Stop Losing Your S%!+ With Food!

Let’s be honest, if you’re like most of Americans, you are so excited about the 4th because finally you get to eat (or drink) your favorite treats that you only have once a year.

For many of us, it’s been more than a year since we’ve had a proper 4th, so I know where your brain is!

Now I want you to think about what would happen if you stuck perfectly to your meal plan all day long.

You may be thinking, Bo-Ring, right?

Now what if I told you to make your plan AND include your favorite thing.

What would happen?

Most likely you’d lose weight, and if you didn’t, you’d have a little blip on the scale and be back to normal in a day or two, right?

So, if we can enjoy our favorite things and still get results, why don’t we?

Because our brains are in the habit of telling us that if we’ve made a “mistake” on our plan, that the whole day is ruined.

But here’s the trick– including a treat on your plan, is still sticking to your plan.

In fact, when you have a plan that includes a treat and you DON’T have the treat, then you are OFF your plan (say whaaaatttt!!!!!??????)

What if this 4th of July, you didn’t make your favorite treat a catastrophe, and just treated it like a sneeze- here and then gone. What results could you create then?

So, here is my challenge to you, my Rebel…

This 4th of July I want you to include a treat of your choice on your plan. I don’t care if it’s two glasses of wine and five cupcakes. Think about what would be enjoyable for you.

What is the choice you will have wish you had made Monday morning?

Write out your plan TODAY!

Then I want you to post a pic of you enjoying your treat on Instagram and tag me @weight_loss-rebel so I can celebrate with you!

You’ll be celebrating, too because when you challenge yourself to try something new, you create a new version of yourself.

You become the woman who does what she says she will do– she is the woman who crushes goals!

So go create! And have a great 4th!

If you need some extra support on figuring out how to manage the day with a treat, check out my Special Occassion Solution, which will give you step-by-step instructions for how to break down your day into small, manageable parts.

If you love this idea and you’d like more, then join my free Facebook Group, Weight Loss Rebels here.

And hey, if you want to make the cake in this photo, check out my Insta post here for instructions.

Coping with Anxiety and Depression

The other day, my friend Madison asked people on Facebook about how people are coping with anxiety and depression in these insane times.

I posted a somewhat brief response, and read through the 46 comments to see if there were any common threads.

Faith, mental health support, finding activities, limiting news, baking, drinking, and connecting with others were all popular answers.

People also acknowledged they are still working through it, still struggling, still needing support.

I was really moved by the encouraging words people had for one another, so I asked Madison if she wouldn’t mind if I wrote about it, and she agreed– thank you 😉 .

This post really got me thinking because sometimes when life happens, especially in the way it has recently, it can feel seemingly impossible to pull yourself out of the pit.

Before I dig into that, I think it’s important to acknowledge this:

Life is 50% positive emotions and 50% negative emotions.

I know this because it is reality. And as Byron Katie says, “when we argue with reality we lose, but only 100% of the time.”

People think that because I’m a life coach that I go around telling people to be happy all the time. And while there certainly is enormous value in being positive, it is misaligned for times when real hard life happens.

Think about it for a second– do you WANT to be happy when someone dies or your child gets injured? No! You want to choose, in that moment, to have a feeling like sadness or fear.

This is clearly a time when emotions are running high, and people are growing weary of quarantining, face mask wearing, social isolation, and all the things, so I won’t tell you to be happy, instead I will tell you this…

  1. Allow the ugly feelings to surface.
  • Feel sad.
  • Feel bummed.
  • Feel lonely.
  • Feel whatever is coming up for you.

It’s ok. It’s totally normal.

When we allow feelings to emerge we can process them. Many people have a fear that if they sit in boredom or sadness that they will implode. You won’t. Or that they will be uncomfortable. You will. But being uncomfortable is okay. Nothing is wrong with being uncomfortable.

Let me say this again… nothing is wrong with being uncomfortable.

I reiterate this because discomfort was a feeling I used to deeply battle, and whenever I felt any uncomfortable feelings (loneliness, frustration, sadness) I would binge eat.

I got so good at coping with discomfort by binge eating, that as soon as an uncomfortable feeling emerged, I would automatically get a gnawing sensation within me that felt incessant– like I had to do something immediately– I had to silence it! And to bury the feeling, I would stuff it down with food until I literally felt sick.

Learning to allow uncomfortable feelings to surface without trying to bury them was the key for me in breaking my binge eating habit, and creating transformation in my own life, which is why I now help other women overcome their weight struggles in this area as well.

