give their right arm for a steak. Or a donut.

Or coffee. Who willingly goes into some program that takes away coffee????

Any weight they “lose” will be easily gained back once they start on a normal diet again.

How frustrating must that be?

In all of these things, my heart really hurts for people wanting to be successful. They want to reach an ideal body weight and they want to live a healthier lifestyle and are willing to be a guinea pig in the hopes it will work.

More hocus pocus. Poof and nothings gone but your money… or your even temperament ’cause you’ve been a hungry bear.

Can I make a couple helpful suggestions?

Why not begin adding one or two new healthier foods into your daily diet? If you feed your body real, healthy food ( and by that I mean as close to how it’s supposed to be naturally…or maybe 5 ingredients or less) you will be giving it lots of wonderful vitamins, nutrients and minerals it needs.

Want to clean your body? Eat plenty of fresh veggies and  fruits and drink adequate water. I can assure you a daily diet high in those things will move stuff through you 😛

Practice leaving some on your plate. ( really, you don’t have to clean your plate…you don’t. And you don’t need seconds either)

Make sure each meal contains an adequate amount of protein to satisfy hunger ( about 30% at each meal)

Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not. The meal bell chime going off doesn’t mean you have to put food in your face.

Eat enough to satisfy your hunger and stop… even if you have food still on your plate.

If you need a snack, be mindful of what you are snacking on. Sitting down at the computer with a bag of chips is a recipe for disaster.

Get out and move. Sounds simple and it is, but really, the hardest part is moving yourself out the door. Daily activity will not only help with weight loss but it’s also a tremendous mood booster.

Focus on the day you are in. Live it. Make good choices. Accept the bad ones when they come and move on. Don’t quit.

With a steady, practical approach you can have your cake and eat it too without ever having  to do a detox with the hope of getting “healthy”. Instead you’ll build a healthy lifestyle each single day.

 

The Discipline Of Self Training

You-Have-To-Train-Your-Mind-Like-You-Train-Your-Body_-»-Bruce-Jenner

 

Yesterday my son tagged me in a funny video that he knew would make me laugh.

It was a woman who was over weight attempting to ” eat her veggies”. Actually, it was one brussel sprout, cut in half, on a plate.

I should mention, it was also steamed. One steamed brussel sprout.

She attempts to eat it, and finally gives up sobbing and crying that she can’t.

Ok, well I’m pretty sure it was all staged for entertainment purposes, but it did get me thinking.

Crazy things get me thinking….

So many behaviors in our lives are “learned” behaviors, or things we’ve trained ourselves to do.

Think about it… we’ve trained ourselves to get up at the same time, prepare for our days in most likely similar ways, how we dress and how are days are structured are all things we’ve trained ourselves to do. How and what and when we eat all fall in ways we have trained ourselves.

We’ve trained ourselves to eat healthy foods, or we haven’t. We’ve trained ourselves to eat healthy balanced meals, or we’ve trained ourselves to go through the local fast food place.

Habits… but none the less…. we’ve trained ourselves into these behaviors…good or bad.

I began to take that idea further by looking at it in the ways of how we eat and drink.

When someone tells me they “don’t like vegetables” or they “don’t eat them” or “they just can’t find time to exercise” or ” they’re to busy to workout” or they “need” soda,  or they have to go through a drive thru because they are “starving”  and the list can go on…

Those are definitely areas in someone’s life that have to been “trained”, they need to  have a new discipline built in to them.

It made me think about things like this that people have trained themselves to do…

driving through a fast food place for “a snack”, buying a coke and candy bar in the gas station, stopping for a donut with the morning coffee, eating foods that are out in the break room at work, having treats at home that aren’t healthy, reaching for seconds at dinner long after your appetite is satisfied, bringing home a 6 pack to drink while you watch tv, sleeping in instead of getting up earlier to give your body the exercise it deserves….

All of these things and more are things people have taught themselves to do… learned behaviors….

Meaning, you can also train yourself in new ways as well.

