A Simple Mind Hack to Empower You Over Holiday Sugar

How to Keep Hungry Away All Day

Halloween is over and it’s the official beginning of the holiday season–the season of sweets, parties and comfort eats.  My treat to you today is sharing with you the POWER OF NO. No? Yes, NO!

THE HOLIDAY EATING SPELL

It must be the candy corn (which many of you know is a major trigger food for me), the nostalgia of childhood, or all the Pumpkin Spice everything; as soon as Halloween and those bite size candies come around, so does this mental phenomena called “it’s the holidays”.  We find ourselves much more vulnerable to all our trigger foods, eating more calories, exercising less,and believing we have no choice but to surrender to the spell.

We emerge sometime after January 1  when the bell chimes and the spell of “it’s the holiday’s” recedes. We are left in the wake of the aftermath with weight gain, more struggle, and the disappointment of “how did I let it all go?”.

But, in this season of YES, we can start using the POWER OF NO.

FANTASY OR REALITY??In case you have not realized it, the mind can’t really separate fantasy from reality.

Have you ever found yourself watching a James Bond film where James is being chased by the bad guy and realize that your heart is beating faster, your breathing is elevated, and your stomach is tensed up — just as if you were being chased right alongside 007?

Have you ever watched someone watching an intense sporting on TV stand up and begin yelling at the players on the screen as if they believed the players could really hear them?  We can tap into this very phenomenon and the power of self hypnosis to help you resist trigger foods.

SIMPLE MIND HACK TOOL TO AVOID THE SUGAR SPELL

I am going to give you a subtle but easy and effective cognitive technique that you can use in a relaxed (self-hypnotic) state to help change your relationship to a particular trigger food (usually sweets or starches) that you have a vulnerability to over eat or binge on.

I have used this with some of my trigger foods (frosting, Wine Gums, and candy corn) in the past and it works well.  You will want to practice this exercise a number of times for it to have a real impact.

-Find a place to get comfortable and close your eyes.

 

-Now imagine your trigger food in front of you.

 

-Now practice saying “No” to that trigger food in many different ways and times.

 

(IMPORTANT:  Not “No” as in, “You can’t have it.”  I mean “No” as in “I choose not to have it.”  Making this distinction between –you can’t have and I choose NOT to have is huge.  The former engages the Inner Critic and the latter engages the Inner Coach.)

 

-Practice saying “no” to your trigger food politely—Pause and take a deep breath between each time you imagine yourself saying “no” to your trigger food.

Thank you, but no.

No thanks.

 

No.

 

No.

 

No.

 

-Now imagine saying no to the trigger food firmly the same way.

 

No!

I said no!

No!

 

No!

 

No!

Repeat this polite no and firm no with the trigger food in the circumstances that you might encounter it; at the grocery store, at the party, in the office, in your kid’s goody bag, in a restaurant, in your cupboard (hey, what’s it doing there?), at a drive through etc.

NO, NO THANK YOU, NO….HELL NO!!

-Now imagine someone else is eating your trigger food and telling you how delicious it is and offering it to you.

 

-Imagine many different ways of saying no politely and then firmly to them.

You can even yell at them if you wish( in your imagination that is!).

Now, still in the relaxed position run this exercise again but now add your voice.  Practice really saying no politely at first and working your way up to a resounding firm “No!”.  Make sure you take a breath in between each “NO!” and align yourself with that feeling that you are saying “No” because you choose to and not because you have to. You can do this part while you are driving in the car—just say no!!

I recommend that you start with the food that is your strongest trigger and repeating down the list of trigger foods.  And repeat a few days or before you go to a party or event where you know you’ll be tested.

Please let me know how this works for you.

xo Rita

Advertisements

BACK TO REHAB or Take Back Your Power From Sugar (with FREE HYPNOSIS)

sugaraddict

BACK TO REHAB
(or TAKE BACK YOUR POWER FROM SUGAR)

Good news!  Checking into rehab these days is no longer seen as a sign of weakness.  In fact,  it is the “in thing” to do!  So, let’s take this opportunity to RE-HABITUALIZE your relationship with sugar, one of the most addictive substances around.  Back in 16th century France, when sugar became a rare and coveted delicacy, it was call “Crack”!  And in the last 25 years, the consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup has risen 10705%!!

As we finish out the summer and head into Fall, with all it’s sugar tempting holidays, there is no better time to break our addiction to sugar and carbs. That’s why I’m adding a special treat this month, with a free “Curb Your Sugar Cravings” hypnosis session that will help you detox, rehab and stay sugar sober. The benefits are numerous– the long list includes weight maintenance, lowering diabetes risk to full body wellness and even anti-aging!!  So, let’s quit this drug now!

THE MIND-BODY CARBYHDRATE ADDICTION CYCLE

When we consume too many refined sugars and carbohydrates, it throws both our mind and body out of whack.  Our bodies are not built to eat high levels of carbohydrates so over time consuming to many can throw off hormonal function, exhaust our adrenal glands, over tax the pancreas and liver, and make us prone to insulin resistance.  It also just makes us lose our power and become what I call a CARB EATING ZOMBIE.

