Friday, December 7, 2012

Do something Friday -- Priorities

Hi, all!

It's with very mixed emotions that I am here to tell you this will be the last post for the Eating Coach blog.  After just under 1000 posts, it's time for me to pull back and retool a little bit.

We've talked before about the importance of priorities and recognizing competing responsibilities in our lives -- how sometimes active weight lose needs to be put in the back seat because life happens and something else takes the front seat -- well...that's where I find myself.  These days, I am doing a LOT more social media posting for my Fitness Center** and for the Borgess Athletic Performance blog.  All of that is keeping me HOPPING!

I appreciate all of you spending time with me!  It has been fun to connect with you!  I hope you've gotten value out of some of the posts I've written :)

If you're interested, I'll still be around.  I'm thinking I will reactivate my other blog after the holidays but won't be committing to post there everyday-- just when I find things that are interesting (to me at least).

I wish you all a super Holiday Season with friends, family, and yes....great food (mindfully eaten)!


**I don't sign my posts for the FC but because you know me so well by now, I bet you'll be able to guess which ones are mine :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bad Things Happen

Even though we struggle to doing the right things....all the time...effortlessly...sometimes we drop the ball.

Or the ball gets knocked out of our hands by well meaning friends, getting sick, a wonderful new promotion, baby, or some other unexpectedness that life throws at us.

The train goes off the rails despite our best of intentions.

"Yet we mend. And then we can look back and laugh, smile, and think of all those little things that seemed like errors…but somehow, they were seeds for smiles we hadn’t yet recognized."

We live through the situations that test us.  We learn.  We find new and better ways to deal so next time something similar happens, we have skills to draw on (and we start the whole cycle over again).

We are meant to struggle because we'd never evolve as people without the struggle.  I know you probably don't count your weight as the blessing that it is but maybe you should.  You're learning and growing (seriously, don't make that face....I meant emotionally growing and you know it ;)

Embrace the struggle and the lessons you learn -- they mean you're alive!  And, especially this time of year, we should be grateful for all of our blessings....not just the ones that come easy.

**the quote is from Erika's Thanksgiving post -- no swearing in this one although the title may give you pause.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Exercising for the Right Reasons

Here's one of the better explainations of exercise I've ever read -- hope you enjoy1!

Are You Exercising for the Right Reasons?

When most people set out to get some exercise, it's for one reason: to look better. Whether our end goal is weight loss, toning up, or building muscle, we tend to be motivated to exercise by external benefits. However, recent research on willpower hints that this external focus may be counterproductive to our overall success.

The theory is this: Our willpower is an exhaustible resource; we have a certain amount, but it does get used up over the course of the day. Think of it as a bank account that you tap into, as you try to make choices that differ from what you really want to do in order to achieve your weight loss goals:

Order the skinny latte instead of the regular with whip, 10 willpower points.

Eat your home-packed lunch instead of hitting the drive-through, 15 willpower points.

Snack on an apple rather than a bag of chips from the vending machine, 20 willpower points.

It may not take long to end up with a low balance in your willpower bank account, and not have enough energy to resist that tub of ice cream calling your name. And here's the rub: Some researchers speculate that exercising for external reasons only—that is, to lose weight—taps into your willpower bank account much more than exercising for internal reasons, such as relieving stress.

You've probably witnessed this happening. Consider the friend who orders dessert because she "earned it" by going to step class, for example. It's this type of self-sabotage that derails weight loss, no matter how good your intentions.

The trick is to find those internal motivations to exercise, so you actually want to do it, regardless of the external outcomes. Working out should be something you do to be happy, not skinny.

Of course, we've all heard that in order to be consistent with exercise, we should find something we actually enjoy doing. What goes unsaid, however, is that when you first try something, you aren't very good at that thing, so it likely won't be enjoyable. Someone who loves yoga probably didn't love it from day one, when she was awkwardly fumbling through poses that seemed foreign and odd. So, as you try different activities, I recommend focusing on internal benefits like these:

1. Exercise makes you a happier person. This is because our bodies go through a hormonal change when we pump up our heart rate. We burn cortisol, the stress hormone, and release endorphins, the happy hormones.

2. Exercise makes you smarter. Research suggests people who are fit may have higher IQs. Even sedentary folks show a boost in brain performance after an exercise session, and people do better on some aspects of critical thinking immediately after working out.

