Saturday, May 30, 2009

Get Comfortable in Your Skin

No it isn't me urging You to run out and join a nudist colony .... Although that could be interesting...but let's not go there...

What I'm really trying to say is to accept yourself and to strive to be the best YOU that you can be.

Not better than anyone else.

Not THE best.

YOUR best.

We deserve to Stop comparing ourselves to others. The nature of comparison is that someone comes off as worse, or not as good as the other. I know for myself, when I compare myself to someone else, it is usually just a way to put myself down! So comparisons can never lift both people up and if I usually feel worse as a result, then I think it is clear what I have to do--stop!

Instead of comparisons how about we look at ourselves and others with compassion. We may not look exactly the way we want yet, or have our perfect health yet...but we can and will get there.

And we'll get there more quickly if we love ourselves through the process rather than beating ourselves up for what we have done in the past.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Weight Loss is Possible When You Change Your Thoughts

If you are keeping your thoughts on the positive...on the possibility of health...then you can achieve a healthy weight.

It doesn't matter what you weigh now.

It doesn't matter if you have not had success in the past.

It doesn't matter how big (or small) your parents are.

It is all in your hands...well, really, it is in your mind! Point is, it is in your control.

Be aware of your often are you berating yourself for eating something you "shouldn't"? How often do you speak negatively about your body--your size or your physical condition?

Become conscious of your thoughts and ask yourself, is this what I want to have occur in my life? Do I want to continue being overweight, out of shape or to constantly have cravings for foods that are not the best for my body?

If the answer is "NO!" then you can begin to work on changing your thinking. Focus on what you DO want. Repeat that over and over. I suggest you focus on the health aspect of it rather than a specific pound goal...

Instill this new thought into your will take lots of repetition. You didn't get the negative thought patterns in just one try! You are planting new thoughts that will overtake these old consistent...and patient with yourself and you will have success!

To your health! You deserve it! You can achieve it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer BBQs and Picnic Challenges Begin

To all my fellow Americans--I hope you had a glorious Memorial Day weekend and spent it with family, friends. For those of you outside the USA, Memorial Day is a day for us to remember our countrymen and women who have died to let us be free.

In addition to remembering these heroes, Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the beginning of summer and we tend to have barbecues and picnics.

Wondering how you all did with this first (of many to come) celebration.

Here we had rain--downpours actually--for most of the weekend so my grilling plans had to be put on hold! Oh well!

I enjoyed some popcorn and a of my favorite treats! I am so pleased with the way my mind is happy with less quantity than it used to demand...and how my cravings are gone.

Whether you are grilling or picnic-ing, remember to keep your mind focused on your successes and the possibility for a healthy life. Enjoy the people you are with. Have a small bite of everything you want...and then if you still want more, go ahead...just be conscious about your choices.

Being conscious about what you are putting in your mouth is one step--but don't beat yourself up if you eat more than you "should"...that is why starting with your mindset and loving yourself is even more important than what (or how much) you put in your mouth!

You are perfect--just the way you are! And you are getting better and healthier every single day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stevia update from Dr Linda

My friend and health coach, Dr. Linda Larson published a very interesting post about stevia in her blog this week.

I love using gives sweetness without calories and is all natural...but she taught me something to look out for that I hadn't realized.

Be sure to read Dr. Linda's blog--Wellness Tips From Dr. Linda-- she is one of the most brilliant people I know...and a great person...very giving...her desire for us to all be our healthiest is so genuine. She has really helped me on my journey!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

See Yourself As You Want to Be

I'm currently reading a book written in 1954 titled "TNT The Power Within You" has a lot of the same teachings that I have gotten from Louise Hay, Abraham-Hicks, Bob Proctor and other fantastic teachers of the Law of Attraction.

I love the language that the author, Claude Bristol uses...he was a psychologist and former newspaperman...a very observant guy...and he teaches how we can use the power of our minds, of the subconscious to achieve anything we want.

I have been using these principles...and that is how I have lost 120lbs, so I know they work...I'd like to share some of his words with you.

See yourself as you want to be!

Look in the mirror. Size yourself up. Are you the man or woman you want to be? If not, gie yourself the suggestions that can help make you what you desire. See a mental picture of how you would like to appear to others....Superimpose this mental picture upon the actual image of yourself before you. See the changes you must bring about in yourself, as though they had already occurred! Repeat this visualization day after day,night after night.

If others criticize you or don't believe you are capable of doing what you want to do...don't accept their suggestions!...Maintain your belief in yourself! If you lose this, you lose everything. All success, big or small starts with faith in self and faith in the creative power within. You must have it, and you must retain it--to go from where you are to where you want to be!