So, why are carbs and sugar so addictive?

Body Addiction: Our blood sugar levels spike and drop with excess sugar consumption.  When we experience a blood sugar drop, we then feel tired or hungry or light headed or all three.  What is our impulse to do to fix this unpleasant state?  Eat more sugar of course and the process starts all over again.

Mind Addiction: Our mind also becomes imbalanced with excess sugar and carbohydrate consumption because our pleasure/reward centers are tickled when we eat too much.  The mind says “oooh that feels good– let’s keep doing that—let me get some more”.  We continue to eat the sugar overriding our signals of homeostasis (stop eating I have had enough calories) and eat too much.

Over time, our mind’s amino acid balance is thrown out of whack and this also causes us to feel “addicted” as we seek more carbs to restore the balance.  What we should be doing is restoring balance with the amino acids in protein.

CHECKING INTO REHAB

How can our Inner Coach use certain strategies to keep us out of that addiction cycle? Here are some weight master’s CARB RE-HABITING strategies to put into place today.  Remember,it’s consistency, not perfection, that is going to keep you on your journey to long term permanent weight release.

1-Eat more fiber, whole foods and protein: In order to physically “unhook” addictive eating, it will serve you to make sure you are getting enough high fiber fruits and vegetables (5-10 servings) and lean protein( 50 grams)

2-Know your refined sugar and starchy carbohydrate “ceiling”:  Ever heard of the glass ceiling—well there is a daily carb ceiling too.  Every “body” is different and can tolerate a certain level of starchy or refined sugars and carbohydrates on average on a daily basis.  If you are consistently consuming more than your limit, you start feeling “hooked”. It will be your mission to discover what your ceiling is and to make sure that you stay under that ceiling on a daily basis. A good place to start is 2-3 servings or less than 150 grams of carbohydrates a day.

3-Tune into your body after eating refined foods and sugar:  Some foods have a worse impact than others and for many, the rule of thumb is to avoid eating sugar on an empty stomach because that sets off raised blood sugar levels and also creates a bigger impact on the brain, which starts looking around for more sugar.  It is best to eat sugar (if, and when you do) with other food.
4-Think of refined starches and sugar like cocktails—only to be had after 5pm!  The earlier in the day we eat refined food, the earlier we begin wanting more!!!

5-Learn trigger times and emotional triggers for compulsive eating.  Use your Inner Coach to come up with ways of comforting yourself other than food. Find healthier alternatives for those times when you have gotten used to reaching for the more “addictive” foods.

-Sit and grant yourself permission just to close your eyes for 5 minutes.
-Listen to the Curb Your Sugar Craving hypnosis session.
-Take a walk.
-Call a friend.
-Sit down and write your feelings or just sit with them and let them move through you—they won’t eat you alive (and you won’t be eating them!)

ADDICTION INTERVENTION STRATEGIES

If you find yourself eating too many carbohydrates and getting “hooked” do not fear—you can bounce back quickly and escape the grip of “addiction”.  Learn the lesson and move on.  Take action as quickly as possible and engage in the following strategies and you will become unhooked in no time:

1-Forgive yourself:  Hey, life happens and this world is full of sugar and junk. The idea isn’t to be perfect, the idea is to learn the lesson and move on.  If you beat yourself up—you lose the lesson. If you learn the lesson now, next time you don’t have to fall prey to the same old useless habit—this is what re-hab is all about.

2-First, take a break from all starchy and refined carbohydrates for three days.

3-Next, up your protein intake. This will stabilize your blood sugar and stunt the false hunger that is being caused by your out of whack blood sugar levels. Up your intake to at least 70 grams of protein for the next 3 days.

4-And up your intake of vegetables and whole food.  The more healthfully you eat,the less your body craves the junk.

5-Drink water which flushes it all from your system.

6-Try supplementing with L-Glutamine—a natural occurring amino acid (you can get it at Whole Foods inexpensively) that will help cut carb cravings.

7-Move your body and exercise.  In fact, take action on this step as soon as you can.  It immediately makes you feel better about yourself.  Even if you only walk around your block—just do it!!!

Note:  Starchy Carbohydrates can range from whole grain bread to the most refined sugary candy and alcohol.  Even though starchy carbohydrates from whole foods give you more nourishment than candy and donuts and more refined carbs, some people have such a low tolerance level and can overeat even these “healthier” foods. Part of what we learn at Shift about being a “loving scientist” with ourselves is finding out what amount is right for you.

Remember, long term permanent weight release is not about being perfect.  It is about embracing imperfection and consistently finding solves and strategies that allow us to stay connected to ourselves and moving forward.  It’s important to “show up for ourselves” rather than hitting the “eject” button on ourselves and our weight release when we get off course.

Your Valentine’s Sugar Addiction Intervention

woman-eating-chocolate-heart

Happy Valentine’s Weekend!

Did you know that sugar was called “Crack” when it became a rare and coveted delicacy in 16th century France? Even back then, sugar was thought of as a drug, known for its powerful addictive potential.

