I Have A Dream (A Weight Loss Dream)

Today as we sit and think about the wonderful dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. that we would all get along and celebrate each other’s differences instead of persecuting each other for them, I am left with a thought about my own dreams for each of us in regards to our weight loss journeys and our health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My (Weight-Loss) Dream:

I have a dream that one day we will no longer judge each other for how much weight we carry around.  We will no longer stereotype an overweight person as lazy or lacking self-control.  We won’t idolize people simply because they are a size 2 and nothing more.

I have a dream that one day modeling will be a profession for women of all sizes, shapes and colors because the fashion industry will truly be selling to everyone and celebrating everyone no matter what size jeans they wear.

I dream of day when we speak of programs like Weight Watchers as a thing of the past, a thing our ancestors used to participate in and people will say,  “oh, isn’t that a funny thing to think about – paying someone to make you stand in line and weigh yourself and count points for every morsel of food you put into your mouth.”

I dream of a day when scales are these antique artifacts left in our grandparents’ attics to discover and marvel at because we no longer use our weight as a measure of our self-worth.

A day when we all truly celebrate each other’s shapes, and curves and skin and love ourselves just as God made us.

I dream of a day when our work lives are so beautifully balanced with our play that we no longer look to food to soothe us and help us de-stress from a hectic life.

I dream of a world where unhealthy fast food and drive-ins are as deserted and ancient as old Blockbuster video stores.

I dream of a world where when you drive down the street on a warm summer day you can see countless groups of families and friends all gathered around enormous outdoor tables, block after block, communing over a good meal at the end of a long beautiful day.

I dream of day when coupons are available for fresh produce and not just cheap, sugary cereal.  I dream of grocery stores where the front aisles near the cashier are filled with enticing fresh fruits instead of candy bars.

I dream of a day when the nutrition labels are no longer necessary because all of the food is real, and whole and good and chemical free.

I dream of a world where cars are a hobby and not a necessity and everyone walks and bikes everywhere they need to go without hardship or difficulty because every city caters to the pedestrian instead of the car.

I dream of a world where gyms are few and far between because most people get the exercise they need from their daily living and they no longer need to spend an hour each day on the treadmill.

In this dream world, because of all these things, less and less people carry extra weight on them.  Being overweight and having a “weight loss journey” is a thing of the past.  It is much easier to maintain your body’s natural weight. It is much easier to enjoy food without overeating.  It is much easier to exercise without overexercising.  In this dream world, the natural way that we all live supports a healthy lifestyle at a healthy weight without extreme efforts from the individual. 

Most of all, I dream of a day when we can stop re-learning how to be healthy as adults because we never forget from our childhood We start off healthy and we continue on that path for the rest of our days.  Our jobs, our grocery stores, our restaurants, our schools, and our governments, all support our healthy lifestyles with ease.  In this dream world of mine, it doesn’t cost us more to be healthy.  In this world people aren’t made to seem like weirdos for wanting cheaper, homecooked meals.  We’re not odd-balls for wanting to walk to work and get off work before the sun goes down instead of sitting in our cars in traffic for hours and hours each day.  No.  In this world, health comes first, mental and physical, for all human beings no matter their age, race, or economic state.  I have a dream, I have a dream.  I have a dream.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!!   What’s your (weight loss) dream?  Share in the comments below.

Will 2018 Be the Year that You Finally Lose the Weight?

