No Self-Control? Breakthroughs to Build Your Willpower

e_may_photo_1I am often told that I must have extraordinary will power.  I’ve lost and kept of 60 pounds and working out is a daily thing for me. I don’t honestly think my willpower is better than yours. I’ve spent time building up habits by exercising my willpower.

I have read articles on why willpower is like a muscle; it needs to be exercised and it gets fatigued. It makes a lot of sense. When you are constantly using your energy to say no to things you want you deplete your energy. By the end of the day you have exhausted your willpower and seem to cave in. It’s easier to fluff off the gym, yoga class, and to eat an unhealthy dinner.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t change.  You need to exercise your willpower and build it up. Here are some tips to help you start:

1) Do the task that you want to avoid first thing. This way you do not spend all day wasting energy worrying over it. Or have a certain day for certain tasks. Hate filing? Pick a day when you can put on some music and make the task more enjoyable.

2) Plan your meals and you don’t have to think about what to make for dinner.  When you know what you are going to make you don’t waste energy on making more decisions. Not sure what to make, let someone in your house pick from some healthy options. Takes the pressure off of you.

3) Forgot to plan dinner or you’re running late? Have some healthy choices in the freezer. I freeze soups or casseroles that I’ve cooked for those moments when I know darn well I don’t feel like cooking. I can just pull one out, defrost, and heat.

4) Plan your workout. I know that on Saturdays I run with my group.  It takes away  any planning or wondering when I’m going to get my long run in. Plus, I have people waiting for me so it takes away debating on if I want to go or not.

5) Celebrate your successes. Rewards work, pure and simple. Plan a treat of some sort for when you reach your goals and take the time to enjoy it.

Start small and don’t worry about small setbacks. It takes time to create a habit and with some practice you will eventually get there.

Do you have a goal that just seems impossible to reach? Maybe it’s losing that last 10 pounds or starting an exercise habit. Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a free strategy session if you would like some support to help you reach those goals.

Self-Care – Selfish or Necessary?

i_july_photo_1This topic has been popping up all over lately. Last night in my networking meeting we talked about adding self-care in as part of spring cleaning. Some thought it was selfish but in a good way and others thought it was nice but never added it in.

I don’t think it’s selfish, I think it is necessary to recharge your batteries. You cannot take care of others if you are run down. The airlines all tell us put your own oxygen mask on before helping those with you. (now if they could only do something about their food)…

What are some ways you can add self-care in? Think about what nurtures you.

If you have let your hobbies slide try picking one or two back up. Don’t like it? Try something else. What excited you as a child? What could you spend all day doing? Google the older woman dancing on You Tube – it’s pretty funny to see what she can do all day.

A good book and a cup of tea can be a great pick me up.

Hot soup on a cold day is soothing and soul satisfying.

Meditation – can be a traditional type, a walking meditation, a guided visualization or just letting your mind empty for a few minutes.

Get some exercise: go for walk, do yoga, dance, or whatever makes you smile.

Play with a child, blow bubbles, swing on the swings, skip, or go down the slide. Anything to bring out your playful side. I like to do the hopscotch boards when I see them.

Declutter your space or make a little area for yourself in your house. Just a spot where you can go, breathe, and collect yourself for a while. It can be as simple as a shelf or small table where you put some things that make you happy or think.

Buy yourself some flowers, even one perfect flower in vase can brighten up your space.

Sing, paint, write poetry, sculpt with clay, knit – it doesn’t have to perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good if you enjoy it, do it.

Listen to music, watch a funny movie, or attend a workshop on something you’re interested in.

I like to go to my happy place. It’s my form of guided visualization: I’m on the beach. I can feel the sun on my body, the warm sand beneath me, and the light breeze that’s blowing. I stretch to get a bit more comfortable. I can smell the ocean and the tang of coconut from the sunblock. I hear the waves and the gulls. I taste the saltiness of the air and the bite of the iced tea that I’ve brought along. I see the blue water and the colorful umbrellas. Looking into the horizon I can see the dolphins going past. Life is good and I am relaxed.

What do you do to recharge? I’d love to hear your tips.

Do you feel like your life is an endless roller-coaster? Do you want to get off and take some time for yourself but aren’t sure how? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and we can set up a 30 minute strategy session to help get you started.

 

Should you cleanse? Maybe not!

smoothieI was never one much for a cleanse.  I figured my body knew what to do and didn’t really need much help from me.  I also like to eat and not chewing for a few days was not something I was going to do voluntarily.  Then I was introduced to cleansing via foods, whole foods that a person could eat three times a day.  It would give the body a rest from allergens, rev up the metabolism, help me shed a few pounds, get my eating back on track and I was intrigued.

Did I mention you get to eat? Delicious meals that don’t feel like deprivation!

