Healthy Eating

Healthier Life Resolution

Listening on the radio the other day I kind of chuckled at the persons reply to the question he had been asked. He was being asked if he had made any New Year’s resolutions this year. His reply was “Yeah, losing weight. I’m going to work on that one again this year.” Doesn’t that sound familiar? It was the word “again” that made me smile.

Why is it that January 1 always seems like a good time to start a “diet?” How many people get caught up in doing that? Is it because of all the junk food we consumed during the holiday season and we feel guilty or just the traditional thing to do. I’m not even sure where that concept came from but we all do it don’t we? In the famous words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?”

If we are honest with ourselves, most of us have already fallen off the wagon of good intentions about dieting within the first few weeks. Food is everywhere and doggone it we get hungry right? We can have the best of intentions and then that co-worker comes in with the box of fresh baked doughnuts or it’s someones birthday and you just have to have cake and then before you know it, you finally wave the white flag and say, “To heck with it, pass the cookies and whatever else you’ve got!”

Really, the list of opportunities to not stick with that resolution we made is endless. Now don’t get me wrong, it is good to be thinking about our “diet.” But I don’t mean it the way most people refer to it. “Dieting” rarely works for the long term. While you can try restricting yourselves in the amount or types of food you eat and lose weight, most people find that they don’t keep the weight off. Over time the scale numbers start to slowing creep back up again and sometimes even go beyond what you started with. Yikes!

Instead of making a “new years resolution” to lose weight, try making a ‘healthier life resolution” Train your brain to think positive thoughts about living healthier instead of negative thoughts about what you have to give up to lose weight.

Think about it. When you say the word “diet” don’t you immediately think about all the stuff you might have to give up? Who likes to do that? That is why most diets fail. You can’t live in a perpetual state of denying yourself. There are times when it’s okay to have that piece of dessert
or that cheese laden lasagna.

We need to change the way we think and feel about food. This will be a process. As they say, “Rome was not built in a day” You can’t just change all your habits that you have had for years and expect in one day to eat a totally different way. Try thinking about what you can add to your “diet” to make it healthier and at the same time cut back on the not so healthy foods you usually consume. Before you reach for that snack ask yourself why you want it, do you really need it.

Just like we put gas and oil in our cars to keep them running we put food in our “engines” to keep us running. Isn’t it ironic that we would never think to put the wrong kind of gas or oil in our vehicles yet we sometimes don’t give a second thought about what kind of “fuel” we put in our own human machines? Thank goodness our body can process some bad fuel better than our cars can and keep running. However, over time our body will begin to tell us that we haven’t been feeding it right and will begin to tell us in various unpleasant ways.

We are creatures of habits and we tend to do what we know how to do even if it is not good for us. So if you find yourself with a lot of bad habits regarding eating, there is no time like the present to make new habits.

So let’s start treating our bodies better than our vehicles and think before we eat. If you are someone who likes to drink soda, start out by substituting a glass of water sometimes. Don’t drink your calories. Try a fruit infused water instead. If you always have three pieces of pizza, sneak a salad in and then eat just one or two pieces. Who says you have to have butter AND sour cream on that baked potato? Buy more from the outer perimeter of the grocery store and less of the processed foods in the aisles. If you look for opportunities to eat healthier you WILL find them and pretty soon they will become a good habit.

Over time the benefits will show up in pleasant ways. Some of that weight that’s been hanging around will disappear. Your body will feel better and run smoother with a healthier you. Remember to not get discouraged and depressed if you slip up now and then. It’s bound to happen. Expect it! Just make sure you pick yourself up, dust off the slip up and get back on that horse again and keep riding. You are worth it and CAN DO IT!

Let this be the last year that your New Years resolution is to lose weight “again.”

Happy 2015 New Year – Or Is It?

Ahhh, the New Year. We’re on the cusp of experiencing a new year and all the expectations, goals, dreams and aspirations that a new ‘something’ brings. We start reminding ourselves about how important ‘new beginnings’ are and the importance of ‘buckeling down’ and ‘taking things serious’ at this time of year. It’s a time of…..reflection….and re-purposing what we want to accomplish.

Pfft. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But I think that all last about a day, tops. Okay, maybe two or three days but the reality is, as humans, we like what we know. Even if it’s not good for us. Even if it’s not healthy. Usually several days into a new way of thinking, reality tells us IT’S HARD TO CREATE NEW HABITS. Ugh. We always want to revert back to old ways of thinking because it’s just easier (insert the whining right here).

