Thursday Thought: I’m here. I’ll listen.

I found myself searching the cupboards for anything to eat. For a second I paused and asked myself, “What is going on?” I wasn’t hungry, and I realized for the past two days I had been scouring the cupboards for something to eat when I wasn’t hungry almost constantly. I asked myself, “Am I trying to stuff something down?”

You know when one of your kids (or all of them) come and talk and talk and talk to you, but you’re not really listening? You’re trying to make dinner, read a book, or pay the bills. You know that moment when you finally stop what you’re doing and look at them and give them your full attention and really hear what they’re saying? This was like one of those moments.

At first, I started to listen and didn’t like what I heard, so I almost tuned out again. But then I thought, “I’m here. I’ll listen.” I decided I wasn’t going to try to make it all better. I just listened. The interesting thing was my inner self wasn’t trying to say a lot, she was just saying the same thing over and over. Maybe that’s why I tuned her out. But when I just decided to listen without making it all better, she calmed down a bit. Mostly she just wanted to be heard. Are you listening? Take a minute right now and tell yourself, “I’m here. I’ll listen.” What is your inner voice saying? You don’t have to make it all better, just listen.

The Genre Of Your Life

Who doesn’t love a good movie? We love it because we know it’s not real. Even when we kind of think it’s real, we know it’s not really real. I love movies based on true stories. The stories they’re based on are ones that seem to be tragic at some point, but then it resolves to something grand in the end, and you get to see how all of the parts fit together.

If you were in a movie right now, what genre would it be? Would the kids crying and screaming on the way out the door be a comedy or a tragedy? Would your husband looking on as you make dinner be a romance or a comedy? Change the genre of what’s happening in your life and see how your perspective changes. It’s only your thoughts that make it that way, anyway, so choose it the way you want to. This helps your brain to see that what you’re thinking about your life is what’s creating the feel of it. It’s not necessarily real that you’re in a tragedy; it could just as well be a comedy, or a romance.

Talking To The Child Inside Of You

As I’ve been working on my thoughts around losing weight, I noticed that it’s kind of like I have a child and a parent inside of me. The parent plans ahead, and then when it comes time to follow the plan, the child takes over. This past week, the child has been more like a teenager. She’s mad that the parent planned out the meal. She tries to sneak food really fast before the parent intercedes. She reads the plan and then pretends that the parent meant something else.

When I was coaching a client, she brought up this same kind of situation going on in her own head. We talked about how we want to talk to that child in our heads. Usually we are quite mean to her. We say things like, “You’re bad for eating that food.” “There’s something wrong with you for wanting to eat that thing that’s not good for you.” When she says, “I really want a cookie.” We are ambiguous. Sometimes we say no, and try to ignore her. Sometimes we give her the whole bag.

How would you want to talk to a child inside of you who wanted to eat something you knew wouldn’t help her feel good? Probably something like, “I know you want that sweetie, and it’s fine to have a little bit sometimes, but we’re not going to today. We’ve already planned to eat ______. We’ll have a treat on Friday. I know you feel disappointed, but I also know you’ll be okay. How about we go cuddle on the couch and read instead.” If you were going to a party where you knew she usually ate more than was good for her, you might talk to her beforehand, “There’s going to be a lot of food at this party. Let’s plan out what you’re going to eat ahead of time so you can feel good when the party is over. What are other great things about the party besides the food? What can you do when you’re finished eating?”

We all have a child inside that desperately wants to be loved and cared for. No one can care for her except you. How do you want to care for the child inside of you?

Thursday Thought: A “Wrong” Decision Will Always Get You To Your Goal Faster Than No Decision

Sometimes we get stuck in doing the “right” thing. What if there isn’t one “right” way, or one “right” thing? What if the only way to figure out what works is by trial and error? What if I told you it was going to take you 100 times to figure out a way that works for you to lose weight, to stop yelling, to keep your house clean, to start making money on your side gig, whatever it is you want to do that seems to elude you? Would it be worth it to you to figure it out? What if I could guarantee on the 101st time it would work, and it would stick forever, that you’d never have to solve that problem again? But first you have to try 100 ways that don’t work.

Instead of feeling stuck and paralyzed because you can’t find the right way, you’d probably get going. The faster you try and fail 100 times, the faster you’d reach your goal.

You’d stop with the drama of, “I don’t want to waste my time on the wrong decision.” You’d just make a decision and know that if if doesn’t work, that doesn’t make it the wrong decision. It just gets you one step closer to the way to reach your goal. A “wrong” decision will always get you to your goal faster than no decision.

I Can Help You With Your Problem!

I am back from coach training at The Life Coach School.  As part of my practicum to become a Certified Life and Weight Coach, I am offering 5 free sessions of coaching to anyone interested. What problems would you like coaching on? Do you want to lose weight? Do you have a relationship that you want to improve? Do you want more money? Do you want to get started on a goal that you keep putting off? I can help you with that! Go to my website emergingbravely.com and sign-up for some free coaching.

Thursday Thought: This Is Going To Be Fun

Last week I talked about not piling on extra negative emotion when you’re already feeling some negative emotion when things are hard. But what if you just decided it wasn’t going to be hard?  Jody Moore says this is her go-to thought. I’ve used this a lot, too, and it really does make a difference. Usually things start to feel hard for me when I take them too seriously and they become heavy. This thought helps lighten everything and take the weight off.

When you are thinking, “This is so hard.” Try changing your thought to, “This is going to be fun.” It just opens your mind to possibilities of how to make it fun or easier.

If you’ve been following, you know I recently started running again. Sometimes I don’t feel like running. Sometimes I just go anyway, and sometimes I try to change my thought to, “This is going to be fun.” I love it. It really is more enjoyable. I let go of my expectations of speed or time, and fun becomes my motivator.