Is this your year? Are you finally going to lose all the weight this year?  And more importantly, will you keep it off? What’s it gonna take to make 2018 the year?
I don’t know if it’s your year or not but I plan on making sure that I do everything in my power to help you and support you in this goal.  One thing I know for sure, we won’t get there by dieting.
No new diets in 2018.  You hear me?  NO. NEW.  DIETS.
no new diets in 2018; 2018 is your year to finally lose weight
Instead, we need to focus on our WHY.  We’ve got to get way more specific about WHY we want to lose weight.  What do we think we will gain by losing?  How will our lives be different?  Let’s make that list together.  And then………….go after those things.  No more waiting on the weight.  Let’s go.  Right now.  Let’s make the changes in the other parts of our lives that we want to see, right now.
If we do that.  If we REALLY focus on that, I know that we’ll also see that weight come right off as a result.
What you focus on expands.  IF you obsess about your weight, you will gain weight.  But if you obsess about getting the life of your dreams, then you will get a pretty fantastic life.
Does this mean I’m not gonna talk about food ever again?  No. Of course not.  Because for me, eating great food is part of living a fantastic life.  But that’s just it.  “Great Food”.  What is that?  It’s not junk food.  It’s not food that makes me sick.  It’s not food that slows me down and makes me want to sleep and watch tv all day.  No.  It’s nutrient dense, super flavorful, REAL food.  Whole Food.  So that’s what we’ll talk about.  we’ll talk about nutrition in it’s simplest form – how to get it, how to eat it, how to afford it, etc.
I have two goals for this blog and its readers in 2018.  The 1st is to focus on Simplicity. 

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The Simplest Thing You Can Do To Lose Weight in 2018 All Year Long

The one thing you can do right now to help you start losing weight fast is to find one thing that makes you feel good about the way you look that also has nothing to do with the number on the scale.  For me that one thing was rolling my hair at night.
For years my mother has been trying to get me to do this but I just blew her off  because it seemed like it would just be one more thing I had to add to my to-do list.  But this past summer, I finally took her advice and started rolling my hair at night.  4 months later its the single best thing I’ve done for my weight all year.
easiest way to lose weight; simplest thing to do to lose weight; lazy girl's trick to lose weight
For years my mother insisted that if I just rolled my hair at night it  would give me a nice curl in the morning. At that time in my life I was spending a lot of time overexercising so my main hairstyle was a quick ponytail. It was very boring,  understated and plain.
Subconsciously what was really going on was that I was telling myself, “you are too fat to walk around with your hair looking special. What’s the point anyway? All people will see is how big you are. You’ll seem silly trying to keep your hair nice when everything else looks so bad so don’t bother.”
 
So what’s changed?
Why did I finally  decide to listen to my mom and try rolling my hair? It certainly wasn’t because I had lost weight. In fact I had a baby in March so I was even bigger!
Two years ago I changed the way I approached my weight loss journey. I made a deliberate effort to look as good as I possibly could at the current weight I was. No more waiting on the weight.
 
As a result something incredible happened.
I felt pretty. Not “pretty for a fat girl”, but truly pretty. I looked good on the outside and that made me feel good on the inside. It turned out that treating myself well and being good to myself was the exact recipe for weight loss that I needed.
Each day that I got up,got dressed and walked outside feeling pretty resulted in a day where I didn’t want to numb myself out with food. As a result I naturally started eating less and eating better to make sure that I kept feeling good. Feeling good on the outside started translating to feeling good on the inside.
 Deone Sanders said it best,
“When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. When you play good you get paid good. When you get paid good you live good.”
Perhaps we can alter that to apply to our weight loss journey.
“When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you want to eat good. When you eat good you play good. When you play good, you live good.”
 
You get the idea.
After all of that work I was in a much better place to hear my mother’s suggestion to roll my hair at night and so I did. Now, instead of seeming like a chore, it just seemed like the next natural step in my quest to look my very best. My wardrobe was popping, of course my hair should follow suit. Boy what a difference that made this year!
 Being overweight and then having a baby and gaining even more weight was a very challenging moment in my life. This could have been a time when I sunk further into the dieting abyss. But because of the work I had already done I was prepared and I knew that the first thing to do was find my beauty right then and there, post pregnancy body and all. Rolling my hair helped me do that.
Now everyday when I wake up and I unroll my hair,  I see those fantastic curls and I get giddy with joy. My hair looks awesome! I am excited to get out there and start my day! From that single nightly habit comes a dozen other actions throughout the day that are good for me and will eventually lead to me losing weight naturally.
I do believe with all my heart that one day soon I will walk this earth with no more excess weight on my body. I haven’t given up on that goal.  But now, when I do, it won’t be because I sustained a ridiculous 1200 calorie diet or pushed through endless hours of bootcamp. No. It will be because I learned to love myself as I am in this moment. My body will in turn respond to that love and let go of the protection that it sought in the excess weight.
Loving myself today starts with simple habits like taking the time to roll my hair every night so that I can look my very best the first chance I get, not when the scale tells me its okay to do so.
What is the one thing you do today to look and feel your best as soon as possible? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

I’m Gonna Love You Like I’m Gonna Lose You

 

 

Could Decluttering Help You Lose Weight?

