Green Mountain at Fox Run » Blog http://www.fitwoman.com Women's Weight Loss Spa Retreat for Healthy Living Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:19:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 The Binge Eating Diaries: The Weight of It All http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/20/binge-eating-diaries-weight/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/20/binge-eating-diaries-weight/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29189 Jacki is back with another insightful look at how she’s working through one of the issues that was at the root of her binge eating to begin with. I hate going to the doctor’s office for a number of reasons. My overpriced health insurance only allows me three “affordable” visits per year, so each time I feel like I’m getting […] Read more »

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Jacki is back with another insightful look at how she’s working through one of the issues that was at the root of her binge eating to begin with.

I hate going to the doctor’s office for a number of reasons.

My overpriced health insurance only allows me three “affordable” visits per year, so each time I feel like I’m getting robbed… which makes my anxiety worse, which makes me forget while I’m really there, which makes me spit out every thing that could possibly be wrong with me, which makes me sound a neurotic hypochondriac.

But my least favorite part about going to the doctor’s is…

Getting weighed. There, I said it!

After they slap you across the face with a big fat co-pay, but before they poke, prod, and send you off for a myriad of “maybe” tests… they make you stand on that ginormous, terrifying scale.

Read This Related Article:
Why The Scale Can Do More Harm Than Good
I swear I gain 5 pounds of fear right before I step foot on those things. (At least that’s what I tell myself…)

So, knowing that the initial weigh-in was going to be the hardest part of an upcoming visit… I almost didn’t book myself a much-needed appointment until I felt better about my “assumed” weight.

Throughout my restrictive eating days, binge eating years, and a lifetime of body image issues, I’ve learned that focusing on my weight doesn’t help “keep me in check”; it throws me completely off balance. I’ve shown a pattern of becoming absolutely obsessed with numbers.

Nowadays, I focus on how my body feels.

So the thought of getting weighed on someone else’s time – almost convinced me to push back my appointment at the risk of seeing my actual, numerical weight.

I’m embarrassed as I share this truth with you all. I feel petty! But I have put so much weight on my weight my entire life, that this anxiety is very real to me.

Anxiety Outweighed My Health Concerns

So even though I scheduled this visit to figure out why I was experiencing sharp stomach pains, cramps, constant headaches, and mystery bug bites… I was mostly upset about stepping on that scale.

Oh, the logic! The glorious logic!

And here is the deliciously rational icing on the cake…

After I initially booked my 4:30 pm appointment, I realized what I had done. I had scheduled a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, which would mean I wouldn’t be weighed on an empty stomach.

It’s even more difficult to admit that once I realized my “mistake” I actually called back to try and swap my appointment for a morning slot!

But the stars were not aligned with my anxiety. It was time to face the truth – I had a 4:30 doctor’s appointment and I was going to get weighed. Period. End of it.

Coping With Scale Anxiety

get off the scale quote Steve MaraboliI couldn’t decide whether I should laugh at myself or swaddle my emotions.  After all, even though this might not have been a big deal to someone else – this situation was alarming to ME. And because I couldn’t change the time or refuse to get weighed… I felt out of control.

So, I giggled to make light of the situation and told myself that I was okay and that my feelings count – no matter what they’re centered around. It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to feel nervous, it’s okay to feel not okay while we’re working through things.

But I couldn’t completely calm my nerves just yet. I needed to have a plan…

So I ended up exhausting about 3 collective hours of my life contemplating whether or not I should look at the scale once the deed was finally being done.

And this is how that “me” vs. “myself” conversation went:


Do I turn around, step on backwards, and ask for the number not to be spoken out loud? Do I see where I’m at after such a long time of NOT focusing on that damn number? Why is this driving me mad?  Would refusing to look mean I’m scared of the truth? Does looking mean I’m giving in to temptation to judge and torture myself? Or does not sneaking a peek mean that the number doesn’t matter and I choose not to let it affect me today? Or does looking mean I’m not scared because whatever it says – it has no hold on me?

