HIT THAT PAUSE BUTTON.

HIT THAT PAUSE BUTTON.

Why are you needing to diet?

Today I want to discuss why you may have dieted, may be trying to diet and why you feel the need to diet.

I for one really dislike the word diet except in the general sense of all food being discussed as an overall eating practice. That is: your diet should contain all food groups, or, what do you prefer to include in your daily food intake?

Not as a restrictive practice.

Not a Sacrifice for Health

When we think of diets we tend to generally think – restrictive, painful, deleting food. Maybe you associate it with adding in foods that you really dislike; and overall equate it to pretty ‘painful’ practices?

The dictionary describes Diet as the kinds of foods that a person, animal or community habitually eats. This seems fairly good to me.  We can look at what the Japanese eat, what the Mediterranean’s eat and there are positive results in both of those practices that could act as good models.

But then when we get further along in the dictionary and it reads- a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.

I don’t know about you but as soon as the work restrict pops up, I want it more. It’s like being told as a kid you can’t touch that, and you automatically want to try it and see what would happen. Or maybe as soon as you think about restricting that one thing you suddenly crave it.

Therefore, today I don’t want you to think about diet in any other sense than as a practice. But I do want you to think about why you feel the need to change your eating practices.

What is your Trigger?

Did something trigger you to suddenly increase your intake? Did you become upset and then try and self sooth with food? If so what exactly set you off?  It seems to me that these would be better questions.

Once we find that trigger we can then address how to change it. Do we need to be away from certain people, circumstances? Maybe if you can’t do that you can change how you react to the trigger. Perhaps instead of turning to food, you go for a walk, read a book, call a friend……

We have talked about how to change triggers before and please feel free to check out my other vlog, or blogs.

Until we know what the trigger was though, we can’t change it, and it is then harder to make a new habit and alter our established response. However just recognizing the trigger is already growth and leading to change.

What is your Why?

The next thing I want you to think about is; why do you want to diet. Is there something internal you are doing to yourself? This is quite a common thing.

For example we look in the mirror and critique some part of ourselves. We feel imperfect and therefore the only way in our mind is to fix it with a diet. The unfortunate bit about this as feeling unhappy with how we appear and hoping a diet will fix it, we are again putting restrictions in.

If I take this out, I will feel better.

Now overall, I am doubtful if this is a successful strategy as it doesn’t deal with the underlying problem. Why do you feel less than?

When we give ourselves a negative to focus on instead of a positive, our brain only hears the negative. Let’s try it, for example:

I feel fat and I need to diet – the brain hears more I feel fat (not a great feeling)

I need to cut out chocolate, chips or cheese. The brain hears; chocolate, chips and cheese and generally we then begin to think of them. Possibly we can imagine tasting them, our mouth waters and we keep focusing on those and then we try to come up with reasons why we should eat them one more time. Maybe we will start dieting tomorrow, or Monday or New Year’s Day…… and so on.

Today’s strategy is a bit more about self-love and not self-loathing.

Let’s change the FRAME.

By this I mean instead of the criticism I want you to think about feeling more energetic, alive, vital and content. This will change your emotions. Now what makes you feel this way? Give it a moment as our conscious mind may try and interrupt here. Remember you have created some pretty unhealthy habits and practices.

You have probably developed a lot of negative self-talk about those habits, some rationales about them. And these are going to want to challenge you.

But if you keep thinking what will make you feel better, you may realise that you can still have that chocolate but not every day. Maybe it’s more fun to make it a treat once a week or once a month. After all it’s not a treat or special if we have it all the time.

Maybe you now realize that those portions are a bit big, and that equal enjoyment can be had by a smaller serving. We rarely get extra enjoyment from just increasing the quantity.

Maybe you can find a different way to reward yourself a massage, new book, a new hobby…. Whatever the reward if it can be distracting, fun, repeatable we can create new happier cravings that not only make us feel good. We can create new associations, and new habits.

We can take out the need to feel like we are denying ourselves. It will give you a different mental focus on the one hand, something to look forward to and on the other. It will help you feel healthier without all the negative flagellation. Seems like this is a better way to get healthy.

Self-love instead of restrict, deny and criticise. After all isn’t this what we try and teach our young children? Boundaries with love?

Understand the why, and chose a different behaviour. This if far healthier than a negative though and a poorly thought out reaction. This may not come automatically so the final suggestion I have is before you react in any way just pause.

Yep take a moment. This is for you and literally takes a moment. PAUSE.  How do you feel right now, how do you want to feel?