As Valentine’s Day turns the world outside into a big candy dish full of chocolates and sweets, how can you walk through the week of love and sugar without becoming a sugar pining fool? Let’s do a little pre-Valentine’s weekend sugar addiction intervention session shall we?

CANDY SWEETHEARTS…VERY BITTER

Back in my un-Shifted days, when I yo-yoed up and down the scale 40 pounds, my “crack” during Valentine’s Day was not chocolate but those sugary sweet “sweet hearts candy” that came in the little box. I never stopped at one box though—I powered through multiple boxes in one hedonistic sitting.

Sugar then was not my sweet heart but my enemy—taking my power and leaving me feeling like a cheap, easy date. I’d feel guilty, but at the same time craved more sugar. This was the impact it had on both my brain and my body after the initial sugar high. Valentine’s Day was never a day time of love but a time of self defeatist loathing.

When I made my own SHIFT 20 years ago, I began by creating a powerful boundary around the sweet heart candy. Those sweet hearts can say “Be Mine” and “So Cute!” all they want but they do not seduce this wise and Shifted mama into letting one pass over her lips.

I may treat myself to other Valentine’s Day treats—such as chocolate—which does not hook me—but I stay clear of my danger zone. And for me, Valentine’s Day now is not about the candy (as it always used to be) but for being grateful for all the fabulous people I have in my life—including you!

How about you—do you worry about going down that dark alley of Valentine’s Day treats?

For you to SHIFT your relationship to sugar, you need to understand that it isn’t about being “good” or “bad”. Your addictive relationship with sugar is divided into three sub relationships—physical, mental and emotional.

PHYSICALLY: Our relationship with sugar is physical because excessive use can create addictive neural patterns in the brain similar to heroin addiction. Over time, eating too much sugar literally blows out our brains drive for homeostasis and our reward center gets triggered. That leads to what Dr. David Kessler calls “hypereating”—eating when we aren’t even hungry, eating excessively, because the reward center of our brain just says “More! More! More!” People who struggle with their weight tend to be more sensitive and become “hooked” more easily to sugary foods.

MENTALLY: Our relationship with sugar is mental because if we habitually eat certain sugars at certain places and at certain times of the day, the brain comes to expect the sugary food and becomes agitated when it doesn’t get it. We typically call this need to do the same thing at the same time place “habit”.

When we expect something habitually we become agitated until we get it and when we get it –it creates a sense of relief. Even though it seems like it, it’s actually not the sugar, but the satisfying of the expectation that feels good. But our unconscious brain is hooked and is going to make sure we get that cookie at the same time tomorrow.

So you can see why habits form quickly and die slowly.You can also see why we feel addicted—we feel agitated like a junkie does when he expects his next fix. That cookie at 3pm becomes the fix and 3pm is our fix time.

EMOTIONALLY: Our relationship with sugar is emotional because from an unconscious level, comfort food isn’t the food, but what the food represents to us symbolically from an unconscious perspective.

Our unconscious mind speaks to us in symbols more than language and when we are young we become imprinted with our own food symbol language. For me, brownies symbolized nurturing. I noticed during my own Shift that when I craved brownies and I took the moment to dig deeper—I didn’t really need the brownie, I needed nurturing. Baked sugary goods equaled my mother’s love.

The good news is that your Inner Coach can use key strategies to keep you out of that addiction cycle and change your relationship to sugar.

SUGAR REHAB

1- Eat More Fiber, Whole Foods and Protein: In order to physically “unhook” addictive eating, it will serve you to create a food plan that is low in sugar, salt, fat and refined floury foods and high in fiber, fruits and vegetables and lean protein.

2-Know And Honor Your Sugar Ceiling: Every “body” is different and can tolerate a certain level of starchy or refined sugars and carbohydrates before they start feeling “hooked”. It will be your mission to discover how much “sets you off” to make sure that you stay under that point on a daily basis. For many this is about 2-3 servings a day.

3-Tune Into Your Body: Check out how you feel after eating refined foods and sugar. Some foods have a worse impact than others (think “gateway food”) and for many the rule of thumb is to avoid eating Valentine’s Candy on an empty stomach. This quickly raises blood sugar levels and creates a bigger impact on the brain causing it to start looking around for more sugar. It is best to eat sugar (if and when you do) with other food.

Note: Starchy Carbohydrates can range from whole grain bread to the most refined sugary candy and alcohol. Even though starchy carbohydrates from whole foods give you more nourishment than candy and donuts and more refined carbs, some people have a low tolerance level and can overeat even these “healthier” foods

4-Think of Refined Starches and Sugar Like Cocktails: The earlier in the day we eat refined food the earlier we begin wanting more!!! Save the sweets for after 5pm!

5-Learn Your Triggers: Recognize your trigger times and emotional triggers for compulsive eating and use your Inner Coach to come up with other ways of comforting yourself other than food.

6-Find Healthier Alternatives: Find a replacement for those times that you have gotten used to reaching for the more “addictive” foods.

7-Sugar and Valentine Candy Addiction Intervention:

Remember long term permanent weight release is not about being perfect. It is about embracing imperfection and consistently finding solves and strategies that allow us to stay connected to ourselves and moving forward –“showing up for ourselves” rather than hitting the “eject” button on ourselves and our weight release when we get off course.

