Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Abraham-Hicks on the Ease of Losing Weight When We Let Go

A friend just shared this video with me and I had to turn around and put it up right away!

I love Abraham-Hicks and have recommended "Ask and It is Given" for a long time. I have applied many of the principles taught by Abraham to my own body and weight loss and know that it is this shift in my mental energy and thoughts that have allowed me to easily lose 120 pounds.

Watch as Abraham responds to a woman who, like so many of us, has tried "every diet" without success...

There are people out there who believe weight loss is a simple math equation...many of us know otherwise. I found this video to be very reaffirming, confirming and inspirational. I hope to hear how this woman is doing!

Don't Let Your Size Stop You From Living Your Life

We all have dreams and aspirations. Some are huge--for our lifetimes. Others are quite small.

Sadly, too often we shelve our dreams because of our size.

Don't let your size stop you from doing what you want to do, from being the person you want to be.

Be the person who listens to her spirit.

Be the person who hears the call and responds.

If you want to play with your kids at the beach then do it! Do it with your heart and to teh best of your physical abilities. Don't allow fear of what other's MIGHT think stop you. Don't let your EGO keep you from living your life.

I've met so many people--women mostly--who won't take their kids to the pool, the beach, or the water park because they are embarrassed to be seen in their bathing suits. They are ashamed of their bodies and don't want to be seen in all their glory.

Please, do not put your life on hold until you lose weight. Be the person that you feel inside and live that life and then you will lose the weight.

Don't wait to Have first thinking then you can Do and Be.

It starts with BE-ing. Be, Do then Have the results!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Feel Your Inner Health

To expand on the previous thought...reading on in A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle,
“Although body-identification is one of the most basic forms of ego, the good news is that it is also the one that you can most easily go beyond. This is done not by trying to convince yourself that you are not your body, but by shifting your attention from the external form of your body and from thoughts about your body—beautiful, ugly, strong, weak, too fat, too thin—to the feeling of aliveness inside it. No matter what your body’s appearance is on the outer level, beyond the outer form it is an intensely alive energy field.”

“When you are in touch with the inner body, you are not identified with your body any more, nor are you identified with your mind...you are no longer identified with form but moving away from form-identification toward formlessness, which we may alls call Being. It is your essence identity. Body awareness not only anchors you in the present moment, it is a doorway out of the prison that is the ego. It also strengthens the immune system and the body’s ability to heal itself.”
So to heal the condition of overweight we must lose the identification with that form. I thought for a long time it was important to label myself as fat, as obese. And in a sense it was...because I needed to become conscious aware of the fact and not fool myself. Now it may seem like it is obvious when we gain excess weight...but it is amazingly easy and common for us to ignore the signs. We think our clothes have shrunk. We avoid full-length mirrors and being photographed.

It can be a critical step in self-awareness to acknowledge where you are in order to enable you to change, claiming our “fatness” is not necessary...we need to let go of the label and feel our inner health, the potential inside that we have for our health...in order to achieve our health we have to feel it and accept it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Love Your Body Don’t Identify with It

I know that some people will think that if you don’t “identify with your body” that you don’t care about or for it. That is not the point...the point is that your body just is a part of you. You are not your body any more than you are your profession or your address.

“To refrain from identifying with the body doesn’t mean that you neglect, despise, or no longer care for it...You can also improve the body’s condition through right nutrition and exercise. If you don’t equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way...It is not just people with good or near-perfect bodies who are likely to equate it with who they are. You can just as easily identify with a “problematic” body and make the body’s imperfection, illness or disability into your reality.”

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

How many of us have grown to identify ourselves as fat or obese...or as someone who doesn’t exercise...someone who cannot succeed at their health goals?

We deserve to love our inner selves enough to get past the labels, beyond the body identification.

I had to be aware that I had a fat body in order to be able to make a change...as long as I was hiding from that or making excuses about it I was stuck. Then I had to stop referring to myself as fat to stop identifying with that label in order to manifest the change.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Consumerism, Bulimia and Anorexia

