Counting Calories is Crap

I’ve tried to track it. I’ve counted calories, points and macros. I started out with success but I was never able to commit especially with eating out. I would always get frustrated and quit. And then the weight would return. It wasn’t until I started listening to my body that I found sustainable success.

I absolutely love The Life Coach School and Losing 100 Pounds with Phit-n-Phat podcasts. Once I started using the hunger scale, my weight loss journey changed. It’s so simple, yet brilliant. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you are satisfied. Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

If we only ate when we are hungry, then nobody would be fat. The problem is that we eat for so many other reasons than just hunger. Emotional eating makes us fat. Eating when we’re tired, bored, angry, sad, stressed, frustrated, and anxious are ways that we buffer and avoid our feelings. Had a bad day? Don’t want to deal with the current drama? Eat. We’re avoiding the situation. By doing this, we’re not only not dealing with our current emotions, we’re also bingeing which will create shame, more frustration, more anxiety, and more sadness. Nothing new here folks. So why do we do it?

Because it’s uncomfortable. We get a temporary release by eating. Our brain doesn’t want to deal with the drama. It wants to avoid pain and seek pleasure. What’s easy and pleasurable? Food. We’ve trained ourselves to eat when we want to avoid. So any time there is any conflict, what does our brain want to do? Eat. We’ve conditioned ourselves to eat instead of feel. So how do we get out of this cycle?

We need to recognize that we do it. We need to journal about the thoughts and feelings we’re having that make us run to the fridge and pantry. By writing down these thoughts we can get awareness. With awareness, we can start to make better choices. I’ve journaled a lot and have discovered that my late night snacking is triggered by feeling tired. Now I know that if I’m starting to think about food and want to see what goodies are around that I need to take my ass to bed. I used to binge on days that I had off when nobody else was home. Through journaling I realized that I was bored. Now I know that when I’m home and starting to look through the fridge, I need to find something productive to do. Does it work every time? Nope. But I catch myself more times than not.

I was able to lose my last 30 lbs by listening to my body. I did the mindset work to catch those bullshit thoughts and learned to feel them versus eating them. I learned that my body is pretty fucking smart and will tell me when it wants nourishment. I learned that my brain can be an asshole and wants to be entertained with food.

It took a while to figure out my -2/2 on the hunger scale. I made plenty of mistakes eating over my 2 and eating before my -2. But with anything that’s new, you only learn by doing and failing. Now I know that if I’m starting to play with my food, looking for those last few good bites, I’m at my 2. I know that when my stomach starts to gurgle, I’m getting close to my -2. My best advice is to eat without distractions. No phone, no laptop, no TV. Sit your butt down at a table and eat. Fully enjoy your meal. This allows your brain to focus on one thing and it will be better able to distinguish what your body is telling it. You’ll be able to notice the subtleties of your hunger scale.

I’ve compiled this list from a few different sources and personalized it for me.

What I love most about this is that I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to worry about the calorie count of the burger I want off the menu, my body will tell me when it’s had enough. I don’t have to worry about how many points my burger is. I don’t have to worry about the portion size. My stomach will tell me the correct amount to eat. I don’t have to worry about the macro makeup. My body is really smart and knows what nutrients it needs, so I listen to it instead of a carb counting app.

Give it a try. Start keeping a food log and journal about your day. You will notice patterns and triggers. Get the awareness you need to start working on your thoughts. Then you can focus on your hunger scale. Learn what your -2/2 feels like. Be patient with yourself. You’ll figure it out through trial and error. Don’t quit on yourself. This works! For thousands of years our ancestors did not need to count this or that to figure out how much to eat. We don’t need to either.

All right y’all. I hope you have a freaking amazing day. Until next time.

The F*ck it Diet

I like to take staycations. You know what they are? Instead of going somewhere, you stay home. I like to do this to take some time to relax, get some chores done around the house, and enjoy time with my family. I had the plan of staying focused with my food log, journaling, keeping my weight maintained and most importantly enjoying this time off.

It’s going to be a busy week with appointments, chores, baseball games (my grandson’s first ❤️), family get togethers, and my daughter’s wedding Saturday. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it all until Tuesday. That’s right, second day in. WTF!

I was reading a new book and all of my old BS food thoughts came roaring back. So this blog is going to be a book review and brain dump all rolled into one. At times it may seem like I’m blaming the book on my actions. Trust me, I’m not. The one thing that I do know for sure, beyond a doubt, is that only my thoughts and feelings can cause my actions. I’m just going to explain how I let my thoughts go there and didn’t check myself or do the model to correct this old thinking and behavior. (If you don’t know what the model is, check out The Life Coach School podcast. Brooke Castillo is flipping brilliant!)