If you find yourself eating a sugary “gateway” food or candy and getting “hooked”, take action as quickly as possible. Use the following strategies and you will become unhooked in no time:

-Take a break from all starchy and refined carbohydrates for three days (or limit to one).

-Up your protein intake. This will stabilize your blood sugar and stunt the false hunger that is being caused by your out of whack blood sugar levels.

-Up your intake of vegetables and whole food. The more healthfully you eat, the less your body craves the junk.

-Drink water which flushes it all from your system

-Move your body and exercise.

Just remember this holiday that your biggest Valentine is showing up for yourself in a loving and respectful way. There is really no one who can nurture you as much as you can really nurture yourself. Don’t give up on yourself—you are worth the fight against sugar slavery!

oxox Rita

Slimming Thanksgiving Weekend Mantra and Coaching Video

Fun Thanksgiving Coaching Video: Want to eat light this Thanksgiving? This coaching video I made a few years back, takes you through easy strategies to keep Thanksgiving both fun and light.

heart leaf

SLIMMING THANKSGIVING WEEKEND MANTRA

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. No pressure to buy presents, no eggs to hide, no fireworks to fight the crowds to watch, just family, friends and food—it’s just so simple and nice.

One thing I do not love, however, is feeling stuffed and bloated after Thanksgiving—and I am sure neither do you. It is one thing to celebrate all we are grateful for, to dine and connect with family and friends, but it is another to eat too much, drink too much and finish the day disconnected from ourselves in a food fog.

There seems to be a general consensus in the world of masters of long-term permanent weight release on how to get through Thanksgiving while maintaining or releasing weight. I have boiled down these pearls of wisdom down into a do-able mantra that you can repeat to yourself through the entire weekend. Unfortunately, saying the mantra doesn’t burn calories, but it may keep some extra ones from hopping onto your plate–into your mouth and down to your tummy–remember the turkey gets stuffed so you don’t have to.

The mantra is these three simple words: Know-no-know

Okay as simple as the mantra is, please read the strategies that back up the words of the mantra—

Part 1: Know roughly what you are going to eat on the big day and plan for it. This is one holiday where you can’t use the excuse “gee I didn’t know what we were going to have…”. There’s going to be turkey—right? –then there’s going to be the carbs–the potatoes–the sweet potatoes–the stuffing–the parker house rolls, then the attempts at veggies, and then there’s going to be some cranberry thing and probably some dessert-hmmmm what could that be?? I wonder…

Our mind gets over stimulated when we are in social situations for long lengths of time. This leads to a decline in willpower and impulse control and we can typically overeat 250-750 calories more than usual. If you plan ahead for what you really want to enjoy, in portions that won’t bust your weight management budget, then you have a good chance of staying on track and coming home with your belt at the same notch as when you started that day.

Sure, you can leave room for surprises but plan ahead and you will be ahead.

Another helpful “know” tip is to create your Thanksgiving vision. Yes, creating a vision of how you want to wake up feeling Friday morning and how you want to head into the following week feeling—having stayed connected to yourself all weekend long and not diving head first into the dreary and major buzz killer–food fog.

One more important “know” strategy: come prepared with a not so starving tummy—eat some protein before heading over the river and through the woods.  Bring some light appetizers to the party to nosh on.Don’t arrive starving and then spend the next hour sitting in front of a bowl of potato chips and onion dip.

Part 2. “NO”–practice saying “no” it in the mirror, visualize saying it in your head. Be kind, be firm, say what you mean and don’t be mean but say “no thank you” when you don’t want it or need it. Say it sweetly but firmly to your mom–your aunt–your friend–yourself.

Say, “No thank you–I’ve had enough, I’m pacing myself, I can’t eat sugar, I am driving no more wine etc.” Say, “that looks beautiful, but no”. Say, “Hell no!” No to extra food–yes to extra conversations–yes to connecting to others and yourself–yes to helping out–yes to having your feet rubbed–yes to watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But when it comes to food that will take you outside your body’s energy needs for maintenance or weight release–just say, “No!”

Part 3. Know–this is a big one masters. Know. Know what and how much you ate. Write it and own it. “Know” without the k = “now”. When you “know” you can live in the “now”. Many times we fall into the trap of “trying to be good” and when we eat something we shouldn’t have and “blew it” we give ourselves permission just overeat as much as we want the following day since we were so “bad”. This usually then means the whole weekend because who is going to start a diet on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Try tracking what you eat on “My Fitness Pal” or another calorie data base and tracking app. Often, when we think we “blew it” we were just fine and if we had stayed moderate for the rest of the meal, could have stayed on track. Most weight gain doesn’t happen before, rather after we say “I blew it”. Don’t label food as good or bad, but instead ask, “is eating this food going to allow me to feel good a few hours from now?” Focus on feeling good.

