Healthy Food Blog

I want you to live better. Blogging about how you can.

Me, a Pair of Jeans, & My Ideal Weight (Pictures)

Last week Sara asked if I ever got to my ideal weight.

I got into one of those “I want to weigh #” situations, but as I kept being unable to get there, I realized the number was pretty arbitrary anyway.

Getting to that number didn’t guarantee I’d achieve what I really wanted, which was to fit in this pair of jeans I’d been carrying around for 10 years. TEN YEARS!

I bought them back in 2005.

They were the last pair of a limited edition and two sizes too small. I knew I had weight to lose, so I bought the pants for “inspiration” and “motivation.”

Here’s me in the pants last week:

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I first fit into them nine weeks after I decided to follow the meal plans and stop trying to wing it or do it myself.

I was so fed up gaining and losing the same 10 pounds over and over, that in mid-December (2013) I decided to follow the meal plans strictly.

I committed to nutritional excellence -- no more vegan junk foods “in moderation.”

No more getting caught without a nutritious meal or making excuses.

Within the first six weeks I lost the 10 pounds I was always regaining and chasing, but unlike all the other times, I didn’t relax the reigns as a reward.

I stayed committed and compliant.

I ended up losing another 5 pounds, which brought me below my high school weight.

That’s when I found my old (never worn!!) 2005 jeans in the closet.

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Point is, I DID finally get into the pants (they’re still a little too loose…2 years later!! ) and I FEEL GREAT, but I never got to that number on the scale.

(I would have to lose another 10 pounds to reach it).

My email exchange with Sara reminded me that numbers on the scale are really just numbers on the scale.

It can be a helpful tool, certainly -- but it isn’t finite.

Your weight doesn’t say if you’re healthy or not, if you feel amazing or not, and it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get what you want (i.e. fit into a pair of jeans you wore a decade ago).

Sara replied to me, “I have been chasing a number that I am 30 pounds away from, but truly I just want to run without pain. If that happened at 140 or 160 and not 120 pounds, I wouldn't care. I just want to be comfortable in my body and clothes.”

What is it that YOU really want?

I want you to be like Sara and set a measurable goal that isn’t a scale number and share it in the comments below.

P.S. since I’m sure someone will ask ;) I don’t do crunches or any kind of ab work. We all have a 6-pack of abs, they’re just hidden under a curtain of fat. You gotta pull back the curtain with the right diet!

P.P.S. I’m going to reveal my biggest confession tomorrow -- check this space :)

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3 Ways to STOP Self-Sabotage

I need you to make a promise.

Promise me you won’t be the person telling yourself you can’t do something.

(Because as long as you say it, it’s going to be true.)

If you’re READY to stop the subconscious self-sabotage…

If you’re tired of the deep, inner self-betrayal…

If you’re ready to self-SUPPORT...

1. Reframe your thinking.

Think you’ve been using exercise to unknowingly eat more?

Stop thinking of exercise as “burning calories.”

Instead, think of it as toning, or therapy, or simply a scenic walk ;)

41/50 people reported this type of reframing made them less likely to reward themselves with extra calories!!

2. Match your words and actions.

Cheryl kept SAYING she wanted to lose weight, but her ACTIONS told another story as she kept eating ice cream, cookies, etc.

Cheryl knew EXACTLY what she needed to do to lose weight (follow the meal plans, stop eating sweets) but she wouldn’t do it, often blaming cravings for her failure.

“After I eat something spicy I NEED something sweet to balance it out,” she’d say, or, “I CAN’T give up chocolate ice cream.”

One day another member corrected her and said, “Cheryl, you don’t “need” it, you just want it really badly. Wanting and needing aren’t the same.”

That was a light bulb moment for Cheryl.

“It turned the whole thing around for me,” she explained, “I suddenly felt empowered and not powerless. I was in control. I DIDN’T need it.”

A simple shift in language created a huge shift in Cheryl’s mindset.

3. Finally, make plans in advance.

You struggle the most when you don’t know what to expect or how circumstances will unfold.

When you lay out solid plans for the future -- how you will respond to circumstances, what you will eat, etc. -- that’s the very moment you take control and start building proactive momentum.

Most of your life is out of your control, but what you eat is ALWAYS in your control.

Take control of your health with this week’s meal plan.

Put a plan in place to eliminate counterproductive behaviors and self-betrayals.

You know what you have to do!

STOP saying “I can’t” and START saying “I will”.

If you want to start running, don’t say “I can’t run today because it’s too cold or snowy.” Say “I will put on an extra layer” or “I will walk circles in the garage.”

If you want to start taking dance lessons, don’t say “I can’t afford lessons” say “I will watch free dance lessons on YouTube.”

