The F ‘in Diet.
When I need to lose weight, I usually don’t start exercising more since I already play with the kids, hike often and teach yoga. I may not even change my diet because I already eat really well.
If the pounds start adding up and my clothes stop fitting nicely, I look at these three areas in my life:
1. Am I having fun? Who overeats when they’re bored? Sad? Angry? How about late night snacking? The TV is on and you grab a bowl/bag/tub of snacks? Yes. I get you. My petite 5’4 size 8 slowly worked it’s way up to a size 16 when I was only 23 years old. I had moved away from home and friends, I was stressed, unhappy, working too hard, studying and newly married. All common life stressors.
I found one really easy way to stop those mouthfuls of fatty pleasure was to find something even more fun than food. Now, I keep a running list on my phone of things I want to do, anything from planning my next big trip to building something with the stuff in the garage, to getting to that hill I wanted to climb, or even just sorting out that pile of papers over there in the corner that is sucking the energy out of me!
Being a single mom, I’m home every evening with my sleeping children. This is the toughest time not to eat or drink for pleasure (or boredom, loneliness or relaxation) right? You’re tired and would love to reward yourself for completing homework, making dinner, paying the bills, driving them everywhere. Nighttime can feel painfully long for me given there is so much happening outside of my house here in the Bay Area.
But, I’ve disciplined myself to grab my phone and go to my fun-to-do list, not the pantry. Again, my simplest ideas are: paint, yoga just for me, find 1-5 favorite books and just skim the contents, Facebook, dance to music, write/journal, plan the next getaway, YouTube something I always wanted to learn, call a sitter for next week…
2. Am I enjoying friends and family? I left my hometown and now live 3000 miles away from my biological family. So, I have happily created four or five groups of nearby Heart Families: moms, single friends, mentors, movers (as in yogis and dancers) and inspirational people. When negative feelings start knocking on my heart, the pantry stays closed and I reach for my stars. These are my most favorite people to call (marked with a star on my phone in the easy access Favorite list); the ones with the wise words, funny stories, travel anecdotes or updates on silly things their children are up to. I’d be completely lost without these people. They truly have become my family.
3. Facts. Ohhh, that mind of ours. Most of my life coaching practice helps people see that their truth is only one little bit of a whole story. Sometime this small truth that my client is holding so near to them is causing them a LOT of pain (“My belly is too big.”… “I can’t.”…”I can’t move to music in front of others!!”, “I’d look so stupid on a yoga mat.”). Our here’s a personal example: I was the unhealthiest I have ever been (pushing size 16, twice the size of what my body frame can truly handle) during a time when I was completely able to exercise and eat well! It was the overwhelming feelings of negativity spewing in my head that had to be challenged first. Was it Fact: “I’m alone”, “Nobody will understand my pain.”, “I should be happy.”, “I’m not good enough.” These were not facts – the honest truth was that I was sad, lonely and overworked. That’s what I had to look at to get my body back in check.
The opposite realm that I experienced: I was lean and strong when I was stuck at home in a wheelchair and crutches with a broken foot with two surgeries a year apart. WHY? HOW? Easy – I had to take note of what was dragging me down so I unplugged the TV and it stayed off for a year. (Even today, with my kids, no cable – we’re out shooting hoops together, hiking, eating outside, reading together…)
Why did all this make me loose weight? Because I had to come to grips with which stories I was telling myself. This was the beginning of the thought work that my mentors have formally taught me. It’s a gem of a process and one of the most rewarding tools I can offer you!
With being a Coach, Mindful Movement and Yoga Teacher, I read and research self-actualization/help/betterment ideas all the time, try them out and I dive deep into meditation and mindfulness.