Wednesday, March 30, 2016
“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”- Finnick Odair
I really enjoyed "The Hunger Games" movies, and the quote that grabbed me the most was made by Finnick Odair, who is, along with Katniss Everdeen, a "Victor-veteran-from-the-Hunger-Games-turned-rebel-freedom-fighter."
Both of these characters fall into the category of "reluctant heroes" in that they didn't get to CHOOSE the challenges they are facing, but rise in the midst of those challenges to face them head on and to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, in order to attain the freedom they desire from the clutches of the oppressive Capital.
In one scene, Katniss and Finnick have an exchange where Katniss is asking Finnick how he manages to go on amidst the despair of knowing that the love of his life is still in the grips of President Snow, the evil dictator of the Capital. In his answer, he says to her that "it takes ten times as long to put yourself back together is it does to fall apart."
This struck a chord with me, as on my health journey it takes constant vigilant effort to continue to make wise decisions and to maintain what I have worked so hard to create with my health. I know the truth of these words, in that if a few poor decisions begin to snowball I can rapidly tumble down a hill and undo very quickly the progress I have made, and it takes ten times more effort to pull myself back from the brink than it would have had I not chosen to go over the brink in the first place.
It is never too late to become the person we "might have" been, however, and I am not afraid of a little hard work and dedication. What I am committed to improving is my actions. I feel sometimes like a reluctant hero - to myself.
I didn't choose my body, I didn't choose my genes, and I know that I will always put on excess weight again if I live "beyond my means" as regards food. Excess intake and excess calories and decreased activity will ALWAYS result in weight gain for me, and this, again, is not something I chose but it IS the only body I have and I can either honor its limitations and live the healthy life I want to live DESPITE those challenges, OR I can tumble down the hill and kiss my health goodbye.
Katniss is driven by the love she has for her family and the love she has for Peeta (who is also in the custody of the evil Capital) to do what needs to be done, to rise to the challenges of the situation, and to fight for what she believes in even though at times she is not quite sure herself what is so special about her in particular which has thrust her into the position of "heroine."
Katniss didn't choose her circumstances but she does choose how to respond.
I didn't choose to have the body that I have, I didn't choose my genetic profile, but I DO decide what to DO with it. I DO decide which direction my life is going and what ACTIONS I will take to achieve the purpose I am called to. I am choosing freedom in the midst of my circumstances, because I make the decision what to do next as regards my health. And I will fight for what I have accomplished, I will not back down. If temporary setbacks come I will continue to ACT in a manner which will move me forward in my health.
Today. Right now. This moment.
Are you struggling with unhealthy habits, some of which you may not even be able to identify because you feel so hopeless that you can make any significant changes and don't even know where to begin? I have news for you. It is NEVER too late to begin. But beginning IS key, not simply "planning to" or "hoping to" or "intending to". Real change comes when you BEGIN to really change. Do you need help with that? I am a FREE C.O.P.E Certified Take Shape For Life Health Coach and I have a passion for helping people ACTUALLY begin. I can help you turn your intentions and your hopes into REAL, meaningful and lasting change, but I need YOUR help to help YOU. Namely, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's get the ball rolling. Today. This moment. Just do it! I won't tell you to kill yourself at the gym. I won't have you shopping and planning and preparing food for hours every day or even every week. I won't have you counting calories, carbs, fat or fiber. I won't have you popping pills or getting injections or going for surgery or seeking hypnotherapy. I won't have you "cleansing" your body with needless products built on hype with no real evidence they are doing anything other than what your body does normally with it's liver and kidneys and colon. Our program is SUPER simple and can be done with crazy busy lives and relatively little planning. Let's focus on getting YOU healthy.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
What are YOUR plans for Easter? We are having my sister and her son, and my Dad and his wife over tomorrow for a Healthy Easter Lunch! It will comprise of a rack of lamb, a healthy greek salad, and lots of LOVE!
I find that holidays are one of the most precarious times for our plans, because usually we have spent a lifetime celebrating with food so that we attach sentimental meaning to the food ITSELF.
Sometimes even the THOUGHT of NOT "being able to have" that ultra-special dish that we have attached so much meaning to feels akin to ripping the holiday right out of our hearts! Seriously! I know! I have felt that way in the past!
The old me would think "well its just not Christmas without Mom's 'Mississippi Mud' special recipe," or "the Petit Fours" that came yearly from The Swiss Colony" every year and maintained a permanent, if shrinking nightly, presence on a tray for the WEEK up to Christmas!
Now it's Easter, or Passover! So many of our childhood memories and even early family memories are centered around the FOOD. And I'm here to tell you that is NOT necessarily a BAD thing, but being on our program allows us to look at it from a BALANCED perspective.
There are TWO strategies that I recommend for the holidays. The first one, which no one EVER regrets in hindsight, is remaining ON your chosen EATING PLAN. Remember, you are doing yourself, your health, and your body a FAVOR by treating it with the upmost respect, and if you have great momentum in the program you are PROTECTING that momentum by CHOOSING to remain on plan. There are many ways to do this, even if you are hosting a celebration at your home, and especially if you are bringing a dish to someone else's home. How? Well, I always always ALWAYS ask if I can bring a salad. A big, beautiful salad that I prepare with extra CARE and consideration, almost as a centerpiece and not an afterthought. Tomorrow I will make a big beautiful GREEK salad, and it will include romaine lettuce, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, sliced, red onion sliced very thin, tomatoes and diced cucumbers. I will prepare this salad and I will wait to "toss" it with the dressing until right before serving it. I take my portion just in advance of "tossing it" and THEN I put the kalamata olives and feta cheese cubes and dressing in the salad bowl and toss it. That way I can control my own salad dressing, or in the case of tomorrow where we are having lamb, I can simply drizzle some lemon juice or a few spritzes of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper over mine because my healthy fat will be included with my serving of LAMB.
