I’m baffled

So, I’m sitting here shaking my head.  I’m wondering why people chose to do crazy things to lose weight?

Trust me – I’ve tried them all.  I’ve tried every tactic and trick in the book to lose weight QUICKLY.  However, this only happened AFTER I lost my 100lbs.  Can you believe that at 169lbs I still thought I was fat?  I still believed I had to lose more – I HAD JUST LOST 103lbs. But it’s because of society and my own self hatred that I felt the need to be THINNER.  NOW almost two years after I was my lowest weight, here I am frustrated and ready to get back at it again.

You know how many times I’ve restarted my weight loss over the last year?  Do you know how many times I wish I was where I was on May 2nd 2012? I just mentally yelled at myself to STOP BRINGING UP THE PAST!  Who CARES where I was back in 2012?  Since my weight loss journey I have become a more confident, stronger individual who now realize my weight dictates NOTHING!!!

I can be who I want to be RIGHT NOW!! As long as I have the passion and the determination to succeed – I will.

I’m not going to lie – I’m an emotional eater.  January 2013 my aunt passed away and then in July my Nan passed away.  I struggled so much when my Nan died.  Not that I didn’t (don’t) miss my Aunt… the passing of my Nan absolutely tore my heart out of my chest and devestated me.  I turned to food.  I was sad, I always cried and I pushed many of my friends and family away.

But everyone knows my story, everyone knows the struggles I’ve dealt with.  Everyone knows I’m once again overweight.

However, here’s the bright side – IM FINE WITH IT!! Well, not my weight per se, but.. I’m not going to let ANYTHING, ANYMORE dictate my success.  I’m not going to let certain individuals make me feel like crap anymore.

I am who I am.  I work hard, I believe in myself NOW and I’m ready to help others reach their weight loss goals WHILE working towards mine.  And I am no longer going to be worried that I’m being judged because I call myself a health coach.

I’m doing exactly what I want to do.  I’m running my own business.  I’m taking charge of my life.  I am, a health coach.

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Stop mindless eating!

Let Go of the Trigger

Okay, go grab a notebook or use an online journal.  It’s time to start getting real about your emotional eating. Sure, it can be a vicious cycle if you allow it to progress, but I’m going to show you a quick little trick to help you understand your behaviors and break the destructive pattern. Let’s go.

Below are two questions. For a week, before you eat anything, whether it’s dinner or a small snack, I want you to answer these two questions in your journal. Sound easy? Well, you might be surprised. By doing this, you’ll be able to quickly tell if you’ve got real hunger or if your emotions are what’s causing you to reach for a bunch of junk you know you don’t need — or even really want.

Are you hungry?

Are you experiencing any physiological conditions that are signalling to you that you are hungry? Is your stomach growling? Do you feel weak or tired? Has it been longer than three or four hours since you last ate? If you concentrate on answering these questions, it will be very easy to determine whether you are genuinely, physically hungry or whether you are eating for a different reason. If you’ve determined that you are hungry, then it’s time to eat. If not, it’s time for the next question.

Are you depressed or anxious?

Did you just get into a fight? Are you anxious about a work-related deadline? Whatever it might be, write down what you’re feeling and why you think you’re feeling it. Getting in touch with your emotions here is critical. If you can’t, you’re going to have an incredibly difficult time reaching your weight loss goals. Dig deep, and get it in writing.

How to get started!

How do you get started? It looks like you already have. The simple fact is that you can change your life by changing your mind. Nothing is impossible for the willing mind! We all have the power to gain control of our lives, reach our goals, and live our dreams. The challenge is locating, nurturing, and believing in your ability to do so.

You’ve worked out before, and you have some experience with eating right. But now you’re ready to take things up a notch and get the body you’ve always wanted. Here’s what you should do:

1. Clean the crap out of your cupboards.So you think you know how to eat healthfully? Let’s see…how many boxes of crackers and bags of chips do you have lying around? How often do you cook white rice or refined pasta? Processed foods contain more endocrine disruptors (Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in humans) than you can shake a stick at, and youwant them out of your life.

2. Replace it with whole foods. Fresh, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains should be the focus of your diet.

3. Get on board with strength training. Let me guess: Whenever you’ve tried to lose weight in the past, you’ve done cardio…and more cardio, and more cardio. Cardio is great (in fact, I encourage it as “extra credit” toward weight loss), but it doesn’t help you maintain metabolism-boosting muscle and it doesn’t burn as many calories as circuit-training.

