Back in 2013, I came up with my million dollar business idea — the ultimate cure for cellulite.
Compared to other sub-par cellulite programs on the market this one WOULD help women rid themselves of lumps and bumps forever, through a carefully curated, foolproof routine. It would be the ultimate cellulite solution.
However, as a pragmatic Taurean, I was buoyed in thinking that I could create a solution for millions of women around the world; this would no longer be a like it or lump it situation, I knew I could figure it out.
Fast forward three weeks: I was sitting at my dining room table, with hand-scrawled theories written on loose leaf paper strewn all around, and wondering why I hadn’t yet cracked the code for smooth, supple skin.
Following advice that I had found on the internet and read in books, I had:
Avoided crossing my legs for three weeks
Kept my feet elevated at night to reverse blood flow
Stopped eating chicken skin AND cottage cheese
Exercised my thighs with hundreds of teeny-tiny little pulses (thanks, but not really, Tracy Anderson)
Spent a medically unadvised amount of time in saunas and heated rooms to sweat out the toxins that contributed to my shameful cellulite
Dry body brushed on a daily basis: sweeping upwards on the thighs and downwards on the glutes
Popped collagen supplements and steered clear of any food that would further break down my skin’s apparently delicate structure
And I even spent $99 purchasing a “personalized cellulite removal schedule” that contained eight cellulite reversal exercises. You read that right, $99 for eight, one-move exercises.
But even with all of these interventions, one month later the little buggers were still there.
Ultimately, spending hours each day researching what I had to do to “look better” wasn’t a practical use of my time or my limited finances. As it turns out, weight loss trial and error is both time-consuming AND expensive.
So I archived my research and got back to real life. Eating chicken skin, crossing my legs and exercising in a way that made my entire body feel good.
As it turns out, while I’m still acquainted with my fair share of dimples (as is 90% of the female population), living a healthy, un-obsessed lifestyle did more for toning body than any “groundbreaking” cellulite program could.
Today I offer up another 2018 wellness proposal: be willing to follow through with sustainable, daily health and lifestyle practices, and stay committed to adopting an attitude of self-love. These two habits will do more for the look, feel and longevity of your body than any flash-in-the-pan fitness and diet plan ever could.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with your bathroom scales? You love them when they reaffirm that you’re the right weight — it literally puts a spring in your step for the rest of the day — and you hate them when they reveal a number that you don’t want to see.
For many women, the wrong number can negatively impact the rest of the day. Unexpected weight can make a woman doubt her beauty and intelligence. It also leads her to assume that maxi dresses are back in style*, and that it’s ok to order a double-bacon-cheeseburger for lunch “because the damage is already done”.
(*Are maxi dresses back in style? My mum asked me this the other day and all I could do was shrug. My dreams of being a fashionista went out the window yesterday when I tried on a pair of leggings and had to be told by the sales clerk that I had put them on back-to-front! Woops!)
Muumuu’s and greasy lunches aside, what really concerns me is that our mood can be ruined by the uptick of a number. I know the feeling of standing on the scale (shoes off, of course), waiting for the screen to settle, so that I could confirm whether I would have a good day or a bad day…a day filled with confidence or shame.
Not exactly a pleasant morning ritual, is it?
Somehow the digital scale has become a tool of both satisfaction and suffering. But it shouldn’t be that way. Some cheap and nasty electronic device should NOT hold sway over your emotions, nor should it impact your sense of self worth.
If it does, well that’s on you.
>>> It is YOU who gives the scale such power.
>>> YOU are allowing your happiness be hijacked by a couple of pounds.
>>> YOU are insisting on bringing the scale into your home and engaging in the agonizing debate: to weigh or not to weigh.
My use of the Uncle Sam “YOU” isn’t accusatory, it’s just a gentle reminder that we all have a choice. You actually don’t have to weigh yourself. You can indeed extricate yourself from the obsession of knowing your body weight.
