Monday, October 01, 2012
My life coach says I am to busy eating and working/playing on the computer, eating and doing housework, eating and doing 14 other things at the same time, and to knock it off.
My reply is that I have million things to get done. Her reply, really and why are you not getting them done?
Lesson here to learn is that I have to prioritize, organize and remember that there's no reason to bring my busy life into my meals.
If I want to be sure to take off some unwanted pounds, I have to make a new rule for myself and stop doing other things while eating.
One simple way of helping myself to eat mindfully, is to eat while I am sitting. Never eat while standing in front of the fridge or preparing a meal. When I eat while standing up, whether I am cooking, snacking, or picking, I won't feel satisfied. Put my food on a plate, sit down and enjoy.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
How do you find motivation to exercise when you just don’t feel like doing it? I ask myself this question every time, and I have the feeling I’m not the only one.
I have read and been told that there are a million ways to motivate yourself to exercise, and trust me, I struggled with exercise. So to find my motivation I took a survey… I don’t think I did well because… well, I’ll let you be the judge.
Q1. How you feel after a workout?
A. Like someone is kicked my butt
Q2. Do you make time for yourself?
A. Sure, I lock myself in the bathroom with a good book.
Q3. Do you count calories?
A. Like money in my check book (I write down everything and subtract from my allowed amount)
Q4. Do you have fun while exercising?
A. Exercise should be fun? Sweating and out of breath, muscles sore, hum, thinking- what’s fun about that?
Q5. Can you imagine a slimmer, fitter you.
A. Duh! That’s why I started dieting and trying to exercise. Have you ever seen an old fat woman climb a tree, there now, let that visualization drive you?
Q6. Do magazines cover models motivate me to read fitness magazines.
A. No just motivates me to learn Photoshop…
Q8. Do reading blogs about people who are into running, or losing weight.
A. It can show the ups and downs they go through, and you can learn from their experiences. If they are really being truthful.
Q9. Do you find success stories inspirational?
A. I find the success stories of others incredibly inspirational. But I don’t believe them if they are on info commercials or website selling something.
The results; I am depressed, cynical and need professional help… or need to go for a walk.
Really I am not depressed or cynical, just a smartass sometimes, but I am looking into professional help to get motivated to exercise. I see a life coach tomorrow afternoon. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
My Sparks Coach gave me a Daily Community Task; Blog about the obvious (and not-so-obvious) ways you tend to waste time, and come up with a few healthier ways you can use that time to work toward your goals. Here are some of my thoughts…
1. Stop random email checks
Popping in and out to check my email was quickly adding up when one stops to consider the time it takes to refocus after each stop. So unless I am expecting an important task-related message, I am scheduling a specific time slot for checking my email.
For example I now check my email mid-morning after doing my office exercise (SparkPeople has many 10 to 15 minute videos that can be done at your desk.) Then I check it after lunch, and before I go for my evening walk/ or workout. I realize that I should never check my email before going to bed because it can affect the way I sleep. For that matter, the same goes for my voicemail, text messages and other smartphone-related activities. I am able to reduce harmful interruptions by sticking to a plan of action.
2. Quit “winging-it”
Quick story alert: There was a time in my life when I would get lost while driving. For a while I thought I was a hopelessly directionally-challenged individual. But then it finally dawned on me that I was usually just “winging it”. I was setting off without a plan or direction.
Most people start their days without a roadmap and end up aimlessly wandering around what’s important, wasting time along the way. Sadly, those who choose to skip planning mistakenly believe they are saving time, a folly obvious to your family, boss, co-workers, and clients.
Honestly, 5 minutes is all you need to establish a short list of tasks, create a daily schedule, and prioritize your activities in the order of importance. By creating a plan each morning you’ll have much more success in follow-through on what matters most.
3. Don’t be an interruption magnet
Let’s face it; some people are more open to distractions than others. I find myself beginning work on a priority task only to be interrupted by passing people, cellphone ringing, does this sound familiar?
Hey believe it or not you are not alone. I was reading that this is a common form of procrastination, not following through on your priorities, and time being wasted. Fix it by learning to close your door, both physically and figuratively:
• Each day, I choose two separate “task hours” where I can close my “door”.
• Identify important tasks where undivided attention is a priority.
• Communicate my limited availability to co-workers/ family by sign on the door. Yes, with young children it hard, but keep at it, your teaching them a valuable lesson.
• Silence my cellphone – I shut off my ringer and created a custom voicemail greeting that details your availability.
• I close my email client to avoid the temptation to check-in if I am working on the computer.
• Unplug from the Internet — shutting down any potential distractions.
• Do NOT have snacks or drinks on your desk or work area (you will be tempted to graze).
• Also include a 10 minute break at the end of each task hour for stretching.