If you want to start eating healthy, invest in the meal plans right now. Take away the analysis paralysis and “too busy” excuses.

All the heavy lifting (finding recipes, creating a shopping list, balancing the meals and being mindful of total calories) is already done for you.

Self-SUPPORT with Black Bean & Corn Taquitos, Spicy Sweet Potato Noodle Soup, Kale & Sweet Potato Frittata, and Baked Caprese Pasta.

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STOP the self-betrayal. STOP self-sabotage by creating a self-SUPPORTing system.

And remember! You promised not to degrade yourself or your goals!! :D

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Your BIGGEST Self-Sabotage

Yesterday you learned that self-sabotage can be subconscious, and that isn’t limited to “bad” habits or procrastination.

ANY behavior can be self-sabotaging if it interferes with your goals.

Are you exercising? That’s the BIGGEST self-sabotage.

Most of us unknowingly use exercise as an excuse to eat more.

In a recent study, Group A was told they were taking an “exercise” walk before lunch, while Group B went on a “scenic” walk. (Group C went straight to lunch, no walk, as a control group).

Both groups walked the same distance at the same pace.

Group A was told how many steps they took, calories burned, etc. Various plants and animals were pointed out to Group B.

People in the “exercise” group took LESS salad and MORE chocolate pudding (35% more!).

Group A also took TWICE as many M&Ms a few hours later during “snack time”!!

When we believe we have sacrificed, we compensate by rewarding ourselves.

Here’s a prime example:

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(No matter how hard the workout was, there’s no way two huge scoops of ice cream and a brownie is less calories… “reward” self-sabotage!)

I used to consciously think like that too… “Oh I worked out, I can totally eat this.”

I believed eating poorly wouldn’t count, or my exercise would cancel it out…

That was my CONSCIOUS (albeit misplaced) self-sabotage.

BUT what about all the subconscious self-sabotage?

Like taking extra pudding without the mental justification beforehand? Egads!

How many times did I stop for ice cream or eat a bigger dinner because I felt I earned it?

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Eventually I came to realize you can’t exercise off a bad diet, and that one hour on the treadmill could be lost in the two minutes it takes to inhale junk food.

WHAT you put in your mouth matters far more than exercise (especially if unknowingly use exercise it to eat more).

Take Maria, for example. My pal Maria cleans houses. When I told her she was an exercise superstar (and she is! Mopping, scrubbing, lifting heavy objects and climbing stairs 9 hours a day) she suddenly GAINED 10lbs.

“I told myself it didn’t matter if I ordered more guacamole or a second glass of wine because I was exercising. It was like learning I exercised gave me carte blanche to do things I normally didn’t. To slack on my nutritional excellence and meal planning.”

Self-limiting phrases can also be why you’re not achieving important goals.

Have you ever said… “I’m doing the best I can?”

Ever notice you only say this when you fail to hit a standard (set by you or someone else)?

Like self-deprecating thoughts, self-limiting phrases degrade your potential AND limit your future growth by creating a glass ceiling.

“I should cook my meals ahead, but I’m such a procrastinator” is hypnosis!

If you’re going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, why not make it a good one?

YOU DESERVE BETTER.

In tomorrow’s blog post I’m going to share 3 steps to identify + ELIMINATE your self-sabotage.

If you’re ready to STOP the subconscious self-sabotage, check this space tomorrow.

But right now, I want you to think about the phrases you say that unknowingly degrade your potential, your work, your goals, etc.

Will you stop saying “I can’t” or “I’m doing the best I can”?

If yes, leave a comment saying “I will do better.”

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Are You Self-Sabotaging (Without Knowing It?)

Same problem, different month?

You could be your own worst enemy... without knowing it.

“Self-sabotage” isn’t just hate-talking i.e. “I can’t do it.”

OR buying the King Size chocolate bar even though you want to lose weight…

Self-sabotage comes in many forms, including doing things you believe are GOOD for you but actually undermine you... while you’re none the wiser!

Self-sabotage isn’t limited to those situations where you know EXACTLY what you need to do to improve and you don’t do it, OR to “counterproductive” habits or “bad” actions.

ANY behavior can be self-sabotaging if it interferes with long-standing goals.

The most common self-sabotaging behaviors are procrastination and comfort eating.

(No big surprises there)

But it’s the self-sabotaging that you’re NOT aware you’re doing that can be the most detrimental.

Because this type is subconscious, and the behavior so logical and natural, you don’t realize it’s happening.

I mean, you can eventually learn to stop shooting yourself in the foot…

....if you know you’re shooting yourself in the foot!

TOMORROW I’ll help you uncover ALL the self-sabotaging you’re not aware you’re doing

(There’s one 90% of us have done, or are STILL doing!! Zoinks!)