HOLIDAYS and RESTAURANTS are the only time I recommend NOT weighing the lean portion of the lean and green on a food scale. It is a bit awkward pulling out even a portable food scale at a restaurant or someone else's house, but I am having our meal at MY house so I can slip my portion on a food scale just before putting it on my plate. No problema.
So that is a scenario of how to remain ON PLAN 100% for the Easter Celebration tomorrow with family.
The next scenario is the "Allow for imperfection" scenario, and it really involves being OKAY with having a ZERO NET loss for the week but including some traditional fare in the celebration. In this scenario you keep your choices healthy, but not necessarily spot on if you know what I mean. This scenario is NOT a "free-for-all" but a decision to deliberately and MINDFULLY enjoy the Celebration meal with no limitations on WHAT you are eating. ALWAYS be mindful of the quantity, however, If you choose to have dessert, then have a very VERY small piece. If you choose to have a glass of wine, have A glass of wine. Choose carefully because you have to be able to "live with" whatever you end up eating.
Whatever you do, I recommend not turning it into a "free-for-all" with the thought of "Oh I'll Just Start Again Tomorrow". Giving up control altogether will only strengthen the "impulse" muscle and weaken your self-control muscle. And the one we USE gets STRONGER. Guaranteed.
So choose wisely, there is no "right" way, there is only "your" way.
Rinse and Repeat!
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
A Similarity Between the Five Stages of Grief and the Emotions of Getting Healthy
DENIAL-I don't have a problem. I'll start tomorrow. I'll start after the party next week. I'll start after my birthday. I'm not really THAT big. I'm not getting on a scale. I'm not going in my closet. I'm fine. I don't have any "health" issues.
ANGER-I'm so angry I have to deal with this every day! "Normal" people don't have to watch every single little thing that goes into their mouth! Why do I have to do this? I'm sick of it! Why can't I eat "yummy" things? Other people get to eat yummy things all the time! I hate water.
BARGAINING-How 'bout if I "sort-of" do the program. I don't REALLY have to weigh and measure my Lean and Green, what does it really matter? Maybe I'll give up my soda. I'll eat a snack instead of a meal. I'm not hungry so I'll skip my last meal. I'll just go to the _____________ (insert: Dinner Party, Wedding Reception, Buffet, Girls Bunco Night, Block Party, Picnic) and hope there is something there for my Lean and Green, and if not I'll deal with it later or just eat what they serve so I don't have to feel awkward. I'll have 2 bars in a day because I exercised so much. It's just a little taste. How 'bout if I just have this and get right back on track tomorrow. It's such a small piece. I know I can get this 10 pounds off super-fast so I'm just going to enjoy myself today. I'm sure it doesn't really matter that I don't count my condiments.
DEPRESSION-I can't believe I did that. I'll never lose this weight. I'll be fat my whole life, I may as well deal with that fact. I can't understand how I got this way. Why am I this big? What did I do to deserve this? I can't see a way out. Why me? I'll never do this. I'm hopeless.
ACCEPTANCE-I will do the program as written, and enjoy the success that I deserve and that so many people who have stuck to this program are enjoying every day. I will do this. I can do this. I am doing this.
I think the emotions we go through, although unique to us, are indicative of the same pattern in the 5 stages of grief. After all, we are "losing" something. We are losing our previous relationship with food. At the beginning of our journey, or even before it, we have been utilizing food in an improper way for so long it really feels like we are losing our best friend. We eat when we are sad, tired, depressed, happy, bored, you name it! Some of us have had a dysfunctional relationship with food our whole lives. We have gotten "used" to going through life as an overweight or obese person.
The fat has been a friend, just as food has been a friend. It has made decisions for us. It has dictated what we wear, where we go, whether we sit in a booth or a regular table, what rides we go on Disneyland, whether we can go through the turnstiles at Disneyland or have to go through the gate, how many seats we need to buy on an airplane (you know your fat is like a person to you if you need to buy an extra seat for it...what an appropriate analogy). Our fat tells us whether or not we can go to the beach or wear a bathing suit (NOT!), what section of what store we can buy our clothes in. Our fat dictates whether or not we can buy life insurance, or health insurance, and eventually, our fat dictates when we die. Many of the adult diseases that become fatal are more likely to happen to obese people. Diabetes. Heart disease, and certain cancers are closely tied to weight. So our fat dictates how and when we will die. It may be our friend or our closest companion for years, but it is a treacherous one with your ruin in mind. Get rid of it. It's not worth keeping. Some of us are as comfortable with our fat, and unwilling to get rid of it, as someone in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship. Our identities are so wrapped up in us being fat, we can't see life without it.
Please, please, do this for you. Do it for your health. Remember that you are not "losing" your relationship with food, you are CHANGING it. You will be learning healthy habits and falling in love with healthy foods, and your outsides will reflect this change as time passes! You are not losing YOU. Just imagine what NEW dreams we can dream for ourselves and our lives when we finally get a handle on getting healthy?