I know people can get a little turned off when I mention the word “church”, but I was in church last week and we had a visiting priest from Africa. The Central African Republic to be precise.. anyway, he said that he was very interested to do the homily that week, because it was about Jesus’s (trigger word… bare with you) speech about being judged by those you know.
There is a part of the Bible in which Jesus speaks and everyone questions his authority, as he was just the son of a carpenter… and they knew of his humble beginnings.. and how could HE possibly be important. The Father went on to say how he knows how it feels. He came to this new church on the other side of the world and he was welcomed and respected, and though he loved his home there were always those that would never take him seriously because he was the kid that did…. what have you, 20 years ago.
When starting something new in life this is often a problem that people have. We are already set in our ways and it is difficult enough to start a new course and reprogram our own minds, but it is all the more difficult with the naysayers in our ears. I can remember when I was starting my health journey and I was cutting bad foods and trying to exercise more, and the hardest people to be around were the ones that were closest to me. The ones who were like, “oh… another diet” or “yeah, we can go out next week when you’re over your kick” or “it’s just a piece of cake” .. or pizza or what have you.. “It’s not a big deal. You’ve always eaten it before.”
There is something about human nature that people almost take it as a personal insult if you decide to change.. as if you’re trying to be better than the other person or that your change means that they should change as well.
As I have mentioned before people are very determined to stay the image that they have assigned for themselves. They like their habits. They know their identity. Anything outside of that makes them very uncomfortable. So if identity is permanent than you shouldn’t be able to change yours either. This is an extremely hard battle to wage when you’re already fighting your own mind.
A lot of people will tell you not to share your process or your plans with others. I’m not sure that I agree with that or not. I think it depends on your own resilience at that time (which can change from day to day and minute to minute), and also your opinion of the other person.. as well as a million other things. I do think that it is important to have a support system.. and that there are always those in your life that you KNOW you can’t depend on for support. Them, you avoid like the plague.
I believe this is why support groups like AA and weight watchers and the like are so important. Humans are, at our core, social beings. We need to connect with others. We need support, whether we like to admit it or not, but we can’t always get that at home with the people who are happy in the status quo or feel more comfortable holding our pasts against us. When it’s time for a change.. sometimes we have to make bold sweeping changes. We need to turn away from getting comfort in what’s familiar and move on to a new tribe if you like. The most important thing is not letting other’s define your identity.
We’ve all heard the expression that we are what we eat, but never have I experienced such an obvious example of this as I did this past weekend. I admit, during the holiday season my eating was way off track and I was feeling like a lazy, lumpy sloth. So, a few weeks ago I got myself back on track, no more leftover pie for breakfast. It only took a couple of days and I my energy level was back; my heartburn was gone and I was feeling good. I had the actual desire to exercise not just forcing my way through it.
Then this last weekend I went on a little getaway. I stayed at my brother’s place in the mountains that I have been to at least once a year for almost two decades. Usually it’s a great chance to me to reset my brain. I get out into the fresh air. I see the gorgeous view. I have very few distractions. I usually get so much accomplished.
This time on the drive up the fog was horrible. I could barely see three feet in front of me. I had to crank the heat to keep the windshield clear, and I was getting very drowse. After about 1.5 hours my son had to pee so we stopped at a gas station/convenient store and we grabbed snacks. It was one of those things that I talked myself into being ok. I had to do something to keep me awake and munching on snacks and coffee always does the trick. I was right. We got to the house with no incident and things seemed good… till I laid down. Suddenly I felt like I was going to be sick. I had severe heartburn and even the next day I had very little energy. I ate the left-over donuts we had and I felt even worse.
The weekend of fun, adventure, and even a little work, turned into my son watching TV while I crashed out on the couch. Thankfully after all the time I’ve spent with my food diary I recognized the signs. Later in the day I ran to the store and stocked up on fruits, veggies, and organic soups… it’s really cold here and it hit the spot… and my energy levels were back up the next day.