I believe there are better methods of tracking body shape and health. Start by asking how your clothes fit, how much energy you have, and how you generally feel in body, mind and spirit.
You know if you need to lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight. You don’t need a numerical reminder.
My Dad has worn the same size Levi’s for as long as I’ve been alive. When they feel a little tight he cuts back on his Sunday croissants for a couple of weeks, and when they feel a little loose he adds a bit more food to his dinner plate. It’s a pretty simple method of tracking, and it’s a lot less mentally manipulative.
Dad made that choice and you can too. If your relationship with your bathroom scales is an unhealthy one, then it’s time for a break up. We women are far stronger and more intelligent that we often give ourselves credit for…we burnt the bras, we CAN sell the scales.
This week, ask yourself HOW a regular weigh-in actually benefits you. What would happen if you could stop weighing yourself? Then consider what else you could do track your healthy body weight.
So you’ve decided to make healthy eating a priority this year. You want to have more energy, maintain your ideal weight, and feel comfortable and confident in your beautiful body. Trouble is, you have no idea where to start, which begs the question: what’s the best diet for you?
Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. For many years I struggled with food and my body. I believed that I couldn’t find the perfect diet, or if I had I must have been doing it wrong. (In the words of my inner critic I lacked motivation,I wasn’t good enough,I would start again tomorrow)
Truth is, I hadn’t actually found an ideal diet for my body, so it made sense that I was having a pretty rough trot with the whole eating thing. But once I figured it out, everything fell into place and questions of motivation were wiped off the table. Because you don’t need to be motivated to eat foods that make you feel great.
Today I’m sharing five actionable steps that will help you also discover your best personal diet. Read on my foodie friend.
Diet Versus Dieting
Before we dive in to the meat and potatoes — i.e. figuring out what you need to eat in order to feel healthy, happy and filled with delicious delight — I need to clarify the distinction between YOUR diet and dietING.
The friendly nerds who contribute to Wikipedia (my darling husband included) tell us that: diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism (1). They go on to talk about dietary choices, the ingestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients for energy, health and longevity. Basically your diet is just another way of saying the foods that you eat.
What makes this word tricky, and almost taboo, is when it ends with “ing”,or sits in a sentence with words such as follow, start, stick to, new, strict, struggle, celebrity and fad.
Going on a diet, or the act of dieting, is synonymous with restriction and deprivation. These are also words that make me think of a short-term commitment, something that you’ll (miserably) try for a while before going back to your regular diet, aka what you normally eat.
It’s a tricky distinction to make, but it’s really important that you do so. You should be able to talk about YOUR diet without people thinking that you’re going on A diet.
I’ve even had comments from women visiting jenniferdenewellness.com who have blasted me for being another so-and-so who is condoning unhealthy body image for women. Hmmmm…guess they didn’t see this post about flaunting your dimplesor this one where I helped you get back in touch with being beautiful you.
Honestly I don’t want to always say “the foods that you eat” or “your nutrition choices” just to be politically correct. A healthy diet means that you eat foods that have a high nutritional value and do wonders for your longterm health. It’s a word that has outlived any single dieting trend, and it’s what we’re talking about today.
Should You Stick To One Type Of Diet?
We’ve established the difference between diet and dieting, which is my cue to step off the soapbox!
Now you may be asking but what about things like the Paleo diet or being a vegan? Are they diets or dieting?
Unfortunately it’s in our culture to label everything we do, which leads to many people using these diets to self-identify — I am Paleo or I am vegan. But restricting yourself to the boundaries of a certain label makes it difficult to honor your body’s needs.
For example, a woman who is trying to get pregnant requires a certain amount of carbohydrates to ensure healthy hormone levels for fertility (2). This becomes a problem if she’s following a strict Paleo or Keto diet that focus on very low carbohydrate intake.
