Monthly Archives: August 2010

Avoiding The Weight Loss Blowout: How To Control Your Diet Choices and Stay Sane!


The Weight Loss Blowout

Okay so we’ve sworn off pizza for life, we don’t eat this and we don’t eat that….because we are trying to lose weight. Everybody knows that – our friends, our spouse, our workmates and so everybody should be doing their best to support us with our new resolution to eat healthy. Only they don’t.

Contrary to our own expectations, other people don’t always make things easy for us. In addition, certain events also come along to conspire against us.  The get together, the dinner party, the going away for someone at work party…..the list goes on. And for the person that is trying to follow a new and sensible eating plan, these events can sometimes be quite challenging. Often the very foods we have been succesfully avoiding for weeks or months suddenly make a BIG comeback  poking their sticky, gooey, sweet and calorific face in ours, tempting and begging us to eat them.

Impulsive Eating

Once upon a time, I would have had a lot of trouble at such food laden events. I would have eaten way too much and then gone home feeling pretty annoyed and regretful. These days though I like to employ a few strategies to help me through these unavoidable occasions. 

A Few Strategies

There is no doubt that when you’re in your own home or your own enviroment, self control is well, easier to control.   At home, once you’ve made up your mind to, you can clean out the pantry and get rid of the danger foods (you know the ones) that tempt you the most. This idea works because basically you can’t eat what isn’t there. 

Not so however, when you venture out.  This is when a little forward planning and mental preparation can make all the difference. 

First, take time to visualise the event you will be attending. Picture the people, the meal and see yourself standing or sitting there amidst it all.  See the tempting food.   Then, take time to decide there and then what (and how much) you will eat. Picture it on your plate. Smaller portions, healthy choices. Nothing more.

If a picture of a huge dessert or extra serves of a favourite food come into play while your doing this little mental exercise, try the following. Whilst still visualising the food, make a mental image of yourself shaking your head and saying no thanks. Yes, it’s simple. But it’s powerful and it works.

Repeat the visulisation as many times as you feel the need and then, when the event happens, your subconscious will already be programmed for better choices.

What Else?

Another trick is to pack your own healthy snacks and take them with you to the party or get together. If it is not a sit down meal with a set menu, but rather a table full of random food items, then having a healthy and prepared snack as a substitute, can be a life saver.

Lastly, never leave the house ravevously hungry!!  Always ensure you have had a filling (but calorie controlled) snack before going out.  Oh and don’t forget your water habit which I talked about a few posts ago. If you missed it and would like to have a read then, check it out here https://monsbiz.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/can-you-burn-fat-with-food/ 

The Last Bit

So dear friends….we all need to think ahead with our food choices when we are on a weight loss journey, especially when the amount and type of food presented is (seemingly) out of our control.  Don’t let the circumstance dictate your behaviour, but rather decide on your behaviour before the circumstance arrives.  It is possible to achieve. Why not try it next time such a time arrives for you? You may actually surprise yourself with just how well you can control your choices.

Hope these ideas are of help to you.  They certainly have worked for me! 

I would love to hear about any issues you may have encountered in trying to control your food choices. Do you find other people supportive or do you sometimes feel that others may be trying to sabotage your efforts? You’re not alone on your journey, you know.  Many of us have been through the same things, so feel free to talk or if you’re not comfortable with that, why not just say hi! 

Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of the Reframe Weightloss team.

Ciao everyone…..

Mon ( )

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You Are What You Don’t Eat or Why Varying Your Diet Is Good For Your Health and Wellbeing


Do You Have Food Neophobia or Is It Just The Flu?

Hi there friends,

First up, apologies for my lack of time here at ChangeSational lately. I have had the flu and although my mind and heart have been saying ‘blog, blog, blog”, the rest of me has been screaming ‘please tell that enthusiastic writer woman to lay down and get some rest, for goodness sake!’ Blogger Me kept protesting, but I gotta say the extra rest has worked wonders and I am feeling a lot better. Sometimes you have just got to pay attention to the signals your body is sending! 🙂

Okay, so it’s on with today’s post, which is about Food Neophobia. Neo what? Read on dear friend….

A Fear of Trying New Foods

The other evening I decided to try something new at the Changesational dinner table and serve up falafels. I think most of you would be familiar with Falafels, but in case you are not, they are essentially a dish from the Middle East made mainly from chick peas, which are very healthy, high in protein and low in fat.

