Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thought for the Day....

This thought comes from Productive Flourishing

Watching what everyone else is doing keeps you reacting to what you think is going on rather than what’s important – building something you’re proud of. -- Charlie Gilkey

If you liked the thought, click over and watch his 3 minute video expansion of the thought.  His topic is business but holds completely true for your weight management and mindful practice.

**and as an aside:  He makes the super coolest monthly action planners that you can download here for free.  Neat stuff!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's been a year....

It's been a year since you read this.

Have you taken a moment to stop and assess how far you've come with your mindfulness practice?  Have you taken a moment to stop and assess where you want to go with your practice?  This isn't about your weight goal.  Set that aside for just a minute. 

If you've been journeying with me since last Memorial Day, we've tackled summer barbeque's, the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years eat fest, birthdays, potlucks, Easter baskets -- we've seen it all.  Do you find yourself living more in the present moment?  Would you like to?

The weight will come off but please, just for today, try to think about being present each blessed second of your life as your primary goal.  When you do that, the weight will come off as a by-product.

Happy Memorial Day, All!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Do something Friday

They say trust is the basis for all good relationships.  I'm going to amend that to trust is the basis for all relationships.  If the foundational trust is broken, the relationship with have serious fault lines.  The quality of trust defines the relationship.

As adults, we can see how this is true in interpersonal relationships --  it's exhausting to be in those relationships that lack trust between the participants.  Especially when one is trying to dominate the other.

But what about the intra-personal relationship you have with your body.  How is the trust there?  Do you feel like it is just waiting to betray you at first opportunity?  Do you nag at it out of fear of its behaviors (cravings to eat that whole cake or the extra steak you cooked for tomorrow)?    Do you rebel against your common sense and try to starve it into submission?  Do you make it perform under harrowing conditions (nothing but cabbage soup for the month while you exercise 4 hours a day because you are unhappy with the way it looks)?

Do you trust that if you build good communication skills, it will tell you when you're hungry and when you're full?  That it will guide you day to day in your calorie intake?

It will.  If you listen and start building dialogue and rapport with it.

Unlike other relationships, you are stuck with this one.  There is no walking away this time.  And although, you can make it "behave" for a while, much like other relationships, when one partner is exerting full force all the time, the other partner eventually gives up trying to please.

The good news is, since you are stuck with the body you have, it will never be too late to start working on that relationship.  Learn to listen to the feedback you are getting from it.  Are you eating too much (probably or you wouldn't be reading this blog)?

How does eating to much actually make your physical body feel?  Sluggish, full, bloated, extended??? 

How does it make your mind feel?  Guilty, comforted, numb??

Whatever you feel, start listening.  Start building that relationship of trust.  You are stuck with this body -- you don't get a new one.  Even a thinner one is still the same body that's just a different shape.  If you don't learn to trust it in the times of plenty, how are you going to trust it in the lean times?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Sometimes you have to tell yourself "not right now".  Not all the time but sometimes.  When did we get this idea that we can have everything we want right when we want it?  -- 37 flavors, Big Mac and fries, coffee in a 100 different varieties, doughnuts, subs, pizza that can all be picked up without ever leaving our cars.

We can't have it all every time the mood strikes -- it's too easy to indulge and then the indulgence becomes a habit that is an expectation (and the indulgence is something on top of that). 

Sometimes you have to say no...not right now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My hope for you

I hope you all have as wonderful of cheerleaders as I do!

The other day, I wrote this post, adding (to make my point about quitting and not quitting) that feedback was important (among other things).  You guys were great!  You posted and supported this mindfulness project and I wanted to say "Thanks!".

If you all are getting half the support I got the other day, you will reach your weight management goals for sure!  And if you're not feeling supported enough, reach out to others -- there is a huge (and growing) community of mindful eaters out there.  Find each other, connect, convert your non-mindful friends and develop the supportive environment that will help you flourish.

That is what you've done for me -- thank you.  :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Why try?  Why continue trying?  Why open yourself up to failure?  Why?

Because you only have a couple options:

1. Do.-- you'll get there if you keep trying (although it will probably take longer than you would like it to)

2. Don't do. -- and accept that you're weight will keep heading in the direction it's heading right now.

It won't ever be easier -- it will just be later.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Straight from Seth Godin....a thought for the day

Just imagine how much you'd get done

...if you stopped actively sabotaging your own work.