Eckhart Tolle writes in A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,
“In some cases the psychological need for more or the feeling of not enough that is so characteristic of the ego becomes transferred to the physical level and so turns into insatiable hunger. The sufferers of bulimia will often make themselves vomit so they can continue eating. Their mind is hungry, not their body. This eating disorder would become healed if the sufferers, instead of being identified with their mind, could get in touch with their body and so feel the true needs of the body rather than the pseudo needs of the egoic mind.”
He continues and talks about our struggles with body image thus
“she ‘sees’ is the mental concept of her body, which says ‘I am fat’ or ‘I will become fat.’ At the root of this condition lies identification with the mind. As people have become more and more mind-identified which is the intensification of egoic dysfunction, there has also been a dramatic increase in the incidence of anorexia in recent decades. If the sufferer could look at her body without the interfering judgments of her mind or even recognize those judgments for what they are instead of believing in them--or better still, if she could feel her body from within—this would initiate her healing.
The body is “after all no more than a physical form that shares the destiny of all forms—impermanence and ultimately decay.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stuff, Stuffed and Over Stuffed

It seems to be natural for humans to want more...more stuff, better stuff.

Eckhart Tolle writes in A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,

“The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifest, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part.”

I see this in humanity in general...our consumerism, greed, desire for more land, more poser, more control, is destroying our planet. If that is left unchecked well will destroy our planet and thereby destroy ourselves. In the end our lust for more leads to having nothing...to being nothing.

While I can’t control the global events, I can apply that to myself and to food.

By unconsciously feeding our bodies more and more, by trying to feel full, filled, “fulfilled” we add excess fat to our bodies. If that is left unchecked then that excess fat will destroy our bodies just as our global excess can destroy the world.

By focusing on our personal changes, by no longer needing to overstuff our bodies we gain health and control. I believe that this will also translate to our needing less “stuff” because a lot of the emotions behind this consumerism are the same. So in a very real sense, by focusing on our health we can positively affect the health of the entire planet!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fat is an Illusion Not Who You Are

Don’t let illusion control your life. Become aware of who you are not and you will become more aware of who you really are.

Eckhart Tolle writes in A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,

“The recognition of illusion is also its ending. Its survival depends on your mistaking it for reality. In the seeing of who you are not, the reality of who you are emerges by itself.”

When I apply this to our health, our physical bodies I realize that when we stop labeling ourselves and recognize that the fat that surrounds us is NOT US...if we realize the fat is not our true reality then we open the possibility of our true being-ness, our true self to emerge from that illusory shell.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Losing and Finding the Same 20 Pounds

Our minds have this tremendous ability to create, and recreate, things over and over. That’s why when we lose weight through dieting we tend to gain it back. Over our lifetimes we lose and gain “the same 20 pounds” over and over.

Eckhart Tolle writes in A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,

“If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating fundamentally the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.”

How true is that for us? Don’t we tend to recreate the same bodies?

If we do not change our minds first, how we feel at our core then we will continue to recreate the circumstances that got us fat in the first place!

Instead of thinking of “losing” weight let’s think about gaining health. After all, when you lose something you generally want to find it again, don’t you? I’d rather drop that excess weight off the bridge never to be seen again!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dump Your Clump

I heard this phrase from Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive, at a conference I attended. She was referring to how important it is to move around and meet new people at events...don’t just hang out with the people you came with or met the first day.

Well, this may also be something you have to face when you lose weight. If you have been treating food like a drug and abusing it then you may have to disengage from people who were part of that lifestyle.

I believe for most of us, it can be different with food than other drugs. It can be harder or easier...depending on how you choose to look at it!

It is possible to never have alcohol or narcotics or cigarettes again. You can cut them out of your life completely. Can’t do that with food! So there will be temptations and opportunities to overindulge every day.

This is why you HAVE to change your mind first. If you don’t, then you will have to struggle the rest of your life with the inner demons. I’d rather change my thinking and get those demons gone or at least corralled a bit and make it easier on myself later.

But here’s the deal...if you have “friends” that the only reason you socialize with them is because they are eating buddies...you know what I mean...you only get together over food, or you only talk about food or dieting with them...then you might need to drop those relationships, at least temporarily.

If the relationship is deeper than that and it can evolve—fantastic! But put your health, your life first! If you find one of your “friends” is always tempting you with food then maybe they aren’t your friend, really. Realize they have their own issues to deal with and you deal with yours and let them handle themselves.

When you really come from a place of wanting health (as opposed to getting to a certain size or weight) it will be a lot easier to not be tempted by food even when it is right in front of you. I like having the power to make choices about what I eat and if I want to have chocolate or ice cream or pizza I can have it. I am also now fine with being with my friends and family and choosing to not have these things.