Having worked for many years with clients who want to lose weight, or dealing myself with creeping extra weight (can anyone give me an amen to the pre/menopausal years?!?!!), or knowing friends or family who struggle with weight issues, I know, I understand, what a mind game that losing weight is. It’s about retraining your brain to incorporate a new way of thinking that sometimes your thinking doesn’t want to follow. It’s about engaging the psychology of how to change your thinking. It’s about learning skills and techniques that help you with problem-solving, and cravings, and the madness you feel in your head when you feel deprived of something you want, or crave, or have just eaten for so many years.

It’s not about the measuring cups, the food plan, or the scale. It’s about training your brain to respond and react differently to your health. To your body. To your plans for a better you.

Outside of my private practice, I work with a doctor and his staff (who work with bariartric patients). I provide behavioral groups frequently for the doctors patients who need a little extra weight loss support, motivation and education beyond the medical procedure that the doctor offers. I’m so thankful that the doctor and his staff ‘get it’ – they get that beyond the lapband procedure, that there has to be a way of changing your thinking in order to have long-term success with your weight. It’s not about being a size 6, it’s about being a healthier YOU. I’m so thankful for the individuals I’ve worked with through the years that ‘get it’ – that they have to put the hard work into changing the mindset in order to achieve long-term success with their health.

It’s not about how many times you’ve failed. It’s about how many times you started over. And stayed with it longer this time. And learned different things about yourself this time. That you didn’t mindlessly start down the ‘weight loss path’ but that you recognize it’s a process, a journey that you’re on….and it will take time. Sorry to tell you that. It just will. It takes times to adjust to a new way of thinking. And forgiving yourself when you make a mistake, and – drum roll please – learning to re-adjust right away so you don’t “blow it all day long” by continuing to eat-the-day-away because you didn’t follow some weight loss rule!!

Maybe for you it’s not necessarily what the numbers say on the scale but how your body physically feels. You find yourself saying more and more nowadays that you just want to FEEL BETTER, and you know deep down your weight has everything to do with the creaking joints and aching muscles. Maybe it’s the high cholesterol, or blood pressure, or even sleep apnea. What can you start telling yourself, what can you start doing this very minute, that when you start thinking about it and working on it, might make a difference for YOU.

Make a plan to change your thinking about weight loss treatment, weight loss goals, weight loss strategies, weight loss foods, weight loss diets, weight loss EVERYTHING and focus on what good health means to you. Plan on what little things you can change. Plan how you would like your outcome to be different this time. If you need extra help or support with your New Years weight loss plans, let’s talk. Call me at 616-457-5001 or look on website frequently for new weight loss classes starting.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

IS GRAY HERE TO STAY

Fall has come and gone. The beautiful colors of autumn have been raked up and disposed of. Days have gotten shorter and darkness falls before dinner. We know that the brutal cold winds of winter are soon going to be whistling through the bare brown branches and we will have to hunker down for the long haul. While some people see this time as a festive time with the holidays starting, others can only look ahead to the long bleak days ahead as a colorless non ending existence.

Ugh! The gray days of winter. How are we going to get through them? That can be a typical thought of many people around this time of year. But for some, that thought can be felt more like depression. How can you tell if you have more than a mere case of the “winter blues” or “cabin fever?”

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD)

During the fall and winter months, some people suffer from symptoms of depression that can appear gradually or come on all at once. These symptoms often fade away as spring arrives and stays away throughout the summer months. For some people, this is an indication that they may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

SYMPTOMS

Depression symptoms can be mild to moderate, but they can become severe. There is no specific diagnostic test for the illness but it is understood that symptoms can include but are not limited to:

*fatigue
*lack of interest in normal activities
*social withdrawal
*craving foods high in carbohydrates
*weight gain
*irritability
*trouble concentrating

HOW COMMON IS (SAD)

An interesting fact is that women tend to suffer more than men. It typically starts showing up in early adulthood although it can occur in children and adolescents also. It is more commonly
seen in people who live in cloudy regions. Altogether, approximately one half million people in
the United States suffer from winter SAD, while 10 to 20 percent may suffer from a more mild
form of winter blues.

WHAT CAUSES SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER?

The specific cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder remains unknown but some suggest that
your biological clock (circadian rhythm) gets out of whack. The reduced level of sunlight we experience in the fall and winter may cause the winter onset of SAD. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression.

A drop in Serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood could be a culprit that may trigger depression due to reduced sunlight. Also, Melatonin levels can be disrupted due to the season
which can play havoc with your sleep patterns and mood.

WHAT DO I DO IF I THINK I HAVE SAD?

Sometimes physical problems can cause depression. But other times, symptoms of SAD can be a part of other mental disorders. I can evaluate your pattern of behavior and identify whether you have SAD or another type of mood disorder. If you do find that you do indeed have Seasonal Affective Disorder here are some common sense home remedies that might help.