Often someone has good intentions but you know what? It can be hard to retrain those not so good habits with better ones. It does require a level of discipline and real desire to make it happen. Sometimes you are working against a lifetime of trained habits.

You have to train yourself to replace not so healthy foods with healthier ones. No, it’s not easy. Your body is accustomed to how you’ve been feeding it. I can tell you, as you begin to eat healthier foods, your tastes will change and you will begin to find those once so “desirable” foods and drinks will have less pull on you. Some things will actually start to taste different to you and it makes it easier to not eat them.

If you begin to train your body that it needs to get up a bit earlier in the morning to get purposeful exercise done before you start your day, in time, it will become your new normal.  If evening is better for you, you will begin to carve out time for yourself at the end of the day. Making small, purposeful steps will begin training you for a more active lifestyle.

Retraining yourself to build new disciplines and habits isn’t easy, but with consistency and daily forward movement you can and will be successful 🙂

 

 

Snacks, Treats, And Weight Loss

snacks[1]

Peanut M&M’s. French fries. Homemade chocolate cake. BBQ potato chips. Homemade sugar cookies with powdered sugar frosting. Apple pie. Sweettarts.

Kinda sounds like a menu for PMS, doesn’t it ?

Actually, those are some of my most favorite treats.

I remember sharing in a Facebook post one time about my craving and subsequent consumption of some Peanut M&M’s and someone commented they were so happy I was “normal” and that I had shared that. Meaning I didn’t live off of a steady diet of nothing but veggies and nuts 😉

Yes, I’m a fit woman, and yes, I still enjoy treats.

I think that’s one of the things that’s really important when you start working on losing weight and getting into a healthier lifestyle… that you don’t set yourself up for deprivation and serious restriction from all things you love.

Now hold on… I’m not saying  freely indulge in treats whenever…it’s about learning  balance.

I think that’s what allowed me to be successful in my weight loss journey. Well, there’s a few things but this specific one we’re talking about today is treats.. things we love… and things by darn, we wanna have when the mood hits us.

As I developed my own plan to successfully lose weight one thing I mentally determined was that nothing was “forbidden”, “bad” or “off limits”.

Now you might be thinking… “whoa… like then you’d go off the deep end and eat everything!”

No. ‘Cause I’m not dumb.

But it did remove ( for me) all power of food. If nothing was forbidden, it had no tempting power. It knew all food was available (IF) I wanted something.

It was important to me that I could still enjoy celebrations and those things that make life…enjoyable. I wasn’t going to be one of those poor people at a family gathering looking miserable in a corner not having what everyone else was because I was “dieting”.

No way.

So I began my slow journey. Some nights, I desperately wanted something chocolate. I found a few Hershey Kisses, savored, met that need but didn’t sink the work of my day.

If there was a birthday party I allowed myself a small piece of cake. If I didn’t want the cake, I took some ice cream. Sometimes, a little of both.

If I wanted a burger and fries, I had them.

Mind you, this wasn’t often, but when I did want it I had it.

My mental mantra looking at foods, especially treats, was “does this support my health and fitness goals?”

I learned to find balance on my journey to get leaner.

I also learned to be super selective about what I would put in my mouth. As in… “Do I REALLY love this? Or is something that doesn’t do so much for me?”

Learning to really assess what’s important to you is a huge step to controlling the random “treats” you might consume.

For me it works like this…

Things I can pass up and/or don’t tempt me:

Store bought sheet cakes with that greasy frosting.

Pretty much any store bought cookie.

Cakes made with a mix.

Cokes.

Almost anything sold in a gas station.

Things that are totally worthy of eating:

My homemade three layer chocolate cake

Ice cream with nuts.

Amazing sugar cookies I make during the holidays that have  butter and cream cheese in the dough.

Homemade cinnamon rolls.

French fries.

Obviously, there are other things on both lists. What I want you to begin to do is really think about your own list of “things not worth eating” and “things worth eating”. When you begin to get really selective about what matters to you, and what doesn’t, you are making forward progress.

Not everything out there needs consumption. And really, if you totally don’t love it, why eat it ?  Don’t mindless shove whatever is around in your mouth… especially if it’s something not so important.