When I was trying to diet that wasn’t the case. I was coming from a deprivation place then. I “couldn’t” have certain foods and therefore they were more appealing. The draw of the forbidden! That is one of the reasons I know it is important to allow myself to eat any food. I just know that I am best serving my health when I make conscious choices about what I am eating.

So if I am with friends and they are having a beer or chips (or chips and beer) they will offer it to me...I don’t want them to try to “help” me by not offering...and I have the freedom to say no or yes. Sometimes I will partake and other times I won’t...either way I think about it and determine what I really want at the moment. Do I really want the beer? Or do I want something wet and to enjoy the company of good friends?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Swamped, Stressed and Successful

Just a quick post--I am super busy right now...lots of business stuff going on and my almost 80 year old mother is visiting. Whew. Between it all I am swamped and stressed.

I am also proud to say that I am being successful! In lots of ways, but in particular I'm thinking about my weight loss / health routine.

In the not-so-distant past I would have easily turned this situation into a feeding frenzy. Let's have more caffeine and sugar to deal with the lack of sleep. Let's have sugar to ease the stress. Let's eat more, more, more to feel less, less, less!

I'm being able to keep in much better touch with my emotions and what my body really wants which is fantastic! So while before I would have packed on the pounds during times like this I am maintaining my weight and actually continuing to drop pounds!

Hurray! Success emotionally & physically is possible! And it isn't even hard! I LOVE IT!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fear Makes You Fat

For some reason fear seems to be coming up for me a lot this week...my own fears, other peoples' fears, how to deal with fears, irrational and rational fears...

Whenever I see a pattern like that I really try to take a step back and see if there is something that I am supposed to be learning...maybe something I haven't gotten or have forgotten.

I came up with a couple things as related to weight loss and body image that I want to share with you. Maybe some of this will "speak" to you too...maybe not...but I'd love to hear your comments.

I have been writing a book...or at least notes for a book...about my experiences regarding weight. It pisses me off when people are told that it is practically impossible to lose weight permanently...or that it is next to impossible for women of a *ahem* certain age to lose weight.

Why does that make me mad? Because I know it isn't true...I've done it...well, I guess since I'm still alive I can't really claim "permanent" weight loss!

So what does this have to do with fear? I'll tell you...

As excited as I am to help people and to share my story, as angry as I might get at the "nay sayers", I have some fears about writing my book. The voice in my head goes something like this, "What if the book stinks? Who do you really think you are to write a book--you're not an author? What if people don't read it? What if people read it and hate it? What if, what if, what if..."

My friend Erik Stafford wrote in his blog about his own fears this week. What caused the fear was completely different, but what was striking was the similarity in that we were experiencing fear about things over which we have NO CONTROL! That is what makes the fear irrational.

I can't control who does or doesn't read my book, or whether they like it or not. The only thing I can control is if I write the book or not! If I choose to let fear take control it won't get written and then no one will ever read it--whether it would be helpful to them or not!

OK, I think you get that point.

Don't let fear over what you can't control take control over your life. For me, I am taking the bull by the horns and I am setting aside time to focus on writing my book. I have enlisted help from friends and mentors. I am researching what I need to know so my lack of information about the process doesn't hold me back.

You don't have to want to write a book...your fears may be about something entirely different. What we all deserve to do is to live our lives the best we can and to move forward despite our fears. Sometimes BECAUSE of our fears! When we get too comfortable then maybe we aren't growing.

I believe that when we push down our dreams and goals out of fear we are closing off a huge portion of who we are at our very core. My experience shows me that when I do that I tend to overeat. In an attempt to self-medicate...to feel better...I go for food as my drug of choice.

That doesn't serve me emotionally in the long-run and it sure doesn't help my health!

So I really want to thank everyone who mentioned fears this week for helping me to have an "Ah ha moment" and pay close attention to my own. And I want to thank a couple of great teachers who had specific lessons that showed up for me this week that centered around this issue (isn't life great how that works out!) Cheryl Richardson and Bob Jenkins--thanks for your wisdom and insight and showing me the tools I need to take this next step on my journey!

Check the next post for the other weight loss/body image related fear that came to mind this week...I bet a lot of you can relate.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lose Weight without Dieting Tip: Calcium Counts!

Studies have now proven that getting enough calcium helps us to process and eliminate fat from our bodies!

In fact, getting enough calcium can help you process up to 6-1/2 pounds MORE fat in a year than you would without it! 6-1/2 pounds!!! That's an easy way to lose weight without dieting!!!

