Tuesday, May 31, 2011

RE-BRAND, Finally!

So the re-brand is mostly complete and the new website is UP!  
I am totally excited about the new direction I'm heading and hope you will enjoy Health Confessions, as well.  Look forward to {almost} daily posts, giveaways, contests, inspiration, and more.  
Check it out, spread the word, and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

LONG break. (:

Sorry I've been MIA for so long.  I am in the process of a total re-brand and quite excited about it.  The new & improved blog/website/facebook page, etc., should launch by the end of the month or the first of April, so that's where I've been.  I promise it will be worth it & am so excited about the new direction the blog will be taking! 

Until then, stay tuned & thanks for checking in!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm Excited to announce....

You Fit's very first Giveaway!  Yay!
Head on over to Sister's Stuff {click on the name} and check it out!  
Enter to win an iPod shuffle & a box of food!
Spread the word!
Contest ends & winner announced on January 28th.
Good luck!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 on Tuesday

one. hosting a weight loss info night tonight.  Come if you can, bring a friend, send a friend, or tell a stranger! If you order a lite steamer, I'll even pay for it. (:  Jolts & Juice-upper deck, Ontario Oregon.  6:30 PM.

two. I started re-reading the Habits of Health book.  It's a good one.  Lots of stuff I already know, but need to be reminded of quite often.  For instance, this time around I'm realizing things about myself I didn't before.  Like the fact that I am a total "conflict-based motivator."  Unfortunately, this type of motivation almost never leads to lasting change.  Wanna know why?  Because:
{taken from chapter 3 of HOH}
1. Emotional conflict leads you to act. {I don't fit in my jeans-I've got to do something!}
2. Because you've acted, you feel better--even if the situation hasn't changed much.
3. Feeling better takes the pressure off, lessening the emotional conflict.
4. Less emotional conflict means there's less reason to continue doing the things that reduced the conflict in the first place.
5. Since you feel better, you no longer feel a pressing need to follow through on your actions.
6. And the original behavior returns!
This is totally the way I am.  I just realized it while reading Chapter 3 in the HOH book yesterday.  It was depressing & empowering to realize it about myself.  Now-because I realize it-I have to hold myself accountable to changing the type of motivation that motivates me. (: 

three. Go here.  Click on the bottom left-hand corner entitled, "Achieving Optimal Health video." Watch said video.  So inspiring & encouraging.  If they can do it, so can you!

four. I am pretty excited about a giveaway I will have going on next week, so keep checking in to enter to win something cool!

five. Did you know you can buy Olive Garden's salad dressing by the bottle?  Yep, you can.  I did.  And, it is pretty on par with program and decently healthy if you measure out the 2 tablespoon serving.  It pretty much makes me fall in love with my salads at home!

six. my sweet brother had my name for Christmas this year and he got me this.  Completely awesome.  We've used the magic bullet personal blender for years, but this baby is just as great if not better.  Loving the ease of making the soft serve ice cream, puddings, etc.  Yum!

seven. per number 2 {see above}, I had regressed a little in my progress.  Christmas was pretty good, but the three weeks afterward kicked my trash.  Literally.  I gained back a few pounds & felt pretty miserable about myself.  Mostly because I was maintaining at my very first goal number.  However, just previously I had also decided to kick it up a notch after the holiday's and start the 5&1 strictly again to get down to my next goal, which is 135 lbs.  This was looking attainable & I had about 10 pounds to go.  But, because I gained some weight after the holidays, it put my goal even further from my reach.  After reading about conflict & emotional based motivation, I realized a little better why I do this to myself.

eight. Started hardcore-back to the basics-back on the 5&1 yesterday and feeling great.  I really do love this program, believe in it, and think it is the real & the whole deal   With that said, I finally realize that the part that needs changing is in my head.  I definitely have an addiction-like struggle with food as far as the head part goes. I know that I can change that too though & excited to just be continuing my journey toward optimal health.

nine. It's not a secret that I LOVE this soda.  However, I know that when I drink diet pops, I crave sugar & carbs more often.  By using them as my "sweet treat," I'm usually wanting more.  So I know this habit has got to go.  It's going to be a slow process & I don't know when I'm going to wean or cut myself off completely, but at least I'm conscious of the fact that it does need to stop! (:

ten. I am not a big "resolution" setter, but I am a huge goal setter throughout the year, so I thought I'd share a couple of them with you today.  I'd love to hear yours, so feel free to email, leave a comment, or post on my facebook page {You Fit Forever} to let me know.

