When I was a kid, my grandma used to bring us long johns from the Viborg bakery when she would come to visit. She also brought the equalizer – colored peppers. Yellow, red and orange. She was a chronic dieter. I wonder if she thought …
Do you ever get so involved in researching something that you end up doing nothing? It is so common. You definitely are not alone. It happens to everyone. It’s such a thing. It’s so easy to just overthink things to death. Like me, when I research things to write about. Yeah, I definitely do it too.
You made the decision to change your nutrition. You made the decision to start moving more. You want to lose some body fat. Awesome. Then you go to the google machine and you type in how to lose weight. You get about a million hits. Wow! Who knew there was so much information about it. That’s the problem. You end up going down at least 20 rabbit holes looking for something that you feel will fit your lifestyle. You want to change, but now everything is so overwhelming, you don’t even know where to start. That is the definition of paralysis analysis. You are constantly wondering and overthinking about what to do.
So you do nothing. You do nothing until the urge to change your health starts again. This can be three months later, six months later or even years later. You lost the opportunity because of information overload. You start the cycle all over again. Another episode of paralysis analysis. What can you do? It can be so hard to know. It’s the overthinking and wondering if it’s the right program or the right thing for you. You get in a rut. It’s a self-made rut. Sorry, but it is. You keep going in this cycle. It’s time to break it. I definitely have the self-made rut when researching things, like I said above.
Here’s some tough love regarding analysis paralysis.
When this happens, you need to pick something. Because something is better than nothing. If you constantly get stuck, no matter what you start with, it is going to help. Nothing is perfect. Just pick one and start. Just start. It really is that simple. Nothing is going to be perfect. But, you need to pick one and get going. Don’t stay in the spinning your wheels mode.
There are so many things you can do to get started. I love keeping it simple and here are three things you can start with. You don’t need to do all of them. Pick one or pick them all. Whatever feels right for you is what you should do.
Here are a few things you can implement immediately, without feeling overwhelmed.
Say nice things to yourself. Your brain listens to what you tell yourself. And then YOU start believing what you tell yourself. It’s a vicious cycle and it needs to be broken. Every morning when you get up, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. When your actions are positive, your feelings become positive. I also saw a quote this morning about criticizing and basically not taking responsibility and doing what you want to get done.
“It’s easy to wish and hope. It’s easy to blame and complain. It’s easy to talk shit and criticize. What’s much harder is making scary decisions to become the person *you* want to be, to actualize the life of your dreams, to make the hard decisions when the rubber meets the road.” Jill Coleman
What do you think? Have you noticed that you talk crap to yourself? Have you been criticizing yourself? Break that cycle and start working on your relationship with yourself. Smile and be nice to yourself. Do this every day and pretty soon those crap talk episodes should get less and less often. Your mind is a good listener.
Emphasize protein at every meal. Protein is so important to preserving muscle. Protein also is very satiating, which means it keeps you fuller longer, so it helps reduce hunger when you are in a fat loss phase. Try to get 25-30 grams of protein at each meal. That could be a palm size portion of chicken or beef or whatever protein source you are using. You can also batch cook protein and have it on hand for a few days. Then when you get home from work and the last thing you want to do is to cook, warm up that protein and build your meal around it. Grab some vegetables and some rice or something else you like and make your meal simple, yet delicious. Simple is very underrated. You don’t need a party on a plate for every meal. When you choose simple, you are choosing progress. Find some different seasonings you like to spice up the flavor profile of your protein. Some examples of good protein sources are all meats, fish and shrimp. Plant based proteins include tofu, edamame, lentils and chickpeas. Other good dairy sources of protein include greek yogurt and cottage cheese. There are many, many quick grab and go packs of tuna and salmon. You can also grab from a multitude of jerky options.
Next up, try getting some movement in each day. Whether it be 5 minutes of walking or 10 minutes of walking. Just start. or if The benefits of moving are infinite. Especially as we age we want to keep moving so that we can chase grandkids around or so we can get up and down from the floor without putting our back out. Movement should be a non-negotiable. Walking is so underrated and is so good for overall health and wellness. Walking can improve your health almost immediately. Walking can increase your cardiovascular fitness and can help to strengthen your bones. Walking can boost your muscle power and endurance. Your circulation improves. You sleep better and it can make you happy!
Once you get some movement in, start to think about building some strength. Do some resistance exercises and make your body strong. Women who strength train feel more confident and capable as a result of their training. Strength training helps to build and then maintain muscle mass. As we age, we lose muscle mass. It sucks to think about what happens and how if we don’t keep up with training what can happen to our bodies. Keep it built up and age gracefully. Strength training also makes your joints stronger and is a great form of low impact cardio. Just try some deadlifts or squats and see how heavy you are breathing when you’re done. Strength training protects your bone health. This should be at the top of your list for adding strength training to your life. It supports the density of your bones, which in turn can lower your risk of osteoporosis. Strength training can improve your mood and your mental health as well. Truth.
