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These six steps may sound too easy to be true, but each tenant is rooted in science and neuro-linguistic programming. Read the list. Copy it. Post it. E-mail it to a friend.

1) Flood your brain hundreds of times each day with the positive affirmation, “I choose to eat carefully and exercise with vigor.”

2) Buy a fitness tracker and learn how many steps you actually take. Ideally you will be taking between 8,000 and 10,000 steps each day.

3) Give yourself a special goal each and every day. This is called your today goal.
For example:
“Today I’ll pass up all snacks and desserts.”
“Today I’ll work out with my hand weights for 5 minutes.”

4) Pick a weight loss plan that has worked for you in the past: for example, counting calories or Weight Watcher points.

5) E-mail or text a friend each day and tell them how you’re doing. Let them know if you’re saying your affirmation, the number of steps you’ve taken, your calories or points, and any weight loss tip that you would like to share. If you screw up and eat an entire cake, let them know.

6) If you slip, start at the top of the list and do it all over again. All research shows that if you keep at it, you will develop a new lifestyle and you will lose weight.

P.S. If you follow these six steps, you’ll change the neuro-landscape of your brain. You’ll think differently, feel differently, and behave differently, and you’ll reach your weight loss goal. Make the choice. Embrace these six scientifically proven weight loss tenants. Become the weight and the person you are meant to be.

Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World” as well as, “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide.” and “Thin Becomes You”. Doris’ web page: www.doriswildhelmering.com

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“This year I’m going to stay on my diet and lose weight.” How many years have you made this promise to yourself only to find that you’ve fallen off the weight-loss-band-wagon?

The reasons for blowing your diet are plenty. Favorite excuses include, “I work hard, I deserve a good meal.” “Why should I diet when no one else seems to be worrying about what they’re eating?” and “I’ll never be thin anyway.”

“I’ve used those excuses and plenty of variations,” says Mary D., a social worker in Atlanta. “Every Monday I’d go on a diet. Sometimes I’d last for several days, sometimes a week. But then I’d be off the diet and into the potato chips. I took care of my emotional needs with food. If I was feeling lonely or had a disagreement with one of my children, I’d grab the peanut butter jar and dig in. Food was my salvation.”

Most overeating is not about the belly but the brain. The true key to weight loss and a healthy body is changing the neuro-landscape of the brain. Learn to harness your thoughts and you’ll change the way you behave. And you will lose weight.

Before Mary goes to a party, she says she prepares herself for battle because she knows attitude is everything and it’s mind over matter. “I tell myself, It’s only one party. I can get through it without overeating.” I also limit myself to no more than six snacks, which might include a drink, three shrimps, a piece of cheese, and a brownie. I use the acronym “HALT” on and off throughout the day, which reminds me, “Don’t get too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely, or too Tired.”

When Jill needs an emotional fix, instead of turning to food she calls a friend, talks to her husband, reads, writes in her journal, takes a walk or prays. “I take heart in knowing that I’m not alone in my struggle with food,” she says.

Carol of St. Louis once wore a size 24. She never weighed herself or exercised, and claims she never denied herself  “anything” when it came to food. But she has now gotten on the weight-loss wagon. Each night after watching a late TV show she calls to leave a message on her therapist’s voice mail. She reports calorie intake and the minutes she spent exercising. “It makes me accountable,” she says. “If I didn’t have to call and report, I know I’d be cheating.”

“I used to think about food and what I was going to eat. Now I think about what it’s going to do to me. “I’ve lost almost 70 pounds–and I’m determined to continue to lose.”

“Last week I told my therapist that I feel so thin. She said that I wasn’t. And that thinking I was thin wasn’t helpful at this point in time. We had a good laugh and made a pact that a year from now I will be thin.”

Are you willing to make the same pact? If so, when will you get started?

Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World” (a middle grade read) as well as, “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide.” www.doriswildhelmering.com.

 

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Take the following: Are You an Emotional Eater Quiz.

1. Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
2. Do you eat or continue eating even if the food doesn’t taste good?
3. Do you eat when you can’t think of anything else to do?
4. Do you eat after an argument or stressful situation to calm yourself down?
5. Do you eat to reward yourself?
6. Do you keep eating even after you’re full?

Each “yes” indicates that you’re eating in response to your feelings. In other words, the primary reason you’re eating is because of your emotions. The key to getting emotional eating under control is awareness. Before you take a bite, ask yourself: “What am I feeling?” Let yourself feel the feeling for five minutes without eating. Then figure out something else you can do to help relieve it instead of putting yet another bite in your mouth.

 

Visit Doris at www.doriswildhelmering.com.
Check out her middle grade book as well as her parent and teacher guide.

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Develop some food-free zones such as no eating in the car, or in front of the television. Having food-free zones gets you to think about where you’re eating. This is another way to use your brain and not get into mindless eating.

Use Aromatherapy.
We know odors affect appetite. Strong sweet smells, such as chocolate, trigger feelings of hunger. Whereas neutral sweet smells — such as bananas, green apples, vanilla, and peppermint help curb appetite. Scientists believe that scents may fool the brain into believing that you’ve eaten more than you have.

So keep a vanilla scented candle on your desk and take a deep whiff several times a day. Or if that seems a little weird, or you’re afraid of what your co-workers will think, because you’re always sniffing a vanilla candle, drink vanilla or green apple tea.
I’ve gotten in the habit of finishing my meals with a small peppermint candy. That little trick signals to my brain, “Eating is over Doris.”

