Monday, September 30, 2013

A simple word change goes a long way!

I read a blog post about the difference between using the phrase "I can't" and "I don't" and how this simple change in self-talk can help us stick to our goals.  You can read the article here.

Using the phrase "I don't" helped 8 out of 10 subjects stick to their goals versus 1 out of 10 who used the phrase "I can't".  That is remarkable!

So I found my first challenge!  Every time I feel like skipping exercise, I will use the phrase "I don't".  I'll practice here:
  • I don't skip exercise.
I can see why this phrasing can be so effective because it comes from a place of power and choice.  I love it!    I think this small habit change will surely help me resist temptation and feel more empowered in achieving my goals.  And the great thing is that it can be used with any goal!

Anybody want to try this with me?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some days WILL be harder than others

When the going gets tough, I often quit.  I had a tough day yesterday breastfeeding because I had an irregular schedule and could only pump twice instead of three times.  I didn't manage my time well and didn't speak up when I needed to leave and pump.  I just kept my mouth shut and worried and got anxious.
Rather than see whatever is happening as a tough blip in the road, I see it as a behemoth problem and decide that the only solution is to quit.  It's such an automatic reaction, I completely blow things out of proportion and I have a hard time seeing the bigger picture.  At least in that moment.  I actually considered quitting breastfeeding and pumping yesterday because I had one tough day.
Sometimes I have to talk myself down, sometimes another person talks me down, but it is definitely a pattern and I am wondering if I have some underlying beliefs that are driving this compulsion. 
  • Irrational Belief #1: It's too hard.
  • IB #2: I will never be able to do this.
  • IB #3: I can't handle it.
  • IB #4: I am a bad person because I can't handle this.
  • IB #5: If it's hard I might as well quit.
Ooh, IB #4 really hit home for me, really drew some deep emotion out of me.  When I can't do something or it's hard, I immediately think it's a major flaw with me.  It's not just how life is for everyone, it's specific to me.  I just suck.
Let me go ahead and reframe these now:
  • Rational Belief #1: It's hard now but it will get easier. OR Some days will be harder than others.
  • RB #2: I may never be great at this but I will get better. OR It's hard now but it will get easier.
  • RB #3: I can handle it.  It's hard/tough but I can handle it.
  • RB #4: You are a good person whether you are good at something or not. OR You are a good person even if you suck at something.  OR I am a good person and I can handle it.
  • RB #5: If it's hard you can keep trying. OR It's hard now but it will get easier. FOLLOWED BY If it doesn't get easier, you can decide to stop.
  • RB #6: It's okay to suck at things.  Everyone does sometimes.
I read somewhere that "gifted" children often get easily frustrated because things come easily to them generally so if they struggle with something, they will get defeated very quickly.  I think this is me.  Normal eating is the first thing I've really tried to work on and it is HARD.  It's the only thing I've never thought about quitting, though :)

Just a Hoper

Today Karen's blog is titled Hope is not a Plan.  It really got me thinking.  I am a hoper without a plan.  In the back of my mind I believe that normal eating will just COME to me like snow falling from the sky.  Like it will just float down and envelope me without any particular action on my part.  It's not that I'm not working, but I may not be working hard enough.

This is partially why I am getting back to this blog.  I want to become more active in my approach to normal eating.  I want to objectively look at each of my habits one by one and begin to make a plan of action for each one.  I want to change each habit one by one until it becomes second nature.

The good news is that there was a time when I just felt completely overwhelmed by the idea of trying to change anything because I didn't think I had any regular habits.  I couldn't even imagine how I'd eliminate 200 calories from my daily diet.  I just didn't think I had any kind of consistency where I could remove those 200 calories and have it make any kind of impact.  I just figured I'd eat them at some other time of day.  But slowly I have come to understand and see my habits more clearly.  This is progress!

I will use this information and start small so that I can build my success.  I will become a Hoper with a Plan!

I See a Light

My eating has been out of control which I mentioned yesterday.  I have had some vague feelings of sadness, I've been feeling blue.  I feel there are things going on beneath the surface that I just can't seem to get to, can't seem to figure out what they are.  It's very frustrating because I feel like there's this invisible wall between me and normal eating right now.

Of course, what can I do but keep plugging along.  Sometimes I dream about the idea of dieting in all of it's black and white glory and I remember that it just doesn't work.  At least not for me.

But I am feeling a little lift in the unhappy feelings, in the hopelessness, and I am going to keeps stoking that fire.  I believe it will lift and I will begin to make progress again.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Things that scare me!

So I did something that scares me this weekend. It wasn't something fun, necessarily, but it was good and healthy for me. This weekend I stood up for myself AND I shared my emotions with someone.  Although these things may come easily to some, for me they are a challenge and take conscious effort.