January Goals
-Be aware of the choices I make concerning food.  Mindlessness is the enemy.
-Keep a food journal {especially when I'm in maintenance or if I eat something off-program}
-Walk or do some other form of exercise 5 days a week for 20-30 minutes.
-Drink 100 oz. of water minimum each day

Monday, December 27, 2010

Check it out!

Wow.  I am such a believer in this program...obviously, right?!  Anyway, I saw this article today & am so impressed.  If getting in shape, losing weight, feeling better, or just becoming healthier is one of your resolutions/goals/desires/wants/needs, for 2011, contact me!  {zkyoufit@hotmail.com, 541.992.2464} It's worked for me and everyone I know who has done it.  And it works forever.  Please pass the word along to those in your life who might be interested.  And enjoy the article about a very successful woman!


Friday, December 10, 2010

You Fit Friday #6

Better late than never, right?!

This has been quite the week!  Our son had surgery Monday & that is one of the hardest things to go through as a parent...especially the part where they are taken away from you & there is nothing you can do about it.  The waiting part afterward is pretty nervewracking too!

While waiting, I was thinking about a lot of things.  One of the things I thought about was the following:

We were up super early.  We stayed at the hospital for several hours.  We traveled home after he was okayed to go home & I stayed glued to his side cuddling for the rest of the day.  And you know what?  I stayed on program.  I didn't eat vending machine food.  I didn't just not eat the whole day.  I took meals in my purse & I ate every 3 hours.  It was so awesome.  It was mindless & convenient and my blood sugar didn't spike & I felt great physically.  This was eye-opening for me that no matter what's going on, we can choose to make healthy choices.  We can be better.  We can choose health.  Anyway, it was pretty cool to me that I could be in a stressful & scary situation & still take care of myself in the least time consuming way so I could take the best care possible of my little guy.  Cool, huh?

Next topic: What are you giving for Christmas gifts this year?  To friends & family & neighbors?  I'm anxious to hear some great ideas-preferably non-food related items & ideas...but healthy options are a good thing too.  Please leave a comment & share for myself & other readers who are searching for something other than the regular sugary sweets we give each year.  

Here's the incentive:  should I choose to replicate your idea for some of my family & friends, you will receive a special prize!  Spread the word & share share share!

Friday, December 3, 2010

You Fit Friday #5

Two days ago I was reading a relative's blog and she had posted something that really got me thinking.  I thought it was profound and relates so much to what I struggle with in my relationship with food.  I totally have an inability to be still in my relationship with food & my emotions.  When I'm tired, stressed, or just too emotional, food is the thing I run away to.  I love this concept of working on being able to sit on things because we all know "things" are going to happen & I don't want to run to food for the rest of my life.  I want to be able to have & exercise my self control during those times.  So for today, ponder on the following & if it applies to any part of your life, think on how you might go about tackling & changing it.

"We're in the midst of a snow day here. 7 1/2 inches last night.
So--that means we're not going anywhere for the day. We've got enough milk, bread, and  dark chocolate to get us through (that last one is for me :) ). And of course, playing in the snow is always fun. So I'm OK with not going anywhere for a day...maybe two...but honestly, I don't think I could bare the thought of being stuck where I am for much longer than that.

And wow! if that thought didn't get me thinking this morning.

I am of the opinion that most addictive/compulsive behaviors result from the inability to be still. When you're hurt or angry or overwhelmed--can you honestly sit with those emotions without running to anything else? I know I have struggled with that all my life, being someone who FEELS so intensely as I do. In my early teenage years, I ran to alcohol (thank goodness I got that problem "fixed").  In my later teenage years to early 20's, I ran to some false sense of control I had created with anorexia. At other times in life, I have ran away to exercise, to men, to my computer, to television, to books, to shopping. Yeah. I'm OK admitting this because at least I've acknowledged this about myself and can try to keep ahead of it: I'm a runner-awayer. A cover-upper. A perfectionist. Moderation is not an easy concept for me to handle and I struggle with keeping myself away from addictive-compulsive behaviors.

