I was on the local news again this morning to talk about emotional eating, why we do it, and what to do about it. Check it out.
I was on the local news again this morning to talk about emotional eating, why we do it, and what to do about it. Check it out.
No matter what your goals in life it is very important to plan. Developing a plan helps you stay consistent, establish a routine and helps maintain focus. Planning requires evaluating goals and identifying steps to help keep these goals on track.
I am not a planner, naturally. I am what most would call “a rebel without a cause” and I definitely “do what I want, when I want”. Planning has a way of limiting spontaneity, which is something that is needed or an exciting and thrilling life. However as I became more focused on my goals, I found I was more willing to plan. Perhaps it is maturity, but planning helps me be more successful.
Although I value and urge each of you reading to find balance, planning is a necessary evil. Planning is needed to:
I am currently preparing for a vacation with my family to New York City. Despite my excitement about this trip I am 5 weeks away from my first bodybuilding competition and there is no room for error or mistakes. Planning for my trip is essential to my success when I step on stage on July 5. I had to plan ahead. Here are the steps I took to plan for my trip.
All this preparation has eliminated my excuses. I know I have a gym to get my workouts in. I know I have enough food for each day. I do not have to worry about being hungry, stuck in a show, tour, or museum, and that I am hungry. I will have my food on me. I have asked my coach about eating out while on vacation. I know what is on my meal plan and will check the menus of restaurants. I can still enjoy the food but know what I can and cannot have. I am not worried about what I will eat. I am not worried that I will not be able to continue to prep for my competition. A couple phone calls, a couple internet searches, and a little time will keep me 100% focused on my goal. And this will allow me to have fun and enjoy the city and my family. I will not have to feel guilty that I missed a workout or that I ate off plan. I can relax. I know that my preparation will help me stay focused and lead me to success for my goal.
A little planning is all you need for your success. Planning is necessary for success with any goal, not only fitness or weight loss goals. Know what you want. Research how to get it. Tell a friend/coach/professional about your goal and elicit their expertise and support and ask they hold you accountable. Read and learn what others have done and follow their path.
“Normal” eating really is a challenging issue for most. First of all, I do not like the term “normal” because everyone is so different. With so much variety there is no normal. Being unique and individual opposes the term “normal”. Yet most want a way to eat. Most are looking for a plan, a way, or a method and often fail to consider their individual needs, desires, and goals. Sticking to a diet denies us from being individual, unique, and special. Eating a meal plan based on what another says or does makes us more like that person, and less like ourselves.
“Normal” earing is a challenge secondly because there is a barrage of healthy eating theories, philosophies, and practices. For the average person how to eat “healthy” or “normal” is confusing. We wonder if we should eat “clean”, “paleo”, “Atkins”, “weight watchers”, etc. It is hard to decide which “diet” is best. Each boasts impressive weight loss stories and claims it is evidence based to give the best results. And we all probably know someone telling us to eat a certain way because that is worked best for that person. And everytime we try the “diet” we are left unsatisfied, hungry, and confused.
For most the issue is emotional eating. Anyone can follow a meal plan or a diet, for the most part. These plans become a problem when we feel sad, bored, stresed, overwhelmed, excited, lonely, angry, or tired. Scientifically we eat to fill psychological needs and no diet can help us plan or manage that. We need to eat according to our individual needs, desires, and wants.
Know it is OK to eat. Eat fun food. Eat healthy food. Eat food with carbs and fat. Eat something that makes you feel good. Eat to feel full. It is important to eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and proteins, but it is also important to eat a treat. Identify how you feel before, during, and after eating certain foods by writing it down, if necessary. This can help you learn which foods satisify, avoid, reward, or derail you. It is normal to eat. If you are curious on what to eat for your body to achieve certain goals, or if you need guidance on how much to eat, consult a professional. Be sure to find someone that is qualified, just because someone is fit or appears healthy does not mean they are qualified to tell you how to eat. Every one is different just like every body is different. Therefore we will all have different nutritional needs. Consult your physician, dietician, and your body to discover what is best for you.
The morale of this story is, eat. Eat well, enjoy food, and fuel your body.
I believe that every single person on this planet has a great purpose. I believe that all humans are on Earth to do wonderful things and touch lives. As humans we have a basic need to connect with others and to develop a healthy self-esteem we need a sense of community and belonging. According to Abraham Maslow (1954) in order for a person to reach their full potential and live a fulfilled life, a person must first find love and belonging. To consider that love and belonging is a more essential human need than self-fulfillment means that as humans our purpose is to connect to others.
Many may struggle with the notion of “serving a purpose” or many may struggle to understand their purpose. I think this idea seems overwhelming because as a Capitalist society we are programmed to see “purpose” as something large, powerful, and meaningful. It seems that “purpose” means more money, more success, more fame, and more power. I know I once believed that. For years I believed I needed to touch and dramatically change the lives of thousands. I believed I had to do huge things to serve my purpose.
However we do not need to move mountains, save and impact the lives of thousands, or accomplish fame and fortune to serve a purpose. We can impact the world simply by being ordinary. In my early attempts to be “great” and live my purpose I spent a great deal of time and energy thinking globally. This caused me to neglect the people immediate world and I lost time doubting myself. I failed to see how I could impact the lives of my clients, my co-workers, my friends, and my family. I felt I needed to reach more, do more, and be more to serve my purpose. Rather than finding fulfillment and joy in my interactions with others, I started to feel burned out and tired.
I do believe that anyone at any time can impact the world and reach to positively change the lives of others. However when this becomes our focus we fail to see how powerful we are in our everyday lives. We do not need to be extraordinary to change the world. Your ordinary self has the power to impact another and change a life.
You impact the lives of people every single day. How you interact with people has power. What you say to a person leaves a legacy. In your small world you have great power. You can set in motion a positive or a negative experience for others, and ultimately yourself. Stop doubting your skills. Stop seeking extraordinary. You have the potential to do extraordinary things today in your ordinary life. The extra things you do to better your life or the life of a loved one is what makes your ordinary extraordinary. As you strive to create love, joy, and positivity in your life and the lives of others around you, you will be able to look back and see your ordinary life has become extraordinary.
I read a blog this morning about the behaviors of emotionally strong individuals. Initially I asked, “what is emotional strength?” Emotional strength is the ability to experience positive feelings. There are some studies to suggest that certain personality traits are linked to greater emotional stability, an indicator for emotional strength (Guswell & Ruch, 2012). A particular study by Guswell and Ruch (2012) suggested there are innate characteristics that can either support or hinder a person’s ability to manage emotions. In other words some personalities have an easier time managing emotions and remaining positive. Although research claims it may be easier for some more than others it is not likely that only certain individuals with certain personality traits are allowed happiness. All people are allowed happiness and all individuals can have a happy disposition despite character, experience, or previous thought patterns.
Individuals can learn emotional strength. If you struggle with something in life you can learn to improve; you can learn to emotionally improve, as well. Your emotions do not control you. Your thinking does not control you. (It seems that way most of the time because turning “off” thinking and emotions is challenging). The source behind the thinking and the emotions is YOU and the one in control of you is YOU! I understand my posts talk a lot about choosing to be happy positive and I understand this can be very frustrating to most. But, that truly is the issue; choice. How you think and how you feel is up to you! It is that simple. The hard part is applying the skills, tools, and techniques to make that choice stick.
There are lots of tools and behaviors one can apply to increase emotional strength. One behavior that stood out to me as a read the blog on emotional strength was ,”They (emotionally strong people) are not afraid of slowing down”. This really stuck with me and caused me to ponder.
Emotional strength equals success. Early research clearly demonstrated that people with an ability to evaluate their emotions, identify their emotions, and rationally handle their emotions are better able to reach and achieve goals (Allport & Allport, 1921). To consider that emotionally strong people can slow down and relax challenged the belief that successful people are “go-getters” and “busy-bees”. Success coincides with work. So many of us are chasing dreams, aspirations, and goals. Motivation is inspired and we are challenged to keep going, keep pushing, and work daily to achieve success. Then why is slowing down a sign of success and emotional strength? How does rest and slowing down accomplish goals?
When we slow down we can LIVE. It is so easy to be caught up in pursuing goals and achieving success and to lose sight of daily life and the little miracles that occur. I am no exception. My goals and aspirations in life require me to have daily goals and a daily plan. The drive to be successful causes me to become acutely aware of my daily goals and I can spend minutes of my day, hours of my day planning, working, building, doing, and analyzing. What happens if I just stop? What happens if I just slow down and approach the day as it comes?
When we can slow down we are left with seconds, minutes, hours, even days for freedom and to live.