Use Visualization.
Visualize yourself sipping water from a water bottle throughout the day. See yourself jogging in the park or lifting some hand weights in your bedroom or running up a flight of stairs.

See yourself with a group of your friends at a restaurant and holding up your hand and telling the server “No thank you,” when he goes to put the bread basket on the table.

Athletes visualize a perfect golf swing or a perfect dive into the pool as a way to prime themselves before competition. You can prime yourself in your mind’s eye so you don’t overeat or eat the wrong things.

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Changing the way you talk to yourself in your head will change your weight.

Change your brain with the use of neuro-linguistic programming.

Instead of saying to yourself, “I can’t lose weight” say, “I won’t lose weight.” When you say, I can’t you make yourself a victim. When you say, I won’t you put yourself in charge. Once you believe and feel that you’re in charge of your weight, you’re more likely to jump on the weight-loss wagon and do something about your weight.

Too hard to believe? Try it.

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Embrace resiliency, amplify your strengths – believe in yourself and lose weight.
If watching your weight and keeping to an exercise regimen seems a drag, try switching your frame of reference. View weight watching and exercise as a privilege. See it as a way to build stamina, character and resiliency. Dr. Paul Pearsall, neuropsychologist and author of the “Beethoven Factor” refers to adversity as “stress-related-growth.” Dr. Suzanne Segerstrom, professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky says “a persistent attitude is as good as a positive one.”

What happens when you lose weight? You feel great about yourself. You walk differently. You hold your body differently. You convey to the world, “I like myself.” And you do. You feel good and accomplished. And when other challenges come into your life, you may not like them, but you know you have the grit, the stamina, the hardiness to deal with them.

Think about yourself when you get off the treadmill, finish doing your last set of reps or laps in the pool, you have a renewed sense of self. A belief that you’re strong and tough and can handle anything down the road.

Resiliency is like a muscle: You have to challenge it to make it stronger. Resilient people aren’t necessarily braver or stronger than others, but they have learned to move beyond themselves, to grab the baton of responsibility and run with it. In doing so, they erase their weaknesses and amplify their strengths.

So whistle while you work out. Take a bow when you pass up a fatty food. Tell yourself, “Look at me, I am strong, I choose to be active the whole day long.” As positive psychology points out, “Don’t languish, flourish. Don’t merely survive, thrive. Be satisfied with the past, be happy with the present, and be optimistic about the future.”

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What do you do when your daughter is overweight?

One mother confessed that when she looks at her overweight daughter, she sees her as a failure. And then she translates her daughter’s failure into her own failure.

“I try to hide my disappointment and discontent with the way she looks,” said the mother, “but it’s always there. I also make subtle comments, which really aren’t so subtle. In the past I’ve said, “I heard about a great diet book.   Should I buy it for you?”

“I’ve also said, ‘It’s a great day; let’s go for a walk.’ What I’m really saying is, ‘You need some exercise.’ The worst comment was when I said, ‘Why, you have a double chin just like me.'”

“When I look at her, I think she’s lazy. She has no pride. I wonder where I went wrong.”

Another woman said that it drives her crazy to watch her daughter eat. “I want to say, ‘Stop eating that roll and butter. Get control of yourself. Don’t you have any respect for yourself?’ I don’t dare say anything because in the past I have and it just makes her mad and not want to be with me.”

“I never stop bugging my daughter,” said another woman. “I’m always coming up with a plan. I take her articles and books on weight loss. Last year I enrolled her in a weight-loss program and she lost 50 pounds. Then she gained it all back. My next plan was humiliation. I told her I loved her, but the world hated fat people. This month I’ve offered to pay for her to enroll at a gym. Does all this do her any good?   It doesn’t seem to help her, but it helps me.”

“My daughter is 70 pounds overweight and seems to be on her way up,” moaned another mom. “She eats all the time. Her room is full of candy wrappers. I’m thin, and I just don’t get it. Nothing I say to her has an impact. She’s sweet and a successful high school student. She plays in the band and has lots of friends. I know she’s unhappy with her weight, but she can’t seem to get control of it.”

Yet another mother said, “The worst time for me is when I have to introduce my daughter, who is at least 90 pounds overweight, to someone she’s never met. I cringe. I think that the person must be thinking how ugly she is. I smile and am chatty and act like everything is fine, but on the inside I feel terrible and know it’s not fine. I feel bad for my daughter and bad for me.”

If you are a mother having bad feelings about an overweight daughter, you know that your daughter also is struggling with feelings about her weight. The best course of action is to ask her directly, “Is there anything I can do to help you with your weight? Or would you rather I said nothing?”

Some daughters will ask to be bugged a bit. They want their mothers to bring them diet programs and suggestions. This keeps the problem out in the open as opposed to pretending there isn’t a problem. Other daughters will ask that their mother not push food or tempt them with homemade cakes and cookies.

Some daughters do not want their mothers to say anything about their weight problem. They already know they have one, and they’ve already tried any number of diets and exercise programs.

If you truly want to be helpful to your overweight daughter, ask her what she wants from you. And then have the strength and courage to give her what she asks for.

To take care of your own feelings about her weight, confide in a favorite friend from time to time. Too, you might want to get a bit philosophical and ask yourself, “Why did I bring this child into the world?”

 

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