02 March 2017

Top 5 Emotional Hurdles That Seem to Disturb Your Weight Loss Goal

Happy New Year 2017! Haha, totally too late to wish you readers, but may you have a joyful, bright, healthy, double prosperity and happiness throughout the year.

I have been on a long hiatus, life is really like a roller coaster! Last two years, Mr husband's workplace had a major restructuring that he chooses to left the company and started a job hunt. We ended up moving to three different cities in less than two years. Moving to a new place, new city, new home stress me out. Honestly, it took a real hard time for me to cope with packing, handling the children's new school, adjusting to new environment and stuff like that. When I just about to settle my feeling, get comfortable at the new place, Mr husband 'announce' that we need to get ready to pack our things and move and I was like, AGAIN??? How I wish we can stay a bit longer in one place, maybe at least for 3 years but you know sh*t happened sometimes and life must go on.

Speaking of my weight loss journey, I can't focus at all. This may sound like a lame excuse, but really...this moving in and out process makes it difficult to maintain healthy eating habit or in another word my eat right, eat clean goals. I am mentally exhausted. I have no idea how much I weigh now but I know I've gained a lot of weight. As long as I remember, I weighed 82kg last Christmas, 35kg heavier than my goal weight. Some more, when you get too occupied with life, or feel messed up, grabbing something fast like instant noodle really give you comfort. I do still prepare healthy foods for my family, but I don't enjoy my own meals. I always lose my appetite in a hot kitchen. Anybody can relate?

Life is like that. Sometimes up and sometimes you're down, sometimes you just go round and round. But that's what life is. Like an EKG machine, if there are no ups and downs in your life it means you are dead. But the very roller coaster of life can somehow affect your weight loss goal. Let's take a look at these 5 emotional hurdles that may keep you from losing weight.

1. Stress

Stress can cause loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. But stress can also cause weight gain, depending on the person. The body uses energy at a faster rate when stressed. During a stress day, your body releases heavy amounts of cortisol. Cortisol according to MedicineNet, is a critical hormone in our body, which stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and stimulates insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar level. When you get a surge of cortisol, your body told to replenish the energy used, even though you haven't used very many calories. It may result in increased appetite...you'll be very hungry.

What you can do to address stress? Try to look for the positives in life. Appreciate what you have instead of focusing so much on what we don't have. Chill out and try these 4 simple ways to relieve stress at home.

2. Anger

How can get angry prevent weight loss? You could be angry at your boss or at your frustratingly dumb slow colleague, or it might be the traffic jam or cancelled events. At some point, we also feel parental anger towards our children's constant fighting. Anger is a normal human emotion. This emotion can be a good thing, designed to protect you and help you read and respond to upsetting social situation. But when anger turns destructive and out of control, it can make you look crazy. Anger and stress seem related. The anger itself may be a cause of stress on its own. When we get angry, the body pumps a large quantity of cortisol, commonly known as fight or flight hormone. Anger and stress obesity can't simply be treated by diet alone because there's a combination of several hormones resisting weight loss.

How do you control anger? The goal is not to not angry at all. The goal is to calm yourself down. Count to 10 isn't just for kids. Take deep breaths, and count to 10, or to 100...whatever it takes! Identify what made you mad and work on possible solutions. If your anger issues seem out of control, consider seeking help from a counsellor or psychotherapist.

3. Lonely

Loneliness is a bad mood feeling and any bad mood can lead to emotional eating. Why loneliness causes us to eat the most? Because we feel that eating soothe negative emotion. But that's not all. A study shows that loneliness messes up your hunger hormones. Loneliness and lack of connections enhance ghrelin, the hunger hormone which increases food intake. This could be the body's way of telling them to seek out company as humans have evolved to look at eating as a social activity.

If you're feeling lonely, keep yourself busy. Join a group with similar interest. Don't sit around and be isolated. Turn to friends and family to talk about your situation. If you really don't have someone to talk to, you can shoot me an email anytime. I'd like you to know that someone is listening. :)

4. Boredom

When asked about their wrong food choices and their emotions before they eat, "I'm bored" is one of the top excuses people made. There's two type of boredom. First, lazy boredom, when you lose the sharpness of mind and it makes you restless or lazy and you just want to sleep. Secondly, active boredom is when you wants to be connected with something or engaged elsewhere but you feel bored because the environment you're in is kind of unmotivating. Scientist concludes that people eat when bored simply to break the monotony, not because they are hungry.