We must be talented, powerful and resilient creatures indeed given how much we manage to produce despite the constant undercutting, ridicule and needless censorship we aim at ourselves.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Do something Friday

Steven Pressfield is talking about resistance, addiction and the higher-self.  The whole post is fabulous and I highly recommend you head on over there right now for a quick read with an eye toward how his words describe your eating behaviours.

To get you started, here is his thought on Resistance (or the Lizzie, as we call it here):

"...Resistance wants you to go back to sleep, meaning remain unconscious. Resistance is always selling the easy way, the shortcut, the cheap shot. Resistance urges the artist/addict to slack off from, to sidestep, to avoid, to run away from, to not do. It wants you and me to stay shallow, to remain superficial, to continue unfocussed and uncommitted; to accept mediocrity, to avoid pain, to back away from the fight...."

I expect better from you.  Don't give in to resistance this weekend.  Be compassionate with yourself, listen to your body, and fuel it accordingly.

Mindful Eating Seminar

Good morning, all!  Just a quick note to invite you to a Mindful Eating program I will be doing on

Monday 23 May
at 9.30a and 5.30p
at the Borgess Health and Fitness Center
in Classroom 4

The class will last about 45 minutes and we will cover the basics of Mindful Eating and journalling with time for questions and answers after.

I hope you can make it -- it will be great to see you there!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I love feedback!  (or maybe not all feedback -- maybe it's just the positive feedback I love) 

I love your comments on my posts.  I like to hear that people are enjoying/understanding/applying what they read...etc.  Sometimes, when I get negative comments...or no comments, I wonder if I should keep posting -- because maybe what I'm doing doesn't really matter.....

***Now, before you get the feeling that this post is all about drumming up comments, stick with me for a minute because that is totally not where I'm headed here***

My whole purpose in starting this blog  was to start a conversation about Mindful Eating.  It didn't seem like anyone was talking about it and I wanted to change that!  I decided that blogging would be the perfect tool to start and maintain that conversation.  And that the comments I received on the blog would be the perfect tool to measure how successful the blog was.

Here's what I learn though:

These posts are emailed out all across the world.

Lots of people visit this site daily.

I have people I would never expect to like my subject matter tell me they enjoy reading the blog.

I hardly ever get comments.

And my seeming lack of success almost made me quit.

If I hadn't, at some point, redefined how I measured the blog's success, I would have quit writing and considered my experiment an abject failure.  I didn't meet my goals (making a million dollars, going viral, having a parade in my honor because I am such a weight management genius....)

Right before I got so frustrated and crabby because I wasn't getting the feedback I set my sights on, I realized that comments aren't the measure of how this blog is impacting the world. --- I had to change my measure of success.

Is it enough to be able to feel good about my accomplishment?  Sure, maybe I can't take my comment numbers and throw them into the faces of the doubter's that didn't support this endeavour.  But at the end of the day, can I feel good about the work I have done?

And that is the question I am going to put to you:

How are you measuring your success?  Is it just the scale?  And what happens if that scale doesn't budge -- do you lose heart and fall off the mindfulness wagon?  (or worse, binge because "what's the point?") 

Or can it be enough to feel good about accomplishing the mindfulness you are able to cultivate.  To know that you are doing good for your body each and every time you chose to stop eating when you are no longer hungry or to eat when you feel they physical sensation of hunger?

Can you be patient through the times when your scale doesn't budge knowing that eventually all those little decisions will add up and you will get the feedback you're looking for???

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Almost half of all online orders now include free shipping....

I was trolling on my wonderfully diverse blog list and came across this post's title here.

Free shipping isn't free.  When I order stuff from Overstock and they only charge me $1 shipping for a huge box of stuff, it isn't because that is how much it really costs to ship me my stuff.  The price is built into the charge of the items I order.  Well, duh!!  I'm a college educated professional....of course I know that....

And yet, free shipping gets me all the time.  I buy 2 extra books on Amazon to reach the $25 minimum so I can get free shipping instead of buying the book I logged on for, paying for shipping, and getting off the site for less than $25.

That's why sellers offer free shipping -- it gets us to commit. Head games have that much of an effect on us.  And the really interesting part is -- we know it's a gimmick while we're getting sucked into it....yet we still succumb.

So why are we so hesitant to put this great tool to use with our weight management?  Why do we hesitate in putting away our large plates (or smashing them all to bits -- there's some commitment to the eating less lifestyle), buying smaller forks, breaking out the espresso cups for our nightly ice cream? Why do we think that is a cop out or a short term solution? ( Maybe it's not an adult solution???  Maybe if we just had more self-control that would be a more adult solution?) .......