Say to yourself: "Each day I am going to improve and eventually I will remove the faults I discover in myself. Each day I am going to attain greater control of my mind and emotions. Each day I am going to overcome more of my fears and worries and other destructive thoughts. Each day I am develping greater health, happiness and prosperity. Each day I am going to find finer opportunities for serving others an the doing of worthwhile things. Each day...!"

See yourself as you want to be...look in the mirror and picture yourself in the body you desire, with the health that you deserve to have...the happiness and health shining from your eyes. See yourself and feel it in your heart. Know that this works...because I have done it! And you can to!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Are You Exercising Your Won't Power?

Frequently we hear that successful weight loss (or anything else for that matter) is about using "Will Power"...I'm not sure will power is the phrase I would use...but what I do know is that often when we struggle it is because we are using "Won't Power"!!!

It can be easy to slip into the negative...but if you find the only thing you are consistently exercising is your Won't Power then you will have guaranteed results--and they Won't be the ones you SAY you want.

What do I mean by Won't Power? That is when you say to yourself things like
I can't lose weight
It is easy for them, but not for me
I am a fat slob
That doesn't work
I tried it before without success

Remember, only you can change your thinking...and you can only hold one thought at a time. Do you want the thought to be negative? Or would you rather be holding onto the positive thought? The choice is entirely yours!

You have got to believe that it IS possible...that you CAN do it...that you DO deserve a healthy life. That is the true Will Power! With this attitude...practiced WILL succeed!

"Change your thinking and you will change your life"...Don't go back and forth...make a decision to move forward in health and do it! That doesn't mean you have to be just means you make the steps as best you can every day and keep moving forward!

Stop exercising your Won't Power...instead put positive thoughts and actions to work for you! I know you can do it. I have faith in you. Repeat after me: I Can! I Will! I am Doing It!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Picture Yourself Thin

Most of us have had lots of practice picturing ourselves as being fat.

Whether or not these pictures were accurate when we first developed them...these images have been burned into our subconscious.

Until we destroy these images...these "negatives"...we are doomed to live up to them.

I remember, even as a young child, believing I was fat. I didn't like having my picture taken because I thought I was so fat and ugly--I recall more than once saying taking my picture would "break the camera".

Now there aren't many pictures of me...people gave up fighting me about taking my picture. But the pictures that I do find, I find something quite curious. In fact, in all objectivity, I was not fat. I was not SKINNY...but I was not fat. I was a very healthy looking person...and I was not ugly, either.

But the power of my thinking and the images I held in my mind was so strong that I grew into being an extremely fat adult...fat enough that I would be ugly to most people. And if someone found me attractive I just got fatter to, subconsciously, "prove" how ugly I really was.

One of the key steps I had to take to successfully lose weight--and keep it off--was to change those mental pictures of myself.

What are the pictures you are holding on to? Are they accurate? Do you want to keep that picture in your brain's photo album? Or would you like to create a new set of images that you can enjoy...for the rest of your life...starting today?

Claude Bristol wrote in TNT The Power Within You
The pictures you hold of yourself in mind today have only to do with your past. If you don't take charge and create new pictures of yourself, you will only repeat tomorrow what you have done today and yesterday.

He wrote this in 1954 and it was true long before then and will remain true forever.

You have the fact, you are the only one who has the change those pictures in your mind.

Develop a new set of prints, get rid of the old ones, and live into your new pictures!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summary: Improve Your Body Image

Over the last 7 days I wrote based on an article by Catherine Cardinal Ph.D., 7 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Body Image & Self Esteem

I was pleased to read someone who is a trained Ph.D. coach / hypnotherapist agree with many of my findings...although I'm not dependent upon having anyone else's approval, it is nice to know that I'm not alone in my thinking!

My thoughts are based on my personal experiences and observations over the course of my 50 some years. As I have struggled with self-esteem, body image and my body size...I became pretty aware that something was not working. Even though I was following "the rules" I wasn't getting the results that were promised. That's when I knew there was something more to it...

Now I know that the mind is the biggest component to successful weight loss. It is way more important to focus our attention and energy on what is going on inside our minds than what we are placing in our mouths. When we focus on our minds we will then automatically begin to adjust our eating and exercise habits! And it will be painless!

I would love to hear your comments on this idea and of course on Dr. Cardinal's article.

In the meantime, be positive. Know that you are beautiful. Be grateful for your health. Become part of a community that supports one another. Take time for yourself. Appreciate what is going right in your life.