Today I challenge you to stop! Stop planning and stop working. Take time away from your “to-do” list and do something else. You do not need to always be working on something and you do not need to always be focusing on your goals. I challenge you to take a step back, slow down, and enjoy the moment and the people you are with. When you slow down to live you will restore your heart, your brain, and your soul. This renewal of mind, body, and spirit will help you achieve goals, accomplish tasks, and lead you to success.
Allport, F. H., & Allport, G. W. (1921). Personality traits: Their classification and measurement. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, 16(1), 6-40.
Guswell, A. & Ruch, W. (2012). Are only emotional strengths emotional? Character strength and disposition to positive emotions. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 4(2), 218-239.
Happy Friday y’all! I hope it has been a great one. What muscle group did you train today? This morning I trained legs. It was intense! I was drenched in sweat because it kept my heart rate up, my breathing rate was increased, and it challenged me. As a result of my workout this morning I have been STARVING all day. I am generally always hungry (life of being a bikini fitness competitor) but it is more so today.
My metabolism was increased today because this leg workout not only worked out a large muscle group but the high intensity kept my body working hard. Try this workout below to keep burning calories all day long.
The key is to keep moving. You want no rest between exercises and little rest between sets. I just rested long enough to catch my breath, motivate myself, and set up for the exercise.
Try a challenging and heavy weight, however do not sacrifice form. You want the weight challenging enough to make the set difficult but light enough to complete the set safely. For example I could have squatted heavier but because I wanted to go for higher reps I kept my weight a bit lower. No need to be a super hero – you will feel like a warrior when you are done, though! My advice – start out lighter, you can always add weight as you go.
Lying Leg Extension
Split Squat (12 reps each leg)
5 sets with 15 reps
Barbell Squats (first 2 sets I completed 15 reps) – (I increased weight on barbell every couple of sets – the last set was heaviest and I could get in 10 reps)
Single Leg Hack Squat
5 sets with 12 reps each
Stiff Leg Deadlift (I increased weight after 2 sets)
Lying Leg Press – feet high and wide
Lying Leg Press – feet high and narrow
Seated Calf Raises
5 sets with 15 reps each
By the end of this workout you will be hungry and you can be sure your metabolism will have a burst to burn extra calories throughout the day. Don’t use that as an excuse to overindulge, so be careful with hunger cravings. Be sure to eat a small meal every couple of hours that includes a protein, a fat, and a carb. I expect some Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) the next couple of days because this workout gave a great burn!
I am aware that what I am about to talk about is a challenge for most people. However what I am about to say is possible for ALL people.
Feelings of stress, depression, anxiety, worry, fear, anger, and frustration are normal human emotions. These emotions were adaptively necessary to help our early ancestors survive dangerous situations and these emotions help us adapt to our situations. What you feel is 100% OK. Although these feelings are normal and necessary it is not normal and necessary to hold onto these feelings for an extended period of time.
Holding onto grief, sadness, anger, frustration, worry, and fear can harm all areas of your life.
I think most would agree it is unhealthy to hold onto upset emotions, particularly when these emotions get in the way of enjoying life. However it is not easy to let go of emotional upset. There are numerous reasons why emotions are hard to let go of.
This list is not exhaustive. There are other, numerous situations and life events that cause feelings to linger. However in my practice and therapy with others I have found it is most difficult to let go of upset when we feel as though we have been hurt (emotionally), betrayed, and left vulnerable by others.
In those situations we want the wrong done to us to be made right. We want justice. We want karma. We want retribution. It seems that holding onto the upset is a way of maintaining control over self, others, and the situation. At the end of day the only one being hurt by harboring upset is you! The other person continues to live their life and go through their day unaware of the upset you have toward them. However when you lie in bed at night you suffer with the thoughts and the upset.
Letting go is for you! Letting go benefits you! Letting go does NOT excuse the wrong done to you, nor does it make it OK. You were hurt and wronged and that’s ok. But allowing yourself to let go of some emotional upset helps you live life on your terms. Here are my five suggestions for living life on your terms, letting go of upset, and finding the silver lining daily.
it is not realistic to be happy all the time, but allowing yourself to feel and then release the feeling will create room for more pleasure and enjoyment in your life. You have one life. You have one day, today! Fill your day with whatever feeling you choose. The good news is, tomorrow you get another chance.
* If you are having trouble letting go, it is Ok. Many people struggle with this concept. It can be hard, but extremely beneficial to ask for help. Don’t think that asking for help makes you weak or disabled. Asking for help gives you more power to overcome. If you need help letting go I can help!