10 Ways to Stop Overeating Today

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
10 Ways to Stop Overeating Today
Have you every really tasted a strawberry?

Have you ever truly noticed the texture of a piece of chocolate? Or the flavor of it?

If you haven’t — and if you tend to overeat, eat emotionally or compulsively — you’re missing out on one of the most beautiful sides of life: the colors, flavors, textures, sounds and feelings you can — and should — experience when you put food into your mouth.

This concept of being truly present is called mindful eating. I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic and it has led me down a few fascinating paths.

Basically, there are two ways of describing the practice of mindful eating.

It is the process of noticing what you eat (aka. paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body. We pay attention to the colors, smells, textures, flavors, temperatures, and even the sounds (crunch!) of our food.) and it describes the practice of eating what you want, when you want.

Mindful eating — is it even possible?

There are a lot of polarizing views on eating mindfully and whether it is even possible for us human beings living in this crazy world.

Dr. Brian Wansink, the author of Mindless Eating — Why We Eat More than We Think, writes about his research regarding the way we relate to food. He shares the many reasons we don’t — and supposedly can’t — eat mindfully, why our stomachs can’t think, how we’re being manipulated by the food industry, how we use external clues to figure out our hunger and satiation levels and more.

If you listen to his research, we are nothing more than machines, operating on autopilot, having completely lost trust in our own abilities to experience hunger and fullness, satiation and lust.

Discouraging.

On the other hand, Geneen Roth talks about our innate ability to eat mindfully, giving our bodies what they want, when they want it and therefor arriving at our natural weight and staying there. She knows what she’s talking about as she’s recovered from several eating disorders and has helped tens of thousands of women doing the same.

Very encouraging.

And in fact, Dr. Wansink shares that 3-year-olds *know* when they’re hungry and full, totally neglecting external cues and relying on their inner wisdom for guidance.

But then, by the time we’re five years old, we’ve already lost that beautiful way of relating to food and instead of looking inward, we’re focusing on the outside.

It’s sad, but it’s also hopeful because it clearly shows that we do have the ability to relate to food in an easy, light way. We just have to find our way back to it.

How do we do that?

How do we go back to that beautiful place of self-trust? We start small with these ten simple steps.

1. Focus, focus, focus.
Put the computer away. Silence the phone. Turn off the TV and don’t eat while driving in the car. The less distractions the better!

2. Eat in silence.
Eating in silence might be scary for some, but it’ll definitely enhance your experience of food and nourishing your body. Try it at least once and see how your senses perceive eating on a completely new level.

3. Eat alone.
Taking step number 2 a little bit further, try to eat alone at least once a week.

4. Sit down!
Or as Geneen Roth would say: “When you eat at the refrigerator, pull up a chair… ” Make it a rule to only eat whenever you’re sitting down. This gives you space for pause and reflection and also keeps you from eating out of habit or when you’re bored.

5. Concentrate on what is in your mouth, not on your plate.
Gulping down handfuls of food in minus three seconds is part of emotional eating, but you can stop it by focusing on each mouthful of food. Really notice the texture, the flavor, the way it feels in your mouth, the temperature and the sounds it makes when you bite into it. Try to stay in the present moment and become truly aware of what is going on in your mouth.

Do you even like what you’re eating? Does it even taste?

6. Chew.
When you’re in the zone, you don’t chew. Try to change that by actively focusing on the process of chewing.

7. Use forks and knives!
Eating with your hands may be convenient, but it’s also a certain way to overeat. Use your forks and knives and put them down between mouthfuls to give yourself time to chew, taste and experience food.

8. Let go of the need to eat “huge amounts.”
When I circled in the binging/starving cycle, I always thought that once I was healthy, I’d always eat huge amounts of food. However, that’s not true. You need less than you think (that is, once you’re at a healthy weight!) and if you focus on quality instead of quantity, your well-being will improve.

9. Make it a ritual.
Cook for yourself, decorate the table and learn to appreciate the whole process of eating. Remember that eating is not just fuel for your body, but it can also be a wonderful ritual.

10. Start small.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with the notion of needing to do this perfectly today. You’ve been caught in a different world for way too long to be able to move into the realm of mindful eating over night. Give it time and start small. Maybe you want to eat mindfully once every week and then after a month, go up to twice and so on.

Be patient with yourself and practice radical self-compassion in this time of transformation. Incorporating mindful eating into your life will bring up many issues for you, so be especially attentive during those months.

