Holiday’s & Celebration’s

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.

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…..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??!)

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.