Those treats, whether they are things we eat or drink can wreak havoc on our attempts to lose weight.  Being aware is crucial to your success. It’s entirely easy to go through a day and think you really don’t have that many “extras”. But if you’re having trouble making the scale move, a serious assessment of those other foods will help see where the weak places are in your day and week.

Writing down all extra snacks and food will give a look at your snacking habits. This isn’t to beat you up or make you feel bad, but to help you gain awareness of where extra calories come in that are hindering your weight loss progress.

Have a handful of chips? Write it down. Glass of wine? Yep, write it down. A couple Reeses Peanut Butter cups? Creamer in your coffee? Sugar?

Write everything.

You’ve got it. No matter how big or small, write it down. Do it for 2 weeks. Be honest. This is all about awareness.

At the end you might be able to see habits or patterns you need to work on. Then, you can begin to also have your list of “worthy to eat snacks” and ” not so worthy to eat snacks”

Doing this, and getting real with yourself in this area will have positive long term benefits for your health and fitness journey.

And you’ll find you really can have your cake and eat it too 😉

Have you made intentional choices on being picky with your favorite snacks or treats? How has that effected your weight loss?

 

 

 

 

 

Small Steps And New Habits

weeks of fitness

 

Habit:

a usual way of behaving : something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way.

Hello beautiful people!

Habits. If there’s one thing I’ve talked a lot about is habits. Overall it could safely be said our life is driven by habits… things we do in regular, predictable ways. We eat, shower, go to sleep at a set time and wake up most likely the same way.  You may have regular ways you get dressed and prepare for your day or how you take your coffee.

In a soothing way our habits can be a comfortable and normal part of our life.

We can also have negative habits in our lives that we want to get rid of. These obviously, vary individual but we would all likely agree that negative habits are best replaced by something more positive.

When it comes down to eating or exercise I frequently hear from people that these are things they “want to do” or “get better at doing”.

What they are essentially saying is they want to build some new positive habits into their life.

That… is often easier said than done.

Usually what happens is that the person decides it’s an all or nothing approach and dives right in.

Exercise? They take on to much to soon and hurt…so they quit determining it’s not worth it…it’s to hard.. they got to sweaty….they’re breathing hard with a pounding heart… don’t see any results.. (results take time and consistency people)
Food ? They immediately go on a drastic and restrictive eating plan that leaves them hungry, moody, and wanting to eat everything they now believe they are not “supposed ” to eat.  Ultimately, they just give in, hungry and feeling deprived  and go back to old ways determining it’s to hard and nothing is happening anyway.

New habits take time to build. They require a determination to take it one small step at a time and a desire to keep building on it each and every day.

It requires a tenaciousness to keep on even when we might not feel like we nailed it for that day to get up and keep moving forward.

You see small things we do will become habits. …which will lead to bigger things.

We just don’t view small things as mattering so much… we look for the big, grand, instant fix and it’s just not really like that in the context of health, fitness and an overall lifestyle change.

In that context, slow, small and steady win the long term race..

What if instead of drastically altering your diet you just started focusing on one thing you wanted to change?

Soda drinker? Maybe you want to try to replace one or two a day with water instead.

Fast food junkie who can’t pass a drive thru? why not plan and pack a few healthy things in your car if you just can’t make it home to get something to eat ( hint: you really won’t starve to death before you get home. I’ve applied this theory many times now 😉

Over eat at meals? learn to eat slower, take a little less, learn to really taste and savor what you are eating. Learn to stop when you are comfortably satisfied… and that might mean you leave food on your plate.

Sugar junkie? learn to be selective of the sweets you eat. Try to wean yourself a little at a time.

Not a big veggie or fruit eater? Work to add one or two new ones a week. In time try to increase your daily intake.

Exercise… if you’re moving from the couch to outside taking it easy in the beginning is your number one priority. You don’t want to get to enthusiastic and then hurt the next day so you can’t hardly move around.

