Feeling Fabulous!

Yesterday was my birthday.

In Friday’s blog I sketched out a plan to navigate the food and drink from the celebratory weekend so that come Monday morning, I would feel good body, mind, and spirit, and be back on the healthy track.

I am happy to report that I feel fabulous!

As I sit to write this blog, my workout is complete and my healthy meal plan resumed. I also had an amazing time with my folks who came to town to help celebrate, and I thoroughly enjoyed all that we ate and drank.

While I definitely ate more than unusual, I did practice reasonable moderation and didn’t go crazy. I don’t feel the least bit deprived. In fact, I feel thoroughly feted.

While I didn’t follow my plan exactly, I did find it extremely helpful to have thought out what I wanted to do, and to reach out to you fabulous readers for accountability. Remembering that I was going to have to report back to you was a great curb to going back for seconds on desserts, or ordering a second cocktail.

But here’s the real key—I definitely had some splurges and I wasn’t perfect. It would be easy to beat myself up over those. But instead, I’m choosing to look at all the times I did push back from the table, stopped at one glass of wine, and got my planned workouts in.

Building on small successes generates positive momentum that moves you towards your goal.

Focusing on the negative—as I used to always do—drains your momentum and zaps your energy, which means you are more likely to go ahead and keep eating because all is lost anyway.

Not only did focusing on the positive help me maintain a reasonable level of moderation, it helped me maintain my mental and emotional energy over the weekend, and as a result I had one of the best visits with my family that I can recall. It was relaxed, loving, and fun.

It hasn’t always been this way. They didn’t change—I did.

Here are my wins from the weekend:

  • Got in both my planned workouts
  • Had a wonderful visit with my folks
  • Was loving and appreciative of my awesome husband
  • I never let myself get too hungry
  • Where I could, I made healthier choices (gluten free crackers and chips, sauces on the side, the entrée with more vegetables, etc.)
  • Often shared meals or packed up half to take home
  • Limited alcohol
  • Was mindful of getting full
  • Savored what I was eating
  • Savored the delicious moments with my family

What can you do to shift your focus from where you weren’t perfect to what you did well? How do you think building on small successes and feeling that positive momentum will help you move towards your wellness goal?

Together we can do it!

The Gift of Wellness for My Birthday

Sunday is my birthday! My fabulous folks are driving into town as I type to help celebrate. I anticipate that we will have a wonderful time, and I already know that delicious food and drink will be plentiful.

In the past, celebratory weekends like this were the triggers that would send my diet and exercise program spiraling out of control, sometimes taking weeks, months, and even years to get back into alignment.

Fortunately, I’ve come far enough that I’m no longer worried about that happening, but I do want to get back to work Monday afternoon feeling physically, mentally, and spiritually good! No food hangovers for me, thank you very much.

But I also don’t want to be so rigid that I’m not having any fun. It’s my birthday after all. My family will be here and I want to celebrate!

The key for me is setting some intentions and doing some planning before family arrives and chaos ensues. Once that happens, it’s too easy just to open my mouth and start shoveling in the goodies.

I also find accountability extremely helpful, so if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you fabulous readers to help with that. So here’s my plan.

Moving my body:

Fortunately there are only two workouts that I have to plan for—tomorrow (Saturday) and Monday, as Sunday is a planned rest day.

Typically I do my workouts in the area outside our guest room. My being in that space while guests are trying to sleep is inconvenient and uncomfortable for all of us. So I have brought down my exercise mat, resistance bands, weights, and a workout DVD that I can set up and do in the living room.

I will do my work out on Saturday first thing in the morning so we have plenty of uninterrupted day to get out and enjoy.

Monday, my workout will actually be later in the morning so that I can spend time with my folks before they head back home. Once they are gone, I can move my equipment back upstairs and resume my normal workout routine.

Lots of walking while they are here should be an added bonus.

Eating:

For me, this is going to be about moderation.

My Mom has already sent me notice of all my favorite treats she’s bringing, and we have reservations out for dinner Saturday night and Sunday brunch. If I’m not careful it could turn into a three-day free-for-all.

Starving myself all day in preparation for a big dinner doesn’t work for me as I get too hungry and significantly overeat at dinner. My normal eating plan includes five to six smaller meals throughout the day, so I’m going to stick with that.

A small piece of the ginger cake my Mom is bringing will be a snack instead of being tacked on the end of a large meal.

Where I can, I will make healthier choices.

