As you well know, weight problems are complicated. If changing the habits that are making you fat was easy, you’d be thinner and healthier by now.
Everything we do in life is because we’ve made it a habit. It becomes a habit because we behave in a certain way (including the way we talk about it). We behave in a certain way because we have a certain feeling about it. And we have that certain feeling because of our belief system and the thoughts we have about it. In other words:
Beliefs/Thought create Feelings
Feelings create Words/Actions
Words/Actions create Habits
Belief: If you reject someone’s offer of food, you will look ungrateful or insult them.)
Feeling: Guilt or Worry
Action: You accept the offer and eat the food.
Habit: Every time someone at work brings in a homemade treat, you eat a piece.
Most weight loss programs start by looking at the habit and working backwards. They try to change what you are doing. They teach you how to limit food intake and exercise more. If you’re lucky, some will also teach you how to reduce your stress.
And then they stop.
You must go further…in fact, all the way to the beginning.
If you’re to change your life for good, you MUST address the feelings, thoughts and beliefs behind every unwanted habit and action. Most weight loss programs fail to do this. Therefore they work for a short time and then you slip back into your old habits.
Once you know exactly how you want to feel, it becomes a balance for your beliefs and actions.
Let’s say you figure out that you want to feel STRONG. In line with our example, you know that you must politely decline the offer of food in order to lose weight and therefore feel strong.
But it doesn’t end there.
If you are to feel strong, you must also change your belief/thought. For example, your new belief would be, “My health is more important than anything else in the world. People who truly care about me will be supportive.”
Knowing your desired feeling becomes that grounding point for the changes you want in your life. Not only for improving your weight, but for making any life changes easier to maneuver.
If you are interested in learning more about how to identify your desired feelings so that you can more effectively and permanently lose weight, check out The Weight-Less Life workshops being held soon.
Fitbit has come under fire as they face class action lawsuits from customers in the states of California, Colorado and Wisconsin.
The Fitbit, and similar devices, track your activity level by monitoring your steps, distance, heart rate and sleep patterns.
Customers allege that the device incorrectly reports their heart rate during activity.
Not good news for the millions of people who received the device this past holiday.
The Fitbit Upside:
1. Devices, such as the Fitbit, can provide motivation for someone who hasn’t been active. If you like to see actual data, seeing an overall increase in your daily activity can push you to move more and lose weight.
2. For athletes, the device can be useful in measuring the effectiveness and progress of your training.
1. Regardless of whether you’re new to exercise or a seasoned athlete, neither of you would benefit from the “benefits” of this device if they don’t accurately record your heart rate.
Based on my experience as a health coach, there are a couple of problems that come with exercise devices.
1. They are gameable. Meaning you can cheat them (and yourself). You can sit on your coach and rapidly move your arms about and the device will report those movements as steps. Yes, moving your arms around while you watch TV may be more than just sitting there, but you’re not actually achieving the benefits as recorded by your Fitbit.
2. The devices can deepen how bad you feel about yourself. Many of my clients who had a very hard time losing weight also had self-esteem and self-confidence issues. For those who would track their activity level, these issues would be deepened if they didn’t live up to their expectations.
There is a weird conversation that goes on in our heads when we’re trying to lose weight. One voice says “Go for a walk;” the other says “I’m tired.” One says “I need to get more steps.” The other says “I don’t really have time.” You decide not to go for the walk. The next day you look at your Fitbit and have the guilt and shame of not doing what you said you would.
3. They’re external motivation only. Working with clients has taught me that external motivation can be effective in getting them to exercise more and losing weight. External motivation are rewards that are outside of yourself (prizes, money, miles walked, Fitbit.) They do work, but only for a short time.
What has been most successful for my clients is motivating themselves from the inside. Those who wanted a feeling of self-confidence and self-love were more likely to start an exercise program and stick to it. Those who wanted more energy and didn’t want to feel “crappy” all day were more likely to make time for exercise and therefore lose weight.
When you’re driven from the inside, you’re much more likely to get back on track when you fall off. Whereas, when you’re driven from the outside, you’re much more likely to brush it off.
I believe exercise trackers and devices can be helpful when starting a new program as they can give you a good baseline from which to measure your progress (if the device does what it’s supposed to).