I hope this simple mantra really serves you this holiday weekend.  Have a wonderful, grateful Thanksgiving with the ones you love, including yourself! I am grateful for you and the Shift Weight Mastery Community.

oxox Rita

You Call That Hard?

woman running

You Call That Hard? An easy technique to keep you consistent with your weight release

Happy Labor Day! In keeping with the spirit of the upcoming holiday, I want to explore the idea of labor and how the idea of what it takes to release weight is seen as “hard work” by so many people who struggle with their weight.

As a hypnotherapist working with people in that struggle, one of the main ways that I see people make things difficult for themselves with the day in and out of weight release is that they market weight loss to themselves as “hard”. When we focus on the less glamorous aspects of weight loss most of the time, “it’s hard” becomes a hardwired association in our
brain.
“Exercise is hard. I don’t like to sweat.”
“Eating less is hard. I am afraid I will get hungry and feel stressed.”
“Dieting is tough when I am out with my family and friends.”
Is it any wonder why you might find it hard to stay on track when you see the act of weight release in such an unfriendly, laborious, and unglamorous light?
What if we looked at weight release from a different perspective…through a more powerful lens? Using a mind technique called “reframing”, we can choose to market weight release to ourselves in a more inviting, exciting and less laborious light and see that staying with the fattening and seductive habits that keep us struggling is really the hard work.
Hard is…

…struggling with yourself about your weight
…being tired because of your weight
…having aches and pain because of your weight
…having low or no confidence because of your weight
…beating yourself up because of your weight
…huffing and puffing after a few stairs or a light work out
…thinking about how your flabby bits feel about 100+ times a day
…wondering if your kids are ashamed of you
…sitting in doctor’s offices for weight related issues
…taking medications for weight related issues
…hating your body
…not knowing why you aren’t losing weight
…feeling out of control with food
…feeling stressed because you have to get dressed and have nothing to wear
…trying to put a smiley face when you feel awful about yourself and the world
…running out to buy some sugary, salty, fatty, carbs in the night when you swore you wouldn’t do that again
…worrying about how others will perceive you
…wondering if you are “fat” or not
…being afraid to weigh yourself but then always wondering what you weigh
…being mad at yourself because you went to bed after a binge swearing today you were going to be “good”.
…thinking you are insane because you know how to lose weight but you don’t seem to be able to do it as much as you say you want to
…fearful that it is always going to be this way

Now that’s hard!

REFRAME TO JOY

When you Shift out of the “it’s hard” limiting belief and see in a new way all the benefits that come from creating your own powerful healthy lifestyle, you begin to see that all the things that may have seemed “hard”—like exercise, nourishing yourself with healthy foods, tracking your food and being consistent day after day–are a joy.

JOY is…
…showing up for yourself every day
…feeling good about yourself because you are connected to your wise inner coach and not the harsh critic or the chaotic rebel
…feeling light by making yourself and your health a priority
…filling your body with foods that serve you both nutritionally and taste wise too
…building confidence daily by repeating the best practices of weight release
…the feeling you get from truly being in your body during exercise
…easily bounding up the stairs
…feeling the flabby bits shrinking
…knowing your kids are proud of you for making positive changes in yourself
…only seeing your doctor for your annual check up and having them be amazed at your great blood work and lab results
…throwing away medications for weight related issues because you no longer need them
…creating a loving relationship with body parts you once hated
…being able to predict your weight release because you are accurately tracking your food and exercise
…feeling in control of your food intake
…feeling happy because you have to get dressed and can reach in your closet and pick out anything and you know it will fit—year after year after year
…wearing a smiley face because this is how you feel inside as well
…feeling your feelings instead of eating over them
…having no concerns about how others will perceive you
…feeling good and powerful in your body
…having a powerful relationship with the scale because you know what to expect because you have been tracking your food and exercise
…happy because you know if can always be this way as long as you stay Shifted out of disempowered Fat thinking and in powerful Thin thinking.

Do you see how changing the focus changes your entire outlook and the way you see the act of managing your weight and taking care of you from drudgery to divine?

Here is a quick three step process to start breaking the habit of seeing weight loss as hard work and to begin re-framing it as a powerful act of self-care

3 STEPS TO REFRAME WEIGHT MANAGEMENT FROM IT’S HARD TO IT’S POWERFUL

1. Intercept the “HARD” with a breath: Taking a deep breath interrupts the negative though pattern and grounds you in the moment.

2. Label the Thought: Take a moment to tune in to how you are speaking to yourself about weight and label it as such. This separates the thought from something that is real to just a thought that is a bad idea.

“There’s that negative thought that getting up to exercise is hard and I don’t like to sweat.”

3. Reframe to a thought that gets you excited to make a positive action—focused on how good you will feel: Why advertise the sweat when you can advertise the glory instead? Focus your mind on the positive outcome of your actions and how great it feels when you show up for yourself.

I am focusing on how great I am going to feel after my walk, and even the sweat will feel good when I am proud of myself for taking care of myself.”

Using this easy mind flip trick consistently when negative or critical thoughts emerge can help you break the negative feeling you have associated with keeping yourself motivated with your weight release.

LABOR DAY REFRAME TIP
Remember the choice between “hard” and “joy” is just one Shift away. This Labor Day, when faced with a seductive fattening food that might tempt you into overeating, here is a great REFRAMING QUESTION to ask yourself…

 What do I want to feel?
-Good in the moment while I eat the indulgent treat
-Good about myself later for abstaining from the treat

Have a Shifted Labor Day!!

