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The holiday season is in full swing! Even if I never saw a house filled with lights, or the Christmas Tree in front of the mall, I would know it was December because my clients’ anxiety levels are rising! For anyone trying to lose weight, holidays pose more challenges than navigating the line at the Apple store when the latest iPhone is released.
But there’s one way to make holidays easier. And it doesn’t have anything to do with those silly tips you read in fitness magazines that teach you to CONTROL YOURSELF and CONTROL FOOD. Like that worked, right?
The easiest way to have a fabulous holiday season and, incidentally, perhaps change your life, is to examine and STOP making up stories about the holidays and notice how encourages changing habits and behavior with food.
Permanent weight loss is what we want, even if we’re heavily invested in temporary weight loss via diets. We all think a diet will get us there – despite study after study indicating 99 percent of dieters regain their weight and every diet adds a few extra pounds too.
Why do we live in such DENIAL (read: Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying)? Because, if we believe the diet will fix the weight, we don’t have to take responsibility and fix US (or the underlying behaviors).
In my last two posts, we explored twenty things to STOP in order to achieve permanent weight loss. Now, here are 10 more very important steps to further your progress towards permanent weight loss. These are challenges that commonly show up for my weight loss clients and I hope revealing these challenges will make your weight loss easier and more direct. It’s a virtual blueprint to permanent weight loss!
This is Part 3 of a 5-Part Series – So, check back for subsequent posts! Or subscribe! You can now sign up at the right of this post to receive new posts via email notification too!
21. Stop making excuses – Excuses link us to victim status and there are a million and one excuses for everything. But the old saying “You can’t have reasons and results” is absolutely true. It doesn’t matter if grandma Mabel made your favorite cookies or your BFF (“friend” – really?) decided to surprise you with a mojito and shots happy hour, the moment we start excusing destructive behavior with well-thought-out and perfectly reasonable reasons, we lose the power of owning every choice. Weight is lost permanently when we step up and truly own every choice.
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Oh, if only a great big stop sign showed up BEFORE we committed some of the actions that destroy our progress towards permanent weight loss!
In my last post, we explored ten things to STOP in order to achieve permanent weight loss. Now, here are 10 more very important steps to further your progress towards permanent weight loss. These are challenges that commonly show up for my weight loss clients and I hope revealing these challenges will make your weight loss easier and more direct. It’s a virtual blueprint to permanent weight loss!
This is Part 2 of a 5-Part Series – So, check back for subsequent posts! Or subscribe! You can now sign up at the right of this post to receive new posts via email notification too!
11. Stop ignoring energy – The need for food is a need for energy. Food is fuel which creates energy. Notice, I did not say “the desire for food” – I said “need” – that is different! We need food for energy and hunger is the cue. So, in order to be in touch with the actual need for food, and fuel our bodies well, we’ve got to be in the business of noticing energy needs. Learning your body’s unique cues and messages is key to long-term success at managing weight.
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Excess weight is created by over-reliance on food – we often use food as caretaker, parent, therapist, mood-elevator, motivator, punisher, etc. Losing weight permanently requires changing our negative behaviors with food as well as our relationship with food.
Since 2001, I’ve worked with thousands of amazing folks to help them achieve permanent weight loss, and I’ve noticed many similarities in the challenges they confronted in order to make change. It’s no surprise, these challenges parallel the changes I made as I lost over 90 pounds permanently.
I believe revealing these challenges will make your weight loss easier and more direct. It’s a virtual blueprint to permanent weight loss!
This is Part 1 of a 5-Part Series – So, check back for subsequent posts! Or subscribe! You can now sign up at the right of this post to receive new posts via email notification too!
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One of my fabulous clients described her journey towards permanent weight loss this way: “It’s like I was on a rollercoaster when I was dieting, now I’m in the driver’s seat, driving change.”
I thought this was a great metaphor for dieting v. lifestyle change.
When you are on the diet rollercoaster:
1. You feel out of control.
2. It’s scary.
3. Emotions rage with good days and bad days. Emotions always lead to emotional eating and comfort food.
4. The number on the scale can send you on a binge.
5. Disappointment, sadness, anxiety and other daily occurrences set off eating sprees, followed by food restriction and new promises to diet all over again tomorrow, next Monday, or next month.
6. You follow someone else’s plan – might be a diet, a book, a program. These plans never address your personal body’s needs, but are generalized approaches.
7. You “wake up” with an empty plate, a candy wrapper, a cookie box, or other container in front of you and no idea how it got there or where the food went.
8. You try to control the crazy momentum by counting something (calories, aerobic output, anything at all).
9. You think poor choices say something about your personal character.
10. You struggle. Struggle diminishes your effort, your success and, ultimately, your dreams.
9. You constantly fluctuate between weights, yo-yo-ing up and down the scale. Ultimately, you wind up back at the beginning, where you started, at the “loading zone” of the rollercoaster ride.