4. Know your target heart rate. To get the maximum calorie burn in the shortest possible time, I recommend exercising at a high intensity — 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.  To find out your target heart rate just visit this site:

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/healthtool-target-heart-rate-calculator

5. Keep track of what you eat. The formula for weight loss is simple: You need to burn more calories than you eat. That means you need to be aware of how many calories you put into your body so you can stay on track. I personally keep a food diary.  I record everything that goes in my mouth.  Pretty much if you eat it, record it.  I like the old fashion way, just writing it in a food journal, but I know many people who use Apps on their smart phones.  Apps such as “My Fitness Pal” and “Lose It”  Both these apps have thousands of foods that have already been added with their nutrition information.

6. Evaluate your habits. If you’ve tried to lose weight before but weren’t successful, ask yourself what was standing in your way. Are you an emotional eater? Do you take an all-or-nothing approach that sets you up for failure?  What I’ve done in the past is keep record of when you eat when NOT hungry.  I mean, if you get stressed out and find that you’re turning to food, write it down.  Write down the date/time and how you’re currently feeling.  This will help you realize how you’re feeling when you turn to food.  It’ll help evaluate if you’re actually hungry or if you’re hunger is triggered by something else.

The first thing you need to understand is how your emotions and your behaviors affect your weight. You need to commit all your mental resources toward change. Learn how to take control of negative self-image and poor self-esteem through journaling, positive affirmations, visualization, and behavior-modification techniques. It’s also important to build a support system and communicate with your family and friends so they know what you need and how best to support you. Identify temptations and “trigger foods” (foods that you have a hard time controlling) in your life so you can modify your daily routine and behavior. Next, you must learn how and what to eat. Learn how to make healthier choices and find out what the right types of foods are for your individual metabolism. Then educate yourself about calories. How many is your body burning daily? How many are in the foods you are eating? How many do you burn when you exercise? Starting to get the picture? Weight loss is simple math. A pound is 3,500 calories — so to lose a pound you will need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. It’s “calories in” versus “calories out.”

This is where the exercise comes in. Exercise is the best way to get those “calories out” and burn fat. Get yourself acquainted with exercise. Find out the most effective ways to work out in order to burn the most calories. It’s also important to learn where your heart rate should be when doing resistance training and cardio, the proper form and purpose for each exercise you perform, and how to modify and progress your fitness routine to prevent plateau.

Why do we eat our feelings?

My Nan died in July.  My Aunt died in January.  2013 hasn’t been a good one, emotionally.
I will come forward and say this:  I’ve gained weight due to emotionally eating.  I turned to food to cope with the pain I felt.  Late nights were horrible; those moments I was by myself.  The fridge and the pantry were my comfort, some days they still are.

From May 2011 to May 2012 I lost 100lbs.  Yup! 100lbs in one year.  It’s now October 2013.  I refuse to get on a scale to see where I’m at.  I’d probably guess I’m up 20-30lbs.  But why am I so upset by it?  I should still be proud of myself, right?  I feel that when I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, I’m obligated to tell them a long story WHY I’m larger than when they lost saw me.  WHY?? WHY OH WHY!!  It;s none of their business.  Even writing this entry feels like I’m trying to give you an explanation why I’m heavier then I was May 2012.

So many factors come in to play when someone loses a drastic amount of weight and regains some.  I really don’t think I have to sit here and explain to you all the different reasons why I’ve gained some weight back.  Sure, for my height I’m still extremely overweight.  But I’m sure healthier than I was at 272lbs, right?  But instead of ENJOYING my life, I constantly worry about what others think of me and I constantly worry about every thing I eat.  This has to be stopped. I will not feel badly anymore.  I go to the gym, I eat healthy choices.. but right now I need to focus on being HAPPY and healthy.  I have so much to be happy about, but I get in these ruts where I’m so down on myself (believe it or not) and I turn to food…

Most emotional eaters tend to feel powerless over their food cravings. When the urge to eat hits, it’s all they can think about. You feel an almost unbearable tension that demands to be fed, right now! Because you’ve tried to resist in the past and failed, you believe that your willpower just isn’t up to snuff. But the truth is that you have more power over your cravings than you think.

Why is it that we turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward? Unfortunately for us, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. It usually makes us feel worse. After we over indulge, not only does the original issue still remain, but we feel guilty for overeating.  What we need to do is recognize our emotional eating triggers.  It will be our first step to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive eating.  We need to change the habits that sabotaged our diets in the past.

Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed. You beat yourself up for messing up and not having more willpower. Compounding the problem, you stop learning healthier ways to deal with your emotions, you have a harder and harder time controlling your weight, and you feel increasingly powerless over both food and your feelings.

It’s a constant battle.  It will be a constant battle if you don’t recognize the problem.  I’m trying find other ways to cope.. you can too.  I’m going to ask a few questions.. if you answer yes to any of these questions, you’re probably an emotional eater.  Hey, it’s okay.  Now we just have to work on it.  We can do this – we’re in this together.

  • Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
  • Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
  • Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
  • Do you reward yourself with food?
  • Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
  • Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?
  • Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?

The first step in recovering from emotionally eating is admitting it to yourself when you’re in the moment.

Step away from the pantry, close the refrigerator.
Your butt and stomach will thank you later.

No need to consume those extra calories.
Call a friend, text a friend.  Go on twitter, check Facebook.

Find something to do other than eat.

All you have to do is put off eating for five minutes, or if five minutes seems unmanageable, start with one minute. Don’t tell yourself you can’t give in to the craving; remember, the forbidden is extremely tempting.  Just tell yourself to wait. While you’re waiting, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What’s going on emotionally? Even if you end up eating, you’ll have a better understanding of why you did it. This can help you set yourself up for a different response next time

Banish those Bad Habits!!!

I came across a great article, once again by Jillian Michaels.  She’s my mentor, so she’s going to be featured quite a bit on here.  Here’s her article summed up.

The key to breaking bad habits like overeating is to identify the things that are making you feel low or stressed. Here’s how to pinpoint your emotional triggers and establish healthy habits for life.

Unfortunately, we have all used food basically like a drug.  We use it to help ourselves cope with stress and emotions.  What we have to do is first IDENTIFY what exactly is making you feel the way you do..  These emotions can be feelings of pressure, sadness, anger or simply being anxious.  Now that you have done that, we can break down the cycle and start getting back in control of when, why and how you eat!

Identify Your Emotional Triggers

The best way to identify your own emotional triggers is through personal reflection. Facing your issues by bringing them out of your subconscious and into your conscious reality is the most empowering thing you can do. Take full advantage of a fitness diary. Write down not just what you eat every day but the emotional circumstances surrounding each meal and snack. From now on, every time you reach for a bite, I want you to stop and ask yourself the questions below so you can uncover the psychological and emo­tional issues that are triggering your unhealthy eating habits. Write down the answers so you can’t push them to the back of your mind when you’re done.

1. Are you hungry?

Are you experiencing physical signs of hunger? Is your stomach growling? Do you feel weak or tired? Has it been longer than four hours since you last ate? It’s not hard to figure out whether you’re genuinely hungry or whether you’re eating for a different reason like stress. If you’ve answered these ques­tions and determined that you are hungry, then eat. If not, it’s time for the next question.

2. Are you depressed or anxious?

Think of these following questions: Did you just get in a fight with someone? Anxious about a work-related or school deadline? Whatever it might be, make sure you write down in detail exactly what you feel and why you think you’re feeling it. If you don’t get in touch with your emotions and their cause, you’ll continue to stumble along in life with an absolute guarantee of failure.

3. Can you address whatever emo­tions you may have uncovered immediately and/or in an appropriate way rather than suppressing those emotions?

For example, if you had an argument with your mom, can you call her to talk it through? If you’re feeling anxious about a work- or school-related deadline, can you bust your butt a little more to make yourself feel more on top of it? If you can resolve the problem right then and there, do it! Facing these types of issues is tough — and it always seems easier to try and numb yourself with food. But once you start taking a closer look at your behavior and analyzing your feelings, it gets easier and easier. You might not always have the means to resolve an issue or a situation at the exact mo­ment that it’s triggering you to behave self-destructively, but it’s all about doing what you can, learning from your mistakes, and being self-aware.

4. How can you turn this problem into an opportunity?

Maybe you’ve recently ended a relationship with a long-term spouse or significant other. Or say you’ve just been fired from a job. Instead of seeing these kinds of scenarios as permanent blows to your self-esteem, view them in a different light. Sure, you’re probably in a lot of pain right now, but maybe the relationship had been over for a while and there’s someone better out there for you. If you’re dealing with unemployment, tell yourself that losing your job doesn’t change the fact that you’re a kick-ass, smart, capable person who’ll have plenty of future offers. Stay positive. Accept that sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees, and you’ll be able to stay strong through the low moments and find meaning in the pain.

Establish Healthy Patterns

Now you have the tools for identifying, acknowledging, and bringing to the surface the emotions that have sabotaged you in the past. Next, find some activities that comfort and interest you so you’ll have the power to combat your emotions without resorting to food. Think about what (apart from eating!) soothes you. What makes you feel beautiful or sexy and desirable? If you steer yourself toward feelings of self-worth, you’ll pick activities and behaviors that inherently contradict self-loathing and self-sabotage. Take a bubble bath and listen to tunes you love. Go for a longer-than-usual walk with your pup. Go out dancing with friends. Get a massage or a mani-pedi. Learn to reward and nurture yourself with things that make you feel happy to be alive, and you will break the cycle of self-destruction caused by emotional overeating!