Or what happens when a man who thrived on a vegan diet for years starts experiencing depression, joint pains or fatigue? Will he be open to eating animal foods that will quickly boost his B12 and iron levels, or will he feel unable to make that choice because he has told the world he doesn’t eat meat? (3), (4)
The point is that we shouldn’t have to limit ourselves to stay within the boundaries of a certain label, and we should never, ever be held hostage to the food that we eat. That’s why I see these diets as guidelines…more like a cuisine than a strict set of rules.
I see enormous benefit in the principles of enjoying a vegan, paleo or mediterranean diet. But what works best for me is not following any of them to the letter, and rather taking a mix-and-match approach that suits my body’s unique needs.
With that in mind, here’s the mindset I want you to have as you start to incorporate the following tips into your lifestyle:
Food is just food, it’s not your enemy and it’s not your gate-keeper
I give you all the freedom in the world to combine the best bits of each diet to suit your unique needs — like mashing together potatoes, peas and gravy at Sunday lunch!
How to create the best diet for you
Below you’ll find my five top tips for discovering your best diet yet.
Keep it simple and enjoyable
Overcomplicating anything leads to confusion. A statement that is especially true when it comes to improving personal habits.
Planing 7 days of meals in advance may seem smart, but it’s actually very overwhelming…meal prep is absolutely a skill.
And while I used to do the big Sunday cook-up, I no longer do. These days I prefer to spend a little more time in the kitchen each day, to prepare the right meal for my body on that day. This shift has helped me reconnect with my physical needs and conquer old habits of overeating and emotional eating.
So instead of playing Martha Stewart during the working week, you can simply plan to have a few staples on hand — such as cooked quinoa or rice, roasted sweet potatoes, hardboiled eggs and plenty of washed green veggies. These form the base of an easy meal that you can top with other yummy things.
Get educated (but take other people’s advice with a grain of salt)
Here’s the deal — you can’t succeed at something that you don’t understand. Learning why it’s a really good idea to kick your sugar habit, or that drinking diet-soda is linked to dementia and stroke (5) will make it a heck of a lot easier for you to stick with your new way of eating.
Saying that, it’s also not a good idea to blindly trust every piece of diet advice that you hear. Glossy mags tend to publish the Cliff’s Notes version of any given dietary theory. While this may spark your interest, you really need to understand the why behind the what. I recommend working with a professional who can explain what is the best diet for you, why that’s the case, and how you can follow it.
Keep A Food-Mood Journal
In terms of intelligence, sometimes your body is smarter than your brain. A food diary traditionally tracks calories and quantities. A food-mood journal explores how different types of food make your body feel. I prefer the latter.
Here’s how to get started:
Start a new word doc (or grab a notebook), and create four columns
Column A: record each meal that you eat, listing as many ingredients as possible
Column B: make a note about how you felt physically immediately after eating
Column C: note how you feel 2 hours after eating; this is useful to highlight digestive reactions, note fatigue or energy, return of hunger, etc
Column D: this is a spot for any notes, thoughts or comments that you might have
Your food-mood journal can help you pinpoint the meals and ingredients that make your body thrive.
Be Consistent & Avoid Squirrel Syndrome
Once you’ve found a way of eating that works for you, you’ll need to stick with it. And yes, that includes ignoring the latest trend in Women’s Health or on Dr. Oz.
Again, feel free to gather information, but don’t jump ship on something that’s working well for you. Put your healthy blinkers on and commit to eating your ideal diet for 3 months before making any big changes.
Your Needs Will Change, So Be Adaptable
Avoid squirrel syndrome but also keep in mind that your dietary needs will change over time. Variable factors include: your age, lifestyle and immediate health needs; the climate in which you live; your menstrual cycle (are you pregnant, peri-menopausal, going through menopause or postmenopausal); holiday season and festive eating; and even life events that cause stress, physically, mentally or emotionally.
Creating YOUR own perfect diet is what serves your beautiful body at every stage of life.
