Slow and Steady Wins the Weight-Loss Race—For Good!

RHow are those New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight coming? Are you still plugging away? Can you feel them starting to waiver? Or have they been put aside to show up on next year’s list?

One of the things that can cause people to pass on meeting their wellness goals is the overwhelming feeling that can come from trying to go from holiday-treat-eating coach-potato to food-measuring athlete all at once.

There really is no rule that says you have to change all of your behaviors at once to succeed.

I didn’t.

Four years ago, for various reasons I went from a runner to a walker to not doing any exercise at all. During that period of inactivity, I didn’t curb my eating and pretty quickly reached my heaviest weightever.

I found myself starting over with exercise and losing weight—again. And it did NOT feel good.

While I hated where I was, I just couldn’t seem to find the energy to get out of bed and move.

So what changed? How did I get going?

I first started mentally preparing.

These mental preparations did include mentally visualizing me moving my body, but most importantly,they were a conscious effort to change my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

You see, I was spending a whole lot of my mental energy feeling like a failure.

Here I was in this place of starting over—again! I knew how to diet and exercise, yet, I had failed. Surly this meant I was a weak person, or a slacker, or was somehow inherently flawed.

Those beliefs were not getting me anywhere. In fact, they were keeping me stuck in the spiral of shame and self-loathing that I thought losing weight would fix. But that very shame and self-loathing made it nearly impossible to force-start a new diet and exercise program.

And I was struggling with thoughts and beliefs about how hard working out was going to be, and how much hunger and deprivation I was going to have to endure. I was dreading it. These kinds of thoughts were NOT conducive to starting a successful diet and exercise program.

It was important to take the time to mentally prepare for where I wanted to go.

Action is great, but if you don’t have your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs aligned behind it, it’s not going to create sustainable results.

Part of that mental preparation was gently letting go of the idea that I was somehow a failure. Was I really? I did know what to do. In fact, I was so mentally disciplined that numerous times I had forcedmyself to push past a wall of negative energy to Make Things Happen.

What mattered was my belief in myself. What mattered was that I knew Who I was and what I could accomplish.

Changing those underlying thoughts brought a sense of relief that was enough to begin to shift the momentum of energy in my favor.

Another part of my mental preparation was to think about all the reasons I did want to be slim, fit, and healthy. To imagine how good that would feel.

I took my reasons a lot deeper than just looking good in a pair of jeans. I wanted to fully live a vibrantand fulfilling life. A part of me felt like I wasn’t living up to my full potential. I wasn’t consistently showing up in relationships as the person I wanted to be.  I wasn’t accomplishing everything I wanted to accomplish. I wasn’t showing up in my life as who I knew I intended.

Having physical health, energy, and stamina was critical to be able to step out as the Me I truly wanted to be.

And the final piece of mental preparation?

I reached out for support. Having someone there to confirm that I wasn’t a failure or a slacker, and to tell me that they “knew I could do it” was what tipped the energetic scale enough that I was able to get out of bed on that chilly morning and move!

But that movement would have been a joke to some people. What I considered a huge success was just 10 minutes of any kind of physical movement. Seriously, I counted everything! Counting and celebrating each tiny sign of success continued to build the energetic momentum towards achieving my goals.

And it wasn’t until I was consistently meeting my physical goals that I started thinking about the slow and steady changes I could make with my eating.

The daily mental preparation continued to be critical to my achieving my success. It was the wind that helped me get airborne and support me as I flew.

It was—and continues to be—the critical factor in how I have easily maintained a size 6 now for the past several years.

Yes, it took me a year to lose 34 pounds and get back into great shape. So what?

At the end of that year I was a lot happier having slowly and steadily made those small decisions towards a healthier lifestyle than to try to do too much at once and give up, only to be faced with the same goal and results a year later.

And now several years later, I can tell you taking it slow and steady was totally worth it!

