If you have tried more diet and exercise programs than you would dare count and nothing seems to stick, I want you to know it’s not your fault.
You see, The Industry would have you believe that reaching your weight loss and fitness goals is all about choosing the perfect meal plan or exercise routine. They are wrong. If tools in of themselves caused transformation, we would all be skinny by now!
Just think about it...
We live in the most intellectually and technologically advanced era of all times.
There are over 50,000 diet books for sale on Amazon.com (many of which are available in e-books or audio)...
In 2015, iMedicalApps reported that there were over 165,000 health apps on (just imagine how many more there are now)...
There are now scales that measure body mass index, body fat %, bone mass, muscle mass, and how much of you is plain water...
Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, and others introduce a new and improved fitness tracker every few months...
We know more and have access to more than we EVER have...
And it still is not enough.
Tools alone do not cause transformation. In the end, a tool is just a tool unless it is used and used consistently in a way that moves our lives forward. So the real question is "what is keeping me from being consistent?" I’m glad you asked.
The answer is simple, but not easy.
Romans 12:2 reveals the answer:
“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.”
-Romans 12:2 VOICE
Did you catch it? In order to experience total transformation, a literal change of mind is required. In other words, to achieve lasting success the Bible says you must rewire your brain.
If things are not coming together in any area of our lives, the real issue is our belief system - the automatic thoughts that drive our decisions.
So today, rather than simply focusing on the actions and results that you do not like, I challenge you to start paying attention to the beliefs, thoughts and feelings that are leading to the unwanted actions and results.
It may take some time to unearth the specific thoughts that are driving your behaviors but investing the time will pay off big time. Once you understand why you do what you do, you can start the process of changing - this time for good.
If you would like help identifying the beliefs and thoughts that are keeping you stick, click here to schedule a time. It’s on me.
Until next time,
"Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment."
~Proverbs 4:7 NLT
Of all of the topics pertaining to weight loss and fitness, my favorite thing to study is the science of motivation. Why? Because I know from personal experience that knowing does not always equate with doing. I knew that baked was better than fried, that water was a 100 times better than soda, and that bringing lunch from home was a much better call than eating fast food every day. I knew better, but that knowledge did not inspire me to do better (at least not at first). For 8 years, I kept doing the same old thing over and over and over again. Can you identify?
The cold hard truth: Many times we know exactly what we should be doing. We just don't do it.
The question is...WHY?
Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter and author of The Power of Habit, sheds light on the subject. He contends:
"Most of the choices we make each day may feel like they are products of well-considered decision-making, but they are not. They are habits."
Did you catch that? Most (about 60-70%) of the time, we are NOT consciously making decisions. Nope. We are simply operating on auto-pilot. That explains a lot, doesn't it? If I were to boil it all down, my main problem is that I am sleepwalking through my decisions, so much so that they are not really decisions at all!
Charles goes on to say something really powerful: changing the unwanted behavior starts with identifying the cue(s).
According to Duhigg, cues tend to fall into one of five buckets
• Location (ex. at work)
• Time of day (ex. 3 pm or after lunch)
• Emotions and Feelings (ex. tired)
• Social Environment (ex. co-workers that are food pushers)
• Preceding Action (ex. someone offered me a cookie)
So for the rest of the week, I challenge you to start paying more attention to your location, the time of day, any emotions or feelings you are experiencing, your social environment, and what happened immediately before you felt the urge to cheat on your diet or skip the gym.
My clients that take these types of exercises seriously experience breakthrough. I believe it is possible for you too.
Write notes in your journal the rest of the week and let me know what you learn!
Until next time,
While many would have you believe that losing the weight and leaving it is about finding the perfect diet and exercise solution, I know better...
The extra pounds we carry have less to do with our taste buds and laziness and more to do with what is eating away at our Soul...
Feeling stuck in a job that we hate...
Living in a house that doesn’t feel like a home...
Having an exciting vision for the future but no motivation to pursue it...
Trying desperately to hold everything together on the outside while it feels like everything is falling apart on the inside...
No, it’s not that at the core of our being we don’t want to eat better or move more, it’s that our soul has been arrested and we don't feel empowered to break free...no matter how spiritual we seem to be.
Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be this way. There is an answer and it’s not what you think.
The answer is to invest your time.
The investment I am talking about doesn't just pertain to improving the physical body but also on identifying the real root of the problem and strengthening yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
When you invest in bringing your spirit, soul, and body into alignment, everything else falls into place.
Until next time,
“Are you losing weight?” You would think that those words would be music to any overweight person’s ears. Often it is quite the opposite.
Believe it or not I often purposely avoid sharing my decision to lose weight with you and it’s not because I don’t need the support. It’s because I am afraid - afraid of failure and at the same time afraid of success.
