It’s absolutely amazing just how much a year can change a person. This time last year, I was in such a bad place with just about everything in my life. This year, however, I couldn’t be happier! A lot has changed for me in such a short period of time and it’s been an amazing ride.
This time last year, I already had my weight loss plan in place but couldn’t execute for another month. Why? I was still recovering from my hysterectomy and was on a lot of restrictions. Once I was released, it was game on. I executed my plan immediately and I was so excited.
Fast forward to June and I was getting close to onederland and made the decision (in May) to become a health coach. The kid was out of school on summer vacation and I started getting up at 5 am. I was up and out the door on my walk by 7 am. Most days, I had my 10k steps in by 9 am.
June through October was pretty steady but shit hit the fan in the middle of October. It was a rough time for me, and a few other people in my life, which meant my activity was the first thing to go. I made the decision to stop exercising and made other things more important.
This trend continued off and on for the rest of 2017. I started to feel crappy and I had no one to blame but myself. It was eye opening for me because I had done so well for 3/4 of the year. It really made me think about and re-evaluate quite a few things in my life.
December was a month full of reflection for me and I’m forever grateful. I purged the house and my personal items of anything that was holding me back. 2017 is gone and I’m welcoming 2018 with open arms. I am so motivated to kick ass this year it’s almost annoying.
2018 holds many, many changes for myself and my family. The first quarter is going to be the most stressful but I’m working very hard to make it good stress instead of bad. While it may be cliché to refer to the New Year as a new beginning, that’s exactly what’s happening to my family. We’re on to new adventures and there’s no looking back.
It’s high time we say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018. I hope you all have a fantastic year and all your dreams come true.
It’s been almost 2 months since I’ve published anything here and I have no excuse for it. Life has overwhelmed me lately and I’m just now regaining my footing. I was somewhat prepared for this during the holidays but I was not prepared for the shit storm that has come my way. Because sharing is caring, here’s what life has been like for the past 60 days…
Back in October, my oldest boy got himself into some trouble. Since he’s of legal age, mama can’t bail his ass out anymore. I tell ya, no matter how much you try to teach them and talk to them, eventually they’re going to do what they want to do. It took me a long time to realize that his actions aren’t a reflection of my parenting and I still struggle with that sometimes. Hopefully, this taught him a valuable life lesson and he’s learned from it.
Naturally, when this shit went down, I immediately texted my BFF, who’s been there for more than 25 years. Long story short, she and I are no longer friends (her decision, not mine). Why? Wish I could tell you. She unfriended me on Facebook because I posted something she didn’t like. I shit you not – I have the text message to prove it. I tried calling her to work it out but she never answered the phone.
That hurt me deeply and took me a long time to recover. But, I’ve learned a few things, about her and myself, since then. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that how other people treat you is a reflection of them – not you. People treat you according to what they’re going through at the time. It’s time to stop taking responsibility for other people’s shit; you have enough of your own shit.
Another lesson for me was that, sometimes, friendships don’t stand the test of time. No matter how long you’ve been friends, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be friends for the rest of your lives. Guess what? That’s ok! We have to constantly evaluate the people in our lives to see if they’re still in line with our goals. I’ve lost a few people over the years, only to realize later that it was for the best. Sometimes our “friends” don’t have our best interests at heart. Why would you want to surround yourself with people like that?
Outgrowing friends isn’t a bad thing. We outgrow almost everything at some point in our lives. In order to be successful in your life, you need to be surrounded by people who support you and want what’s best for you. Your friends shouldn’t have their own agenda for your life and you shouldn’t feel obligated to follow their plan.
I’m still struggling with this but it’s getting better every day. Moving into November, I had dental surgery the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, which made dinner interesting. If you recall, I had surgery the day before Thanksgiving last year. Let’s hope next Thanksgiving is uneventful! After that surgery, I came down with a sinus infection that left the right side of my face swollen. Once I got the echinacea on board, I was good to go.
Throughout all of this, I didn’t workout (well, maybe once or twice), which made me feel worse. Here’s the thing: working out clears my mind and helps me feel better about everything. But, when shit hits the fan, it’s the first thing I don’t do. What?! It’s a constant inner conflict that I need to get over. I come up with excuses for why I “can’t” workout.
The good news is….I lost weight during this time. I didn’t log my food and I ate what I wanted but I was very aware of my portion sizes. But, here’s the catch…
I now know that I don’t have to be so anal about logging my food and tracking calories. BUT – that’s usually where I tend to get myself into trouble. With that being said, I’m trying something different for the month of December. Instead of tracking calories in the Lose It! app, I’m writing down everything I eat in the new health section in my Filofax. Stay tuned for how that works out.
