Wednesday Wellness: 10 Ways to Avoid Emotional Eating

  1. Don’t eat when you’re bored.
  2. Don’t eat when you’re thirsty. Drink water. 
  3. Don’t eat when you’re distracted. Don’t munch while mindlessly staring at your phone. While I enjoy my popcorn while I watch a movie, I try to avoid thoughtless eating. Pay attention to what goes into your mouth and savor it. Some activities trigger eating. Pay attention when you get cravings whether you are actually hungry or if you are only eating because it’s what is expected. 
  4. Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and eat healthy snacks throughout the day so you don’t get over hungry. The more hungry I get the more I think I will only be satisfied by a big juicy burger or chocolate!
  5. Don’t look for treats as your consolation for stress. In Candace Cameron Buré’s “Reshaping It All” she says she finds strength when she looks to God for comfort rather than food. That resonated with me. 
  6. Start each meal by filling half your plate with veggies and/or fruits, then add your whole grains and lean proteins. Add some legumes. These will keep you satisfied even between meals.  
  7. Be deliberate about when you will eat fun food and then have self control not to overeat them. Treats aren’t the enemy when eaten in moderation. 
  8. Recognize the natural flow of your day. In “The Power of Full Engagement” I learned how our day ebbs and flows in a 90-120 minute rhythm. If you catch yourself in a lull and it has been an hour or two since your last activity, it’s time to do something else before diving back into your work. Have a healthy snack, read something uplifting, move your body. Don’t just reach for something to stimulate you and then keep on plugging away. Honor your natural rhythms. Take a break. 
  9. When you find yourself having consistent cravings for treats, cut them out for a week. In the book “Parenting: A House United” Nickoleen Peck talks about exercising self-government when you feel like you are drawn to a luxury that you think you cannot live without. This would apply if you found you are watching too much tv or if you look at social media too often, or whatever your vice is. Quit it for a whole week to purge yourself of the craving so you can better moderate your consumption. 
  10. Substitute a craving for something healthy. Have some veggies, protein, herbal tea, water, exercise, read/listen to something uplifting, pray/call someone for support. 

How do you overcome emotional eating?

Wednesday Wellness: Commitment

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I have not done very well over the last few weeks. The good news is, I didn’t gain weight! Still, I’m committed to keep recording my diet and exercise! It is a part of my life now. I’ve got it down to the point where it really is simple to record everything! The smart phone app has a scanner to scan bar codes on foods, which is super easy. I have another app called “MapMyRun” that keeps track of my fitness when I go outside.
I know it’s not for everyone, but for me, I have no excuse but to keep it up. Knowing what I know about health, I would be a fool to do anything less than manage a healthy diet and fitness routine. It’s not easy, but I am going to be accountable to this stewardship over my body and I hope to be faithful in that responsibility.
So, despite my weakness over the last few weeks, I must press on! If I am diligent over the next ten weeks, I will reach my goal weight! Just 10 weeks! That is doable! I will finally know what it feels like to be within a healthy BMI. Crazy!

Friday Fitness: 15 Minute Circuit

Here is my 15 minute workout.  I got the first seven exercises from a fitness site and decided to include the rest to get a more rounded workout.  I do each exercise for 50 seconds and then rest 10 seconds in between.  I do this right at home, and doesn’t really require weights.  Yes, the last one is a shoulder press, but you can use cans or something like that.  I use this online stop watch: http://www.beach-fitness.com/tabata/Tabata%20Clock%20v3.15%20%28beach-fitness.com%29.swf.  Enjoy!

If you cannot see the images above, the exercises I use are the following (50 seconds each, 10 seconds rest):

Jump from squat
Pushups
Burpees
High Step
Lunges
Jump up
Sit ups
Tricep dips
Plank
Side plank (each side)
Squats
Mountain climbers
Supermans
Shoulder press w/dumbells

Click here to download reminder sheet

Friday Fitness: Cholesterol

I found out this week that my cholesterol count is stellar, and my LDLs are at 92!! I was just having a conversation the other day too about how to lower your cholesterol. Turns out, I’m actually doing alright.  I was so excited I decided to post about it! 😀

Basically, for good cholesterol levels, do this:

  • Exercise most days of the week. Even a brisk walk for thirty minutes is something.
  • Eat enough foods rich in “good” fats, like nuts, fish, avocados, olive oil and canola oil. Around one-third of the calories in our diets need to come from fat, most of which should come from these “good” fats. These fats boost your “good” cholesterol – the HDLs – which act like garbage trucks that float through your blood stream and collect the “bad” cholesterol – the LDLs.  Just remember that one gram of fat has twice as many calories per gram of carbs or protein.
  • Eat enough fiber from fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains (drink plenty of water in the process too). Most people should get around 30g of fiber a day. Fiber binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract and carries it out of the body.
  • Avoid “bad” fats as much as possible; saturated fat and trans fat come in many forms (see choosemyplate.gov for great information). 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 20g of saturated fat each day for a 2000 calorie diet.
  • And, seriously, don’t smoke or drink.

Image courtesy of lds.org

Click here for a copy of my diet tracking spreadsheet that I use to help me remember to get the foods I need in my diet.

The Mayo Clinic has a lot of great insight into cholesterol. Check out a few links below:

Cholesterol levels: What numbers should you aim for?
Cholesterol: Top 5 foods to lower your numbers
Top 5 lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol
In-Depth look at cholesterol

My source:  “Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition” By Sharon Rady Rolfes, Kathryn Pinna, Ellie Whitney

Monday Might: Recommitted (Goal-Setting)

Now that the semester is over I get to crack down and get recommitted to the things that have started to slip. It just takes a couple of days for me to lose track and then things start spiraling out of control. I guess that’s how it is with two toddlers. If I don’t pick up, or do the dishes for ONE day – just one day – all heck breaks loose.

I have to admit, I am sorely tempted to just take a nap.

No, I have got to recommit. If I don’t have a plan or goals, I just feel all scattered and clumsy. So, about every quarter I recheck my goals and realign them with what I hope to accomplish.

To recommit, I sit down with my list of the six dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, interpersonal, spiritual, and environmental (Insel, pg 3). I consider where I need to improve in each of these dimensions, what I can do to develop in these areas, and how to accomplish that. I think I’ll also consider how I’ve grown in these areas and what I feel good about.

Core Concepts in Health 11th ed. by Paul M. Insel & Walton T. Roth
Pg 3 (my own suggestions are in parentheses)
Physical
Emotional
Intellectual
Interpersonal
Spiritual
Environmental
Eating well
Optimism
Openness to new ideas
Communication skills
Capacity to love
Having abundant, clean natural resources
Exercising
Trust
Capacity to question
Capacity for intimacy
Compassion
Maintaining sustainable development
Avoiding harmful habits
Self-esteem
Ability to think critically
Ability to establish and maintain satisfying relationships
Altruism
Recycling whenever possible
Practicing safe sex
Self-acceptance
Motivation to master new skills
Ability to cultivate support system of friends and family
Joy
Reducing pollution and waste
Recognizing symptoms of disease
Self-confidence
Sense of humor
Fulfillment
(Clean and organized surroundings)
Getting regular checkups
Ability to understand and accept one’s feelings
Creativity
Caring for others
(Environment is free of clutter)
Avoiding injuries
Ability to share feelings well with others
Curiosity
Sense of meaning and purpose
(Home and auto maintenance)
(Self-efficacy)
Lifelong learning
Sense of belonging to something greater than oneself

For myself, I also add another dimension of health, which is the “Temporal” dimension. This includes my temporal needs which could be included under “Intellectual” or “Environmental” or even “Occupational” or “Financial” but none of those really quite sum it up. “Temporal” health includes financial health or balancing a budget; maintaining food storage and emergency preparation; estate planning and planning for death/potential disability (sounds morbid, but I don’t want to leave this out there for the state to deal with in the event that it happens); understanding my rights, the laws I am governed by, and knowing what my insurance covers; developing my earning potential, and career planning; job satisfaction; improving my generativity (what I contribute to my posterity); etc.

Some things apply to several dimensions.  For instance,  I believe that writing in my journal improves my health on several levels: emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and even temporal.  It may even improve my physical health if I’m away from my computer or the television for a bit, and feel inspired to do something productive afterwards.  Doing my visiting teaching works on my emotional, interpersonal, intellectual, spiritual, and temporal well-being.

I have a binder with at least four of these dimensions on tabs.  I have some lined paper in the front of the binder where I record my thoughts or make lists involving the goals for each of the categories and place them under the appropriate tab.  I also add anything to the tabs that I obtain, like, for example, the food storage tips I get at church every week go under the “temporal” tab so I can refer back to them.  When I learn about new exercise programs that I like, I print them and put them under my “physical” tab. Pinterest also helps me organize my goals…even distant goals.

I found some great ideas for worthy goals at a site called “Pursuit of Excellence“.  WOW!!  What an awesome resource!!

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Setting goals and working toward those goals can strengthen your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by helping you develop patterns and qualities of discipleship in your life. Pursuit of Excellence can help you to follow the Savior’s example of “a more excellent way”  (1 Corinthians 12:31).
Begin by asking the Lord to help you determine what you will work on. Decide how you will evaluate and record your progress. Discover how the Spirit affirms your progress. You will find that your greatest reward will be an increase of the Spirit in your life. Your faith will grow, and your testimony will be strengthened.
The goals listed below are intended to help support and strengthen you in your responsibilities as a son or daughter of Heavenly Father and to help you establish righteous habits and patterns for a lifetime.

Need more ideas about goal-setting, check out a few links:

Pursuit of Excellence (AWESOME!!!):  http://www.lds.org/service/serving-in-the-church/relief-society/leader-resources/new-relief-society-sisters/pursuit-of-excellence?lang=eng
Fly Lady (Finally Love Yourself):  http://flylady.net/
Simplify 101:  http://www.simplify101.com/
Self-Reliance and Family Well-Being:   http://www.lds.org/family/family-well-being?lang=eng

Monday Mysteries: The “Whole Foods” Illusion

I take a routine trip to my local health foods market when I need to refill my water jugs and I’m always amazed by the amount of pure junk food that covers the shelves. Yet somehow, because it’s sold at a health food store, it is more acceptable or justifiable? What is it about being in a health food store that triggers something in our mind that says, “oh, it’s organic or local, so it’s obviously better for me than processed inorganic foods”? I am ripped apart inside by the temptation whenever I go, not only knowing I cannot afford the monetary cost, but the caloric costs as well. Just because something is organic or whatever does not justify indulgence.  And, just because something is inorganic doesn’t mean it’s terrible for you, especially in moderation (more on this later).
I learned a secret to optimal health while celebrating my daughter’s birthday yesterday. In the amount of time it took my daughter to savor a single Oreo cookie, I had barely taken a breath after diving into an entire piece of cake and several of those same cookies, only to pause afterwords and realize they really weren’t worth the calories. Yet, as I was scraping the last bits of frosting off my plate, my sweet daughter put down her unfinished cookie #2 and left the table to play.
More cherished is the subtle moderation of sweets, than the frequent indulgence of a craving.
The best scene of savoring food – love it: “What About Bob?”

Wednesday Wellness: Humility

Being humble doesn’t mean being weak. Being humble simply means acknowledging God’s hand in my life and attributing all of life’s gifts to His tender mercy. Humility even means attributing life’s trials to His perfect understanding of what I need and what I am capable of.
After losing so much weight, my sweet mother sent me a note saying, “don’t let it get to your head.” At first I thought she was suggesting that I was being prideful, or bragging about my success. Then I realized that what she really meant was to stay humble and not forget where my success had come from. She wanted to make sure that I wasn’t getting lazy because things were going so well, or to slack off in a false sense of security. She has a very good point.
It would be so easy to give up. It would be easy to fall back into old habits and start being careless about my health or my responsibilities. It is so much easier to sit around or to eat junk all the time, to give up on exercising and trying to eat well. It is ingrained in my nature – human nature – to take the path of least resistance, to give in to carnal cravings or make excuses. It’s natural, but I don’t think giving into my nature is what is best for my long-term success or happiness. I know it would be easy to give in to these things, but I can’t let down the divinity within me that is rooting me on to keep going and never give up! I have to acknowledge that as a steward of my body and mind I cannot forsake the knowledge I’ve been given to care for this gift that God has given me. Besides, at any moment I could lose everything. I could become ill. I could get injured and lose my capacity to do basic functions. I could become unable to care for myself or my family at any moment, and the inevitability of the end of this life constantly looms like a shadow, even at my age. Life is a gift that can be taken away at any moment.
I know that seems depressing. It happens to people all the time. I’m always impressed by people who take on physical challenges and overcome them as though it were not a handicap at all, but a great catalyst to success! (See Paul Schulte, and Stephanie Nielsen) I don’t know if I have that much strength within me to do that! I don’t want to find out either! So I live each day in grace knowing that I must do my very best and the Lord will do the rest!

Elder Bednar said it best in “The Tender Mercies of the Lord”:

The Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness and obedience enable us to receive these important gifts and, frequently, the Lord’s timing helps us to recognize them…We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance (see 1 Nephi 1:20).