Learning the self-discipline to stay on task doesn’t always come naturally. But I try to remember — when I prioritize a task as highly important, I am giving myself permission to shut out interruptions and taking back my wasted time
4. End your silent procrastination
Goofing off or down and out procrastination is easy to spot, especially when you’re playing solitaire, scrolling Facebook or gazing out the office window. I am not saying you have to completely stop: just set a timer for 10 minutes, when the timer goes off, stop and get on with your day. But there’s another type of procrastination that involves “busywork” — working on non-essential tasks. I am calling it “dead time” because you may not even realize you’re doing anything wrong.
Any time you spend on less important activities is a step backward, especially when time-sensitive priority tasks and goals are concerned.
Stop this time-wasting sinkhole by giving your priorities some teeth:
• I don’t just take time to put my task list in order — I have to understand why it is important to me and how it affects my goals, this makes it easier to stay disciplined and follow through.
• Use Time Boxing, a reliable time management practice that consists of scheduling my tasks in fixed time segments, or boxes, with specific start and finish times, has been a tremendous help.
• When I tell myself what I should be doing and when, it reduces the intimidation factor of having large projects and open spaces of time.
• By creating task reminders using my day planner, Outlook, or by simply setting an egg timer and working until it rings keeps me motivated.
• But most important to me is scheduling in time to exercise, relax and do something fun and that does not revolve around food. For myself, I geocache or letterbox after working or along the route of doing my errands.
Structuring my task time works because it is providing an appealing set of instructions in my mind about when to start and when to stop. Therefore, I can eliminate a lot of stress that was building and enjoy life better. After all that is one of my goals.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Starting to eat healthy can be daunting, especially if you have not mentally prepared yourself for the change. When you're in the right place mentally it is easier to begin that eating healthy program that you will follow. By preparing yourself you can have more luck following the program for you and avoid falling off the wagon.
But a funny thing about that "sticking to your diet" part is that it's really quite easy when you're in complete control of everything you're eating 100% of the time. You know, when you're the one choosing the foods you're going to eat, and the one preparing/cooking those foods, and the one ensuring that the portion sizes are to your diet's exact specifications, and when you can count, monitor, and track everything at all times. When you can do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, sticking to your plan really isn't THAT hard.
Unfortunately for most of us, this just isn't reality. In reality, life tends to get in the way of our ideal eating habits on a fairly regular basis. Eating out, parties, holidays, family gatherings, special occasions, work, school... the list goes on and on. They're all far from the ideal situations to be in when you are trying to eat a certain way and nearly everyone around you isn't. Yet, these are situations life throws at us all the time. And what it comes down to it, how to best deal with kinds of situations, in a way where you don't end up ruining your “diet”, but at the same time can still live and enjoy your life like a normal person and not some psycho who only eats alone in their basement with their food scale.
The way I see it, there are only few possible ways of dealing with situations like these, and as someone who has not at some point done all, I am in the unique position and somewhat at a quandary if I should be the one writting. But my Sparkscoach says I need to do this. So bear with me as I give this a shot at sharing my experiences of my travels down this road.
Scenario #1. You enjoy without caring at all.
Here's when "life" easily wins the battle of diet vs life, but it's usually at the expense of "diet."
• I threw my entire diet out the window completely and eat whatever I wanted and however much I wanted with no regard whatsoever for the way I am supposed to be eating. Been there…
• I eat really well all week, and then ruin it all in a couple of hours. Done that…
• Usually I have a really hard time returning to my proper eating habits after situations like these and beating myself up. Yeah that’s me…
It doesn't take a genius to realize that this is the worst possible scenario of them all.
In fact, it's probably the main reason I decided to start caring about my diet and eating habits in the first place. Face it this is the only scenario on this list that just isn't good for anyone.
Scenario #2. You obsess without enjoying at all.
Here's when "diet" easily wins that battle of diet vs life, but it's usually at the expense of "life." This is on the opposite end of the above extreme.
• This is the person who is completely obsessed with and anal about what they're eating and how much they're eating.
• This is the person who, even in these situations, is still eating everything to the exact calorie and gram.
• This is the person who has guests over at their house and sneaks off into another room at some point to weigh their serving of food.
• This is the person looking up birthday cake calorie info on their phone at someone's party.
• This is the person who, when the pizza arrives, pulls out their prepared container of food and eats that instead.
• This is the person who sits by them self after a meal and watches everyone else eat dessert while getting asked if "they're sure they don't want any."
• This is the person who in these situations may even get a feeling of superiority and that they are somehow "better" than everyone else because they're so focused on their diet, and everyone else isn't.
• In extreme cases, this is the person who becomes anti-social as a result of their obsessive desire to stick to their diet AT ALL TIMES AND UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, and pretty soon starts avoiding social situations because of the risk they pose to their diet.
• In REALLY extreme cases, this is the person who develops an eating disorder, whether they realize it or not.
Yes I have a friend just like this, who I dearly love, and at times can be an inspiration, other times scares me to death.
