Thursday, December 31, 2009

Truck on over to The Penny has Dropped -- there is a wonderful 2010 break up letter to Fear. No matter what you are afraid of for the upcoming year or how you have spent the last year being fearing of something, totally worth the read!!

(and to give credit where credit is due, I wouldn't have read the post at all if it wasn't for wonderful Magpie Girl -- so thanks to her for her link!)

31 December 2009

I like letting go of an old year much better than making over-the-top NYR's. Think about this.

On little pieces of paper, write down the things that happened this year that you want to put into your past. I am not suggusting you forget them (because you lived through them and they are a part of you) but write down the things you do not actively want as part of your present.

Once each one is down on a piece of paper, take them to your fireplace or your firepit outside and light each one on fire...individually. Watch each of the pieces burn to ash and make a firm commitment to let those things stay in the past. You have dealt with them, quit letting them take up valuable brain space and move past them.

Your weight and eating behaviors sometimes need to fall into this catagory. We spend so much time stressing about how we look or feel or fit into our jeans and on occation, we need to just let it go.

You are at the weight you are at today. There isn't an inherint good or bad associated with the number on the scale. It is what you make of it. "But..." you say, "What about my health -- carrying more weight than I should makes me more unhealthy. That is an inherent bad." And to that, I will, again, say:

Multiple studies have come out in the last couple years that talk about a much looser link between health and body size than was thought in the past. Science is pointing to weight and disease as the symptom of poor health not the bottom-line reason for poor health (If you are interested in taking a new view on this check out either Health at Every Size or Good Calories/Bad Calories).

Here's my point: Let it go. Today is a day of closure. Prepare to move on. You're here and that means you have more time to do what you need to do. But you have to clear some brain space to get ready to move into the New Year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Disappointing Start

My big plans for this week (once most of the holiday stuff was done) was to design and implement a website (how hard can it be, right?) for the new Eating Coach E-course (Hurray! Hurray!! It is almost done!!)

The website would provide more information about the new E-course. It would give new clients formal exposure to what the program is and how it works. It would offer a platform to securely pay for the services the client was interested in. --Seems like a reasonable thing, right? I have been blogging for a while -- so a website seems like a step I should be able to navigate, right? I had a plan, a time table, a guiding vision, I had talked to people about hosting plans, DIY website creation, etc.


1. The other day, I signed up with (feeling really good about myself at this point. On the way! First steps all taken care of!! Invested the money -- now I am committed!)

2. Had to call Tech support because I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't let me log into my account. (Argh! Minor disappointment -- have to wait 24-48 hours to have them get everything set up on their end -- oh well, -- I reset my time table and blocked off a chunk of "Website Creation" time later in the week -- still feeling pretty good.)

3. Logged onto the account (Hurray! It worked!!) But couldn't figure out where the templates were so I could start creating. Found a help directory that showed me how to write some HTML code and upload it to the web -- that was pretty cool since I could go to --which I now own -- and see the code that I installed there! But still couldn't find the templates -- thought this should be easier than it was seeming to be.

4. Finally, I broke down and called Tech Support (again). Here, I should add that both times I called GoDaddy tech support, I got to a Real Person right away! They were super helpful and didn't make me feel stupid AT ALL! Which was a treat!

On the second call to GoDaddy, Shawn asked some questions and figured out that I did not buy the correct items. Essentially, I rented the space to put a website but I didn't buy the package to help me create the website. HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!

By the time I got off the phone with Shawn, I was completely deflated and feeling stupid :( He did a great job of explaining what I needed and how things on his site work but all the excitement I felt for the project had leaked out because I was facing an emotional setback.

So...why am I sharing this???

Here's the thing -- the basics of this story are the basics of most stories where the lead character thinks she has a great plan to get her where she wants to go. Whether it is a website and new service offering is the goal or the goal is learning a new technique to manage her weight -- the process is still the same.