So. I weighed the pros and cons – weighing in on my own weight… ha!

And I decided to go with the following option: “I won’t look initially, but if I want to look later, I can. I need to focus on the real reason I’m here. My body needs me right now regardless of what that scale says. I am not that number. That number actually holds little weight.”

But here’s the kicker…

They skipped right past the whole friggin’ thing. Blood pressure. Check. And off I went. No scale. No weighing. Nada

I have never felt such a fierce combination of relief and anger. All of that energy… all of that worrying…

Acknowledging And Accepting My Feelings

But I wasn’t silly for feeling how I felt. I acknowledged my fears, I talked them out with myself, I empowered myself to be okay with any decision that I made. I stood by my side. I didn’t melt into a puddle. (Success!) I problem solved. I made progress. I accepted my feelings and went through with my actions. I didn’t let fear win. Jace (my strong, kick a$$ alter ego) took hold of the situation and I got through a particularly trying day with my head held high. And for this, I am proud.

As we try to overcome the urge to judge ourselves and to ignore society’s view that the number on the scale somehow makes us “better or worse”, let us keep one thing in mind…

We are not measured by the weight of our bodies, but by the weight of our hearts.

Until next time,

Jace

Have you struggled with a situation similar to mine? Please feel welcomed and safe to comment below. 


Learn More about Our Binge Eating Program

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Emotional Eating: What Do Your Comfort Foods Do for YOU? http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/19/emotional-eating-comfort-foods/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/19/emotional-eating-comfort-foods/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:00:53 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29181 This post introduces our new behavior leader at Green Mountain: Shiri Macri, MA, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. We’re thrilled to have her join us and, with this post, you can see why. Comfort Foods, Stress and Emotional Eating A bowl of mashed potatoes, homemade mac-n-cheese, warm apple pie…these images may elicit a smile and sense of calm for you. Often […] Read more »

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This post introduces our new behavior leader at Green Mountain: Shiri Macri, MA, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. We’re thrilled to have her join us and, with this post, you can see why.

Comfort Foods, Stress and Emotional Eating

stress induced overeatingA bowl of mashed potatoes, homemade mac-n-cheese, warm apple pie…these images may elicit a smile and sense of calm for you.

Often these “comfort foods” are nostalgic and sentimental for people, but are they really comforting?

Not according to a study by Traci Mann, psychology professor at the University of Minnesota, which suggests it’s not the food that is actually comforting. According to Mann, other factors contribute to the comforting effect, factors such as the idea of the food, its image, the memory it brings up, or perhaps the situation we’re eating it in.

What Are We Comforting Anyway?

Generally speaking, it’s stress in some form or another that needs alleviating.

Whether it was a difficult day at work, or an argument with a loved one, stress throws our systems off balance. Going a little deeper, our sympathetic nervous system is activated and we actually go into survival, or fight/flight, mode. Our bodies are flooded with the stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) that produce an increase in our breathing and heart rate.

This process is handy when we’re in a true survival situation. When faced with a saber-toothed tiger, our Neanderthal ancestors ran or fought with all their might to escape death. Thinking shuts down and action takes over.

True mind-LESS-ness.

However, when we’re dealing with a hard day at the office, and are left with residual adrenaline, cortisol, and tightened muscles, we don’t feel good.

Reaction vs. Response

These residual symptoms are the reason we react.

Think about ‘bringing work home with you’ or ‘taking it out on a loved one’. That’s stress looking for a way out, looking for relief.

Similarly, when turning to comfort food, we’re looking for relief.  But the food/eating doesn’t actually alleviate the stress, it only ‘stuffs’ it, numbs it, avoids it, etc.

Sometimes we then add guilt, shame and/or self-loathing to our already difficult feelings.

The goal is to have a response to the stress as opposed to a reaction.

What’s the difference? Awareness, aka mindfulness.