I feel my 35  years have already been packed with a life or two worth of experiences. I feel like an old soul. Sometimes, I know, I even look it. So take this advice as if getting it from some wise man on a hill: Acknowledge a higher power than yourself. Obviously, for me, that is God, but I realize some people aren't quite ready to enter into a relationship with their Maker, and to them I say, find a thing you DO feel is greater than yourself, and get in contact with him/her/it. And then sit.

When everything inside you is screaming for you to get up, run away, do something, go somewhere, get rid of the discomfort...Just sit. And be still. And let that Higher Power talk to you. See if you can do it for 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. Until you reach a point where you are at peace and could sit there all day if you had to, or wanted to. Try it even when you're happy and want to eat a quart of Ben and Jerry's to celebrate or want to scream your accomplishments to the world. Just sit. Be still.

I can't always do it. It's a process that needs rediscovering and refining again and again because those trials and those temptations come hard and fast and are forever re-inventing themselves. But I know as I learn to master this process, I learn to master myself. And that's the most peaceful feeling in the world."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Come Join Us!

So Thanksgiving is over...and you may have overeaten.  It happens to lots of people.  Now you may be thinking it's time for a change.  Or, you might have done awesome & eaten really clean and now want to learn more about how to teach others how to be healthier.  Either way, come to the following event & learn more & ask questions.  Email me at zkyoufit@hotmail.com with questions or for more details:

Healthy Weight Night
Tuesday, November 30th
Jolts & Juice-Upper Deck
Ontario, Oregon
5:00 PM

Friday, November 26, 2010

You Fit Friday #4

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day!  We had a great time with my family and today is spent with the hubby's side.  If you're married & both families live close, you might be like us & have 2 actual Thanksgiving meals.  In the past that's been quite a filling experience.  This year though, I decided to stay almost 100% on program (I had 2 bites of yams & a danish my dad made-and that was enough!) and was armed with a few things to help me feel like I was getting some treats in with everyone else: sugar free cider, diet soda, etc.  It helped me a ton and I realized that it really ISN'T about the food!  Pretty powerful.

It also made me realize how much of eating for me is in the social aspect.  I found that as long as I'm eating something at the same time that everyone else is eating, I'm usually okay.  For instance: while everyone else ate a big Thanksgiving lunch with all the fixings, I ate my yummy salad with tons of veggies & some roasted turkey on the side.  But because I was eating & chewing alongside everyone else, I didn't even think about what I wasn't eating.  Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, this is a short post because it's a crazy busy weekend with family, but I wanted to end with some awesome motivation from my old high school friend.  She has done Take Shape for Life and has totally excelled (as you can see)!  I am so proud of her.  She is 5'2'' & started at 177 and is now 141!  She's still going strong, too!  I think it's completely amazing what this program can do for those who commit themselves to changing.  It's a journey, but it's a well worthwhile one.   Have a great Holiday weekend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

You Fit Friday #3

Today's topic is:


We've all experienced it.  Whether by or through another person, factors surrounding us (weekends, holiday's, etc.), or by doing it to ourselves.  Why do we sabotage ourselves or allow ourselves to be sabotaged? 

I am the absolute WORST self sabotager I know.  It's as if I think I'm undeserving of reaching my goals, so I sabotage myself just as I reach a new low, fit into a smaller size jeans, feel like I look good in the mirror, etc. etc. etc.!  So why do I {and most others} do this?  Because self sabotage is a destructive behavior that prevents one from accomplishing their goals, it's definitely something that needs addressing.  The most frustrating thing about it is that the one who is affected knows in the reasoning part of their mind that they need to make changes.  Their realistic self can say, "this is totally disgusting & unhealthy behavior" while the emotional & self sabotaging self says, "Who cares!" 

I recently asked on my You Fit Forever facebook page for other's experiences with sabotage.  I received a response from a friend that is similar to a behavior that I display often.  She said that occasionally she will eat something she perceives as bad {when in reality it may just be a small side step from her healthy eating regime} and then she feels like her whole day {and sometimes week} is shot...  Why exercise when the day is already screwed up.  Why waste healthy foods on a day that's already going downhill.  Then she proceeds to continue sabotaging herself & her efforts toward health for the rest of the day.  Totally something I do.  I'm such an all or nothing personality {yes, I realize this has to change to be truly successful} that if I cheat/mess up/eat something not on program early in the day, I often fail the rest of the day. 