About a month ago, I had a very unfortunate argument with a woman on my staff.  She was upset because I had taken a box of empty binders from her office to our supply room in an attempt to slowly help declutter her workspace.  She said she was saving the box of binders for a large report. I didn’t see the big deal because she could simply get the binders back from the supply room when she needed them. “How would you feel if someone came into YOUR office when you weren’t there and threw stuff out?” she asked me. I apologized and agreed that I had overstepped.
In my defense I didn’t just wake up and decide to go clean someone else’s office. We had been discussing for months me helping her to declutter and clean up. She got very upset and she asked me ultimately why it bothered me so much when it wasn’t my work space. I told her it looked unprofessional and that it affected her productivity.  But was that really my issue?
Later I pondered her question.
Why did other people’s clutter make me so crazy? Why did it bother me so much?
Deep down, I feel like her clutter is contagious and if I don’ t get rid of it then I am silently saying it’s okay,  it’s acceptable. And if I’m saying it’s acceptable then I could “catch it”. My office could slowly end up looking like hers over time.

Over the past two years I’ve been noticing a correlation between my stuff and my weight.  Over time I’ve also noticed the same correlation between other overweight people and their stuff.

We tend to hold onto extra stuff for no real reason. We say things like, “I might need it one day” or “what if I run out” or “what if someone asks me for a copy of that”.

Our clutter is another way of holding on. It provides a false sense of security, just like our weight. Subconsciously we sabotage our diets. We overeat when we’re not hungry. On some deeper level we want to keep the weight on because it gives us this false sense of security and safety, much like a security blanket for a child.
Suddenly you have all this stuff in your way that you have to focus on so you don’t have time to focus on what’s really going on. Clutter doesn’t just crowd your office or your home,  it crowds your mind so that you have no room to feel your true feelings. Now you’re focused on your clutter and how to organize it. You’ve created something else to “deal with’ to put first.
That’s exactly what a diet is. A diet is a way to put our real life on pause because we need to “deal with” our weight. But that’s really just more noise and clutter to distract us from our real issues.
Once I realized I was doing that in my own life I started a massive effort to declutter and minimize. I started with my wardrobe and I did this program, Project 333, which focused on creating an essential wardrobe with a bare minimum number of pieces.
After having a lot of success with my wardrobe,  I looked at the rest of my life.  I started working hard at being comfortable in open,  uncomplicated spaces. It was both terrifying and liberating. Each new clean space was like peeling back another layer of my emotions and exposing my shit. Just like when you stop eating your feelings,  once I cleaned a room out, I realized I had some new emotions to deal with, to tackle. There was no where to hide.
I didn’t think I was in her office uninvited. We had been having many discussions prior to that day about the need to clean up. But when we actually started removing things she couldn’t handle it. She claimed that it wasn’t the clean up that was the problem it was the way I was doing it. She wanted to be there at all times and oversee it.
She said she truly wanted to declutter and she wanted my help but we needed to do it her way.
I get that.  This is why dieting doesn’t work. No one diet designed for the masses is gonna work for you because you’ve got to figure out for yourself what it’s gonna take to lose the weight and it’s gotta be your way or it’s never gonna last.
Maybe if we figure out a way to declutter her office “her way” then it will really work and it will stick. Maybe.
But I think the real issue was that the open space, the empty shelves, the VOID,  was making her uncomfortable.  She had barricaded herself inside her office and now I was exposing her and it felt unsafe, vulnerable. She felt exposed.
We can feel the exact same way when we start to lose weight. I know I have. Suddenly you don’t have your weight to hide behind. More people notice you. You’re “out there”.  Suddenly losing weight feels awful because you’ve exposed yourself and there is no hiding.
If you are overweight and you know you’ve had a history of sabotaging a diet or two (or five), I implore you to take a look around your house, your car, and your office space. See what else you may be holding onto besides your weight . You may start to see the same correlation I found. Start letting go of stuff in other areas of your life first, that will eventually lead to being able to let go of the weight.
Cheers .
 Leave your comments below, I’d love for us to get deeper into discussing this topic. I feel it is vital to our weight loss success!

