Green Mountain at Fox Run » Blog http://www.fitwoman.com Women's Weight Loss Spa Retreat for Healthy Living Thu, 27 Nov 2014 04:52:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Beyond the Scale: What Does Feeling Better Weigh? http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/26/beyond-scale-feeling-better-weigh/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/26/beyond-scale-feeling-better-weigh/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:00:42 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29271 Beth is back with a new and big realization that is taking her much further than a scale could ever measure. Healthy Eating and Exercise It seems so simple, right? Eat healthy food in a mindful way and exercise. That’s it. How hard is that? I mean, I’ve always eaten pretty good food and I exercised sometimes and didn’t always […] Read more »

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Beth is back with a new and big realization that is taking her much further than a scale could ever measure.

Healthy Eating and Exercise

It seems so simple, right? Eat healthy food in a mindful way and exercise. That’s it.

How hard is that? I mean, I’ve always eaten pretty good food and I exercised sometimes and didn’t always stand at the sink to wolf down a meal. So why does the Green Mountain philosophy seem so radical to me?

The Concept Of Making A Permanent Life-Change

beyond the scale - what does feeling better weighI’ve been thinking about that question for the last few weeks and I’m wondering if it’s not the holistic concept of a permanent life-change. A subtle difference, I suppose, but an important one.

Take any of the prescribed advice for a healthier lifestyle that was offered at Green Mountain as a “stand-alone” and it’s still a good thing, without a doubt — eating more healthy food is always a great idea, and exercising when you can is equally beneficial.

But it’s the piece-meal approach that has failed me in the past. It’s the “extra effort” attitude. As in, today I will do something extra for myself — eat a healthy salad, take a walk around the block.

Healthy Changes: From “Extras” To Cemented Behaviors

No, I think the secret is in understanding the value of the Green Mountain philosophy when adopted as a whole, as a complete lifestyle change. Instead of feeling like I need to add something special to my established lifestyle, I’m working on incorporating these changes into my foundational approach – to make it the base of my relationship to health and food and not an “add-on”.

Okay, so the focus is on incorporating healthy changes — practicing them until they are no longer “extras” but cemented behaviors. In my attempt to alter my outlook on food and eating, though, it has been helpful to also see that the journey is better served by realizing that these behaviors are interconnected. By adopting one or two, I might certainly achieve greater health but to look at the program as an interconnected, inter-dependent philosophy, the outcome is exponentially greater.

Going “All In” For Greater Health

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, for me, I can’t do the “add-on” mindset anymore. It’s not working for me. And, more importantly, I need to rely on a total approach to maximize the success of any one component.

Read This Related Article:
Why the Scale Sucks: A Cautionary Tale
This all-in idea came to me as I walked by my scale for the umpteenth time since I returned from Green Mountain 6 weeks ago. I’ve jumped on it a few times but have abandoned my old daily morning ritual which included going to the bathroom first, getting naked, breathing out so that the scale didn’t register the air in my lungs, holding my breath and stepping on. Then, when the thing wavered a half pound at the end, I had to do it all over again in an effort to get the lower weight.

Gross, right? Yet, that’s how much it mattered.

Losing My Weight Worries

Now, I don’t need to see that number every day because it doesn’t matter to me. I feel good and I feel like I’m doing what I need to, so much so that a number is not going to validate my efforts.

So, where did this light-bulb realization come from? From the interconnectedness of the program – it’s like this:

  • If there are no bad foods than there can be no diet mentality.
  • If there’s no diet mentality, then there’s no deprivation.
  • If there’s no deprivation, then there’s no self-flagellation for “cheating” and there’s no number goal by which to measure my success. There’s only health! And that is easily measured by how I move and feel, both physically and mentally.

So if you’re reading to the end to see how much weight I’ve lost in 6 weeks, go back and read the middle again! I feel better in my skin and in my head – what number is that on the scale?


Healthy Weight Week: It’s Not About A Number

 

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If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be? http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/25/change-one-thing-body/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/25/change-one-thing-body/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29261 Today’s post introduces our new Nutrition Leader, June Lupiani, RD. June comes to Green Mountain with a deep and compassionate understanding of the issues facing women in eating supportively. And extensive experience in how to help them overcome those issues. She shares some of the basics in this post. Loaded question, I know.  So before you dig too deep, take a […] Read more »

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Today’s post introduces our new Nutrition Leader, June Lupiani, RD. June comes to Green Mountain with a deep and compassionate understanding of the issues facing women in eating supportively. And extensive experience in how to help them overcome those issues. She shares some of the basics in this post.

Loaded question, I know.  So before you dig too deep, take a minute and watch this great short brought to you by the not-for-profit, the Jubilee Project.  It’s called “50 People 1 Question.”

Watch Video: 50 People 1 Question

When It Comes To Body Image, Kids Get It

The way I see it, this is a great PSA that reminds us that everything we really need to know in life, we can learn from children.  Another humbling example of how many of us had life figured out by the end of primary school.

It gets me thinking of how often kids really do get it when it comes to things like self awareness and body image.  When I think about kids and self awareness, I think hunger is a great example.  Kids are so much more tuned in on this stuff, right?  Check out this list I created based on the way kids typically eat. (By the way, it’s also the approach we take with eating here at Green Mountain which is pretty interesting.)

What Kids Know About Healthy Eating

Kids eat when they’re hungry.

  • Try this, get in tune with your body.  This certainly takes some letting go of external cues or rules we typically pick up after primary school somewhere around the time of our first diet.  Rules that we have been following for a long time so go easy on yourself if you experience resistance on this one.

Kids eat until they’re satisfied.

  • Hmmm…notice how I didn’t use the word full here.  What does eating to the point of satisfaction feel like to you?  Is it different than feeling full?  Probably sometimes, maybe not all the time.
  • On the other side of the same coin, do you stop eating before you feel satisfied because you think you should?  If so, is this helping you out long term as in later that day or week?

Kids eat what they want based on what they like.

  • We’re human therefore we have deeper and richer reasons for eating beyond physiological need.  Honor that.

Kids don’t clean their plates…even if they have to sit there all night long.kids know about healthy eating

  • If you recognize satiation, go with it.  If you’ve been conditioned to eat everything on your plate, try something new.  It takes time and effort but observing satiety and using it to guide you can be a pretty great tool.

Kids trust their bodies.

  • Trust things like hunger and satiety.  Hard at first, sure.  Especially so if you’ve been putting so much faith into all that external wisdom we’ve gathered up through the years.  Again think of a kid on this one, they are typically so driven by internal cues that they refuse to be influenced by external expectations.

So maybe today try and eat like a kid.

See how you feel.  And maybe later work on that mermaid tail.

Have a great week!


Learn More Our Behavior and Emotional Health Program

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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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