OX Rita

The 9,658 Calorie Tic Tac

The 9,658 Calorie Tic Tac

I remember this Tic Tac like it was yesterday, though it was almost 20 years ago.  The story of the 9,658 Tic Tac begins when I was on a diet trying to lose the same frustrating 40 pounds I had gained and lost over the previous fifteen years.

This time I was on some sort of juice fast which restricted any food other than fruit and vegetable juices.  I had been “juicing” for about a week and had lost 6 pounds and I was excited—only 30 pounds to go!  The French bikini that I had fantasized about wearing that summer, while eating chocolate the week before, was just around the corner!!!

JUST DON’T EAT AND YOU WILL BE FINE

While I was doing this juice fast everything seemed fine and dandy. In a weird way, fasting was easy because it meant not dealing with food. I didn’t think I could trust myself with food so this fasting thing worked for me because it removed food as an option.  It was very black and white.  Juice or water and that is that—eat any food and “you blew it”. So don’t blow it!

I nervously knew in the back of my mind that food would have to come back, but I assured myself that I could figure out how to deal with food at some other point when the summer is over and the French Bikini has been put away until next year. So, I pushed those thoughts aside and enjoyed how “good “ I was being–right now I was the superstar Queen of juice fasts.  That is until that Tic Tac crossed my path.

Do you remember the Tic Tac lady? 

Do you remember those commercials where this blonde, super skinny lady dressed in white comes on and seductively says, “Tic Tacs are only 11/2 calories each” and then pops one in her mouth?  She made them seem so easy, so light, and so fun!!

DAY 7 OF FAST

On the morning of the seventh day, everything started out fine. I drink my morning juice of cucumber and apple and pack my next lunch time juice of spinach and apple and I head out the door, get in the car, and head out for a long day of running errands all around town.

About two hours into the day, I get back in my car and head out on the freeway to my next appointment and I get into some very slow going traffic.  I sit there and start getting stressed, this is bad—I may miss my appointment.

I also notice I am hungry so I reach down for my juice container and that’s when tragedy occurs—the juice container falls over and juice pours out all over the floor of my car. Shoot.  Now I am stuck in traffic and I am really hungry and my precious juice is gone.

The traffic continues and I did indeed miss my appointment.  Now I am frustrated and starving—my stomach is growling!  Then out of the corner of my eye I see a canister of Tic Tacs on the passenger seat. I grab them.  At first I hesitate—a part of me says—“no!  a Tic Tac is food—juice or water and nothing else remember?  The other part of me says, “Eat the damn Tic Tac.  It’s a mint.  Mints aren’t food.  Just eat one—it will calm you down and remember like the lady says, only 1.5 calories.”

Guess which voice won?  I ate the Tic Tac!  For a second I felt wonderful as the little white sugary bliss entered my blood stream. But then the Tic Tac was over and so was the little relief from the traffic and my stress.  So, without thinking I ate another—bliss– and another—bliss– and within a minute I was ripping off the little white plastic dispenser and DUMPING ALL OF THE TIC TACS FROM THE CONTAINER INTO MY MOUTH AT ONE TIME!  But did that make things okay?  No!  Now the fire was fueled and I wanted more.

At this time there was enough of a break in the traffic that I got off the freeway and headed to the nearest 7-11. I went in and got some juice. After all, I hadn’t really cheated had I?  Tic Tacs are just mints not food.
GO ON, YOU ALREADY BLEW IT

As I was waiting to buy my juice I stare at the pastry display and saw a shiny, tantalizing chocolate muffin.  My stomach growled some more.  A part of me said “no—just the juice—juice and water—juice and water!”  But the juice and water didn’t seem so good anymore and the other voice welled up from within, “You know you blew it with the Tic Tacs today so you might as well screw it and just eat the muffin and start again juicing tomorrow.” Guess which voice won?

I grabbed the muffin…and then a bagel with cream cheese.  And oh, heck why not—a bag of Cheetos and let’s rinse it all down with the juice! Oh wait, chocolate, yes a few chocolate bars too.

Do you remember the Tic Tac lady? 

Do you remember those commercials where this blonde, super skinny lady dressed in white comes on and seductively says, “Tic Tacs are only 11/2 calories each” and then pops one in her mouth?  She made them seem so easy, so light, and so fun!!

DAY 7 OF FAST

On the morning of the seventh day, everything started out fine. I drink my morning juice of cucumber and apple and pack my next lunch time juice of spinach and apple and I head out the door, get in the car, and head out for a long day of running errands all around town.

About two hours into the day, I get back in my car and head out on the freeway to my next appointment and I get into some very slow going traffic.  I sit there and start getting stressed, this is bad—I may miss my appointment.

I also notice I am hungry so I reach down for my juice container and that’s when tragedy occurs—the juice container falls over and juice pours out all over the floor of my car. Shoot.  Now I am stuck in traffic and I am really hungry and my precious juice is gone.