 

10 Do’s and Don’t To Help Change Your Relationship with Food

The difficult part of having a food addiction is that it is not an addiction you can quit cold turkey. You must always have food in your life and this presents the challenge:

How do we focus on food in a healthy way that serves us as opposed to focusing on food in a way that leads us astray and back to our addictive ways?

In my daily practices I have come up with five distinct mindsets you should have and 5 that you shouldn’t have that will help to change your relationship with food.

The wrong way to focus on food:

  1. Don’t focus on food as a way to have fun.  When it’s time for you to think about something fun, you should not immediately go to food. As my LMWL coach, Sarah Jenks, says, “your life should be more interesting than your food”
  2. Don’t focus on food based on its calorie content. You should not make your eating decisions based on how many calories are in the meal. Ignoring your taste buds and your cravings will only make you rebel later in unhealthy ways
  3. Don’t focus on the next meal.  So many times my obsession with food has left me unable to enjoy the meal I’m eating at the moment because I’m so focused on what’s next. Always what’s next, never what’s right in front of me right now.
  4. Don’t focus on the last mistake you made. You can not fix your last mistake   by skipping a meal or ignoring what you really want and eating well below the caloric amount you know you need.  The best thing you can do when you feel you’ve made a mistake with your eating or your exercise is simply to move on.  Make better choices the very next opportunity you get but DO NOT try to make up for what has already transpired.  Let it go. Trying to make up for it will leave you wanting more which will lead to sabotaging and “messing up” AGAIN and then you’re back to the same vicious cycle.
  5. Don’t focus on delayed gratification.  So often I’ve skipped something I wanted in that moment because I was saving my calories for something else later. Unless that something later is truly unique or you only get it in a certain town or during the holiday, don’t save it. Have what you want now.  No delays.  If you delay you’ll probably eat more of the later food to compensate for what you missed out on earlier. If you watch what you want in the moment and you still want that other thing later, have it. I’ll bet you’ll end up eating a smaller portion and it’ll all shake out in the end . Or better yet, you’ll find it wasn’t all that important to you in the first to place and you let your imagination make it into something it wasn’t.

 

The Right way to focus on food:

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4 Things My Newborn Baby Taught Me About My Relationship with Food

I had my 1st child back in March. In the first 4 months of his life I struggled with getting him to breastfeed.  Because of this struggle I spent a lot of that time focused on his eating patterns. I watched when he ate, how much he ate,  and the way he acted when he ate. During these observations I learned a lot about the way our relationship with food initially begins before it all goes wrong. Here are 4 lessons my newborn son taught me about my relationship with food:
4 things my baby taught me about my relationship with food

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How Pregnancy Taught Me to Love My Body

My sister recently shared with me, “the best thing just happened to me.  I was in my doctor’s office getting my standard six week check-up after having the baby and I was standing in front of the mirror in the room naked.  And as I looked at all the changes that have taken place on my body, I realized, I will never look like I did before, ever again.”  There’s no way it’s ever going to go back to how it looked before.  And you know what, I instantly felt relieved.  All this pressure to lose weight and “get back to how it was before” was suddenly over. 

preganancy taught me to love my body; body love; self care; self love

She said that, before the baby, if she gained weight she’d admonish herself and make promises to get back to her pre-college weight because she knew she could and she thought she should.  She would diet and exercise then of course binge later and feel guilty that she didn’t have more self-control.  And around and around we go.  But this time, she could not ignore the obvious insanity of taking that approach yet again.  She had just had a baby and the changes were much more dramatic this time that in previous weight gain episodes.  This was much more than weight gain.  This was a monumental change to her entire body inside and out.  And she realized that there was no going back. Continue reading

