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The Lifecycle of a diet (1)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:55

Stage One – Euphoria

 

 

 

Whenever you embark on a new healthy eating regime, you enter the lifecycle of dieting. For some, this just means making good choices when deciding what to eat, possibly increasing fruit and vegetables. This might also include exercising more. The word diet might never cross your mind.

 

A person who is at this point and maintains a healthy weight through sensible eating is very in tune with their body and their eating wisdom. This person is usually in control of their emotional eating. This is the person I am always aspiring to be. I am not there yet but I have come a long way.

 

 

Before I start on a new way of eating and an exercise regime, something has gone on in my life that has brought me to that point, it might be a binge or a series of binges, it might be an ordeal at the store while trying on clothes and nothing fitting, or I may feel unwell and sluggish from eating foods that do not agree with my body.

 

My return to healthy eating this time was brought about for health reasons, I was diagnosed as a diabetic, this propelled me to take control of my body and what I put into my body. This diagnosis really spurred me on to change my way of eating to control my blood sugars and lose weight to also help control the diabetes.

 

I entered the euphoric stage after a couple of days of planning and research. I had to first learn about diabetes and what diabetic people recommend eating. I was delighted to discover that it is possible to successfully manage blood sugars through diet and moderate exercise.

 

The first part of beginning a healthy regime is to ask yourself the following:

 

Why do you want to lose weight and/or become healthier?

 

What are your goals?

 

What suits your body?

 

Do you have a plan to follow?

 

Do you think this plan is sustainable?

 

Do you need help with this new way of eating?

Do you need to remove any foods from your house?

 

Do you need to shop for any food items to follow your plan?

 

How great do you feel at this time?

 

When you have control over something like a way forward to healthy eating, you feel empowered. Welcome to the euphoric stage.

 

 

The Lifecycle of a Diet (2)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:50

Stage Two – Grief and Loss

Once I go through the first stage of dieting, I invariably enter the grief and loss part of my journey back to healthy eating.

As a serial dieter, I went through many cycles of dieting before I become aware of patterns appearing throughout my dieting journey.

I discovered that the time frame for each stage varied, it was intrinsically linked to the diet of choice, if my regime was very severe and involved attending a weight loss class that involved naming and shaming, I experienced grief and loss at an early stage.

If my diet of choice incorporated many foods that I normally eat, and the exercise component, which I always include, was enjoyable to follow, stage two would not be too obvious. I might only feel like I am missing out on special occasions or nights out.

I also noticed that when I felt that I had no alternative but to follow a certain eating pattern like when I was diagnosed with Diabetes, this stage was particularly severe.

The key to overcoming these feelings of grief and not succumbing to temptation is simply to recognise that it is normal to grieve the loss of foods you associate with pleasure or release to tension.

Allow yourself to feel this loss and know that in a very short time, this feeling will pass.

Stage two is a good time to try an alternative way of soothing or nurturing yourself that does not involve food. Maybe using some of your senses;-

Smell – scented baths, candles, burning aromatherapy oils. Brew coffee.

Sight – take a walk in nature, or visit the ocean. Drink in the beauty.

Touch – Gather up pretty stones, use stones to interrupt cravings. Try tapping to sooth away any stresses or tension. Play a musical instrument. Make something crafty and enjoy seeing your creation coming to life. Physical touch is as important to nurture and sooth the soul. Animals such as dogs or horses really respond to the touch of a loving human.

Hear – Listen to music that inspires you. Phone a friend, or connect with someone that makes you laugh. Seek out noises that sooth you, the sound of the ocean on a stormy day, children playing in the park laughing and having fun.

Taste – Fill up on life and the joys of living. Nurture your thirst and hunger with good experiences.

 

The Lifecycle of a diet (3)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:50

Stage 3 - Denial

 

Stage three of dieting, denial, means you are at a critical point of your dieting journey. It is a make or break point. Following on from grief and loss is our natural instinct to look for a solution.

 

You do not want to feel bereft any more. Sure enough those doubting thoughts start forming in your head. ‘I don’t actually need to lose weight or get healthy,’ 'I don’t really care that I am this shape, size, unfit.’ These thoughts create a window of opportunity, the opportunity to start feeding your emotions again with foods that sooth.

 

Denial blocks your original goals, denial argues reasons to get off the diet. Denial beckons you to abandon your control over how and what you eat. Denial is just a stage in the dieting lifecycle.

 

It is important to prepare yourself in advance for this stage.

 

Recognise the many guises denial takes on.

 

One thing I caught myself doing in this stage was to seek out friends who were in denial about their own eating issues and I colluded with them over how ridiculous it was to moderate our food intake in any way, my favourite saying was life is too short not to enjoy food. I ended up having to radically curb sweet things though my Diabetes diagnosis, I did not take control of my eating habits soon enough.

 

Now as I follow a very healthy eating regime which includes exercise, I see denial coming at me every now and again and I am prepared as it approaches.

 

 

I listen to the arguments it presents but am armed with the reasons why I eat now the way I do. My goals and reasons for this particular approach are at the forefront of my mind. If denial sparks some feelings of grief and loss, I treat myself to something nice, I give myself the choice of making that treat food based but also put up an alternative that is not, I usually choose the non food treat as I stay away from I cannot have or it is forbidden. Forbidden makes something very attractive.

 

Recognise what denial looks like and how you can prepare yourself for it when it approaches. Know what works best for you.

 

The Lifecycle of a diet (4)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:45

Stage 4 Slip Ups

Nearly everyone who has ever dieted has had a slip up at some stage. Slip ups are part of dieting. Slip ups are not usually received well. They are normally viewed as failing or not being strong enough. Slip-ups usually feed your feelings of lack and worthlessness. But the reality is that slip ups happen. They happen with everything in life, including when you are trying to lose weight. Sometimes you are caught off guard by a new situation that leads to a diet slip up. At other times, you make mistakes with your new healthy eating patterns and sometimes you make mistakes in life in general. When you have a slip up, it is important not to throw in the towel. While a slip up may temporarily side track you, the reality is they are a wonderful learning opportunity to create growth and change, just recognize and understand the situation.

Some important points to remember after having a slip-up

1. Do not throw in the towel

2. Use the experience to learn

3. Catch any negative thoughts and use thought stopping techniques to change them

4. Love yourself even more than ever

5. Wrap yourself in a blanket of love

6. Forgive yourself and others, if needed

7. Move on, ready to face the world

The more you prepare for a slip the smoother the transition through this dieting stage is.

Slips up are natural, negative thoughts about slips do not serve you in any positive way.

Once you recognize and negotiate slip ups, become your own best friend and nurture yourself through every glorious stage of the dieting lifecycle.

Slip-ups remind you to change or negative thinking about ourselves when you respond to a challenge. You deserve to be in control of your eating. You deserve to be in control of your emotions. As you take out judgment and shame, it gets much each to control your life. Positive reinforcement keeps you on track. Welcome the slip ups.

Weight Loss Blocks and the emotional eater

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 0:20

Weight loss blocks and the emotional eater.

Whenever I start on a diet I am filled with motivation and clear cut goals. In the beginning I really believe that this is possible. I read the diet book from cover to cover and head off to the store and stock up on whatever food is within my range and away I go.

 

The first few days, if it’s a sensible diet, are usually a breeze. I am a typical Monday dieter, I usually start on a Monday. So my first challenge is the first weekend. I associate the weekend with relaxation and rewarding food. Come Friday evening, I start to feel a bit of a let down, everyone around me is eating snacks. I know it is recommended that you get rid of snacks from the house, impossible in my home as my big hungry grown up family are grazers and night time snackoholics. Often their snack would be healthy and my sons work out so they are burning more calories than their one hour walk a day mother.

 

My first hurdle is this first weekend. I try to increase my exercise activity over the weekend which I have discovered helps curve my appetite. I plan my menus and try to include appealing meals that are within my range. As I reach Monday morning, I feel like I deserve a medal resisting temptation and might succumb to weighing myself. Now this is a big danger time for me. If the scales do not reflect a sizeable weight loss, I crash and burn. At this point, I often fall the diet. The scale is a huge weight loss block for me. It’s a trigger for a binge. If I feel emotionally gutted I will turn to some unhealthy food and try to feed this feeling. Chocolate, crisps, (potato chips) and any foods that were forbidden on the particular diet I was following.

 

Now as a therapist working in the weight loss field, I was able to successfully work with this type of emotional binge. I simply stopped weighing myself completely as for me the scale serves no positive purpose. It’s a trigger for a binge. It blocks my progress. I use my clothes sizes to guide me. I find this a very rewarding way to judge my weight loss.

 

Once I overcome the first two weeks, the next hurdle presents itself. My motivation is waning. I start forgetting my goals. Why am I dieting? Am I not good enough the way I am? Will it work anyway? Why am I putting myself through all of this? That little doubting voice is ever present. Throwing up roadblocks. Encouraging me to abandon ship. That little voice is also fuelled with the knowledge of all the previous diet failures. Did I really expect this time to be any different?

 

While working with others on these very issues that I also experienced. I discovered a very interesting pattern.

 

Dieting has a lifecycle like so many other things.

 

 

The Lifecycle of a diet (1)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 0:10

Stage One – Euphoria

 

 

 

Whenever you embark on a new healthy eating regime, you enter the lifecycle of dieting. For some, this just means making good choices when deciding what to eat, possibly increasing fruit and vegetables. This might also include exercising more. The word diet might never cross your mind.

 

A person who is at this point and maintains a healthy weight through sensible eating is very in tune with their body and their eating wisdom. This person is usually in control of their emotional eating. This is the person I am always aspiring to be. I am not there yet but I have come a long way.

 

 

Before I start on a new way of eating and an exercise regime, something has gone on in my life that has brought me to that point, it might be a binge or a series of binges, it might be an ordeal at the store while trying on clothes and nothing fitting, or I may feel unwell and sluggish from eating foods that do not agree with my body.

 

My return to healthy eating this time was brought about for health reasons, I was diagnosed as a diabetic, this propelled me to take control of my body and what I put into my body. This diagnosis really spurred me on to change my way of eating to control my blood sugars and lose weight to also help control the diabetes.

 

I entered the euphoric stage after a couple of days of planning and research. I had to first learn about diabetes and what diabetic people recommend eating I was delighted to discover that it is possible to successfully manage blood sugars through diet and moderate exercise.

 

The first part of beginning a healthy regime is to ask yourself the following:

 

Why do you want to lose weight and/or become healthier?

 

What are your goals?

 

What suits your body?

 

Do you have a plan to follow?

 

Do you think this plan is sustainable?

 

Do you need help with this new way of eating?

Do you need to remove any foods from your house?

 

Do you need to shop for any food items to follow your plan?

 

How great do you feel at this time?

 

When you have control over something like a way forward to healthy eating, you feel empowered. Welcome to the euphoric stage.

 

 

The Lifecycle of a diet (5)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 0:10

Stage Five – Acceptance

 

You have been following a eating regime and are successfully negotiating all the different stage of dieting. You are able to follow an eating plan and manage your emotions. Your weight might have reached a point that you actually do want to be healthier and feel better. I can manage this. I can learn tools and techniques to deal with my emotional eating. My taste buds are adapting. This is the way forward. I remember why I am doing this.

 

Many people report losing weight to be the easy part, I personally never it found it easy to lose weight. Once you have the weight off, it is a whole new challenge to keep it off. When on a diet your total focus is on losing weight. Imagine arriving at the point. Are you prepared for this? Have you planned how you intend to continue on your healthy eating journey to avoid weight gain.

 

This stage involves a lot of emotional re adjusting. Arm yourself with as much knowledge about your eating responses and practice new ways of soothing your emotions. Has your attitude changed in relation to food and enjoying your meals? Or was the diet a temporary thing one which you will abandon once you get to your goal weight? Know yourself first.

 

 

The Lifecycle of a diet (3)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 0:05

Stage 3 - Denial

 

Stage three of dieting denial means you are at a critical point of your dieting journey. It is a make or break point. Following on from grief and loss is our natural instinct to look for a solution.

 

You do not want to feel bereft any more, sure enough those doubting thoughts start forming in your head. ‘I don’t actually need to lose weight or get healthy,’ I don’t really care that I am this shape, size, unfit.’ These thoughts create a window of opportunity, the opportunity to start feeding your emotions again with foods that sooth.

 

Denial blocks your original goals, denial argues reasons to get off the diet. Denial beckons you to abandon your control over how and what you eat. Denial is just a stage in the dieting lifecycle.

 

It is important to prepare yourself in advance for this stage.

 

Recognise the many guises denial takes on.

 

One thing I caught myself doing in this stage was to seek out friends who were in denial about their own eating issues and I colluded with them over how ridiculous it was to moderate our food intake in any way, my favourite saying was life is too short not to enjoy food. I ended up having to radically curb sweet things though my Diabetes diagnosis, I did not take control of my eating habits soon enough.

 

Now as I follow a very healthy eating regime which includes exercise, I see denial coming at me every now and again and I am prepared as it approaches.

 

 

I listen to the arguments it presents but am armed with the reasons why I eat now the way I do. My goals and reasons for this particular approach are at the forefront of my mind. If denial sparks some feelings of grief and loss, I treat myself to something nice, I give myself the choice of making that treat food based but also put up an alternative that is not, I usually choose the non food treat as I stay away from I cannot have or it is forbidden. Forbidden makes something very attractive.

 

Recognise what denial looks like and how you can prepare yourself for it when it approaches. Know what works best for you.

 

Tapping Away Cravings

Posted on 28 May, 2015 at 13:55

Tapping Away Cravings

 

A food craving is a desire for something to eat when you are not actually hungry.

 

Cravings are usually all in your mind. Cravings are mostly triggered by your emotions.

 

If you are following a healthy eating program and suddenly you find yourself craving something that is not a food item included in whatever you are following, it can be quite difficult not to give in to the cravings. Most times cravings involve something containing sugar and or salt.

 

There are many suggested tools and techniques to deal with cravings. My favourite most used tool is to tap tap tap it away.

 

 

Here are a few simple steps to take away a particular craving and it just takes a few minutes.

 

1. Identify what exactly you are craving. Focus in on the particular item that you want

2. On a scale of 10-1 10 being you would climb a mountain for some chocolate to 1, cannot be bothered with it.

 

3. Write down how you are feeling at this moment in time, maybe you are feeling stressed or tired or even bored.

 

4. Really explore your feelings and continue until you feel that your statement really describes how what’s going on for you,

 

5. Write out a list of very positive things about yourself, no negatives, all your best qualities or dreams you have for yourself, statement that make you feel fantastic about yourself.

 

6. Rate where you are on the 10 – 1 scale

 

7. Start tapping, it can be simply crossing your arms over and tapping the back of each arm in turn, it can be your left thigh followed by your right. The important part is to continually alternate between left and right. You are tuning in to the left and then the right side of the brain.

 

8. As you tap read out your list of feelings or issues that are feeding the craving, keep tapping until you notice you are right down on the scale.

 

9. If there is no change you have not got to the crux of what is bothering you so rewrite your statements until you pinpoint what is going on. When you notice your levels going down, by reading a tapping, you know that are working with your issues directly.

 

10. Once you get your levels right down, read out your positive statements tapping all through this until you have fully replaced that space just freed up inside of you with positive things.

 

This tapping method of reading out statements and finding and replacing negative feelings is amazing for interrupting cravings.

 

This simple tapping method can be used for most anything that’s why I love it so much.

 

How to identify trigger foods

Posted on 28 May, 2015 at 13:50

Taming - binge- overeating -

What are trigger foods? Trigger foods are food that trigger you to overeat and or binge. The food item might be the catalist for a binge or you just might overeat on that particular thing. Sugar products are rated high in the trigger food list identified by our members. Another trigger food cited are potato chips or crisps as they are known in Europe. Get to know your own particular list of trigger foods by observing what you eat over the course of a week and just note if any particular food prompted overeating or a binge.

In order to tame trigger foods and become master of your eating, you must first be aware of foods that bring you down and interrupt your natural eating wisdom. You were born with a natural eating wisdom. Your eating wisdom is your thermostat to let you know when you are actually hungry and when you have had enough to eat. Triggers override your eating wisdom. Some people are able to manage trigger food by staying very present when eating and only having a taste. If this describes you, fantastic, you are mastering your trigger foods.

If on the other hand, you find it impossible to stop eating a trigger food and invariably follow the devouring of the trigger food by an all out binge, then like myself take this food out of your diet completely. I have such a relationship with Doritos potato chips, but I just cannot stop eating them once I start. Even talking about them triggers a desire so strong that I need to shut down the image immediately and think of sweating in the gym in order to undo the binge I would step into if I had just one bite.

Trigger foods hurt you. Trigger foods set off overeating. Overeating or binging feeds in to negative thoughts about yourself. Trigger foods self harm. Our focus is on self care. Self care through thoughts about yourself. Self care through food and beverages that you ingest. Self care through actions. You deserve to feel great about yourself. Triggers take you away from that feeling.

One successful way of handling triggers after you identify them is to replace these trigger foods with something that is self caring. Think about ways that you self sooth and care for for yourself.

Some report having a healthy snack readily available wards off temptation. Some cite exercise as a key component to reducing desires for sugary substances. Often it just takes a slight change in what you are doing to interrupt a trigger thought. For example, if you are in your kitchen and find yourself eyeing up the treat cubbord, get out of the kitchen and see if the desire is as strong in another room. TV commercials are targeting your triggers, skip the commercials. Tapping is very effective in reducing trigger temptation in the moment. Make a list of as many things as possible that might reduce your cravings. If you do have a trigger food. Don't despair. The sooner you get over this feeling the sooner you go back to healthy eating and master of your eating wisdom.

 

 


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