First I had an argument with my husband and rather than let it go I asked him if we could talk about it, which we did. Both the argument and the make-up conversation were good things for me to work through. Also my toddler was there to witness it all so I talked to him about what was happening to help him understand that sometimes we argue but that's ok. And he was able to see our resolution.

In addition my adopted grandfather is not doing well, he is in the hospital and most likely won't be coming out. I didn't realize how sad this was making me. I guess if it's not happening right in front of me then I am pretty good at detaching. Once I realized how I was feeling I shared it with my husband and also called my sister who I actually cried with because we both had a similar relationship with him and she could understand.

I feel proud of myself for doing these things.

My food intake has been a little out of control....well a lot out of control. Writing here has helped. :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

I want to do something that scares me!

I was reading Roni's blog about going outside her comfort zone and I realized it's been a LONG time since I got those jittery, butterflies in my stomach feeling because I am so excited and scared about something at the same time.  I'd like to have that feeling! 

I remember in high school I tried out for choir and I picked the song "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music.  I can vividly recall the moment where I sang that song by myself in front of the choir director as my audition and then bursting out of the room and bouncing with glee when I found my sister who was waiting to walk home with me.  I was so proud.  And it didn't even matter if I got in or not, I gave it a shot and that was the point.  And you know what?  I probably sucked!  But I got into the choir and had so much fun over the next two years making wonderful friends and admiring the very choir director I auditioned with.  All because I took a very scary step.

Like she said, it doesn't have to be something big.  I don't know what but I am going to do something.  Who's with me??

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sore Muscles

I love the feeling of sore muscles?  I have been proudly active for the past three days and I love the residual feeling of having done activity, aka a sore body.  I am just getting back into the groove after having my sweet baby girl and it really feels good. 

I've been employing Roni's What You Can When You Can challenge and it's just what I need to get me psyched about "squishing" in some activity somewhere.

It's all part of loving myself and having a desire to be around for as long as possible for my kids and, hopefully, their kids too.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The scale is sucking me in!

I've been weighing myself!  It's something I'd gotten away from happily because it's not a good measure for how I am doing.  It seemed counter intuitive to me when I first started normal eating but now it makes complete sense.

What results from weighing myself?  Feeling frustrated, unhappy, disappointed, ashamed.  While all of those feelings are okay to have, they aren't ones that are conducive to moving forward on my journey.  Mostly because they just make me want to eat.  And they make me feel bad about myself.

So I am officially giving up the scale once more.  I can measure how I am doing based on:
  • How often I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm satisfied
  • Success in talking myself down when I want to eat but am not hungry
  • Figuring out what my true need is (since it isn't food!)
  • Giving myself what I truly need
  • Managing my anxiety...keeping myself from getting too anxious (which makes me want to eat!)
All of these kind of add up to taking care of myself, loving myself.

How would you quantify a successful day if "measurements" were off the table?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why are evenings so hard?!?

My mind is out of control!  Just read a GREAT article about why and what to do to combat it:

To begin, I've got a brain dump.  Hopefully this will be a good start to clearing my mind.

I have been out of control with food.  So many things on my mind today.  Maybe brain dumping in and of itself will stop my craziness and allow me to get back on track with normal eating.

Last night I ate half a block of cheese in front of the TV.  I won't tell you how big the block of cheese was :)  I clearly need a plan of action for the evenings.

I am pumping post-baby and I want to take advantage of this time and I am starting to panic because I don't know how long I will be able to pump and I believe that losing weight will be nearly impossible if I am not pumping (true or not? I have no idea).

I am concerned about my ability to be a normal eater.  I feel very out of touch with my body and my hunger right now.  I feel afraid I am never going to get there.

I have a long list of To Dos and they are freaking me out!  I have both personal and professional lists and am feeling overwhelmed.

So here's my plan of action:
  • Eat something.
  • Pump on time. Let's keep this going! 
  • Make my to do lists, get everything out of my head and on paper
  • Prioritize my lists.
  • Commit to completing at least one major and two minor things on each list.
  • Do one fun thing after each task is complete (nothing that takes too long)
  • Make a plan of action for success in the evenings
I have 10,000 things running through my  mind and I get all frenzied and then I eat eat eat!  And I think I become detached from everything I am trying to accomplish because it seems easier.

Today my mantra will be: "There is a lot to do but I have time and I will get it done."

Does anyone else get crazy like this?  How do you handle it?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Feelings After Binge

Karen Koenig posted on her blog about Mood and Unhealthy Foods and asked us to think about what emotions we feel after eating unhealthy foods. 

I made a list and this is what I came up with:
  • manic
  • relief
  • insatiable (I want more, more, more)
  • deserving of a treat

Not really what I expected to find out but, then again, I guess that's what these exercises are for.  Reading this list made me realize (again) that maybe my issue is anxiety rather than food.  If I can continue to work on keeping my anxiety level low and, when it gets high, find alternative ways to help myself rather than turning to a binge, I can begin to overcome this enormous road block.

What emotions do you feel after you binge?