Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday did your Thanksgiving eating go?  Share three eating successes you had yesterday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I am thankful for:
  • Being able to spend time with my loved ones here.
  • The opportunity to have known the loved ones no longer with me.
  • My warm house.
  • To be able to share a meal with those I love.
  • For sun shining through my windows.
  • For the clean water that runs out of my tap.
  • For the ease with which I can move about my kitchen preparing the meal.

The meal is a vehicle to share my blessings -- eating more of it than makes me comfortable does not make me more blessed.  It just distracts me from the things that are important.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No deprivation

Has it ever seemed like you only have two choices during the holiday season:

1. Gain weight
2. Give up all your fav foods at the holidays (or at least give up all the delicious ingredients that make holiday foods taste good -- I don't care what you say....mashed cauliflower might taste good but it isn't a even up substitution for mashed potatoes!!)

A good many of us give up our best eating intention soon after the holiday season starts.  And some of us even give up before the holidays start since there really isn't any reason to put it off -- we know we won't stick to our good intentions anyway!

It really (REALLY) doesn't have to be that way!   You always have more choices than just those two.

How about adopting the FOOD SNOB attitude?

Don't eat the dried out fudge, day old cookies (or gasp!  the store bought cookies you can get any ol' time of the year).  Don't eat the casserole you brought to the party -- you can make it for yourself some other time.  Don't take the salad because you "think you should" -- like a few greens or stalks covered in dressing or dip are going to some how absolve over indulgence.

Pick the cookie that has so much butter in it you can smell it even when it's cooled.  Have the real sour cream and cream cheese mashed potatoes.  Don't worry about skimming every mili-ounce of fat off the top of the turkey gravy. 

And when you take that bite of cookie, mashed potato, or dressing with gravy on it --- appreciate that taste.  Don't shovel it in!  When the taste stops making you say "WOW!! OH MY GOODNESS -- THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN!!" stop eating.

There will be left-overs.  Or another dinner in the near future.  This isn't your one and only chance.  Remember that it feels OH MY GOODNESS GREAT! to leave the table and still be able to tie your shoes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Hard Part

What's the hard part of losing weight?  You've done it before....and you'll do it again, so you have the first hand experience.

Is it starting?  The diet, the exercise program, the new lifestyle.....  

Is it losing the first 10, 20, 100 pounds?

Is it maintaining the diet, exercise program, new lifestyle?

Or is it that the road seems to stretch infinitely far ahead and when we look up, we see hardship, deprivation, and continual work until the day we drop over or stop caring about weight?

My supposition is it is really the secret thought (read fear) that it will ALWAYS be work and it will NEVER be easy -- that is the hardest part.

No matter which part is the hard part -- notice that some of my suggestions (or the ones that pop into your head) aren't as hard for you (and might even be stuff you consider easy).

Can you do more of the easy ones and less of the hard ones?  Will that work to get you where you want to go?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Do something Friday

We have talked a lot about resistance and the Lizard brain. We all know what it is to feel paralyzed by the resistant voice in our head. But fear not! Below is the beautiful beginning of Steven Pressfield's blog about resistance. He is talking about creating art -- but think about the art as creating your best you.

I appologize for (and warn you in advance) the swearing in the upcoming paragraph -- I hope you can excuse the word choice, if it bothers you, and see through to the author's intent.

The Opposite of Resistance

Here’s a subtle but crucial point for us to hold in mind as we slog through the trench warfare of the artist’s journey, battling Resistance every step of the way.

Remember: Resistance arises second.

What comes first is the idea, the passion, the work we are so excited to create that it scares the shit out of us.

Resistance is the response of the frightened, petty, small-time ego to the brave, generous, magnificent impulse of the creative self. Resistance is the shadow cast by the innovative self’s sun.

What does this mean to us, as we duel our demons? It means that, before the dragon of Resistance reared its ugly head and breathed fire into our faces, there existed within us a force so potent and so life-affirming that it made Resistance freak out and load up the sulfur and brimstone. Resistance isn’t the towering, all-powerful monster before whom we quake in terror. Resistance is more like the pain-in-the-ass schoolteacher who won’t let us climb the tree in the playground.

But the urge to climb came first.

Maybe resistances is the signal you are on the right track -- maybe instead of denying or running from it, we should spend the weekend looking for it. What do you think???

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.
 ~Dale Carnegie

Here it is -- the whole philosophy of mindful eating -- do small jobs well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Think about your local mall -- somewhere, tucked on the ends or at the corners embedded in the mall there are anchor stores.  These are the stores that draw people to the malls -- The stores that spend marketing dollars to get us to drive to the mall.  Most of the other stores live in the shadow of the anchors and rely on the store front merchandizing to draw customers into their store once the anchors have done the job of getting us into the mall in the first place.

People have anchor behaviors, too.  Those behaviors that make up the bulk of how we interact with the world.  Our optimistic (or pessimistic) attitude, our mak- it-happen (or sit-back-and-see-how-things-develop) behaviors, etc.  The rest of our behaviors develop around our anchor behaviors.

