Friday, May 29, 2009

Crazy Little Thing Called Guilt

Remember that song "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"? It's kind of cute in that it talks about all the things that love does to a person and what has to be done to control it.

Guilt is the same way. It's amazing how it can affect our thoughts about ourselves and accomplishments. We can be successful 95% of the time and we make one small boo-boo or poor choice and we tend to believe that we have undone the lasts week's worth of effort. We start focusing on all the negative things and forget about the positive, buying into the mental suggestion that we will forever be in a state of un-health and misery.

We can't change the past but we can change the future. We need to let go of the guilty feelings, forgive ourselves and move on. If we continue to focus on the poor choice and let the guilt consume us it is harder to make the next step or to make the correct choice the next time around. Its that fat girl or guy that sits there telling us how we aren't worthy or that we are a failure. We can't listen to that.

One great tip that I have used is to write your feeling on a piece of paper and then burn it or if you are worried about fire, just throw it away. True, its purely symbolic gesture but the idea is to help get rid of the guilt and not hold on to it any longer.

I would encourage you this week as you move through the week whenever you find that you are beating yourself up over something, to write it down, get rid of it and move on.

Even better than that, write it here on the blog page where you can leave it for good. I'll comment back to help you get through it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Planning + Preparation = Success

Preparation is the second half of Planning. I talk a lot about how we need to have a plan for everything that we know and for some things we don't know. However, the best laid plan cannot come to fruition without effective preparation. Too many times we plan but don't prepare and come home to find that we are either too tired to cook or we don't have the necessary items on hand. This makes it so much easier for us to grab something quick, easy and often unhealthy.

This weekend I took all the food that I eat in a week and laid it out on the table so you can get an idea of what I am talking about. Now, I'm not saying that you need to eat what I have in this picture. What I'm demonstrating is an example of what advanced preparation can look like. I have meals prepared in baggies, pre-portioned and ready to grab and go. That's how I can be successful.

Now, the next thing that you might tell me is "Oh Kathleen, I couldn't possibly do all that, it takes too much time". Well I'm squashing that one because it took me just a little over one hour to cook and bag up everything here, including laying it out and taking pictures. I use my Sunday afternoon to do my grocery shopping and then immediately come home and start preparing. It's worth the couple of hours to shop and prep back to back and it leaves me in a success mode for the week. I've even prepared enough so that I have food to last me through the weekend. I have no excuses to go off plan now, do I?

The other things that I do is brown up some hamburger for others in the house and make a few extra chicken breasts or one casserole that I can throw into the oven or my son can fix on those nights when track practice runs longer than normal or the husband has to work late.

There is nothing like the feeling of control and confidence when I can come home and know exactly what I'm having for dinner and all I need to do is reheat it in the microwave or pop it in the oven and cook it up. Quick, easy and healthy, that's my style.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Not Perfect!

I received more emails from PhitNews subscribers last week than ever before.. Most of it centered around the couple of sentences I wrote, regarding my "rough week". I won't go into the details of what caused it because it doesn't really matter. What makes me fall off the wagon will be different than what makes you fall off the wagon. What does matter, is that we ALL fall off the wagon at one point or another. Don't let anyone tell you they don't, because if they do, what they are probably saying is that they just haven't yet, or they're simply lying to you! Its what we do when we fall that is the measure of our true strength.

Perfectionist thinking gets people nowhere. It's a nice idea to live in fairy tale land where Ding Dongs and Ho-Hos are all calorie free and we can sit on a bench and be fanned by a nice looking "cabana boy" but it probably won't be happening anytime soon.

Perfectionist thinking with regard to our weight loss occurs in different ways. For example, some individuals are afflicted with the all or nothing attitude which convinces them that if they don't lose weight each and every week they are failures. They focus on their imperfections and have a difficult time recognizing the great strides they have made. Another example (this one is my personal favorite) occurs because we get depressed when we don't meet goals that we set for ourselves, even when we suspect that the goals may not have been realistic in the first place.

Here are a few of the things that I have started to do to help myself when I get into one of my slumps.

1. I write about it. I write to you people out there. I trust you. You have become part of my family and I know that you want to see me succeed as much as I do you.

2. I look for the positive in whatever is happening. Most of the time I can find it. If I can't, I jump to the next step.

3. I ask for help. I have one or two close friends whom I trust to give me that swift kick in the pants (so to speak) when I become obstinate. I know that they will be honest with me and I've learned to trust them when they tell me that things are okay, or that they will get better.

4. Make a small goal that I know I can achieve no matter what, even if it is just to eat a healthy breakfast!

5. Enjoy the process. I can't say I'm so great at this one, although I'm getting better. I'm learning so much about things that I never would have considered in the past. I'm also learning more about myself, and that's even better.

"No one is perfect... that's why pencils have erasers." ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Say Yes!

I was watching a movie the other night. It is entitled "Yes Man" starring Jim Carrey who plays the main character in the movie. In short, he was leading a dull and unfruitful life when a friend turned him on to a motivational conference. In the conference he becomes convinced that he should just say "Yes" to everything. If he doesn't, bad things, he believes, tend to happen.

Later he meets a young woman who lives carefree in a band that has only five or six fans. She takes a running/photography class because she just likes to do both of those things and in essence just lives life to the fullest, the complete opposite of Jim's character.

The young lady says "The world's a playground. You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it."

Is this not the truth? All too often we don't want to get out of our comfort zone, or to try something new for fear of failure, rejection or embarrassment because of what others may think. We don't play in the grass, crawl on our hands and knees, ride bikes or just lie on the ground and watch as clouds go by. I wonder why this is.

One thing that I've learned to do during my weight loss and fitness journey, and I'm still learning, is to live life to the fullest. To try new things, meet new people and get outside of what I would normally do. I've learned so much about whom I am and how much I have to offer to others and how much other people have to offer to me. I was missing out due to my insecurities. But not anymore! I'm convinced that life is a playground and I want to try all the rides, not just the merry-go-round.

Live life and say yes to something that you have always wanted to try but were too afraid to.