1. Starting out with a plan and an optimistic view that this is going to work.

2. Suffering a minor set back. Dealing with it. Having it take a little bit longer that she would want it to.

3. Having a bit of success and starting to get the excitement going but realizing perhaps she hasn't thought this whole process through as thoroughly as she thought.

4. Asking for help because she is at a standstill when she really thought this was a slam dunk. Disappointment!

So here's what I have learned:

1. I still need a website -- so, like my friend Amy tells me -- It's time to put on my "big-girl pants" and get moving.

2. I am going to have to ask for help.

3. I can't let setbacks get me so disappointed that I give up.

4. It will happen -- just not as quickly as I had originally thought.

I hope you all can see the connection to your weight management I am trying to draw here.

Discouragement happens in life. Don't get waylaid just because things aren't going like you thought they would. I am still disappointed that I won't have the website up and running by New Years Day, but it will get there if I actually move past my disappointment and start "doing". The same is true for your weight. I know it can be disappointingly slow -- just don't give up. Keep "doing" and you will get there.

(And when you get stuck -- email tech support @ and I won't make you feel stupid, I promise!)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quick head check

We are almost done with the holiday eating season. How are you feeling about your eating?

Here's what I want...I want you to really think about this question. I want you to verbalize your answer -- either write it out or take the time to put your thoughts into words in your head. I don't want you to just read the question and then move on under some vague set of uncomfortable feelings.

So, seriously, how are you feeling about your eating?

Do you feel in charge of your decisions?

Do you feel like you are running here and there, eating and eating things you don't really want? (Honestly, this is the way I have spent some of my holiday time)

How do you feel physically? I would expect a good many of you are like me and have eaten much differently in the last couple weeks than you do normally, with regards to the kinds of food you are eating. How are those types of foods effecting you? (I am feeling sluggish and off -- too much sugar floating around in my blood stream, I expect. I feel like I should get out and move just to burn off the sluggishness I feel).

Body's react to different foods in different ways. My experience will not directly match your experience but the important part is for you to understand your experience. If you take time to think about how you are feeling, you will know what kinds of foods make you feel good and the ones that make to feel subtly less good.

You will be able to see the situations that cause you to slide into the mode of eating just because the food is there. You will see the people you eat with who help you be more in charge of your eating behaviors.

Once you know these things, being more mindful in the present moment becomes easier because you can plan ahead.

Monday, December 28, 2009

10 Ways to save on Health care Costs

Jay Parkinson just published an interesting post on how to reduce health care costs. (he is the author of the prescription I posted a couple of days ago)

As his patient in Manhattan, a person can log into his site, let him know why you want to be seen, schedule an appointment, pay for the visit using PayPal, and then Dr. Parkinson shows up at your home for your appointment. Neat, huh? No more waiting the waiting room. No more being subjected to all of the germs and unfriendly, overworked office staff. But here's the thing -- he won't bill your insurance. You pay out of pocket. The upside? Lower costs of the visit.

Would you pay out of pocket if it cost you less?

What if going to the doctor was just like ordering at a restaurant -- there is a menu, a schedule of fees and you get to order a la carte.

The reason I am bringing this up (on an Eating Coach blog) is because it has direct application to EC and the mindset that clients bring to health care and weight management.

This is what I have found:

1. Many (if not most) people coming to my fitness facility feel they are paying enough per month already and will not spend more on a series of Eating Coach classes. **Side note: a large percentage of members list losing weight as their primary driver for joining the facility.**

2. The mindset, for many people, is: if insurance is not paying for a service, they will not pay out-of-pocket for it either. People have told me that if a program costs $350 and the insurance company will pay $200 (leaving them with $150 out of pocket) they would pay for the program. But because a program costs $150 and insurance doesn't cover it, they will not pay for it. --Why is that?