I was reading up on self sabotage and came across this passage that spoke loudly to me:
"You will never overcome self sabotage if you cannot be honest with yourself about why you are doing it.  What is keeping you from focusing on your own health?  What keeps you from loving yourself enough to make YOU a priority?"
Powerful, isn't it?  In my mind I thought I was making me a priority because I was putting time & efforts into being healthier.  But by self sabotaging, I'm making it a selfish journey-one that I'll never have true & lasting success with-instead of a confidence building experience that will stretch me into a better person in every aspect of my life. 

I've been pretty good at overcoming other people's attempts-known or unknown on their parts-at sabotaging me.  Now I'm focusing on overcoming my own tendency to do this.  A couple helpful things I've found are the following:
1. Talk it out.  For the longest time I would avoid talking about my tendencies to cheat myself.  I wanted others to see me as invincible to some degree & I got away with it for the most part.  In fact, I never even talked to my husband about it and he thought I was the strongest person ever in that realm...never tempted.  Finally, I vented to him and guess what?  It helped.  A lot.  For example:  the other day we received some stressful news in regard to our business.  Not a huge deal, but one of those crazy things that comes at the wost & most unexpected times.  We were both running on high stress because of it & although we weren't irritated at each other, we were anxious to get the issue resolved and both felt the tension in the house.  I panicked & just snapped when I was alone in the kitchen.  I ate three mini brown sugar muffins that I'd made the day before for some friends.  What?  I immediately began thinking in self sabotaging terms and thought my whole day was shot & I should just keep eating to feel better.  Instead we got the problem resolved and felt the mood lighten up considerably.  I told my husband what I'd done and he said, "Okay.  So you ate three mini muffins.  You didn't 'go off the program.'  You just ate three mini muffins.  Just keep going like you normally would."  That was so empowering to think that yeah, I ate something I usually wouldn't while on the 5&1 plan.  So what?!  The growth comes from realizing that & moving on without binging, beating myself up, or continuing the sabotaging behavior. 
2. Setting mini goals.  This is huge for me.  I used to set large & lofty goals.  This is great & highly encouraged.  Now though, I also set mini goals.  Usually on a weekly scale, but sometimes day to day.  Something like, "Get 150 ounces of water every day this week before you can have any diet soda," or "Exercise five days this week for 25 minutes-try upping the intensity each time."  It becomes more like a competition with myself & I'm much more driven to reach these mini goals because they are close to me.  Right now.  Sometimes it's hard to make positive & healthy changes because eating a cheeseburger won't necessarily have a negative effect on us right now...and neither with running three miles or choosing a healthier food option.  But long term, those daily healthy choices really add up & we can become our optimally healthy selves...so the mini goals help me achieve those far out goals in a much more manageable way for me. 

Do you find yourself sabotaging or allowing others to sabotage your efforts?  I encourage you to dig deep inside yourself and find the real issues of what is going on.  Figure it out, write it down, and own it.  Start making an effort to change those negative behaviors so you can find positive results & finally free yourself to reach your goals.  I'm rooting for you & would love to hear about your experiences {zkyoufit@hotmail.com}.

Have a happy & healthy Holiday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

You Fit Friday #2

1. I wanted to share one of the concepts that has helped motivate me recently more than anything else.  That is visualization.  My husband is famous for telling me to just visualize where I want to be and I'll get there.  But I often found it hard to visualize me in a place I'd never been before.  Because I've never been smaller {that I can remember} than I am now, it was a weird feeling to think about where I could get.  It just didn't seem realistic and I wasn't sure how far to reach.  This time around though, I've been visualizing.  Recently I heard a woman speak about an experience she had.  She and her husband were set to run the Boston Marathon.  The night before the race, they headed down to the course.  Together they ran the last mile of the marathon and crossed the finish line to an invisible crowd of fans.  They celebrated as if they'd just won the race.  She said that the next morning when they ran the full 26.2 mile race, she had times where she'd get tired or feel like she couldn't keep going, but she'd visualize herself crossing that finishline and be able to keep going.  My sweet mother-in-law gave me a great incentive.  These sweet "goal jeans" that I want to fit into.  I tried them on and was close, but not quite.  They were just what I needed to give me a much needed nudge of motivation.  Instead of folding them or hanging them in my closet, I hung them right out in the open in my living room.  I pass them hundreds of times daily as I am going to & from the kitchen/pantry/office/living room, and they are doing their job.  Each time I see them I'm a little more driven & excited to reach my goals.  Whether it's jeans, your progress pictures, your written goals placed in strategic places, or a new swimsuit you want to fit into for your reward cruise, set it out where you can see it.  Try it and it might just work for you as well!