And remember to breathe!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Improve Your Body Image Step 7: Be in the Moment

Living in the now and being grateful for what you have in life is the topic in today's installment in my series based on an article by Catherine Cardinal Ph.D., Dr. Cardinal--

7. Be in the moment. When you accept the reality of your life exactly as it is now, you stop the futile worrying about the past and the future. Take a moment each day to meditate on what is good about right now and focus on that. Give thanks and gratitude for what is good and believe that things can get better for you. Having these positive thoughts is the secret to a happier life.

Dr. Catherine Cardinal has been a psychotherapist in private practice for 23 years. She has been a featured expert on many national TV shows, and is the best-selling author of A Cure for the Common Life: The Cardinal Rules of Self Esteem.

Visit Dr. Cardinal on FaceBook

Do you think that being in the moment, being grateful for what you have and being positive cannot all exist at the same time? You are not alone!

It can be a big challenge when faced with negative self image, mounting bills, a job you don't like, or whatever your personal challenges are. By recognizing even small positive aspects in your life you put focus on that and the positive will expand!

Accepting your current reality and loving yourself as you are does not mean that you are not open to improvement! It means that you are done with beating yourself up over the past! Because where you are is really just a result of everything you have done in the past--and you can't change that now! So choose to focus on the positive and work on improving yourself bit by bit!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Improve Your Body Image Step 6: Beware the Inner Critic

The inner critic is the topic in today's installment in my series based on an article by Catherine Cardinal Ph.D., Dr. Cardinal--

6. Be aware of your inner critic. The negative voice in your head which puts you down. When you hear it, tell it to “pipe down and take a hike”! You are in control of your body and mind and no one is going to make you feel less than or not good enough. The critic is a result of all the negative things you have heard or experienced in your life. Let it all go and create positive scenarios in your head. Allow yourself to be creative and imaginative with your new found supportive voices.

Dr. Catherine Cardinal has been a psychotherapist in private practice for 23 years. She has been a featured expert on many national TV shows, and is the best-selling author of A Cure for the Common Life: The Cardinal Rules of Self Esteem.

Visit Dr. Cardinal on FaceBook

Have you ever heard that little voice putting yourself down? I sure have! That is a big monster to tame...learning that you are the one in control is a powerful step to taming that monster. It still takes practice...after all you allowed that monster to run free for years, it isn't going to just go away the first time you tell it to take a hike!

When the negative voice comes still does...but less frequently and it is quieter about it these days...I will mentally, or out loud, respond with comments like this--
Cancel that!
Thanks for sharing...that doesn't serve me.
That is not true for me.
Interesting...I don't believe that any more...I believe ____(fill in the blank)

Try a couple on and see how they feel for you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Improve Your Body Image Step 5: Fast

Today in my series based on an article by Catherine Cardinal Ph.D., Dr. Cardinal talks about fasting and how it can cleanse and restore your body.

5. Fast one day every two weeks. Give your body a rest by feeding it only vegetable and/or fruit juices. This cleansing will help keep your weight down, minimize cellulite and give you energy. If you feel good about it, try once a week.

Dr. Catherine Cardinal has been a psychotherapist in private practice for 23 years. She has been a featured expert on many national TV shows, and is the best-selling author of A Cure for the Common Life: The Cardinal Rules of Self Esteem.

Visit Dr. Cardinal on FaceBook

I am not strict about fasting once every two weeks...sometimes I fast more often than that, other times less frequently. I believe that you have to start to listen to your own body. There are lots of different fasts and cleanses available. Some people will "fast" as she suggests with only juices...make sure that they are 100% juice, not stuff with sugars. If you are going to go on a juice fast it is best to make the juice yourself. And you do have to be cautious about juice fasts because fruit (and even some veggies) has a lot of sugar in it.

You might want to discuss fasting with your doctor...or consult with my favorite doctor--Linda Larson...she helped me to know what I could safely do in regards to fasting and cleansing!

You can find Dr. Linda Larson at Your Health And Fitness Source

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Improve Your Body Image Step 4: Take Pride in Your Accomplishments

In this step, which is part of a continuing series based on an article by Catherine Cardinal Ph.D., Dr. Cardinal urges us to recognize and take pride in our accomplishments.

4. Take pride in your accomplishments. We are all good at something. Make a list of those things which you feel really good about and read that list every day. “I am kind, courageous, a great swimmer, etc.” Believe in your ability to be competent and also your ability to learn and accomplish new things.

Dr. Catherine Cardinal has been a psychotherapist in private practice for 23 years. She has been a featured expert on many national TV shows, and is the best-selling author of A Cure for the Common Life: The Cardinal Rules of Self Esteem.