We are paying, indiviudally and collectively, in many different directions for our weight gain. We (as a nation) spent $45 billion on diet stuff (books, diet pills, diet food, programs, etc) last year!! This is not counting all of the medical expenses related to weight gain (diabetic medications, joint replacements, physical therapy, surgeries, blood pressure meds, etc). And I won't even get into lost productivity!

With the healthcare insurance debates going on in the House and Senate, with the current state of the ecomony, and with the cost of medical goods and services, I think it behooves us to reconsider our long-held beliefs about the purpose of health insurance and how we are spending our healthcare dollars.

If you spend $300 out-of-pocket today and it saves you that much in co-pays for your blood pressure med over the next 12 months -- would that be a worthwhile Return on Investment?

Now, if you factored in the improvements to your health and sense of well being, wouldn't that sweeten the pot?

So much of the cultural focus on weight has to do with aethstetic. Unless you are a professional model (or want to be), an actor, a spokesperson, Vanna White, etc., from a financial prospective, aethstetics is a secondary concern. Of primary concern should be the ability to maximize your quality of your life, the extra physical energy you will get because you are not carrying extra physical weight around all day, and the extra emotional energy you get from not WORRYING/FEELING GUILTY/STRESSING/FEELING DEPRESSED, etc. from weighing more than you feel you should.

Think about the AMAZING things you could accomplish with increased health, energy and sense of well-being. And all because you have shifted your thinking on what healthcare is, who should pay for it, and what the goal of healthcare should be (one of these days I will rant on Why We Should be Actively Maintaining our Health! -- but not today).

Give it some thought: What are you really worth? How do you really want to live? Are you willing to pay to optimize your life or do you want to let someone else make those decisions for you?

Carpe Diem, my friends.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

24 December 2009

We have been talking about Mindfulness (in eating and in general) for 136 posts.

Put it into practice today and tomorrow!!

Enjoy, ladies and gentlemen. Your family, your friends, the people that drive you crazy -- they all deserve your undivided attention while you are with them.

Merry Christmas and I will talk to you on Monday.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We talk a lot about what not to eat. We get rewarded for what doesn't go into our mouths. But every once in a while, I like to put the reminder out there.....

Mindful eating is about understanding and respecting both when you are full (the usual emphasis) but also when you are hungry.

Case in point:

The other day, I was back at my fav Mexican restaurant for tacos and chips. I started the trip over by asking "Am I physically hungry or just bored?" The answer was a resounding "I am PHYSICALLY hungry".

When I got there, I ordered my usual (minus the Coke -- there will be Coke aplenty at upcoming events -- plus, one of my daughters just launched into an infomercial like schpeal about the effects of soda acid on teeth ... thus positive peer pressure to nix the soda). The usual is 2 tacos -- one veggie and one chicken. They deliver the little basket of chips and the fresh salsa while I wait -- yum!

The tacos got there pretty quick and they were delicious! When I finished the last bite of the second taco, I was still physically hungry! I don't know why -- it was weird and unnerving. Usually that much food is either perfect or too much -- I have never had it be too little.

There were still some chips left in the basket. I could have eaten those but they really didn't sound great. I wanted another taco. After a little debate (and time to see if the fullness signals kicked in) I ordered and ate another whole taco.

I don't know what was up with that whole situation but I can assure you I was hungry.

It sometimes takes a strong desire to look past the immediate gratification of eating to lose weight but if you are losing weight mindfully, you need to be prepared for the odd increases in hunger that sometimes happen. I am not telling you you should eat the third taco all of the time -- just be aware of what your body is telling you so you don't spend the afternoon searching for food and wondering what is wrong with you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I just want to put this out there. We still haven't had Christmas yet and I know your brains are just chock-full of to-do lists -- but underneath it all, I want this idea percolating.....

Think outside the box for your New Year's Resolution. No more "get fit", lose weight, get healthier NYR's for you. How many years have you made those???

This year, get creative. Saya at Mac and Cheese Lifestyle has some novel thinking.

I like her underlying theme of connection. It is so much easier to make changes in your life when they are small, personally meaningful, and lead you to greater connections with the life you want.

