5 Pillars

I love what I do for a living, working with individuals to transform their lives is extremely rewarding and never dull.  Having worked with hundreds of people up to this point I can tell you that while some basic parameters do exist (burn more calories then you eat) there is not one size fits all success formula.  Today I am going to give you a list of the top-five tendency I see with in clients that are successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

  • Be honest:  Sure, that bag of chocolate bites is around 150 calories but does it make sense that a fit individual would eat these on a daily basis?  In order to lose weight you have to be completely honest about what you put in your mouth and emphasize quality over quantity.  It is the difference between seeing food as a way to fuel your body and food as something you consume to pass the time.
  • Focus on the process: Don’t get caught up in what you will eventually look and feel like once you finally achieve that fitness goal.  What does your daily/weekly/monthly plan look like?  Get some basic behaviors down that you can check off at the end of the day and set small goals that you can evaluate each week.  When you stay in the moment and attend to the choices you are making right now the success will work it’s way out.
  • Support:  Who is on your team?  A client of mine was working on better portion control at dinner and had discussed this with his wife not knowing his youngest daughter was listening.  During the evening meal one night he reached across the table to get another dinner role and was smacked on the hand with a spoon.  “No Daddy!”  When faced with stern six-year-olds it is better to back down and appreciate the lesson you have just learned.  Employ as many people as you can on this journey, the more support you have the better.
  • Journaling: All my successful clients utilize something to track thoughts, accomplishments and work through barriers.  Find an app, start a blog, or just invest in a notebook but make sure you have something to get something brief down about your day.  They track the foods they eat and the activities they participate in.   You could come up with a scale that will allow you to rate yourself and give a quick reason behind the grade.  Also, try voice recording, most computers and phones have some type of note recording software.  Even if you don’t review it just hearing yourself out load helps.
  • General Activity:  At my heaviest weight (260) I was spinning for an hour, five-days-a-week at 5:45 in the morning then, going to work.  The thing is, once I was at work I really didn’t move for the rest of the day until I went home and surfed cable until I went to bed.  You have to stay as active as possible and you are better off finding 5-10 minutes here and there to just walk around then only working out once and sitting on your butt for the rest of the day.

Please, there are other pieces to this puzzle and if there is something that you have found to be helpful please post up for the benefit of others.

Find out more about me and what I do:  iBehaviorcoach.com

Vision of Health

 

Cowboy

Cowboy (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn_BE_BACK_IN_SEPTEMBER)

 

It’s a lazy hot morning in the town of Deadwood and old Sheriff Andy is sipping his coffee enjoying a moment of silence before his day gets started.  Suddenly, his peaceful, meditative moment is shattered by the rapid thundering of hooves coming toward him from the sunrise end of town.  He jumps up from his chair, and is surprised when he recognizes Ray Evans riding wildly up the street.  “Ray! Where the hell are you going?” Shots Sheriff Andy. “I don’t know, ask the horse.” Replies Ray.

 

Sometimes weight loss can feel like this, a wild ride on the back of a fast horsing with the understanding that you are going somewhere but not really sure of the details.  It’s so easy to fall in love with the fantasy of how things are going to be when you finally drop all those pounds.  Think about it, you will no longer have to worry about taking your shirt off at the beach, finally take that hot Yoga class, and get that promotion at work.

 

Individuals that are successful at weight loss have a clear vision of the lifestyle that they are working toward and fall in love with the process.  Take a second today and consider, what your healthy style will look like, what activities will you participate in, how will your days change, what do you look like?  Now, break your process down, what are the day-to-day behaviors would you like to have in place, why is weight-loss important to you and your family, and what milestone have you set to achieve along the way?

 

Remember, while you should have a detailed idea of what you want to achieve this is a journey and if you don’t take care of what’s on the inside it won’t make a difference what you achieve on the outside.

 

Learn more about me and what I do: iBehaviorcoach.com

 

The Restaurant Dilemma

Screenshot of Pitfall! on the ColecoVision

Oh crap! Is that a scorpion or the letter “C” with claws?

I do love me some video gaming.  Along with the throw-back nostalgia of less complicated times, gaming is one of my go-to non food related boredom busting activities.  One of my favorites Atari games (Yes, I’m that old) was Pitfall, your 16 bit Indiana Jones like character jumped over traps of 16 bit alligators, 16 bit spiders, and 16 bit mummies.  Fall into any of these pitfalls and you were done.

Creating a healthy lifestyle has a lot of pitfalls, one of the more significant areas that many of my clients really struggle in are restaurants.  Now, having worked in the restaurant biz both as a cook and a waiter I am here to tell you they don’t make it easy.  A good rule of thumb for many places, the cheaper the food the higher the calories and the lower in nutritional value.

Think about it, when you go to higher end restaurants more time is given to the food, spices and preparation techniques are utilized to bring out the flavor.  Now, take a place like The Cheesecake Factory or Chili’s, food at these places tend to be a lot more processed.  Chain restaurants take short cuts to the pleasure centers of our brains by using more fat, salt, and sugar for flavor.

Now, the last thing I want to do is take away a fun family outing to Outback Steakhouse every Friday night but to navigate the pitfalls of this occasion you do have to plan.  Do yourself a favor and just look up the menu at the restaurant before you go and see what items make sense for what you are trying to accomplish.  If you find yourself heading out for an inpromptu meal with friends make sure you have an app that you can utilize on your phone (I recommend loseit and myfitnesspal).

If you are trying to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle you have to be completely honest about what you are consuming.  Don’t make excuses, this is about lifestyle change, you can’t keep giving yourself permission to cheat a little here and a little there.  A commitment to your health means making the choices in favor of your health.

Self Sooth With Food

Rouge le Fou (151.365 7.04.08)

Seriously, a wink, what the hell does that mean?

I have discussed emotional eating a couple of times in this blog.  Everyone does it in one form or another, even if you aren’t the curl up on the sofa, watching Beaches, while tears of grief fall into your pint of Chunky Monkey following yet another disastrous Match.com date type.  Some of my clients go into mindless eating mode when they socialize out of happiness, while others reach for a quick unneeded snack out of boredom.

Have you ever stopped to ask, “why am I eating this?”  For many, food can be an escape, a way of postponing something they are dreading but have to do or, a way of interrupting uncomfortable feelings that they have.  Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable and food is a really easy way to occupy your brain and escape from your feelings if even for a couple of minutes.

The next time you reach for that sweet or salty treat try this strategy.  Simply ask, “why am I going to eat this?”  Then take a second and search for the feelings that you are having in the moment, are you anxious, afraid, bored?  Once you identify that feeling write down what you think is causing you to feel this way and note that eating will not help you solve this issue.

As always, learn more about me and what I do: iBehaviorcoach.com