To be effective, you need to get 1gm - 1200mg of calcium every day...that is WAY more than most of us get...or can get by eating foods today.

Rather than trying to force more spinach down...leafy greens are one of the best sources of calcium--you don't have to take in more dairy--most of us should take calcium supplements.

When choosing supplements you want to be sure that you combine calcium with magnesium...about 600-800 mg. Don't know what else magnesium does for you, but combining it with your calcium will help keep you, ahem, "regular"...as calcium can create kind of a roadblock...if you get my drift!

Check out your supplements carefully...supplements aren't regulated and so a lot of companies don't do much in the way of quality control.

I suggest you talk to my friend and health advisor, Dr. Linda...she can tell you more about supplements and things to look for...check out her blog and her website. Dr Linda has really helped me with a lot of my health questions and helped guide me during my 120 lb weight loss!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weight Loss Without Dieting Tip: Don't Eat and Drive

Another tip for losing weight with out going on a diet is to avoid eating while you drive.

Because you are focusing on your driving...at least I hope you are...eating while you drive is at best a semi-conscious event.

Not only are you less aware of what you're eating--so you'll be inclined to eat more and enjoy it less--the options you typically have for car food are limited...and tend to be high fat and/or sugar.

Instead of eating behind the wheel, stop the car to eat. Be aware of every bite. Choose foods that you really want to nourish your body with--instead of selecting foods base on "can I eat it and not make a mess of my clothes?"

Give yourself those few extra minutes to be able to eat in a more relaxed and conscious way and you will naturally find yourself eating less, being less stressed and losing weight.

Another reason people tend to eat and drive is out of boredom! This is especially on long trips, whether it is a lengthy commute to work or a road trip.

Rather than eating to keep yourself preoccupied, use this time to expand your mind instead of your hips--listen to a book "on tape", practice your affirmations (but don't try to meditate while you drive!) or just sing and do things that bring joy to your body. Any of these activities will help your overall health and help you to lose weight--without being on a diet!

That's the road I'm choosing to motor down!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Weight Loss without Dieting Tip: Say Goodnight Gracie

You may not be old enough to recognize my homage to Grace Allen...but maybe you've been up late working or watching Leno or Carson...well here's a simple tip for losing weight without dieting--GO TO BED!

I don't mean sleep all day...I mean get a good night's sleep on a regular basis.

Studies show if you short yourself on sleep you are apt to pack on the pounds.

Is it the lack of sleep that causes the extra paunch? Or is it something else?

I'm no scientist, but my theory is that we tend to eat and drink more when we stay up late. Whether we are socializing, working late or just watching old George Burns reruns on television, consuming calories can help us stay awake longer--to the detriment of our waistline.

So, get some sleep instead of snacking and you'll be effortlessly be dropping calories and losing unwanted fat.

Now there's something to have sweet dreams about!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sitting on My A** Paid Off

Sometimes you just have to rest.

I'm not good at sitting around doing nothing. I never have been. I tend to get "antsy".

Not that that helped me to be fit and healthy! It just helped me to be tired and anxious!

Now that I'm listening to my body I am finding that I have (a little) less trouble in the R&R department!

I still like to keep busy, but I have come to appreciate moments of quiet...and I don't just mean meditation. Somehow I can still "count" meditation as "doing something"!

This weekend I found myself suddenly exhausted. All I wanted to do was sit in the shade on my deck and close my eyes. If I'd had a bed out there I would have sprawled out and fallen asleep.

At first I was tempted to force myself to work...go back to my old ways...but then I remembered that my body knows what is best for it. So rather than having a cup of coffee or forcing myself to slog through another task just to get it checked off the list I decided to actually listen to my body.

I went out to my deck and I sat there. Eyes closed, I enjoyed the breeze and the sounds. It was fantastic! I might have even dozed off for a few moments...I'm not really sure!

And you know what? I was rejuvenated after just a little while out there. I didn't need to sleep the rest of the day...I didn't have to ingest copious amounts of caffeine or sugar to get myself through...I did what my body told me to do--I rested. And I felt fantastic the rest of the day and weekend--I had energy to play and get things done that had been on my "to do list" for a long time! And I did it in a healthy way and didn't create feelings of guilt over not eating right or not getting everything done that I said I would.

So this is one time where sitting on my a**, er, behind, paid big dividends!

If you are like me, and your to do list is always bigger than any human could possibly get through, then you deserve to really listen to your body...and sometimes that includes closing your eyes and sitting on your...behind!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Selfish is the New Generous

Often we get wrapped up in doing things for other people. It may be our kids, our family, our community, our employers...and we forget to do things for ourselves.