You see, when you have a long history of failed diet attempts like I do, attention is scary. It means I cease to be invisible. Yes, on one hand I like attention, but at the same time, I hate it because it means that I can no longer hide.
It’s like somehow the layer of fat covers up all of the sadness, guilt, and shame I sometimes feel. Sadness because I don’t feel good enough. Guilt because I allowed myself to get to this point. Shame because as strong as I claim to be, I can’t seem to find the courage and strength to turn this situation around and be consistent. I feel like a big fat failure and somehow, someway, carrying this protective layer allows me to hide that.
So please don’t make a big deal out of this! Recognize my progress but don’t give me too much attention. If you do I will subconsciously start sabotaging my progress so that I can become invisible again. You’re right it doesn’t make sense. But it doesn’t have too. It just needs to feel safe.
Again, don’t go on and on when you notice that I’ve lost a few pounds. If I say something to you about what I am trying to do, support and encourage me in a low-key way. Better yet, ask how you can help and listen, really listen. Don’t assume that what you would want is what I would want. What you think is helping may be hurting. Then pray.
Pray that I will not allow the voices in my head to win again. The ones that say this time will be like all the rest. Pray that this time, I win.
When Exercise Isn’t Enough
After 30 days of turning my life upside down to get in workouts 6 days a week, I just KNEW that I had lost at least 5 – 8 pounds. I wasn’t looking for a quick fix. I just wanted some encouragement. I took a deep breath and jumped on the scale. I was horrified by what I saw. Not one single pound. I was heartbroken.
At this point the “see, I told you this wouldn’t work” voice kicked in. I was reminded of all the other times I had tried and failed. According to the voice, this was just another notch on the belt. I was a hopeless cause. Being overweight was just meant to be.
Unfortunately, this voice and I had a long history. When I applied for jobs and didn’t get them, tried new things and struggled to “get it”, went to functions and didn’t immediately fit in, my self-critic instantly went to work. And sadly, more often than I would like to admit, I gave in.
But this time something welled up within me. I wanted this to work! I had come too far and given up too much! I will not quit! I would not be held hostage by my failures. I could do this! I just needed to face the music. My diet was NOT working.
If you are working out and not seeing results, your diet is the culprit. Learn how diet and exercise work together here:
Until next time,
I have a simple question for you today…do you know why you are here? If your answer is "no" or "I’m not sure", I want you to listen up and listen up good.
You are not here by accident!
You do have a purpose!
You were created for greatness!
You, yes YOU, are the answer to someone’s prayer!
You are not meant to wander aimlessly. There IS a purpose for you being here and if you follow the plan, there is an awesome future ahead of you!
How do I know? Because scripture tells me so…
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
1. Do you know what His purpose is for you?
2. Are you striving every day to fulfill it?
If your answer is no to either of these questions, I want to let you in on a little secret…
This is the little secret that the weight loss gurus are not talking about. The reason we overeat has very little to do with food!
This is precisely why getting a new diet plan or food tracking app is not enough to right the ship. It’s going to take more because it is the lack of more – more excitement, more passion, more purpose, that is holding you back!
So, before you sign up for that smoothie challenge your girlfriend told you about or that new gym membership, I challenge you to get clear on what you want out of life because if you don’t know exactly where you want to go, chances are you will end up somewhere else!
What does the life you want look, feel, sound, and smell like? More importantly what type of person do you need to be to obtain and maintain that kind of life? It's one thing to get there, it is something altogether different to stay there. Winston Churchill says: "The empires of the future are empires of the mind." In Proverbs 28:18, the bible says without a vision the people perish. Both are right.
Nearly four months of 2018 are gone. You can't get them back. But Lord willing, you still have 8 months left. Let’s make ‘em count.
Until next time,
P.S. Need help figuring out your best next step - in fitness and in life - contact me at 980.395.9206 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free consultation.
1. Never wait more than four hours between eating a small snack or a meal.
No matter who you are, it is nearly impossible to keep portions in control when you are hungry. If you tend to get caught up in activities and forget to eat, set an alarm on your phone to remind you.
2. Make sure your meals are a combination of protein and fiber.
Both keep blood sugar levels stable and aid in satiety to fight off that ravenous feeling that leads to overeating. Black beans, lima beans, peas, broccoli, blackberries, and avocado are all good sources of fiber. Pair them with grilled, baked, or roasted chicken, turkey, and on occasion, lean beef.
3. Drink water throughout the day.
It is all too easy to confuse feelings of thirst for hunger. You end up consuming too much food when you really just need to hydrate. If you find it a challenge to sip on water, add a splash of lemon or lime with a touch of Stevia.