When we are eating out, I will immediately pack up at least half of the meals to take home to freeze for a future time so that I won’t overeat.

I will limit alcohol each day to one glass of wine or champagne.

Afternoons are my hardest time, and it’s easy to dive into the nuts, cheese, and crackers that my Mom likes to serve. I will plan that as one of my small meals and be mindful of the portions I am choosing. A good way to do that is to actually portion out what I am going to eat onto a plate instead of just grazing for an hour.

I will be mindful when my stomach says it is full.

I will savor what I am eating in the moment and consciously appreciate it. The full flavor is only experienced in the first few bites. Once I sense the flavor falling off, I will stop eating.

I will look for satisfaction in delicious moments with my parents and husband, I will soak in the ambiance of the restaurants and surroundings, I will bask in the love that I am giving and am being given. I will nurture myself in ways that don’t involve food.

OK! I think I’m ready for a fun and satisfying birthday weekend where the indulgences will satisfy my soul and maintain the wellness of my body. I’ll report how I did in my blog Monday.

How does taking the time to plan how you will maintain your wellness while celebrating special events, holidays, etc., help you achieve your goals? How can you keep a free day from turning into a free-for-all?

Together we can do it!

Isn’t Life Delicious?

DELICIOUS adj \di-ˈli-shəs\

1: affording great pleasure : delightful

2: appealing to one of the bodily senses especially of taste or smell

Merriam-Webster

Why do you eat?

For very few people is it just to give their bodies the vital nutrients they need to sustain life.

For women who struggle with their weight, eating is often their primary source of pleasure, comfort, satisfaction, and even experience of love.

This is why diets cause such feelings of deprivation.

Who wants to live a life void of pleasurable feelings? Certainly not me!

And you don’t have to!

All that’s happened is that over time—and for a variety of valid reasons—you have shut yourself off from sources of satisfaction, comfort, and love because they have also been sources of pain, dissatisfaction, and loneliness.

The lover who broke your heart, the friend who betrayed you, the parent or boss who tried to control you sent you to the one obvious and consistent source of comfort—food.

It was a totally normal reaction. Food is delicious. It’s pleasurable, satisfying, and comforting. And it’s easy.

But it’s also betrayed you.

It’s caused you to gain weight. It’s negatively impacted your health. It’s momentary comfort is completely outweighed by the overwhelming feelings of guilt and self-loathing that it now causes.

It’s no longer giving you what you were seeking in the first place—those pleasurable feelings.

It’s time to begin looking for these feelings in the only place they will be given consistently. From the only place you can truly count on them being there 100 percent of the time, no matter what you do, say, or be. Where you know you are absolutely loved and adored.

The Source of pleasure, satisfaction, comfort, nourishment, and love is All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Higher Coach—whatever works for you). And your thoughts are what help you tune into these feelings—or not.

No one else is “making” you feel anything. It was not your boyfriend who made you feel unworthy—it was because you believed him.

Thoughts of your unworthiness feel so bad because they are not true. In the eyes of All-That-Is, you are utterly and completely perfect.

But because you have taken the word of a lot of people with limited perspectives over the knowing of All-That-Is, you have pretty well convinced yourself that you are unworthy. You may even have a strong negative reaction to the very idea that you are perfect.

Remember the infant “You” that was in your mother’s arms? Would you judge the infant “You” as anything other than perfect? Would you ever have been “bad” if someone else who had been told they were “bad” hadn’t perpetuated the inaccurate assessment?

Most of what was judged “bad” by others was simply eagerness, exuberance, and joy that was seen as inappropriate by someone who you believed knew better than you.

When your thoughts about yourself are in agreement with what All-That-Is knows about you, your heart sings. You love life. You love other people. You want to give generously. You want to receive all the gifts that life is offering.

Life is delicious, not just food.

At first, changing your thinking feels like walking out on a lake that has frozen over in winter. You aren’t sure how stable and solid the ice is. You don’t trust if it will really support you.

You begin by tentatively sticking a toe out and testing the strength of the ice. If that holds, you then add the weight of your whole foot, and slowly, you venture out further and further until you know that the ice is so strong, you could drive a car out on to it. Once you know how solid and stable it is, you then frolic freely.

So start with thoughts that are the equivalent of tapping your toe to test the ice.

Gratitude is a great place to start. Begin being grateful for the small things in your life that are stable and solid, such as your pillow as you go to sleep, the comfort of a hot shower, the feel of a soft shirt on your skin.