You Don’t Need To Do It Alone
Would you like help in discovering your perfect diet? Are you committed to dropping the weight of deprivation, and slipping back into your ideal body and life? Why not find out more about working with me in my Fit, Feminine & Fabulous coaching program. Click here to learn more.
I’m about to start a new 21 day eating program and, to be honest, it’s bringing up a bit of resistance. Today’s post digs into that topic of the diet mentality, along with a gentle reminder of why diets don’t work.
Let’s dive in.
By this stage you know that I’m no fan of dieting. So it’s with mixed emotions that, for the next 21 days, I’ll be following a rather strict eating plan.
For the past few years I’ve been struggling with some aspects of my health. Despite my “good” eating, exercise and sleep habits, I still often feel like I’ve been hit by a semi-trailer.
Much of this has to do with my gut health, or lack thereof. Technically speaking, there’s an imbalance in my microbiome and I quite possibly have intestinal permeability.
While that may sound a little concerning, it’s totally fixable. In layman’s terms, this condition is known as “leaky gut” — a rather evocative description that you may have heard of it around the internet.
In addition to my weak digestive system, there seems to be something going on with my thyroid or adrenal glands. TBD.
Long story short, I’m following a medically advised eating program that eliminates foods that might trigger a negative response in my body. It’s not at all bad: lots of veggies, meat and yummy fats, which you know are right up my ally. But there are a few key ingredients that will be sorely missed, including:
Wine & champagne.
Cheese & yogurt.
Bread & grains.
Chocolate & coffee.
Objectively I feel ok about eating this way, but emotionally something has been coming up and I feel a little bit of resistance, a little bit of…meh.
I’ve been wondering why I have this hesitation, considering that:
This eating plan is for a finite amount of time and for a very specific purpose. No one is saying I can’t ever have a grilled cheese sandwich ever again.
I know that I’ll feel better when I have a break from these foods, because I know how my body reacts to this sort of thing.
So the answer has to be my history of dieting.
You may know that for many years I struggled with eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia & orthorexia (that last one is being obsessed with only eating the healthiest food). Sprinkled amongst these more serious conditions were regular rides on the fad-diet rollercoaster.
While I’ve finally been able to get off that ride, there is a residual fear of food restriction.
This is why I need to reframe the next 21 days, and view this eating plan as the next step in becoming my healthiest self (something that traditional diets do NOT do).
I’m going to focus on everything that I can have, which is really an abundance of delicious food, and I’m going to remind myself that this is simply a three week process of healing. With that mindset I know that willpower won’t be necessary, deprivation won’t be felt, and at the end of this process I’ll feel so much better than when I started.
I wanted to bring up this topic with you, incase you have a similar case of diet mentality, and if the idea of starting a new “healthy eating plan” feels a little overwhelming. If so, I totally understand and I hope that you can also find a great way to “reframe” the situation.
And, if you do still dabble with diets and excessively restrict your calories, please remember this:
Diets make you gain weight…
Diets help you lose weight quickly because they restrict calories. At first this works, but after a few days or weeks your brain notices that you’re not getting enough food and it starts to panic. This triggers your hunger hormones (leptin & ghrelin) to team up and protect you from starvation. Their solution is to lower your metabolic thermostat so that you burn less energy, which causes you to store the few meagre calories that you ARE eating as protective body fat. This consequence can be short term or long term.
Diets ruin your stomach…
Restricting certain healthy foods, or eating science-lab food, alters how your stomach and digestive system function. There’s a natural, chemical process to this eating and digesting thing. Mess with this process too much and you’ll end up spending date night telling your significant other about your leaky gut.
Diets mess with your mind…
Many women that I speak with have some kind of struggle with food; whether that’s worrying about weight gain, or feeling concerned that they’ll be judged (or judge themselves) for eating certain foods. Diets exacerbate this mentality, causing you to swallow a hefty dose of guilt and shame with every bite you eat.
