Overcome Overeating

OVERCOME

What comes to mind when you think of food?

What comes to mind for me are feelings of comfort, joy, family, and energy. How we view the food we eat, what we see it as being, impacts our whole attitude towards it. In my opinion, food is good! It is part of creation and provides nourishment, strength and even celebration. So therefore I often find myself asking “Why shouldn’t I indulge a little?” As soon as that thought crosses my mind, it’s as if I have already given myself permission to overeat without even realizing it.

Too often I have ordered an oversized, artery clogging, calorie-dense dessert after dinner (all for myself of course), knowing I probably shouldn’t but also telling myself “it’s okay because it’s a special occasion.” Or every time my mom or a family member serves me a heaping plate of food, “I have to eat it all or they will be offended,” I think to myself. Or that feeling of failure when I realize I just accidentally ate the whole bag of popcorn while watching Scandal. What about year after year of feeling regret following the holiday season because of weight gained from overindulging. Isn’t the purpose of Thanksgiving to stuff your face? No! Can you relate to these situations?

My excuses to overeat were becoming more of a habit. One day I just realized there would always be something to celebrate, someone offering me more food, a movie to watch, or a special event to attend. If we are being really honest with ourselves, we know that we often overeat those foods that AREN’T so good for us—I know this is true for me. I was undoing all of my hard work at the gym by overeating. I was tired of feeling so out of control and decided to overcome this consuming habit. Overeating doesn’t just destroy your physical progress, but actually increases body fat and results in negative health impacts like chronic diseases. My health and my life are more important than buttery popcorn, decadent desserts, and greasy fries. Is yours? I’m determined to start 2016 off with better habits and that includes overcoming overeating!

Why don’t I have more self-control?

I would ask myself this ALL THE TIME. I realized part of my overeating was because I wasn’t paying attention while I ate. I noticed I would often overeat if I had my dinner or snack while watching TV.  I was also more likely to mindlessly munch if I was stressed and rushing, because I would inhale my food instead of taking time to chew it properly.
Food addiction is another main reason it can be difficult to stop eating when we’re full and satisfied. If a diet includes many processed foods high in saturated fats, added sugars, and salt, the body becomes addicted. It begins to experience similar changes in the brain as drugs cause and dependency develops.

Restrictive dieting can also destroy any chance of self-control you might have. Labeling any foods as “off limits” usually leads to overeating later on, because we always want what we can’t have right? 😉 And the final blow to our lack of self-control is sabotage. Yes, our willpower is sneakily crushed by things like advertising, fad diets, convenience, social and cultural pressures. I mean, seriously, I get hungry just looking at Pinterest!

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How do I overcome overeating?

Everyday we make several decisions when it comes to what we put into our bodies. If I was going to overcome overeating and break the cycle, I had to implement some strategies. So here is what I came up with, what I continue to practice daily, and what I find works for me.

Yes, we were made to consume food, but food was never supposed to consume us. You can overcome overeating by addressing your mindset first. Reinforce your commitment to your health by immersing your mind and spirit in positive experiences, whether it be a book or self care practices (like a warm bath, getting a massage, speaking out positive affirmations). These things make you feel good about yourself and bring you confidence that overindulging in food will not.
Stop mindless eating by pausing before a meal to bring awareness and gratitude to what you are about to eat. Give your meal your full attention by not eating in front of the television or even at your desk at work. Break your food addictions by eating nutrient dense foods made with whole, unrefined ingredients. Foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and unrefined tubers/starches provide a higher nutrient value are not as calorie heavy as processed convenience foods. They are also generally higher in fiber and are more likely to fill you up at a lower calorie cost. While we should strive to eat healthier foods, if you’re REALLY craving something allow yourself to give in to that craving, but in moderation. Give yourself permission to have a little, otherwise you’ll binge on it later.
When it comes to societal sabotages, all you can do is learn to recognize them and develop healthy habits strong enough to overcome them. Change the channel when you see a food commercial (if it has a commercial, it’s probably bad for you), plan to leave half of your meal, check the menu in advance and plan to order a healthier dish, share your dessert, and don’t think it is OKAY to eat something you know is bad for you just because every one else is eating it.

The struggle to say “NO” to temptations may be painful in the moment but it’s just that- it’s momentary! Don’t trade healthy food for junk food. Don’t give up the fulfillment of a healthy life for a temporary moment.