Here is my example:

If you want to eat more mindfully -- call up a fav friend, ask them out to dinner (or over for dinner) and explain that you want to practice eating mindfully (smelling the dish before you take a bite, chewing the food consciously, breathing between bites, enjoying the colors of what you have chosen, paying attention to how each bite registers on your fullness scale, etc) -- get that person to participate in the experiment with you. They will describe things using words you would have never thought of. You will get to know them better while getting to know yourself better.


If you want to move more: Create a goal to visit 1 neighbor a week and plan on walking there. I know during the winter I just want to sit on the couch and watch TV, hiding from the cold. But...if I walk to a neighbor's house, I can have a quick visit and a quick walk back -- moving but also connecting with the people I won't see outdoors until April.

Make a plan to move while you are talking to your out-of-town college roommate on the phone. (Treadmill, eliptical, outside walking -- it doesn't matter, whatever works for you).

I love the idea of creating an intention for the New Year -- but be smart (and successful) about it. Like so many things, if what you have done in the past hasn't worked, change it up. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The best prescription ever!!

Alright....this might be the last mention I make of something I read in the new compilation e-book (but I'm not going to firmly commit to that just yet!)

Here's what I am thinking for this week -- yes, I know you're busy! Me too but surely you can find the time for this:

A prescription fro Jay Parkinson, co-founder of Hello Health. Jay says:

Your health is up to you.
Start small.
Eat well.
Eat less.
Move your body.
Love your lover.
Be a good friend.
Let others care about you.
Say you're sorry.
Laugh a ton.
Drink one (sometimes two) for me.
Buy more experiences than things.
Create your health.
Do it yourself.

How about that for a Christmas list?
How about that for a gift to yourself and others?

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Season of Gratitude

You hear it a lot this time of year -- I am grateful for...

So, seriously, what ARE you grateful for?

I've gotten on a couple rants lately -- being grateful for your ability to physically move throughout your day.

--being grateful you have enough to eat that you can weigh more than you want to.

But I just came across the idea that "Gratefulness is a muscle, not a feeling. You need to work it out daily."

Think back to yesterday -- what two specific foods are you grateful you got to eat yesterday?

What are you going to eat today that you are grateful for?

In my house, we don't pray before we eat (except on holidays when my mom makes me :)

It is my tradition to "Cheers" before we eat. The thought being -- it is a time to recognize we are all sitting together at the table and about to eat. It is that breather that allows us to focus on what we are about to do. A time to focus appreciation and gratitude for the people and food of that moment.

If you only eat what you were grateful for, how would your eating habits change?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Doing more of what is working well

Yesterday, I referenced Seth Godin's e-book (seriously worth the read -- free download, how can you lose??). While I was reading this morning, I came across a page talking about change. Information on making changes comes through to me all the time -- it is what I seek out because it is the heart of my work with clients.

Here is what has shown up from at least 6 avenues recently:

We are taught to focus on what is not working in our lives -- Thought being : If we can see what is broken, we can fix it. However ... what if we asked ourselves "What IS working today?" And then, "How can I do more of that?"

With my personal training clients, it is important for me to figure out and re-enforce with them the things they like about activity -- how can I get them to do more of what they already like??

Same with my Eating Coach clients -- where are they already being successful and how can we build on those successes?

If you like food, how can you learn to like food more? Increasing the attention you are paying to what you're eating will allow you to develop a greater appreciation for the food you love.

If you like leaving the table feeling full, let's give you a vocabulary to describe what sensations you like so you can maximize those.

If you like and feel successful when you leave the table guilt-free, how do we build on that feeling so you experience it more often?

Asking questions, building relationships (with your support system and with yourself)and moving toward something will encourage positive behavior changes. An upward spiral, if you will. Each success makes you want to have another because the experiences are rewarding.

So the question is:

What is working for you? (I won't except the cop out "nothing is working well" -- think harder!)