Healing Vigilante: 7 Ways to Stay in Your Authentic Self
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The heart is not so easily changed, but the head can be persuaded.
— Pabbie the Grandfather Troll from the movie Frozen.

What is your “authentic self”? If you Google it, many descriptions can be found — but it all funnels down to the same thing: it is when you act from your true core self, without fabrication, obligation, or any other thought process that is driven by negativity, fear, or the aforementioned “crap” (see February 28th post).

Your authentic self is when you act from your heart with good intentions. It may not always appear perfect, emotionally or grammatically correct, or even be the most uplifting experience – but it is from your genuine, natural self. This entry is an example: I could have done a significant amount of research and created a pie chart with 20 of those Google references, however, instead I am writing from my authentic self and my heart. And, usually, when we act from that place it is more simple, soulful, and engaging – regardless of the message.

Here are 7 Ways to Stay in Your Authentic Self (and not let the crap “should” all over you):

1. Know who your authentic self is, and stay with it.
If you are kind, open, and a good listener, then trust if you are being unkind, closed, and interrupting that you are not in your authentic self. Ask yourself: Who am I in my heart? What adjectives describe who I am? Reliable? Easy-going? Determined? What traits have I had in the past that I want to get back to? Adventurous? Compassionate? Grounded? Write it all down and then set an intention to stay with these traits, regardless of the situation. (Note: if you are writing things down like “mean, judgmental, butthead” or anything along those lines, get some help immediately.)

2. Listen to your body.
Notice the signs when you are not in your authentic self. Your head can mess with you — it can try to convince you to feel differently — to “should” all over yourself (I “should” do this, and I “should” do that). But the body does not lie. So when you start to notice that wrenching feeling in your gut, that tightness in your chest, clenching of your jaw, or if your nails are dug so hard into your hands that you are creating little gorges — pay attention. It is a sign. And then do something about it, like:

3. Consciously breathe and repeat a mantra.
Begin to breathe, and slow the moment down. Pick a mantra to link to your breath, like “Trust Yourself, [insert name here],” or “Stay Authentic.” As you are breathing, inhale the mantra into your body, then exhale the mantra down through your body.

4. Stay out of the C.A.J.E* and in Reality.
Analysis paralysis, mind screw, spiral down – whatever you like to call it – stay the heck away from it. I am talking about the C.A.J.E (Criticism, Assumption, Judgment, Evaluation). If you are in the C.A.J.E, you are not in your authentic self and your truth. Instead, practice Reality Awareness*. Start with the phrase, “The reality is… ” and stay with the facts. No evaluation or assumption, just the facts.

5. Be Congruent with your inner and outer self.
Don’t fall for peer pressure or do things that do not feel good to you. Some examples: don’t curse; jump off of a bridge; do 17 shots of Tequila; hang out; get in the car with a drunk; make out; have sex; attend an event; nod or agree; streak; tease; accept a friendship on Facebook, educate about a topic, vote, etc. — unless it is truly aligned with the items you have listed in #1.

6. Do most things out of desire, not obligation.
There are obviously some exceptions where one is obligated. For example: sometimes I don’t feel like hanging out with two kids under five all day, but as their mother I’m obligated or I will face the emotional and legal consequences (I love you, babies, sometimes you just drive me crazy). And sometimes you have to go to that business dinner or visit the in-laws. Just keep it minimal and make choices mostly about desire.

7. Practice daily grounding, especially before doing something challenging. Here is a quick morning regimen — it will take less than 10 minutes:

a. Wake up and either lay right there in bed, or stand up.
b. Close your eyes.
c. Take 5 Balloon Breaths:
(1) Put your hand on your lower belly. Imagine there is a balloon in there. Inhale and fill the balloon up, pushing the belly out.
(2) Then, Exhale and feel the balloon deflate as if there is a string pulling your belly button back towards your spine.
d. Do 5 Stress Relief Breaths (SRBs):
(1) Inhale any stress up into the throat
(2) and let it go on the Exhale with a long sigh (about three times longer than the inhale).
e. Take 5 more Balloon Breaths.
f. Identify your mantra (see #3).
g. Set your intention to Stay in Your Authentic Self and repeat your mantra when necessary.

Next Post: Day one of my prison sentence continued…

Stress Relief Breath and Reality Awareness © 2011 No Stress Foundation.
C.A.J.E © 2011 Aimee Zakrewski Clark

Photography by Meg Daniels

Passion, Perseverance and Our Expanding Definition of Success
Imagine for a moment two children — we can call them Fred and Steve — who are learning to play the piano. Fred and Steve are equally talented young musicians, and when they sit down to practice, they give the same intense focus to the honing of their craft. In fact, the only notable difference between the two boys is that Fred is devoted exclusively to the piano, while Steve likes to bounce back and forth between piano, drums, and singing. Who do you think will be more successful?