The key is to find the thing you enjoy and gradually, skillfully work into it.  Your body requires time to adapt and adjust to the new demands being put on it.

Good news… your body is an amazing instrument that can adapt and change and get stronger! You just need to pace yourself accordingly to let your body do what it’s made to do.

Set small, realistic goals for yourself in the beginning. As you give yourself time to adjust to physical demands, you can then slowly add a little more to your exercise regime.

Be patient with yourself. Changes in your body do take time. Your cardiovascular strength as well as your muscular strength need consistent work but it will come.

I was in the store yesterday looking through magazines when the lady stocking them asked me what I was looking for. I told her I was after one called “Strong” but didn’t know if the new copy was out yet.

She looked at my bare arms and said… “well, you look really strong!”

And now days, I guess I do, but that has been a slow and steady process. I wanted to tell her several years ago my arms were just…arms… with no visible muscles at all. No definition, no cuts, no nothing. Just chubby looking, undefined arms.

I didn’t get “strong” over night.

You know what it was? Small things I did that led to regular habits in my life. Habits of exercise and eating better. Habits of moving my body longer and farther. Habits of learning to lift heavier things not just to get muscles, but to kick butt in daily life.

Those small things lead ultimately to bigger changes in me.

Weight loss. Better lab numbers. Smaller clothes. More energy. Better mental clarity. Confidence and empowerment. Better nutrition. Healthy looking body.

None of it happened overnight. All of it was built on the simple truth that I just did consistent small things that lead to new positive habits.

Do I have bad days? you bet I do. Have I learned by now that I just need to keep on with small steps, always moving forward? Absolutely.

So, my suggestion for you, if you’re wanting to make changes, to get into a healthy lifestyle.. one that’s permanent…

Focus on small changes at a time. It will be more lasting, easier to accomplish and not leave you feeling deprived, exhausted, starving or wanting to throw in the towel.

And remember, it’s not instant gratification, you’re in it for life. Be patient  and don’t give up on yourself.

Have you struggled getting started on a healthy lifestyle path? What has hindered you? Do you think the idea of small things to build new positive habits is something you can easily do or is more attainable?

process

 

The Weekend Mentality

weekend

 

 

Hello Monday! And that’s a wrap on the weekend….

Ahh the weekend.  It’s a break from the grind and can give us a reprieve from the usual day in and day out activities… if we’re lucky.

Sometimes we still have all the expected responsibilities that come along with life, but the weekend can often be a time to chill out and do things that we’ve put off during the week or maybe it’s just an opportunity to relax and do a whole lot of nothing…

Either way…. it can often signify a change from our normal routine…

and in that it can also mean, perhaps an attitude, that says it’s the weekend and we let our eating habits slip, or we decide since it’s the weekend we “deserve” to eat whatever.

The weekend mentality……

Hold on…..I’m not saying you can’t have that brownie or a burger out…..

I enjoy a good weekend breakfast with my husband ( wellll a lot of times it can almost be brunch ’cause he’s a good sport and let’s me get my workout in and clean up first;) but by then I really am ready to put the food away.. and I enjoy that breakfast… which will almost hold me till dinner….

I just don’t want you to throw away the hard work you’ve invested in the week by going overboard and eating a lot of stuff that will not help your goals, but also might just make you feel not so great as well.

I guess this kinda goes along with my post I did on cheat days.

I think (personally) a practical daily balance not only keeps us sane and gets us to our goals, but allows us to enjoy life along the way without feeling deprived

Drinks out with a friend? Family birthday celebration? You just want some  ice cream? A burger and fries has been wooing you for days?

Factor that in to your weekend, but don’t allow an all or nothing approach. You can enjoy those special things and still keep on track.

Personally, I’ve found that as my body has adjusted more to having healthy food the majority of the time, it’s not so crazy about those foods I used to look forward to indulging in periodically so it kinda keeps me in check.

But I still like chocolate cake… a lot…. so on those celebratory moments… I arm wrestle the kids for it 😉

Just a reminder for you… as you get to the weekends… live life… but don’t go crazy…..