The traffic continues and I did indeed miss my appointment.  Now I am frustrated and starving—my stomach is growling!  Then out of the corner of my eye I see a canister of Tic Tacs on the passenger seat. I grab them.  At first I hesitate—a part of me says—“no!  a Tic Tac is food—juice or water and nothing else remember?  The other part of me says, “Eat the damn Tic Tac.  It’s a mint.  Mints aren’t food.  Just eat one—it will calm you down and remember like the lady says, only 1.5 calories.”

Guess which voice won?  I ate the Tic Tac!  For a second I felt wonderful as the little white sugary bliss entered my blood stream. But then the Tic Tac was over and so was the little relief from the traffic and my stress.  So, without thinking I ate another—bliss– and another—bliss– and within a minute I was ripping off the little white plastic dispenser and DUMPING ALL OF THE TIC TACS FROM THE CONTAINER INTO MY MOUTH AT ONE TIME!  But did that make things okay?  No!  Now the fire was fueled and I wanted more.

At this time there was enough of a break in the traffic that I got off the freeway and headed to the nearest 7-11. I went in and got some juice. After all, I hadn’t really cheated had I?  Tic Tacs are just mints not food.
GO ON, YOU ALREADY BLEW IT

As I was waiting to buy my juice I stare at the pastry display and saw a shiny, tantalizing chocolate muffin.  My stomach growled some more.  A part of me said “no—just the juice—juice and water—juice and water!”  But the juice and water didn’t seem so good anymore and the other voice welled up from within, “You know you blew it with the Tic Tacs today so you might as well screw it and just eat the muffin and start again juicing tomorrow.” Guess which voice won?

I grabbed the muffin…and then a bagel with cream cheese.  And oh, heck why not—a bag of Cheetos and let’s rinse it all down with the juice! Oh wait, chocolate, yes a few chocolate bars too.

I head out to the car and just sit in my car and eat it…all.  After I am done, I feel a few seconds of remorse but those feeling were quickly pushed down by the voice telling me, “C’mon you will be good tomorrow—live it up. Let’s hit the drive-thrus and then let’s go get some ice cream. Let’s really party because tomorrow it’s back to boring juiceville.”

So 9,568 calories later, I ended my day and that was then end of the juice fast too because I did not wake up and go back to juicing, I said, “It’s the weekend.  Start again on Monday”. 

FLABBY BITS ON PARADE THIS SUMMER AND FOREVER?

That Monday came and went and so did all the other Mondays of the summer.  And you guessed it–that was another summer that I had to spend cleverly figuring out ways to cover my flabby bits YET AGAIN.
However, worse than hiding flabby bits behind a towel was the fact that I was still struggling and beginning to think that it was always going to be like this. I was always going to have to struggle with not just my weight but MYSELF in this area of my life—FOREVER.

I look back on that story now—having now maintained my Shifted weight release for nearly two decades—and I see many places where I let myself down with FAT THINKING.  Fat thinking is the all or nothing, good or bad, on or off way of thinking that we get into when we struggle with our weight.

BREAKING “BAD”

For me, the key to consistency and long term success, after helping thousands of clients shift from fat to thin thinking, weight struggler to weight master, is not so much about being “good” it’s about losing the “good” and “bad” labels that define us and keep us in the on or off Fat thinking Cycle.

The key is to break “bad” and pull yourself back from that desire to disconnect and just say screw it and eat everything else after you eat the first thing that takes you off the rules of your “plan”.

As you can see in this story, my eating the Tic Tac wasn’t what was damaging to my weight loss, it was my impulse to get out of my feeling guilty about eating the Tic Tacby focusing on starting tomorrow and being “good” at that time. That opened up in my mind the permission to be bad again.

Here is the weird thing about the brain: when we promise to be good in the future, the brain immediately starts feeling good about that decision and so you can do a lot of questionable (and fattening) behavior in the time leading up to “starting over tomorrow” without any backlash.

Making the promise to “start over” is the most fattening thing anyone can do. You delay refocusing your weight release effort and you eat a bunch of calorically dense food with the “last party” attitude that tomorrow you are going back to diet prison.

This habit of “I blew it”, “so screw it” is persistent because the brain perceives it as a reward, fun, letting go. It doesn’t remember all the guilt and shame we feel following this cycle.

SHIFTING OUT OF “I BLEW IT”

A lot of my work with people is all the different ways we can escape this cycle and re-wire our brain for Thin thinking. I want to share with you one quick mind technique that can begin to intercept the “I blew it, so screw it” habit.

1. Whenever you hear or feel yourself saying “I blew it” when you eat something questionable—STOP AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH. This will get you present and in your rational conscious mind rather that your habit driven subconscious.

2. Label the “I blew it” thought. By labeling the thought you separate it out from you. It is no longer something you are but a thought you had, and an irrational thought at that. Labeling it allows you to see it from a different perspective. “Oh there is the thought that I ate a Tic Tac and it wasn’t on my juice fast, so I blew it”

3. Reframe and refocus yourself. You aren’t releasing weight to “be good” you are releasing weight because you want to be healthy and take care of yourself. Start now by treating yourself with respect even when things don’t look so good.