This is responding and not reacting.

So for now practice hitting that PAUSE button, and notice the power it gives you. Notice how much easier it is to self-love when we aren’t reacting to the moment, responding to an external catalyst or countering a trigger.

Focus on how much healthier you feel, and what different choices you make around your weight loss, fitness or wellbeing decisions. After all we are one of the few species that have this capability, why not use it more regularly. Imagine the outcome.

THIS IS WHAT NOT TO DO

THIS IS WHAT NOT TO DO

If you are like me, you have probably always tried to do the right thing, only to find that you often fall short. I then go in search of what I should do instead. The conundrum is that, when it relates to our health and wellbeing, there are so many articles telling us what to do.

Do this to lose weight, do that to shape up.

This is a no fail diet.

This exercise will give you dream abs.

Today I want to help you decide what NOT to do. Here are 5 easy Please Don’t Do’s.

 

  1. DIET CREAMS

So let’s start with a quick self-proclaimed trimming tip. A Cream. Yep some think that a specially designed weight loss cream will do the trick and tip the scales.

Surely logic must kick in here and suggest that if exercise is being done, than it is the latter of those two that has worked, and the nice soft skin is a benefit of the cream.

Where with creams is the attention to health and nutrition? No amount of cream is going to wear off that choc chip muffin.

 

  1. THE SHORT WORK OUT

Many apps are making great headway with the 7 minute workout, or the 4 minute tabata. Now I do use tabata with my workouts. But not on its own, same as the 7 minute sesh it is not enough to really make weight changes.

If, however, it begins to get you moving because 30 minutes seems overwhelming. And you use it to help develop exercise habits, then terrific. However, if you are using this on its own for weight loss, sorry folks but you are unlikely to see your desired results.

 

  1. THE PILL

Wouldn’t it be fun if like the matrix we could choose a pill and change our reality? Thanks I’ll take the red one and deal with the real world. A pill can indeed cause weight loss, and people may feel good about these results. But besides the potential side effects of irregular heartbeats, upset stomach and insomnia, even if those pills have been approved by the FDA, how on earth are they developing good habits?

 

How is taking a pill modelling good nutrition to our obese youngsters? And more importantly how is it then possible to keep that weight off long term. There really has not been an adequate shift in lifestyle.

Statistically it’s been shown that it is already a challenge to keep the weight off. So if we don’t change our habits then we become just one of those 95% that slap it straight back on.

 

  1. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

There are diets that seem oh so wonderful. The grapefruit diet (not a yummy one to me) but the cookie diet is a whole other taste experience: imagine 6 cookies a day. Surely that’s has malnutrition written all over it. How could it be sustainable, and how does it affect our lifestyle. Imagine going to dinner with your one cookie. OK I am being a bit satirical here but the reality of it is; that if it looks too good to be true, then like most things it probably isn’t true.

 

  1. 5. DIURETICs

The last gimmick I’d like to touch on are diuretics.
Really this is just simply loss of fluid. In a healthy person, this can mess with our electrolytes and body chemistry, therefore becoming quite dangerous. Ironically they can also work against the body and cause swelling. It is not fluid the healthy person wants to loose but actual fatty tissue.

 

So we really need to re-wire our thinking? It is up to us and only us to create new practices and habits.

Unfortunately, quick fixes are seldom long lasting, healthy or even enjoyable. Therefore wouldn’t it be better to play the long game?

Gradually change your practices from today, bit by bit. Remember the saying: how do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time. Or how do you train for a marathon, one kilometre at a time. I would never recommend anyone just blurting out to run 42 km. But if you can run a block, and soon a km and gradually you are running more and more and maybe even do an event.

If your weight is getting you down but the task is becoming overwhelming break it right down to what you can do today. Eat clean today, move more today. This is far more manageable and it will create new neural pathways, better health and long term weight loss success.

TIME TO FLEX AND STRETCH

TIME TO FLEX AND STRETCH

4 techniques to re-program your health

This week’s practice blog is quite different and we are going to tackle it from a couple of angles.

Just like the app I designed a few years ago, we are going to stretch and flex. You have heard of the term “use it or lose it”, well today I want to explore that a bit more with you. And I have given you really easy instructions right here.

FLEX

It is time now to FLEX our mental muscle. It won’t feel painful like a full body workout but it may present as a challenge for some of you.

I want you to pick one new thing you have done in this last month that you feel good about. Ideally this could be a time that you stepped out of your comfort zone, or a new goal that you are excited about.