Diets kill your willpower…
You only have a certain amount of willpower each day; it’s highest in the morning and decreases as the afternoon wears on. Every decision you make throughout the day taps into your willpower reserve; from food to fitness, or deciding keep your cool during a particularly frustrating conversation, choices zap willpower. Diets zap that willpower doubly fast, which makes you irritable, exhausted and with a hand in the cookie jar after dinner.
Now I’d Love To Hear From You
I hope this gentle reminder helps you ditch the diets and get back in the driver’s seat of your own health.
Please let me know what you think of today’s conversation, by leaving a comment below.
Hello again! I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for the last few weeks, as I spent a month frolicking in the beautiful Australian countryside. Taking that time away from my normal routine (and not feeling like I had to come up with all the answers to life’s questions) allowed me to have a good think about who I want to be in 2017, how I want to live my life, and how I can help you do the same.
During my month-long musings I noticed something about myself that, truth be told, surprised me a little. I realized that I’ve become a “when this will happen, that will happen” kind of person.
Let me explain…
Over the past few years I’ve taken to thinking that I need external circumstances to change before I can really accomplish the goals that I’ve set myself. I’ve assumed that it will be easier to achieve what I want to achieve once XYZ happens.
For example, I thought that:
When I got that job at the new Pilates studio… I would automatically become fitter.
When I reorganized my kitchen… I would happily cook more at home.
When I went on that holiday… I would return happier and more motivated than when I left.
When I relocated…I would naturally be more confident and make more friends.
When I reached my goal weight…I would love myself.
But it rarely turned out that way.
Saying that something will be different, doesn’t make it so. Nothing comes from words or thoughts that aren’t followed by actions.
I’ve known this, I’ve experienced this, but until now I haven’t truly internalized it.
The truth is, that for something in our life to change, we need to make a change first. You can’t think your way into a better body, a happier marriage, or a more fulfilling career, if all you do is think about it. Thinking, writing or speaking goals, aren’t worth a dime if they aren’t followed by action.
So, as we start the new year I want to ask you this: Are you ready to take action? Are you ready to take action to create a body and a life that you love, even if all the pieces of the puzzle haven’t yet fallen into place?
I’m ready to take that challenge, and I invite you to do the same.
Now I’d Love To Hear From You:
Have you ever relied on external circumstances changing before you can become the person you want to be?
Or, perhaps you’ve never experienced the “when this happens, that will happen” thought process. If that’s the case, what’s your secret to taking purposeful action?
I’d love to know your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.
It’s great to be back with you.
*PS Remember that massive blue planner that I lugged across the world? Other important items that made their way into my suitcase included: curry paste (a lot of curry paste), Kraft peanut butter, tins of tuna, leaf tea, and, somewhat awkwardly, three crushable boxes of salt and vinegar chips. I packed those in my carry on, of course. Now if I can just figure out how to transport a couple of legs of lamb…
I have a thing for planners. Specifically paper planners, or “diaries” as we call them in Australia.
One of the most exciting things about starting a New Year is having a brand-spanking new planner. The pages crisp and clean. 12 months of unwritten potential.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Maybe not…my husband doesn’t.
In fact, just the other day he actually laughed at me when I told him that I bought a (rather oversized, rather heavy) planner here in Australia, to take back with me to L.A.
Yes, it may be as long as my forearm. And yes, it may be two inches thick. And yes, it may be pre-filled with all of the Australian public holiday dates, not the US dates. But it’s a beautiful blue and it fills me with optimism for the year ahead.
Frankly, I see it as a practical and economic way to take up suitcase space!
Which brings me to the point of today’s post: how to make New Year’s Resolutions Stick.
Now, I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions…vague promises of self improvement aren’t necessarily an effective way of achieving personal goals.
But there is something about the transition between years that makes goal-setting seem more achievable. So let’s ride that wave of motivation and set some clear and practical resolutions, to make 2017 your healthiest, happiest year yet.