Falafels and Me go a long way back. Way back to a backpacking holiday in Israel during a time when myself and my travelling companion had only had enough shekels left to feed ourselves with Falafel Kebabs. Yep, that’s all we had – one Falafel Kebab a day, everyday, for about four days.  Granted we had a cup of tea every morning, provided for free  at the hostel we were staying at.  However after that our one Falafel Kebab was our main and only meal.

The Falafel Party

Lucky for me, I loved them and in no way felt deprived or lacking. Of course I knew it was for a limited time, which no doubt helped me psychological, however I now also know the power of high protein food to satisfy the appetite and do not think my experience of food deprivation would have been quite as happy had the only food available been, let’s say, a high sugar food.  Anyhoozie……I am digressing as the real point of this post is to discuss our individual aversions to trying new foods.

Which brings me back to the dinner table and my Falafel meal.  I was happy about the menu selection, however my enthusiasm did not extend to all family members at the table.  I couldn’t understand it.

Food Pickiness

 ‘What’s wrong with Falafels ?’ I asked innocently, to the wary diners at my table, all of whom were staring at their plates wearing their best ‘I’m not gonna eat this’ expression. Personally I love trying new foods. I may bawk at a few, like snails or crocodile, but otherwise I would say that I am a healthy but adventurous eater.

Apparently I am in a minority and as it turns out ‘food pickiness’ is actually quite widespread. Who knew? Not me. However, after a little research and reading on the matter I have managed to uncover the following facts about food pickiness or as it is known in the world of psychology, Food Neophobia.

1) Although most will grown out of it, children typically develop a form of Food Neophobia around the age of two.  Their innate fear of eating unfamiliar foods apparently protects them from eating something poisonous.

2) This primal fear also apparently dates back to our prehistoric ancestors who had to be wary of things they hadn’t eaten before or hadn’t watched someone else eat, as it may have contained toxins.

3) Sometimes however these early eating phobias turn into adult fears, even though we know it is irrational. If we have a fairly rigid menu when we are children, this makes it more difficult for us to eat out of our ‘comfort zone’ as adults.

Healthy Eating/Healthy Choice

Not surprisingly, this type of rigidity is not beneficial to our overall health.  As a professor of human nutrition from the University of Sydney recently stated, “Eating a wide variety of food increases your chances of receiving the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.”  ” There is also personal growth to be found in trying new foods,” she continues, “as it assists us in learning that it is not uncomfortable to try something new.”  Besides all that, you might actually like it!

A Challenge

So what new food might you try this week?  I ask that question because if you’re up to it I’d like to start a ‘New Food Challenge’. It basically goes like this: – Could you try one new food this week and then let me know about your experience? Did you enjoy the food? Was it as bad as you perhaps had thought? What did your taste buds have to say about the new food?

Please let us know if you choose to join this challenge. We would love to hear from you! Just click on the comment thingy below to share your ‘New Food’ experience, now or anytime over the next week. We may even publish the best ‘New Food Experience’ (with your permission) to share with other readers.  So Happy New Eating Friends – hope to hear from you soon.

Oh and what of my non-falafel eating diners ? Well, I’ll be honest.  There was a mixed reaction, but overall but they did enjoy them and that was even without my ‘big stick’ approach. 🙂

Ciao,

Mon

A Motivational Weight Loss Talk: Will Your Decisions Effect Your Weight Loss Potential


Hello friends,

Hope this post finds you well and enjoying your weekend. It is election time here in Australia, so we are all out at the polls today. Gotta say that politics isn’t really my thing, but it has got me thinking about my decisions.  We all have to make them at some time or other and whether it is a decision about the nation or a smaller more personal one, the long-term impact of our decision-making can not be denied. It is the substance which shapes our lives. 

Will I exercise? Will I make lifestyle changes ? Will I go to that seminar, read that book, join that club ?  Every decision we make now will affect our lives, for better or worse, some time later on.  Even avoiding or not make a decision is a decision.

The following video (or link) discusses this reality and as it is presented by a very entertaining motivational speaker, I thought I would share it with you today. I think you will enjoy watching the speaker and hope you will also draw some motivation from the experience.

It is a brief video, but definitely worth watching. 

I have also included another video which is equally uplifting and inspiring, albeit in a different way. Watch them both if you have the time or if you want to choose one, well that’s a decision for you to make!  