The book I read was The F*ck it Diet: Eating should be Easy by Caroline Dooner. I found it on Amazon and the title hooked me. Not only because fuck is my favorite word, but who doesn’t want to read how eating should be easy. The book is 281 pages. Dooner is funny and very relatable for any chronic yo-yo dieter.

The book is broken down into two parts. The first part explains why diets fail. “The irony is that restriction and dieting cause a very real food addiction that cannot be cured with more dieting and restriction. We are physiologically and psychologically wired to be food addicts when our bodies sense there isn’t ample food. It’s chemical and hormonal and completely inescapable (pg 8).” Sounds promising, right? When we want to lose weight by dieting, we are setting ourselves up for failure. All of us yo-yo dieters know this to be true, yet we continually perpetuate the cycle.

The second part goes into the “how.” She lists five tools that will help you get out of the diet mentality and start changing your relationship with food:

  • Allow Food: “You need to allow all food, whenever you are hungry, until what is guiding your food intake is your body, intuition, and desire, and not the famine response and your scared, hungry mind (pg 54).”
  • Lie Down: “Because rest breeds sustainable productivity and creativity. We need those times to lie fallow. We cannot live in a perpetual harvest (pg 143).”
  • Breathe and Feel: “Set a timer for five minutes and lie down. Your only task for these five minutes is to feel the most intense sensation in your body, and breathe into it (pg 179).” Basically, we need to take the time to feel our emotions instead of just ignoring or reacting to them.
  • The Brain Dump: “writing exercise will help you see what is really going on underneath the surface. It will give you more awareness. And awareness is always the first step (pg 195).”
  • The Belief Release: Another writing exercise that helps uncover negative or limiting beliefs that are blocking you from achieving your goals. “This isn’t about what you write. This is about what the writing allows you to feel (pg 225).”

I love this book! I already practice the last three tools so I’m down with what she has to say. What Dooner says about rest resonates with me because I know that I push myself too much and can easily feel burned out. She also gives numerous exercises to practice that will help you with this process. Her first tool is what conjured up all my food demon thoughts.

I automatically felt resistance when I read that she recommended allowing all food whenever. My mind completely skipped over the last part about being guided by your body, intuition and desire. Reading that I can eat whatever and whenever, my subconscious lizard brain went into overdrive. It started telling me that what I had been doing was unnecessary, restrictive,and harmful. I needed to quit these new habits and go eat, NOW!

So Tuesday I ate a lot. No food log. No 24 hour plan. No IF. No eating -2 to +2. No LCHF. No worrying about water intake. Cereal, 2 BLT sandwiches, granola bar, yogurt with granola, hot dog, some nachos. But I did top it off with a healthy salad that I wasn’t even hungry for. All my old bs thoughts rearing their ugly heads. I knew what I was doing. It wasn’t an unconscious storm eat. I made the choice to say “Fuck it” today. I want to eat whatever I want, whatever sounds good. I don’t care if I’m physically hungry, if I want it, I’m going to eat it. My subconscious brain was screaming Donner says it’s ok to eat, so eat. I even thought so what? I’m currently at the bottom of my weight range. It won’t matter if I gain a couple of pounds. I thought about how my dress for the wedding is a little loose so it won’t matter if I get a little bloated.

By Tuesday night, I finished the book and looked back at my day. I felt like shit. Bloated, shameful, resentful to name a few emotions. I told myself that today’s tantrum is over. I didn’t beat myself up. I didn’t call myself names. I realized that I had been neglecting my thought work. I have not been tending my garden and pulling out those old weedy thoughts. I’ve gotten lax about my journaling and got cocky thinking that I had this all nailed down.

So it’s Wednesday afternoon, I made my 24 hour plan, wrote in my food log, started back my IF, lunch was wedge style BLT (back to LCHF), doing the brain dump and getting ready to go for a walk. Lesson learned. Consistency, patience, and persistence. I’m not restricted. I’m eating in a way that fuels my body without feeding my emotions. Will I ever eat off plan again? Probably. Will I ever eat something loaded with sugar? You bet! Will I be able to recognize the difference between emotional and physical hunger? Yes! Why? Commitment. I’m committed to myself, to my desires, to my health, to my life!

Go read this book. Do the exercises. Be prepared for those demon food thoughts to come up. Journal.

Time for that walk. Plan on dancing my ass off Saturday night. Need to burn off this excess sugar to get my knees feeling right again.

Until next time. Have a flipping amazing day!

My Sunday Reflection

I had a good week!