I think eating behaviors are one of those non-anchor behaviors.  We develop the ones we have because we are influenced by our anchors.  Do you see yourself as an active, athletic person?  You are going to eat to support that anchor in your life.  (Have you ever noticed how many times formerly active people still eat like they are active -- even though they are logging huge hours sitting at a desk all week?)

Thanksgiving is next week (like I need to remind you, right?)  And in the spirit of thanksgiving (the act not the dinner), give some thought to your anchor behaviors and beliefs.  Are they still true for you?  Are you really still the active athlete you were before the new job, house, and kids?  Do you assume you are still a very optimistic person when upon closer reflection you notice your wine intake has gone up this last year as a way to de-stress because your company is on uncertain ground and you are not happy with the direction your bosses are taking it?

There is something to be said for being thankful -- but there is also something to be said for an honest appraisal of the situation.  If you don't know where you are, you will have a hard time getting to where you want to be.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have been hearing a LOT of judgment lately about different kinds of foods.  Everyone is getting geared up for the holiday season and talking about what they "can" eat, "should" eat, and "healthier" options.  We've talked about this before but I just want to throw it out there that the issue I have with judging food as good or bad, is that we extend that judgment to ourselves as we eat that food.

If a person eats a big, healthy salad and a bowl of (non-cream) soup and they see that as  "good" choices, then they are "good" by extension.  And you know what?  I bet most of us out there making this choice are good people -- but not because we ate the soup.

On the other hand, if that same person eats 2 pieces of cheesecake (and cheesecake is "bad"...everyone knows that, right???), then they are "bad" by extension.  And that is just not true -- because the soup already proved they were "good" right?

Food is food is food.  There are no good foods and there are no bad foods.  If you eat too much of anything, soup, salad, cheesecake, you are going to gain weight -- that is just a fact -- not judgment.

Give it some thought.  Enjoy your food.  And when it doesn't taste fantastic, put the fork down.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What choices are you going to make today???

"I wake up every day with the realization that this is it, that there's only one shot at this life and I can either enjoy the ride and live it to its fullest and to my highest potential or I can stay the way I am."--author unknown

Friday, November 12, 2010

Do something Friday

As happens so often, the title of Seth Godin's post has inspired me:

No knight, no shining armour  --period.  That's it.  If you want to make some changes in your life, you're the only one who can do it.  Every day.

It's sometimes disheartening for me to think there really isn't a magic bullet out there with my name on it.  Sure....sometimes luck happens -- but luck isn't a strategy.  And waiting for a lucky weight loss break (contracting a tapeworm, anyone?) isn't going to make sure you get where you want to go.

Making the small decisions everyday (I just passed up my fav Sweetwater's Honey Glazed Chocolate doughnut in the break room with a "Not right now"!) will create your success.

This weekend: be your own knight -- you're the only one who can make this happen -- show us how it's done because we know you can do it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Food for thought....

Many times over the last couples years, as I have been speaking to audiences, I have used the example of losing weight on the Twinkie Diet -- if only a person was cutting down on the total amount of calories they were eating.'s the story of a university professor who did just that!  This prof lost 27 pounds in two months by eating mostly snack foods.

Please know I am not adovocating this particular diet.  My goal is to get you thinking about the relative importance of "healthy" eating versus our tendency to EAT TOO MUCH OF EVERYTHING!!  Science is coming out daily to support the idea that we are eating too many calories...period!  And if we focus on reducing our portions, we won't need to concentrate on "healthy" eating quite as much.  THAT might be something that keeps us healthier in the long run!

Click here for the story!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


One of my fav sayings in the whole world:

Moderation in all things -- including moderation.

I'm pretty sure we (as a society) are not putting the value on moderation that we should.  My example:  the rise of "Extreme" as a marketing tool.  Seriously!  Tonight when you are home watching TV, pay attention to how many times the word Extreme is used in commercials and TV trailers -- Extreme Doritos, Extreme Razors (do we really want our razors to be Extreme??), not to mention Extreme Sports...and the list goes on.

We like the end points of the pendulum swing -- they are entertaining.  But as a lifestyle, doesn't it get exhausting to live on the extremes?  Too much food and you are soooo stuffed you can't move (and all you can think about is how much food you ate and the berating of yourself that goes along with that) -- swing over to the soooo hungry you think you just might starve to death before you get to eat again ( and all you can think about is what you are going to eat or not be able to eat).

Moderation in eating is a good thing.  If you are eating moderately (think level 7 or 8) most of the time, you can over eat occasionally and it won't matter because your mindfulness training will help you eat less at the next meal (because you will be less hungry...or maybe not hungry at all).

We are coming into the season of extreme eating excess (and maybe we don't ever really leave it any more).  Moderation in your eating might be just the freedom you need to get you through the holiday with your sanity and pants that still fit.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

13 Tips for Dealing with a Really Lousy Day

The title is not mine.  And from me, you are only going to get the #1 tip on this list but click here to see the rest of Gretchen's list!