I want you to now visualise it, make the picture bigger, bring it closer to you, add in some colour and make sounds are evident more exciting. Notice how it feels when you do these things. Now I want you to take a moment and really enjoy those good feelings.

Well done you have just flexed your mental muscle!

If you can’t do this quickly and easily already, don’t worry, you will become better and better at it. Now clear your mind think of something totally unrelated.

Good, now bring that good feeling back, and think about how you are following these strategies how they are become easier. Are you feeling better?

Remember you are still focusing on those good feelings. How you can be excited and now how you can be excited and successful.

What are you noticing? Do you feel more energetic?

Can you take that excitement and think about healthy meals? Do you feel more excited about eating better?

STRETCH

We are now taking it into the physical realm and I want you to Stretch your physical muscle.

According to Pro Health, there are several benefit to simply stretching. It doesn’t need to be as a prelude to exercise to attain these benefits.

  1. First of all if you stretch it has been shown to increase optimism (well doesn’t that work well with our flex exercise?)
  2. Stretching is a great afternoon pick me up. Many people feel a bit groggy in the afternoon, our muscles become stiffer from sitting. We become tenser as a result. A few simple stretches can infuse you with more energy.
  3. It helps improve your posture. Poor posture results in back, neck and shoulder pain. Clients come to me complaining of all these from sitting too long, add in work stress and you have increasing pain that can sometimes require medication.
  4. Better stability. By feeling more stable and developing your core strength, you reduce the risk of a fall. Becoming really immobile which comes with depression, frustration and many other health problems.

So now it’s time to move a bit. I want you to do 4 stretches right now. Yes right now and it can be easy.

Maybe you get off your chair and squat.

Maybe to stretch up your arms and elongate your back.

Or stretch your arms and shoulders, or do a calf raise.

Whatever those 4 are, they don’t need to be really difficult, but they do need to stretch some muscles.

Now let’s combine our stretch and flex exercise.

Think of your healthy goal, notice how you can make it feel exciting. Hear yourself, telling someone about how you are progressing and now stretch – 1, 2, 3, and 4

There you are done!

Let’s do this now 5 more times.

Feel excited about how you want to be improving, notice how you move differently, how this feels so good and stretch 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Terrific, you are stretching and flexing in a totally different way your mental and physical muscle. You are creating new neural pathways and wasn’t that easy?

The more you do this practice, the more you will notice how easy it is to feel good, to feel like moving, to make healthier food choices.

At this stage of our health journey we need to be moving more and paying even more attention to our eating. This is easier if you are feeling more optimistic, less lethargic and frustrated.

http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-ways-avoid-high-cholesterol/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21489011/ns/health-fitness/t/stretching-may-offer-extended-benefits/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/358507-what-are-the-benefits-of-stretching-yoga/

The Best of YOU!

The Best of YOU!

Best Health, Best Weight, Best Person with 4 Easy Techniques.

A few weeks back I had a post on my Facebook sight about giving the world what is the best of you and not the rest of you. I guess this appealed to me as quite often I am running on the mere scent of fuel rather than feeling fuelled. Trying to be all things to many and feeling like I am falling down on many fronts. Or to give a different picture, feel like I am about to ‘face plant’ while rushing between tasks and people.

You know those times when you have your job goal, your family needs that are functional and then those emotional requirements that get put upon you. “Mum my brother won’t get out of the bathroom. Dad you said you would fix the bike, mum you will now have to drive me…I can’t let Lucy down I promised her I would help her….” And so it goes on.

You want to be supportive to friends, show love to family, hit those KPI’s at work but you feel your energy lag. By the end of the day you collapse and just crave a solid nap.

Put Your Mask ON!

This is when I realized how important that aeroplane analogy can be in everyday life (and not just when getting our boarding instructions to a long awaited or dreamed of holiday). If you don’t have oxygen you won’t be able to help anyone else.

If we mere mortals don’t look after ourselves first, we have less and less to give those we care about.

As our weight increases, or our health declines our energy depletes and pretty soon we are giving our best but it is pretty much just whatever is left in the ‘tank’ to those we care about.

So we need to really look after our body and mind first. Take time to put on our ‘mask’ so that we can be present and available to those that need us.

Below I have listed 4 important techniques to prevent us from giving less because we gave up our ‘oxygen’.

Technique 1 – Emotional Care

Are you paying attention to your self-talk? Quite often the overwhelm we feel sees us doubt and criticise ourselves. This is usually done with a positive intent but rarely has a desirable outcome.

