What I Know About …Food Journaling

Food journaling! I can already hear the moans and groans when I suggest embracing the food journaling practice. Stay with me friends and hear me out… for just a moment. Food journaling is a critical when it comes to the weight loss success.

One of the main reasons why people experience weight gain is because they’re not in tune with just how much they are consuming and the different qualities of the foods that they are eating.

Food journaling invites and supports awareness and accountability. Yes, it requires time. Yes, it requires consistency. Yes, it requires a level of discipline – but think about the alternative. Remaining unaware, unaccountable and overweight.

If you want to create true changes, with your weight, then food journaling is the first place to start. When you really think about it, food journaling truly doesn’t require that much time. It’s simply a matter of being disciplined enough to DO IT!

So, here’s the best way I’ve found to create success around food journaling. First, make the decision to simply do it. This is not negotiable, nor is it options. It’s simply something which must be done.

Decide that you will commit to journaling for a set period of time. This alone is going to support better choices because you’ll be holding yourself accountable. When we increase awareness, we are empowered to make better choices. I’ve had client experience weight loss from this one practice alone.

Secondly, set yourself up for success by having a new, clean notebook ready to go in your kitchen. Let this notebook become a part of your space. Keep it in the same place, all the time. The minute you eat scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, document it. Be sure to include the pat of butter on that piece of toast as well!

Finally, get honest with yourself. Your the only one who will be looking at your food journal so let it be an accurate reflection of what you’re really eating. From this place of awareness, you can then decide how you want to move forward.

Burying your head in the sand and pretending that the 3 bites you snitched from your daughter’s ice cream sandwich doesn’t count, is a lie. It all matters and it all lead us to an end result of weight loss success or weight loss sabotage.

If you want your results to be different, then you need to be willing to do things differently.

Food journaling is one of easiest ways to create change, immediately, in your weight loss journey. So, let’s do this my friend! Step up your game by increasing your awareness through food journaling today.

Click here to take advantage of the food journaling tool which I provide to my clients. It’s completely free, easy to download and allows you to get a complete picture of your day-to-day food experience.

P.S. Curious to know more about the Hunger Scale, and the 4 Types of Eating Stages, which are noted on my Food Journal? Check out my post in the upcoming days for a full explanation.

What I Know About …The 4 Eating Types Video

Have you ever stopped to think about why you’re eating the foods your eating? Or, have you given consideration to the energy you bring to your eating experience? How about your level or awareness and purpose?

Today, I want to introduce you to 4 different types of eating patterns. This post is all about the intentions and emotional experiences which surround eating.

Fuel Eating – When we eat from a place of fueling, we’re very intentional with our food choices. We choose to eat high quality foods, which sustain us so we feel fuller and more satisfied for longer periods of time. Eating from a place of fueling also means that we’re seeking to serve our bodies in the best way possible. Because we love our body, we want to provide it with the good foods and, we’re thoughtful to the amount of food we’re consuming.

Joy Eating – Joy eating is when we choose to eat from a place of celebration and indulgence. Joy eating comes with purpose, intention and awareness. When joy eating, we still practice restraint around what we’re eating. We understand our “why.” Joy eating might look like having a piece of birthday cake because you’re at a friend’s birthday party. It also might be reflected in allowing yourself to have a homemade roll with butter and jam as part of a Sunday dinner. Joy eating isn’t necessarily a bad practice; but it can get us into trouble if we allow one piece of cake to turn into 2, or 3 servings of cake and the original purpose and intention is abandoned.

Fog Eating – Chances are good you’ve had an encounter with fog eating. Fog eating occurs when we’re completely checked out. All of the sudden, we find ourselves standing in the pantry with an open bag of potato chips – and we’ve consumed half the bag. Fog eating is very unintentional and more reflective of a default habit or pattern. Another example of fog eating is when you’re snacking mindlessly during a road trip or while at the movies.

Storm Eating – Storm eating is when we eat from a place of frustration, anger, discouragement and/or despair. The problem with storm eating is that while we may be aware of what we’re doing, we simply don’t care. We’ve had a frustrating experience and somehow believe that by consuming certain foods, or a large amount of food, this will make us feel better. Storm eating can often lead to binge eating, which is always accompanied with negative thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, people who storm eat, seek to punish themselves through this type of eating experience.

So, how is it that you can best recognize what type of eating pattern your entertaining. The best way to identify your eating type is to ask yourself, “How do I feel in this moment?” when you’re getting ready to consume your food. Becoming aware of your emotional state, prior to eating, and / or when in the middle of eating will reveal the answer.

Fuel eating always comes from a clean space, and is the best type of eating to practice. Eating from a space of Joy, Fog, and Storm eating, can often lead to trouble. These practices can often lead to increased thoughts and feelings of self-defeating.

Know that when you find yourself in those less purposeful eating spaces, you always have the option to hit the “pause button,” and make a better choice. You always have the power to realign your thought and feelings and regain control in your eating experience. Learning to eat from a more purposeful place first requires awareness. With awareness, you can then support yourself in developing a better, more purposeful eating experience.

Now that you know different, you can do different. And, a different choice today, is the first step forward to creating better results for tomorrow.

What I Know About …The Hunger Scale

The Hunger Scale is a tool which helps us tune into our body’s natural hunger cues. The hunger scale is represented with a range of numbers, “0” representing a place of contentment. The negative side of the scale reflects differing levels of hunger, while the positive side of the scale reflects differing levels of fullness.

As humans, we need high quality foods to fuel and sustain us and enable us to function. This said, we want to keep our hunger and fullness levels in check; thoughtfully balancing between a -4 to a +4 within the Scale.

