I’m writing to you from Las Vegas, where I’m spending the holiday with my dad and sisters. This is our first time in a long time all being together for a holiday and it feels really, really awesome.
Yesterday we had a big Thanksgiving feast! We ate yummy food, had some beers and played Cards Against Humanity. Good times.
Earlier this week I read this article by Live Well 360 Ambassador Adam Bornstein, about the health and fitness industry’s perspective on Thanksgiving. It’s titled, “The Problem With Thanksgiving” and my favorite quote from it is:
The fitness and nutrition community will be filled with posts about how to save calories, avoid bad foods, and essentially suck the fun out of a holiday that really is designed for a little bit of gluttony. People will say we should not use food as a reward. And that makes perfect sense.
But that’s not what this is. This is a holiday where food is part of the culture and tradition.
I don’t think it’s such a bad thing.
You want to know what’s really wrong?
Trying to convince people that they should eat less on one day, rather than preach enjoying the day and building better habits for the rest of the week or even the entire holiday season is the worst health trend that repeats itself every year.
I could not agree with Adam more. So what if you have an extra dessert on Thanksgiving and/or that second helping of stuffing. And even beyond that, who cares if you have stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, AND dessert!! It’s okaaaaay.
The food is not the problem. It’s our unhealthy behaviors attached to food that IS the problem.
Your long-term, consistent behaviors are what matter most and add up to long-term sustainable results (or no results).
So what if you aren’t seeing the results you want to see and you honestly can’t figure out why? I know this can be really frustrating.
If this is you, I have two things for you to do this week to figure this out.
2 Tips For Getting Weight Loss Results (When You Aren’t)
1. Do The Emotional Work
First you have to take a look at your habits, thoughts and typical behaviors. Awareness is the first step in change, because if you don’t know you are doing something, how are you supposed to do something different?
Becoming aware of our habits of thought is the missing piece of the weight loss puzzle. Everybody focuses strictly on food and fitness, but they neglect the foundation that ties it all together — mindset.
For the next week, notice your thought patterns. Do you find yourself mostly:
Berating yourself about your food and fitness choices?
Feeling guilty and stressed at work or in your relationships?
Feeling frustrated and complaining about life in general?
Or do you mostly find yourself appreciating things like:
Your current body on the way to achieving your dream body goals?
The positive aspects in the people around you?
Things about your life as a whole that you love most?
Journal your findings and reflections or even send me an email to report back.
This one exercise tells me so much about why you may or may not be achieving the results you say you want. Why?
Our emotions have a direct physiological affect on how well our body (and things like our metabolism) work.
If we are feeling guilty all of the time, stressed out and unhappy with our current body and life, then our body can’t function properly.
If we are positive, appreciative and loving the body we are in while being eager to continue to progress toward the body of our dreams, this jumpstarts the momentum and keeps us moving toward our goals.
Need help with this jumpstart? Check out my 6-week online course, ROCK Your Dream Body “Feel Amazing.”
2. Hold Yourself Accountable
If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I don’t encourage calorie counting or micromanaging your body.
When we get too technical and obsessive, it stalls our progress because we are looking for results too often (are we there yet? are we there yet? are we there yet?) and when we don’t see the results fast enough, we get depressed (causing stress) which blocks our body from functioning optimally (burning fat).
That said, you DO have to hold yourself accountable. When a client tells me she is doing well with her eating habits but she’s frustrated because she isn’t seeing the results she wants fast enough, I ask her to run through what she ate yesterday with me.
Nine times out of ten she is eating more processed foods than whole foods. And… deep down, even if she won’t admit it to me, she feels guilty about it. And THEN she feels guilty about feeling guilty because she knows I teach the “no guilt” approach to food. Ayyy…
So what the heck do we do? How do we hold ourselves accountable so that we nourish our body with foods that are nutrient rich and make us feel our best AND help us to build the “feel good” momentum we get from making healthy decisions?
We track in a different way.
Over the next week, take a picture of everything that you eat and drink — meals, snacks, bites, slurps, everything.
Now I know what you might say, “This feels obsessive, Sheila!”
I assure you, it’s not. Here’s why. I want you to do this from a stance of self-love.
Pretend this is Instagram and you have a big following of people that want to see what delicious, nourishing foods you eat.
This isn’t something you HAVE to do. While it IS an assignment, it’s not a chore. Think of it as something you GET to do.
Get creative with it and practice your photography skills in the process!
At the end of each day, look back at your photo album and ask yourself, am I following the 80/20 rule here? Am I eating 80% whole foods (minimally processed, preservative free) and 20% anything else that might be non-whole foods that I eat simply because it tastes good?
Deep down, most of us KNOW how to nourish our body:
- Lots of greens, whole food protein, and healthy fats
- Lots of water
- Movement every single day (in some way)
We just choose not to do it because we feel uninspired.
For now, start with these two exercises.
Need more help? Let’s get on the phone and discuss your current challenges. I’ll give you tips on how to get started and then if you want more, we can talk about what it would look like to work together.