How To Take Charge Of Your Health And Happiness
“If your life were a book and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?”
That’s the question Amy Purdy asked herself and it changed her life. This video is so inspiring, I cry every time I watch it.
Amy has been through hardships that most of us will never face, or can even fathom. This is an amazing person with an amazing story – she will remind you that once you change your mindset, ANYTHING is possible. Once you let go of the old you can embrace the new, and build a healthy and happy life you love. The choice is always yours.
Change your perspective, transform your life.
The Single Most Important Factor For Weight Loss
You want a healthy and happy life, yet you sabotage yourself at every turn.
You have hopeful weight loss intentions, but you fizzle out after a week or two.
You tell yourself you want to change your habits, but you never actually take any action.
You desperately want to lose weight, but nothing sticks.
And after each failed attempt, you drown yourself in guilt and shame and self-loathing.
But guess what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you (it’s true); you’re just trying to lose weight the wrong way. And the wrong way leaves you feeling helpless, out of control, and demoralized.
So what’s the right way? What’s the critical piece that’s missing in most weight loss programs?
You need to get your foot off the brake. Say what!? Stick with me here, this is really important.
You see, we all have a subconscious program: A set of memorized behaviors, emotional reactions, beliefs, and attitudes that run behind the scenes. This program determines how we automatically live on a moment-to-moment basis.
And when you have shadow beliefs and attitudes that don’t support your weight and health desires, your mind and body are working in opposition. It’s like putting your foot on the gas pedal and the break pedal at the same time.
Check out what Oprah has to say about shadow beliefs (I adore Oprah, and I’ve worked with her Best Life team for years!) …
Pretty powerful, right? Here are some examples:
Desire: I want to be thin.
Shadow Belief: My body is broken – weight loss is impossible for me because I have bad genes.
Shadow Belief: I’m not strong enough to lose the weight or make a big change.
So if you want to lose weight with ease and flow (oh, and cookies, definitely cookies – no deprivation required!), your goal is to get your foot off of the brake. Or as Oprah says, “You need to get your actions into alignment with your beliefs.” Once you do, you’ll stop sabotaging yourself.
The very first step is awareness. Start here…
1) Pay Attention to Your Thoughts
Metacognition, in fancy neuroscience speak, is to become aware of one’s cognitive process. Becoming familiar with your subconscious thoughts is the beginning of personal transformation. Doing so allows you to think about what you are thinking about (HA), and when you do that, you can modify your thoughts and behaviors.
So begin asking yourself questions like…
What do I say about weight loss all the time?
What do I think about weight loss all the time?
Is that thought harmful or helpful?
Would I say that to my best friend?
Just because you say something or think something, that doesn’t make it true. And when you pay attention to your thoughts, you can start eliminating the ones that don’t support you. This is vital because your thoughts drive your action. They are your power point.
For just one day, keep a running list of all the thoughts that pop into your head about your weight. Plus all the things that you say out loud about your weight. And at the end of the day take a look at the list.
Do those thoughts support you? (Most likely they do not.) Would you say those things to someone you love? (Most likely you would not.) Can you choose to think something else instead? Something supportive and kind and true? (YES. The answer is always YES.)
“Losing weight is so hard. I’m so sick of this struggle. I will always be fat!”
“OK, I have struggled with my weight for a long time. And I really want to be free from this pain. I’m going to give this my all. I’m willing to change.”
2) Examine Your Beliefs
You’ve learned everything you know through your experiences and from the (often well-meaning) people in your life. People like your parents, relatives, colleagues, teachers and friends, as well as media and society.
Some of your beliefs are useful and supportive, and that’s fantastic. But others keep you from reaching your goals; they’re your shadow or limiting beliefs.
A simple and powerful exercise to start exploring your beliefs is to write at the top of a blank sheet of paper …
What I believe about weight loss is:
I can’t lose weight because:
Then just write down everything that comes into your mind, without judgment. After the initial brain dump, take a few days more to just ponder these ideas, and then jot down anything else that comes to mind. Then sit down and study and absorb what you put on this list.
You might be surprised to discover what you believe. Then you can say to yourself, “Do I want to continue to believe this? Or what would I like to change about this? What would I like to believe instead?”
A belief that is not serving you can always be changed. Always.
Sure, you can build healthy habits while you explore your beliefs (this is a process, and it’ll take time to peel back the layers), but please do start this journey. Start waking up to the things that are keeping you stuck. Start understanding your blocks. And start looking at your shadows.
Get your foot off the brake and start driving toward your healthy destination. You’ll be so thankful if you do. Self awareness is a gift, truly.
In the comments I would love to hear from you. Are you ready to to take your foot off the brake? I’m here to support you!
5 Weight Loss Habits That Guarantee Your Success
This year I think you should give up weight loss resolutions. While you’re at it, give up dieting and deprivation, too.
Try something new. And better.
Focus on small, sustainable daily improvements that will lead you toward your health and weight goals. Just keep in mind that lasting change takes time. Strive for progress, not perfection!
Adopt all five of the following habits, or just the one or two that really resonate with you. Either way you’ll be setting yourself up for a healthy and happy 2014.
