Rule #2: Words to Live By

Screen shot 2014-02-05 at 8.11.22 AM

Advertisements

Alive but Still Learning to Live.

I have so been neglecting this blog but I do have a good reason.  I lost my job right before Thanksgiving, not exactly and ideal situation to be in right before the holidays and my motivation was totally in the dumps.  I did the whole feeling bad for myself bit for several weeks, drank a little more then I should, cut off friends and family.  After going through the motions for most of November and a lot of December I realized I expected better of myself.

This wasn’t living, this wasn’t the way that I do things and when one ride ends you just get in line for another.

So, I started a business, I got my first client last week and have a meeting with a second this week.  The thing is, being self-employeed has always been the dream and working for others doesn’t honor my vision.  If there is anything that life has taught me it is that it will correct itself, often in very painful ways, if you aren’t living the way you were intended to.

As we start this year I encourage you to take inventory and consider if you are being true to the life you want to live and the person you want to be.  What needs to happen in order for you to stop going around in circles and start moving things forward?  While it is great to be alive it is better when you start living.

Check out this post from The Art of Manliness: How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

Here is the website for my new business I have another blog on the site and we recorded our first podcast this weekend.  We also have a 30 Day Challenge going on Facebook: True 2 Life

I wish you the best in 2014 and please contact me if you are interested in fitness and lifestyle coaching.

I Find it Best to Start at the Beginning, Part 2

Scones!

MMMMMM, scones!

In my last post I talked about setting the foundation for your weight loss journey and pointed out some strategies you can use to establish a strong base.  I asked you to take a look at what is working for and against you.  In this post I am going to focus a bit more on the role that awareness plays in creating a healthy lifestyle.

What does losing weight mean to you?  Are you instantly hit with visions of all the things that you won’t be able to enjoy anymore and dread about stepping on the scale?  If you are serious about losing weight and keeping it off you have to create a life that supports your goal.  Understanding your habits and tendencies are a significant piece to the weight loss puzzle.

Over the next couple of weeks take a look at the things you do on a day-to-day basis.  Do you get that latte and scone every morning before work?  What is your evening routine like, do you have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner?  Sure, you may be hitting a spin class three days a week but the caloric expenditure in those classes are being undone by daily habits you don’t even think about.

It may not seem like much but when you think about calories like money there is a nickel-and-diming effect that can add up over time.  The better your awareness the better you will be able to attend to counter productive habits.  So, use an app, write in a journal and start keeping track of what is working for and against you.

As always, more about me here: www.true-2-life.com

I Find it Best to Start at the Beginning, Part 1

Could you imagine beginning with parallel parking when you first started driving or playing a song for friends at your first attempt at the piano?  Yet, so many people start their weight loss journey in the middle without establishing a foundation to work from.  It is no wonder failure rates are so high, most people are starting at the wrong point in their program.

So, where to begin?  Start with a review of what you have done in the past, what has and has not worked for you?  You have to take a look at the road you have traveled through critical eyes; if you lost a lot of weight over a coupe of months on a low calorie diet only to gain it back did it really work?  If you don’t have many references for what has worked for you look at what has worked for other individuals.  The National Weight Loss Registry is a great resource to find individuals that have lost weight and kept if off.

Next, take inventory of  what resources you have available to you and what barriers you need to address.  Will you be using a gym or equipment at home?  Will pizza Friday be an issue for you and what is an alternative?  Who in your life will support your efforts and who will razz you for not having one more beer when out and about?  Your journey doesn’t take place in a bubble and you should account for as many variables as possible.

Your attitude will play a significant role in your success and you have to be open to trying new things and staying aware.  Developing your awareness will be the key to really establishing a solid ground to develop from.  Keep a notebook for the next couple of weeks of your eating habits and exercise routine.  Check out Penzu.com for a free on-line notebook.

To find out more about me and what I do: www.true-2-life.com

 

Tweeting Toward Healthy Living

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Everything is better with friends, including getting in shape and losing weight.  Technology has given us the opportunity to create and foster relationships with others from the comfort of our sofas.  Now, if the extent of your interaction with others on-line has been trolling pictures of your high school crush on Facebook then, it’s time to get more out of your internet time.

Twitter is a great place to get support and inspiration in 140 charters or less.  You don’t need to understand how to use hashtags and at signs (@) to get something out of social networking for weight loss.  Because of the limit on what you can write you can post and read quick notes that get to the point.  Bonus, twitter is also a free service and takes no time to set up, connect to friends and family and get started.

I suggest that you set up a twitter account with friends that support your weight-loss efforts or people that are also trying to get in shape.  Commit to posting daily updates, workouts, and barriers you bump up against.  I also recommend following people and organizations that will give you information that aligns with goal and motivates you.

Suggested Tweets to follow: iBehaviorCoach, Retrofitme, Men’s Health, Sparkpeople,

To find out more about me: iBehaviorcoach.com

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

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

Death by Office Space

Don’t look now but I think your job is trying to kill you.  Adults spend a lot of time at work and in a given week you interact much more with your colleagues in the office then you do with your family at home.  Your work environment may actually be one of the more significant barriers to your weight loss efforts. 

Think about the extra calories you get from grazing around the break-room or out of the jellybeans jar on your co-workers desk.  How often are you hitting happy hour with friends after a long day of wrangling with issues in your department?  Your work environment can be detrimental to the healthy life that you want to lead if you allow it to, but you have a choice. 

While you can’t control the people around you, you can monitor your actions and decide what will or will not work against you.  Don’t allow yourself to throw your hands up in defeat because it is yet another birthday this week with cake.  You can choose to have a smaller piece or nothing at all.  Don’t worry, gaining the reputation as someone committed to taking care of themselves isn’t nearly as damning as you think.

Have a thoughtful Thursday 

Find out more about me: iBehaviorcoach.com

Healthy Identity Crisis

Jean Loring in Identity Crisis. Art by Rags Mo...

Jean Loring in Identity Crisis. Art by Rags Morales. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What goes into your identity; your job title (cat wrangler), the status in your family (oldest of eight), your hobby (extreme world-building).  Chances are you wouldn’t include your tendencies toward late night snacking or how you binge on food and alcohol when you are in social situations.  Yet, when I tell someone that in order for them to successfully lose weight they have to address these problem areas you would think I was asking them to give up breathing.

Think about how you socialize or unwind at the end of the day, think about the joy or comfort that you get from having your favorite treat, now imagine having that taken away.  That twinge of loss that you feel highlights one of the more significant barriers to losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.  If you have had difficulty in the past dropping pounds you might want to look at how you identify with the foods you eat and your way of being.  Can you imagine living a healthier lifestyle or are you stuck ruminating about all the things you will have to give up if you committed to significant change?

Take some time today and envision the life you want.  Consider what socializing, unwinding and stress reduction looks likes through the lens of a healthier you.  When that person is looking back at you in the mirror several months from now I am guessing the sacrifices you made will be worth it.

Learn more about what I do: iBehaviorcoach.com