We always think that it takes years for crap food to do any real damage, but the truth is the garbage we put in our body is poison. It starts hurting us the moment it hits our lips and it doesn’t stop till we clean it from our lives. Don’t get me wrong, an occasional “treat” is one thing… a lifestyle of trash is something else. Everything in moderation… but our bodies are vehicles and need the proper fuel to make it work smoothly.
SO… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
We have officially started our new lives. We all have our resolutions stated, our diets, our business plans, our ideas for what ever our dreams may be. I have heard a lot of talk on radio stations, and of course the memes are in full swing, but you know what I mostly noticed. It’s all negative, self deprecating, designed to fail talk.
I don’t know what it is about the human ego, but we seem to be fundamentally designed to accept failure. Most people are much more comfortable with self deprecation than we are accepting a compliment. If someone says, “wow, you look great, have you lost weight?”. The receiver automatically feels uncomfortable and makes up some excuse about being sick, or “maybe a little”, or brushes it off as if it’s no big deal. But it is a big deal. Anything that you work hard at is.
For some reason, especially with Americans, there is something innately in us to underachieve. It’s actually the opposite of what the American Dream is all about so I don’t really get it. People are proud of how little they do and/or accomplish. As if being sick and broke is a mark of freedom. They are free from the rat race, or free from the socialized ideals of what’s important. They’re not going to be one of those people who eat healthy, or God forbid RUN. They aren’t going to be one of those people who works to get the promotion or start their own companies.. those people clearly have an ego problem.
I don’t know if it’s all the old 80s-90s movies that made the bad guy the person with an unhealthy need to win the poster-person for ambition so now anyone that wants to make themselves better must clearly be the jerk who thinks they’re better than everyone else.
And there’s a certain amount of outside sabotage that goes along with it. Those who are trying to “better themselves” are being told that it’s OK to be fat… it’s OK to be you… no being fat will kill you. It doesn’t make you less of a person, but it’s not OK. Or it’s OK to be minimum wage worker.. if you try for that promotion then you’re trying to somehow leave other’s behind.
Even those who are successful in whatever aspect of their lives still feel the need to put down anyone who wants start. Slim, healthy people make fun of overweight people who are beginning to exercise. As if “who does that person think they’re fooling?”. Why do they have to be fooling anyone? Why does their life choices to try to be better at something automatically put others on the defensive.
I saw an article about a woman who spent 100 days facing her fears. She later did a TEDtalk about it. I was amazed when I saw the comments how many people put her down because they didn’t agree that her fears were important enough. That her doing things that others do all the time shouldn’t make her important. Why not? Why can’t she be important just by being important? To quote The Doctor (Who) “In 900 year of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important”.
Why is life more about keeping other’s down than helping each other up? Perhaps everyone resolution should be to be more inviting and supportive of others, bringing up the status quo instead of bringing everyone down. Just a thought.
Have you ever known someone whom lost a boat load of weight, I’m not talking like 10-20 lbs. I mean like 50-100 lbs, and managed to keep it off? The first question people always ask is how they did it, and they are always disappointed when they are told the person changed their eating habits and/or exercised. No one wants to do that.
Everyone wants to change.. without actually changing. These same people will see the new and improved, healthier person out at dinner or a party and say, “oh, you can have some cake”.. or the drink.. or what have you, “you have to live a little” or “a little won’t kill you” or something along those lines.
I have always found this extremely disparaging. It is a way of completely undermining the work the person has done. It’s not easy to “stick” to a healthy diet. It takes A LOT of work. Most people have to over come addictions, and other mental health coping mechanisms to get there. It really does take changing.
I couldn’t imagine someone saying the same thing to an alcoholic. “Oh, wow, you haven’t had a drink in a year! That’s amazing! Let’s celebrate with shots. One won’t kill you”. It’s a slippery slope. Now that’s not to say that someone who has lost weight can never have a piece of birthday cake again. I mean… maybe the person does decide that their addiction is too strong and it’s best not to, or maybe they feel that they have dealt with their habits enough that they can indulge on an occasion, but the point is that it’s the healthy person’s decision on how they handle their food intake. They know what is and isn’t OK for them.