As you practice those thoughts and get more comfortable, begin to look for and savor life experiences that give you pleasure, comfort, satisfaction, and love. Fill up on those experiences instead of food.

For me, having a client experience an “a-ha” moment is absolutely delicious. I feel satisfied when I wake up with a kitty snuggled and purring in the crook of my arm. I savor moments of laughter with my husband. I am nourished by the wind blowing through the leaves as I walk in nature. I feel comfort in quiet moments with friends and family.

Life is juicy and delicious. How can you begin to look for and feel for each and every luscious moment? How does your finding more satisfaction in life change your need to seek comfort from food?

Together we can do it!

Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Day: Redefine juicy and delicious. Seek out satisfaction, comfort, and nourishment from life experiences in addition to food.

Love Yourself Lean

Here’s one of my favorite blogs that you may have missed.

 

 

Do you love your body? Do you love the food that you eat? Do you love the exercise that you’re doing, and the feeling of moving your body? Do you love to sweat?

What emotions did you feel when you read those questions? Did they bring up strong positive or negative reactions? Since our bodies and our lives are a reflection of our predominate thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, does your emotional reaction match the experience that you’re having with your body right now?

I used to hate my body and spent much of my time feeling horrible about how I looked. I hated exercise. I was a picky eater and I never appreciated or truly enjoyed what I was eating in the moment. Is it any wonder that I struggled with a weight problem my entire life and was a sickly kid? My body was emotionally and physically abused—by me!

It wasn’t until I truly understood that we are what we think, feel, and believe that I began to change my thoughts about my body. I started with gratitude, finally appreciating how hard my body was working for me despite how I fed it poor-quality food, didn’t move much, and was incredibly harsh in my criticism. It really was a miracle that my body was as healthy as it was.

I began to focus on consciously appreciating and enjoying the food I ate. I focused more on why I wanted to eat right and exercise than on all the reasons I didn’t. Over time, eating healthy food and exercising began to be something I enjoyed.

The more I began shifting my thoughts and feelings to what I wanted, the easier it became to do those things that would move me to towards who I wanted to be and the life I wanted to live.

Today, I love and appreciate my body. I love being strong, fit, and lean. I love being active. I love eating mostly healthy foods and how good I feel as a result. And I love to really get after a workout and sweat.

Pay attention to how you feel about your body, diet, exercise—really, your life. How much are you loving or hating it? How can you shift your thoughts and emotions towards feeling just a little bit better?

Do that, and it won’t be long until you are exactly where you want to be.

Together we can do it!

 

Did you fill out my rebranding survey? To show my appreciation to those of you who filled out the survey by Friday, May 25, 2012, I am giving away a $10 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Either comment in the original post or message me to let me know you completed the survey and I’ll put your name in the drawing!

 

Make the First Move to Change Your Body

How’s your relationship with your body?

When you think of your body, do you feel supported, empowered, and nourished? Or do you feel betrayed, let down, or frustrated?

How would your body describe its relationship with you? Would it feel appreciated, loved, respected, and well-cared-for, or would it feel neglected, abused, and unwanted?

When you look at your body, does it physically reflect the status of your relationship?

Because what you have going with your body is a relationship in every sense of the word. Your relationship with your body is the longest—and most important—of your life. There is no reconciling from that divorce!

Many people have a negative catabolic relationship with their body. At best, they ignore it and at worst they are constantly critical, neglectful, and downright abusive in how they treat it. How long would a person stay healthy in a relationship like that? Is it any wonder it begins showing up overweight, aching, and breaking down with illness?

Who do you think started that catabolic relationship—you or your body? Unless you were born with a condition, chances are you hurled the first insult—whether a verbal assault, or less than nourishing food, or lack-of or too-extreme movement.

The good news is you have the power to create a better relationship. In fact, you have total control over the quality and type of relationship you have. It can be wonderful, loving, supportive, and fun—or not—all depending on what you do consistently from this moment forward.

But it is you that must first change for your body to show up differently. Regardless of the physical condition you’re in, you have to decide you want to reconcile, and examine your reasons why you want to call a truce to the war.

And then begin doing what you would do in any relationship to repair the damage. You might begin shifting the words you use when examining, or talking to or about your body. Instead of being critical, look for things to compliment.

Look for all the ways it’s supporting you, instead of focusing on all the ways it’s letting you down. Become more aware of what you’re feeding it, and begin to choose more nourishing foods. Pay attention to how much you move it—is it enough or too much? It will tell you what it needs if you will begin to listen.

