The Gifts of Imperfection - Wholeheartedness Applied to Weight Loss

Uncategorized Jun 13, 2018

In reading Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, I was struck by how similar her “guideposts for wholeheartedness” are to the way that we coach weight loss. In fact, I would argue that when we coach wholeheartedness and weight loss simultaneously, it works better for weight loss, and it works better for well-being.

Brené Brown’s “wholeheartedness” has three components: Courage, Compassion, and Connectedness. That’s an extraordinarily different way to approach weight loss than how most people do it. The idea that it could even work may, initially, seem counterintuitive.

And yet, for the most part, we’d agree that courage, compassion, and connection, are foundations of success in other areas of our lives.

Many people fail to hit their weight loss goals precisely because they go about weight loss in ways that run counter to their well-being. They chase perfection, try to look good for others, pursue exhaustion, and try to...

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Exhaustion, Soreness, Anxiety, and the Worship of Punishment for “Health”

Uncategorized Jun 06, 2018

There are two things that are completely ineffective, that the fitness industry nearly worships: Brutally hard workouts and extreme dieting.

Now, if you’re looking to do some legit bodybuilding, you may have to do some really, really hard workouts. That kind of volume of work and metabolic stress can make a huge difference if you want to gain 20 pounds of muscle.

On the other hand — if you have a weight loss goal — it’s hard to put into words how much punishing workouts don’t help. Harder workouts are literally the last thing that would matter. And, most readers have probably tried, multiple times, and found that doing brutally hard workouts made no difference in their weight loss. So, you can stop that.

Extreme diets at least make sense in theory. Look, eliminating food groups (or worse, entire macronutrients) usually results in reducing calories. And reducing calories is the only thing that matters in weight loss. So, it works, in theory.
In practice,...

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I Just Ate My Feelings... Now What?

Uncategorized May 30, 2018

You wake up, only to realize you weren’t sleeping.

You were… off somewhere. Possibly you were caught up in replaying what happened that day. There was an argument, a stinging comment, a decision that didn’t go your way, or an unfair twist of fate.

And what the hell are these crumbs? Oh yes, now it’s coming back… while you were wading thigh-deep in unpleasant emotions, you decided to eat. And now the food is gone, and you barely remember it. And you’re still upset.

In this circumstance, a lot of our clients focus on undoing “the damage." They're concerned about the calories they took in, and how they’ll gain weight unless they do something. They plan a killer gym workout at 5 am. They chop up lettuce for the following days. Or they just head to bed, knowing in the morning things will seem new again, and they can forget the overeating and start fresh.

Heightened emotional states can trigger eating for a number of reasons: food is...

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New Podcast! Ending Stressful Eating

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2018

Maria of No Control Z and I recorded a podcast recently which might just be my favorite episode, ever! Maybe it's because she had prearranged such insightful questions, or because she's naturally amazing to make conversation with, or perhaps because she and I both have been down the road of troubled eating. Anyhow, I bet you'll like it and we got SO many great topics in there I can't believe it all fit in less than an hour?!

Click here to listen!

Here's what you can get in this free episode:

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Eating Out is Simple

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2018

Our clients are often shocked to find out that they can totally eat at Chipotle or Garbanzo as often as they want.

But if you look at the picture above, it’s really pretty simple:

  • 1/2 plate veggies
  • 1/4 plate protein
  • 1/4 plate carbs
  • Sauce

That meal is a meal from Garbanzo, ordered exactly like this:

  • No hummus or pita
  • Half the plate lettuce
  • Rice
  • Double chicken
  • Seasonal vegetables on the lettuce
  • Cilantro sauce

It’s a pretty delicious and tasty meal! It's available almost anywhere, quick, and reasonably priced.

Of course, you get to pick whichever carbohydrate you like. You might want to do the pita instead of the rice. Awesome, rock out with your pita. You get to choose.

You can eat anywhere you want. It’s just a matter of noticing that places will mostly serve you about five portions of carbohydrates, and somewhere between half a portion and a full portion of protein.

The most important thing is to order one portion of carbohydrates, and then fill in the...

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What If Losing Weight In 2017 Doesn't Make You Feel Any Happier Or Better About Yourself?