2. Focus on what you can control

Many people want to argue about what is happening right now as a right/wrong/should/shouldn’t situation. We want to blame someone or something right now, but all of “the things” happening right now are out of control for the large percentage of the population.

Instead of fuming about what you can’t control, focus 100% on what you CAN control. Our perspective is everything right now. You can be the victim, or you can be the victor– you get to chooose.

3. Manage Your Autoplay

If you’ve been telling yourself terrible thoughts over the last several months like:

  • This is the worst time of my life!
  • Things will never get better!
  • 2020 can suck it!
  • I can’t do anything right now!

Notice how you have been feeling.

Our thoughts create our reality, so (as I mentioned before), I’m not going to tell you to be happy, but notice that when the autoplay comes up, and your thoughts start looping on a negative track, that you have to intentionally shift your focus elsewhere if you want a different result.

Our brains like to avoid pain, seek pleasure, and be efficient, and if the story you’ve been telling yourself since March is that this is the worst year ever then you will take subconscious action to ensuring it is the worst year ever for you.

Instead, you can take this opportunity to notice when your brain offers you thoughts like “this is the worst year ever” to hit pause on the autoplay, and start a new track that sounds something like:

  • I’m going to take this opportunity to call an old friend I haven’t spoken to in a long time.
  • This is a good time for me to start on that great business idea I’ve had.
  • Since I don’t have to commute to work anymore, I can start going for a walk and cook healthy food.

See what I mean?

We all get to choose how we are being in this time.

We all get to create the results we want.

So let me ask you this?

What is the reality you want to create now?

Whatever you want– it’s waiting for you.

You just have to consciously choose it– on purpose.

If you’re curious about going deeper with this work, set up a free 30 minute solution session with me, by clicking here.

How to Get Over Food Fears!

I recently saw that Krispy Kreme launched a seasonal Reese’s Peanut Butter cup donut, and I’ll be honest, I couldn’t wait to get in and try it– what can I say, I’m a sucker for seasonal goodies. 😬

I even did a video on it on my Insta, in case you want to check it out.

I wanted to share this with you because I used to really freak out about eating donuts, and it got me thinking a lot about FEAR FOOD!

Quick story time…

When I was in high school, and over 200 pounds, I remember sneaking donuts, cookies and brownies from grocery store bakeries and eating them as quickly as I could before I got home.

Because of my weight, my mother was always putting me on a diet, so whenever my mom would catch me enjoying one of these foods, I would get repremanded.

I felt so much shame.

All I really wanted to do was to eat, and to eat without being judged. So whenever I was alone I would eat and eat and eat and became a secret binge eater.

Initially when I lost weight I did it by highly restricting my food.

There were years when I didn’t eat donuts, cake, or sweets at all because I was afraid that if I “slipped” I would go right back to my old ways.

Eventually, when I did have them again, I DID go back to my old ways because I was still afraid.

I had hated myself thin, so in my pursuit of perfection, having one of anything (cookie, donut, cake) off of my plan meant for me that I was a failure, I was doing it wrong, and I had no control.

This is why I am so committed to teaching women about losing weight with a maintenance mindset, and to ditch their all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to their goals.

Over time, I learned through flexible dieting, that by incorporating delicious treats (like the Reese’s donuts mentioned above) with an already well-balanced plan, MASSIVELY reduced my desire for binge eating, and actually helped me get to my weight loss goal because I was actually MORE compliant on my plan than when I tried to restrict certain foods.

So, I’m curious… how do you handle foods like this?

Do you restrict because you think eating just one will “set you off” and that you’ll be unable to control yourself?

Do you include treats on a regular basis?

If you’re anything like I used to be, then you know what it’s like to live in fear, and to worry that you “can’t handle” having one.

Maybe you tell yourself that you can’t tolerate carbs.

Maybe you tell yourself that gluten (and you’re not a celiac) and sugar are poison.

I get it.

I used to think that too.

What changed for me is that I noticed that by fearing foods, I actually gave THEM the power.

I made food sacred, and gave it control over me.

By allowing ALL food, and re-creating my relationship with all foods, I found peace with food and enjoyment with it.

My mission is to empower women because, friends, this doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Click the link here to set up a time to talk to me.

I offer a free 30 minute solution session to anyone who is curious about how to get to their goal weight, but is struggling to quit fearing food.

If it has been a struggle for you, then please know I am here.

I got you.

Are You Either Restricting or Bingeing? Here’s Why, and How You Can Stop.

I used to feel crazy around food all the time– like something was wrong with me.