Visit Dr. Cardinal on FaceBook

Wow! This is so important...for years...well decades really...I belittled myself and what I had accomplished. I compared myself to others and ALWAYS fell short. I wasn't good enough, fast enough, pretty enough, thin enough, strong enough, smart didn't matter what "it" was, I wasn't enough.

When I finally started to accept myself and believe that I am enough as I am right now, that is when my life started to turn around--and so did my weight! Ironic that by no longer accepting the message that I was not thin enough I actually started to drop fat!

Instead of minimizing what you have done, celebrate it! This goes back to Sunday's post about goal is so important to acknowledge that our successes come in small steps. And isn't it way more fun to be able to celebrate many times over...for each step then having to wait until we have accomplished the whole big goal?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Improve Your Body Image Step 3: Think Before You Speak

Continuing a series based on an article by Catherine Cardinal Ph.D., this time she is discussing listening.

What does being a good listener have to do with having a good body image? I found this interesting...I had never thought of it in this way...

3. Think before you speak and be a generous listener. When you take the time to hear others and contemplate what you are saying back, you are likely to have less conflict and form more genuine bonds with others. Receiving the love of great friends who accept us for exactly as we are, is a great asset to helping us love and accept ourselves.

Dr. Catherine Cardinal has been a psychotherapist in private practice for 23 years. She has been a featured expert on many national TV shows, and is the best-selling author of A Cure for the Common Life: The Cardinal Rules of Self Esteem.

Visit Dr. Cardinal on FaceBook

Doesn't it make sense when you think about it? Don't you appreciate the people who really listen to you when you speak? Doesn't that give you a good feeling inside? How many ways would our world be better if we would all just stop and listen for a change!

My challenge to you today is to really listen to the next person who starts to talk to you. Don't think about what you are going to say in response...just listen and take it all in! (Unless they are being a jerk to you--then let it roll off your back!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Improve Your Body Image Step 2: Find Your Beauty

Second in a series from an article by Catherine Cardinal, Ph.D. on improving your body image and self-esteem.

I'm pleased to share here thoughts with you...I found that we have a lot of common ideas. I learned from personal experience a lot of what she is advocating and have been able to use it to change my health dramatically!

Dr. Cardinal has been a psychotherapist in private practice for 23 years. She has been a featured expert on many national TV shows, and is the best-selling author of A Cure for the Common Life: The Cardinal Rules of Self Esteem.

2. Single out what is beautiful about you. Perhaps you love your eyes, or your legs, but are unhappy with other parts. Keep your focus on those parts that work for you and know that everyone has parts they love and parts they wish they could change. Look into a mirror and focus on the good stuff.

What part of your body can you focus on? For me I had to start with my was what other people would comment on. So even if you don't think you are beautiful, can you find something that other people have complimented you on? Start there...even if you don't LOVE it, if you don't LOATHE it, it is a starting point! The idea is to stop focusing on the love handles or thunder thighs and start focusing on positive images!

To learn more about Catherine Cardinal, visit her on FaceBook

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Improve Your Body Image Step 1: Set Reasonable Goals

My thanks to my friend Jennifer Walker-Shannon for introducing me to Catherine Cardinal Ph.D. Dr. Cardinal has been a psychologist in private practice for 23 years. She has been a featured expert on many national TV shows, and is the best-selling author of A Cure for the Common Life: The Cardinal Rules of Self Esteem.

I was very interested to see how many of her ideas are so in line with my my personal observations are supported by her education.

The next few days I will post some excerpts from an article she wrote titled: 7 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Body Image & Self Esteem

1: Set Reasonable Goals

Learn to set reasonable goals. Whether it’s about your exercise routine or diet, don’t set the bar too high or you may find yourself resisting and then failing. Remember that a healthy, balanced life is a journey of steps. Give yourself permission to win by keeping a steady workable pace.

Isn't that terrific advice?! So many people set huge goals...I used to do that with my weight and I always failed--it seemed so unattainable...or I would not give myself credit for what I had accomplished because I was focused on the end result. Once I gave up that, started by loving myself where I was and working on improving my health step by step, I was then able to drop 120lbs!

To learn more about Catherine Cardinal, visit her on FaceBook

Friday, May 8, 2009

Weight Loss Success Demands You Set Your Own Pace

It is important that you set your own pace when working on weight loss—or any other kind of self-improvement for that matter!

Don’t try to keep up with someone who is further along the path than you are. This person may be in a different condition than you which allows them to seem to be more advanced.

Whether we are talking about physical condition or mental or emotional it really is the same. We are all at different levels. We have different skills now, different aptitudes and different interests.