Just last week I was working with a gentleman that was extremely hard on himself. He was trying to be all things to everyone. Main breadwinner, be available to his kids, a loving husband. Yet his feeling of overwhelm was so much he turned to the biscuit tin as a distraction.

How much healthier would it have been to have a better conversation in his head. Some self-praise for what he had achieved instead. Note the wins, if you are constantly criticising yourself you’re going to feel pretty bad as there will always be something. Instead focus on what can you do next time to improve. This changes the frame, takes out the negative emotion and increases the likelihood that next time you will do something different.

Our emotions can affect all our daily life. Ever seen an upbeat person and think wow, they are so energetic!

Technique 2 – How are you Fuelling Your Body?

What are you actually putting into your body? Are you full of carbs for a quick burst of energy and then feel deflated when you have ‘burned’ through it? Those insulin peak and troughs can affect not just your physical energy but you emotional energy as well.

We need to put in those micronutrients as well. You wouldn’t put water in the petrol tank and hope for a good performance.

Downing a donut is not going to keep you boosted for long. More than likely you are going to feel the energy drop, not really feel satiated and probably be frustrated and looking for something else to give you a jump start.

Try eating more green and coloured fruit and veges, find them bland? Add some spices. Remember we need protein too to help us feel full, so low fat meat, chicken and fish are alternatives. Want to stick with your vegan option, nuts and legumes or just google yummy vegan dishes to make it simple. Make that internet a healthy help not a distraction to your health.

Technique 3 – Move it!

Yes I know I have written about this before but just move more and more each day – like the movie said “I have to move it, move it”. Pick a fun activity and just do it. You don’t need to be an Olympic champion, you don’t even need to be good at it.

If you enjoy dance why not try a Zumba class, I guarantee that there will be others with 2 left feet and poor hip action. If you like walking, pop on some headphones and walk with purpose. This doesn’t have to be for a long time but a slow meander waiting for your dog to sniff at every tuft of grass isn’t going to do a lot for either of your health or weight.

A little movement gets those hormones pumping, help body functions to become regular and burn a few calories, so you can enjoy more of that sometime food.

Technique 4 – You Time

This may well be the most difficult thing to do. I have spoken about limiting beliefs so many times and worked with people that have had many of them to the extent that the 3 techniques above just don’t seem possible.

So you need to get creative here. You time may be a 20 min mediation, it maybe when you walk the dog you make it more fun; one of my clients listens to a good book. Hello multi-tasking.

You time is not doing your emails, while having a coffee, or calling a friend while folding washing or driving home.

You time needs to take you out of your work zone, pressure areas, or activities causing overwhelm. The best race horses get rest time. I bet you even tell friends they need to slow down.

These times are not self-indulgent. They are replenishing  like the start of the blog states – so you are able to give the best of you! To be available for those important conversations with your kids or partner.

Maybe some standards have to slip for a while, the meals are healthy but less fancy, the washing gets done later or far be it you ask for help. But I put it to you that a healthier, more energetic less stressed you will be more available. You will be more creative, and influential than the frenetic, overweight, fatigued option

Why not give the best of YOU. After all how do you want to be remembered?

2019, what are your Health Goals?

2019, what are your Health Goals?

5 Ways to succeed in your weight loss journey this year.

Every year we make a new resolution or re-ignite an old one that kind of fell by the way the previous year, with some justification, excuse, or rationale. According to U.S News 2017, 80% of New Year’s resolutions will fail.

How about this year we keep it simple with just 5 easy steps to keep that weight loss on target, our health improving and our energy increasing?

I have broken it down to 5 easy steps to help keep you on track and if some of you take that literally so much the better!

  1. What is your Weight Loss Goal?

Now I don’t mean exactly how much weight do you want to lose as that is a goal, but 95% of the clients I have seen that have had success found that the use of a figure alone was not enough.

No, what I really mean is, why do you want to lose that 5, 10 or 20 kg?

Discerning the real reason will give you a far more exciting goal. Perhaps it is to have a baby, run an event, or reduce the amount of medication you are on. These goals are far more compelling for our future well being and therefore more likely to be a trigger to re-motivate us when we fall of the ‘health wagon’.

Let’s face it there are times when watching what you eat can become tedious, or doing that extra day of exercise could be justified in being put off. For these reasons we need something more exciting to focus on than just a figure on the scales. If this goal is emotive; that is when we think of it we get a tingle of emotion, preferably a positive one. It will motivate us far better than just a few 100 grams off on the scales which can feel somewhat disheartening.

Hence we need to choose a goal that provides some excitement. Be it for a better life or more exhilarating outcome and see how much easier it is to stick to.