If you have read any of the recent press about grit, you probably put your money on Fred. By diving deep into his pursuit of piano mastery, focused Fred is bound to surpass scattered Steve, whose divided attention relegates him to being forever second-best. If that was your line of thinking, you would be in good company, for that was the same conclusion drawn by Angela Duckworth, Christopher Peterson, Michael Matthews, and Dennis Kelly when they offered up this thought experiment in their seminal article on grit:

“Thus, a prodigy who practices intensively yet moves from piano to the saxophone to voice will likely be surpassed by an equally gifted but grittier child.”

Duckworth and her colleagues had good cause for betting on focused Fred. Through a series of studies, they had just shown in convincing fashion that grit, or passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals, is a better predictor of success than talent alone. It was a pattern that held true for Ivy League students striving for better grades; spelling bee competitors fighting for a win; and West Point cadets trying to survive the first summer of training. It was such a compelling insight that it has only taken a few years from that first publication for grit to enter into the public lexicon and our national discourse about the future of education. Combined with Malcolm Gladwell’s popularization of the purported “10,000-hour rule” (in ways intended and not), grit has become the trendy secret to success.

Naturally, then, our appetite for grit has already turned to the question of how to get more of it, both for ourselves and for our kids. But what if there is more to the story of Fred and Steve? What if both boys turned out to be successful, but in different ways? In other words, what if focused Fred went on to become Frédéric Chopin, one of history’s greatest pianists, and scattered Steve grew into Stevie Wonder, one of the most popular musicians of the past half-century?

Surely there are many similarities between Chopin and Wonder. Both were prodigies with immense talent who devoted their lives to music. Both might well get high scores on the grit scale. Yet this subtle distinction in the framing of their careers highlights how hard it can be to know what success means for any individual person, let alone how they can best pursue it.

It is not hard to imagine a parent or teacher who has read about grit confusing Wonder’s musical curiosity for distraction and a lack of self-control. If you were Stevie Wonder’s parents, how would you decide whether to let him follow his curiosity within the broad confines of music or to nudge him to pick a particular instrument to focus on? What if your child’s interests are broader even than music or any one domain? And what of your own professional interests — are they specific and fine-grained, or somewhat focused with at least a bit of fuzziness?

Complicating matters further still is the recently renewed emphasis on a definition of success that includes not just objective achievement, but also subjective well-being. Will a gritty focus on a relatively narrow range of interests make us happy? Each of us might answer that question differently, and little research has been done so far to help us understand how well grit and happiness can co-exist. In one study of teachers, for example, Duckworth and her colleagues found a positive relationship between grit and life satisfaction, albeit a small one. Robert Vallerand’s research, meanwhile, suggests it might depend on what kind of passion you have for the activity in question.

Vallerand’s “dualistic model of passion” distinguishes between harmonious and obsessive passions. In the former, our love for an activity remains within our control and integrates easily with the rest of our lives. In the latter, the activity becomes an all-consuming interest that interferes with our pursuit of other goals or interests. Vallerand has shown through an impressive number of studies that these two types of passion are not created equal.

People with harmonious passions, for example, report higher levels of well-being than those without, but people with obsessive passions do not. In a more extreme contrast, dancers with an obsessive passion for their sport report greater suffering from chronic injuries and are more likely to say that pride keeps them from taking sufficient care when they are hurt. Harmoniously passionate dancers, on the other hand, suffer less from acute injuries and do more to keep themselves from getting hurt in the first place.

If passion is one of grit’s active ingredients, then, it is important to note that not just any passion will do. Combining an obsessive focus with an unwillingness to give up might well be the perfect recipe for what some scholars call an escalation of commitment to a failing course of action.

What are we to make of all this, then, if we are on the quest for success for ourselves or for our kids? The early research on grit is unquestionably compelling: In some pretty competitive environments, grit does a great job of finding the objectively excellent among the “merely” above-average. If you have a clearly identified passion that already fits well with the rest of your life, grit seems likely to work in your favor.

For the rest of us, though, the answer is less clear. We may first need to spend some time understanding our own definition of success. Does it hinge on being the best of the best, or are we content to be good if not great at what we do if it means we have time and energy left over to invest in other pursuits? If we do find a passion, how do we keep it in check? Can we be perseverant but not passionate, or vice versa? Perhaps a bit ironically, these are questions that may take a lot of time and focused effort for us to answer. Maybe we do need grit, after all.