2. A friend shared something a while back that has stuck with me.  He is a trucker & is often on the road for hours at a time.   He said he does great at going on little sleep and staying alert when he's driving at night.  But the closer he gets to home, the less vigilant he becomes.  Because the terrain is so familiar, he often lets himself lose focus a little and has to remind himself that although he's close, he's not quite there yet.  It starts getting harder the closer he gets to home.  I feel the same way with our goals.  When we first start we are energized, motivated, and generally have a pretty big road ahead of us.  But the closer we get to our goals, the harder it gets to stay on task & keep our focus.  It can be done though, and that ties into #1.  That "close to home" feeling we get when we're almost there can be turned around into a positive rather than a negative.  Because we're so close we need to be even more vigilant than before so we can just finish what we started & feel the reinforcement that comes from doing what we set out to do!  Another HUGE help to me is keeping a food journal.  When I write things down, I am less likely to stick unhealthy things in my mouth. When I don't keep track, I often fill myself before realizing how much I've taken in. 

3. Lastly, I wanted to share some helpful holiday tips from Dr. Andersen & his wife, Lori.  The most important thing obviously, is to just decide beforehand what you're going to do.  Are you going to stay on program or stick with healthy choices?  Or are you going to splurge and have a piece of pie? 3 bites of each dish?  Just lean & green with 1 small serving of dessert?  Whatever it is, decide beforehand and don't let yourself be blindsided!  Most of all, remember that these Holiday's are best spent relishing the time with family & friends rather than food.  Focus on your relationships and stay as strong as you can while still maintaining a positive attitude!

Here are a few tips you can use when you are attending parties and giving gifts:
  • Don’t go hungry-try eating a Medifast meal or part of your Lean and Green prior to arriving at the party. This will help curb your appetite.
  • If you are invited to a party, which happens to be a potluck, this is a great opportunity to bring a healthy meal, that also fits with the TSFL program
  • You can check out our Lean and Green cookbook for some tasty ideas.
  • When you arrive at the party-and you want to partake or try food, use the smallest plate with healthy choices.
  • Be mindful of your Healthy Choices, fresh vegetables, lean proteins and salad.
  • Limit or skip foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value.
  • What happens when you are the host/hostess?? There are many tempting opportunities to “graze” when packing up leftovers.   Divide left overs into Lean & Green meals. Allow someone else to pack up the left overs and you offer to wash the dishes.
  • Develop a Plan of Action for Surviving an Event: Identify your personal barriers and strategy, write it down.
  • Take time for yourself!!  This is a very busy time to the year for people, take time to exercise and keep your body moving. Just taking a walk can give you that alone time you need to get your body moving and regroup.
  • In advance ask your family and friends to forgo food gifts. Examples: wine, cheese, candies. Other suggestions would be donations in your name to charities, gift cards or opting out of gifts. You may say this year, let’s get together and start a new tradition in giving to someone else.
Also a couple ideas I (Karli) gave to my clients were the following:
-Take three bites of every dish you want but don't want a full serving of.  The first three bites of anything are the most satisfying to our taste buds & this will satisfy your craving and help you not feel left out, but also keep you from indulging in many un-needed calories.
-Stick with the program and eat 2-3 hours before the "big meal."  Choose options at dinner or lunch that go along with your lean & green.  Then pick what you want more than anything that day and have one serving of that.  For instance, keep on program 100% and then have 1 slice of pumpkin pie as your treat.  Then just get right back on track as usual.
-Take gum, flavored water, or diet soda or tea to sip on before/during/after the event.  Fill yourself up with non-caloric beverages and enjoy chatting with friends. 