Shit happens to every single one of us. What separates us is how well we’re able to cope with it. Sometimes we turn inward and mentally and emotionally destroy ourselves. But, other times we’re able to turn outward and better ourselves. Do what it takes to be in that second category. Always remember that we’re works in progress – perfection doesn’t exist and setbacks will happen. It’s ok to slip up…just don’t stay there. Get back on that horse immediately and take care of YOU!
Do you want to stop overeating? Do you know why you overeat? Until you know why you do it, it’s going to be difficult to stop. I’ve found that most of us overeat because we’re feeding our emotions. I’m a recovering emotional eater and I eat a lot because I’m bored, stressed, anxious, or down on myself. It’s a vicious cycle that can be very difficult to break.
Drink More Water
Being thirsty is sometimes confused as being hungry. Our bodies are 60% water so we need a lot of it. Almost everyone I’ve talked to has an issue getting enough water. I get it – water is plain and boring but it’s a vital nutrient for our survival. If you’re having trouble drinking enough water because it’s plain, add some fruit to it. I love water infused with lemon, cucumber, mint, or strawberries.
The next time you’re feeling hungry, drink a tall glass of water first. You may be surprised to learn that you were just thirsty. I always feel famished when I get back from my walks in the morning. I’m between meals and it’s not time for a snack yet. I grab a bottle of water from the fridge and chug it down. More often than not, it does the trick.
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The thought of leisurely eating a meal may make you a bit anxious; it did me at first. Who has time to sit down for a full 20 minutes and eat? It’s hard to sit down for 20 minutes and eat. But, that’s how long it takes for your stomach to signal your brain that you’re full. Try timing your meals for the next week and see what you learn. Eat your first meal normally to see how long it takes you and increase your time from there. I don’t suggest taking the full 20 minutes at once if you’re used to eating in 6 minutes. Just add a few minutes to each meal until you reach 20 minutes per meal.
That brings me to the hunger and fullness scales. You need to learn how you feel when you’re truly hungry and how you feel when you’re truly full. When I say full, I’m not talking about that stuffed feeling – that’s overfull.
Learning where you fall on these scales will help you make better choices about timing your meals. Try following these scales while increasing your meal time and you’ll notice a big difference.
Eat More Fiber & Protein
Fiber and protein are essential for weight loss and overall health. Generally, adult women need at least 25g of fiber and 46g of protein per day. If you’re into weight lifting or following a special diet, you dietary needs will be different so always check with your doctor about what your body needs. Fiber and protein both help to keep you full longer, which is what you’re looking for. Fiber also aids in your digestion, which increases your gut health. Protein is essential for your body to avoid muscle loss and weakening of the heart and respiratory system.
Examples of High Fiber Foods
Examples of High Protein Foods
There you have it! These 3 easy ways to stop overeating will keep you on the path to good health. If you find you’re overeating due to stress or other emotions, I highly recommend keeping a mood journal to help you determine when you eat the most. This journal will also help you recognize the times when you’re more likely to overeat, what feelings make you overeat, and actually recognize your inner feelings. I wish you all the success in the world when it comes to conquering your hunger!
When you set out to lose weight, you can’t help but notice some things you never noticed before. At first, you may notice just how out of shape you really are, especially if you’re winded walking up the stairs or to the end of the driveway. Other things you’ll notice are more subtle. Hell, you might not notice them at all until you stop doing it. Here’s what I mean…
The more weight I lost, the more I noticed that morning exercise was better for me. Kinda ironic, if you think about it, because I was never a morning person. I was the one who would sleep through the alarm, or, if I did hear it, I’d hit snooze a hundred times before dragging myself out of bed. I noticed that exercising in the morning helped me increase my productivity and it always put me in a better mood. But, if I missed a morning workout, I noticed something I hadn’t realized before.
Morning exercise actually curbs my appetite all day! It’s not just me; there’s scientific evidence to support this. I’m not going to get into all of that because you’re not here to read another scientific article full of 50-syllable words. You’re here because I tell it like it is and here’s how it is…
We all have a hormone called ghrelin (kinda reminds you of “gremlin” doesn’t it?). This is the hormone that stimulates appetite. But, when you exercise in the morning, this evil hormone decreases and we experience an increase in peptide YY (I always say “ya-ya” in my head when I talk about this). Peptide YY is a hormone that suppresses our appetite. So, “gremlin” makes us eat and “ya-ya” keeps us satisfied. With me? Good.
So what have I actually noticed? My morning routine is basically the same stuff every single day. I head out for a 5+ mile walk after breakfast. I’ve missed a few walks here and there (it was raining or I was down with plantar fasciitis) and I started to notice that my breakfast wasn’t sticking with me as long as it normally does. At first, I thought it was because I was eating more overnight nights instead of my usual egg whites. So, I tested that thought. I was wrong!