5 HOME REMEDIES TO TREAT SAD

1. GET SOME LIGHT
Try to increase your exposure to light. Get as much natural light as you can
between 6:00 am. and 8:00 a.m. Go out for a walk, or at least sit by a window.
If you can’t get out in the morning light, at least get out on your lunch break.
Even if it’s cloudy, the natural light will do you some good.

If you can’t get outdoors, try a natural full-spectrum light. One of the most
effective treatments for SAD is daily exposure to a specially designed light
box. Make sure it provides enough intensity of light to positively affect SAD
symptoms.

2. EAT RIGHT
It is thought that if your levels of Serotonin decrease it can make you crave
carbohydrates. Some have suggested that eating tryptophan rich foods may
increase the body’s production of Serotonin and help you feel better. Although
there is no solid research that supports this, you might want to try eating more
of these foods to see if your symptoms improve. What could it hurt? Some foods
rich in tryptophan include turkey, seafood, milk and egg whites, asparagus and
spinach. Fruits such as apricots, apples and bananas are also a good source.
Research also shows that taking Vitamin D can make a noticeable difference.

3. LIMIT ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE
Alcohol is a depressant which can bring your mood down even lower and while
Caffeine may give you a little boost for the short term it can also cause anxiety,
muscle tension and stomach issues.

4. EXERCISE
Try walking, jogging, biking, swimming, anything aerobic, but get moving. Even
better, try to exercise outdoors or at least by a sunny window.

5. GO ON VACATION
Try to take a trip during the winter months to someplace warm and sunny.
For most people with SAD, it takes two or three days of bright sunshine to
start reversing their symptoms.

If your symptoms are mild, hopefully some of these natural home remedies listed above can bring you some relief. However, if the feelings of depression are or become overwhelming, do not hesitate to give me a call. There is help out there for you! You are not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder is real, yet, the good news is it is highly treatable.

Dieting? Right Now…I Can’t…No Way!

Well we are in full swing with the Holidays again and I got to thinking how many people get into full swing with their Holiday-eating-mentality. You know, the kind of Holiday-eating-mentality where you throw caution to the wind, and don’t think about “eating right” or “dieting” until the end of the year. Or is it moreso at the beginning of the New Year?

Is that you?

Research shows over and over again that so many of us aren’t even thinking of the word DIET right now. When is the last time you’ve seen advertisement on tv (at this time of the year) with some Company touting their weight-loss services or products! You don’t.

It seems we turn off our mindful eating and all our good intentions and plunge hopelessly into mindless eating at this time of year. Let’s face it, it starts with the temptation of Halloween candy (which if you think about it is plentiful all year long but for some reason the little Fun Size candy throws our capacity to think rationally into an eating frenzy) and it last until the last drink is drunk or the last meatball eaten on January 2nd!!

It’s as if we re-engage our brains on January 2nd and think: Ugh. Gluttony. Extra pounds. Disgust. What’s-the-name-of-that-diet-again-I-have-to-start.

And the vicious cycle of emotionally beating ourselves up about how we “must be good” starting in January continues.

May I (gently) suggest there is a better way of doing this……this…eating thing, this dieting thing? That we can enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years and NOT let our emotional eating derail us.  That way you don’t have to think about the “diet” you have to start in January.

Can I just (strongly) suggest that you can eat right, eat good, eat healthy now. You can mindfully make choices that will impact you emotionally and physically right now. That the diet you are on is the “diet” you should be on EVERY STINKIN’ DAY.

I hope this is the Holiday season where you choose to do things differently. Because it is a choice. Remind yourself – this week, this very day – how often you are mindlessly eating and start to engage your brain when it comes to food choices.

Choose to think about dieting in a different way. Choose to think about “dieting” right now, and don’t say you can’t. Because you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Choices Health Choices

overeatingLove this book…”Coach Yourself Thin” by Greg Hottiner and Michael Scholtz. This particular excerpt really made sense to me, see if it does to you too.

“There is incredible power in making your own choices.

You’re free from the constraints of someone else’s idea of how you should live healthy and lose weight. This independence sweeps away the victim mentality.

It’s no longer society’s fault that you can’t find healthy food in a restaurant, your boss’s responsibility that you can’ eat healthy on the job, or your spouse’s attitude that keeps you from exercise.

What stops many people from appreciating the power to choose is that with this power comes personal responsibility for the results of those choices. Taking control of your choices and accepting responsibility for their outcomes requires shifting from an external to an internal locus of control.