Good luck!  If you have any tips to share, please feel free!

Friday, November 5, 2010

You Fit Friday

Because this blog has been completely neglected, I've decided to start doing You Fit Friday posts.  They will be a hodge podge of things & will most likely contain different topics/recipes/debates, etc. each week.  This way you can know to check the blog each Friday and find something new! 

Today I'm doing a 5 on Friday theme:

1. Awesome article found HERE.  Totally cool to see Medifast at #1 on such a prestigious list...and to know it's largely in part because of their partnering with Take Shape for Life as the coaching arm of their company.  So so cool!

2. Ever wondered what the heck to do with brussel sprouts to make them taste edible?  I actually like them, but my husband & many other people I've talked to don't...so, I set out on a mission to find a great recipe for them.  And, it turned out to be super simple!  And, delicious.  Yes, they even passed the husband test.  Try them out for yourself!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
-Set oven to 400 degrees
-Mix brussel sprouts in gallon size baggie or bowl with 1 T. olive oil, salt & pepper, and garlic salt.
-Spread sprouts out on a pam-sprayed cookie sheet
-Sprinkle with a little extra salt
-Roast in oven for 40 minutes
-Check, shake around on pan, roast an additional 10-20 minutes.  Delish!

3.  Each month TSFL sends out a great Healthy Habits E-Newsletter.  If you are interested in receiving this awesome informational health newsletter, let me know {zkyoufit@hotmail.com} and I'll add you to the send-out list.  This month's letter had some great

4.  If you're on Facebook, definitely check out my new page: You Fit Forever.  Be the 100th person to "like" it and you win a free box of food.  Spread the word & encourage your friends to like it too because the 250th person gets something bigger...and if they aren't a personal friend of mine, the person who referred them to me gets a prize as well!

5. Lori Andersen is an incredible resource in the Take Shape for Life world {she's the wife of Dr. Andersen-author of Habits of Health}and I took the following from her blog post a  couple weeks ago.  I relate to this so much as I often use my emotional brain in instances where I should use my rational one.  Can you relate?  I know it's a little reading, but you won't be hearing from me for another week, & trust me, it's worth it.

"Why did I do that?...What was I thinking??"
"A simple way to look at this question is to understand two distinct parts of our brain that are responsible for two distinct types of thinking.  One part of your brain, known as the Limbic system, makes decisions based on emotions, and focuses on the quickest, easiest way to solve a problem.  Another part of your brain, known as the pre-frontal cortex, makes decisions based on logic, and looks for long-term solutions.   Let’s move away from discussion of the physical brain structure, and simply refer to what the brain does… it’s functions.