Daily Habit 1: Stop Beating Yourself Up
Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept and love yourself exactly as you are (yup, extra pounds and all!). This is the first step to making any change. You’re not giving up. You’re empowering yourself to feel good now, so that you can take positive actions towards your goals with confidence.
Think about it this way: If criticizing yourself worked, you’d already be thin and happy, right?
Pay attention to your thoughts and eliminate the negative and nasty ones. Start talking to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend or your daughter – with kindness and compassion.
Concentrate on just this one thing each day, and your life will get better and your weight loss journey will get easier, guaranteed.
(Read The Power is Within You)
Daily Habit 2: Drink a Green Smoothie
Overhauling your entire diet in one fell swoop can feel seriously overwhelming. But adding just one delicious green smoothie to your diet each day is easy-peasy. And it’s effective.
The gals over at Simple Green Smoothies (LOVE this site) say this, “Plant-powered green drinks are packed full of leafy greens, fresh fruits and hydrating liquids that keep you nourished and keep your cravings at bay for hours. With Simple Green Smoothies by your side, get ready to boost your energy, lose weight effortlessly and make healthy eating a lifestyle— not a diet.“ Yes, please!
Their super simple formula is 2 cups leafy greens + 2 cups liquid + 3 cups of fruit = 2 servings of green smoothie. Down one smoothie a day, and you’ll feel so good, you’ll be inspired to make other good-for-you diet and lifestyle changes. Such as cleaning up your cooking with tasty and healthy recipes from Skinnytaste. (Psst, I’m the nutrition expert for the upcoming Skinnytaste cookbook!)
(Read Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual)
Daily Habit 3: Pay Attention to Your Hunger
OK, this one is a biggie. Paying attention to your hunger on a daily basis will help you reconnect with your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues which, most likely, have become fuzzy after years of dieting, binging, and emotional eating.
1. Feed your physical hunger – True hunger grows gradually in its intensity and is accompanied by a rumbling stomach or low energy.
Our bodies instinctively know when (and how much) we should eat, and feeding ourselves according to external cues – the clock, the amount of food on our plates, a rigid dieting plan, etc. – goes against our bodies’ natural instincts and triggers a primal drive to overeat.
So listen to your body (really listen), and when you’re physically hungry, eat! And when you feel full, stop. And, as often as possible, eat REAL food, not food-like products that your body can’t process or identify.
2. Distract your emotional hunger – Eating to feed a feeling, and not a growling stomach, is emotional eating. Emotional hunger sneaks up on you out of the nowhere, and often wants something specific (BBQ potato chips, mashed potatoes, ice cream) and right now.
Before you dive into that tub of ice cream, delay the binge for 15 minutes. It’s important to examine how you feel right before you emotionally eat (really allow yourself to FEEL the emotions – digging into a feeling can give you the info you need to handle it without the crutch of food.), and then do something else instead. Something pleasurable. Call a friend, curl up on the couch with a book, watch a favorite movie, or whatever.
If after the allotted time you still want the ice cream, go for it, without guilt or shame (see Daily Habit 1). That’s hard to do, I know. But trust me, if you say you’re giving yourself permission to have the ice cream, but your subconscious detects otherwise, the 15-minute delay is not going to work.
You have to believe deep down that simply delaying the binge by fifteen minutes is a victory. And it definitely is! Combine this method with Daily Habit 1, and I promise that eventually you’ll be passing on the emotional binge, more often than not.
(Read Intuitive Eating)
Daily Habit 4: Meditate
Meditation is not some woo-woo relaxation technique; it’s a powerful tool for real and lasting transformation.
According to neuroscientist Joe Dispenza, “The true purpose of meditation is to get beyond the analytical mind and into the subconscious mind so you can make real and permanent changes.”
Changing your diet without also changing your mind is a huge (HUGE) weight loss mistake. In fact, breaking through resistance and releasing limiting emotions is the critical first step of my Smaller Size Bigger Life weight loss program.
Try this: Couple your lifestyle changes with Kelly Howell’s fantastic Slim Naturally Brain Sync program. You’ll imprint new beliefs that will immediately and positively impact your life and eating habits. Even just 10 minutes a day will make a big difference.
(Read Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself)
Daily Habit 5: Move Your Body
Move your body everyday – not because it will help you will lose weight, but because it will make you feel much so better! It boosts your mood, relieves stress, and it sharpens your intellect.
And movement in your body WILL create movement in your life. No doubt about it.
But here’s the most important part: Find something you LOVE to do.
Do you know people who, despite their hectic schedules, never miss a Zumba or yoga class? Do you have a friend who’s always raving about some new activity? They don’t have more willpower than you do; they’ve just found their exercise groove or sweet spot. And you can too.
Test things out until you find something that clicks. You’ll know when you’ve found it cause it won’t even feel like exercise… it will feel like fun!
I like to mix things up – rollerblading, hiking, snow boarding, dance classes, Shrink Session, and more – I’m constantly trying new things. But simply taking a walk outside (while listening to personal development audio books!) is my daily go-to. You don’t have to do Crossfit or boot camp or P90X (unless of course that’s what you LOVE to do). A twenty minute walk on your lunch break still gets you moving!
(Read Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain)
In the comments below I’d love to know what you’re doing to make 2014 a healthy and happy year!