Hope you continue to have a wonderful weekend, folks. Talk to you next week,

hugs,

Mon

Video 1:

Video 2:

Weight Loss On The Run – How To Keep On Track With Your Weight Loss Goals Even On Your Busy Days


The Time Pressed Dieter

Good Afternoon My Weight Loss Buddies,

Just a quick hello today, as time is short for me. However…I thought I’d take this opportunity to take a snap shot look at a couple of ways to keep you on track with your weight loss goals when you are having one of those rushed, ‘gotta be there on time’ days. We all have them and rather than resort to eating in the car or stopping at a fast food drive thru, we need a strategy!

First up, slow down!!  I know this might seem paradoxical to say….but really and truly, we all do a lot of hurrying sometimes, often getting  nowhere fast.  A few deep breaths …. go on….do it now….a few deep breaths and a minute or two to refocus…..slow, deep, refreshing breaths.  Optimally this should be done in a quiet place and in an environment where you will not be disturbed for a minute or two (I’ve actually sometimes chosen the toilet!).

A couple of minutes of silence and solitude can work wonders to calm the mind and slow your thoughts.

The Dieter’s Busy Day Strategy

Okay, so what about the food thing? 

If you have to opt for fast food, even just for a day, please be careful.  Researching and identifying your most diet friendly choices at a time when you are not rushed, is the best idea. Basically by doing this you are actually planning ahead for the day when you are short on time and not thinking clearly.  This way you are not randomly selecting from the array of menu items out there, but rather you are making an informed, predetermined choice even though you may be hurried and harassed. 

For example, my choices are nearly always the same as I know that they are ‘safe’ (low calorie, low fat) ones.  Sweet and sour prawns (braised, never battered) and Pad Thai noodles are just two of my favourites or anything with a tomato based sauce….definetely nothing with a creamy sauce….even Pizza (only a few slices) is not too bad, as long as it is thin crust and has vegetarian or seafood toppings.

Remember, when you are in a hurry…..’not too bad’ is better than a complete disaster which may take you days to recover from in terms of calorie overload and a guilty conscience.

The bottom line is don’t panic if you can’t do home cooked food for a night or two.  Instead, plan your takeaway choices ahead of time and get back on track with some healthy home cooking as soon as is possible. 

The Delay Tactic

If the unhealthy, poor choices keep presenting themselves and you’re still tempted, try the following idea instead. 

Wait.  Just waiting for 5 minutes before you make your final decision can be enough time to have that little mental chat with yourself and redirect your thoughts to a more diet friendly choice.

Okay, that’s it….a quick, yes very quick, snapshot of the Dieter’s Busy Day Strategy.

If you can’t change your circumstances (and often we can’t) instead be concerned about the things you do have control over.  Your choices are something you can control, so focus on making them good ones, not matter what circumstances you find yourself in and you’ll have gained another stronghold in your weight loss efforts.

Ciao lovely people….catch you on the morrow.  You can do it!

Mon ( )

A Weight Loss Blogger’s Questions Answered or Why Blogging is Good For Your Health


Howdy to all of you who’ve dropped by today. Nice to have you here. I’m short on time today so today’s post may not be full of weight loss or fitness education, which is often the type of post I write. Those can be be a little one dimensional anyway, I think and since none of our lives are one dimensional it may be a nice aside today to just sit here and chat to you.   

Blogs are supposed to be about connection anyway, I believe.  So here goes – some insights into my inner musings:

One thing I have found myself reflecting on lately is my motivation for starting this blog in the first place. As a friend at the gym said to me the other day, when I shared with him that I had become a blogger, “Why?”

By my friend’s own admission, computers are not his thing and he prefers being in the gym to being in cyberspace. Each to his own, I know, but I don’t think he knows what he’s missing!

A Question I had To Answer

I can’t remember exactly the answer I gave him at the time, but he had me thinking about the answer for some time afterward.  Iknow I had considered blogging a long time ago, but never started.  So why now?  Yes, there is the book I keep yabbering on about (if you haven’t heard about it, you must be new!) however, I have come to see this blog also as a place where I can explore many new things, just through the process of writing itself. 

Write Yourself Healthy

I enjoy writing  probably just as much as I do talking  (just ask my friends). However I have found that regular writing  has many other side benefits I hadn’t formerly considered. It helps me clarify my thoughts, it makes me feel good (by expressing rather than internalising emotions), I find it mentally stimulating and I’ve been told, with enough practice, I can get better at it!

So I guess I am doing it to discipline myself and to make a committment to something which I enjoy and  hope to improve at.  It has absolutlely nothing to do with the fact that (despite what he might tell you himself ) my 12 year old son is learning computer and writing skills more rapidly than I can keep up with. Nope, nothing to do with that at all.  Okay, maybe a little. 

