Friday, August 8, 2014

Making Your Meat Suit Habitable. Starting the Weight Loss Wheels in Motion, Part 1

When my youngest daughter, Gabby began trying to walk, it was a learning experience for us all. We watched with pride as our little girl tried all different ways to start walking. We watched as she fell, meandered like a drunkard, and looked at us with uncertainty for answers and reassurance. We got to watch as she beamed ear to ear realizing she was learning something momentous. If you pay attention you can hear a deeper message to the whole process.

During the months that our little lady worked on her walking, everyone - family, friends, and strangers alike, cheered her on. We all knew she could walk, we knew her body was capable but the only thing holding her back from walking, was herself. What a lesson to learn from. Never once did we think she couldn't do it, never did  we pick her up and tell her she should try another way. Instead, we were the encouraging observers, watching in awe as a little tiny crawler blossomed into a full fledged arms-out for balance walker.

Can we learn to give this level of confidence to others and to our self? Can we offer that level of kindness to the world and to our own selves? Genuine love, trust in the method and the acceptance of the trial and error process. Can we move on with absolute faith and fearless resolve? Wouldn't it be nice to offer yourself the level of support that you would offer to a child.

Lucky for me I had an "ah-ha" moment when I realized I was hiding something up my sleeve without knowing it. Thoughts of my body have always been in the fore thought of my mind, so in my "ah-ha" moment, I realized I could use that obsession to my advantage. Since I was thinking about my body all the time, why not use it productively with a positive spin.

First, Start by Getting to a Positive Place
I encourage you to get excited about making these changes in your life. Be THRILLED to make changes that will create your future. Hoping won't get you what you want, you've tried that already. Hoping has no action to it. Now it's time to take action. It's time for change. For me, I had to accept that I needed to eat more like a rabbit if I wanted to lean out. So I started eating a salad as one of my daily meals (take notes: Eat a salad a day). This is a shout out to salads because I used to snub them,  but now I LOVE SALADS. True story.

The way you view food is a choice. I had to change the way I thought of a salad, and trust my body to reward me for my good eating behavior (IT DID!) Besides, changes involving food might be hard initially, but when you see results the changes become enjoyable. I encourage you to make food changes with elation, and not dread. If you hate the changes, they won't last.

You can choose to view healthy eating  as a courtesy to your hard working body. Eat food that LOVES you! Do donuts, ice cream, candy bars and sodas love you back? Not for the long haul, those foods just trigger a chain reaction of erratic emotions. No donuts can't love you, they are that crush you had as a teenager, the one who you kept going back to even when they used & abused you (what jerks!) Spinach and apples do love you for the mutually loving, committed relationship. Get it? Good.

Another good tip! A GREAT movie you can watch on food. It's called Hungry For Change. It will get you excited about making good food choices. I have watched this three times trying to make sure I get all the goods out of it that I can. Watch the trailer here.  I watched it on Netflix, if you have a streaming account you can watch it on there for free.

My ideal body. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet.
My Reality Body. Oct. 2011, after first pregnancy

Yo! You Tube is Free!
Use YouTube like a life coach! I found what spoke to me the most, I listened to a subliminal video designed to help you overcome weight loss obstacles. Headphones are required for this. So when I felt weak at will or I just needed to calm my racing mind, I put my ear buds in.  During this quiet time, I would visualize what I wanted my body to look and act like. Everything was positive and focused during my "me" time. Calm energy came my way because that's what I put out there. It also helped me to feel in control of my body again. You know those days you find yourself speed eating, shoving crap in your mouth, eating when you aren't even hungry? Those are all red flags towards a slippery slope, it means it's time to put on your headphones and slow your roll!

Rule Out Comfort Foods
Let's cut to the chase here. If you want to change what your body looks like, you need to make something change. We both know what foods shouldn't be going in your mouth. Let's put up a big X on your comfort foods - you know the ones. Usually it is food which offers zero nutrition which temps you.What if those comfort foods are what's holding you back from the things you really want in life? Don't give food control of you, take your control back, put your foot down. Repeat this with me, "I am in control of what my body looks like."

      COMFORT FOODS = Foods you eat when you feel lonely (and you usually eat them alone)

Start by closing the fridge (the answer is not in there!) and slam the pantry closed too. Don't be mad about what you ate or did in the past, instead, go now do something you LOVE and say no to the food that haunts you. Go outside, pet a dog, email a friend, do whatever you need but get some distance from the kitchen.

My comfort food was almond flour mixed with maple syrup and coconut flakes. Kinda weird, I know, don't judge me (it's one of those time I could say at least it's paleo, but I won't because that's totally out of line).

To help my transition away from eating for comfort, I practiced a lot of self control until it became easy. I am also an avid rule maker, so I made up three rules for myself:
1.) Avoid comfort eating for 30 days
2.) If I broke rule #1, I wasn't allowed to feel guilty about it. Guilt is a dirty, dirty thing that holds you down.
3.) When I did eat it, I wouldn't feel bad, instead I would get even. I had to do 30 burpees immediately after breaking rules #1 or #1. True story. **See, burpees are good for something, don't let anyone tell you otherwise**
                           500 burpees without stopping. He must have eaten a lot of almond flour+maple syrup

If you struggle with overeating (yes, sure do!)...I suggest you turn to Marianne Williamson, her book is hands down the MOST influential piece of research regarding self love and weight loss that I have ever come across. It is easy for me to say her book changed me permanently. She made me feel empowered and in control of my body again instead of victimizing myself. Her book is here. I bought her book on audio only, so I listened to it on my cell phone on morning walks. It is very powerful, and all of her words spoke to me in a million ways. It was as though she got inside my head and did some deep hearted troubleshooting. I encourage you to take the time to read or listen to it, but if you want something free, you can read an article she was featured in. WARNING: She is religious and mentions God a lot in her writings; but as I am not religious, I chose to ignore that piece and listen to the actual message.

Now, as my youngest daughter is almost a year and a half, I have rightfully earned the body shape I wanted. I make it a point to workout hard at the gym and I stay focused making good choices outside the gym. In my opinion, eating is 70 percent of your body composition and 30% is determined by how you are working out. Focus on the eating piece first if you are just starting off. There will always be slip ups (that's how life goes) but by making focused choices most the time, you learn to get control back and be happy (relaxing sigh...) with your body. I sincerely hope this helps set your motivational wheels into action. If you need help establishing your goals, you can read this post.