Let people who seem to be better at something inspire you. You don’t have to match them step for step. It is great to have people who are ahead of you—it gives you the proof that you can do it, too! These are our role-models…people who are where we aspire to be.

The great news about not having to match our role-models is that it allows us to be inspired by more people. These folks may be bigger or smaller than we are currently. They may be more active, or less active. They may think positively or not. Some will have several traits we admire while others may only have one thing that we want to mirror. And some will serve us by pointing out a quality we no longer wish to have and so we more clearly see what we do want.

When you find that person (or that thing in that person) who inspires you, write it down in a special place. I suggest a gratitude journal. Fill that journal with lots of small entries. You don’t have to write reams about each thing/person/trait. Just write it down and feel the gratitude for being shown that it is possible.

Review this journal periodically and you will be amazed to see how much you have grown to be a composite of all those wonderful traits that you admired in others.

Now that is something to write about!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Weight Loss Short Cuts Gone Bad: Hydroxycut Latest Example

The FDA has now issued a warning against using Hydroxycut...yet another "quick fix", "magic pill" or "short cut" way to lose weight turns out to be dangerous and even fatal.

So many of these "wonder drugs" or "miracle solutions" turn out to be disasters. Please, please, please stay away from them! Just because something is labeled as "natural" doesn't mean it is good for us! Hemlock is natural and a deadly poison!!! I'm not saying that Hydroxycut has hemlock in it...just making a point here!

Completely healthy people, including a 19 year old boy, have had liver damage and even died from using Hydroxycut. The US distributor has agreed to recall the products. Please note that the users suffered liver damage when using the product at the recommended dosages.

Look, I want to be slender too, but it isn't worth having to have a liver transplant or dying over!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (again?) the best way to lose weight is to do it slowly...and the best way to do that is by starting with your mind!

Know in your mind and your heart that you CAN lose weight, that you CAN be healthy. That is the first step. As long as you believe you can't lose weight without some magic pill then you can't...and you will be putting your life at risk.

Read more: FDA press release

Monday, May 4, 2009

1000lb Yo-Yo Diet

On the Oprah show last week Kirstie Alley was on discussing her "falling off the wagon" and regaining the weight she had so publicly lost a few years ago.

Also on the show was a store about a gentleman named Michael Hebranko from NY who had lost almost 1000lbs (yes, that is 3 zeroes!) and then regained all of that weight and more.

For our health--physical, mental, emotional--we all deserve to stop the yo-yo dieting syndrome.

We've all been on that roller coaster...up 10, down 15, up is not a battle you can win by dieting.

The way we win is by changing our mind...changing our thinking about ourselves, our bodies and food.

By changing our thinking we set ourselves free. That is when we truly can eat what we want--in part because what we want changes!!!

Stop the yo-yo dieting...

Read more about Michael's story

My personal yo-yo story is not quite so dramatic...but I yo-yo'd starting with 20lbs up and down, then 60lbs up and down.

That is why I know from personal experience that THIS time...with my mind in the right place and my slower and steady progress...proving to myself that I am truly changing on the INSIDE, which then leads to changes on the outside...THIS time I will succeed and be healthy for the rest of my life!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Local Church Uncover Hidden Gem

I drove by a nearby church the other day on the way to a meeting. I noticed there were giving the old girl a facelift. Seems like I've been seeing that a lot lately. I love that people care enough to preserve these beautiful old buildings where are really works of art.

It got me thinking about how we are similar to these buildings. No, I don’t mean that we are old…while we are certainly getting older—that’s inevitable. The similarity is that many of us don’t take care of our bodies and so we fall into disrepair and in need of a major overhaul. More than a simple paint job—or a makeover—we might need a full restoration. We have become ill, depressed, developed habits that have damaged our bodies and spirit, our body parts literally wear out and we grow fat.

When we decide to change—to eat healthy foods, to care for our bodies and our minds—this is our version of a major restoration project. We deserve to look at it in this way, as a long term commitment.

The church announced today that during this restoration process they discovered a beautiful stained glass window. Possibly covered in 1914 when a pipe organ was installed…hiding the window…and with no records that the window was even there, it remained hidden until now. The theory is the window was covered to block sunlight and heat which would have come in through the window, possibly damaging the organ.

During our personal restoration process we will uncover surprises about ourselves. Often we will discover the reason we do or believe something is because it served us at one point. Now it no longer serves us, but it has become a habit and we have even forgotten why we started this habit in the first place. This is our opportunity to uncover our own stained glass windows, to take off the wooden boards of our habits and reveal the full beauty of who we are—and let that light shine through!