How not to be so boring? Set goals and continuously keep refreshing your motivation. More often than not, boredom is the result of lacking the right inspiration.

5. Happy

The first 4 emotional hurdle above are negative kind of emotions. You can't lose weight because negative emotional can triggers poor eating habits. But wait, even happy moments can influence weight gain? Yes, falling in love makes you gain weight. Most brides-to-be lost weight prior to getting married so that they look stunning in their wedding gown but they often tend to put on weight post marriage. Love weight doesn't just happen in a new relationship; married women are likely to fall prey to such a phenomenon. When two people are in a happy relationship, their lifestyle patterns, eating and exercise habits change, and not always for the better. After years in a relationship, many couples do settle into a comfort zone and that impressing their partner isn't always the first priority anymore.

How to prevent relationship weight gain? Don't get comfortable. Rather than snuggling on the couch which basically lead to mindless snacking, fill the rest of the time with hobbies instead. Communicate with your partner about your weight loss goals, your healthy goals. It's so much easier to achieve goals when you feel supported.


Your turn now:

  • Have you ever caught in a cycle of emotional eating?
  • What do you think about emotional eating? Is it because of lack of self-control? Or is it because of your hectic lifestyle that causes you to go through your days on "autopilot"?

Tell me what you think, leave your comment below.




05 November 2016

You Need to Lose Weight! 5 Classy Ways to Handle Fat Shaming

Last week's story.
You Need to Lose Weight! 5 Classy Way to Handle Fat Shaming

My daughter returned home from school and looked a bit upset when I asked her about her art class. They had an art exam that day. Days before, they were given list of things they can choose to draw on the exam day. She choose a pineapple. But her friends, according to her, commented that her drawing is ugly and that's what made her sad. She cried. Trying to comfort her, I told her that everyone has their own opinion. It's okay. Two people can look at her drawing and see something totally different. We respect our friends' point of view. However their opinion is not necessarily true. Upon hearing that, she falls into peace again.

When I say that to my daughter, I have a feeling that it's like I'm telling this to my own self. People sometimes can be so mean or maybe too honest about your appearance. 'You've gained a lot lot lot of weight since I last saw you,'  'you shouldn't eat that burger', 'you need to lose weight', 'you look like a rugby player with fat legs'. Fat shaming doesn't motivate people to lose weight. From my own experience, criticizing someone's weight actually only makes them feel terrible about themselves and causes them to eat more and gain more weight. My dad and mom maybe thinks that they are just being real honest that every time I came home they will repeat the same fat-shaming advice in front of my husband. My dad even used to joke and laugh a lot about my weight. We can't shut people's mouth. People can say whatever they want about you but their approval doesn't matter. Not everyone will understand your weight loss journey or your struggle with gluttony. I never tried to correct people in my family because I don't think they will understand. Author of EatQ, psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD, said that to prevent judgy comments from weighing you down is by telling them about how their words make you feel since they may not be aware. But it takes a lot of courage to tell someone else how you feel without feeling silly or risk embarrassment.

What is the other best way to react fat shaming from your family, or colleague in the workplace?


You Need to Lose Weight! 5 Classy Way to Handle Fat Shaming

1. Look on the bright side
The people who care about you may say harsh comments with no intention to hurt you. They feel like as a family and friends it's their job to tell you the truth about your weight and health. They might say some super-insensitive comments, but try to remind yourself that this could be an attempt to show how much they care for you.

2. Silence is the best answer
Try your best not to respond. "Behaviours we reinforce continue, and those we ignore should stop," says Albers. Divert the conversation in another direction. Don't add anything to a conversation to belittling yourself.

3. Take care of yourself
When someone knocks you down, don't buy into it. Criticism at the wrong time can kill momentum for successful weight loss. Use this chance instead to build your confidence. Remind yourself each day to not just talk about your weight loss goals and aspirations but go out and do something about it. No matter how many times people try to criticize you, the best revenge is to prove them wrong.