But the truth of the matter is, you know how much you’re moving. No doubt about it. You know when you’ve parked farther from the grocery store. You know when you’ve chosen to go for that walk or bike ride. You know when you’ve gone outside to play a game with your children. You know.
Learn to listen to that little voice of wisdom inside you. And trust it. It works.
Wellness Company Flips Weight Loss on Its Head
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’re very familiar with the rules…cut calories and exercise. While these basic principles have merit, there’s one problem.
“The problem with weight loss programs is that we’ve taught the same thing for decades, yet people are still struggling with their weight,” says Tina Smith, Behavior Change Specialist and Owner of Ark Wellness. “To keep doing this and expect different results is a great disservice.”
The weight loss industry has packaged the “cut calories/exercise” principle in hundreds of different ways trying to convince people that they will finally get the results they are looking for. “So, if you’ve attempted to lose weight in the past and have failed or gained it back, why would using the same methods be different this time?” says Smith.
Throughout her experience as a wellness coach, Smith explains that she most often had clients who were exhausted from working long hours and making sure their families had their needs met. “I would always wonder how my clients expected to lose weight when they weren’t even a priority on their to-do lists. There were so many factors getting in the way,” she states. “This is why I’m compelled to take a different approach and why I created The Weight-Less Life.”
The Weight-Less Life is a workshop that looks at your life as a whole and how it influences your weight. The program addresses lifestyle, career, social circles, finances, relationships, self-worth and spiritual connectedness in addition to nutrition. “All of these factors greatly influence a person’s ability to achieve their desired weight,” says Smith. “And they are missing from the typical weight loss program.”
The workshop is designed to be an intense and deeply meaningful experience. The intent of the program is for participants to have a new understanding of themselves as well as a vision of a life that is supportive of their weight loss.
Participants in the program will leave with a “Life Plan,” not just a weight loss plan. The Life Plan is created by the individual based upon their very unique circumstances. “This is an aspect that has been missing from typical weight loss programs,” says Smith. “Food and exercise are just a couple pieces to the overall puzzle. By taking a complete life approach, each participant can begin to create a life that is supportive of their weight, their health and every other desire they may have.”
Workshops will be held the beginning of 2016 in areas throughout Wisconsin to include Wisconsin Rapids, Oxford and Coon Valley.
To learn more about The Weight-Less Life as well as other programs and services offered by Ark Wellness, visit www.myarkwellness.com or contact Tina Smith by phone at 715-572-5714 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I gave birth to my son, my family and friends said, “Enjoy every minute because it goes really fast.”
They weren’t kidding. Noah turns 3 years old this month and I’m already wondering where the time went.
But I feel fortunate. For the last few years, I have put into place a practice called mindfulness.
Mindfulness means you are in the here and now…you are paying attention to what’s in front of you.
Back in the day I was quite the opposite. It seemed that whenever I was at work, my mind was on all of the things I needed to do at home and when I was at home, my mind was on the things I needed to do at work.
Even at the time, I questioned why my mind was somewhere else. I never really came up with a good answer. I just knew that I really didn’t like the distraction in my head.
Once I was able to learn and practice the true concept of mindfulness, my world changed for me. Not that one completely stops thinking about other things (because we still need to plan for the future), but that piece of me shrunk enormously.
For me, mindfulness is not something that is automatic. I don’t automatically get immersed in the moment and think about nothing else.
But instead, I am highly aware of where my thoughts are at any given moment. And when my head is somewhere other than where I am right now, I pull myself back into the moment.
If I’m playing with Noah and I find myself thinking about my upcoming weight loss program, I make sure I put those thoughts aside and totally focus on what we are doing together.
I observe the way he plays and takes in information. I’m in awe of the way his mind works.
I look at his feet and think about how cute his toes are. I stroke his hair and smell the top of his head. (Yes, I smell my child. I want to remember this too.) All of my senses keep me mindful.
It is important to me that I do this. I don’t want to miss a single moment with him because time really does move by quickly.
And the truth is life is not going to wait for you to pay attention! It’s going to roll along whether you’re paying attention or not.
So the next time you find your mind wondering to places other than where you are, pull your awareness back into the present moment.
Your future self will thank you. (And so will your child.)
Read to the end,
pause and pray,
share with everyone.
Dedicated to my husband.
To those who proudly served our country so that we may enjoy our freedoms...thank you is not merely enough.
Although we may not understand the nightmares you go through, we can see your pain.