Read This Related Article:
Change Your Brain with Mindfulness
We want to ‘push the pause button’ so instead of maybe snapping at a loved one or reaching for the candy bar, we try a healthy coping skill like a few deep breaths, calling a friend to vent, reaching for the lavender lotion, or listening to soothing music.

To do this we need to be aware of our emotions as they come up; to notice them in our bodies.

Think about the lump in your throat, when your chest feels heavy, or your stomach when it’s in knots. These are all examples of how our feelings affect our bodies. If you take a moment to think about a time you felt nervous, mad, scared or sad, you might be able to notice which part of your body has a sense of discomfort.

This is the beginning of being aware and mindful.

6 Steps to Avoid Stress-Induced Emotional Overeating

What to Do Instead of Fighting or Fleeing from Stress

Here’s a simple step-by-step to use during times of stress. DISCLAIMER – this takes practice.

1Notice It

Where is it in your body?

2Name It/Rate It

Ask yourself, “What is this? How bad does this feel?” Use a 1-10 scale.

3Touch It

Place your hand over the part of your body that feels the discomfort. Research indicates that physical touch releases oxytocin which provides a sense of security, soothes distressing emotions, and calms cardiovascular stress.

4Breathe

Take a few slow, deep breaths.

5Think Positively

Say/think something positive. “I can handle this.”  “It’s ok.”

6Find Peace And Enjoyment

stress quoteLastly, do something that helps you emotionally, bringing you peace and enjoyment. It’s ok if you can’t do this in the immediate moment, but it is helpful to do this at some point soon.

Perhaps try these ideas:

  • journaling
  • music (play or listen)
  • art
  • reading
  • spirituality/religion
  • humor (jokes, movies)

Or reach for a ‘quick-cope’ strategy like looking at a picture of a loved one, or calling a friend.

So the next time you find yourself saying, “I need some pie/mac-n-cheese/mashed potatoes,” pause, ask yourself what needs comforting, take care of that part of you, then go ahead and enjoy the pie/mac-n-cheese/mashed potatoes in a mindful way, if you still want it.

It’s not about giving up your previous way to comfort yourself but maybe just adding to it to make it truly effective.


Learn More About Our Behavior and Emotional Health Program

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Nominate the Year’s Worst Diets http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/18/worst-diets-slim-chance-awards/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/18/worst-diets-slim-chance-awards/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:00:23 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29173 Worst Diets of Year – Slim Chance Awards 2015 It’s that time of the year! Place your nominations now for the most outlandish and misleading weight loss claims you’ve heard or tried in 2014. Nominate diet gimmicks, products and claims between now and Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. Our panel of judges will select the “winners” from your nominations and we’ll announce […] Read more »

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Worst Diets of Year – Slim Chance Awards 2015

slim chance awards 2015

It’s that time of the year!

Place your nominations now for the most outlandish and misleading weight loss claims you’ve heard or tried in 2014. Nominate diet gimmicks, products and claims between now and Friday, Dec. 12, 2014.

Our panel of judges will select the “winners” from your nominations and we’ll announce them the first week in January. Our judges this year include:

  • Susan Albers, PhD, New York Times bestselling author and mindful eating expert
  • Katja Rowell, MD, childhood feeding expert and author and Health at Every Size(R) proponent
  • Rebecca Scritchfield, RD, a nationally-known nutritionist who specializes in realistic approaches to healthy living
  • Lizabeth Wesely-Casella, binge eating disorder expert and weight stigma prevention advocate

What are the Slim Chance Awards?

The Slim Chance Awards, part of Healthy Weight Week, were started 26 years ago as a way to call out the worst and/or most overrated diet schemes, products and gimmicks of the previous year, just in time to help those embarking on another diet in the New Year avoid going down that futile path once more.  Instead of promoting healthy weights, dieting results in weight gain for the vast majority of people.

Previous winners dating back to 1989 include everything from fat magnets, media personalities (Dr. Oz already won in 2012) and ephedrine-laced diet pills.

What is Healthy Weight Week?