✅ Maintaining my weight

✅ Over 80% on plan

✅ Working my new mini habits

✅ Found a new dress for rehearsal dinner Friday for $20! 🎉🎊🙌

Listened to a podcast about writing a letter to my future self and it suggested that if that’s difficult start by writing a letter to my past self.

That seemed a lot easier because let me tell you I started crying like a baby while driving on the highway going to work. It was very easy for me to think of what I wanted to tell my past self. Full of gratitude!! I want to thank her for:

  • Trying one more time to lose weight.
  • Not giving up when others 💩 on what she was doing.
  • Not giving up on the days it seemed fruitless (pun intended, I eat LCHF).
  • Continuing to educate herself to learn more.
  • Not losing sight of the real prize.
  • Getting out of her comfort zone and putting herself out there.
  • Trying something different.
  • Experimenting until she found the sweet spot.
  • NOT FUCKING QUITTING!!!

Note to future self: Your amazeballs!

I’m not really sure what my 6 month, 1 year, or 5 year goals are yet. I’ll keep maintaining my weight, educating myself, getting out there and chase whatever dream suits me, and I do know that I’ll figure it out.

What would your letter say to your past or future self? It’s a good exercise to practice.

All right y’all go out and git after it. Have a freaking amazing day. Until next time.

My Best Tip to Drink Your Water

We all know that drinking water is good for us. We’ve heard that it helps with weight loss, skin elasticity, flushing toxins out of our cells, bowel movements, blah, blah, blah. Well, sorry to say that all of that stuff is true. Plus it does so much more.

So what do you do if you don’t like the taste of water? You can either suck it up, put on your big girl panties and just do it because you know you should or you can try my hack.

Buy a water infuser bottle. You can get them anywhere and it’s a great way to get your water down.

I just bought this Infusion Pro 32oz to replace my broken one. It’s bottom loading so the fruit stays submerged longer.

You fill the center with whatever fruit or herb you like. Let it sit and flavor the water. Berries require longer to infuse, however lemon, lime, orange and cucumber are quicker. I haven’t tried herbs in mine, so I’m not sure how long you’d want to let that sit before drinking. I’ve read that letting the fruit soak longer than 4 hours may lead to the fruit breaking down and create “floaties.” Once you remove the fruit, it can keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Some will say that they add Crystal Light, Mio, or something of the like to get their water down. Imho, I think this just adds more toxins and chemicals to your body. If you use fruit and herbs, you’re creating flavored water and getting the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the fruit. Win-win. Plus you can eat the fruit once you drink the water. I don’t recommend reusing the fruit because the flavor will be very diluted and the fruit will start to disintegrate.

Another easy hack for doing this, buy frozen fruit. You don’t have to worry about spoilage. Frozen fruit is flash frozen right after picking so they are allowed to fully ripen before being picked which means better nutrients from the fruit.

There are numerous variations you can create. If you’re feeling stuck or unsure check out Taste of Home for suggestions. They list 23 different ideas.

Hope this helps. Now go drink your water!

Until next time. Have a fabulous day!

Mini Habits for Weight Loss by Stephen Guise

I heard about this book on a podcast and decided to check it out. I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to read it since I already got to my goal weight but I’m glad that I did. You can check it out on Amazon Mini Habits for Weight Loss

If you’re new to starting your weight loss journey or stuck, this is a good place to start. The first half of the book discusses what’s wrong with the food industry, myths about what foods we should and/or shouldn’t be eating, effects of yo-yo dieting, and why diets don’t work.

There’s a lot of good little nuggets in here that explain why we need to make a lifestyle change instead of diet:

  • Obesity didn’t skyrocket when carbs and fats were introduced; it skyrocketed when these new kinds of ultra-processed carbs and fats were introduced. Pg 55
  • If we eat good food to satiety, we can lose weight, feel satisfied, and not have to deal with the issues from overeating. Pg 56
  • Those who think they need results in order to motivate themselves to action have it exactly backwards. Pg 99

The second half of the book explains mini habits and how to implement them into your life. Mini habits are small forced actions that are designed start positive actions to achieve your goals and give you momentum to create good healthy habits. Guise uses the example of doing one push up a day. Who can’t do just one push up a day? That was his baseline. If he did more, great. But if he only did one, then he successfully completed his mini habit.

The book also discusses strategies for dealing with food cravings, dining out, snacking, feelings of resistance, and cooking at home.

My favorite advice he gives is suggesting that when you grocery shop, you buy your usual items except one. This one exception he recommends up leveling to a healthier option. So instead of buying a candy bar, you could buy dark chocolate or instead of regular potato chips, you get baked chips. Then once you’re comfortable with this change, you up level another item. I love this. We always want to go all out, balls to the wall and then wonder why we give up two weeks in.