How To Make New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Step One: The “Mini Year”
Rather than thinking of 2017 as one 12-month year, break it down into four 90 day mini-years.
12 months is too long to commit to anything — except marriage I suppose — so let’s shorten the playing field. I learnt this concept recently from a friendly fellow by the name of Todd Hermann. It’s my first year putting it into practice too, so we’ll be experimenting together.
Step Two: Have A Quarterly Focus
Only pay attention to the first 90 day period, the rest can be neatly marked in the planner as “the future”.
Step Three: Make A Goal List
Take some time to think about your top health, lifestyle or personal goals. These might include weight loss, weight gain, stress reduction, spending more time with family, getting fit, eating less sugar, cooking more at home, feeling professionally fulfilled…or something different altogether.
Step Four: Choose Your Top Priority
From that listchoose the one thing that is absolutely your top priority. This becomes your main goal for the next three months.
Next Steps >>>
Now, if you’re anything like me you probably think that you can achieve more than one big goal in 90 days. Right?
It’s too complicated and too overwhelming to try and change everything at once, and splitting your efforts across multiple endeavors makes it less likely that you’ll have achieved anything come April.
So keep it simple and effective by choosing one main goal to focus on, and follow through with it until you have success!
Now that you’ve gotten this far, you’ll need to think about exactly WHAT you need to do to reach that goal in 90 days. This part is crucial; breaking your big goal down into simple bite-sized pieces is the difference between success and failure.
And I can help!
If you’d like to set and achieve your number one health, lifestyle or personal goal in the first 90 days of 2017 here’s what you can do:
Book A Strategy Call With Me
This one hour call is all about YOU. Together we’ll work out the exact steps that you need to take to reach your number one goal.
(Can’t figure out your number one priority? I’ll help you with that too!)
As always, my advice is personalized and super simple, so you can start to see results straight away. You’ll also get a recording of our Skype session to replay at any time, and a full set of notes.
If you’d like more guidance and support throughout your 90 day “year” then you will love Weight Loss That Lasts — my signature 1:1 fitness, nutrition and lifestyle program that shows you how to transform your body and life in the simplest way possible.
The holidays are a difficult time for women who don’t have a healthy relationship with food. From restrictive eating to overeating, this time of year can create some serious food anxiety.
So in today’s post I’m sharing four diet-free, practical tips that will help you feel more confident at the holiday dinner table.
And the reason I can help is because I’ve been there too. For ten years I felt like I had only two choices when it came to holiday eating:
Avoid eating foods that I thought were bad for me.
Accept that overeating is part of the holiday tradition…and deal with the aftermath in January.
Perhaps you can relate.
But you know what? Both of those options stink. Restricting and overeating are signs of self-sabotage, not self-love, and they’re getting in the way of you reaching your ideal weight.
Fortunately, there’s a third choice:
(3) Eat what you want. Stop when you’re full.
Sounds easy, huh? It is, but it takes time.
This holiday season you need to give yourself permission to eat. Eat what you want, just do it mindfully and slowly. Don’t be afraid to eat, but don’t be afraid to stop eating either.
I know this might be a different approach for you, one that may make you a bit anxious. Here are four techniques that you can test out to get you started:
Decide What To Eat
Have you ever eaten something only to realize that it wasn’t what you wanted? When this happens you feel full but not satisfied, which can lead to overeating and feeling guilty. So instead of rushing in to eat what’s on offer, stop for a moment and consider what you really feel like.
Prepare To Eat
Want to know my secret to enjoying treats without gaining weight? I put them on a plate or in a bowl. This keeps me portion-aware and makes the whole eating thing feel more official. Seeing food before you eat it also triggers the release of the digestive enzymes that are crucial to digestion. Pre-dinner snacks and dessert are best eaten from a small plate, or at least a napkin.
Don’t overthink it – this isn’t rocket science. Eat without distractions, chew your food properly and place your silverware down between mouthfuls. Also, remember to breathe.
