Holiday’s & Celebration’s

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.








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…!  

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??!)

2013 Change

Here we are again….deciding what new things we want to accomplish, and a lot of times the things we want to accomplish have to do with our diet.

One of the ideas I want to encourage you to do is to change how you look at the word “DIET” – start to think of it as not something you go on and off, but as a lifestyle change. And commit to figuring out how to change your current ‘diet’ to a healthier eating lifestyle, so there’s no more thinking of “…..I blew it, I’ll start over tomorrow….” STOP THAT THINKING.  It doesn’t work – never has, never will.

Change is hard. And it’s easy to get discourage when you try and don’t get the results you were hoping for. But the reality is that just making the effort is, in fact, progress.

Change is not an event with an exact start and stop point: it’s a process.

Each step you  make, even if it’s a relatively small step such as making the resolution to change, is still a step in the right direction, bringing you closer to your ultimate goal.

It’s also important to recognize that even if you take a few steps back, it’s not the end of the world. If viewed and used correctly, the missteps can serve as learning opportunities, helping you become better prepared for the next log of the trip!

So here’s to CHANGE and hoping you will have a new year full of new thinking for a healthier YOU.



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Seasonal Expectations Got You Down? Here Are 3 Tips for Survival.

How can there possibly be any stress at this time of year! Children are happier (or is that crankier?), bosses seem nicer (maybe a Christmas bonus is coming?), and life seems easier with Bing Crosby singing in the background about White Christmas’ every where you go.

Maybe that’s not your reality. For most people, it probably isn’t. Maybe most of the time you find yourself saying “falala this!”

It makes me sad to think that we lose sight of what this time of year is all about but the truth is we’re moving at such a fast pace that those important things get lost in the shuffle.

Our expectations about this time of year can leave you feeling like you fall short. Expectations have a way of making you feel like you don’t measure up, and disappointment rears its ugly head.

When expectations collided with our reality, we can find ourselves over-eating, easily irritated and constantly frustrated. Here are a few tips to help you with what I call Seasonal Expectations:

First of all, learn that saying “NO” is okay to do. We get so stuck on what we should be doing that we lose ourselves in the chaos. The added stress of those feelings that the Holidays bring just aren’t worth it. Do what you have to do to keep yourself sane and that usually means saying NO to family, friends, co-workers, commitments at your childs school, functions at church, community gatherings….the list could go on and on.

Secondly, only do the things that make sense to you and that bring joy to you. Be with the people that you love and do the activities that you really want to do. When you do that, you’re more likely to enjoy what you’re doing and the participation doesn’t seem so laborious or overwhelming.

Third, and finally, take charge of those things you can control. Be deliberate about keeping yourself mentally, spiritually and physically healthy. Take a 10 minute brisk walk. Choose to eat well. Pray. Be in the moment (that’s hard sometimes) and stop fretting about the next moments. Read a good book, watch a good movie, have dinner with a friend, attend a church service, take an aunt and uncle out to lunch, instead of shopping – walk twice around the mall.

I saw a quote recently that I pass on to you. It’s a reminder to put things in perspective – especially during this ‘happy’ time of year.

“You owe it to yourself to find your own unorthodox way of succeeding,
or sometimes, just surviving.”

So have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and then we can move on to Valentines Day (just another celebration with more expectations)!!

Two Minutes of Pleasure Bring Hours of Guilt

With one more Holiday under our belts, may I remind you we have a couple more to go – Christmas and New Years! Ugh. If I had a dollar for everyone who said to me this past week that they’ll “start their diets after the Holidays,” I’d be a richer woman but the truth is you hear it all the time. Maybe you have even said it recently.

There is something about the Holiday season in which we throw everything we know about eating properly out the window and food becomes a glorious gift wrapped in rich, sweet and delicious temptations that we love to open, enjoy and divulge in. We convince ourselves that it’s useless to try at “this time of year” and give ourselves permission to lose control all day, every day and then…..the guilt sets in.

Guilt is an intense emotion. One definition of guilt says,

    “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc.,   whether real or imagined.”

After reading the definition you’re thinking – “yep, that’s me.”