4. Fill up on fiber—especially veggies.
When you are feeling full, you are a lot less likely to overeat. Veggies are packed with fiber and are low in calories, so load up on them.
In addition to these four tips, check out our top portion-control strategies and see what works best for you. FYI—many of these work great for us!
5. Cut your food into very small, bite-size pieces.
Do this with everything—salad, burritos, pasta, apples, cookies, etc. Researchers are trying to figure out exactly why this works, but they theorize that cutting up foods into multiple, bite-sized pieces may perceptually look like more food and, therefore, elicit greater satiation than a single-piece food portion.
6. Use salad plates.
They are smaller than traditional plates and if you tend to overfill your plate, you will do less damage with a salad plate.
7. Slow down.
It takes 20 minutes for the brain to receive the signal that the body has received food. We all tend to eat quickly when we are hungry and it is easy to overeat before you even get close to 20 minutes!
8. Plan in advance what you will and will not eat.
For example, if you go to your meal knowing that you are having a salad for an appetizer and eating only half of your entrée, you will not overeat your main course simply because it is in front of you. Instead, you will be conscious and have a plan as to when you will stop eating.
I will be the first to stay that consistent application of these tips is not always easy but it is possible. When the going gets tough, the believer gets going with prayer!
Here is a scripture to stand on:
I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] ~Philippians 4:13 (Amplified)
Amen and Amen!
Until next time,
Say that you and your best friend are both on a 1,600 calorie per day diet.
You built your 1,600 calorie diet using mostly lean protein, veggies, fruit, and little healthy fat.
Your friend chose LOTS of sugar, rice, bread, pasta, crackers etc., but the calories still add up to 1,600 at the end of the day.
Would you lose weight at the same rate? Would you both look lean and toned?
Calories in, calories out, right?
The truth is our bodies treat protein, fat, and carbohydrate calories very differently so you and friend will look very different 6 months from now. YOU will be a lot leaner than your friend.
Bread, pasta, crackers, and even some sugars are NOT the enemy but too much of a good thing is...well...too much of a good thing!
So if you are putting in the work, stay the course. Staying "on point" WILL maximize your results. The types of foods you eat and the portion sizes DO matter. So aim to stay on track 80%-90% of the time.
Until next time,
Tam’s Thoughts: Dieting
It is often said that diets don’t work. The truth is that some diets do work. It is not the diet methodology that is always the problem. The real problem is human nature.
Human nature will only put up with self-denial for so long. When its limit has been reached, it rears its ugly head, demands what it craves, and expects there to be no consequences. Human nature constantly screams about the sacrifices it has made – no matter how small or how inconsistent – and ignores its shortcomings. It always wants to receive the full reward while doing only a part of the work.
Diets are not always the issue. Often the real issue is the MINDSET that we bring to the table when we start a new diet regimen. If we view dieting (which is really a decision to eat healthy foods more often and eat them in the right portions), as torture and something we can do haphazardly, we will continue to see the on-again-off-again cycle repeat itself. Again, it is not the diet that is at fault. It is the mindset of the person attempting to diet that is to blame.
If you really want to lose weight and keep it off, don’t waste time searching for the diet that will give you the fastest result. Don’t think that you can get by with only making changes for a few weeks, go back to your old habits, and still stay the same size. It will not work.
Instead, invest your time and energy in developing the mindset that creates consistent results. Buy into the idea of a lifestyle change hook, line, and sinker. Why? Because if we really think about it, the lifestyle we are living right now is responsible for the life we currently have. It only stands to reason that if we want a different result this time, we must change the way we do life!
Until you change the way you think – about food, exercise, yourself, and your priorities - nothing really changes.
Dieting DOES work when you have the right mindset.
Until next time,
Have you ever experienced this:
An urge to eat something unhealthy comes over you so strongly that you feel you have no choice but to give in?
When it's over, you feel awful that you've eaten all those calories and set yourself up for weight gain. So you're good for a couple of days until another craving comes over you.
You tell yourself you'll just eat one or two, but does it ever really work out that way?
You play Russian Roulette hoping that this time you will escape without consequences.
You pray this time will be different and you indulge...and the cycle repeats.
Most of us have certain trigger foods. Like kryptonite is to Superman, these foods seem to leave us powerless despite our great intentions. But what if we could finally stop the cycle? What if we could regain control and stop being pushed around by these foods? I'm here to tell you IT IS POSSIBLE!
You have the power. You can change the course of your life anytime you choose. It all starts with identifying your trigger foods. Once you can name them, your next task is to replace them with healthier, less consuming substitutions in order to break the cycle.
To identify your trigger foods (and come up with a game plan to address them), click here.
Until next time,
coach tam's Blog
40-something who loves food, fitness, and fun!