It was that slow and steady, inside out approach that led to sustainable results.

What small mental shift can you make today that will move you towards a healthier lifestyle? Do that for a week and then look for another tiny step to make. Do that consistently and you will build momentum and achieve your goals.

Do that consistently and next January 1 you will be celebrating your success rather than being faced with the disheartening decision to put Losing Weight on your list of New Year’s Resolutions—again.

Together we can do it!

Don’t Wait Until Next Year to Get the Body You Want!

Join the the Love Your Way Slim Coaching Program today! 

This unique program transforms your mindset, integrates your core values and spiritual beliefs, provides exceptional support, and hones in on the most powerful actions you can take to make releasing the weight not only easy and satisfying—but fun! (Yes, it really is possible!)

FIND OUT MORE HERE

Program closes January 12, 2013. It won’t reopen until January 2014!

http://loveyourwayslim.com/coaching-program/

Take Care of You to Take Care of Others

15837s3rsga1hfaYesterday’s events in Connecticut may have left you reeling emotionally.

While it may feel selfish, now more than ever you need to focus on your own self-care.

This includes gently moving your body, getting enough rest, reaching for some highly nutritious foods, and taking some quiet time for meditation, prayer, or reflection.

And the number one thing you can do for your own wellness?

Ask for the support you need.

  • You may want to go it alone.
  • You may not feel comfortable asking for help.
  • You may be embarrassed by your emotions.

Much of holiday stress is feeling like you are in this alone.

And that’s a really tough, and painful road.

This is not the time to tough it out by yourself.

Study after study shows that having at least one person support you in meeting your wellness goals will dramatically increase your chances of success.

Having support helps you:

  • Normalize what you’re going through—You realize that everyone gets emotionally stressed, overwhelmed, overeats, and has moments of weakness. You are not a failure or a freak.
  • Notice and honor what you are doing for your self-care—Having someone to share the positive steps you are taking helps keep you motivated to take more steps.
  • Problem solve— You’ve got someone on your side who can see your situation more objectively and can help you brainstorm ways around any obstacles.
  • Re-find your inner peace—going it alone makes it easier to get caught in the negative thought spiral going on in your head. Having support helps break the inner patterns enabling you to refocus on the present and the blessings you have in your life.

Where can you find help?

  • Ask a friend or family member—Choose someone who is consistently positive, good at problem solving, and will be uplifting and inspiring.
  • Join a group—There are a number of on-line and in-person support groups. One such site is transformation.com. This incredible free community recognizes that emotions play a big role in wellness.
  • Hire a coach—Consider working one-on-one with a certified professional health or wellness coach who can help you stay focused on your self-care.
  • Go to a counselor–If your fear and grief are so intense that you are having trouble functioning, seek out the help of a professional counselor or therapist.

Taking care of yourself no matter what enables you to take care of others.

And if you have the inner resources to give, reach out to someone and offer unconditional support and encouragement—even love. The result is you both feel better—body, mind and spirit.

What can you do this weekend to reach out for—or give—support?

Having at least one person helping to cheer you on, boost morale, and problem solve will make it easier to take care of you, even in the face of really difficult circumstances.

Together we can do it!

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My blog is moving to my new website LoveYourWaySlim.com. For the next month, I will post both here and there. To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Who’s Helping You Reach Your Goals?

You may want to go it alone.

You may not feel comfortable asking for help.

You may be embarrassed that you aren’t perfect.

But study after study shows that having at least one person support you in meeting your wellness goals will dramatically increase your chances of success.

