A New Year’s Evolution

With the New Year fast approaching, our thoughts turn to the grand possibilities life has in store for us if we can just keep this year’s resolution. We resolve to be better and do better hoping that the new and improved “me” will get us a bigger slice of the happiness pie.

As Americans, our $11 billion self-help industry attests to the fact that we are obsessed with resolving to change. But how many people actually keep their New Years resolutions? Research proves what most of us already know: that the vast majority of us do not. While 52% of us believe that we will accomplish our goals, only 12% of us actually do. [Read more...]

Awareness: The First Step to Winning The Mental Weight Game

Ironically, those of us who love food and see it as central to our happiness are not very aware when we’re eating. We find ourselves eating quickly or while doing something else, such as driving, talking on the phone, watching television, or reading, so the experience of eating isn’t as satisfying as it could be.

The first step to losing weight and keeping it off for the rest of your life is awareness. Begin to bring awareness to the whole process of eating by getting curious about it: When and why do you decide to eat something? What are your eating triggers? How are you feeling while you’re eating? Are you engaged in the experience of eating, or is your mind somewhere else, engaged in problem solving or ruminating over a frustrating experience? What is going on for you when the idea of eating crosses your mind and you’re not hungry and it’s not time to eat? Follow these next steps to help you begin to bring more awareness to your eating: [Read more...]

Eating as Much Bread As I Want Isn’t Freedom!

Growing up, I loved eating out because restaurant meals meant an unending supply of bread and butter. Hard rolls were my favorite. Winding my way to our table at one family night out, I spied hard rolls adorning the place settings. I was ecstatic! Even before the waiter came to take our order, I asked him for more rolls so many times that the poor guy finally gave up and brought me a giant bowl of them. Although this gesture may have been meant as a dig at my gluttony, I couldn’t have been happier. Unabashed, I eyed my booty, dug in, and ate my fill.

We think that choice is freedom but the opposite is actually true. In the mixed up crazy world of being overly involved with food, choice is bondage. If I’ve made a plan for myself, while it may be true that I’ve eliminated spontaneity and choice in the moment, but I’ve also eliminated the gut wrenching internal debates of “should I or shouldn’t I indulge” and blocked the Pleasure Seeking Child’s access point. If my decision is already made, she doesn’t have a chance to sneak in and sway me in the direction of eating the wrong foods and eating too much, a decision that I’m bound to regret later.

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How Do I Stop Wanting What I Want?

When it comes to food, we think that wanting what we want is inevitable, an irrevocable fait accompli. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

The idea of giving up a food we love is tantamount to giving up our right arm or our first-born child. Even the great King Solomon couldn’t come up with a solution to the conundrum of passionately loving food that doesn’t love us, loving food that makes us fat, sluggish irritable, and unhealthy.

When a food makes us feel giddy and out of control and we can’t stop eating, it’s best to either make a rule about it or give it up. Here are some examples of rules, “I won’t keep this in the house but I can eat when I’m at a restaurant” or “I can have this once a week when I go to Aunt Sallie’s for dinner” or “ I will eat a small square of this and only that much and freeze the rest.” If you can’t stick to the rule then it’s time to consider cutting that food out of your life.

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