Stop and Reflect
In French Women Don’t Get Fat Mireille Guiliano writes that she eats half of her plate then stops for a while to check in with her appetite. If she’s still hungry she eats a bit more. If she’s satisfied she stops. I like this idea and thought you might want to experiment with it too.
Most importantly, try not to make this into a bigger deal than it has to be. Food is just food, there’s always more of it, you can eat what you want, and you can stop when you want.
You really can. And I never thought I’d be the one to say that.
Is the thought of a kitchen filled with Halloween candy giving you the heebie-jeebies?
Are you feeling frustrated, and helpless, about your annual binge on fun-sized bars?
Perhaps you’re thinking of boycotting “Trick Or Treat” this year, just to avoid the temptation…
I get it. Those mini chocolate bars have a way of getting themselves eaten, and the guilty feelings that follow are as horrid as a Wes Craven movie. But that’s not going to happen this year.
In today’s post I’m sharing the tricks that I use to avoid bingeing on treats. Read on for three strategies that you can use this year to stop overeating Halloween candy (and avoid holiday weight gain).
Halloween should be scary for the movies, the costumes, and for your husband’s terrible attempt at pumpkin carving. But, for many of us, the real fear comes from premonitions of uncontrollable candy binges.
Memories from last year — snacking on Snickers and crunching on Kit Kats — is enough to induce the ghost of a belly-ache. Not to mention a wave of pre-emptive guilt; your assumption is that it’ll happen again.
And it’s not only Halloween night that causes concern; that leftover loot has a way of making eyes at you from across the kitchen counter all week long.
If you have, or have ever had, a problem with over-eating, emotional-eating, food-addiction, or sugar-addiction, then being faced with an oversized bowl of bite-sized candy is a recipe for disaster.
Since you can’t rely on willpower to get you through Halloween night, let alone the whole holiday season, you’re going to need a strategy. So let me break this thing down, and make it as simple as 1, 2, 3…
How To Stop Overeating Halloween Candy
Tip One: Buy Yourself A Real Treat
Have you ever declined dessert at a restaurant or dinner party, only to go home and raid the cookie cupboard? When it comes to food, willpower can only take you so far, which is why deciding NOT to have any treats isn’t always a smart move.
But that doesn’t mean giving in to the wrong temptation.
The problem with Halloween candy is that it’s just downright crappy. Unless you’re giving out organic, Fair-Trade, single serve dark chocolate bars — thereby killing your “cool status” with the neighborhood kids — the stuff that you’re sharing is low in quality, high in sugar, and often made via third-world child labor (1).
Normal Halloween candy is wreaking havoc on your blood sugar, messing with your metabolism, and generally making you feel pretty bad about yourself. It’s simply not worth the splurge.
(P.S. Have you grabbed your copy of my Boost Your Metabolism Guide? It’s free! You can grab it by clicking here.)
If you’re going to indulge, then I recommend doing it properly! Buy yourself a small, high quality treat, and savor every mouthful. Whether that’s an expensive chocolate bar or a ridiculously beautiful pastry from your local bakery, eating something decadent should feel sensuously satisfying, and be an event to be (fondly) remembered.
Tip Two: Do You Really WANT More Candy?
Food should make you feel good: physically, mentally and emotionally. Overeating food that doesn’t tick all three boxes is a sign of self-punishment, not self-love.
The “Want Test” is something that I share with my clients when it comes to eating treat foods. You can eat anything you WANT, in the amount that you WANT, if you’re eating from a place of self-love, emotional clarity, and epicurean delight.
Feeling guilty about eating often leads to overeating; you may have had the thought of: “I’ve already blown it by having some, so I might as well have the rest…” In doing so, you’re telling your body that (a) it doesn’t deserve a little treat from time to time (it’s not good enough / thin enough / fit enough to warrant anything special); and (b) that your body is basically a trash can, a place where unwanted food gets tossed.