And how can you do more of that today?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One of the best things I have read lately....

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.
The second best time is now.

True for so many things -- including today's Mindful Eating.

(From Seth Godin's new e-book page 23. A quote from John Wood -- Founder and Executive Chairman of Room to Read)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How did we get so off course?

You all know I am not opposed to handing out strategies for holiday eating! Many of the other Intuitive Eating professionals that I correspond with are doing the same things this time of year, as well. I just logged onto my LinkedIn account to see what those professionals are saying and realized something.

Sometimes, we talk about eating (especially holiday eating) like it is a war.

"The Fight to Eat Healthy during the Holidays"

"Battling Food Addiction"

"Battling Sweets"


Unlike an alcohol or cocaine addiction, eating is something we do every day -- we HAVE to! The experts say the weight gain associated with unhealthy eating is what is driving up our rates of cardiovascular disease. Maybe it is just the stress we put on ourselves to eat "healthy foods" (as defined by the magazines in the grocery checkout lines -- and their information keeps changing).

Why is the US doing such a bad job? Why are our waist lines increasing when so is the amount of money we spend per year on diet food, supplements, gym memberships, home exercise equipment, etc? Why is all this hyper-focus on health making us sicker???

I think it is stress. Leave yourself alone. Give yourself a break.

That doesn't mean you can start an eating free for all! It means getting back to listening to your body. You understand what your body is telling you. When are you hungry? What are you hungry for? When you eat that food, how does it make you feel? How much of it do you need to eat to feel comfortable? How soon will you get hungry after eating that much of that food?

Have you taken the time to know the answers to these questions? If your answer is no, my question is why not? Most people tell me it is because they didn't know they needed to know the answer -- no one had every asked the question before.

And yet we (as a society) talk endlessly about the current "health food" craze. We talk endlessly about our weight problems, our health problems. We can dissect the number of Weight Watcher's Points in any given food. But food isn't the problem. Food just is -- it isn't inherently good or inherently bad. We are the important piece of the food equation. Every body digests each food in its own way. One person might absorb 50 calories out of a particular amount of food while someone else isn't as efficient and is only able to absorb 45 calories out of the same amount of the same food.

You are the important piece of the equation. It doesn't matter what your best friend is doing -- you are a different person. You have different likes and dislikes. You react to food differently.

Don't take someone else's word as the final authority on what you should be eating or not eating. Answer the questions for yourself! How to eat for you. And don't stress -- there is no right or wrong answer -- eating is an individual thing -- just work on asking and answering the questions.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Do something Friday

Today, make a commitment to enjoy your weekend. All of it.

The shopping.
The driving in the snow.
The shoveling the sidewalk.
The eating.
The parties.

Whatever you have scheduled, make a conscious effort to enjoy it -- tis the season!

You can teach yourself the habit of enjoying life more -- but you have to make a choice about how you want to look at life.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yourself as a guest

Over the next couple weeks, you are bound to entertain and to be entertained. Pay attention. How do good hosts and hostesses make you feel? How do they welcome you to their home and their tables? How do you welcome your guests? What thoughts go through your head as you prepare for their arrival?

Now think about how you welcome yourself home? Or don't you, this time of year? Do you set out lovely tableware for yourself so that eating can be an event? Do you take the extra 20 minutes to prepare something you are really hungry for or do you just eat whatever and then feel unsatisfied when you leave the table?

Yes...I know everyone is busy. But honestly, when are we not?? You can say that this is a crazy season (and I would agree) but realistically, will it get slower in January? February? Once the kids are out of school? If you are like me, you can pretty much bet it won't slow down all that much -- it is just that the activities change and "the season" isn't the only thing people are talking about.

So give some thought to how you can welcome yourself home and welcome yourself to your own table.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Slow Down!