These are just a few places you can start on your journey of change. You can do one or you can do all of them. If you get easily overwhelmed, pick one. Do it consistently for 30 days and see what you notice. Keep a journal, or write in your Notes app on your phone, but keep track of how you feel and what you notice. If you don’t track things, you can’t monitor things. It doesn’t work that way. It’s just like when you hear people tell others to just eat intuitively. Yeah, that’s good, at some point, but not at your beginning point. If you have never tracked your food, you don’t know what portions look like or what foods are protein, carbs or fat. It takes some time to learn this stuff and then that can graduate into eating without tracking or eating intuitively. Okay, back to my post.
If you don’t get easily overwhelmed, try them all. Keep data and see how you do. Try it for 30 days and see what happens. You won’t know until you try.
Changing can be hard and it can be confusing. But if you just pick something and get going you will be so far ahead of the curve. Pick something and get going. Kick the analysis paralysis to the curb and just get that start going. It does not matter what you pick. Pick it and get started. Get started and start seeing results. See results and here comes all that motivation. Keep going. Let me know what happens. I really want to hear about it.
You’re right, you’re doomed. Once you hit 50 it’s over. Weight loss isn’t happening. Women, do you hear that? Well, just like about every mainstream media nutrition information, it’s false as fuck. Just because you hit 50 and just because you are heading into menopause …
The word diet.
The word implies sacrifice. The word implies deprivation. The word implies restriction. The word implies fun killer.
And then we think a little bit more and keto, intermittent fasting, low carb, grapefruit and whatever other “diet” comes to mind.
Actually, Dictionary tells me that diet is “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” So in other words, it just a way of eating. That’s it.
It has gotten so convoluted in today’s society and we usually take it to mean something different. It now often implies “the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-management reasons (with the two often being related). So it has been changed to most of the time mean weight-management. Trying to lose weight or trying to lose fat.
It is so interesting to see how the whole diet culture thing got started. I just use the Google machine and found out that In the early 1900s an overweight businessman slimmed down and made dieting a pop culture phenomenon. He popularized his Chewing Diet. WTF? He recommended that people chew their food until it became liquid. In theory this would prevent them from overeating. And so it began.
There was an even earlier popular diet that an English undertaker brought to light. It was called “Banting.” Banting wrote a booklet which contained the particular plan for the diet he had successfully followed. This diet consisted of mainly low carb, high fat that mostly restricted starchy, processed and sugary foods. Instead it promoted intake of wholesome foods in order to lose weight. Perhaps the beginning of a keto-type way of eating.
As the diet culture evolved, diet became interchangeable with these words and phrases: fast, abstinence, intake, restricted diet, quantity, restriction, starvation, nutritional therapy and regimen.
Diet culture is toxic. It can make you feel guilty for enjoying the so-called unhealthy foods. It can make you feel that you have to be skinny in order to be beautiful. It can make you think food is good or bad. It labels your food choices. It labels how you look. It normalizes negative self talk. It makes you feel like a piece of crap if you don’t look a certain way.
I prefer to have my clients eat as much as they can and still lose weight, rather than restrict as much as they can. The restriction can be such a mind fuck. I hate the fact that that is what most diets do. The calories go so low that a person is bound to feel pissed off, hangry, tired and overall crappy. It’s no wonder they go right back to eating more when this diet is “done” after 30 days. That is another complaint I have with the whole diet culture. You can’t be done. It doesn’t work that way.
Those 30 days diets do nothing but show you how to restrict. I mean seriously, if you know you are going to start one of those 30 days plans, what are you doing the few days before your start date? You are eating everything in sight and you are eating every single food you have had a craving for in the last year because you know you are going to be restricted and won’t be able to have that food on your 30 day plan. How is that any way to live?
I would much rather enjoy the foods I love and still be able to lose fat, if that is my goal. When you are “allowed” to have the foods you want and the foods you love, it makes it so much easier to stay on track. I don’t know about you, but when I get told I “can’t have” certain foods, that is all I think about. If I am told you only get 1000 calories, that’s all I think about and then all I want to do is eat everything. The mind is such an amazing thing. It’s amazing how the things we tell ourselves manifest into our daily.
There is growing research supporting the flexible eating approaches as more superior to the rigid and restrictive approaches. The naysayers and food snobs tend to be the groups that shit on the approaches that actually help people build better relationships with food and can then see progress because they allow themselves to eat the foods they love without the restrictions or extremes. I believe in eating mostly nutrient dense foods with treats added in some of the time. For me this approach has worked amazing. I have seen great results and I am not constantly wanting something I have been told I can’t have.
There are so many ways of eating and the key is finding what works for you. Ask yourself if what you are doing is sustainable for the long haul. Focus on what you can control.
I have worked hard on letting go of that diet mentality and the diet mindset. It has not been easy. I work on myself every single day. It takes time, but it is worth the feeling of freedom. I am so done with diet jail. The “hack” is finding the balance. It can take years to find that balance. The line is fine between enjoying life and setting boundaries around your health goals. I walk it every single day.