So why does the body need a break?  You may have a pretty clean diet but still breathe in toxins from the air or absorb them through your largest organ, the skin, if your water isn’t filtered.  Maybe you drink socially, have a lot of caffeine, eat sugary treats or just a few too many healthy treats.  It could be that you’re having a little too much pasta, bread, potatoes or cheese.  Many of our convenience foods have ingredients that our bodies do not recognize as food and they confuse our system.

It’s also good if you are feeling stuck in general.  Can’t decide what to do next or feeling stagnant in your job?  Maybe you’ve just felt like something is missing.  A cleanse is a good way to clear the cobwebs in our brains.

smoothieA cleanse is not a fast.  It’s more of a rejuvenation and a reminder to feed your body what it really needs and not just what you are craving.  It’s something I like to do in the spring and the fall, a sort of prep for the upcoming seasons.  It’s especially great in the spring when we’re prone to congestion.  Clean foods have a way of helping congestion leave the body.

While most of us, even the healthy eaters, could use a cleanse there are those who should not.  If you are in the middle or end of training for an endurance event or if you have a compromised immune system the cleanse is not for you.  Endurance event participants need more fuel and their bodies need to build strength.  Those with a compromised immune system need their energy to heal.

I am leading a 5, 7, and 10 day cleanse beginning April 7.  You will have daily support, over 35 pages of delicious
recipes, instructions for what do pre and post cleanse, as well as instructions for the cleanse itself.  For more details click: press-the-reset-button-cleanse.   Please email me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com if you are interested and I will send you the details.

Is it All or Nothing for You?

g_june_photo_1I went out to dinner with a friend and she asked me how I could eat the way I do and not gain weight.  I laughed and said a) this was a treat meal and I don’t eat this way every day and b) If I eat something out of my normal foods I don’t think it’s a license to eat badly the rest of the day.  Just because I have pizza and beer doesn’t mean that I should go on an eating binge.  It’s not all or nothing – it’s balance.

I think treat meals give us an opportunity to indulge and then go back to our normal way of eating.  If you’re strict with everything you put into your mouth you tend to go overboard in a   big way when you do relax.  Planning for treats lets you know that something good is coming and it’s not the last time you’ll ever have it again.

You can either dive head first into a bowl of candy or choose a piece you really enjoy, sit down and savor it.  The first few bites are the most delicious anyway.  Pay attention to your treat and enjoy it.  Most of the time a little bit is satisfying and you don’t need to eat more to get enjoyment.  Mindlessly eating food isn’t satisfying and usually ends up leaving you feeling a little sick and overly full.

If you do reach for more ask yourself if it’s really what you want.  Are you eating it for the taste or are you searching for a memory or a feeling?  I’m a big believer in comfort but the comfort from food doesn’t last too long.  It usually backfires and leaves you feeling badly or mad at yourself.  In my next blog I’ll talk about other ways to comfort yourself.  Chances are you already know what else you can do to self-soothe.

Do you have trouble with choosing foods that work best for you?  Do you need support around your choices and habits?  Contact me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for complimentary power session and together we can come up with a plan that works for you.

 

 

 

I’m Never Counting Points Again

krispy kremeI am taking a class and one of the things we had to do was a diabetic food exchange. This is the program Weight Watchers is based on. It brought back memories, most of them of me trying to figure out how to save points so I could have a snack or a glass of wine. I remember eating Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast one morning and eating salad at lunch to make up for it.

There is nothing wrong with eating a salad for lunch. What’s wrong is eating junk food and skimping on real food to make up for it. I wouldn’t eat nuts or avocado because they were too many points. I would, however, have a treat every night.  Again, there is nothing wrong with occasional treats. But this was turning into a kind of madness that is not the underlying message of Weight Watchers but is an easy game to play.

I’m not alone. I’ve had others comment to me that they could use their points to eat cake for dinner. Yes, you could.  You’d be hungry and irritable later on but you could technically do it. I wasn’t that extreme but I did play with my points and made sure to exercise so I’d have extra points should I want them.

I did get down to my goal weight but I knew there was no way I could eat this way for the rest of my life. I was hungry, it was tiring, and I needed real food. Especially since I started training for a half-marathon. My body wanted to know why the heck I was punishing it. It was not sustainable.

The way I eat now is sustainable. I can run half-marathons and not be constantly hungry. I don’t feel like I’m punishing myself and I’m not constantly craving junk food.  I still like treats but I don’t search them out instead of eating real foods. I’m more content this way.

Does this sound too good to be true? It is doable for you too. I can help you get there with either one on one counseling or my Get Your Sexy Back program. Interested? Visit my website for more information, http://empoweredplate.com, or send me an email for a free 30 minute strategy session, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com.