For now, I want you to pay attention to your thoughts--hidden self-sabotage #1

When the going gets tough -- you gained weight, you didn’t eat healthy, you dropped the ball at work, etc. -- are you saying to yourself, "I suck at this?"

Self-deprecating thoughts prevent you from reaching your goal AND they become a safety mechanism to protect your ego (self-esteem) from further disappointment.

By invoking an inherent lack of ability, you reduce your personal responsibility in the negative outcome, since you couldn't have done anything about it anyway.

You’re basically absolving yourself. You don’t have to think about what you did (or didn’t do!) to create an undesirable outcome…

Are you ready to stop being your own worst enemy?

Good. We’ll work on that tomorrow :)

Now, I’ve got a question for you. Is there something you’ve wanted to do, but haven’t done yet? Is it because you’re too busy? Or ??

Share what it is in the comments.

“Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.” – Vince Lombardi

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Final Component to Breaking Sugar Addiction

You’ve made a commitment to breaking your sugar addiction! high five!

AND you now have 8 easy strategies to stop cravings and break the cycle…

But the biggest, most important component is your environment (not your will!)

You already know that sugar is physically addictive, and that modern foods have been manipulated to be sooo alluring that we can’t stop ourselves, even if we want to.

The prescription for any addiction is abstinence, or at the very least minimizing temptation as much as possible.

It starts with reading labels -- no more hidden highs! but also keeping sugary foods out of easy reach.

That means no more cereal boxes on the counter or candy on your desk. If sweets have to be in the house, sequester them to a designated “out of sight area” or wrap it in foil if it’s in the fridge or freezer.

Having a game plan will also keep you on track. If you’re hungry and without good options, you’ll fall victim to garbage with sugar.

You have to be prepared and consistent.

You’ve got to outcook the food industry.

Meal planning is a necessary part of breaking your sugar addiction for good.

Now, you can take all these tips and run with them…

But if your brain chemistry and taste buds have been hijacked by the food industry (and it’s estimated 70% of us are affected!), you might want to consider a food rehab and sugar detox.

You have to stop blaming yourself (and also relying on your will, too).

You already know it’s so much more than that.

STOP the cravings, mood swings, and energy slumps FOR GOOD.

Reset your body’s neurotransmitters with this week’s meal plan.

Find out how delicious detoxing can be with foods like Roasted Butternut & Red Pepper Penne, Sweet Potato & Kale Sushi, Corn & Black Bean Cakes, & Miso Maple Sweet Potato Tacos.

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P.S. Give your body a chance to heal -- you got this!

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8 Ways to Kick a Sugar Addiction

Yesterday you learned how sugar is physically addictive and alters your brain chemistry.

That it’s NOT a matter of weak will. Modern foods are DESIGNED to send us straight to the bliss point, with hidden sugars keeping us hooked, hungry, craving, and crashing.

The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, most of which is hidden in non-sweet foods like canned veggies, hot sauce, and “crab” meat (just a few of the examples shared on yesterday’s post).

Even “healthy” foods have hidden sugars. For example, many yogurts have more sugar than a soda pop and Prego pasta sauce has MORE sugar per serving than Oreos!

A whopping 80% of packaged foods contain hidden sugar.

Finding all these hidden sugars is the first step -- keep reading labels!

(If you’re going to eat it, you should at least be aware of it)

Next, retrain your taste buds.

Sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top to make something palatable. Don’t mix it in.

Also use applesauce (great in oatmeal… and on toast!) when you can.

Pick condiments like mustard or hot sauce over ketchup.

More importantly, don’t use zero calorie sweeteners. You need to resensitize your taste buds to real, whole foods and stop feeding the “sweet” habit. (You shouldn’t have to sweeten your foods and drinks to get them down.)

Drinking mint tea, chewing mint gum, and brushing your teeth are a great way stop a sugar craving dead in its tracks. Feel the urge?? Go brush.

Try distracting yourself for 15 minutes. There’s always a chore to be done, right?

Above all: start making good choices consistently. One junky food buys you admission to the blood sugar roller coaster. Not having a plan in place or healthy foods on hand makes it 20x more likely that you’ll eat sugar-laden garbage and kickstart the addictive cycle.

Think about how great you’ll feel when you stop having cravings, mood swings (hanger!), headaches, and total energy slumps.

Worth it right?!

In tomorrow’s blog post I’m going to share the final *key component* for breaking sugar addiction and stopping food cravings.

If you’re READY to break your sugar addiction, check back here tomorrow.

But right now, I want you to make a commitment.

I want you to commit to using one of the strategies I shared in this post.

Will you make this commitment to yourself and your health?

If yes, leave a comment right here saying “I’m in!” and describe what you plan on doing.

Talk soon,

Lindsay

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