A few more tips:
Make it inconvenient! Stash your unhealthy foods on a high shelf or behind a stack of heavy plates. Your less likely to eat it if it’s hard to get to.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind– Hide that candy dish that’s always sitting on your desk.
Eat slowly and drink water between bites, chew food thoroughly. It can take 12 to 20 minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain. Give your body time to process what you’re giving it.
Don’t Skip meals– Waiting more than 3 hours between meals will increases your chances of overeating at your next meal.

This holiday season, I believe that you can overcome overeating. I won’t lie to you and say it’s easy. It’s something I have to be mindful of often, but keeping these tips in mind I find myself overeating LESS often.  That’s what I strive for, progress not perfection!  Do not start 2016 off with resolutions that reflect failures from this year. End 2015 by defeating destructive behaviors like overeating. It will take a lot of work but be persistent in your efforts. Hardwork pays off.

xoxo,

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Find your Motivation this Fall

5 tips to finding your motivation this fall

Let’s keep it real, we all have seasons in our life where our health takes a backseat. Do you know the feeling? Your just so busy focusing on a million other things that your left with with no energy or motivation to think about eating healthy and working out…  You’re working late, getting ready for the holidays, it’s cold and rainy out, you’d rather watch football or stay in bed watching Netflix and eating cookie dough ice cream…  We all have these slumps and feel unmotivated at times.

 

We acknowledge that our jeans are tighter, our energy level is lower and our cravings are out of control, yet still just can’t seem to get that fire inside that will cause us to actually do something about it. I’m here to tell you it’s okay. It’s normal. It happens! But don’t let it happen for too long, okay?!

 

With baby steps you can get started on the road to positive change and get out of that slump.  Let’s discuss some ways to break out of the rut. These are tips that have helped me personally and I hope will be beneficial to you as well.

 

  1. Set Goals & make them S.M.A.R.T.

Without a goal, how do you know where you’re going or what you’re working towards? Choose just ONE short term and one long term goal you hope to achieve. These goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, results-focused, and time-bound.

For example, my long-term goal this year was to run a half-marathon in November. My short term goal was to begin running just once a week and work my way up to 4 times a week. Track your progress and make your goal visual (write it down or create a vision board).

 

  1. Find Your “WHY”

Ask yourself what the reason behind your goal is. Why is achieving a particular health & fitness goal important to you?  Why do you want to get out of this funk and get back into shape? What is the motivation behind wanting to change your life?  If you lack a strong connection to the reason why you’re doing something, you will lose motivation quickly.  You have to change your mind before you can change your life. When things become difficult, busy, or tiring, remembering your WHY will empower and inspire you to keep going.

 

  1. Get Support

Whether it’s your family, friends, or an accountability group of some kind, be sure to get support DAILY.  Lean into you support net to maintain motivation and stay on track. Celebrate your victories and lift each other up during difficulties.  Find a workout buddy and plan to meet at least once a week for a workout.  Get involved with a live or online support group to keep you accountable.  Check out local health centers or meetup groups too. Email me anytime or join my wellness club. I’m always willing to help as an accountability buddy because I know how much it has & still does help me.

 

  1. Make it Fun

If you don’t love it, you won’t stick with it! Find a way to make health and fitness lifestyle fun for you. This will make you more likely to stay motivated and reach your goals. Find out what works better for you: working out at home, in a gym, or in a class? Do you prefer exercises focused on stretching, strengthening or intense high-impact workouts?  Learn new ways to make your favorite recipes healthier, take more walks, you’re your bike, share your journey on social media… Whatever you choose to do, get creative and make healthy living FUN.

 

 

  1. Don’t Quit

Regardless of all of the tips and habits you will incorporate to help you keep the motivation burning, there will be times the wind will blow at you with such a great force that your fire may begin to diminish. The most important thing to remember is DO NOT QUIT.  It’s in the moments where you feel like quitting, that your usually about to have a breakthrough. If you slip up for a few days or a week, remind yourself it’s okay. Remember to be gentle with yourself and love yourself.  Get back up, continue to try again, and don’t quit. We all fail at one thing or another, what matters is that we learn from it and move forward. Don’t let a small bump in the road, keep you from continuing your journey to a healthy, fulfilling life.

5 motivation tips

I have now given you the tools to start building a healthy lifestyle. It is up to you to change your mindset and begin practicing healthy habits.  Remind yourself of all the benefits you stand to gain from achieving your goal. Realize there are seasons & slumps & bumps in the road where motivation comes and goes, but remind yourself that your motivation won’t go away permanently.  Commit to making your health and happiness a lifestyle.  Set goals, know your WHY, find your fitfam, make it fun and don’t quit! I believe in you. You can do this.

 

with love,

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