3. Exercise boosts confidence. "Feeling fat" is commonplace in our society, and it's also destructive—it hurts body image, decreases self-esteem, and can even provoke further weight gain. Research indicates exercise can help boost self-confidence, helping us feel more comfortable in our own skin. Exercise can mean the difference between "feeling fat" and "feeling curvy"—which would you rather feel?

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Thought for the Day...

Everyone faces defeat. It may be a stepping-stone or a stumbling block, depending on the mental attitude with which it is faced. --Napoleon Hill

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ahhhh....That was a great night!!

Think back to the last time you said that about a night or event.  Wedding, dinner with friends, quiet dinner at home....whatever the situation, take a minute and think about that great night.  Feel the contentment, excitement, fun.

Now think about the food that surrounded that event -- can you remember what you ate?  maybe.

But was it the food that made the evening?  Or was it the people that stick in your memory?  Which one makes you smile most?

I bet it's the people.

Think about that next time you feel compelled to fill up your plate in the buffet line.

Put your energy and attention on the things that matter -- that it what the season is all about.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why don't we start?

"Maybe it's high ...time I had this conversation with myself.  Why do I, in the presences of everything I need, not start something?" --Erika Napoletano 

Ok -- I'm taking the quote above in another direction entirely from the one the author meant -- this is just a disclaimer so y'all know that up front.  Usually, I would link the post it came from but due to the language in that post, (and bowing to "discretion is the better part of valor") I'm not going to today.  Feel free to Google it though, as I enjoy much of what she writes (although, consider yourself warned if you have a low foul language tolerance!)

So...back to my take on the quote above.

Why do we not start?  Why do we put it off until Monday or New Year's Day or the first of the Month or.....never?

What makes us so scared of trying?  Because we haven't been successful in the past?  Or at least successful on this particular weight loss mission, anyway.  I work with highly successful people EVERY DAY who feel unsuccessful because of their weight.

I talk to people everyday who are afraid to throw caution to the wind and start something today.  And then get up tomorrow and start something tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next day......

That's all weight loss is.  Continual starting.

Just because one meal (or one day) doesn't go the way you intended, it doesn't negate the imperative to start again -- as soon as you realize you've gone off the rails.  And we know this, right?  So what stops us from starting again?

May it is time to have that conversation with yourself -- because that right there, the ability to start again right away -- is what separates those who successfully manage their weight over a lifetime and those who struggle.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Season of Excess

I've gone off before on how blessed we are, how much stuff (and food) we have, yada, yada, yada....

It bothers me -- this excess.  It bothers me that we rush through life and miss some of the important parts because we're dealing with other parts that are not important...just urgent.

Potato chips are like that -- not important.  How many times have you given in to the temptation to eat chips only to be delights...I mean DELIGHTED!!!--  by your calorie investment?  Once....maybe?

But the craving for chips is urgent -- we see them (or a commercial about them) and we want them.  Or we just see them sitting on the end of the deli counter and we pick them up -- because Lord knows a 6 inch sub isn't enough food to keep us fueled for the next 4 hours (let alone the "foot long" that is the better least money wise).

Most brownies (in my experience) are like that too.  The craving is loud, urgent, repetitive.  But most of them don't deliver on taste (or maybe the first 3 bites do but we eat the rest because it's there...calling urgently for us to diligently finish it).

The chips and the brownies (and even the extra 6 inches of our foot long sub) take us away from what's really important -- our health, our contentment with our bodies, our piece of mind.

All those extras....those "treats" that in reality we have every day....are too much.  They are physically too much when are blood sugar goes up beyond our body's ability to regulate it (pre-diabetes/diabetes).  When our pants are too tight.  When our stomach feels uncomfortably full.  When we just want to lay down and take a nap (3pm during a work day, anyone?  Who hasn't felt that before?)

And everything I've just talked about happens most days of the year -- we haven't even touched on the potlucks, parties, treat days, thanks you's, and everything else that goes along with the 6 week (only roughly 12% of our year) Holiday Season we've just entered into.

So the question becomes -- what are you going to do different this year?  It's time to make your commitment -- to yourself, to your family, to making the world a better place by appreciating and observing the Important and putting the urgent in its place.  This doesn't have to be a season of excess for you -- it can be a peaceful season of observing and engaging the Important.