One thing that I’m taking away from this book and will be implementing is what Guise calls Rolling for Mini Habits. On a piece of paper you write the numbers one through six. Next to each number you write out one mini activity to complete. You roll the dice to see which activity you do that day, then roll it again to see how many reps you need to do. Here’s my lists that I’m going to start trying.

I want to continue trying to tone up but I chronically quit. So I made my list with very easy exercises that will take me 30 secs at most to complete. If I do more, awesome! If I just do the minimum, perfect. I’m also going to try to apply this to housework. I always clean the kitchen before leaving the house, but the other areas are neglected. Now obviously I won’t vacuum the living room two days in a row, I’ll pick another item on the list until all six items are completed.

This book reminds me of The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy but focused on weight loss and healthy eating habits. So like I said before, if you’re looking to start your journey, this a good starting point.

Until next time. Hope y’all have flipping fabulous day!

My Sunday Reflection

Going through my journal this week, thinking I did ok. Had some good and bad days. Attitude was a problem for me this week. I was feeling, not sorry for myself, but maybe more, crabby and tired. I worked 10 out of the 11 days and there is construction being done down the street from our house. The crew starts at 7:00 am. I’m a second shifter so I don’t go to bed until about 2:00 am. So nothing horrible, but I get bitchy pretty easy without sleep.

Then I found out that my sister and her family had to put their dog down. She had been ill for a while and they made the choice to send her to doggy heaven.

I feel for them. It’s so hard to lose a pet. Pets give so much, expecting nothing in return. I have a dog and two cats and they are my fur babies. I have no children of my own so they are my children. I dread the day I have to say goodbye to one of them. So hearing this news gave me an attitude shift and new perspective. I found this quote.

So I am choosing to be grateful today. I have an amazing family, a job I love and coworkers I adore. God has blessed my life in so many countless ways.

This all goes back to my thoughts. Shifting my thoughts will change my feelings and that changes my actions and results. I am going to set myself up for success this week. Today is the start of a new week and going to really work on focusing on the positive. Today I get to go out with my stepdaughter to celebrate her upcoming wedding. Later tonight I will get my meal prep done to make this week easier.

Hope y’all have an amazing day. Until next time.

Changing my negative thoughts

I need this tattooed on my arm so I can quickly and constantly refer to this quote.

I am judgmental. This is a good and bad thing. In work and business this is a trait that is a plus. However, when it comes to personal relationships, not so much.

Do you have that one person in your life that does that one thing that drives you crazy? I do. And I hate that I let it get to me. I’m a smart person. I know that’s how they are. I know that they’ll never change. I know that it drives me crazy because they are not following my manual for their behavior. I know that it’s my thoughts about this person that are making me feel this way.

Why then do I let it get to me? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I’m hoping by writing this and doing a brain dump, I will gain some insight and perspective.

I was looking online to see what others say about being judgmental and came across this quote by Pema Chodron. I’ve seen it before, but when I saw it again I knew that was what I needed to see.

I love this person that drives me crazy. I couldn’t imagine my life without them. So if I love them so much, shouldn’t that automatically include unconditional love? Why do I feel that I have the right to judge them? Shouldn’t I be accepting of all their characteristics? Lord knows that I have my flaws and I do experience unconditional love from people in my life. I want to be able to do this too. Don’t get me wrong, there are people in my life that I do love unconditionally, but I need to add this person to that list.

What is it about this one relationship that I can’t make that connection? I used to think that I was harder on them because I wanted more for them. I wanted them to have it all because I knew they could do better. I also thought that what I was getting from this person was less than what I was putting into the relationship. Uh oh. There it is. Lightbulb moment. I think this is the one that’s causing the problem.

Duh!! That’s it. I’m judging them based on what I perceive them putting into the relationship. I feel like they are not giving back as much as I put in. I feel taken advantage of for the things I do for them. I want my effort recognized. I want appreciation for what I do. That’s so selfish (another of my traits). I should be doing the things I do because I want to do them, not for the accolades I think I should get. You don’t give in order to receive. You give because that’s what you want to do. It’s not their behavior that’s the problem, it’s my expectation of their behavior.

I saw this quote by Dandemis “Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.” I think that fits perfectly with what I just figured out. I was thinking they were wrong for not recognizing and appreciating me. When really I am wrong in thinking this way.