All of this taking care of others without taking care of ourselves can lead to our being overweight.

It is really important if we want to be our healthiest possible selves that we remember we have to take care of ourselves. I know that we have been taught to put the needs of others before our own...but has that gotten us where we want to be?

Let's think about it from a slightly different angle...rather than thinking we are being selfish by putting our needs first, what if we are actually being GENEROUS by doing so?

When we put ourselves first we are empowering ourselves...we are accepting responsibility for our lives, our feelings, our actions and our results. This is a HUGE gift that we offer the world! No longer are we victims of anyone or anything else.

Now, when we have this attitude it will rub off on the people around us--our kids, our co-workers, our neighbors. By living an example of empowered lives we help empower others. We show them that it is okay...in fact that it is critical to live an empowered life and we therefore give them permission to do the same.

When we take care of ourselves we have more energy to give back to others...so in reality we are helping our employers and our families and so on by helping ourselves first.

I like to remember the message that I hear each and every time I fly...in the event that oxygen masks are required, put your own mask on first BEFORE you assists others--including your small children or elderly relatives.

After all, if we pass out from lack of oxygen--or exhaustion--THEN who will be there to help our loved ones?

Take care of yourself...you will begin to lose weight...and you will be helping others at the same time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To Lose Weight Stop Setting Weight Loss Goals

I realize that this goes against just about everything you have ever heard about accomplishing anything. I mean, "everyone" says you have to have goals, right?

Those same people say that goals have to be measurable. In other words, some sort of number.

What I have discovered is that when we set goals around our weight--for most of us--we are actually setting ourselves up for failure!

Why? Because we are focusing on the number on the scale...or a waist measurement...or a dress size...whatever that measurable goal is. If that is our focus we stop paying attention to how we are feeling, why we are eating in the first place.

The other part about setting goals is you are supposed to have a specific time to achieve that goal. My goals always seemed reasonable...like I'm going to lose 10 pounds over 2 months...well, mine were usually more like I'm going to lose 100 pounds over the next year!

I would end up starving myself for a couple of days before I was supposed to weigh in for my goal...then go crazy eating after. This is not healthy behavior--I knew it, but did it anyway--because I wanted to reach my weekly or monthly goal. I just couldn't seem to keep a healthy pattern of eating going all the time, so I started binging. Ultimately I just gave up and felt worse about myself with every failure.

Weight loss goals are really just a way of trying to diet! You are going to limit yourself or work out more...or both...to try to reach that goal. And hey--if that works for you, then go for it!

But if you are like me...someone who set (and broke) the same goal over and over and over and over...then maybe it is time to rethink the whole weight loss goal idea. At least in terms of a measurable number.

I think the best weight loss goal is one of achieving better health. I know that is vague...but it is realistic and it is attainable. What this goal does for me is it gives me the freedom to eat consistently and to be forgiving of myself.

Now I am able to focus on why I am wanting food, getting in touch with what is going on "behind the scenes"...inside my mind. By working on that, I am able to change that programming.

The ironic thing is...once I stopped setting number goals and focused on having a goal of health, my weight started to drop immediately! And even better it has continued to drop...so that I have now lost 120lbs and I haven't binged in years!

I can truly say that stopping setting weight loss goals has brought me to my biggest goal: better health--both mental and physical!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Health Food Doesn't Mean Green Light

Just because it is sold in a "health food store", or is sold as a healthy food, doesn't mean that you should eat it all the time.

Generally speaking, I try to eat as few processed and packaged foods as possible. I find that my body deals with them better. Packaged foods have stuff in them we just don't need...sometimes even the ones sold in health food stores.

It may not be that the ingredients are not healthy, but we might be better off eating only small quantities of them.

I found that it used to be really easy for me to get in the habit of eating something because it came from the health food store, or all the ingredients were natural...and I would eat it like it had zero calories!

When buying ANY packaged or processed foods it is a good idea to read the labels. Even though I don't believe in forbidden foods, I believe just as much in conscious eating. That means you have to know what you are eating!

If you read the labels on some of the "protein" bars that are available they are closer to a candy bar than not! Some of them have such a high sugar content that it can be enough to trigger a carbohydrate craving in me!

So if you are going for health, be aware or what you are eating. You can eat whatever you want...I just want to eat healthy...and realistically.