See, what did I say about writing helping to clarify your thoughts?  I have just realised that part of my own motivation to write is to keep up with my primary age child. Is that a little pathetic?  Oh well, it’s true. Apparently.

Well before I divulge too much more of my own chaotic mind’s ramblings, I think I’ll close.  I may implode if I find out too much more about myself.

Thanks for helping me to work all that out. I now feel freshly recommitted to the blogosphere and am looking forward to learning more. If any of you would like to share your own blogging experiences (or any subconscious parent/child competitive streak you have ) I would love to hear. It would make me feel better.

Okay folks, bye for now. I’m off to bury myself in The Influence of Social Media ( a new book I’m reading, which is way over the top of any kids head) ….OMG, how pathetic!

Ciao friends. See you back here next time,

Mon

Encouraging Your Weight Loss Potential and Voices From Your Past


Letters of Encouragement from The Perfect Parent

Sometimes, during those dreamy ‘what if’ moments that seem to affect us all, I find myself reflecting  upon what decisions I may have made earlier in life had I been given a higher degree of encouragement from own parents and teachers. Would I ever had struggled with weight loss?  Would I have made a different career choice? Would I have had greater feelings of self-esteem and worth as I grew up? I know I’m not alone here, having had more than a few conversations with friends who have also pondered upon their past in a similar way.

Unlike some though, I certainly do not hold any grudges nor do I get lost in any useless wistful thinking. I have never felt anything other than a huge amount of affection, love and gratitude toward my wonderful parents. They did the best they could as parents. As I now know, it’s not an easy role to fulfill.

Tell Me Again, Norman Vincent Peale

So as much as I wanted it, verbal encouragement just wasn’t forth coming. In fact, back then (a few decades ago) it wasn’t forth coming for anybody much, at least not in the mainstream culture of suburbia in which I grew up.  As it happened however,  this seeming indifference toward my exuberant youthful dreams and ambitions eventually led me to absorb myself in  many enriching and enlightening books. As a teenager and young adult, I added another dimension to my life as I worked my way through them, giving myself all the encouragement and motivation I so desired. One of the first ‘personal development’ books I ever read was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, followed by How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.  I was about 17 at the time and these books profoundly effected my choices and behaviours from that time on.

Back to My Parents

What my parents did verbalize and worry about a lot however was security and from that perspective they gave me their best advice, sharing all the stuff that other people had told them was important. 

Maybe they should have snuck into my bedroom and read my books, because basically the advice I received from them went something like:-

1.Get a job, a really, really ‘secure’ one.

2.Get married (no specifics given here, although my mother leaned toward the ‘rich and professional type’).

3.Have kids.

4.Be a ‘good girl’.

Yes, Ma’am.

Rules for Living, Expanded

I know my parents meant well and that ‘ticking all the boxes’ was very important to people of their generation. However if they were still alive today and perhaps if they had been given some encouragement along their way, I’d like to think they might now send me an amended version of The Rules for Living. I imagine this update to begin with the words  Dear Daughter,  I forgot  to mention a few things…..

1. Follow your passions.

2. Do what excites and inspires you.

3. Live everyday with enthusiasm and optimism (or live everyday as if it were your last).

4. Never give up.

5. Always help and encourage others to follow their dreams.

Although these rules weren’t in the curriculum at school nor in the rules of life my parents passed on, they are the one’s I’ll pass onto my own kids, when they’re ready to learn them. 

Giving and Receiving Encouragement

So what then of those absent ‘letters of encouragement’ my inner teenager sometimes yearns for?  Well, I don’t really need them now. I know I was loved and if my parents had equated loving me with encouraging me, they would have. It just wasn’t a priority for them. I have also learnt that giving encouragement to others can be just as rewarding as receiving it yourself. 

And so today I would like to send YOU a letter of encouragement. I know, I’m not your mother, but here it goes anyhow, a little letter from me to you to keep that fire burning within or perhaps to rekindle the embers of one that may be slowly going out.

Your Letter

Dear You,

I’ve noticed how hard you’ve been working lately and how tired you get sometimes.  I also know how much you want some things in your life to change. And they will. It just takes time, a little persistence and self belief, but I know you possess those things. I know you can do it.

I also know that at times it seems everything around you is saying ‘give up’ or ‘you can’t do it’, but don’t listen to those messages. Listen to me, the voice of encouragement and love. It knows better than those naysayers. It knows that you possess an inner strength greater than you sometimes realise.