Healthy Weight Week is a week-long event that is designed to help change the conversation around weight and health. Far from being a predictor of health, a person’s weight is determined for the most part (about 70%) by genetics. That means people come in a wide range of different shapes and sizes, which does not necessarily mean anything about their health.

The pursuit of thinness through dieting that has preoccupied millions of women over the last 50 years ignores this basic fact. It has led to poorer health, weight gain, eating disorders including binge eating, and unhappiness for many of those women.

Green Mountain at Fox Run was founded in 1973 to help women move away from diets and put in place a realistic approach to self care that supports them in achieving and maintaining their personal healthy weight. Confirmed by peer-reviewed research as a sustainable for healthy weight management, our approach is enjoyable and practical, a far cry from the deprivation and denial involved in dieting.

Submit Your Nomination Today!

Let your voice be heard in calling out weight loss schemes and gimmicks that interfere with health and happiness.

Let us know the most misleading weight loss promises you heard or tried in 2014.

Nominations close Friday, December 12, 2014.


Submit your nomination here

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Success Spelled with a Capital S of Support http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/13/success-spelled-capital-s-support/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/13/success-spelled-capital-s-support/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:00:22 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29104 Five weeks out and things are going about as I thought they would – some really great days when I eat healthy food in a mindful way, stay attentive to my hunger cues and get in some meaningful exercise. Then there are those other days – the ones where I find myself grabbing a bite over the sink, wolfing down […] Read more »

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support for success changeFive weeks out and things are going about as I thought they would – some really great days when I eat healthy food in a mindful way, stay attentive to my hunger cues and get in some meaningful exercise.

Then there are those other days – the ones where I find myself grabbing a bite over the sink, wolfing down something mindlessly at break-neck speed because my life is crazy-busy, A-personality driven.

We A-types have a hard time with failure and so we tend to keep at a thing until we have succeeded.  That’s not a bad thing, really, if you are able to ask for help when it’s needed.

Asking for Help

Ah, the “ask for help” conundrum.  Tough thing for a success-obsessed freak like me.  Somehow it equates with failure or weakness, not a thing A-types feel comfortable admitting.  But that, my friends, may be one of the most valuable lessons I learned at Green Mountain!

Sure, you can practice yourself out of a diet mentality and remind yourself that negative self-talk is  unproductive and, let’s face it, makes you just plain feel bad. But all these new learned behaviors are developed in a support-less void if you can’t ask for help when you need it.

Read This Related Article:
Creating Your Internal Support Team
You see, negative self-talk, as harmful as it is, is still a form of advice- giving, an internal self-driven support(less) system that, because of shame and guilt, supplants the ability to ask for help from someone other than self.

If I refuse to deprive myself and refuse to berate myself, then, when I am floundering, from where does my feedback come?   From the supportive members of my family, from the friends I made while I stayed at Green Mountain and from the wonderful staff there that are genuinely eager to help an alumna when they need it, that’s where.

Two weeks ago, I was struggling with the afternoon feelings of hunger.  I can tell you when it’s three in the afternoon without a clock in sight; my body just starts to think about food at that hour of the day.

Calling Friends For Support

I felt that snack time was problematic for me and decided to do something I wouldn’t normally have done until it was a last resort – I emailed Stacy, my Green Mountain Angel!  Stacy is an Ambassador there until next month and became a friend during my stay.  I wrote to her about my routine and we discussed some modifications that included moving lunch to a little later and having plenty of healthy snacks at the ready for my afternoon hunger issue.

I have also on occasion called my new friend Liz, a fellow participant during my stay, to talk about our mutual danger zones, discuss our shared successes and plan our future strategies (which include, I hope,  getting together soon!).

Asking for help doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.  The inner self -driven “support” was drenched in self-loathing; how wonderful to receive feedback from people who care about my journey and treat my setbacks with concern rather than ridicule. And the resulting advice and strategies are all wonderful sources of support and encouragement to a healthier me.  We A-types like success!  Thank you, Stacy and Liz for helping me achieve just that.


Read Our Guest Success Stories

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