2.  What 2 things each day will lead you closer to that goal?

So now you have a goal. I know people say ‘do one thing each day to get closer’ but it seems common sense to me that if we simply double that, the probability of success will be higher.

The other aspect of doing 2 things a day to help you lose weight, is that you have a back up. If you are tired, and you may not feel like a high intensity day, but you do a longer walk, you still have the good food practices to support you. The more we do these 2 things the quicker the habit to healthier living is re-enforced. Maybe your 2 things are to cook a healthy meal ahead of time for each day of the week, and do 10,000 steps. Perhaps it is to increase your coloured vegies at each meal and do 10 push-ups a day. Perhaps you could even increase by 2 each day, then by the end of the week you could be doing 20-24!

Once we reinforce a habit it establishes a neural pathway that will help make the new habits more sustainable. Just like we may have followed a particular route to visit a friend and then they put in new freeway and it’s all a bit awkward to navigate. You may get off at the wrong exit a few times, but after a while it becomes easier and you don’t even have to think about it, you can probably turn off google maps and enjoy not having to focus on not getting lost.

By making a new habit quicker we get to enjoy the results quicker and this will become a positive feedback loop! Out health will improve faster, we will feel fitter sooner and just want more and more of those good sensations.

3.  What gets measured gets monitored.

If you can measure your 2 things the probability of achieving your goal is higher. The more likely you are to lose the weight, drop the blood pressure, have more energy and better moods.

If we take an example from above; it is not hard to measure cooking 7 meals for a week, and walking 10K steps.  Or counting how many vegetables you ate in a day and increasing your squats by 10 per day so that by the weeks end you can do 70 and maybe the next week start off on a push up increment.  Maybe you note your moods each day. Whatever 2 things you choose if you can measure them you know you have succeeded and this serves as our own positive reinforcement, reward and brings us closer to our initial goal.

I remember when I had to shift an unwanted 14 kg. My 2 things were to just walk a bit further or do pilates every second day (even at home in front of the TV) and I gave up sugar. The second was quite hard at times, as our whole family come from a sugar craving race. But I would focus on how I wanted to feel, and how being heavy was just making everything more difficult.

4.  Plan, Plan, Plan

This is part of the above, it’s no use saying I am going to food prep for a week or eat 9 vegies a day and a protein at each meal if all that is in the cupboard is white bread and cereal, or crackers and cheese.  You are not going to go to the gym, or walk if your runners have holes and you’re your feet hurt. So to achieve our goals it is ideal to sit down at the end of the week and plan your next week. This way you can review what you enjoyed, and what was successful the previous week, and more importantly associate the emotions with each as these ultimately provide the most motivation.

If you discovered that you really still hate brussel sprouts (I could be projecting my tastes here) then putting them back on the menu is not going to be enticing, but if you substitute if for a seasonal vegetable, it will be tasty and probably cheaper; win: win.

Maybe 10K steps is not achievable b/c you have to be in an office this week. Perhaps then it’s time to ramp up the push-ups/squats/lunges or invest in a trainer to help build muscle and cardio fitness.

The better you’re planning the easier the week flows. Most of my clients have their own training times so that it just becomes part of their week and their new norm. A few minutes each week of planning ahead can make your changes seem more natural and therefore workable.

5.  Accountable:

For those of you with really big goals. How are you going to make yourself accountable? It is too easy to make an excuse even to a training buddy. What is your deal breaker?

If you are the sort of person that needs others to keep you on target then a trainer may be needed. Some of my clients join the FitBit challenges, have a group competition and this drives them a bit harder. We can all see who met their goals. Even though our goals for exercise or weightloss may vary, we are able to cheer each other on with every win.

Each of us is different, some people find being accountable for specific things  make showing up easier. One lady I know always has a training team  at 6am. She won’t let them down no-matter what the weather because they have planned an event to compete in. Others don’t want to miss their training session knowing the trainer is waiting just for them, and they will be charged for last minute cancellations.

What is your accountability deal breaker: For me it’s knowing how I will feel at the end of the day and how tolerant or intolerant I will be with my family. If I plan my day and do the exercise I know I will cope better with moody kids and be less stressed and able to deal with their issues or moods as they arise. I also find I have more energy to do all the tasks that come with running a business and four kids, as neither of these fall happily between 9-5.

You can be accountable to yourself or others it doesn’t matter as long as it is something that you can’t talk yourself out of easily. So short of having gastro, what would prevent you from carrying out your health goals daily for 2019?