THE Theory of TWO BRAINS…as mentioned earlier… two different parts of your brain, serve two different functions… we’ll refer to them as the RATIONAL BRAIN and the EMOTIONAL BRAIN:
  1. Your Rational BRAIN: Uses logic and is responsible for Planned Behavior; is factually based;  considers Long-term consequences; is more “Parent”- like …and is “willing to wait”
  2. Your Emotional BRAIN: Uses feeling/emotions, and is responsible is responsible for Impulsive/compulsive behaviors; considers fulfilling Immediate needs/desires;  is more “Child”-like… and wants WHAT IT wants… NOW!
Why DO we sometimes behave in ways that are not in our own best interest?
Usually, when we are making a decision, or solving a problem, we get input from both parts of our brain (both the Rational BRAIN and Emotional BRAIN make a contribution). Depending on our current mood, or the situation, we may follow the lead of one part of our brain… over the other.
The Emotional BRAIN has a distinct advantage in that it can come up with answers very quickly.  Whereas, the Rational BRAIN is more methodical and deliberate, offering answers only after careful consideration of the consequences.  So as it turns out, the “first” answer to pop into our head is often offered up by the Emotional BRAIN.
When the Emotional BRAIN dominates the decision making process, we will make decisions based on the quickest and easiest way to solve a problem.  Later, after the fact, our Rational BRAIN “kicks in” and asks “Why did I do that… what was I thinking?”  Have you ever experienced anything like this? …most of us have.
Which BRAIN are you using to make decisions about EATING?
Of course, some decisions are best left to the Emotional BRAIN: when we are being spontaneous, or need an immediate answer.  However, the Emotional BRAIN can also get us into trouble.  Sometimes when we make a decision, based on the quickest/easiest solution… we later regret that decision.  The challenge is controlling which BRAIN, makes which decisions.
Like any thought or thinking process, the more we think in a certain way, the easier and faster that way of thinking becomes.  We form “habitual” ways of thinking.  This can be a problem when we are in the “habit” of using our Emotional BRAIN to make decisions that have long-term consequences.  If we use our Emotional BRAIN to make too many decisions about what to eat, this can have a long-term impact on our weight.
When we use our Rational BRAIN to make decisions about what to eat, we are likely to get better long-term results. The Rational BRAIN is not interested in the quickest/easiest solution: it is interested in long-term consequences.  Using this way of thinking to make decisions about what to eat (like any thought or thinking process); can be developed into a habit.  Developing the HABIT, of making rational eating choices
Practice asking yourself these questions, before you put anything into your mouth:
  • Which BRAIN am I using right now (Rational or Emotional)?
  • Is eating this… in MY best long-term interest?
  • If I eat this… how will I feel an hour from now?
  • How will I feel tomorrow, about the decision I am about to make?
  • How will I feel a year from now, if I continue to make decisions like this?
  • How will you feel TWO years from now, if you continue to make decisions like this?
Practice listening to the Rational BRAIN, before taking action.  Practice NOT acting on the “first” idea/solution that pops-up… give careful consideration to these questions before you act.
Watch Your Language: Developing a Healthy Inner Dialogue
We ALL talk to ourselves: we have an “Internal Dialogue”.  We’re continuously asking ourselves questions; making comments to ourselves; talking things through, to make decisions.  The language we use, during these “discussions”, may be helpful, or MAY be hurtful.  Please, pay attention to the kind of language you use, when you are having an internal discussion.
You cannot win the battle if your enemy has outposts in your head!
If the majority of your Internal Dialogue is negative, and you use strong language, you may be talking yourself into a very negative place. Monitor the language you use; monitor the “tone” of your words; monitor the kind of questions you ask yourself.  Some of us have gotten into the HABIT of speaking to ourselves quite harshly… almost in a punishing way.  As if, we speak harshly enough to ourselves… that will make things BETTER?
A good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t say certain things aloud to your best friend, don’t say them silently to yourself.  Listen to the way you talk to yourself… would you talk to your best friend like that?
When you DO talk with your best friend, you are probably supportive, patient and compassionate… why not extend this type of dialogue to yourself?  Make every effort to “speak to yourself”, in a way that is supportive and patient… and shows that you care…
Have fun with this… as you monitor, and re-phrase as necessary, notice how differently you feel… when you talk with yourself like YOU… are your OWN best friend…"

Monday, September 6, 2010

What's your trigger?

We've all heard of triggers, right? Certain times of day or moods you hit that make you want to eat anything & everything in sight?  Have you discovered what yours are?  

For the longest time I thought I had myself pegged in this area.  I used the cop-out phrase, "I am an emotional eater.  I use food for comfort..."  Well, duh, doesn't everyone?  This was also a convenient justification to explain away any and all food related trasngressions: 

"I was so sad because my favorite show was canceled & I just kept eating that whole bag of chips!"
"I had the worst headache from being so stressed I had to eat those 3 donuts from M&W!"
"I'm just always snacking between these times" {When I wake up to when I go to sleep!}
"Got in a fight with my husband and I was so mad, so I ate a whole pan of lemon bars."
"My sister got engaged and I had to celebrate with her by eating 3 cups of ice cream because we were so excited!"

...and the list goes on & on!  Anytime I'd completely jump off the semi-healthy bandwagon, I'd blame or justify it on some emotion.  Every single time.  Never really stopping to think about why I was really eating what I was, or what my real & true triggers were.  

This time around, I've been paying attention.  And I've discovered some interesting things. 

Each time I've been really tempted to cheat-or the times I've given in and cheated (taking full responsibility while doing it & then feeling totally crappy after!), I've taken note of what I'm feeling, thinking, doing, and what circumstances are in my life and around me at that time.  And, I've been journaling.  In the past, I haven't documented during those cheat periods of time because I don't think I wanted to face up & take notice...and mostly I'm not sure I wanted to change!  Now though, I'm ready to kick myself in the rear-end and figure it out-and become better prepared to face my personal triggers & kick them in the butt too!