 

 

excerpts from “Coach Yourself Thin”
by Greg Hottinger & Michael Scholtz

 

excerpts from great book…..”Coach Yourself Thin” by Greg Hottinger & Michael Scholtz

With an external locus of control, you tend to attribute what happens to you to things beyond your control; you blame other people, aspects of your personality or skills that you believe you cannot change, or just plain luck.

If you come up short on a project at work, you might say, “You never told me how to use that program. It’s not my fault I didn’t get my work done,” or “Dang, I can’t do this. I’m way too lazy to learn w to use that program.”

With an internal locus of control, however, you focus on what is within your control and take responsibility for your own decisions and actions.

Revisiting the workplace scenario, if you don’t meet expectations, you might say, “My skills just weren’t as sharp as they needed to be, but I’ll be ready next time,” or “I’ll come up with a better plan for managing my work time in he future.” If you set a company record for sales, you would believe that it was because of your skill as a salesperson and accept the honor graciously.

As long as you relinquish control of your choices and responsibility for the results to something or someone else, you will only succeed when the circumstances are exactly right.

When you take back your power to choose your path and accept credit for the outcomes, you give yourself the opportunity for lasting success.”

 

 

 

 

Binge Eating Disorder

 

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder that is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.

Symptoms

  • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food but without behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting.
  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge eating episodes.
  • Feelings of strong shame or guilt regarding the binge eating.
  • Indications that the binge eating is out of control, such as eating when not hungry, eating to the point of discomfort, or eating alone because of shame about the behavior.

Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder

The health risks of BED are most commonly those associated with clinical obesity.  Some of the potential health consequences of binge eating disorder include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Musculoskeletal problems

About Binge Eating Disorder

  • The prevalence of BED is estimated to be approximately 1-5% of the general population.
  • Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men–estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female, 40% are male
  • People who struggle with binge eating disorder can be of normal or heavier than average weight.
  • BED is often associated with symptoms of depression.
  • People struggling with binge eating disorder often express distress, shame, and guilt over their eating behaviors.
  • People with binge eating disorder report a lower quality of life than non-binge eating disorder.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/who-we-are

Do You Have an Anxious Brain? Feeling Depressed?

Check out interesting information at www.hendersoncounselingservices.com
under the “Depression/Anxiety” tab

Start the New Diet Off Right

christmas platterHere we are again….another Christmas come and gone, and a post worth repeating…..

I think if I have one more cookie, I’ll turn into one of the Keebler elves!  Having said that however, let me just say I have enjoyed the Holiday season immensely and am looking forward to New Years celebrations with friends, family and…..wait for it…..food!  

If you’re like me, while you’re appreciative of all the beautiful looking tasty dishes and hard work that everyone has put into their favorite wonderful Holiday foods, you’re probably also tired of feeling bloated and slightly overwhelmed by the constant onslaught of delicious eating and ongoing temptations.

Partaking in all that wonderful food can leave you feeling a little sluggish but the upside is, this is the time of year when we typically start to feel more motivated – motivated to ‘lose weight’ and to really start to eat well.

You know how it goes. All that bargaining you do with yourself. You’ll eat right starting today, then you only have New Year’s Eve (maybe New Year’s Day) to get through and THEN you’ll start eating right or dieting at the beginning of the year.

Hey, don’t worry about it, we all do that. The ‘January 2nd’ diet is nothing new.

2013 2014What may be new to you is looking at dieting from a psychological perspective.  I encourage you to check out the weight loss classes starting in January.

You have to change the way you think about dieting before your dieting behaviors will change.

This is a perfect time to start thinking about your weight loss goals and building your skills to help you lose those first 5 pounds!

 

An After-Thanksgiving Thought

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825

(a stuffed turkey??!)

Diets, Food, & Lifestyle Change

overweightThink of all the interesting food plans or diets you’ve been on in the last….let’s say, in the last year. Are you still able to maintain that food plan? If not, why?

It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon when someone else loses weight and you want to mimic their success with the food plan they were on.

Or you hear of a diet – for example, I just heard recently of the Inflammation Diet – and because you have some physical alignment, you convenience yourself that THAT diet will eliminate any physical woes you experience. So off you go to research it, convince yourself that you could tolerate the foods they’re suggesting, and then make a trip to the grocery store to stock up with the ‘right’ kinds of food.

Real change comes from within. NOT THE FOOD PLAN.

Don’t get me wrong the right diet-of-life can significantly make you feel better, and lose weight.

If your ultimate goal is a significant lifestyle change, like weight loss, think lifestyle change, not short-term diet.

Various popular diets can help to jump-start your weight loss, but permanent changes in your lifestyle and food choices are what work in the long run.