Trust that your body wants nothing more than to have a positive anabolic relationship with you, and will knock itself out to respond to this change in relationship. But if the abuse has been going on for some time, be patient. While the changes will begin happening immediately, you may not see the difference for a little bit. It took time to get where you are and it will take a little time to get to where you want to be.

What would be the benefits of changing your relationship with your body? How different would you feel if you treated your body the way you want to be treated? What difference would that make to your health and well-being?

Together we can do it!

Do You Need That to Be Healthful?

nour•ish \ˈnər-ish, ˈnə-rish\ verb

nour•ish•es; nour•ished; nour•ish•ing

[+ obj] 1 : to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, be healthy, etc.

▪ Plants are nourished [=fed] by rain and soil. ▪ Vitamins are added to the shampoo to nourish the hair. ▪ a well-nourished baby

2 : to cause (something) to develop or grow stronger

▪ a friendship nourished by trust ▪ Her parents nourished [=supported] her musical talent.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

How well-nourished are you? I’m not just asking about your diet, but am including your mind, emotions, and soul.

For many, nourishment may not be something they think about at all. For some, nutrition is what comes to mind. There are few of us who can claim to be well-nourished in all areas of our lives.

But if you think about the difference nourishing food can make to your body, just imagine what would happen if you also consciously nourished your mind with information, ideas, and even entertainment that enhanced your knowledge, awareness, and clarity?

Imagine nourishing relationships that are easy, loving, satisfying, and fun? Imagine nourishing spiritual practices that lead to richer, fuller, and more fulfilling life experiences? Imagine nourishing activities (such as work!) that are fun, interesting, and exciting?

What did you do yesterday? How much of that nourished you—body, mind, and spirit? How much of it drained or depleted you?

What are you doing today? How much of what you have on your to-do list is nourishing? What do your choices mean for the overall quality of your life? What choices would you need to make to be truly well-nourished?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Eleven Tips for Making the Shift to Healthier-Eating

I used to think that eating healthy meant deprivation. It meant suffering through bland food until I could meet my weight-loss goal and resume my normal eating habits.

As I learned from experience, suffering through a diet only to resume your old eating habits is a recipe for regaining all the weight you just lost—plus some. To be truly successful, eating healthy has to become a way of life.

While you can still eat delicious foods, the primary shift is that you will be making different choices about what you eat when you are striving to be leaner and healthier.

Here are 11 tips for making the shift to healthier-eating easier:

1. Instead of focusing on all the foods you can’t eat, concentrate on all the foods you can.

2. Fully appreciate the foods you are eating. If you are eating an orange, appreciate the farmer who planted and cared for the tree. Appreciate the sunshine, rain, and soil that helped that orange grow. Appreciate the people who picked, packaged, and shipped the orange to the store or stand where you purchased it. Appreciate the worker who put it in the display so that you could buy it, and all the people who keep that store open so that you have ready access to an abundance of food. Appreciate the color as you remove the peel, and the tangy sweet scent. Appreciate the wonderful burst of flavor on your tongue. Appreciate how it’s nourishing your body. Appreciate your body for fully receiving those nutrients and energy.

3. If your dietary plan is flexible enough, set times (perhaps once a week or once a month) when you will allow yourself to eat some of the foods that you love that aren’t on your healthier-food plan. Then fully enjoy those foods when you have them.

4. Remind yourself of all the reasons you want to be healthier. It’s helpful to write these down so that you can refer back to them often.

5. Actively learn about the food plan you are choosing. When you understand the reasons behind what you’re doing, you are more likely to stick with it.

6. Instead of focusing on how much you hate cooking or new foods, think of it as a culinary adventure or challenge that you want to master.

7. Set a goal for trying one new food or recipe a week.

8. Instead of focusing on how little time you have to prep healthy foods, make it a priority and schedule the time into your week. How can you make it fun?

9. Learn to use spices. Spices have no calories and add lots of flavor, and often important micro-nutrients.

10. Make double batches of foods that you like and freeze portion sizes for quick, healthy meals on the go.

11. Use the Internet. There are an amazing number of healthy recipes out there that you can match up with your health-goals.

How can you shift your thoughts and expectations about healthy eating from deprivation to delicious? What difference does changing what you think about what you are eating make in your ability to create a healthy lifestyle?

Together we can do it!