4. Mentally prepare for the situation
You are going to attend a family event where you might bump into Critical Cathy so plan a few emotional strategies in advance. Breath deeply and evenly to help you feel much more relax. Visualize a relaxing experience to control immediate emotional responses. Close your eyes and imagine your safe place. Create as many details as possible. What sounds do you hear? What do you see? What does it smell like? What textures do you touch? 

Learning to communicate assertively can also be very helpful in controlling your emotions. For example:
"Why are we focusing on what's bad about how we look? Let's focus on what we love about ourselves."
"The way you are talking about yourself (or someone else) is making me feel really bad about myself. 
"I'm/you're beautiful and lovable the way I am/you are."

5. Reaching out to your support system
I hit up my most empathetic friends when I have to deal with this kind of situation. I can say that they are my great kind of therapy. Sometimes, it is necessary to vent to a friend about rude comments to keep your sanity.
You Need to Lose Weight! 5 Classy Way to Handle Fat Shaming

Talk It Over
  • What strategy do you use to keep your cool when someone fat-shaming you? Share in the comments. 

21 September 2016

10 Day Weight Loss Mental Challenge

Are you familiar with this quote 'Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve'?
It’s Napoleon Hill's most famous inspirational quotes on the power of positive thinking. It means when you truly believe on something, your mind find ways to accomplish it. Same goes to negative thinking. The moment you have a negative thought, it’s already hindering you from achieving something that you want, less energy instead of more energy, less peace of mind instead of more peace of mind, less success instead of more success.

I remember reading a story about a traveller who went to visit a beautiful waterfall. Scenic view was mesmerizing and the water was crystal clear, the surrounding area smells so earthy fresh. He took a sip from the waterfall, the water couldn't get any purer. Just as he had finished, he saw a signboard nearby that read "poison". He suddenly felt sick, his vision suddenly became blurry, he had trouble breathing, his heart race like crazy. He shouted for help and his tour guide sent him immediately to the hospital. The doctor asked, what happened? He told his story, but the doctor burst out laughing instead. The doctor in his teary laugh explained that the signboard that he just saw was actually written "poisson", double "S"- a French word that means fish. The man thought he was going to die because of the 'poisonous' water, and he became what he think. He started to feel the symptom of poisoning. Moral of the story is our mental attitude can either improve our health and increase our chances of success, or vice versa.

These final 10 days of September, I'm going to do a different weight loss challenge from the challenge I did before. It is called the 10 Day Weight Loss Mental Challenge inspired by Anthony Tony Robbins, the author of Awaken The Giant Within.


THE TEN-DAY WEIGHT LOSS MENTAL CHALLENGE
RULES OF THE GAME

Rule 1. In the next ten consecutive days, refuse to dwell on any unresourceful thoughts or feelings. Refuse to indulge in any disempowering questions or devitalizing vocabulary or metaphors.

Rule 2. When you catch yourself beginning to focus on the negative - and you certainly will - you are immediately use the problem solving question as your first line of attack, for example:
  1. What is great about this problem?
  2. What is not perfect yet?
  3. What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it?
  4. What am I willing to no longer do in order to make it the way I want it?
  5. How can I enjoy the process while I do what is necessary to make it the way I want it?
Remember by asking question like, "what's not perfect yet?" you're presupposing that things will be perfect. This question can direct your focus toward a better emotional state, help you break a pattern of negative thinking, and actually come up with a solution to your problems. It doesn't ignore the problem, but it keeps you in the right state while you identify what needs to be changed.

In addition, set yourself up for success each morning for the next ten days by asking yourself the Morning Power Questions before you get out of the bed or while you're in the shower and use the Evening Power Questions, or any questions you believe will put you in a great state before you drop off to sleep.

Morning Power Questions

  1. What am I happy about in my life now?
  2. What am I excited about in my life now?
  3. What am I proud about in my life now?
  4. What am I grateful about in my life now?
  5. What am I enjoying most in my life now?
  6. What am I committed to in my life now?
  7. Who do I love? Who loves me?
(substitute “could” for “am” if you get stuck.)

Evening Power Questions

  1. What have I given today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. How has today added to the quality of my life or how can I use today as an investment in my future?

Rule 3. For the next ten consecutive days, make certain that your whole focus in life is on solutions and not on problems. The minute you see a possible challenge, immediately focus on what the solution could be.

Rule 4. If you backslide - that is, if you catch yourself indulging in or dwelling on an resourceful thought or feeling-don't beat yourself up. There's no problem with this as long as you change immediately. However, if you continue to dwell on unresouceful thoughts or feelings for any measureable length of time, you must wait until the following morning and start the ten days over. The goal of this program is ten consecutive days without holding or dwelling on a negative thought. The goal is to knock things out before you ever get in a negative emotional state in the first place. This starting-over process must happen no matter how many days in a row you've already accomplished the task.


Admit it, we all have our mental indulgences. We are habitually feel sorry for ourselves for many reasons. We bad mouthing ourselves when we are not able to workout, we sometimes feel like we're a bottomless pit because we want to lose weight so bad but can't stop eating unhealthy foods. Or it is our looks that makes us feel insecure. This weight loss mental challenge is really an opportunity for you and I to become "addicted" to a positive focus for the rest of our lives.

Today is my Day 1 of weight loss mental challenge. What about you, have you decided yet whether you're going to do this? Let me know in the comment.

29 August 2016

Going to the Gym Won't Actually Help You Lose Weight – But Why I Still Go to the Gym Every Week?

August is ending soon! It's been a while since I last posted. I wrote my first blog post after haven't posted for the last 3 months last night but the internet line was so slow that I had to save as draft. When I checked the post today before I get it published, the post was not there. Blogger not saving my blog post draft, I am so irritated right now! Huh.

The hubs got a new job recently and we just got busy moving to a new town that I have no time to write a blog post. And while I'm busy adapting to a new environment, my diet falling off the diet wagon. Well, things happened. But tell ya I'm sooooo ready to get back on track because life goes on no matter how hard it gets, no matter how you feel. My motto for now is stop hanging on and just move on. Life won't wait for you while you're wasting time waiting for the right time to bounce back from weight loss failure, right?

I signed up for a gym membership earlier this month. Look, I'm not fond of gym. I prefer to workout at home where I can own my own space, I can wear whatever I want, or even listen to my favorite music as loud as I wish. But then why I still choose to pay tons of money to join a gym when I can workout at home instead?

1. Atmosphere 
You are in the fitness atmosphere, and this motivates you to workout. Being surrounded by other people who are in the same boat can boost your motivation to make exercise part of your regular routine. My goal this month is to push myself to go to the gym at least three times a week and find my rhythm. And when I already got my momentum I may going on a more regular basis, which will help make my weight loss goals more attainable.

2. Distraction 
I am prone to procrastinate when at home. Taking 5 minutes nap after sending off the children to school often becomes 30, 1 more episode of Kdrama usually end up marathoning all the episodes. And who hasn’t told themselves, I’ll get in my workout, right after checking my Facebook or after I reply this WhatsApp message. At this point, I might tell myself I’ll work out later, or tomorrow—and the vicious cycle of procrastination wins. Gym is a good distraction. You’re away from the dirty dishes in the sink, the piled up laundry which can easily distract your focus.

3. Equipment
You're not going to want to spend $10,000 or more on expensive gym equipment. Treadmill, elliptical machine, set of dumbbells, hip abductor machine, abs coaster - the gyms is going to have it all for you. With that wide selection of workout equipment, it'll greatly expands the list of exercise options you have when developing a workout routine for yourself.

4. Price
It is much cheaper to get a gym membership for a year than it is to buy enough equipment to have your own home gym.

Well, we often hear people said "you lose weight in the kitchen" to which I agree. When it comes to shedding extra kilos, eating less is much more important. Exercise has many benefits, but we can't rely fully on it to control weight. Sticking with a healthy eating plan is a real challenge for me this month. I am still trying to fix my bad eating habits but on the bright side I'm slowly begin my exercise routine, slowly building up momentum and the willpower to exercise. Non scale victory, YAY!

Now let me hear from you: What feels right for you, workout at home or join the gym? Share in the comment.

26 May 2016

How to Make Pleasurable Changes for a Joyful Weight Loss

This alligator jokes is quiet old and I'm sure you've heard this somewhere. For today's post I want to retell you this story, it will be entertaining to those who do not know the story, refreshing to those who do.
How to Make Pleasurable Changes for a Joyful Weight Loss


Alligator Jokes
A rich millionaire decides to throw a massive party for his 50th birthday, so during this party he grabs the microphone and he announces to his guests that down in the garden of his mansion he has a swimming pool with two alligators in it.  
'I will give anything they desire of mine, to the man who swims across that pool.' 

So the party continues with no events in the pool, until suddenly, there is a great splash and all the guests of the party run to the pool to see what has happened. In the pool is a man and he is swimming as hard as he can, and the tails come out of the water and the jaws are snapping and this guy just keeps on going and the alligators are gaining on him and this guy reaches the end and he gets out of the pool, tired and soaked.

The millionaire grabs the microphone and says, 'I am a man of my word, anything of mine I will give, my Ferraris, my house, absolutely anything, for you are the bravest man I have ever seen. So sir what will it be?' the millionaire asks.

The guy grabs the microphone and says, 'Why don't we start with the name of the bastard that pushed me in!


The reward offered by the rich man is fancy enough. He promise to gives just ANYTHING to his guest, 1 million cash, Lamborghini, or a luxury trip to Maldives, you name it but under one condition. Swim across a swimming pool with two alligators in it. Obviously the man who accept the challenge is not really after the prize at all even though it sounds attractive much. He made it because someone push him in it and he was scared to death that he swim as fast as he could to reach the end. I bet he'll win the Olympic gold! The pool surrounding area is the guest's comfort zone. The lucrative reward the rich man offered are their goals. But before claiming the prize, they need to face off the challenge, the swimming pool and it is not just a normal pool. There are two alligators in it!

Similarly, we have our own goals. If you and I want to lose weight, we know we need to change in order to achieve our goals. Instead of sitting on the potato couch all day watching our favorite telenovela, we need to get moving. And not just that, we must watch what we put in our mouth. You eat crap, and you'll feel like crap and never lose weight.  But change is terrifying. Like the story above, the guest are not brave enough even to dip their foot into the water. They may think, what if the alligator catch me?

What if I lose all the weight, but I'll gain it all back anyway? What if I lose all the weight, but I will get loose skin? What if I lose weight, but that makes my face look older?  This mixed emotions sometimes cause us to be uncertain as to what to do and keep holding us back from achieving our goals. Anthony Robins in his book 'Awaken the Giant Within' wrote that the only way we're going to make a change NOW is if we create a SENSE OF URGENCY that's so INTENSE that we're compelled to follow through. To turn around our mixed emotions, Anthony Robins talk about reaching a pain threshold. That means you experience pain at such an intense level that you know YOU MUST CHANGE NOW. Maybe you're not able to squeeze into your skinny jeans anymore, that kind of experience will finally push you over the edge. But Anthony said, if you've tried many times to make a change and you've failed to do so, this simply means that the level of pain for failing to change is not intense enough.

Why would someone not change when they feel and know that they should? Because changing will move them out of their comfort zone. Because making a change is painful than to not changing. Anthony list down two ways to reverse this so that the idea of changing is pleasurable instead of painful.

1 - Ask yourself pain-inducing questions
"What will this cost me if I don't lose weight?" "What will I miss out in life if I stay obese?" Make the pain of not changing feel so real and intense that you can't delay your action any longer. Focus on how it will affects your children, and the people you care about.

2 - Use pleasure-associating question
"If I lose weight and reach my ideal weight, how will that make me feel about myself?" "What other things in life I could accomplish if start losing weight for good?" Get lots of strong reasons why must take action immediately.

How to Make Pleasurable Changes for a Joyful Weight Loss

Now your turn: You can intentionally train your brain and create positive emotions to start making a change and lose the weight for good. Apart from the hack above, what other ways to trick your brain into doing what you want? Leave your comments below.

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