Take that “I blew it thought” and swirl it away by replacing it with a rational, self respecting viewpoint. “I didn’t blow it, I got hungry and ate a handful of tic tacs. It was a few hundred calories which isn’t going to spoil my commitment to what I am doing and myself. I now need to eat something nourishing and really take care of myself at my next meal or snack. Even though I ate the tic tacs, I am still on my journey to weight mastery.”

See–now you have not only avoided another 9,000 calories but you gave yourself a little love and respect and can feel good about yourself right now in your mind.  The more you do this, the more that old pattern weakens and your confidence builds.

Try playing around with this technique this month. You will definitely see a difference and feel more in charge of the moments when your behavior around food goes arwy and the old you who used to blow it, gives way to the you who stops, stays connected with themselves and keeps moving forward on their journey of weight mastery.

Have a great, but not good or bad, month!
oxox Rita

What Do I Want? Ask, Don’t Tell!

WHAT DO I WANT? ASK, DON’T TELL 

Do you ever tell yourself to do something like, “I am going to get up and exercise tomorrow morning!” and you really, really mean it and your intentions are so good, and boy!  oh boy! tomorrow is really going to be the start of a new life of exercise and then your alarm goes off and …you hit the snooze and go back to sleep?

And so the next night you say, “Tomorrow morning I am not going to be lazy!  I am going to do it.  I soooooooo mean it!  I am so getting up and exercising!” and tomorrow morning comes and your alarm goes off and …you hit the snooze and go back to sleep..AGAIN???

Ever wonder why that happens?

Do you remember the cartoon Charlie Brown where the teacher speaks in the classroom and all you hear is “Wah, Wah Wah”?

Or the FAR SIDE comics with the hilarious drawing of the dog and its owner saying, “Go get the ball SPOT, go on SPOT get it!” to the dog and all the dog hears is “blablahblahblah SPOT blahblahSPOTblah!!!

That’s kind of how your unconscious mind hears you when you tell it to do something that it is not used to doing.  It really doesn’t hear you because it is way too busy keeping things just the way they have been, exactly the same.

WHAT DO I WANT?

Employing a tool I call THINK OVERS is a way to activate your unconscious mind more effectively to make a change.

THINK OVERS are simply thinking through a challenging food or exercise situation in your imagination before you actually are in the situation—imagining the specifics of the outcome you want to create instead and asking your mind, “how do I create this new outcome I want instead of the old outcome that does not serve me?”

What this does is it  helps your conscious willpower mind and your unconscious habit mind to work together to create a new behavioral map ahead of time.  This is particularly helpful for situations where we find ourselves in Inner Rebel reaction mode—acting out unconsciously with behaviors that cause us to struggle with our weight–situations like parties or restaurants.  Even thinking though getting out of bed in the morning to exercise are great places to use THINK OVERS ahead of time.

I DON’T “THINK” SO

Let’s look at the example:  “I am going to wake up tomorrow and exercise for an hour!”  When we say “I am going to exercise tomorrow!”  nothing at all happens in the unconscious neural pathways—nothing is engaged because what you are commanding is change and our unconscious resists change!

The Inner Rebel in your unconscious mind raises his or her head and says, “What?  I don’t think so!” and goes back to sleep.  There has been nothing to seduce the Inner Rebel to be on your team– to take the contrary action of hopping out of bed and getting physical instead of hitting the snooze button which is what usually happens.

EMPLOYING A THINK OVER

Let’s look at using a THINK OVER in the same situation:

1.  As I head off to bed with the intention of waking up to exercise,  I start with a question—“How am I going to make exercise happen tomorrow morning?”

2.  Next, I visualize myself in bed in the morning—I imagine the alarm rings –and ask myself the question—“What am I going to do when the alarm rings?”  Answer:  “I will stop it and put my feet on the floor”.

3.  I visualize myself actually taking the actions that I want to occur. I put my feet on the floor, “What am I going to wear?”—I see myself getting my walking outfit on.

4.  Next I get more specific with myself, I want to know everything I expect to happen,“How long am I going to exercise for?”  Answer: “An hour”-What if my unconscious retorts, “An hour doesn’t feel doable” I can negotiate with my unconscious to make something that might not seem so overwhelming at first. Revised answer, “How about 45 minutes?” My unconscious agreement: “Okay, we can do that”

5.  Lastly, I market to myself how fabulous it is going to feel when my vision of exercise comes to life—I really want to focus on this as the feeling of excitement will really engage my unconscious to want to do this.”

6.  I visualize myself heading out of the house and listening to music and greeting the morning feeling good, vibrant and in tune with myself as I feet hit the pavement.

My THINK THROUGH is over and I am ready to go wake up tomorrow and really engage in some exercise.

THINK THROUGHS are very effective ways to  syndromes. Try one today. I mean, when are you going to try one today?

What will that look like when you try a think through today? You catch my drift.

So, next time you want to create a new behavior and haven’t been able to get compliance with yourself—ASK don’t TELL and engage a THINK THROUGH—you will feel the SHIFT right away.

Have a great month…I mean how will you have a great Shifted May?

Oxox Rita