I have noticed that the days are starting to accelerate towards Christmas. The pressure is mounting to get the shopping done, house cleaned (didn't I just do that?), presents wrapped, etc, etc, etc. Everything is taking longer because many other people are trying to do the same things I am -- at the same time -- in the same space -- yikes! We're tripping each other up!

So now what?

Slow down. Dinner is one of those things that goes by the wayside during the holiday season. We eat out more because we have parties, etc. But we also eat out more because we are too tired or busy to cook. Take-out and dining-out are fine -- you know I have never said anything bad about having someone else doing to cooking for me but...

If you are picking up take-out or eating at a restaurant, remember the portions are going to be much larger than you need.

I went out to dinner with a group last weekend and ended up walking out with 2.5 pounds of pasta in left overs -- seriously! The opportunities to over eat are plentiful. Start to be aware. When you know you are going to be eating out, especially this time of year, make a plan before you get to the restaurant. You can always order an appetizer or share a meal.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday food abundance

This weekend was cookie making time at my house.  I have many kinds of cookie I like to make but the one I most enjoy is sugar cookies.  I know I should let the kids help when I am in the kitchen -- but I like making them so much and I want them to taste so good, I can't cede control of any part of the process to the girls.

Once the cookies are baked and frosted, they have to sit on the counter to several hours to allow the frosting to dry a little so when I stack them in the bag, they won't smear and end up with green tree frosting on Santa's pink frosted boot. 

Once they were drying on the counter, we packed up and headed out for the day.  By the time we got home in the evening, the whole house smelled like butter cream frosting.  If you are not familiar with homemade frosting, let me enlighten you.  It is everything good in the world -- powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter (real butter -- not margarine).  AND...if you leave a whole batch out all day, your house smells sooooo good.  But, we all know that smell is a powerful trigger to eat.  So the question becomes, "Now what?"

You all know by now that for me putting cookies in the freezer is no kind of deterrent.  Frozen just means better. 

So...the holiday season has started.  All of the wonderful things that are only available for a limited time (so I should eat as much as I can while it is available!!??) is here and what am I going to do about it?  I bagged the cookies up tight.  Washed the counter down really well.  (ate only 2 of them in the process -- but I can tell you that I experienced them more than ate them)

They are in the freezer now.  I have resisted eating any more -- I have to take them to a cookie exchange this weekend (so I can't eat too many or I will show up with only 4 cookies to exchange and that just looks bad).  But here's the thing -- It is 8 December and we still have many days until Christmas is here -- let alone making it all of the way through until the Epiphany when the holiday season officially ends -- What kind of plans do I have in place so I don't go off the deep end -- either with indulging or with denying myself???

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Don't bring things home.  If you have to take something to a potluck/cookie exchange/party/ whatever, give it away or throw it away (or just make less to begin with) so you don't bring it back to your house.  There is going to be plenty of holiday eating, if you made it in the first place, you can make it again at some other time in the future -- don't bring it back.

2. Make less in the first place.  (This is true for everything except the molasses cookies my mom make -- keeping making lots of those!!  There are never enough and they are soooo good frozen).  Everything else -- we don't need whole pieces of pie/cake/cookies-the-size-of-your-head -- make 'em smaller and make fewer of them -- make the treats special with their limited quantity.

3. If you need/want to make your goodies and you (like me) cannot be trusted to have them in the kitchen freezer -- move them into a seal-tight plastic tub (like the ones you keep your ornaments in) and put them in the garage.  If the garage floor is all covered in gross, half melted snow, chances are less you will sneak out there in your socks to get a goodie.

4. Pack them into the goodie baskets you intend on taking.  If you have them nicely arranged and packaged to go, there is less of a chance you will break into the pretty packaging and eat 5 or 6 -- since then you would have to rearrange them and redo the packaging.