Having a wellness partner or joining a support group helps:

  • Normalize what you’re going through—You realize that everyone has cravings, gets frustrated by the numbers on the scale, and has moments of weakness. You are not a failure or a freak.
  • Cheer you on—Noticing and celebrating every sign of progress builds momentum towards successfully meeting your goals. Having someone to share these with helps keep you motivated.
  • Boost morale—Having someone to turn to when you are fighting a craving or to help you get back up if you do stumble is powerful. The only failure is not picking yourself back up and keep going.
  • Problem solve—When you are focused on the problem, it can be almost impossible to see even obvious solutions. Having someone on your side who can see the situation more objectively can help you brainstorm ways around any obstacles.
  • Make the journey more fun—going it alone makes it easier to get caught in the negative thought spiral going on in your head. Having a partner helps break the inner patterns so that achieving your wellness goals is more enjoyable.

But where can you find help?

  • Ask a friend or family member—Choose someone who is consistently positive, good at problem solving, and will be uplifting and inspiring.
  • Join a group—There are a number of on-line and in-person support groups. A few places to look include: transformation.com, beachbody.com, Weight Watchers, your local hospital, or a community group. Pick a group that does more than just air problems. Look for a focus on celebrating successes, problem solving, and offering encouragement.
  • Hire a coach—Consider working one-on-one with a certified professional health or wellness coach who is goal and success focused, and that will come up with an individualized plan to help you break through any thoughts, beliefs, or patterns that are literally weighing you down.

What can you do today to reach out for support? How will having at least one person helping to cheer you on, boost morale, and problem solve make it easier to meet your goals?

Together we can do it!

Satisfy the Craving Without the Food

How do you think that the experience of eating a piece of cake will make you feel?

Yes, I know it will feel good, but be specific.

Satisfied? Content? Comforted? Connected with others who are eating it? Loved?

Overeating is often an attempt to find the love you crave and fill the void your are feeling in your heart and soul with food. It is looking in the wrong place to feel satisfied, content, comforted, connected, and loved.

What if you could easily get the feelings you really want from eating that piece of cake without ever having to lift a bite to your mouth? What if the feelings were more delicious than any piece of cake could possibly be? And what if those feelings inspired action that made your wellness goals faster, easier, and more fun to achieve?

Would you be willing to give it a try? Would you be willing to spend just a few minutes a day to get it? Would you be willing to look for and notice the changes you are experiencing so you can keep building on your success?

Would you be willing to let it be that simple?

If so, keep reading!

Now imagine yourself having achieved your wellness goal.

How does that feel? (Remember, be specific and feel it right now!)

It might be something like:

“Being 10 pounds lighter makes me feel confident. It makes me feel attractive. It makes me feel strong and beautiful. It feels invigorating and it makes me want to give my workout my all. It feels satisfying to slip on my jeans and have them be comfortable, and to know that I look good. It feels like being energized and alive. It feels healthy. It feels like confidence in the choices I’m making. It feels like being connected to my Higher Self. It feels like being who I am meant to be. It feels like being relaxed and confident in my body. It feels like appreciation for how hard my body is working on my behalf in ways that take no effort from me. My heart is pumping, my blood is flowing, I am breathing in and out, my immune system and metabolism are functioning beautifully. It feels like appreciation for all the healthy food I have eaten and the workouts I have gotten in, and for how amazingly my body has responded. It feels like satisfaction. It feels like contentment. It feels like love.”

Doesn’t’ that feel delicious? Doesn’t’ that feel way better than you feel when you eat a piece of cake? Doesn’t that feel even better than it felt when you were 10 pounds lighter? Don’t you now know that the apple will taste better and feel better than a piece of cake? Don’t you want to go move your body and give your workout your all?

That’s how easy it is to feel that way right now.

Practice that feeling. And reach for it when you start to feel tempted to give into a craving. Practice it before a workout. Practice it before you eat your healthy meal. Practice it going to sleep every night. Practice it when you wake up.

Can you feel how much easier it is to meet your wellness goals?

Together we can do it!

Keeping Yourself on Track When You Have Been Less Than Perfect

My eating has been less than perfect this week. It hasn’t been horrible, but it hasn’t been spot on, either.