I feel so much lighter right now. Almost relieved. I’m such an asshole. Blaming this person for my feelings. At least now I see where I can improve my thoughts which will change my feelings. Because really, we are all responsible for our own feelings. By letting others control how we feel, we give away our power. I love being in control (another flaw). And that’s probably why it drove me crazy, I was letting their actions be responsible for my feelings. I was giving away my power. Now I can see the thought error, take back my power, create the feelings I want, and create the relationship I want to have with this person. Brain dump success!

All right kids. Gotta get ready for work. I hope my realization will help you uncover your own negative thoughts that are affecting your relationships.

Hope y’all have a freaking amazing day. I know I will now. Until next time.

Take the time to choose your response.

I came across this quote today and I absolutely love it. Last night I was frustrated and had a thought about going to the pantry. I told myself that I don’t do that anymore. I took the space to choose my response.

I sat on the couch and grabbed my journal. I took 2 minutes and wrote out my thoughts. Felt relief after and craving for junk food gone.

Are you taking that space to choose your response?

Have a great night. Until next time.

My Sunday Reflection

Every Sunday I go over my week to see what I got right, where I need improvement, and where I want to go next.

I did overeat this week, but I didn’t let it derail me. In fact, I enjoyed the hell out of it. This helps keep me accountable the rest of the week and let’s me learn that I can enjoy my food and get back on plan. I don’t need to fear food. I know that I can count on myself to do what I say I’m going to do.

Friday was the hardest day for me. I usually eat dinner around 7:00 pm every night and then don’t eat the rest of the night. But Friday I was hungry again by 9:00. Couldn’t figure out why. I ate my salad and had my yogurt. Thought maybe it was boredom setting in. I went over my food logs for the week and realized that I didn’t plan enough fat or protein for dinner.

By keeping a food log I was able to see what was different. I didn’t freak out. I just fixed the problem, Saturday had plenty of fat and protein planned. Added bonus, I didn’t break my protocol of not eating after 8:00 pm. I went to bed hungry and let my body feed off some of that extra fat that won’t go away.

Data is everything. I record my food to help me. If the weight is creeping up, I have data. If the weight is stagnant, I have data. If the weight is dropping, I have data. If I feel bloated, I have data. If I feel tired, I have data. If I can’t think of what I want to meal prep, I have data. This cuts out the mental crap we tell ourselves, “I don’t know why”, “I think I did everything right”, “ I don’t know what to do.” You have the data right there to figure this crap out.

Write this stuff down! Get it out of your head and onto paper. It takes less than 5 minutes to create your 24 hour plan. You have 5 minutes! If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, unload your brain. Give yourself 5 to 10 minutes of writing whatever pops into your head. You’ll feel lighter after! And it’s easier to call bullshit on yourself when you see your thoughts written down.

Hope y’all have a flipping amazing day! Until next time.

Working on something new: Subconscious Programming

I listened to a YouTube video about 6 months ago. Dr Wayne Dyer talks about what to do 5 minutes before you go to sleep. Click this link to watch. It’s short, just over 6 minutes, and he talks about programming your subconscious mind to focus on positive things while you’re sleeping.

I absolutely love this! It makes so much sense. If you focus on the negative while drifting off to sleep, that’s all your subconscious will be focusing on for the next 6 to 8 hours. That’s horrible. There’s enough negative bullshit in the world already. Why not try to put a positive spin on your thoughts? Let your subconscious ruminate and find all the blessings in your life for those sleeping hours.

Had to pick this pic! Reminds me of my Little Boo Butt when she was a kitten.

I’ve been really trying to change my outlook. I’ve quit watching the news, quit listening to murder mystery podcasts, and only reading and listening to positive things. So I thought I’d give this a try.

Every night before I go to sleep I tell my subconscious to do whatever it needs to do to keep me fit & fabulous until I’m 100 years old and then if it’s got any time left over I need it to remove the sagging skin and excess fat still hanging on 🤗. Can’t hurt right?

Then while I drift off to sleep I repeat a few phrases over and over. For a while, I repeated the sentence, “ I am what and who I want to be.” I would then think of words that started with each letter in what and who. For example: I am Wealthy, Happy, Abundant, Thoughtful, Wise, Healthy, Optimistic.

I recently changed my sentence to “I am thankful” and I am thoughtful, healthy, abundant, nice, kind, fortunate, unique, and loved. The last few nights I’ve actually tried to think of as many words as possible to describe how I want to feel before moving on to the next letter.

I have definitely noticed a change. I wake up in the morning feeling lighter. Don’t know how to really describe it. I see more possibilities now where as before I dreaded what might be. I highly recommend giving this a try. What do you have to lose?

Until next time y’all. Have a flipping amazing day!