I don't think so.  I think the best approach is one that works. We have these built in psychological oddities, I'm not sure why -- but I haven't met anyone without them yet.  Why not put them to good use for yourself and not just for the retailers who are trying to sell you more stuff that you don't really need??

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


You don't have to stop eating when you're full.  There are lots of other options out there.

Because we have been trained out of listening to the "absence of hunger" sensation, many of us think that full is the sensation we should have before we stop eating.  Full is actually the signal of having eaten too much!

If you pay really close attention, you will find that at some point in your eating, you will reach a state where you are no longer physically hungry but you have no sensation that there is anything sitting in your stomach.  That is when we should be putting the fork down!

Find that sensation and you will be king (or queen) of your weight management world.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do you dare?

"Successful people do what unsuccessful people don't dare."

Do you dare trust yourself enough to learn the difference between when you are hungry (your body's signal you need calories to sustain your activity) and when you're not (you're body's signal you don't need calories to sustain your activity)?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Do something Friday

‘As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.’ ~Gandhi

Never underestimate your power!  Don't give it away!  Focus it!!

How are you going to use your power this weekend?  Click on the comment button and share your plans!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Not knowing what you're doing and looking dumb

This was my experience yesterday:

I was out in the world, reading a book about value-stream mapping (for fun.  Weird, huh?) and working on a map of programming here at the FC.

**Let me just get out of the way:  the map was terrible.  In pencil.  With scribbles all over it.  Not using the correct symbols.  And....I am pretty sure that it was incorrectly done from start to finish (as I don't actually know how to do value-stream mapping -- thus the need to read the book).  Plus...all the books I have read on this subject have talked about manufacturing usage -- not how you would put this into practice in a retail service environment like mine.**

Okay...  So I'm out in public and I have a couple of minutes to kill...I pull out my book and my unattractive map.  I am studying it and I off the sudden I have an Ah-ha! about how we do things here that I have never seen before -- and it is all because of my ugly, unattractive, and incorrectly-drawn (at least from the technical perspective) map. 

I am just digesting and in the process of adding more of my own squiggle marks on the map (in pen, which was a no-no according to the book), when a gentleman behind me (who had full view of my "art project") introduced himself as a Six Sigma Blackbelt (the Olympic Athlete of value-stream mapping).  

I just want to crawl under a rock! 

My novice attempts at understanding this subject have just been witnessed by someone who has the knowledge to see every mistake and inane usage of a tool that just gave me an epiphany.  The fact that he was nice enough not to comment on my horrible (but still insightful) map did not help me feel any less dumb.

But you know what?  No matter what novice ill-usage of the tool he saw, the map still provided insight to me -- which is what it's job it and what I was trying to accomplish. 

Just like all the "mistakes" and mis-usages of the Eating Scale or journalling that you might experience as you learn to use them.  When you start to talk to someone about how you are using the Hunger/Fullness scale, you might be worried that you're using it wrong -- you might not want to talk about mindfulness for fear of seeming dumb because you aren't comfortable with them yet.

The important thing about each of these tools is that they provide you with insights you wouldn't get in your normal course of eating.  It doesn't really matter if you're using them "correctly" -- it matters if you are learning about your actions. 

So keep up your practicing with the H/F scale and your journalling!  Any way that gives you insights into your behavior is the correct way to do it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mindfulness is....

“The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” ~Thomas S. Monson

Mindfulness means "now" -- not tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thought for the Day....

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

Monday, May 9, 2011

Anti-Rejection Drugs

A while ago, I watched a very inspiring video about a UCLA hand transplant.  (it is worth the watch!!)  The video talked about a lot of things but one (and probably the least important to that particular story) was the patient would be on anti-rejection medications for the rest of her life to keep her body from attacking the transplanted hand (because the body sees the hand as not part of itself and therefore not good for her).

Yesterday, I was thinking about how diabetes is such a HUGE and growing medical problem in the US and it occured to me -- our bodies are rejecting our lifestyle (sedentary with virtually unlimited eating opportunities).

Diabetes meds (although they are necessary and VITALLY important for those of us who need them) are kind of like the anti-rejection drugs of the hand patient in the video.  The difference between her and most of us, however, is that we can change our environment so our body doesn't reject it.

I find it interesting that we would consider it a more palatable option to take medications day in and day out rather than make changes that would bring us back into better health.  The transplant patient doesn't have a choice -- many of us do.

Our bodies are designed to be fairly forgiving -- but at some point, after years of taking in large amounts refined sugars and gigantic portions -- it just can't take it anymore and it goes on strike -- rejecting the lifestyle that caused the overload to our system.