Is There (Marital) Life After an Affair?
There is perhaps no greater threat to a marriage than infidelity. Years or even decades of hard-earned trust can be shattered when one partner, for any of a thousand reasons, violates the vow of sexual faithfulness. It’s hard to understand how we can engage in such potentially destructive behaviors when the risks are as high as they are, and yet, vast numbers of us (some say the percentage of couples that have experienced some form of sexual infidelity is as high as 90%) are in marriages in which one partner or/and the other has had one or more affairs.

Yet, despite the odds, whatever they may actually be, as even the most pessimistic among us would have to admit, some marriages do survive affairs. In fact, of those that do, a significant number of individuals report that the quality of the relationship, is in fact greater than it was prior to the affair.

So how do those marriages that manage to survive affairs defy the odds? And how is it that they are able to actually deepen the level of intimacy and trust after such a violation? In interviewing couples for our book, Secrets of Great Marriages, a number of whom admitted to having to deal with sexual infidelity, we learned a lot about the healing process that promotes recovery from affairs and other forms of betrayal. Here are a few of the practices and insights that these couples shared with us that are valuable guidelines to couples who experience or have experienced betrayal or a violation of marital vows:

Identify the roots of the breakdown. A willingness on both partners’ parts to identify the underlying factors that may have contributed to the existence of conditions that gave rise to the affair makes a successful repair attempt much more likely. This doesn’t mean that both partners acknowledge equal responsibility for any sexual misconduct that may have occurred, but simply that there is a willingness to recognize the factors that predisposed the behavior, an awareness of how those factors came into being, and an understanding of how such circumstances can be avoided in the future.

Be prepared to hang in there longer than you think you should have to. Once trust is broken it can be repaired, but this process often takes longer and requires more patience than one or both partners are prepared for. You will probably have to hear the same feelings expressed a number of times in order to achieve some degree of completion. Telling your partner to “Just get over it” is probably the worst thing that you can say, no matter how many times you’ve heard him say, “I can’t believe you did what you did. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust you again.”

Move out of the “victim/perpetrator” consciousness. Identifying oneself as the victim of a partner’s affair has the unfortunate effect of not only deepening resentment, but, perhaps more importantly, is disempowering to the identified “victim.” Consequently he or she continues to feel a diminished capacity to effectively impact upon the conditions that may have contributed to the affair. Taking responsibility for one’s actions does not condone the hurtful actions of another, but rather acknowledges each partner’s part in the situation as well as their power to influence things in the future.

Forgiveness is a process, not an event. Like grief, forgiveness has several stages that must be experienced in order for it to heal the tear in the fabric of the relationship. Even after forgiveness has been felt and expressed, feelings of resentment and anger can become activated and may arise unexpectedly as more subtle layers of pain are revealed. These feelings are sometimes, but not always, related to other previously experienced emotional wounds.

“I’m sorry” is a good start, but it’s not enough. Apologizing for a transgression not only expresses remorse and empathy towards one’s partner, but acknowledges that one has acted improperly and is accepting responsibility for his actions. In order for an apology to be effective, several conditions must be met: It must be sincere, there must be an acknowledgment of the specific ways in which one’s actions were harmful, there must be a willingness to receive the other person’s feelings non-defensively, there must be an acknowledgment of the lessons learned from the experience, as well as a recognition of the needs that one was trying to meet in the process, and finally, an understanding of what actions will be taken in the future when the desire to fill similar needs again arises.

Pain is often the cost of learning some of life’s most powerful and lasting lessons. While betrayal is unquestionably one of the most difficult and painful experiences a couple may go through, it is possible, in many cases to not only recover from it, but to come through the process with a more trusting, committed, and fulfilling partnership. Affairs can illuminate deficiencies in the marriage that may have needed attention for a long time or they may be a function of decisions that have been impulsively acted out without regard to future consequences. Whatever the case, the sooner the situation is acknowledged and addressed, the better the prognosis for recovery. Many couples report that the on-going concealment of an affair and the lies that accompanied it were even more damaging to the level of trust in the relationship than the affair itself.

The consequences of an affair may have more to do with how each partner responds to it than the affair itself. As many couples have discovered, even in the midst of the most painful circumstances, when there is a shared intention to heal, repair and take responsibility, what may have previously seemed impossible can become a reality.

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