We offer up more than a thank you.
We offer you our prayers because you need strength to endure what you've seen, done and felt.
We offer you our love and light because you may be having trouble seeing yours.
You deserve more than our gratitude.
Our veterans have gone into the darkest places so that you may continue to live your life the way you choose.
In doing so, they may now suffer the deepest of pain.
God's love is powerful and healing.
Please take a moment to close your eyes and pray for the health and happiness of our veterans. Send them love, light and peace.
Regardless of your affiliation, prayer is powerful. And I believe that all who are prayed for can feel it.
Thank you is not merely enough.
We need to flip weight loss on its head.
I’ve been in the wellness industry for a very long time…over 20 years. I’ve developed, coordinated and promoted countless weight loss programs in my day. I’ve also coached many who would love more than anything to lose those pounds.
While some of my clients just wanted to get rid of an extra 10 or 20 pounds, others were struggling tremendously with 100 to 200 extra pounds that were drastically hindering their lives.
I spent much time in frustration wondering why the people in my programs couldn’t follow the basic principles…eat better and exercise. The principles are so straight forward and study after study proves that they work. Yet I would see the same people in the programs time after time.
Then it hit me.
The weight loss industry is missing the mark. And so was I.
More often than not, my clients were women who were exhausted because they worked crazy hours and were trying to just keep up with everything at home…homework, sporting events, music or dance practice, mealtime and housework.
My clients would sit in the chair across from me looking like they needed a 3-day nap and I’d think to myself, “You have all of this going on. You’re not at all on your to-do list. And you say you want to lose weight? Yeah, right!”
Food and exercise are just a couple pieces of a very complicated puzzle. If just changing these couple of things made people lose weight and keep it off, I would be out of a job. And so would the billion dollar weight loss industry.
In my experience talking with so many people about their struggles, weight loss is affected by absolutely every aspect of a person’s life. Why then shouldn’t a weight loss program address ALL of these aspects?
This is why I decided to flip weight loss on its head and do it differently from now on. This is why I created a new kind of weight loss program called The Weight-Less Life.
The Weight-Less Life is a workshop that looks at your life as a whole and how it influences your weight. The program addresses lifestyle, career, social circles, finances, relationships, self-worth and spiritual connectedness in addition to nutrition.
All of these factors greatly influence your ability to achieve your desired weight. And they are missing from the typical weight loss program.
The workshop is designed to be an intense and deeply meaningful experience. The intent of the program is to have a new understanding of who you are as well as to have a vision of a life that is supportive of your weight loss.
By attending the workshop, you will leave with a “Life Plan,” not just a weight loss plan. You create your own plan based upon your very unique circumstances. This is an aspect that has been missing from typical weight loss programs.
Food and exercise are just a couple pieces to the overall puzzle. By taking a complete life approach, you can begin to create a life that is supportive of your weight, your health and every other desire you may have.
Workshops are starting in 2016. For more information, you can check out The Weight-Less Life here.
We talk about it all the time, my husband and I. How we need to have a regularly scheduled "date night." You know...time set aside just for us to bond, stay connected and nurture our relationship.
But it never happens.
By the time the work day is over, small chores are done and our son is in bed, we're done for. Our brains just want to shut down and our bodies quit. It's time for bed!
But today we seized the day...which wasn't an easy choice.
I have just spent several days out of town for business, so work has piled up and needs to be taken care of. But, just as important, is the fact that I have been away from my guys for too long. I miss playing with my son. And as noted, my husband and I need some serious "us" time.
It's tough deciding where to put your time when your heart calls out for one thing, but your bank account is in need of another.
Here is how I reasoned it out: I fell back on my core desired feelings.
A couple of my core desired feeling are Love and Connection. Both of which fuel and are fueled by the loves of my life. I simply ask myself which choice is going to support my core desired feelings. The answer, of course, was "I NEED A DATE WITH MY HUSBAND."
The work can wait.
My husband's work schedule is such that he is off of work on some days when our son is in daycare. This happened to be the case today. It was a perfect time for us to devote to us.
We snuggled on the couch this morning watching cheesy morning talk shows, went to lunch in celebration of Cinco de Mayo and settled into a quaint coffee shop in the afternoon to dream about our plans to buy a new home and expand my business.
Such simple things. SO GOOD!!!!!!