Come Monday… you’ll be happy you’re still on the same forward movement towards success =)

What about you? Do you let weekends be a time to indulge more? Or do you keep on track with your normal eating habits?

 

 

 

Food Management

food

Food. Amazing, delicious, tasty, life sustaining food. We wouldn’t get to far without it, would we? Food is essential for life and when we eat properly it gives us energy and keeps us healthy and well.

We also have exclusive control over the foods we put in our bodies and how much of it we consume.

This is one area in life that we have power over. We have power over the choices we make, how much we take in ( or how little if it swings to an eating disorder) what kinds of foods we choose to eat etc.

As I’ve worked with my client one thing I’m really excited about for her is seeing how she’s understanding that she has control over foods and the choices she makes. She is learning that just because it’s “there” doesn’t mean she has to eat it. She is learning to think and be selective about her food choices… meaning she’s thinking… “is this something I REALLY like? Is it worth it to eat it?” and if she can’t answer yes, she leaves it alone.

I’m really proud of her efforts in having to deal with so many parties and cooking foods and treats for them and still managing to have the scale slowly move backwards.

I love how she’s allowed herself certain treats and then taken time to savor and enjoy them. She has also made smart moves by simply tossing things in the trash she knew would be temptations.

It’s ok to do that. I’m always blown away when people say things like… ” I got rid of it by eating it all” or they feel they need to eat a lot because it won’t be there again.

Listen… there will always be tasty foods…things that we enjoy…. a lot. You don’t have to be the trash can to dispose of it.

Learning to think about what we eat is a huge step to building new habits and a healthy lifestyle.

Do you ever stop and think about how much mindless eating you might do? And really, yours truly has been there too. By that I mean food that we just put in our mouths without thought or hunger…. it’s just something to do… mindless.

Eating “just” to eat is a not so positive habit many of us have, but one that can be reshaped with some practice.

So  a few tips…..

Be aware of what you’re doing. There are times I find that I have wandered into the kitchen …trolling… and fully knowing I’m not hungry. If you find yourself there and you don’t really need food… leave.

Don’t think you have to eat the last of something to “get rid” of it. There is a trash can, use it. Better yet, don’t fall into that mentality of thinking you’re doing yourself a favor by polishing off the last half of the ice cream.

Allow yourself treats but become extremely selective about what you eat. Not all foods are created equal nor are they often that great. Learn to leave behind things that just aren’t worth the calories.

If you are at a buffet or party select only the items you really enjoy. If something isn’t that great, don’t feel bad to leave it behind.

Know that each time you make a positive choice, it will set you up for future good moves. It’s empowering when you realize you can make intentional food choices that can leave you satisfied and in control.

 

Tell me, do you have any food management strategies you use to help you eat intentionally?

Tips For A Healthier You

weeks of fitness

Hello beautiful people of the world =)

As I shared in a previous post, I’m working with a client. A big part of what we’re doing is looking at habits and learning, or re-learning them some of them in regards to behaviors with eating and food.

She is learning the importance of getting meals at balanced times through the day, learning to listen to her body’s natural signals for being hungry ( as well as when it’s comfortably satisfied) avoiding snacking between meals, and focusing on more whole foods.

Whole foods meaning 5 ingredients or less or as close to their natural state as possible. We aren’t being crazy about it, just making it more of a focus.

These are all pretty big things to “re-learn” when you might not be used to eating normally or maybe just grabbing food randomly through the day.  Many people have forgotten or don’t listen to their bodies natural hunger and satisfied signals so these things have to be intentionally practiced.

This week we are taking a look at snacks or extra foods in our day that might be hindering weight loss. My client will be charting pretty much every bit of everything, including any drinks with sugar, alcohol, or anything with caloric value.

She wants to see the scale continue to drop and I want that for her too.

I have her also considering what she is eating at meals. Sometimes stopping with just a little left on your plate is enough to cause more calorie deficit in your day.

And of course, exercise. If you want to get rid of fat, cardio is your friend. Yeah, I know most people hate it.