From this perspective, the anti-rejection meds that the woman from California can take so she is able to put her daughter's hair in a pony tail again is a scientific and medical miracle of the first order.  Contrast that to the medications that allow us to live even as we continue to overload our system's ability to keep up seems like a very short sighted answer to a relatively simple (not to be confused with easy) problem.

My thought:  Eat less, move more, no excuses.

What is yours?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Do something (or today, it's don't do) something Friday

Today is International No Diet Day!! 

International No Diet Day Goals
  • To celebrate natural body diversity
  • To promote positive body image and self-esteem in people of all shapes and sizes
  • To advocate for non-restrictive, healthy eating patterns and non-punitive physical activities for everyBODY
  • To challenge cultural attitudes and values that contribute to body hatred, weight preoccupation, and eating disorders
  • To encourage positive, body-diverse images throughout the media
  • To increase awareness of the dangers of weight-loss dieting and the social, emotional and physical consequences of food-, size-, and weight-obsessions
  • To educate the public about the dangers of weight-loss surgery, diet drugs, and size-biased medical treatment
  • To work for an end to weight discrimination, size abuse and fatphobia
For more on INDD, click here!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thinking for yourself

It's been a busy, weird week at work.  All the usual stuff needs to be done but around here, we've been getting ready for the Run for the Health of It, the first ever Kalamazoo Marathon, and in my case, the Kids Fun Run.

While I have been a part of the Fun Run in the past, it's always been the "show up and be told what to do" kind of help I was giving.  No need to really think for myself -- Becky or Deb would point me in a direction and tell me what to do -- easy peasy -- no brain cells required in advance and not that many needed to complete the assigned task -- just follow directions.

This year's a little different since Deb is not going to be able to be at the Fun Run.  This week she's been prepping me for the million things she does for the Fun Run -- and I'm supposed to remember it all.  And then execute it when it actually needs to be done!! 

Have you noticed how much work it is having to think for yourself?  If you just have to follow directions:

a. it requires not real thought on the do-er's part
b. you don't stress too much because if it doesn't work out, you always have someone else to take the fall -- after all, they told you what to do!

That's one reason, I think diets are so appealing to so many people.  All you've got to do is follow directions -- and if it doesn't work, you have someone else to blame.

But the downside of showing up and being told what to do is there's not that much room for making the project or event your own.  No pride of ownership because you didn't have to problem solve or be creative. 

So it really comes down to:  are you willing to work through issues, problem solve and be creative to make an eating lifestyle that you can live with?  Or are you going to take the easy, less satisfying, and shorter lasting diet way out??

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Use yourself up

I just read an interesting post from Brooke Castillo's  blog.  She was talking about being a work-horse, "using herself up", and asking the question:

Where did we get the idea that it is good to make very little effort?

Somewhere along the line it seems we have lost sight of the goal of what it means to be alive, to be a contribution.

To me, that means using myself up. It means, when I die, I will have laid it all out.

Not in a struggle, beat myself up kind of way, but in a show up and deliver and love and work like a dog kind of way.

And I'm going to put forth the idea that we all fall into the "it is good to make very little effort" trap sometimes  -- especially with weight management.  We tend to look enviously at those who seem to never have to pay attention to what they eat -- those we never see exercising and stay at a healthy weight.

But you know what??  It's not that easy.  And those that seemingly skate through life still have to work at it some times.   I mean really...do you actually think they aren't struggling with something?  We're all too smart to actually believe that fairy tale, aren't we?

Life is about work -- you might be fortunate enough to enjoy that work most of the time (or maybe you don't )-- but don't kid yourself, it's still work.

Putting the effort into something has value and meaning -- don't sell yourself short. 

....show up and deliver and love and work like a dog!

 (then click on the comments button and share your great work with the rest of us!!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

I don't know if any of you have noticed....

At the bottom of posts, I categorize them -- so that if you wanted to read all the ones about the Eating Scale, you could see how many there were and read them all.

Have you noticed how many of them I have labeled "mindsets" and sometimes more specifically "weight loss mindsets"?  It is the single biggest tag category.  In case you are a numbers person:

Weight loss mindsets: 105 posts
Mindsets: 87 posts
Know yourself: 42 posts
Seth Godin (who I love!):18 posts

What's this say about weight loss?  Well, apparently, I think it's all in our heads.  Our mindsets, habits and patterns are either working for us or working against us.  Change a few of those working against us and our weight changes for the positive too. 

Where are you going to start?  As Seth says, "Go make something happen"  !!!