On the days I haven’t walked, I’ve eaten, on average, 500 calories more than on the days I do walk. That’s another whole meal! I’ve also noticed that I snack more often during the day. I just can’t seem to get full.
You’re probably thinking that burning calories should make me want to eat more. I thought that, too, and had a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that burning calories actually kept me from eating everything in sight. But, then I changed my thinking. It’s a built-in accountability system for me. Think about it – I walk and don’t eat a charge or I sit on my ass and eat everything in sight. Which one would you choose? Exactly!
Of course, everyone is different so this may not be the case for you. I encourage you to find out what works for your body and listen to it! Naturally, on days I lift, I tend to eat more because I have to for muscle recovery. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle I build the higher my BMR gets. But, I get most of my calories from protein and complex carbs.
You always have to listen to your body. That’s the biggest part of any weight loss plan you follow. Your body knows exactly what it needs. Don’t think your mind knows better because it doesn’t. Always listen to your body…I can’t say that enough.
Part of listening to your body is moving it on a regular basis. It’s craving exercise and you may not even realize it. I’m hosting another 30 Day Fitness Challenge starting October 1. I’d love for you to join me! The details are coming soon and will be available here and on my Facebook page so be sure to keep an eye out. If you don’t want to miss it, sign up to receive my posts in your inbox and it’ll be delivered to you!
It’s so easy to let things get out of hand around the house. Shoes here, a jacket there, all because you’re busy being a working parent or spending time with your kids. Guess what? That’s OK! We don’t all always pick up after ourselves every single time. But, when your surfaces are piled high with you-don’t-know-what you start experiencing negative health effects. This isn’t just physical clutter; mental clutter counts, too! How does clearing clutter help with weight loss?
Clutter Holds You Back
Clutter has this innate ability to keep you stuck where you are. It physically holds you back and keeps maintaining the status quo. It’s stifling; it smothers you and drains your energy. You already know this. How many times have you cleaned your room or a room in your house and felt SO much better afterward? You actually feel lighter when you’re finished, right? I don’t know how many times I’ve stood in the middle of my living room just looking around at how clean it is. Of course, that doesn’t last long, but, for those brief moments, I feel amazing!
When you have a lot of clutter (I live with Fred Sanford so I know what I’m talking about), you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. It’s easier to close the door, push it in a cabinet, or just ignore it all together. Before I took full control of my household, I would often walk through the door and automatically feel blah. I could be in the best mood ever, but, as soon as I walked in, I’d feel completely drained and unmotivated. I was overwhelmed with the amount of shit piled up everywhere.
Decluttering Teaches You Discipline
It’s not enough to spot clean – yes, that’s important – but those big, deep cleans are what getting rid of clutter is all about. Going through all of your crap teaches you discipline. How? Weight loss is all about taking one step at a time. Decluttering is the same principle. You can’t go from full on clutter to absolutely no clutter overnight…just like you can’t go from overweight to skinny overnight. You have to painstakingly handle each and every piece of stuff to determine if you need it, use, want it, or to toss it.
It’s been within the past few months that I’ve taken full control, I’ve followed a few rules, if you will, when it comes to hanging on to stuff. These rules come from a few different places, like David Allen’s book Getting Things Done.
If I haven’t touched it in more than 3 months, I think about whether or not I need it.
If I haven’t touched it in more than 6 months, I throw it away or donate it to charity.
When I think of something, I stop what I’m doing and write it down immediately.
If anything is considered a “maybe” (maybe I’ll use it, maybe I’ll follow through with that idea), I hang on to it for 4 weeks then re-evaluate. If I haven’t done anything with it by then, I probably won’t so I let it go.
It takes discipline to adopt a new way of doing things, such as keeping clutter at bay. This type of discipline is exactly what makes weight loss successful. Once you have developed this discipline, nothing will ever stop you from achieving your goals. How awesome is that?!
New House, New You
Your weight loss journey is all about making improvements to your habits and your health. Changing your habits is hard work – it’s the single hardest thing you’ll ever do in your life, in my opinion. If you’re going to change your habits, why not change them all the way around? Remember in math when you were taught to combine like terms? It’s basically the same thing with clutter and weight loss. Let go of what’s holding you back! Your clutter represents who you USED to be, not who you’re BECOMING.
The new you deserves to enjoy being at home, in a clean room, without stress or worry about having so much stuff to sort through. This new you also deserves to have a mind that’s free (well, as free as it can get) of random thoughts and ideas always floating around. Start writing all that stuff down onto different lists, such as Home, To Buy, Someday/Maybe, etc. Each of these lists serves the purpose of getting thoughts out of your head (you’ll forget them anyway) and onto paper for you to process later, when you can give your undivided attention to them.