I also know you are a good person. In fact, I believe, you are a great person, and that so far in life, you have only skimmed the surface of what is possible for you.

So please don’t let yourself be discouraged. Stick with ‘it’. Whether ‘it’ is weight loss or some other type of personal change you now desire, it is all possible for you.

Your worth it and I’m proud of you.

********

Till next time friends,

Mon

xo

P.S. This post was written in loving and respectful memory of  Margaret and Richard, my parents.

The Power of Motivational Books – Unwrapping Our Weight Loss Potential and More


Three Cheers For Cyberspace

Hi there! So nice to be back in touch with you here in the blogosphere after my brief vacation from blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the real world too (most of the time!), but cyberspace is also a great ‘place’ to spend some time, too.  Isn’t it? I think so. What about you?

Anyhoozie, I hope you’ve had a productive week and that you are making good progress with any lifestyle changes or goals you may have been working on. If not, fear not.  There’s a little book called REFRAME WEIGHTLOSS coming out soon, that might just help !

Perhaps a little rekindling of your motivation is just what you need and indeed that is exactly what I aim to provide in REFRAME WEIGHTLOSS.  The book has recently been given a few extra inclusions and I’m pleased to say I am now also making good progress with the technical side of it all (producing an ebooks requires a little bit of techie knowledge, so it has been a steep learning curve for me, a non-techie).

Some Personal Development

Anyhow, apart from further developing my own manuscript this past week, I have also been spending a little time reading and studying some very absorbing personal development books. I looove all those books. I particularly enjoy the way my thinking enlarges and changes when I study them. Sometimes I just can’t get my nose out of them!

So today I thought I’d briefly share some of the messages in a book called The 8th Habit, by Stephen Covey, an enthralling read and one I highly recommend to you, if you can get your hands on a copy. I readily admit to only reading certain sections of it, as it really is a book to be studied, rather than just read, but even those few sections were moving and motivating for me. The human model he describes is valid for all of us and yes, it can also be applied to the challenges we face with weight loss.

The Book Review

Basically, Covey talks about our unwrapped ‘birth gifts’ (the notion of having been given certain ‘gifts’ at birth was, I thought, very beautifully described and conveyed). He mentions these as being our four ‘capacities’ or ‘intelligences’ – those in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual arenas and he then goes on to describe the significance of each.

Somehow just by reading, I become well aware of some of my own ‘birth gifts’ and to the extent that I have been using or not using them, till now. It was exciting stuff!  It appears however, that I have been wasting a fair few of them!

Covey also talks of the great leaders of the world – Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and several others (personally, I think he should include himself in the list ) and as we read, we begin to realise that these are people who certainly did unwrap and use their birth gifts.

He talks also of ‘finding your voice’ in the world (through finding your own purpose and following down the path of what excites and inspires you) and then by inspiring others to find theirs. This he suggests is how we can all discover ‘ our real reason for being here.’

Our Untapped Potential

Covey’s book is an inspiring and captivating read. A much fuller description of his teaching is beyond the scope of this particular post, however, I do hope I have conveyed to you some of the underlying tenets of his message.

Basically it is this – each one of us has a huge well of untapped and unused potential, given to us at birth. How we utilize and expand that potential is up to us. We can squander what we have been given or we can take a leap of faith and use and develop every bit of every talent, skill, drive or creative desire, we have.  It’s up to us.

Reach For The Stars

At the moment, in my life, I am aiming to take the second option. What about you? Would you like to jump on board with me, to try something new, do something different too? There’s a little axiom that comes to mind here as I write, which says ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars’.  I like that one – it reminds me to always aim higher than I might be otherwise be tempted to. To get out of my comfort zone. To embrace change instead of fearing it.  To have faith that I will reach my goals, however lofty they may seem.

As you can see, Stephen Covey’s book has had a big impact on me! And if you have the time, I do recommend you have a look at it too. It’s not a light read and perhaps some of you may question whether it’s message is applicable to your own personal situation or not.  Whatever your initial thoughts, bear in mind that this is a book that has affected millions of lives all over the planet.  I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to get a copy myself !

So, do you think it’s time for you to unwrap your birth gifts?   I’d love to hear if it is.  Please feel free to share any other ideas or thoughts you may have about this topic or perhaps about your own particular gifts or talents. I would love to hear about them.

Thanks for reading today dear friends. You are very welcome to visit here anytime and thanks for being a part of our humble community. It’s really good to have you on board!

Till next time….take care,

hugs,

Mon