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First, you’re all excited about the diet and sure enough, you follow the directions very closely. Thanks to your careful dietary guidelines, and your eager compliance, you start losing a lot of weight. So far so good, right? This keeps up for maybe a few more days or even a few more weeks. But sooner or later, the kilograms start coming back.
Next, things go from bad to worse. You start gaining more weight than when you began your diet. Isn’t the whole point of going on a diet to lose weight? Sadly, most diets are gateways, believe it or not, to additional weight; talk about a frustrating situation.
The reason why people go through this all too familiar tragic pattern is because they don’t have the right mindset. It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to adopt the keto diet, the paleo diet, the Atkins diet, the Ornish, or any other weight loss program, without the right mindset, you are playing the game to lose.
At the very least, you should adopt three basic mindsets that will ensure diet success.
It’s very easy to get excited about the testimonials included in many diet books. You look at the before-and-after pictures and you and you get all pumped up. Please understand that a lot of those pictures are exaggerated. In fact, a lot of books that are very shady even use photoshopped pictures.
I know it’s shocking. I know that it’s hard to believe that people would actually do that, but they do. So a little bit of skepticism goes a long way. Still, don’t just focus on the fact that the diet can work for other people. Instead, wrap your mind around the possibility that the diet can actually work for you.
That’s right, you personally, individually. If you can’t understand that, and if you can’t accept the likelihood of a certain weight-loss program waiting for you, then you’re making things much harder on yourself. It’s like trying to play basketball and trying to put the ball through the hoop.
If in the back of your head you’re saying to yourself, “other people can shoot really well, but not me,” what do you think will happen? You’re shooting accuracy will go down. You’re sabotaging yourself. You’re making things unnecessarily harder on yourself.
This is why it’s really important to assume that you can achieve success with the diet. Not the case study pictures, not the people giving testimonials, we are talking about you. If you can’t make this assumption, then it’s going to be a rough road ahead for you.
One common reason why people fail with diets is because they think that they have to transform into a completely different person. Alternatively, they believe that their circumstances or their situations need to change so dramatically so as to ensure success.
When people think along these lines, they’re basically just giving themselves excuses for either not trying, or for expecting bad results. Believe me, I can understand why people do this. If you have been let down by diet after diet, it’s very easy to become jaded.
In fact, in many cases, it’s very easy to expect failure. After all, you’ve gone through the familiar process of initially losing weight, and then getting it all back. It becomes an old story, and it’s only a matter of time until your heart gets broken again.
This is why you think that you should change everything that you can possibly change, to lay the groundwork for ultimate success. Again, you’re making things unnecessarily harder on yourself. It doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to move heaven and earth to create optimal conditions.
You know why? Conditions are never perfect. There will never be a time when your circumstances will be just right for you to ensure success. You’re going to have to take that risk. You’re going to have to begin with what you have.
It doesn’t matter what discipline level you have. It doesn’t matter what else is going on in your life. It doesn’t matter whether you feel good about yourself. All that matters is that you are ready, willing and able to begin with what you have and assume that this will work for you.
Another key pillar for diet success involves the issue of control. A lot of people fail with diets because they think that they are putting some sort of dietary straitjacket on themselves. For instance, they don’t normally like a certain taste, but since they’re switching over to a new diet, they force themselves to like a certain range of flavors.
Let me tell you, it’s only a matter of time until your old self rears its ugly head. It’s only a matter time until you go back to how you normally eat. This is a very frustrating situation. It’s as if you are doing really well, and you’re making all these changes, and all of a sudden your old self pulls you back. You end up where you began.
This is why it’s really important to focus on enjoying your food. This is not an ordeal. This is not some sort of punishment. This is not some sort of situation where you feel that you are denying yourself. Instead, the diet should be a celebration of taste. It all really boils down to enjoying your food according to the rules of which ever ‘diet’ or way of eating you choose.
You have to first choose the rules. You have to first choose to go on the diet, and then you select based on your existing tastes. There’s no need to become somebody else. There’s no need to change your taste buds. There’s no need to go through any of that. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy the flavor range that you are already enjoying.
Now here’s the thing, even if you have a sweet tooth, you’re going to have to minimise that. That’s the only change, but for everything else, whether you like sour foods, salty foods, or definitely fatty foods, you should be fine. But as long as you manage your sweet tooth, you should be okay.
Keep atop the mindsets above if you want to be successful with your diet. I’m not going to lie you and say that you can adopt these mindsets overnight. After all, the way you see things, and the way you expect things to play out, have been with you for a long time. You’ve grown accustomed to thinking about food a certain way.
But if you change your mindset according to the three key pillars above, adopting a diet will become easier, and it is more likely to stick. Don’t see it as a ‘diet’, see it as a way of eating that accommodates your tastebuds.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.
If you have been diagnosed with high or borderline-high cholesterol you’re probably wondering whether you should worry and I there’s anything you can do about it.
YES YOU CAN!!!
Even moderately elevated LDL levels are associated with a risk of premature death from heart disease compared to those whose numbers were considered healthy. The GOOD NEWS is your cholesterol, especially your LDL (bad cholesterol) is incredibly responsive to lifestyle. So, after six weeks of healthy changes such as eating right and exercising, you should start seeing changes.
Animal protein contains a lot of saturated fat. Even sources lower in saturated fat like pork and chicken aren’t good for your cholesterol.
Plant-based proteins aren’t just low in saturated fat, they’re also rich in other nutrients that help promote healthy cholesterol, such as fibre and antioxidants.
A Mediterranean-style diet that’s rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy and healthy fats (such as those found in fatty fish (like salmon), avocados, nuts and olive oil is best for your overall heart health and cholesterol levels.
Olive oil is considered the heart-healthy standard, but it isn’t the only goodie for your heart. Seed oils such as sunflower, canola and flaxseed oil might actually be more effective at lowering LDL cholesterol.
Mixing it up with plant oils can reap even more benefits. Coconut oil is very effective at boosting HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Saturated fats are found in animal products such as meat and dairy as well as in tropical oils.
Including more unsaturated fats such as avocados and almonds in your diet is linked to lowering cholesterol. Try eating a handful of almonds daily for six weeks and you will most likely have higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Almonds is said to not only raise HDL levels but also improve it’s functioning (scooping cup cholesterol from our arteries and help transport it out of your body).
There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber (or “roughage”) is the tough matter found in whole grains, nuts, fruits and veggies that doesn’t dissolve in water. Insoluble fiber isn’t broken down by the gut and absorbed in the bloodstream.
Soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol. It dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material. It binds with cholesterol in the intestine and shuttles it out of the body. Both oats and barley are rich in beta-glucen (a type of soluble fiber) that have cholesterol-lowering qualities.
Exercise has the benefit of increasing your HDL.
A good and balanced combination of exercise would be – to do at least 2 weight training sessions and at least three to four 20 minute cardio vascular sessions per week for at least 12 weeks.
Try to add some yoga or meditation into the mix. Not only will you increase your “good” cholesterol but you will also lower stress and anxiety levels which has also shown to have an affect on cholesterol.
Lighting up a cigarette raises your LDL and lowers your HDL levels. The good news is once you quit, you’ll see results fairly rapidly. According to the World Health Organisation, your risk of developing heart disease will have dropped to about half that of smokers.
Limit your alcohol intake to no more than 2 – 3 glasses a week.
Extra padding – especially fat around the belly – can increase bad cholesterol (LDL). Losing 5 – 10% of body weight leads to a significant reduction in both LDL levels and triglycerides.
By making some small changes in your way of life and adapting a new lifestyle and creating new habits, you could save your life!
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My ultimate trigger.
The first time I heard ‘Before You Go’ by Lewis Capaldi I was driving in the car on my way home. It felt like the sadness in those lyrics cut straight through me. I could feel the hurt, the anger, the confusion and the utter hopelessness and longing in those words. I couldn’t control my emotions as I felt the tears just streaming down my cheeks. It gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Why?? How can one song make me drown in my own emotions?? Where does this come from? This got me thinking.
I grew up in a loving, strong family who supported and loved me. I did well in sports and in school. Always walked the straight and narrow. I was looked after and I like to think I made my mom and dad proud. I wasn’t the most confident person growing up but if I put my heart and mind to something I achieved it and I was pretty darn good at it…… but somehow I always wanted to improve and be better. I never felt quite good enough.
Not feeling good enough made me look for approval. Approval meant love. Love meant happiness. So in a nutshell that’s how my life went. Constantly looking to achieve something to get the approval….. to be loved.
Bodybuilding was something I did for ME. It is a sport that I enjoyed and how successful you are is all on you. I always felt that I had so much more to offer, that I was not just a Personal Trainer or just a WBFF Pro. Sadly……. Approval was still needed. I needed to prove myself to get my Pro Status. My friends and family will approve of my lifestyle because I finally achieved what I set out to achieve.
With my second divorce my psychologist asked me why I think I had eating disorders for such a long time and all I could think of was ‘what does that have to do with a divorce?’. He then went on to say that by controlling what I ate (or didn’t eat or purged) was the only thing that I could control. My decisions were always based on approval and that was one thing that I didn’t need approval of. (see the resemblance with my eating disorders and bodybuilding? Something I could control)
I got married when I was 23. I got married to get out of the house and not be dependent on my parents anymore. I wanted to be independent. What was I thinking??? Never the less, he was a lovely guy, a bit controlling, but we were both young and needless to say, 2 years later we got divorced.
Divorce is never easy especially when there are kids involved as with my second divorce. It’s something that I would rather not go into detail with because it’s in the past and we have all come a long way since then. I still speak to my kids dad and we both have our babies best interest at heart. We still get along very well which is amazing. A lot of healing has been done and I am sure it will be a continuous process for everyone.
The past five years of my life has been a rollercoaster and challenging to say the least.
2016: Divorce #2 and moving away from my kids and my family and I not speaking for 2 years.
2017: 15 year old friendship turns out to be the love of my life.
2018: I had a motorbike accident that almost killed me and left me with 10 broken bones and a smashed face.
I married the keeper of my heart. (in hospital)
2019: Immigrated to Australia.
2020: Pandemic hit the world which meant no visits from our kids and my family.
Would I change any of it? No. Would I have done things differently? Yes.
I still carry a lot of hurt in me which I deal with every single day. Some days more than others.
I miss my kids terribly and being so far away in a different country doesn’t make it any easier and believe me a video call just isn’t enough.
In the end all my feelings and emotions build up and I keep them suppressed because my friends who got me, who I confided in, whether it was just silly banter or matters of the heart, those who knew every detail to my story….. they’re far away. Those catch up coffees are a thing of the past.
Life gets VERY lonely.
Which brings me back to those lyrics of Lewis Capaldi……
So why do those lyrics cut so deep??
Under a what sometimes seems to be a hard exterior, I am a total softy and things affect me very deeply. Whether it’s my own feelings or others. There’s a lot of hurt under the surface. I sometimes wish someone will say something to make my heart beat better and to make it all stop hurting.
Everyone who knows me knows that I deal with stuff and I’m always strong, but there are times where I don’t want to be strong. Times when I just want to fall apart and I don’t want to pick up the pieces on my own.
Well, it’s my pieces and I pick them up every time in the hope to one day help someone else pick up their pieces when they don’t want to pick it up alone.
You are enough!!! You are absolutely, totally enough!! You do not need anyone’s approval and you definitely don’t need approval to be loved. You deserve to be love.
Say what’s on your heart and mind. Don’t let it build up because that will destroy you. It’s ok not to have it together all the time. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to fall apart. You’re human!
Things always end up the way they should. It might not make sense now, it might not make sense a year from now but there is always a reason as to why things happened the way they did. Never blame yourself for other people’s choices or opinions.
YOU ARE AMAZING!
YOU ARE LOVED!
Tracking may seem tedious and time-consuming but it is the most effective way to take note of what and how much (or little) you eat in a day. There are many different tracking apps available that makes tracking very easy.
The one I use is called Fat Secret but there are many more apps that you can use that will help you stay on top of your food tracking. To find the perfect app for you, click here to see the 8 best diet apps for 2020.
Get rid of all foods that cause temptation or foods that derail your progress. Not having the foods available will help you stay on track and find healthier alternatives which in turn will become a newly formed habit and lifestyle. Stock up on healthy foods and drinks and have those available in stead.
Quitting an unhealthy lifestyle or eating habits cold turkey will just set you up for failure. Most of the time if you immediately fall into a strict plan and cut caffeine and sugar, you will end up feeling horrible and probably end up having headaches and cravings which you will most likely give in to and will eventually give up because you “can’t do it”.
It takes your body a minimum of 21 days to adapt to something new so slowly start eliminating unhealthy foods and drinks and introduce a healthy alternative. In this manner your body will adapt slowly, giving you time to get into your new routine and adjust accordingly without ‘failing’. Initially some days will be easier than others, just persevere. You can do it!
Most of the apps these days will allow you to make notes. If foods trigger cravings, bloat you or cause any discomfort, make notes. In that way you will get a better idea of which foods work best for your body. Not everyone is the same, you need to find what works for you.
Making a change in your lifestyle (and anywhere for that matter) takes some getting used to. Even though you want to sprint to your goal, you need to remind yourself that this is a process and it takes time. Give yourself time. Be kind to yourself. You’ve made the decision to change and you’re in the process of doing just that. One day at a time, one change at a time.
If you haven’t already started exercise, now will be a great time to start. Whether you start with a 20 minute walk 3 times a week and gradually increasing that or adding a bit of resistance training, just start moving! Not only will you feel better and healthier, it will motivate you and results will follow.
If you are not sure where to start or what to do contact a fitness professional to help and guide you to make sure you do it the right way and don’t do too much too soon because that can also have a negative effect on your progress and your motivation.
Go at your own pace! There’s no need to rush it!
Not everybody like fruits and veggies but it is an important aspect when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium. They’re an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems. A diet high in fibre can also reduce your risk of bowel cancer.
The human body comprises around 60% of water. It’s commonly recommended that you drink eight 237ml (8oz) of water per day. (The general and most common rule is 8 x 8oz)
Here are a few reasons why you should drink more water
That is naming only a few of the reasons.
Remember why you started and don’t give up. It will get easier!
What do you find most challenging when trying to lose weight, get fit or just be healthier? Do you battle with cravings? