Weekend Wisdom

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“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” ~ Katherine Hepburn

Weekend Wisdom – wise words to fuel your weekend.
What wisdom would you like to share?

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Five Steps to Fulfillment

Happy Monday, my lovelies. I thought I’d take a break from regular weight loss posts – and in the spirit of New Year New You share a Motivational Literacy post from John. If you’re looking to live a life of fulfillment – you want to read this.

Five Steps to Fulfillment, Duck Dynasty Style

Five Steps to Fulfillment are hiding in plain sight – inside our Fascination with the Fringes.

We keep hearing about the Kardashians – and about Phil Roberts, of “Duck Dynasty”.

In both cases, the people involved activate tribal identity and financial aspirations, as well as envy and contempt. That seems to be a good formula, from a media monetization perspective.

Whenever things get quiet, someone on one of the shows will make a controversial statement – that pushes those tribal affiliation or contempt buttons – preferably both. Each time, the media monetizes our society’s fascination with the fringes.

Facebook lights up with photos and memes that either celebrate and support – or ridicule and condemn these “colorful” families. Everyone is cheering – or jeering – the “real life”, times, opinions, beliefs, and biases of people they’ve never met – and are unlikely ever to meet – as the fans do the heavy-lifting of publicity for the networks.

Then, like fans of the Mets or Dolphins, they’ll run out and buy baseball hats, or shirts, or purses, or shoes – whatever product placement or merchandising gimmick is being floated that week as part of the “celebrity lottery” these people seem to have won.

In the meantime, most people are working jobs they don’t love, with people they don’t particularly like, producing products or services they don’t particularly believe in – as the show seasons (and years) drift by.

These shows offer relieving distraction from the painful drudge of ordinary life for us “regular people”. We get vicarious adventures and drama – fantasies we can get into. Adventures at the fringes of society are far enough away to let us suspend disbelief, but close enough for us to relate to.

Lost on both show fans haters, these modern parables hide the keys to fulfillment behind the alternately gauche and tacky trappings of “reality” television and the stars that make them.

Let’s pull back the curtain and find a little
Motivational Literacy gold:

“Reality” shows aren’t “real”. They don’t show every burp, upset stomach, and stubbed toe. They’re structured to emphasize the bits of life that make for a good adventure:

  • the challenge,
  • the drama (frustration, and anger),
  • the actions taken,
  • the achievement (climax), and
  • the sharing of that achievement with someone.

People in the shows are just people, too. And, the levels of fulfillment they achieve aren’t beyond any of us.

The big cars, and fancy houses and fat bank accounts aren’t fulfillment: They are not measures of success, but BYPRODUCTS of personal adventures that involve achievements.

If we look deeper than the money and colorful characters, and realize that “people are people”, these shows can offer a blueprint for a fulfilling life – instead of a mind-numbing escape from ones we imagine are boring.

The hint is in the scripting or editing I outlined above: the parts of a Well Formed Adventure™ in those five simple steps:

The challenge: There’s always some sort of task or test or problem or goal to be addressed. At some point “things get real”, and people have to stretch and grow and maybe pull together to get the job done.

The drama (frustration, and anger): We usually know “things got real” because we’ve reached frustration and/or anger. Someone is embarrassed for dropping the ball. Someone’s feelings get hurt. Drama happens.

The actions taken: Someone picks up the ball and starts running with it. If there’s personal conflict, that plays-out by fixing the hurt feelings (apologies) – or growing past them (getting over it). Either way, there’s growth and connection.

The achievement (climax): There’s a deadline (television shows are short), and the problem gets solved – with some sort of useful outcome. A project is finished, a loss is prevented – something.

The sharing of achievement: In the end, there’s a sharing of relief – or achievement – and some recognition of what was done. There may be some acknowledgement of lessons learned or growth realized. And, maybe some anticipation of the next adventure.

What most people don’t realize is that these points are actually scripted in every “reality” show – or at least on a check-list for production and editing. The reason for that is THEY ARE THE PARTS OF AN ADVENTURE, and if you watch someone doing them it feels (a little) like you’ve done them yourself.

These “reality shows” – and others like OC Choppers, Deadliest Catch, etc – offer  modern parables if we will see them in that light. Instead of mind-numbing distractions from our own lives, they could be BLUEPRINTS to the lives of adventure we all deserve.

You don’t have to be out on the “fringe” to be in an adventure. The only reason adventure STORIES are set that way is to make it easier to disconnect from your own life.

But, you are in your own reality show every day. It even has a custom soundtrack: What music do you listen to? If you don’t have some, open a Pandora tab – or get an MP3 player and make one!

For many, the five parts of a Well Formed Adventure™ outlined above are in our lives now. We are doing them all the time – we just don’t notice that frustration and anger and crisis and social blow-ups are that part of OUR adventures.

And, when we apologize or “get over” hurt feelings – when we stretch and learn and change – that personal transformation is the same as the people we watch. Your adventures are just as interesting and distracting as any others – to someone who isn’t you.

So, the only thing missing for you is you noticing that YOU are the star of your reality.

We are “those people” in real adventures. And, we are “on the fringe” – compared to anyone who isn’t in the same line of work as you.

Think about that: From someone’s perspective, you and your life are totally “fringe” – totally unusual, outrageous, and fascinating. If only you were to notice…

For the people who aren’t finding those five major parts of a Well Formed Adventure™ in their lives, there’s a HIDDEN DIFFERENCE.

There’s something not the same for them and the people they’re watching in shows – instead of living real adventures for themselves. And, it’s not money or fame.

THE ONE HIDDEN DIFFERENCE is that people in reality shows on the fringe aren’t avoiding their challenges, fears, frustrations, and social crises the way most of us do. By NOT avoiding those things, they enter adventures head-on; get into the process of adventure; and wind up with achievement and sharing the outcome with others.

The difference between being a spectator to adventure and actually living it is in just two things:

STOP AVOIDING challenge, fears, frustrations, and social situations. GO INTO those things. They will be scary; they will be difficult; and they will require you to change, learn, adapt, and “get over it” – whatever “it” is.

RECOGNIZE and enjoy those experiences for the REAL LIFE ADVENTURE you are living. Notice “this is the frustration part” – and how you deal with that. Notice “this is the fixing hurt feelings part” – and how you can do that. Notice “this is the achievement part” – and feel good about that. And, always make sure you notice and enjoy the “sharing the outcome” part with people who helped or cheered.

What challenge, fear, frustration or social situation have you been avoiding? And, what’s the first step you could take to JUST DOING IT?

Which of those those parts of real life adventure have you been taking for granted? And, how quickly are you going to notice and appreciate it next time?

Which victory have  you recently given short shrift? And, who can you go celebrate that with? Who will you celebrate the next one with?

If you’re not sure about this, experiment with it for a week, and see what happens…

Please leave your questions and comments below. I’ll do my best to answer – and John will drop by and join is as well.

 

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Weekend Wisdom

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“A woman’s health is her capital.” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

Weekend Wisdom – wise words to fuel your weekend.
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Weight Loss Resolutions Revisted

januaryresolutions - weight loss resolutions

January is always an interesting time of year. People are determined. They are certain this will be the year that they will finally happy. This will be the year they succeed. The year they find their bliss. The year they will lose the weight. They year they will find the man. The year they will (fill in the blank). People are also tired. The weather is cold. It’s dark. And the holidays have drained them – of money, often, and of energy. This combination (determined optimism meets utter exhaustion) makes the yearly habit of weight loss resolutions (or any resolutions or goal setting plans) particularly vulnerable to failure.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Last week I reran a post about the only weight loss resolution you need to make. Last year I wrote about the importance of tackling one goal at a time. This week I want to change things up a bit. Let’s turn this weight loss resolutions making/goal setting thing on its head, and talk about what all this stuff is really about.

1. Figure out why you really want the thing you say you want. If you want to weigh (insert pounds here), ask yourself why. Go beyond the usual “look good in a bikini” or even “be healthier” and get deep.

Ask yourself: When I achieve (insert your goal here), I will feel _____.

Don’t over think it. Just list the words that come to mind. The words that resonate with you.

Then check that against your true desires. The desires that have nothing to do with the stated goal.

Ask yourself: How do I want to feel? What do I want to feel?

(Here are couple of word lists to get you rolling if you’re feeling stuck: https://www.cnvc.org/Training/feelings-inventory and http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/assess/feelings.html)

Write down the answers. All the answers – no matter how deep or how silly.

And keep them “not” free. If you’re list starts looking “notty” (“not like a failure,” “not sad,” etc, Ask yourself: What would “not like a ______” feel like? Keep asking until you get something specific.

Take your time with this – and let yourself go deep. Don’t be surprised if words like “connected” or “loved” or “peaceful” come up. Just write them down. And if you come up with general words like “worthy,” or “successful” go deeper. Ask yourself: What would worthy feel like? What would successful feel like?

2. Choose 1 – 3 words that really resonate. Choose the words that stand out. The ones that make your heart nod. The words that make your soul say, “Yes, that’s it. That’s what I’ve been asking for.” If one word really covers this – choose it. If you need more than one – that’s cool, too.

3. Make a plan.

Ask yourself: What I can I do every day to feel more of this feeling?

Notice the word “I” – it’s important. This isn’t what other people can do to give you this feeling. It’s not what the universe can do. It’s what you can do – with the resources you have right now.

And be real. Don’t try to force in things that seem “good for you.” That’s what you’ve been doing up ’til now – and you know how well that’s worked. If hitting the gym before dawn doesn’t make you feel loved or connected (or whatever your word is) don’t swear you’re going to do it. But if it does, think about it in those terms. Think about the connection, the love, the whatever as you get ready to go.

List the actions you can take – NOW – that will generate that feeling in your life. These actions may have nothing to do with weight loss. That’s okay. They mean seem simple or silly or they may fill you with more excitement than you’ve experienced in a long time. It’s all good.

4. Schedule those actions.There’s a reason people say that if you want to know someone’s real priorities take a look at their schedule. Generating this feeling (or these feelings) you’ve chosen is your number one priority this year. Schedule the actions that help you create that feeling into your day.

5. Notice how things are going, and add to the list. Notice how you’re feeling. Notice how feeling more of that emotion changes your day. You may find that as you practice generating this emotion, you will come up with more and more opportunities to experience it. You will discover that surprising situations/actions create the feeling you’re looking for.

Better still, you may also notice that living that desired feeling actually makes achieving that original goals/weight loss resolutions much, much easier.

6. Declare 2014 The Year of ______. Go ahead and set your intention. Declare it publicly if you’re so inclined – or simple declare it to yourself. (A post-it-note on your desk or bathroom mirror works fine for this).

You can also share it in the comments section below – or share it with me privately. I’d love to hear from you.

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Weekend Wisdom

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“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~ John Wooden

Weekend Wisdom – wise words to fuel your weekend.
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Weight Loss Resolutions – What to do Before you Start Making Promises

Happy New Year, my lovely friend.

I started to write a new New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions post – only to discover that it sounded a lot like the one I wrote last year. I guess that’s because the real keys to weight loss success never really change. And, since I’m all for recycling – I’m going to repost last year’s Weight Loss Resolutions advice. I hope you like it.

I have a confession to make. I love this time of year. I take great pleasure in sitting down and figuring out my top priorities for the new year. I also like to read people’s tips for making a resolution that stick. Until I get to the the tips regarding weight loss resolutions. Then I just get depressed.

Almost all weight loss resolutions advice has to do with two things – dieting and exercising – and most resolutions involve doing both in some extreme way. Studies show that most weight loss resolutions have pretty short shelf life. That’s because will power has a short shelf life. In addition, focusing on getting away from something (disease, fat, fatigue) is never as compelling as focusing on what you want to add to your life (health, fitness, energy).

That’s why the one weight loss resolution I want you to make this year is an easy one. Best of all it won’t cost you a dime. I simply want you to take a look at your life and ask yourself a few questions:

How much joy do you have in your life right now? Not when you lost five pounds, not when you can fit into a size whatever, not two years from now, not ten years from now. Right now. Go ahead and quantify it.

How much of that joy comes from food? How much of it comes from activities that somehow involve food (eating out with friends, cooking, baking, shopping, etc.)? What percentage of your overall level of joy is food-related?

Take a look at your numbers. Are you surprised? Saddened? Relieved?

The good news is that we all have room for more joy in our lives – regardless of your number. Find some joy that has absolutely nothing to do with food or weight loss. Think about activities you enjoyed as a child. List some activities that you once loved but have let slide for one reason or another. These could be anything. Coloring, writing, reading, taking pictures, visiting neighbors, walking the dog, flying a kite, gardening. Any activity that gives you a little pull of longing and the hint of a smile when you think of it. This is your excuse to start it up again or to discover a new love. Make a commitment just for the fun of it.

That’s it. Make 2014 the year you bring joy into your life. Find it. Add it. Practice it daily. The truth is health and happiness do go hand in hand. But research shows that the equation is actually swapped. Happiness must come first. Cultivating it leads to better health and a healthier weight.

Please use the comments section below to let us know what joy you’re adding to your life – starting today – then get started living 🙂 And if you want some help finding your joy or starting a successful weight loss program, send me an email. Individual coaching is more affordable that you might think.

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Weekend Wisdom

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What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

~ Henry Stanley Haskins

Weekend Wisdom – wise words to fuel your weekend.
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My Top Two Holiday Weight Loss Tips

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Congratulations. You’ve made it. It is the middle of December and you’re still here. You’ve survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Hanukkah. You’ve almost made it to Christmas. And you’ve done it while immersed in the media’s barrage of holiday weight loss tips and must-have shopping guides.

Whew.

But, really – how are you doing?