You know you are making a lifestyle change, and you are driving change, when:
1. You are the authority on what food is the best fuel for YOUR body and you know exactly what makes great energy for your unique physiology.
2. You consistently fuel your body for optimal energy.
3. You make decisions easily, without mental combat occurring.
4. You address any emotion, obstacle or event DIRECTLY, without buffering it with food.
5. You never make excuses, but OWN every decision and action.
6. You feel empowered. You are driving. You are choosing the route you take.
7. You treat yourself with respect and love in all circumstances, no matter what you ate that day.
8. The ride leads to new places, new discoveries, and wide-open vistas because you aren’t on a “track”, you’re in ever-changing life.
Getting off the diet rollercoaster isn’t just about losing weight. It’s about quality of life. It’s about living a fully empowered life, instead of giving power away to a plan, a diet, or anything that’s not organic to your amazing physical body.
Non-diet weight loss is the kind that lasts too. Isn’t that what we ultimately want when we think of lowering the number on the scale, anyway?
Sending a son off to college is a challenge. I expected that.
You expect emotional impact on your “momself.” The cost is astonishing! Then, there’s the uphill climb through amazing hills of paperwork, applications for everything from residence halls to scholarships to individual study programs.
What I never expected was the guilt-evoking barrage of sales packages, all suggesting ways to spend money to alleviate the “momguilt” of sending junior from his childhood home into the big, bad world.
Get this one, which arrived today:
After a long lead-in about how lonely and bereft DS would be at the big/intimidating university, and the assurance that the big/intimidating university will be doing their part to help the student assimilate, I am reminded that most students don’t get enough encouragement from home!
However, in our foodcentric and food focused society, there is really only ONE answer!
The popular movie, The Hunger Games, is raking in the profits after capitalizing on the word-of-mouth from readers of the popular teen book and a boatload of publicity.
I wish I had come up with this name for the book I am writing. The Hunger Games – doesn’t it sound like a self-help book for pulling yourself out of food addiction?
Well, here are some REAL Hunger Games we play. Which one’s your favorite?
1. Diet/Avoid Food All Morning and Binge the Rest of the Day
This is the surest road to excess weight. I did it for years. I thought I was “saving up calories” for the rest of the day and exercising my willpower muscles, but I was creating more hunger and programming my body to store fat faster and more efficiently. I was also losing touch with what real hunger felt like and teaching my body I would not respond to its natural hunger cues.
2. Plan Days/Events/Activities Around Eating
OK, my bad on this one. It’s still my favorite example though. I used to choose an Overeaters Anonymous meeting because it was near one of my favorite restaurants. Since I was the one doing it, I can cop to it now. It’s so counter-intuitive, it’s amazing. Many of my clients tell me they hit goal weight in Weight Watchers and have already planned their “reward binge” or mapped out the directions to the nearest fast food restaurant. Yeah, it makes no sense, but it happens. A lot. It’s a sign nothing has changed.
Do you choose events or movies because you like a restaurant nearby? Does “being in the neighborhood” sound like a good excuse to hit a favorite type of food? Or do you say, “Who knows when I’ll get a chance to eat this again?” That’s not a real reason to eat, just a Hunger Game.
3. Eating as Entertainment (Food Focused or Foodcentric Lifestyle)
When you get together with friends, family or a partner, is your main focus eating? A movie is entertainment. A bike ride is activity. Eating is functional. It’s the gas station. Fuel. It can taste great and transport your taste buds, but if it’s your main source of entertainment, it’s time to branch out and see more of life.
4. Fear of Hunger
Many of my clients stash food in their cars, offices, gym lockers, computer cases and bedrooms so they will never be without a fix. What’s so scary about being hungry? Well, it’s usually not hunger we really fear, but the needs underneath. These needs, often subconscious and unexplored, are darker and usually created long ago, in childhood. However, it doesn’t matter if it’s unlikely to happen (running out of food or not being able to get to food in our society???), fear loves to run our behaviors.
5. I’ll Fix it Later
This is my favorite. We live under the illusion, reinforced by the diet industry, that choices today are unimportant because we have the ability to fix our weight later. Have that rich, fat-laden five course meal and promise to run every day next week to make up for it. Turn into the drive-thru – it’s OK because you’re going to the gym tonight.
This is simply untrue. Dieting rarely works, and reinforcing this negative belief (or LIE) of the “quick fix later” just makes it feel true. The truth is, once fat is processed, it’s more difficult to remove and resists dieting and excessive exercise. In fact, the longer you work out, the less fat you will burn every minute.
Understanding how the body works is the key to ending the Hunger Games in your life. Being consistently healthy is simpler and more effective than playing games too.
If you (or anyone you know) is ready to end the Hunger Games in life, share this post with them and check out my next enLIGHTen Your Life! class starting soon! Click here for information.
Working out at the gym today, I heard a personal trainer tell her client, “If you want to lose weight, you just gotta learn to deprive yourself!”
I used to be surprised when a “fitness professional” said stupid things. Now, I don’t even blink.
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