I used this the other day when I needed to go grocery shopping, but was dreading it. I thought, “This is going to be fun.” I started thinking of ways to make it fun. I decided to listen to a podcast on the way, and to just take my time walking up and down the aisles. I didn’t try to get it done as quickly as possible, I just took my time, and enjoyed looking at everything. Seriously, so much better.

What do you want to be more fun?

Zooming In

I love the blogger, HandsFreeMama. She wrote a great post entitled Be Here Now. It’s the concept that when something feels overwhelming or stressful, our brains like to go to the past or the future to escape what is happening. But if you can just zoom in and focus on what’s happening right in this moment, you’ll see that you can handle it.

I have been doing walking/running where you run for a few minutes, and then you walk a minute. The other day, I decided to just run for 15 minutes straight, then walk at the end. My brain kept wanting to think about how I couldn’t run the whole way, how I should just stop and try another day. The thing that kept me going was focusing on the ground right in front of me. I knew where I would start walking, so until I reached that point, I just focused on the step in front of me; I focused on my breathing, on just that moment. It got me through.

What feels daunting to you right now? Fifteen minutes of running straight might seem too hard but you can take the next step. Cleaning the entire house might be too overwhelming, but you can dust this one shelf, or vacuum this one room. Starting a business may seem like a dream that could never come true, but you can write one blog post, or teach one class. Raising kids to adulthood can feel scary, or not yelling at your husband can seem undoable, but you can love them in this moment. Losing 15, 30, or 100 pounds can seem impossible, but you can eat the best way you know how today.

So when it all seems like too much, Zoom In and Be Here Now.

Weight Loss Wednesday: Just Because It Tastes Good Doesn’t Mean I Have to Eat It

I’ve been talking with my sister-in-law about weight loss. She told me a thought that has really been helping her: Just because it tastes good, doesn’t mean I have to eat it. This is really helpful in a lot of ways. One way is that it helps you to not resist your urge or desire. Sometimes when we’re trying to lose weight, we’re just resisting eating all of the foods we want to eat. This makes the desire even stronger. We say, “That’s not as good as I think it is.” Or we try to not have the food around, or even smell the food. What if you just saw the food and thought, “Yep, I love that food. That doesn’t mean I have to eat it.”

Think about it, we don’t do that with other things. Just because we love a few shirts, that doesn’t mean that we put them all on and wear them all of the time. We need to wash them sometimes. It’s more comfortable to just wear one at a time. The same with food. If we ate cookies all of the time, we wouldn’t be able to reach our health goals. It’s really more comfortable to not overeat, or even eat sweets all of the time, or other foods that may not contribute to our health.

Our brains are really convincing when it comes to things that give us a big dopamine hit. It’s good to have go-to thoughts like this one, so when our brains tell us, “That is really good for our survival. You should eat it right now.” You can gently remind your brain, “Everything is okay. We don’t need to feel pleasure all of the time. We can try other things to raise our dopamine. Just because it tastes good, doesn’t mean it’s going to contribute to my higher goals.”

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Weight Loss Wednesday: Rewriting Your Story About Food

What is your story about food? Is it your enjoyment and pleasure? Do you love it and hate it? When you think about giving up a certain kind of food, do you feel like you want to cry? If so, you’re not alone. What if you could have a healthier relationship with food? For a few years, I’ve thought about giving up sugar. But I felt like all of my joy would be sucked out of my life if I did.

I decided I didn’t like that food gave me the most joy in my life. So, I’ve rewritten my story about food. I read it every day. The important thing is that I really believe these thoughts. Now I’m working on making the thoughts second nature.

Maybe this can help you with some ideas to get you started:

 

I’m not that into food. I could take it or leave it. I  enjoy some foods, but if I don’t have them it’s not a big deal, because there are so many other things that give me more joy.
I never eat until I’m really full. There’s just no reason to do that because there’s always going to be more food in a few hours. I skip meals fairly often because I’m either caught up in something or I’m not hungry at “mealtime”. I just eat at the next meal. (something I learned from John Gabriel, naturally thin people skip meals quite often, not on purpose, just they’re not hungry, or it’s not a convenient time to eat) I also just like to give my digestive system a rest, so I hardly ever eat in between meals.
I’m not afraid of being hungry. It comes in waves, so I get hungry, but then it goes away, and comes back a few hours later. I know my body knows how to get fuel from the fat on my body, so it’s not urgent.
Some of the things I enjoy more than eating are reading, organizing or cleaning out closets or spaces in my my house, art projects like making cards, meditating, hanging out with friends, snuggling with my kids.

 

What would your new story with food be?

 

Weight Loss Wednesday: Your Future Self

Today I wanted to tell you a technique called Your Future Self. This is helpful for anything you want to achieve, but today I’ll tell you about it from the standpoint of losing weight.

If you want to lose weight, imagine yourself when you’re at your ideal weight. Don’t go back in time, go to the future. Imagine you’ve let go of the weight that you want to, and you’ve kept it off for a few years. What does your future self look like? What kinds of clothes does she wear? What habits does she have? How does she feel? Most importantly, what thoughts does she have that you don’t currently have?

If you’re not sure on the last one, listen to someone who is naturally thin. Listen to the way they talk (or don’t talk) about food. I’ve been doing this for awhile, and some of the main things I hear are, “I’m just not that into food.” “It’s so inconvenient to have to eat sometimes.” “I just get into what I’m doing, and I forget to eat.”

Have fun with this! Have your future self help you think like her, and then watch as you begin to look and feel like her.