Gretchen, from the Happiness Project, lists the following as tip #1 for dealing with a Really Lousy Day:

1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself. Often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. So when you find yourself thinking, “I’ll feel better after I have a few beers…a pint of ice cream…a cigarette…a new pair of jeans,” ask yourself – will it REALLY make you feel better? It might make you feel worse.

Powerful stuff, right?  How often do we head for a treat to make us feel better?  If we do it reasonably often, it is no longer a treat -- it is a coping mechanism.  Which is a much less flattering concept than giving ourselves a treat.

Food treats might distract you for a while -- but they are not going to solve your stresses and, in fact, usually end up creating more stress in your life because now you are stressed about what (or the way) you just ate, on top of the stress you ate to deal with.

Perhaps it's time to call the binging what it is -- coping with food.  And perhaps it is time to find a new mechanism to cope -- one that deals with the real issue at hand --the stress.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Difficult Difficult and Difficult Easy

I just read an interesting article about the idea of Difficult Difficult and Difficult Easy.  Difficult Difficult is doing things that are challenging, new, scary and sometime (or most times) not very fun but come with the promise of personal growth and increasing your life skills.

Difficult Easy are all those challenging activities that grind on you, wear you down, and don't teach you new skills or help you grow.

Dieting is Difficult Easy.  Sure, it's hard and you can slug it out -- but unless you change your eating behaviors, you will gain the weight back because you haven't changed the habits that caused your weight gain in the first place.  There is no growth of skill even though you put in all that work.

Mindful Eating is Difficult Difficult.  It's hard remembering to think about your hunger/fullness levels BEFORE you start to eat.  It is difficult to act on hunger/fullness information when it goes against the grain of your usual eating habits.  Sometimes you are going to want to give up on the behavior change all together.  But....

Mindful Eating is inherently an opportunity for personal growth and the learning of new skills.  Difficult Difficult but also the most rewarding.  Or as the author writes:

....And don’t, please (like my old mate) fall into the trap of mistaking hard work – even extremely hard (easy) work – for progress. Because, let’s be frank, difficult easy is really just another way of saying ‘easy’, and there is no growth in easy.....

Friday, November 5, 2010


Seth Godin just blogged about laziness.  According to him, laziness used to be about avoiding physical labor -- hiding out until the work was done. (if you have recently tried to get your teenagers to rake the yard, you understand the concept in action).

He goes on to say that in today's world, laziness is less about avoiding physical labor (as we just don't have as much of that as we used to) and more about avoiding the emotional work of situations that cause you fear.  Hiding from the fear of failure might be the new lazy.  It is so much easier to stay on the well beaten path -- because that way, even if you fail, there are others that have failed before you're not alone.

Where as, if you try something new, something that only you can do, if you fail, you will be all by yourself.  Except you won't -- you will be in the company of all of the other brave and industrious souls out there hacking their way through their own uncharted territory -- still afraid of failing but cutting their own path anyway.

That's why I'm here -- I'm manning the Bat Phone.  If you feel like you are in need of help -- send out a shout (in the form of a comment) and the rest of us here will be here to offer help, encouragement, and support.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I can't promise you

I can't promise you that you will:

lose weight.
that you'll live longer (or live better).
that you will be happier, richer, more likable, or come closer to reaching your dreams.

I can' promise you that mindfulness will come naturally to you or that you will always feel like acting on the better impulses you have about your eating.

I can't promise you that.

I can promise you that if you are paying attention to the eating decisions you make, you will find more opportunities to be successful at fueling your body with what it needs than you ever thought possible.  It's not easy but it is always very simple.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What are you getting?

We American's love a bargin -- that's why restaurants can charge us $8 for a salad and breadsticks (two of the least expensive food items on the menu).  Even given that we can eat as much salad and as many breadsticks as we want, very, very few of us will ever come close to eating $8 worth.  But we'll try.

It is our culture to look for good deals -- look at the way almost everything is marketed on TV.  It is all about getting the most for your investment.  Tapping into that mentality must work or most of our commercials wouldn't be geared in that direction.

So...let's give some thought to what you might be gaining if you reduce your food intake by 9 bites a day:

  • You might be getting looser pants
  • An easier time climbing stairs.
  • Peace of mind that you are not ruled by food.
  • The ability to get in the backseat of a two door car.
  • To be able to shop for clothes more places (or maybe just at your dream store).
  • Have more fun traveling since airplane seats on designed for Kate Moss types.
  • To irrate your sister-in-law with your enjoyment and composure at that holidays (because you're not worrying about what you "should" or "shouldn't" eat - AND that your pants are looser!)

What else?  What makes this bargin better?  What is worth more than those 9 bites of food? -- Figure it out and you could be 5 pounds lighter for Thanksgiving and 10 for Christmas.