As we begin to experience hunger, we start to move down the scale in the space of a -1, -2 and so forth with -10 representing starvation. Conversely, as we start to fuel up, we start moving into the positive side of the scale with a 1, 2, and 3 representing increased levels of fullness. The “10” on the scale would represent an extreme state of overindulgence; similar to how you might feel at the end of Thanksgiving Day.

Food is not here to entertain us, or to help us process uncomfortable emotions. And yet, it is a common practice for us to look toward food to entertain, soothe, reward, punish and manipulate ourselves and those around us. This my friends, is why we struggle with obesity.

Have you ever found yourself eating a bag of chips while standing in the pantry? “How did I get to the pantry?” “What am I doing with these chips?” “How many chips have I eaten?” You probably had a moment of boredom and rather than experience this emotion, you slipped into a default habit of grazing in the pantry.

You’re not alone friend! I’ve done this before as well.

So, how can we learn to recognize what our body truly needs? The answer is through becoming aligned with our true hunger cues. Once in tune with our hunger cues, we can then eat from a place of fueling rather than entertainment, boredom or frustration.

As we start to experience genuine hunger, our body signals to our brain that it needs fuel. Hunger is a sensation which starts within our body and travels up to our brain; alerting us to a physiological need. We don’t ever want to let our hunger get completely out of control as this can lead to overindulging and potentially binge eating. Likewise, when eating, we want to come into a place of +2, +3 and +4 on the Hunger Scale.

Learning how to recognize hunger cues, and then partnering these cues with the Hunger Scale, will lead to more purposeful choices. It’s from a place of intentional choices, that we will naturally start to exercise self-restraint and empowerment. As a result of our constraint, we will develop a healthier relationship with food; and maintain our ideal weight.

Click on the link above to watch a short video and learn how other effective ways to identify with and implement the Hunger Scale.

What I Know About …Setting Goals

“The purpose of a goal is for what is makes of you in accomplishing the goal. Who you become, along the way, will always be of a greater value than what you get in the end.” Jim Rohn

A goal is something you desire to achieve. Goals can be established in areas such as physical well being, education, relationships or simply for personal development.

Goals need to be set with the end result in mind. What is it that you ultimate desire to achieve? Get very clear about what you want to accomplish and attach a specific time frame to your goal. Likewise, goals need to be written down in an affirmative and precise way; otherwise, it’s simply a wish.

What is the benefit of writing down a goal? Putting your goals on paper solidifies your commitment and makes it real. There’s something magical which happens when you go through the process of putting the pen to paper. This increases your commitmen and invites your brain to go to work in supporting your achievement of the goal.

Here is a guide which can help you refine your goals; it’s called the S.M.A.R.T. Formula (taken from www.mindtools.com).

S – Specific or Significant – Is your goal focused, and very clear so that even a child would understand what you want to accomplish.

M -Measurable or Meaningful – Does your goal have a deadline or a “marker” associated with it so you’ll know when you’ve accomplished the goal?

A – Attainable – Can you reasonably accomplish this goal? Is achieving your desired outcome realistic?

R – Relevant or Rewarding – Will this goal improve your life and add value to who you are, your environment or well-being?

T – Time bound or Trackable – Can you measure this goal through a timetable, such as a calendar or another trackable tool such as your bank account, the scale or another resource?

Goal setting is a powerful activity which requires focus, commitment and discomfort. Most people aren’t willing to do the work because they aren’t willing to experience the discomfort. And yet, … discomfort is the currency required to fulfill our dreams. Think about it for a moment.

You can either trade a temporary discomfort NOW, in order to achieve your goal. Or, you can experience the discomfort later when you haven’t achieved your goal.

Either way, you’re going to have some discomfort. So, why not make the trade, go all-in on yourself, and start improving your reality.

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What I Know About …Getting Out of Procrastination

So, it’s Wednesday and the list of “to do’s” is long. As much as we’d like to think that the dishes are going to magically wash themselves, or that the bills will just pay themselves – we know better. We get a choice – jump into action or… procrastinate.

Procrastinating pretends to be acceptable, “I’ll get to the bills later.” “No one is going to know if the dishes are done, but me.” – but it reality, procrastination only brings a “net-negative” result into our lives.

Procrastination robs us of so many wonderful feelings, outcomes, experiences and opportunities. There isn’t one good thing that I can think of when it comes to any part of the procrastination package.

Have you ever stopped to think about what procrastination is costing you? Here are a just a few of the “net-negative” results I can identify.

  • Procrastination robs me of:
  • My energy and time.
  • My ability to generate growth and progress.
  • My sense of accomplishment and completion.
  • My feelings of self-worth because I fail to honor commitments I make to myself and others.

All in all, procrastination is like playing in poison ivy. It looks so pretty and harmless from the outside – but only leads to trouble in the end.

So – how is it that we can set ourselves up for success when procrastination starts to creep into our thoughts. Here are 3 steps you can take to move away from procrastination and into action.

  1. Do Something Which Needs To Be Done – First and foremost, take action in completing a task that is a “must do.” Completing a required task will increase your momentum.
  2. Do Something You Want To Do – Secondly, allow yourself to do something which serves you; something you desire to do, such as read for 20 min. or go enjoy a pedicure.
  3. Do Something For Someone Else – Find a way to give to someone who could use a helping hand or some sunshine in their life. Your act of service doesn’t have to be grand, rather, the benefit comes because you’re thinking about someone else and extending yourself in a thoughtful way.

In moving forward, know that taking action always feels better than procrastination. Try putting these 3 steps into motion and see how it can empower you to part ways with procrastination.