I've determined that my two biggest triggers are:
1.  Being Tired
2. Feeling overconfident

Surprising?  To me they were.  I had NEVER attached being overly tired to binging, overeating, or just plain junk-food eating.  Nor had I seen any correlation between feeling good about myself and choosing to eat junk.  It's the truth though.  This past month and a half or so, I've struggled to be 100% on the program-in mind, body, spirit, and choices-and I've also been extremely sleep deprived.  Having two small kids does that to a person anyway, and I've always enjoyed time with my husband after our kids are in bed, but it's been extreme lately.  We haven't been to bed before 11:30 (and usually much later) more than 3 times in the past 45 days.  Add to that the fact that I'm up with one or both boys at least 1-2 times a night, and don't get a nap during the day and that leads to one tired mama!  I've definitely noticed this being a HUGE trigger in my desire to eat non-nutritious food.  Secondly, lately people have been complimenting me.  I'm getting close to my goal and am feeling pretty good.  I am enjoying clothes shopping and trying on smaller sizes...and just feeling confident in the clothes I do have.  However, I've noticed that the days I struggle are usually the days I've been noticing how much my body is changing, someone compliments me, I reach a new personal best in weight/size, etc., or I get a great workout in.  Crazy, huh?  This phenomenon will be addressed in my next post, so stay tuned!

For now though, try it out yourself.  Be more present in your food situations.  Be aware of what you're feeding yourself and when.  Write down what's happening in your life and how you're feeling before you eat, while you eat, and afterward.  Pay attention when something like that experience happens again and make yourself busy so you're not tempted to give in again.  Make each trigger experience less painful & less heavy.  Keep track & kick those triggers in the butt!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On or Off

TSFL has an awesome resource available to people who are using their program.  It's called Support in Motion.  I am a huge advocate & believer in the power that comes from journaling-and always have more success myself when I write down what I eat each day.  For the past 8 years, I've kept a food journal about 85% of the time.  I have many different sizes & colors of notebooks filled with what & when I ate certain foods.  It's guaranteed that the times I was feeling good & reaching my goals, I was also keeping a food journal.  Accountability-even to ourselves-holds us to a higher standard & helps us become more fully able to accomplish our goals. 

Support in Motion is essentially a glorified food journal.  You keep track of what you eat each day, but also have the capability of journaling how you felt, keeping track of your exercise, logging your weight/measurements, etc., and also joining & reading the community member boards.  There are many helpful topics pertaining to the Take Shape for Life program and I started reading a thread about people who have a hard time getting back on the program after they go off (before they reach their ultimate goal). 

One person said something that struck a chord within me and had me thinking for a long time after.  She said she had been struggling with this herself and she talked to her coach about it.  Her coach said, "You're either on the program or you're off."  Simple as that.  She then said that after she'd heard that, she evaluated her behaviors and how she'd been acting.  When honest with herself, she realized she'd been off the program for about a month. 

This resonated so deeply with me because July was quite an off month for me if I was being honest with myself.  I got kind of hung up on a few things in my mind & lost focus for a while.  I started making small off decisions; I let myself snack a bit when I shouldn't have, didn't take care of myself by getting enough sleep, didn't start exercising regularly, drank less water & more diet coke, and just made some bad-albeit conscious-decisions about food.  I recognized I'd been telling myself I was doing all I could, when I really wasn't.  I needed to recommit & re-decide to be fully on the program or off of it, but I couldn't be both & I needed to make a decision one way or the other.  I decided that night to be on and August started off with a bang again.  July wasn't my biggest losing month (only 5 pounds the whole month), but it may have been my greatest learning month yet and that makes it pretty valuable. 

Decide today to be on or off, but don't straddle the fence or do it halfheartedly.  Just go full force & do it!  I promise you'll see results & your hard work will pay off.  And if-like me-you have one of my July months in August, recommit yourself for September {or even better, for tomorrow!} and get back on track.  And remember, if you want to be somewhere specific in a year, you have to do something about it today!