5.  If you really, really need that treat, SIT DOWN AND ENJOY IT!!!  Don't just eat it quickly -- shoving it in like a guilty child -- taste it.  Enjoy it.  Appreciate it -- you worked really hard to make something so delicious -- you are eating it and it is going to cost you a certain amount of calories -- get the maximium amount of enjoyment out of it!!  And then walk away happy...don't you dare feel guilty about it!  Life is too short for that.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Local Norms

I am reading Connected by Christakis and Fowler right now.  If you read Blink or Freakonomics -- this is that kind of book.  The kind of book that takes a bunch of studies and mashes them together and talks about things I wouldn't think I would have the patience to read -- all in a way that is fun and entertaining.

One of the behaviors that authors talk about is how we (humans) like to be better (in whatever way is important to us) than those around us.  For the most part, we don't see ourselves in competition with the supermodels in magazines -- we see ourselves in competition with the woman next to us in the checkout line, our group of friends, and/or the person in the cubicle next to us.  This is true, according the authors, not with just how we look but also how much we earn, how bright our children are -- whatever we personally value.

It's like that old adage we have all heard a thousand times -- if you and a friend are running away from a bear, you don't need to be faster than the bear -- just faster than your friend.

Remember a few years ago when a study made all the news channels that said, if your close friend becomes obese you have a greater likelihood of becoming obese, too.  Yeah, that study was done by the authors above.

When I went back to college (as an adult), all of my classes were in the building next to the college field house.  The building housed the University Recreation Center, the Physical Education department, the Exercise Science students, the Athletic Training department -- you get the picture.  Think hundreds of kids (people) walking around carrying Nalgene bottles.  No soda machines in the whole building.

In this environment, people looked at you weird if you were carrying a bottle of soda (don't even think about carrying in a McDonald's bag -- you might end up with no willing  lab partner for the whole rest of the year).  As a result of this environment, I could drink 2 liters of water (out of my super-cool Nalgene bottles, of course) easily throughout the day.  I probably would have drank more but the campus water is gross so my super-cool bottles were filled with water from home and when it was gone, I was done).

Now, it's a mighty stuggle to drink 2 liters a day and I am exceedingly pleased if I can get 1.5l down.  The difference is that nobody says/looks/acts one way or another whether I am drinking water or sheepishly sipping my beloved 32oz. fountain Coke.

I have to provide my own peer pressure to drink water because nobody at work is going to do it.  And ,while in some ways, I should think this is liberating, I don't.  I don't because it would be so much nicer (read easier) if someone was helping me do the things I know I should do.

Okay, we've talked enough about me --  Let's think about your eating.

How do the people you surround yourself with (or those who just surround you whether you would wish them to or not) -- how are those people effecting your eating behaviors?

A while ago, I talked about the perfectly paced Tapas meal I had and how wonderful that whole experience was.  I don't think I wrote about the exact opposite experience I had with a speed eater several months ago and how when the food came, my eating companion took off at the speed of light and I was matching bite for bite until I realized what  I was doing and made a conscious effort to slow down.

How are your people effecting you?  Which ones effect your choice of food (in the helpful direction and in the unhelpful direction -- important to note both)?  Which people do you look to when you need to justify your size (or beat yourself up because you are on the losing end of that competition -- important to note both)?  What changes would you be willing to make to your external environment to maximize the positives and minimize the negatives?  If you can't (or are unwilling) to modify your external environment, what might you be willing to do to change your mindsets to maximize the positives and minimize the negatives?

Don't be a mindless victim of your environment -- there are always choices to be made.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Do Something Friday

What causes you to stop eating? is not always because you are stuffed.  In the book Eating the Moment, the author gives the following list of some of the reasons people stop eating:

1. You run out of the food you like.

2. You run out of time.

3. You are bursting at the seams.

4. the entertainment comes to an end.  (The show you've been snacking to has ended.)

5. You are "emotionally" full. (Now that your stomach is full, you no longer feel empty inside)

6. Your plate is finally clean.

7. You are overeating and get busted by your partner.

8. You got your money's worth.

Today and tomorrow:  when you have finished eating, give some thought to why you stopped -- and then take the extra step of writing that insight down.  You may be suprised at what kind of pattern you see developing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What does it take to be a successful Eating Coach client?

