Just wanted to post another invitation to follow me at my new website, lmwellness.com. I notice that there are still a number of people who are visiting this site (kimthedietitian.com), yet I have not posted in many months. I fear they must think I am lazy! Not so. I have just been posting in a different place. Join me there!
Tag Archives: lifestyle change
What do you think? I hear a lot of people making statements like “I know the holidays are a bad time to start anything . . . .”, “I might as well wait until January . . . .” . . . . . etc., etc. Is this a bad time to try making any changes at all?
If you are one of the many who wait . . . and wait . . . and WAIT for the perfect time to start making changes, I have a different point of view on the subject. I think any time, any day, is a perfect time – THE perfect time to start if that moment is now. Why? Because this very moment is the only one any of us has to make changes.
This is your moment to do something different, whether it is July, or September, or Thanksgiving Day. Keep putting it off, and the postponement becomes part of the plan. “I will start (again) tomorrow (Monday, in January . . . ).”
The avoidance of looking at change is often rooted in the belief that change needs to be dramatic and sudden. In reality, I believe that lasting changes are built from little adjustments created by changes in thinking. If you believe that this is a horrible time to start, how can positive energy toward new actions arise? Most likely no change will happen, and your usual holiday lifestyle will be sustained through your thinking.
What if you adopted a new belief this year, one that did not assume that change has to shake up your world? What if that belief allowed you to gently ease toward a more healthy holiday season – and you could give yourself credit for those little changes?
In the spirit of possibilities, remember that this very moment is the perfect one to start. Planning for minor improvements is a real opportunity for a healthy dose of comfort and joy!
Do you find yourself saying – screaming?! – these words (silently, or maybe not so silently) to yourself? Want to change a habit? I do.
Most of the habits I hear about people wanting to change are related to eating. “I need to (want to, have to, DEFINITELY should, etc.) stop . . . . (eating after dinner, eating while watching TV, eating cookies, eating chocolate, . . . . ) Sound familiar? Although I am not currently having trouble with food cravings, there have definitely been times in my life when I have, and I understand it.
My problem? I have been having trouble shutting off my brain at night when it’s time to go to sleep. I know at least part of the problem is the stimulation of tech devices (computer and phone). I sit down to dinner, hear that little “ping” from my phone and make a note to check e-mail after I eat. I start reading a book and think, “I should really send just one more e-mail to . . . ” The list of distractions and “could do” list just gets longer.
So . . . I have decided to shut off my phone and cover my computer after 6pm. So far it’s working. I did go to the computer once or twice (“I’ll just check the weather”), forgetting my promise to myself, but the fleece jacket over my computer stopped me in my tracks – an effective reminder!
I recommend similar reminders for eating triggers. A fleece jacket (or a sticky note) on the TV would remind TV munchers to consider their choices instead of mindlessly grabbing the bag of chips. Whatever works to get a new habit going! It does take some time to form new ones. When starting the process, an obvious reminder of the commitment helps, simply because the brain is not yet considering options to the usual mindless routine. That’s what makes habits hard to break – they are mindless.
If you have creative reminders of your own, please share them. I would love to hear what works for you!
It’s called In the Moment – Mindful Eating, and it’s available at the App Store. Here’s a preview:
I apologize for my poor filming skills! If you would like a clearer view of the examples above, just go to the App Store. I am grateful for your feedback.
Gotcha! I knew I could catch your interest with a title like that!!
Are you still looking for IT – the plan that will do it for you this year, the ONE that will help you meet your New Year’s resolution (the same one you make every year, to lose X number of pounds, maybe by a certain date)? Despite the mounting evidence against dieting in general, and against a specific effective plan for everyone, the diet industry will still take buckets of our money again this year.
Are we nuts?! No – but we are feeling desperate. And those claims are oh-so-tempting, aren’t they?
Can I talk you into reading a recent article from the Wall Street Journal? And can I convince you that your own experience has probably already taught you much of what is mentioned in it, making an even more compelling argument for knocking off the nonsense and beginning the real work of changing your lifestyle habits in a more permanent way – and following a plan chosen with great thought about your life situation, taste preferences, and physical needs?
This way of choosing does not mean reading an ad, watching an infomercial, or even falling hook, line, and sinker for the testimonial advice of a friend who just lost 20 pounds in a week and a half – all while in the midst of the most recent panic attack over your last visit to the bathroom scale. The sane way of finding your “plan” involves sitting down in a calm environment, perhaps breathing deeply and centering for several minutes first, and then asking yourself for real answers about your overall needs and what is realistic to expect.
Then, and only then, can you find the plan that fits you. Not sexy, not fast, and not a profit center for the diet industry, but hey, it just might work!
Habitual thinking patterns can easily undo the best of intentions when it comes to eating. Because they have become habits, these thoughts play out unconsciously, which makes them so sneaky and difficult to change. A perfect example is the all-too-common self talk that proclaims “I blew it.” The obvious (but not really very logical) conclusion is “. . . so now it doesn’t matter any more.”
This is probably the single most damaging pattern of thinking in the quest for better health, a better weight, a smaller size, etc. It initiates the cycle of guilt and disappointment, which never sets the stage for motivation moving forward. Argue with me if you like, but I think you know I am right!
I had a reminder last night of how ridiculous repetitive habits of thinking can be. It did not have to do with eating. It had to do with sleeping, but the concept is similar.
I have been having trouble sleeping well through the night lately – very frustrating! It seems that it is hardest to get back to sleep when I wake up around 3am. It’s interesting, but hardly a reason to think that it should be any more difficult to get back to sleep than if I wake up at, say 2am instead. The problem seems to be getting worse whenever I see a time starting with “3”!
I began to realize that I have been telling myself, “It’s that time. I will now have trouble falling asleep again.”
Last night I saw the lack of logic – not to mention science – in my developing thought process. I actually saw the humor in it when I woke up, looked up at the clock and saw that it was not just 3:00, or 3:30, but 3:33! I laughed to myself, thinking I was truly screwed if seeing a “3” on the clock in the middle of the night meant no hope of sleep.
Now I am debating whether to hide the clock or just be aware of the ridiculousness of this thought pattern when I am faced with a dreaded “3” staring back at me in the middle of the night. I think I’ll hide the clock.
We can’t really help it that thoughts pop into our heads, but recognizing negative patterns are forming – or have been there for a long time – allows for the chance to challenge the logic and perform a slow exorcism of the not-so-supportive thought patterns.
With the New Year on the way, what a great resolution! How about resolving to challenge some of the negative thought patterns? It sure beats the tired, worn-out eating resolutions so many people recycle every January 1.
I couldn’t agree more. Why do all of the trendy diets work for a while, and then people often gain back what they lost? The simple reason is: How you eat is much more important than what you eat. The “what” usually takes care of itself when people are developing a “peaceful” eating pattern that is realistic and self-compassionate.
Intellectually we probably all agree about this. Still, can we internalize this concept and really LIVE it? This is where I see people struggle. “Oh yes, I want to change my lifestyle. I know diets don’t work. . . . but . . . . I need to lose 20 pounds right away, so what can I do?”
If you find yourself thinking like this, you will want to read this study that looks at how people fare in both scenarios. It does help to hear the same message many ways, so add it to your mental library of evidence in favor of realistic lifestyle changes. One of these days, it’s bound to really click!