You sweat. Your heart beats fast. It hurts. It’s uncomfortable. It’s the place you realize that you really are horribly out of shape… which is why it’s so easy to quit… ’cause you don’t like all that.

Don’t quit. Even if you have to work your way up till you can do a full 30 minutes to an hour… you’ll be getting stronger in the process.

Ok… so some tips or suggestions for you … they can be almost painless… and you can drop a few pounds in the process.

Practice eating balanced meals 3-4 times a day ( 4 if you’re more physically active or athletic) eat enough to comfortably satisfy your hunger.

Try not to snack between meals. (when you eat adequately at meals you will find the need to do that will diminish)

Learn to listen to your bodies natural hunger and satisfied signals. Allow yourself to become truly hungry 30 minutes  or so before your next meal.

Try to eat more whole foods ( meaning less stuff out of a box, bag etc)

Be aware of your snacking. To find weak places in your day/week be vigilant and write down everything so you can see where you’re hindering your progress.

Move your body more! Not only is it good for you physically, it’s good for your mental clarity as well.

Learning to listen to your own body and having awareness of how and what you eat are huge steps towards losing weight and getting into a lifestyle change 🙂

goal

Experimental You

experiment

I was pouring over a story in Runners World the other day… ok… stop.. yeah I hear you now..

“Wait a minute! You aren’t even running right now, and you’re reading a running magazine?”

Why yes, yes I am. I plan to keep on top of things while I’m recovering… not only that there’s lots of good stuff besides running in there… like… nutrition…

Nutrition is something that involves us all, running or not. OK, lots of the food stories do focus on fueling for a good run, but then I come across something like this that really resonated with me ’cause I understand this idea… and why I will always tell you that diets will fail you.

The story was titled “Why Can’t You Lose Weight?” On the sidebar is the “thing” that caught my eye. It was titled “10 Golden Rules of Weight Loss Success”. The first one said this:

You are an experiment of one.

No one has to live your precise life, with your specific challenges, biochemistry, anatomy, injury history, calendar, boss or family.

Yeah. Let that breathe over you for a minute.

You. Are an experiment of one.

No one else is wired just like you in any specific way.

This is why cookie cutter diets often ( and usually do) fail miserably. This is why the diet industry is a zillion dollar a year market.

This is why you must know your body, know what works, and what doesn’t.  This is why giving someone a blanket 1200 calorie diet is useless.

It doesn’t take in to account any of the things listed above.

Obviously, I only have myself to experiment on. I’ve had people ask me about certain things.. I share with them.. as far as food I eat or exercises I do… but my anatomy is different from theirs… my metabolism…how I’m made is going to respond in a different way than their body might. In the past I’ve referred to myself as a “fun science experiment”. Eating certain foods or eating limited amounts, mixing up foods, plenty of exercise and a variety of exercise works in interesting ways on my body.

My dietary needs vary not just on a day to day basis but often on the type of training I’m doing. During the heavy part of marathon training, on any given day, my caloric needs are high. When I’m off heavy training, I need to adjust my food intake to my current training level.

You are an experiment of one. As you consider ways to lose weight, know what works for you and follow it. Don’t worry about what your neighbor does or if they are on some current trendy thing. Become an expert on yourself. No one has your unique, specific body design or life circumstances.

So as you consider health and fitness goals keep in mind things like….

Your schedule. Where in your day does your workout fit best for you to get it done?

What types of exercises can you do? Do you have any physical injuries or limitations to consider ?

How good are you at eating regular, balanced healthy meals ?

What “issues” are you maybe dealing with in life that could distract you from your goals?

Know your body. Does it seem to respond better to certain exercises or foods ?

Know how much you need to eat to satisfy your hunger, but no more than that. Learn, listen and obey your bodies natural hunger and satisfied feelings.

Are you an athlete ? Your feeding needs will be different as you must consider additional calories for whatever athletic endeavor you are taking on. You have to know and respect that.

When you really understand and consider yourself as “an experiment of one” with a focus on your personal needs and body requirements, you are on your way to nailing down your own unique health and fitness plan.