I was reading Seth Godin this morning and the subject matter was how to be a great client.  It reminded me of several years ago when I started writing a New Friend's Owners Manual for myself (you know -- codifying all of the things a new friend should know about me and my particular quirks).  I didn't get very far on the project and never gave it to anyone.  But it was a very good exercise for rediscovering myself.

So this mornings post reading made me connect my project with my clients and how it might be helpful to them to understand what I am going to ask them to do. goes...

To be a successful Eating Coach client, you need to:
1. Be willing to suspend your judgment -- of yourself, of new ideas, of your past and your future.
2. Be willing to set aside every bit of dieting advice/knowledge/urban legend you have ever heard.
3. Be willing to pick up and examine each of the #2 to see if each of those fits you and the way to want to live.
4. Be willing to listen to your body.
5. Be willing to work with your body -- not beat it into the shape you (and very likely someone else) thinks it should be.
6. Be willing to look for and celebrate the small victories.
7. Be willing to change how you approach eating  -- just because you have always done it one way doesn't mean it works for you.
8. Creatively and honestly problem solve with me.

That's it.  Openness, honesty (with yourself and with me), creativity.  That is all it takes to lose weight and enjoy your food, your body, and your life more.  That is the path I want to help you get started on and openness, honesty and creativity pave the way.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Vision for your Life

You have heard me talk about goals. It is really important to have goals -- a destination -- little steps you can achieve and tick off the list as you go. Yesterday, I told you it was my goal to get the E-course ready for the offering by the first of the year. That is a goal. Goals give you a sense of accomplishment -- a sense of making progress.

But what about your vision for your life? Do you have one? A vision for your life is deeper than just a goal or even a series of goals. If you could create any kind of life you would like, what would it be?

Finishing a marathon is a goal. You would probably have a goal time you want to finish under.

Moving to a big city, where you could walk to work, run along the linear trails, meet up with your runner friends for a coffee at your favorite coffee house after your training run would be the start of a vision.

Goals are good -- If I choose not to uproot my family and move them to a big city to fulfill my vision right now, goals will help me get started creating parts of the vision that are currently available to me.

If I can picture what I want my life to look like in my mind's eye, I have a greater likelihood of creating that vision.

If your vision for your life is to no longer worry about what you should eat. To eat, enjoy and then move on with no guilt about that piece of cheesecake or bowl of pasta alfredo made with real, full-fat cream. To feel comfortable with who you are and what size you are because your size fits your lifestyle to a T. How would that change the other parts of your life?

Where are you going? It is important to know that before you decide how you are going to get there.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What the Universe reminded me this morning...

You know how I keep going on and on about just starting ... little baby steps ... "it's all a process" ... don't worry about being perfect ... etc. Sounds familiar, right?'s the thing ...

I have been working on a 12 week E-course for Eating Coach. Delivered on line -- email and phone sessions with me -- resources and feedback from the comfort of your own home -- sounds cool, right? I have been working on it for a couple months but you haven't heard me talking about it. You haven't seen it posted on the blog. I haven't put it out there. You wanna know why?

Because it is not "perfect". I have worked and worked on it but haven't taken the ACTION step of putting it out there because it has not attained "perfection". Stupid, huh?

Even when, a couple weeks ago, I read the blog about plan not being of any use at all unless it is put into action.

So this morning, I received 2 quotes from a friend:

Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. --Angelique Arnauld

Falling short of perfection is a process that just never stops. --William Shawn

This was my wake up call. Waiting to put myself out there until everything is perfect means I will never put myself (or my work) out there.

Same goes for you (although, maybe you are further ahead on this than I am). Start doing. Put yourself out there. Start being more mindful today than you were yesterday. If you do that, I will finish my E-course and have it ready by the first of the year.

Together, we will get to where we are going. But to do that, we both need to start today.