Why Your Partner is Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts and 5 Tips to Make Him Stop

When I got married, my mother gave me a piece of advice. She said to me: when couples move in together their daily habits start to merge and they end up resembling each other physically. You look and you’ll see that if one person is athletic their partner probably is too. If one is super lean then their partner probably is too. If one is a muscle bound gym rat, the other probably is too. And if one is overweight the other person probably is too.  And if they aren’t, give them time. One person in the relationship will shift the other way, the only question is which way will the shift occur. So beware and make sure the shift occurred in your favor.
partner sabotaging weight loss
When you start to make healthier choices in an effort to lose weight and improve your lifestyle you may notice your partner trying to sabotage your efforts by bringing home little treats or encouraging you to make bad choices at the restaurant. You may even see him eat worse than usual in an effort to convince you that you’re not eating so bad when you cheat- not compared to him anyway.
Why is he doing this? What’s his motive?
Believe it or not, it’s not really about you. It’s really about him. He’s not a bad, evil person. He’s frightened that you are changing and that you might be outgrowing him. Suddenly your discipline and self control are threatening to his everyday life. And so he has 2 choices. He can jump on board or he can sabotage your efforts and try to get you to regress. 9 out of 10 times, your partner will try the latter. It’s easier to try to get you to cheat than to try to make changes for himself and get healthier with you.  And the more progress he sees the worse his sabotaging will get and it will become very hard for you to meet your goals and live in the same house with him. But if you understand his motives then you can do your part to patiently show him that sabotaging you will not work in the long run and that joining you in this new and health lifestyle is really his only option.

Getting him to see the light will take some time but here are 5 tips to help you continue to make progress even when he tries to sabotage your efforts.

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5 Easy Tricks to Help You Stop Eating Your Partner’s Snacks

“I’d be skinny if it wasn’t for my partner’s snacks.”

How many of you have said that before?

Blaming our significant other for our bad habits is all too easy and sometimes feels very true. Afterall, if the food wasn’t in the house we wouldn’t eat it and who brought it in the house in the first place?

Well, we can’t always get our partners to eat healthy with us but we can do more to ensure that their unhealthy choices don’t end up on our hips.
stop eating your spouse's snacks; how to stop snacking tips;

 Here are 5 tricks to that can help you stay away from your partner’s snacks:

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5 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays without Gaining Weight

holiday_no-gaining-weight

It’s that time of year again.  We just had Halloween, Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas and New Year’s will be soon to follow.  And the biggest question on the minds of all of us in the FoodLove Community is: How can I survive this without ending the year with 10 extra pounds I seriously don’t need?

FoodLove Girl to the rescue!  Follow these 5 tips to get yourself prepped and excited for a fun-filled holiday that ends with no regret. Continue reading

5 Ways that Falling in Love with Fall Can Help You Lose Weight

 fall-in-love-with-fall
I love love, love the fall. Did I say love? Looove. And I always want to recruit people in this obsession with fall. So my little weight loss seekers, I thought I’d play on your desire to lose weight by telling you that I think fall is the best season for you to get in shape and revamp your healthy habits. Here are five ways that the beautiful season of Fall can support a healthier lifestyle:

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5 Tips for Staying Healthy When Hosting Houseguests

5 Tips to Help You Stay Healthy When Hosting Houseguests

Last weekend my mother came to visit and we had a sort of House Crashers episode in my house.  Have you seen that show on HGTV?  It’s where they come in your house and remodel and decorate and transform it in like 3 days.  That is seriously what it felt like when we were done.  3 days of nonstop shopping, decorating, and gardening.  And if I do say so myself, my house looks fabulous!  In the midst of that, I did not eat as planned and it brought me to this week’s highlighted post:  “How to Stay Healthy When Hosting Houseguests”  I hope you find is useful the next time you find yourself with houseguests. stay healthy hosting houseguests Continue reading

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