Next is what I would call the "Trying to be a martyr" scenario #3 and is the one that I probably have the most first-hand experience with. While it certainly never came close to the level of an eating disorder. It did have me adjusting my life around my preferred eating habits, I was definitely the gal eating her own prepared meals when everyone else was eating something else. I was also the gal who ended up watching everyone else eat dessert. It is sooooo stressful.
For a while I was basically the gal who wanted her diet to be absolutely perfect 100% of the time, and went out of my way to make it that way. Now, there isn't necessarily anything bad about this. It's actually a great mindset to have. In fact, it's the mindset a lot people need to have in order to avoid falling into the trap of scenario #1 (the "Over-enjoyer"). But is also the mindset that can drive away your support group (family and friends) like scenario #2... Of course, for every person who prefers this level of strictness, there is, probably 10 others who don't. Meaning, this option is definitely not for everyone. The biggest problem is that the amount of strictness and overall lack of "fun" that comes as a result of this scenario will really bother a lot of people. Not to mention, the level of obsession certain people can take this option to can reach crazy (and sometimes dangerous) heights.
For this reason, I had to find a happy middle ground. It's an option that's very wrong for many people, but just right for others.
Scenario #4. You prepare and then enjoy. Or, enjoy and then compensate.
Here's when there is no winner or loser in the diet vs life battle. It's a perfectly even draw as long as it's not taken to an extreme.
• This is the person who knows they will be in some kind of "non-ideal" eating situation that night, so they purposely prepare beforehand by eating a little bit less (few hundred calories) during the day than they normally would. This then allows them to eat a little bit more (the same few hundred calories) later that night without causing any real problems with their diet. They don't obsess over the exact numbers, they just eat a little less during the day, and then just relax and enjoy a little bit later that night.
• This is also the person whose diet might have been a little off earlier in the day (for example, too many calories and too little protein), so they compensate for it during the rest of that day (in this example, by eating less calories and more protein). Again, they do it without obsessing over the specifics. They take their best guess at what their diet was too high or low in, and try to make up for it later on that day.
• This is also the person who might have had an entire day (or even a couple of days) of less-than-ideal eating habits, where they weren't able to prepare in advance or compensate for within the same day. Instead, for next day(s)... that's when they compensate. They figure they probably ate a bit more than they should have on Saturday, so on Sunday they eat a bit less than they normally would have. No big deal, everything ends up breaking even in the end.
• These are the people who get to enjoy the situations life throws at them AND keep their diet intact without really obsessing over it.
This scenario might be good for some people, assuming they truly understand the eating concept of "a little bit." Meaning, they won't under eat by 1000+ calories during the day and essentially starve themselves and then go crazy at night and overeat by way too much because they were so extra hungry. The only way this option works is when the person understands that they'll just eat a couple of hundred calories less throughout the day then they usually would, and then eat about the same few hundred calories more later on therefore balancing everything out evenly. Some sane amount of moderation is still definitely required here.
But when done right, this is a scenario that allows you to take what's good about the first 2 scenarios, and avoid the things that make them bad. You get to relax and enjoy some food you wouldn't normally eat (or just eat a little more than you're normally supposed to) BUT still focus just enough on your diet to practically cancel out any ill effects of this "enjoyment."
This option basically allows you to just enjoy, guilt free, without hurting your diet or weight related goals at all in the process. But once again, in order to work correctly (and safely) it requires the ability to not take things to extremes (as in starving yourself in preparation for later on, and then eating way too much because you're so over hungry at that point), and for many people, they just can't handle it.
If I had to give some advice and recommendations for how to deal with situations like these when trying to stick to your diet, I'd say that it really takes some combination of everything that's good about each of scenarios #2,3 & 4. In the end, it comes down to what's best for you, and I'd guess that for most of the population, it's some combination of keeping some focus on your diet BUT still getting to relax and enjoy a little at the same time.
For me personally, I started out in scenario #1 (eating without caring at all), and as you can imagine, that didn't lead to anything good whatsoever. From there, I jumped right into scenario #2 (healthy obsession), and made it work just fine for couple of months. Then had a break down and went back to scenario #1. However, over the last couple of days, I've slowly eased into a combination of #3 and #4 with a good mix of different exercises thrown in to keep me from getting bored... Hopefully I will stay on track this time.
Thanks for reading my thoughts…
Sunday, January 02, 2011
The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months! ~Edward Payson Powell
New Year is here, time to start fresh, new beginings. I made a goal to make more time for me. Strange as that sounds. Between work, family,social commentments and the computer, I have lost myself and never seem to do the things I really enjoy. I miss reading a book, cross-stitching, miniture rose gardening. Just going for a ride on the motorcycle for the sake of riding, or going scuba diving with my scuba club. Don't get me wrong I like SparkPeople, but its time comsuming sit time, where I really rather be more active outdoors. Bright Blessings to all this coming year and may you reach your goals and beyound, dream your dreams, live life to the fullest.
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