This is why one donut leads to five, or two chocolates leads to ten; and it’s what holds you hostage to the food that you eat. In the past, that way of thinking has seen me empty a box of cereal or polish off three bowls of ice cream; not exactly actions that speak self-contentment, are they?
The “Want Test” puts you back in a position of power by choosing what, and how much, you eat.
If you find yourself starting to unwrap another piece of candy this Halloween, take a moment and ask yourself:
Do I really want this?
Why do I want this?
Do I want this for my taste buds (will it taste any better than the last)?
Do I want this for my body?
Do I want this for myself emotionally?
As you answer these questions remember that there is ALWAYS more food, you can always have another treat tomorrow, and your decision making is more powerful than your sweet tooth.
Tip Three: Discard The Leftovers
The morning after Halloween is when reality hits you — last night’s sugar binge, and overeating food that you didn’t actually want, feels pretty ordinary the following day. The morning brings with it that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, and the negative self-talk that yells: I can’t believe you did this again.*
You’re left with no choice but to get the leftover candy OUT OF THE HOUSE.
Here’s what not to do:
Don’t take it to work (you still have access, and your co-workers might not feel so thrilled)
Don’t try to hide it for later in the holidays (come on, we all know that doesn’t work)
Don’t stand in the kitchen eating it while trying to come up with a solution.
Here’s what you can do:
Throw it out — in the outdoor trash if you have to do. Worried about waste? Don’t be. Worry about your health. My mum taught me that it’s wasted food anyway, if you eat it but you don’t want it.
*Of course, hopefully this year you can wake up to a bright and sunny morning feeling totally at peace. You implemented tips one and two from today’s blog post, and you DIDN’T eat too much candy. Well done you! But don’t be a hero; get that leftover loot outta there.
I hope that these three strategies can help you tackle Halloween, and the entire holiday season, with a sense of calm. Trust in your body and, no matter what happens, remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you continue to tweak your healthy-living routines.
I hear a lot of “failure” talk in my coaching business. Women will come to me after another failed attempt to lose weight. Another failed attempt to stick to a diet. Another failed attempt to strike work-life balance.
Which got me thinking about the concept of success and failure, and the clinical way in which we set goals and expectations for ourselves.
And I’ve realized that we’re going about it all wrong. It’s not the women that are failing, it’s the process they’re taking.
You see, the standard way to set a goal is to think of a desired outcome (rather intellectually) and then take specific actions to get there. While being smart about goal setting is important, there’s a downside to being too strategic about the whole thing.
When we think too far ahead, and have a laser focus on how we’re going to achieve something in the future, we’re overlooking one of the most important aspects of success. That is: Will I enjoy the journey of reaching this goal?
If the answer is no, then you don’t have a hope of success.
Because successfully reaching a goal isn’t just about the outcome, it’s about enjoying the process that gets you there.
The key to staying motivated is to find joy in the journey. I don’t know about you, but counting calories, eliminating food groups or doing exercise classes that I hate is not going to motivate me to follow through on my health and fitness goals. If anything, it’s a one way street to failure.
But that’s the way we go about this whole goal-setting thing – we make choices that look good on paper. It’s intellectual, but it’s not effective. And ladies, that’s what makes the diet industry a billion dollar business.
So What Can You Do Differently?
Instead of thinking about something you’d like to achieve and immediately asking how do I get there, start by asking why.
Why do I want to get to reach that goal?
Why do I want to make that change?
Why does this really matter to me?
Only after you’ve found your why, should you start on the how, which should be created in a way that’s realistic, sustainable and (most importantly) enjoyable.
Remember this: Goals aren’t reached overnight. Life is in the journey. Start with why. Build your own how.
Now I’d Love To Hear From You
Weigh in on this discussion by leaving a comment below.
P.S. Are you ready to break through walls of self-doubt and commit to reaching your REAL goals, once and for all? Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free consultation.