I don’t think that most people who try to encourage the healthier person to “Live a little” is trying to bully them or sabotage them. I think most people are just trying to include their friends. I think that most people just want to act like the food is not a big deal, but it is.. to some people, and pretending that it’s not doesn’t help anyone. That being said, there are some that go the other way. There are those “friends” that don’t want you to succeed because they haven’t. You know the old saying, “Misery loves company”.
If you are on your path to a healthier you. Whether it’s weight-loss, substance abuse, or even getting a better job, be careful of your peers. Be careful of those who seem to always lead you down the path of the dark side… with those cookies. You know the voices that you hear in your head that say it’s ok… you can just have one… well, they are hard enough to ignore. When you hear them from those who love you it’s even more challenging.
If you want to change your life, that mean you have to CHANGE your life. It won’t be easy. There is no magic pill. You can’t half-ass it. But you can become what ever you imagine yourself to be… you just have to do the work.
Some conversations take you further down the rabbit hole than you were intending to go. I was talking with a friend today. He had taken a picture and wanted to send it to one of his best friends whom he met through NA (Narcotics Anonymous). He was trying to think of a clever caption to put with the photo.. so I through out some silly one liners and he said, “No, that’s not the way he and I joke… it has to be drug related”
I was absolutely stunned. These are people who are fighting an opiate addiction and they spend their time sending each other jokes about drugs… I mean isn’t the point of making friends and branching into the programs to stay away from drugs?
I have spent the last 2 years of my life dealing with my own addiction to food. I have been learning about all the ways to change your life for the better. Almost every expert will tell you that the only way to truly change a strong habit like that is to change your mindset. To not think of yourself as that person anymore.
A lot of people talk about positive thinking… but you can’t just tell yourself “I’m fit” or “I’m not an addict” and expect that to change your life. You have to retrain your brain. You have to picture yourself fit.. you have to picture all the new habits that you need to develop to become that person. You have to retrain your brain into thinking of yourself as the person who works out regularly.. that chooses fresh fruits, veggies, and lean proteins.. instead of the person who thinks of themselves as sitting on the couch eating pizza.
One of the first things that is discussed when changing habits is changing your surroundings. One needs to understand the pitfalls and the triggers to the unhealthy habit.
As I’ve said, my issue is with food. If my trigger is Friday night movie and pizza with my family… or that friend that I always get dessert coffees with.. or that birthday party every weekend with cake.. then I have to learn how to work around them… or to take myself out of the situation.
The funny thing is I’ve discussed this with said friend and he agrees with me.. about my issue. He agrees that when I hang around with certain people we escalate the cravings and talk about food.. we almost egg each other on and give each other permission to eat badly. I’ve had to put my foot down and stop these conversations. I’ve had to cancel plans.. I’ve had to make better choices. My addict friend thinks this is wonderful and that I am smart for understanding this.
When I pointed out that he does the same thing with his NA friend he just scoffed and told me he’s fine. They’re just jokes. It doesn’t affect him…. funny thing is… he was high when he said it.
I recently had one of those “Timehop” posts come up. It was a quote from my dad right before he was about to go into surgery. I was worried… as any good daughter would be and saying that anything could happen when he’s under. He responded, “You’re right, anything can happen, and if you’re going to imagine things happening. Imagine good things.”. I loved that quote. That was so him. Most of the time, that is so me.
We are what we imagine that we are. There is a quote “Worrying is praying for things you don’t want to happen.”, and it’s so true. We spend so much time in our heads imagining what we want. What we don’t want. What we’re afraid of. What we long for. We get them all mixed up and eventually we put all our effort into thinking about things that we hope never happen.
Now the Law of Attraction say that if we concentrate on bad things that we can make them happen. The law of averages says that if we wait long enough something bad will happen. My law is, why waist one second thinking about things you don’t want when there are soooo many things out there that you do.
Let’s say that you spend your days worried that your spouse is cheating on you, and what will you do if he leaves you because you can’t afford things on your own… and OMG you’re getting fat…. well, now you’re consumed by this. You get depressed you eat more. You can’t concentrate on work. You lose your job. You’re a miserable person and your spouse leaves you and you say “SEE! Bad things always happen”.
Did the law of attraction make that happen? Did the law of consequences? Did the law of averages? Now… same person… doesn’t fret about the relationship and enjoys the time with the partner.. and the time by herself. She excels at work. She joins a health program like a gym, meditation or cooking class. She actually enjoys her life. Then she finds out she had all that free time because the spouse was cheating… Ok .. that sucks! But she has way more going on in her own life to keep her going. She has friends, and hobbies, and a fulfilling career and it’s not, “See, bad things always happens.” It’s, “Wow, what an arse.. I deserve better.” And that’s exactly what she get.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Someone loses a whole lot of weight and someone else says to them, “Oh wow! You look amazing! How did you lose it?”. Seems like a rational question… then the response. “Well, I cut out/down on my sugar intake. Ate more veggies and exercised”, and suddenly the inquiry is lost on deaf ears.
No one wants to “do the work” anymore. When you look at the check out line magazines, the random ads on the internet or TV, or a million books in the bookstores and they are all “get….. quick”. It doesn’t matter what it is. Get rich, lose weight… find the perfect man. It’s all about the here and now moment.
If you cut out all carbs… all gluten.. all dairy you will lose weight. Sure… if you stop eating you will lose weight, but it is not sustainable forever. If you take this pill you will lose 10 lbs in a week… yes.. and probably live in the bathroom.. it’s not fat that you’re losing.
Here’s a hint. If you want to be a healthy, fit person.. you have to BE a happy, fit person. Be is actually a verb. You have to do the work. You have to say no to the cake.. mostly. You have to exercise. You have to drink your water and eat your veggies. You have to BE. That is not to say that you can NEVER have cake again. In fact that’s the biggest problem with the crash and trendy diets. They cut things out instead of teaching you how to eat them responsibly. I will say, I joined weight watchers years ago and one of the things that I liked was that you were able to learn the value of foods.. and what is worth the calories and what is not.. but you have to do the work.
If you want to drop 10 lbs to fit into a dress, by all means juice for the week and lose the water weight that helps that pouch out… but don’t expect the to actually help you to lose fat. And always check with a doctor before starting any restrictive diet. They all rack havoc on your body and hormones.
I have been following a health coach of my own for a while. She predominantly sells Beach Body products, but she is very inspirational with her message and usually has some great advice. However, she has posted a couple of things that have me a little concerned about the actual health advice she is giving… as there is a difference between getting healthy and losing weight.
She was the one who previously wrote that it was better to eat high fat breakfasts, like eggs and avocados over low fat carb based breakfast like oatmeal. Now, this may be great advice for those just trying to lose those few extra pounds, or for those in their 20s.. but for those of us in our 40s trying to get our cholesterol in shape.. not so good.
The last couple days she has been writing about insulin resistance and blood sugar level problems. She listed a bunch of symptom’s to insulin resistance. While some of them are on the list (increased thirst, and needing to urinate) most were really more signs of a carb addiction…
🚫 belly fat despite sit ups and healthy lifestyle
🚫 weight plateau despite healthy eating
🚫 carbs reduce your stress, make you less cranky
🚫 crave sugar sugar + carbs
🚫 not satisfied after eating (want sweets)
🚫 urinates in the middle of the night
🚫 swollen belly as day progesses
🚫 worse eyesight at night
🚫 need for a nap after lunch
Then she suggested going on a 48 hour fast to help regulate your insulin resistance… that is actually the WORST thing that you can go. For those with insulin resistance or pre-diabetes the best thing to do is create a very regimented eating schedule to keep your sugars balanced. You are more likely to see severe spikes when you fast or skip meals.
Being a health coach is not easy, but it is important to remember that unless you are a registered dietitian you should not be giving advice on how to counteract real medical problems. And if you have a medical condition, you should not seek advice from randoms on the internet.
Health coaching is about helping people understand their options. Teaching them about the way food breaks down in the body, and making sure to keep them motivated and ready to make the changes that they need. If a person has a medical problem they should be referred out to a medical professional. You can still continue to coach and keep them on target, but you must stay within your wheelhouse, or you could cause more harm than good.