Do you see how clutter is related to weight loss? It’s all about clearing out your mind, body, and environment to achieve your goals. I highly recommend reading David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity to help you get started. I firmly believe that weight loss is more of a mental game than a physical one. With that being said, it’s important that you prepare your mind for the journey you’re about to take and this includes learning to let go of the past.
Have you ever thought about your relationship with time? That’s right – you have a relationship with time. Think about it for a minute; everything in your life revolves around time. You’re constantly scheduling things, running out of it, wish you had more or trying to stop it. You probably have a love/hate relationship with it; I sure do. If you don’t realize how your relationship with time impacts your health, it’s time to get educated.
Rushing Through Life
If you find yourself rushing more often than not, you’re actually negatively impacting your health. How? Well, if you’re always rushing, you’re probably not making healthy food choices. I bet you’re always reaching for quick and easy foods; in other words, junk. Am I right? You’re not leaving yourself a lot of room to make health choices if you’re always running around like a chicken with your head cut off. This is where meal planning comes into play. It helps you plan ahead so you’re better equipped to make healthy choices.
Rushing Through Meals
Rushing through your meals also has a negative impact on your health because you tend to eat more than you actually need. It takes 20 minutes for digestion to kick in and send the signal that you’re full. How fast do you eat? I bet you’ve never even timed a meal…I know I hadn’t done it before. But, I’ve noticed a huge difference in how much I eat, especially at dinner, when I time myself. If you time yourself and find that it only takes you 8-10 minutes to eat a meal, that’s ok. All you need to do is stretch it out a little longer the next time. Don’t try to go full on 20 minutes at once because it’ll drive you crazy. Ease into it and you’ll be amazed at what you learn.
Creating Added Stress
Cramming your days full of stuff creates more stress on your body. Added stress can often cause binge eating and it increases the production of cortisol. Increased stress and cortisol produce….wait for it….excess belly fat. This type of fat is harder to lose (trust me, I know) and may cause you to give up on your weight loss goals entirely. Ya know, that whole instant gratification thing. Your body doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a bear stress or work stress. To your body, all stress is created equal. What happens when you’re really stressed out? Digestion stops. Yep, you read that right. It stops. Think about it – your body isn’t worried about digesting your lunch when it thinks it needs to prepare to run from a bear. In reality, if you were face to face with a bear, you wouldn’t be worried about your lunch either.
Pitstop in Lazytown
How many times have you decided that you’re going to have a lazy day? Just veg out in front of the TV watching Netflix, munching on whatever you wanted to? It’s ok…we all have those days. But, it’s when you get stuck in that mode that it hurts your health. Snacking on junk can be somewhat cathartic but only in moderation. Sometimes it just feels good to eat a slice of cheesecake or whatever. Be sure to keep it moving, though. Don’t unpack and live in Lazytown. Stop in and visit on your way through but do not take up residence.
I bet you won’t look at time the same way again, will you? It’s time to sit back and take stock of all the happenings in your life to see where adjustments can be made. Don’t know where to start? Start by making a list of what a typical day looks like and see where you can trim the fat. Start keeping track of how long things take you so you can see if you’re being as productive as possible. Improving your relationship with time can improve your health and your entire life.
Maintaining your weight can be just as difficult as losing it! Why? Because it’s something you’ll need to be fully aware of for the rest of your life. Lasting weight loss doesn’t just happen; you have to monitor it frequently and figure out what works for your body and what doesn’t. Exercise, although important for weight loss and management, isn’t the key to lasting weight loss. But, don’t stop doing it!
Food is the key. Yes, food. Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t out run your fork.”? It’s true. No matter how much you exercise, your food choices dictate lasting weight loss. Carbs, sodium, sugar…they all contribute to weight gain. What you eat matters! Continue making healthy choices and keeping track of everything you eat. Want a brownie? No problem – eat one but make sure you budget for it accordingly and log it.
Weight loss is all about calories in versus calories out. You need to burn more than you consume to see a loss. If you’re not making healthy food choices and see that you’re consuming 3,000 calories per day but you’re only burning 1,500 calories per day, you’ll eventually start gaining weight. We all burn so many calories each day just by being alive. It’s called our basal metabolic rate (BMR). You can calculate yours here. The trick is to burn more calories than you consume.
If your BMR is 1,700 calories and you burn 300 calories through exercise, you shouldn’t eat more than 2,000 calories. If what you burn equals what you eat, you’ll maintain your current weight. Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t go over your calories every once in a while, but don’t make it a habit if you want lasting weight loss.
You should always, always keep your body in motion! Don’t think you don’t have to exercise as long as you’re under your daily calories. Exercise isn’t just good for weight loss. It helps improve your overall health and your mood.