Monday, Jan 2, 2017
We are all story tellers. I used to say I’m a terrible story teller, mostly because of my tendency to get off track and ruin the punch line (I call it my “shiny object syndrome”).
Now I see the story my mind is telling me on almost a daily basis. If I’m tired or run down the story is not all sunshine and butterflies but instead my thoughts are focused on what it difficult or “wrong.” Most days I choose a better story. I am healthy. I love my job. I enjoy helping people. I am blessed. I am grateful.
As the New Year began I asked a few healthy people – like yourself – about their own wellness story that separated them from the pack. After listening to many stories I noticed a trend. For most successful well-balanced people their lifestyle choices are simple, mindful, and fun/delicious.
A hair stylist and friend of mine was telling me his own 20 pound weight loss story of 2016. He said it was “almost so simple it’s silly,” but he stopped buying the trigger foods that were preventing
him from reaching his goal weight. When he cut out fast food, stopped buying Oreos, and included breakfast daily the weight easily came off (and that was without exercise!). Instead of going out for fast food he bought pita bread and alternated between hummus, peanut butter, or deli meat with cheese as an easy lunch or dinner option. He consistently eats boiled eggs with fruit for breakfast and occasionally treats himself to fried eggs, bacon and hash browns.
A client of mine, who we will call Janice, was mostly on-track when we started to meet last Summer, but she struggled with her snack habit. Janice knew the candy, granola bars, and other munchies at the office were preventing her from reaching her goals. She worked in a high stress environment and often turned to snacks as a stress reliever. Janice put the DATA system into action and practiced mindful eating consistently for three weeks. In that time she lost 6 pounds! Each time she thought about reaching for a snack she paused, described the situation to herself, acknowledged it was just a temporary craving, and turned to a different activity such as deep breathing or a walk around the office. Janice soon discovered she didn’t need to force herself to eat salads for lunch every day and instead she cut the mindless snacks out and remains on-track today.
It’s fun or delicious
I met a gal, Carla, last week who loves cheesecake. She is a diabetic and knows how carbohydrates and simple sugars affect her glucose (sugar in the blood). In the last 4 years, she has progressively changed her diet to primarily eating fruits, vegetables, protein, and some complex carbs – such as whole wheat bread or pasta, quinoa, and oats. However, she still hears the call of the cheesecake when she goes grocery shopping. Carla will occasionally give into the call and buys a small cake with the intention of eating one slice a day for a week. She admits the cake is usually gone within 24 hours. While we talked, I suggested a delicious alternative to the cheesecake. Now, Carla mitigates her cheesecake cravings with 1 graham cracker, a bit of all fruit spread, and whipped cream cheese. She reports this offers a sweet and creamy alternative without guilt or running the risk of high blood sugars!
Another example, when Mama Cathy decided to get more active she knew weight training and walking on the treadmill at the gym was not her idea of a good time. Instead, she tapped into her love of group fitness classes and religiously signs up for the 10-week water aerobics sessions every quarter. She looks forward to playing in the water and getting a great workout every Monday and Wednesday evening. Having a fun exercise also stops her from making less healthy food choices so as to not “undo” all of the work in the pool.
Food for thought:
New Year’s resolutions aside, when thinking about your own wellness goals and initiatives are they simple, mindful, or fun?
If not, how can you simplify your good habits?
How can you make them more mindful?
And where’s the fun?!
If you’re looking for more guidance in 2017, we hope you’ll check out Restart, Rebalance to get you the personalized support you need!