I was either dieting, white-knuckling, undereating, over-exercising, or bingeing.

I wanted to lose weight and maintain my weight loss, but …

The obsession just never stopped.

If you can relate, then I want to tell you why this is happening.

In 1944, Ancel Keys ran a study called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.

Essentially he took 36 conscientious war objectors during WWII who were willing to starve themselves in lieu of signing up for service, and starved them for 6 months during a 12 month experiment.

The first three months the men were fed what would be considered their maintenance calories (3200 per day), then for 6 months the men were fed 50% of their maintenance calories, averaging 1600 calories a day, and then for 3 months after, they were rehabilitated with increased calories (different groups had different caloric levels for rehabilitation).

So, let me tell you about some of the symptoms the men in the study experienced…

  • Obsessive thoughts about food
  • Desire to lengthen meals/eating times so their food would last longer, add water, volume to their food to be more filling
  • Fascination with collecting recipes about food when they had never been interested in food before
  • Dream, read, talk and fantasize about food
  • Licked their plates (ummmmm– guilty).
  • Noise during mealtimes was bothersome and disturbing
  • One man reported chewing up to 40 packs of gum a day
  • One man cut off three fingers and later didn’t remember why.
  • Subjects experienced severe emotional distress and depression.
  • And the list goes on.

I’m sharing this because while there were over 400 men who volunteered for this experiment, only 36 were considered to be in well enough mental, physical and emotional state to participate.

Men who had never had issues with food, suddenly became OBSESSED!

Here’s where it gets even more interesting.

In the rehabilitation (refeeding) phase, men reported eating in excess:

  • Multiple milk shakes a day.
  • Eating caloric loads in excess of the planned 3200 per day. In some cases men ate up to 11,000 calories a day for many days of their rehabilitation.
  • 12 men stayed for an extra 8 weeks to continue to be monitored, consuming 5000 calories a day steadily.
  • Many participants reported feeling a sensation of hunger months after the rehabilitation.
  • Unsatisfied cravings even when their stomachs were filled.

The fascinating thing about this study is that the collective “we” as a culture don’t identify dieting as starvation, but look at the number of calories they were eating in a “starvation experiment” compared to what would be eaten on a diet.

I know many women who think they should eat the equivalent for their bodies (1200 calories) to lose weight, and then beat themselves up for not being able to stick to it.

In fact, we applaud people when they lose weight by starving.

“You did the HCG diet and ate 500 calories a day and lost weight (and your period)– Good for you!”

So you decide to take a day off because it’s your birthday, or you hit your goal weight, and your body is rejoicing “YAY! The famine is over!

It eats (more than you think it should) because it is feasting to both compensate for the past restriction, and it is preparing for the next famine, which you train it to do by restricting again the next day.

Poor body. It just wants to be fed, so it can keep you alive.

So, here’s where we go wrong…

We tell ourselves that something is wrong with us!!!

We blame our willpower, and suddenly we label ourselves as “bingers” or “emotional eaters.”

We think our bodies are broken for not behaving how we want them to; for not being sated on air, and keeping us youthful, glowing and skinny so everyone will love us, think we are fabulous and beautiful, while on the inside we are starving and going to punch the lady in accounting for bringing in donuts– don’t you know flour and sugar are the devil, Karen!?

I digress.

So how to we stop these extremes?

We open our eyes to the fact that there is a beautiful rainbow of options available to us.

So many of us have our blinders on that we don’t realize that if we just look to the right or the left, we can experience our lives, our bodies, and our relationship with food in a new way.

What this means in practicality is that you have to hit the pause button.

A LOT!

Your brain will love to tell you stories of the past because it’s like “NOOOOO– don’t go do that new thing because that’s a lot of work for me, and I’d rather be safe and wrapped comfortably in this warm, cozy chinchilla blanket from Z-Gallerie, so if you do something that makes me change, I’m gonna stomp and scream like a 2-year old screaming for a Snickers in the check-out stand of the supermarket, mmm-kay?”

Everytime the chatter comes up- hit pause, and ask yourself this question…

If I had balance in my life when it came to food and eating and weight and body, what would that look like?

What are things I can do today to support that change?

What are the crappy thoughts my brain offers me that would get me to turn away from this work?

What would be something empowering to say back to my brain to keep me focused on creating this balance?

After the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, the men went back to their natural body weights. Even the men who ate excessively. Even the men who ate 11,000 calories a day. They all went back to normal.

What if instead of extremes, you just went back to normal?

You don’t have to live in crazy land if you don’t want to.

Choice is yours.