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  • 2014 Focus: Get Healthy {Not Through Deprivation and Self-Loathing}

    Get Healthy in 2014 with chieffamilyofficer.com

    This year, I’m focusing on getting healthy, and I have as much work to do mentally as I do physically. You can read the posts in this series in reverse chronological order here.

    I still haven’t finished reading Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth, but I’ve got the gist and it was well-articulated in this interview with Cheryl Richardson {FYI, I downloaded it as a podcast from iTunes}.

    My main takeaway is this: Diets don’t work because hating ourselves and depriving ourselves can’t possibly lead to the happiness we’re seeking. And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that a woman who’s dieting thinks she will be much happier when she’s done dieting and has lost the weight.

    The process of how we eat is just as important as the outcome.

    This goes hand in hand with an Internet Business Mastery podcast I listened to, where one of the topics they talked about was learning to enjoy the process rather than focusing on the outcome, or buying into the arrival fallacy – the notion that you’ll be happy when you {fill in the blank}.

    So now when I’m on the treadmill, I’m thinking about how good it feels to get my heart rate up, to be moving, rather than counting the minutes until I can get off. I try not to think about losing weight, but rather about nourishing my body with tasty, healthy food – taking care of my own health as much I take care of my children’s health.

    It’s obviously an ongoing process . . . but one that already feels transformative.

    I’m not sure if I’m making sense to anyone else, though!

    2014 Focus: Get Healthy – Reprogramming the Lies

    Get Healthy in 2014 with chieffamilyofficer.com

    This year, I’m focusing on getting healthy, and I have as much work to do mentally as I do physically. You can read the posts in this series in reverse chronological order here.

    I’m still slowly reading my way through Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth, and every chapter gives me a lot of food for thought.

    One is the realization that what made me an emotional eater at the age of 8 or 9 is not the same thing that made me equate weight with my sense of self-worth. Somewhere along the line – I don’t know exactly when, but probably around 11 or 12 – I somehow decided that being thin meant . . . well, all the good things like being pretty, successful, happy, deserving.

    Intellectually, of course, it doesn’t make sense to base one’s sense of self-worth upon one’s weight. But we’re human, not Vulcan, and we’re not ruled by logic. I didn’t fall so far down the well of despair as to think that I was completely worthless. But I have always had the sense that life would be so much better – if not perfect – if only I lost weight and became thin.

    None of this is totally new to me, although I never actually separated my evolution as an emotional eater with my self-sabotaging perfectionism.

    What’s changed is putting these realizations together with a recent post at Money Saving Mom. Crystal talks about a three-step process she’s used to become more confident, and it’s already helping me reprogram my own thinking.

    Step 1: Label the lies. I’ve read for years about recognizing negative self-talk, but until reading Crystal’s post, it never occurred to me to just flat out say, “That’s a lie.” But there’s something liberating about it.

    Step 2: Refuse to believe the lie. Labeling the lie as a lie causes me not just to dismiss the negative self-talk, but to affirmatively banish it. My stomach isn’t flat, but it’s a lie that that fact makes me unworthy. That’s much more effective than simply waving a negative thought away.

    Step 3: Replace the lie with the truth. After reminding myself that my weight does not define my self-worth, I remind myself of the truth: I’m a good person, with a good life.

    This is not a quick process by any means. It may take all year and then some to reprogram what’s now decades of negative self-talk. But it’s definitely worth doing and persevering.


    Affiliate banner via Escalate Media Network

    2014 Focus: Get Healthy – Learning to Be

    Get Healthy in 2014 with chieffamilyofficer.com

    This year, I’m focusing on getting healthy, and I have as much work to do mentally as I do physically. You can read the posts in this series in reverse chronological order here.

    I am still reading my way through Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth. She talks about “bolting,” or using food as an escape, and I’ve known for a while that I definitely do this. Instead of feeling my emotions, I eat. I eat when I’m frustrated with the kids. I eat when I’m bored, and when I’m sad. It’s as if I’m literally keeping the emotions bottled up inside me by stuffing the mouth of the bottle opening closed with food {ooh, pun not intended}.

    This isn’t a new concept to me. But up until now, I couldn’t cope because I couldn’t figure out a better way of dealing with the emotions. How do I not yell at the kids if I’m not eating? {I bring this one up in particular, because I’ve been fully aware that I was eating to quash my emotions yet eaten anyway because I didn’t know what else to do.}

    Reading Roth’s book, I realize that somehow, I need to learn to be with the feeling I’m trying to keep bottled up. I don’t have to make it go away. {Even if it means I yell at the kids? We’ll have to see about that.} In theory, at least, I think I need to learn to just feel my feelings, whatever they are.

    And not judge myself, which may be the hardest part of all.

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Apolonia.

    2014 Focus: Get Healthy {Mentally as well as Physically}

    Get Healthy in 2014 with chieffamilyofficer.com

    Normally, I’m focused on financial goals at the start of a new year. But this year, things are different.

    I had a milestone birthday last year, and I have to admit that my body has changed physically. My eye doctor has told me that my vision – so nearsighted since I was eight years old – is starting to reverse course {bring on the reading glasses!}. I got sick in mid-December and I haven’t been able to shake off the flu the way I normally do, and I actually got bronchitis for the first time, possibly ever. Getting plantar fasciitis nearly four years ago has limited my physical activity, so my conditioning has worsened gradually and I’m in the worst shape I can remember.

    I was told by one of my doctors to lose weight, but I went on a “diet” and promptly gained five pounds.

    You see, I’ve been an emotional eater since I was seven or eight years old, and thus overweight since childhood. Not surprisingly, I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to lose weight, or trying not to care that I haven’t lost weight.

    I know many of you can relate.

    I’ve discovered that my biggest problem is mental. I don’t know how to be physically healthy and thin, because I never have been. So I’ve lost weight, but then gained it right back because it was too scary and hard to stay at my new weight. For a lot of you, that may not make any sense, but some of you totally get what I’m saying.

    I’ve decide to spend 2014 working through these mental barriers, because my health is too important not to. I’ve reached an age where if I really don’t start taking care of myself, I’ll end up unable to keep up with my kids, sitting out events because I’m sick or infirm, etc. And I don’t want that.

    It’s not going to be easy, but it needs to happen. If you feel the same way, I’d love to share the journey with you. I’m not quite sure how yet, but we’ll figure something out.

    The book I’m reading now on this topic is Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth. I don’t know if it would have made sense to me at any previous time, but it’s making a lot of sense to me now. As I digest what I read, I’ll have more to say on this topic.

    Whatever your New Year’s resolutions or goals are, I wish you all the best in making them come true!

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Apolonia.

    Calculating nutrition data for your own recipes

    When I was on Weight Watchers, I could use their web site to calculate the nutrition facts for my own recipes. It was very handy because I’m constantly creating my own dishes. But I’m no longer doing Weight Watchers, so I needed a different source for nutrition data.

    Enter SparkPeople (where you can keep a food journal, log your cardio and strength exercises, and join a community), and their sister site, Spark Recipes. Their free recipe calculator is easy to use, and instantly provides the nutrition data per serving. You can tweak the recipes to minimize calories, and have that all-important awareness of how much you’re eating.

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