I’m wondering if you can try this today, and in the next couple weeks. I’m wondering if you could start to look at “dieting” as the food you consume (take in) versus something you go on, and then off. Flip the script you have in your head about what a diet is. Just try it.

I’m also wondering if you could start to look at your diet (aka – your daily intake of food) as something you control instead of you feeling out of control. And here is the exciting part, to NOT deprive yourself of foods you want to eat.

That is a very scary thought for some of you but the minute you deprive yourself of some kind of food is the minute you are more likely to partake, and the two minutes of pleasurable eating is followed by hours of guilt.

It’s time to break the chain of bondage that the word “diet” holds over you.

Start by understanding the concept of a thinking thin lifestyle. You can still enjoy the bounty of food that the Season brings but you don’t have to have as much, or all the time. You can consciously tell yourself “no, not right now” or “no, I’m not really hungry” or “no, I don’t need it” and live through it.

The minute you make a conscious choice, not mindless eating, to slowly and deliberately enjoy what you’re eating – the taste, the smell, the texture – you are more likely to be in control. You can start making very deliberate decisions (mindful eating) about something as simple as your portion size, and even whether you want to finish what’s on your plate. Something as simple as leaving food on your plate is a powerful choice.

Think about it, having control is a very powerful thing!

Your focus isn’t on what you can’t have, but whether you’re eating healthy and still being able to include some of those foods that you think have to be off limits the rest of your life.

A thinking thin lifestyle has YOU in control, not the food. As you continue to enjoy the Holiday season, don’t trade in your two minutes of pleasure for hours of guilt. It’s no longer worth it.

Green, Minty Temptation

It’s a gorgeous beautiful sunny day here in West Michigan today, reaching almost a balmy 49 degrees. If I didn’t have to look at the white stuff still on the ground, I swear it smells like Spring! Or maybe that’s the rain coming.

Nonetheless, I was driving past a McDonald’s today and they were advertising their Shamrock shakes. Now that is temptation at it’s finest for me. The thing that cracks me up about myself is I would have forgotten all about them and another year would have gone by (as I never go to McDonald’s to eat) but nooooo, I happen to glance at their sign and, well…..

So I have to get ONE between now and March 17th.  And just when I thought that the month of March doesn’t bring food temptation.  Oh, did I mention the Cadbury eggs I’m seeing all around too.  Arg!  How’s your Fat Tuesday going??!

Fat Tuesday

Ahh yes, the gluttony before the discipline. Not sure it makes sense but since I am of the mind that you should never deprive yourself of a specific food group (or make something off limits) – for then the body and brain crave it more – you could be entering in to a very dangerous, dreaded EATING ZONE this week.

Fat Tuesday is tomorrow. Mardi Gras means fat Tuesday, the culmination of the season between Christmas and Lent. Fat Tuesday falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

During the 40 day Lent period, many Christians forego the eating of meat, either completely or on Fridays. They also traditionally give up a favored food, drink, or habit.

Fat Tuesday is a last chance party excuse before a six-week period of abstinence.

For those of you from a Polish Catholic background, you also know about those deep-fried doughy powdered sugar delights (called paczek or paczki).

Just a little history lesson with the paczki (that I thought was interesting ’cause I didn’t know this), traditionally the reason for making paczki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent.

Does any one want to tell me the calories of one paczki – with lard, sugar, eggs and fruit it can’t be good!

Admittedly I didn’t grow up celebrating and observing this particular time of year but I have known many people through the years that said they’re giving up this or that “for Lent” (usually always a food or drink item if I recall).

So what are you partaking in this week, and what are you “giving up” this week?

As with any Holiday, celebration, or social gathering for those of you changing your mindset about eating, food, and dieting, I know this can be a tough week for you.  Know what your limits are on Tuesday, so on Wednesday you won’t feel defeated.

The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, growth, penitence, and conversion.  So in this time of reflection may you

Give up complaining and focus on gratitude
Give up harsh judgments and think kindly thoughts
Give up discouragement and be full of hope
Give up gloom and enjoy the beauty that is around you