We were able to pick up our son early from daycare so I could spend time showering him with the kisses and squeezes we missed while I was away. And now, as my husband finishes up dinner and cleaning up the dishes, I'm able to clean up some of the work items that need immediate attention.
IT ALL WORKS OUT.
And it worked out because I allowed my core desired feelings to drive my decisions for the day. I feel Love. I feel Connection.
Can you relate?
I loved the Muppets as a kid. Still do. And now when you go back and enjoy the iconic TV show or movies, you pick up on a lot of humor meant for adults that you would not have picked up on as a child.
One of my favorite skits is of this character that so accurately portraits what so many of us are feeling on a daily basis. We have this whirlwind of madness in our heads due to overloaded schedules and external pressures. And no downtime. It's hard to take a breath some days.
Yet we put on this calm exterior. To everyone else, we have it together. Other moms might even wonder how we do it. They want to be like us.
But on the inside, you just want to crash. You want to stop, rest, sleep. You want to be still. Even for just a moment.
You are not alone.
Let's let go of the madness. Let's start the conversation here.
Tell us how you deal with the windmills of your mind. In sharing, we help others not feel helpless and alone. Tell us what you do to be as calm on the inside as you are on the outside.
The Desire Map started out as a book, written by Danielle LaPorte. From there, it became the driver of over 500 book clubs around the world.
At the heart of it all? A commitment to feeling good.
Cynics would say that choosing to place your focus on feeling good is silly – maybe, even selfish.
But I (and thousands of other Desire Mappers around the globe) know better. Because who wants to live a life that doesn’t feel good?
Who wants to work in a job that sucks their life force?
Who wants to be in relationships where they don’t feel nourished and honored?
Who wants to feel bored in their own life?
Not me. And I’m pretty sure, not you.
The Desire Map taught me how to make better choices by making decisions based on my core desired feelings. And that boils down to living a life that feels good to live.
I’ve watched this book inspire major transformation in my own life and in the lives of many others. I believe in this material — I know that it works.
… which is why, I’m taking my passion for The Desire Map one step further. I have become an Official Licensed Facilitator of The Desire Map. Woo!
I’m stepping up and offering to guide other people through the desire mapping process by hosting my very own workshops. First up: Life Unleashed...with The Desire Map.
For more details on exactly what we’ll cover at the workshop, dates and signup fees, click HERE.
I don’t believe we’re on this planet to live unfulfilled lives, or to let our potential go unrealized.
I DO believe that we’re each here to design a life that feels good. Feel good at work, in your clothes, in your relationships, in your heart.
It’d be my honor to support you in creating that. I’d love to see you at my Desire Map workshops.
The New Year, for many, marks a new beginning. It is a time of renewal. A time to make right all that we did wrong last year. It is a time of new hope.
But let's examine this for a moment. How long does this feeling last? How long does the energy of positive intention burn before you are once again settled into your old ways?
My past experience as a fitness center employee tells me that great intentions begin to fade about mid-February. My experience as a wellness coach tells me that great intentions begin to fade about mid-February. My experience with my own great intentions in the past began to fade mid-February. So the life span of this time of renewal and hope is about 6 weeks.
But there is hope!
You CAN make every one of your new "beginnings" last a lifetime. Here's how...
Take just a moment and get in touch with the feelings you have about the upcoming year. How does it feel to know that you are on your way to finally losing the weight? Or are you looking forward to having a better year financially? Will this be your year to open yourself to finding true love? It creates a feeling of excitement, doesn't it? It feels empowering.
Now imagine what it would be like if you could capture this feeling of empowerment and renewal every day and in every moment...forever. You would actually achieve everything you wanted. There would be no end to your resolutions. You would simply be living them.
What's the secret? Treat every moment as a new beginning. Because it is. In each and every moment, you have the opportunity to start over. You have the power to make the choices that either move you toward the life you want or leave you stagnated in a life you hate.
It really is that simple. Discontent with a part of life or who we are lies in the fact that we live in the past or live in the future. Neither of which exist in this moment. True life happiness comes when we live in the moment. And success in what we want to achieve comes from the choices we make in the given moment.
So celebrate the start of the New Year with the intention of holding on to that feeling of celebration each and every day. EVERY MOMENT!
May the New Year fill each of your days with perfect health and unbelievable happiness!
If you found this post to be inspiring, please share with a friend and share your inspiration in the comments below.