Friday, September 25, 2009

Weight Loss Tip: Stop Multi Tasking

Women are great at multi-tasking...or are we?

We can sure do it--and do it (all) pretty well. Does that mean we are great at it?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Does it mean it is great for us to do? Now THAT is a different question!

When it comes to our health goals I have learned that multi-tasking does us a big dis-service. We may feel like we are being more efficient, but rarely does it work out in our favor.

Whether eating or exercising, give it your full attention. Taste the food rather than just getting it down. Feel your muscles as you move.

Giving full attention to our eating means we are aware of subtle flavors and textures in our food. It also means that you stop eating sooner. Not being distracted by the television, the newspaper, thoughts about work, even conversation, allows us to truly notice when we are done with our meal. Done as in finished eating, as opposed to having consumed all that is put before us!

Giving full attention to our exercise means we appreciate what our body is doing...we notice if we are holding our breath, we feel the increasing strength in our arms and legs, we feel the energy and vitality and health generating in our core.

Does this mean you can't have companionship while eating or exercising? Are you relegated to a lifetime of tables for one or monastic silence? No, no, no...that's not what I am saying at all.

When you are eating with someone enjoy their company and feast on their words. But rather than trying to feast on words and food at the same time, alternate. This is true multi-tasking because it slows you down and makes you present at the same time.

Exercise buddies can be great--they help us to workout even if we don't feel like it, encourage us to go just a little further, and can make the experience way more fun. And if it is more fun we will do it definitely have exercise buddies ESPECIALLY if you are a social person. The key is to be aware of what you are doing and feel good about it, not just distract yourself from an unpleasant activity!

This isn't easy at first...and if you really do dislike moving your body around and feel you need the distraction then do that. Better to be moving and distracted than NOT moving. See if you can direct the conversation to include some things that pull you back to what you are doing. For example, if you are walking...point out things you see that attract you...things you wouldn't have seen if you stayed in your house.

By reinforcing these positive things you will be inclined to want to repeat the experience. Over time you will begin to notice other positive things--that you breathe easier, move more quickly, cover more ground for example.

If you don't have an exercise buddy, or if you do, you can also use affirmations while you sure to say things that reinforce what you DO want. Focus on the feelings and the words as you say them rather than just reciting them by rote.

By placing focus on what we are doing--whether it is our affirmations, moving our bodies, or the action of eating--we get the very most out of it. Our mind, body and spirit benefit.

Now that's REAL multi-tasking!

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