For so many, there is so much pain in the day-to-day, that we look for anything to help. The quick fix and the 30 day detox sound inviting. They may give you a quick hit of weight loss, not fat loss. There is a difference. But, then instead of keeping that off after the 30 days, it comes right back and then some. Because that way of eating is not sustainable, so the results will not be sustainable. Take the time to change. Take the time to get in the process and learn how your body reacts to things. Learn how to track calories or macros, or start smaller. You deserve to feel good. That is your priority. Feeling better is the name of the game. Looking better is a side effect.
Start rejecting the whole diet culture toxicity. Change the way you talk to yourself. Be positive. Change the language you use around your food. Change the language you use around how you describe your body. Change the language you use to describe your health. Don’t feel guilty because you eat foods you love. Don’t feel guilty and then go do hours of cardio. Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it. Stop being ashamed.
My clients aren’t coming to me to look like a 20 year old again. My clients want to feel better. They want to feel better in their skin. They want to make changes that are going to last. That takes time. That takes effort. And that takes discomfort. Stepping into the unknown can be very scary. You have to choose what’s more important to you. You have to choose your hard. It’s hard to be unhealthy. It’s hard to get and stay healthy. Choose where you want to be.
And before all the hate comes bubbling up, it is a-okay to want to change how you look. Change because you want to, not because someone is telling you to. Change because you are making the choice. Don’t let someone try to make that choice for you. It’s up to you. It can take time to get there, but be true yourself and trust that you will rise.
All I ever wanted was to be a mom. I remember playing house as a kid. I always knew I wanted to have kids. I think people know. I did. It was just something I knew would happen.
It happened to me four times. I was blessed with healthy babies four times.
I loved being pregnant. It’s such a miracle and I was lucky to not have any problems with my pregnancies.
Baby #1 – I was 22 when she was born. I was so excited. I didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl and waited for the surprise. My labor was relatively short about 10 hours total. A 7 pound girl. Teeny tiny. I had no idea what I was doing, but I had good instincts. They kicked in and we lived to see another day. LOL. We fumbled our way through the first baby stage and beyond. She had no hair and everyone thought she was a boy. Due date was the 19th and she was born on the 22nd. Three days late. At this time I was married to my first husband. He was in the Navy and we lived in Oak Harbor, WA, Whidbey Island Naval Base.
I had great friends there. So many young women wanting to be mothers, pregnant at the same time. One friend and I had the same due date. We were both so excited on our way to becoming first time mothers. Almost 35 years ago. So hard to believe it’s been that long. She didn’t get that baby. God did. Her baby passed away a week before we were due. She had to wait and deliver a stillborn baby. It was so hard. I felt so bad for her and guilty for having a healthy baby. Rest In Peace Baby Holly.
Baby #2 – I was 24 years old. Another one where the sex was a surprise. He was a big boy. My labor was very short – about 4 hours this time. A big boy, 8 pounds 14 ounces. A chunker. 19 months after the first one. He was also born at the naval base. The bond was immediate. You hear about it all the time. It’s there. Babies are amazing. The emotions flooding through the body. Being responsible for another life is such a privilege. This guy was due on the 20th and wasn’t born until the 28th. Very late. His big sister was the most loving and helpful sister. She also had that immediate bond with him.
Baby #3 – I was 27 years old. This baby was born in Pierre, SD. He was 7 pounds 13 ounces. This baby gave me grief. My labor was hard and intense. All back labor and all pain labor. By the time I finally asked for pain mediations, I was told it was too late. This guy made quite the entrance. He struggled a bit with the cord wrapped around his neck and a bruised and purple face, but he did okay. His due date was never set in stone, so I will say he arrived right on time on the 30th. This baby was truly unique. Always smiling and such a good baby.
Baby #4 – I was 35 years old. This baby was also born in Pierre, SD. We thought it was a girl, but we were not 100 percent sure. She weighed 7 pounds 6 1/2 ounces. This labor was not bad. I was at the hospital just a few hours before she was born. The cord was also around her neck and she was purple, but the nurses were amazing. Everything okay. Everything all good. Another beautiful baby. Another miracle. She was due the 11th and was born the 21st. The latest one of the four.
Corie, Spencer, Thomas and Tayler – thanks for choosing me to be your mom.
So what is a mom anyway?
Being a mom is unconditional love
Being a mom is feeling overwhelmed and under knowledged
Being a mom is letting your kids flourish and empowering them to be their own person.
Being a mom is letting your kids make mistakes and trying not to fix them.
Being a mom is helping your kids to thrive.
Being a mom is being a cheerleader.
Being a mom is cherishing every single memory.
Being a mom is a big job.
Being a mom takes responsibility and heart and grit.
Being a mom is the shoulder to cry on.
Being a mom is hard.
Being a mom is rewarding.
Being a mom is love.
Being a mom is worry. That never goes away.
So Corie, Spencer, Thomas and Tayler – I thank you. I love you, I’m always here for you and I will always worry about you. Every. Single. Day