What I love reflecting on is that in the fairly recent past, not being perfect would have meant giving up altogether. My thinking would have been along the lines of, “I’ve blown it,” followed by a lot of really harsh self-criticism that would have resulted in regaining the weight I had just lost.

That old negative, catabolic assault on my mind, body, and spirit felt terrible! It truly was verbal abuse inflicted on myself. I’m so glad I don’t do that anymore!

But this morning, I became aware of a slight undercurrent of catabolic thoughts and feelings (guilt) resulting from a few higher calorie food choices.

Since I am aware of it, I’m going to address it right here and right now.

The main thing I want to remind myself is that optimal wellness is about taking care of me for the long-run.

While I have set some goals for an 18-week transformation challenge, my wellness goals will not end there. I do not have to be perfect to meet my short and long-term goals. What matters most is that I am making progress, and I am definitely doing that.

Yesterday is done. Forget about it. Focus on the choices I am making today. Yes, this weekend will be challenging being with my folks, traveling, and it being my husband’s birthday, but I have the skills and determination to make the best possible choices—and still allow myself to have a good time and truly appreciate what I am eating. As Tony Horton says, “I will do my best and forget the rest.”

And I am doing a great job of getting my workouts in, and my slight splurges have not been nutritionally out there. It’s important to give myself credit where credit is due.

I definitely have the ability to make good decisions about what, when, and how much I am eating—and can follow through with those decisions. One thing I know for sure is that consistently making those small decisions to eat healthy foods and move my body pays off so much. There is not much I love more than physically feeling good and being in alignment mind, body, and spirit.

After this little talk, I feel a huge surge of anabolic energy that I can use to help stay on track this weekend. If I am less than perfect, what’s important is to be aware of and minimize the catabolic self-talk.

Paying attention to my thoughts impacts my feelings, which absolutely results in actions that are either taking me towards my goals or away from them.

Has this example of my internal dialogue been helpful for you? What are the things you do to get yourself back on track when you have been less than perfect? How does that help you reach your goals?

Together we can do it!

 

 

Photo by Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Connecting Spirit to Mind and Body

Mind Body SpiritWe’ve all heard of the mind, body, spirit, connection, but how much spiritual energy do you bring to your wellness goals? Do you make the connection between optimal wellness and your sense of life purpose and meaning?

For most people, the answer is not so much. Wellness, to many, is about diet and exercise.

This makes perfect sense, when you think about it. We can easily see the connection between doing physical things and the impact it has on our physical body. For example, the fewer calories you take in and the more calories you use typically results in a reduction in weight.

Only, for most people, it’s not that easy. There wouldn’t be millions spent on diets and workout gadgets if it were.

One of the reasons it is so challenging is that if people don’t feel a purpose in what they’re doing, or it’s not in some way connected to their values, they aren’t going to take much positive action. Without engaging spiritual energy, people may even take counter-action to sabotage themselves.

I’m sure no dieters out there can identify with having a hard time sticking to a food plan, or bingeing, or just plain giving up.

Tapping into your spiritual energy is about connecting what you are doing to create optimal wellness (diet and exercise) with Who you believe you are, and how your purpose, vision, goals, values, and desires affect it.

The more you integrate your inner beliefs and purpose with your actions, the more spiritual energy you will have to succeed.

One of the ways that I tap into spiritual energy is that I believe my body is a gift for which it is appropriate to be grateful. While it is mine to create as I wish—and every creation is beautiful—I believe that enabling my body to function optimally fully allows me to express my authentic best and be more fully Who I am meant to be.

After all, how well can you serve or take care of others if you have no physical energy to give? How well can you create the life of your dreams if you don’t feel physically well?

What personal values might you express or honor when you eat healthy foods and exercise? How do your beliefs and values about your body affect how you take care of it? How does your desire to make a contribution impact your choices? How might tapping into spiritual energy help you meet your wellness goals?

Together we can do it!

Photo by kongsky / FreeDigitalPhotos.net