I only ask because most people I know are starting to get pretty frazzled by now. They are feeling over-rushed, overwhelmed, over-stressed, and guilty. Two many glasses of champagne. Too many pieces of fudge. Too few sessions at the gym. And too much trying to be perfect.

The last thing you need is two more things – two more suggestions – two more holiday weight loss tips. I know.

That’s why I’m keeping them simple.

1. Breathe.

That’s it. Just breathe. Forgot to buy a gift for you sorta sometimes best friend? Breathe.Reaching for another helping of mashed potatoes even though you feel stuffed? Breathe. Thinking about skipping lunch in preparation for a party tonight? Breathe. Waiting for the in-laws to arrive? Breathe.

In through your nose. Out through your mouth. Sit, stand, hell – lie down on the floor. Close you eyes if it feels right and breathe.

2. Breathe again.

Really. Go ahead and do the inhale/exhale thing one more time.

Here’s the deal – everything you need to know rests in those breaths. Time passes. Heads clear. Decisions can be made. Choices can be changed. And through it all you can be reminded that you’re still here. You’re okay. Even if everything else seems out of control, your breath still works. It feeds you, fuels you, fills you. Just breathe.

Those are my top two holiday weight loss tips. Use them to get through the holidays. Use them to get through life. You are enough. Simply by breathing, you are enough.

Happy holidays!

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Weekend Wisdom

confidence

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Weekend Wisdom – wise words to fuel your weekend.
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Feel Sexy Now – No Matter How Much You Weigh

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One of the first questions I ask women who come to me for weight loss advice is why they want to lose the weight. I get the usual responses – “I want to be healthier,” “I want to be able to keep up with my kids,” “I want to feel better about myself.” And all of those are true. But there’s always another truth – one we all know – but one many women keep hidden away. Most think it’s the prize that comes from weight loss. The reward for all the sweat and hard work.

But the funny thing about this truth is it can be actually be key to losing the weight. And it can be achieved no matter your current size and shape. The reason nearly every woman comes to me for weight loss help is simple: They want to feel sexier. Because face it – sexy is a feeling – and feeling sexy can start right now – no matter your size or your shape.

Our perception of sexy has been skewed – by Photoshopped models and our own nagging self doubt. We’ve been corrupted by the idea that happiness (and sexiness) and everything else we want will start when we hit that magical number on the scale. And in the meantime, we celebrate any victory, success, or milestone with food (we deserve something after all – and food is so easy. It’s readily available and we don’t have to put anyone else out in order to get some. After all – we tell ourselves we don’t deserve that kind of attention until we weigh (insert magical number here) pounds.)

Aargh!

So how can you feel sexy now – no matter what weight you are?

1. Stretch yourself – figuratively and literally.

Do something that breaks you out of your comfort zone. Take a class. Try a new sport or activity. Take a chance. The self-esteem you gain from learning something new will show up all over you – in your face and in the way you move your body. And everyone knows there’s nothing sexier than confidence.

A lot of women I talk to say that doing yoga actually makes them feel sexy. There’s something about all that stretching and breathing that helps them connect to a part of themselves they like. And it does wonders for your posture as well as your hormone balance. Try a Sun Salutation or a evening practice and see what you think.

2. Pick a body part you like and emphasize it. Then pick another one.

Even when we feel our absolute worst, we all have a particular part or aspect of ourselves that we like more than another. It might be your eyes, or your arms, your calves, or your laugh – but there’s something about you that you wouldn’t change – not for anything (or anyone). Hone in on that part. Dress it up. Show it off. Then notice another part you like (even a little bit) and notice it. Keep noticing the things you like about yourself. Then, simply let them shine.

3. Do something fun. Anything. Maybe something you’ve been putting off until you lost the weight. Maybe something you thought you’re just to old for. Whatever it is, do it. Now – with abandon.

4. Focus on how you want to feel not what you want to weigh. Figure out what makes you feel that way. Then do those things. If I want to feel full of energy, I eat foods that make me feel energetic after I eat them (sorry maple bar and mocha for breakfast – you two don’t do that). If I want to feel bold, I do something that requires boldness (paragliding, for example), and if I want to feel cared for, I do something kind for myself (a warm bath, a massage  – you get the idea). Think about how you want to feel – now. Then do the things that spark that feeling.

5. Move that body. Exercise has been proven to make you feel better about yourself.

In fact, studies have shown that working out can actually boost your libido – make you feel sexy while getting healthier. So find some fun way to move your body – and do it. Dance. Run. Get your heart rate up and your sweat on. Who knows, it may get you a standing ovation.

 

What makes you feel sexy? Share your strategies in the comments section below.

 

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