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2018

I’m going to offer a radical perspective. It’s an alternate perspective from how most people are wired. I’m not saying it’s the ultimate truth, but it can be a really useful and effective perspective on your weight loss journey.

The radical, alternate perspective: Losing weight won’t make you happier. Losing weight won’t make you feel better about yourself.

I was listening to a podcast with Joanne Dahl, PhD, talking about how looking at neurology, we know humans have five times more negative thoughts than they do positive thoughts. That means you’re probably going to have some negative thoughts about yourself, from time to time, for the rest of your life.

Most of the really good personal trainers I know really doubt their abilities a lot of the time. I’ve met people who’ve gotten PhDs to try to escape feeling like they aren’t good enough, and they still feel like they aren’t good enough. For those curious,...

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How to Stop Wrecking Your Diet Every Evening

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2018

For a lot of people, from the instant the alarm sounds in the morning, we’re on a schedule. We have to be in the shower by a certain time, out the door at a certain time, get to our desk at a certain time, and that’s just the beginning.

Opening our calendars we peer at the day ahead and it looks like…. more things on a schedule. Meetings, phone calls, picking up kids and even stuff we might want to do like get to a hairstylist all happen in their respective time slots.

Into the evening hours, tasks continue. You might be picking up or dropping off kids, figuring out the grocery situation, or seeing if you can get a workout in. The dog needs a walk, and that stack of mail that came today needs to be looked through.

While this organization of our day can go a long way to helping us be productive, many people look forward to the end of their day when there is nothing on the agenda. Usually, dinner is the last “event”, and after that, it’s just...

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From Binge Eating To Weight Loss

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2018

As nutrition coaches, people come to us when they are stuck and not making progress. One particularly challenging and recurring example of this is people who struggle with binge eating and excess weight, both of which they would like to lose for good. It's not hard to see that binge eating (consuming objectively large amounts of food in a single sitting while feeling out of control) is counterproductive to weight loss. What's harder to see is why someone in this situation actually shouldn't try to work on both goals at the same time.

Working on weight loss is counterproductive to binge eating recovery, however, binge eating recovery is the single best step toward attaining a healthy weight.

Is that a mind-bender or what? Let's explore.

Friends and families of our clients who fit this profile often know them as the Super Healthy Eaters, who never seem to eat any sweets, or maybe they are the strict Paleo dieter in their circle of friends. They may have "always been on a diet." But...

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10 Reasons Emotional Eating Happens, And 10 Ways to Stop

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2018

1. Wanting To Avoid A Task

I’ll get to that, right after a snack. Ok, now, time to get to that work I need to do…. Hmm, maybe just a bit more food first. Procrastineating is commonplace and isn’t necessarily a problem unless it’s getting in the way of your health or productivity goals. It’s easy to see how stalling by nibbling can contribute to extra pounds, in addition to not getting as much done as we could be.

2. Delaying A Confrontation

This is really similar to the above problem of procrastineating, but specifically, avoiding a confrontation with another person has a separate element of squashing down our feelings, not just buying us a few more minutes.

3. Needing A Break From Work, Responsibility, Or Pressure

Try to keep yourself in perpetual work mode 24/7 and you’ll find out that it’s an impossible task. If you don’t plan and allow yourself breaks and rests to balance out your daily exertion and toil, you’ll end up...

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The Difference Between Control And Responsibility

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2018

Control is limiting; responsibility is listening.

Control is about ratcheting down behavior; responsibility is about responding to situations in an appropriate way.

Say you have a puppy that is whining and barking. To control it, you could just put it in a crate and ignore it. To be responsible for it would be to go interact with it and see what it needed (to go outside to pee? Some play or training? A nap?), and then respond appropriately.

When it comes to our own lives and selves, the ideal situation to be responsible for our own needs isn't always available. Sometimes it does feel like it would be better/easier to put our needs aside and just get on with whatever it is we feel that we have to get done that day.

Here's the thing: this doesn't have to be black and white, one choice or the other.

Yes, it would be ideal if we could all have the time, space, and resources to meet all of our authentic needs in a timely and healthy way. However, sometimes we are hungry at work and it's...

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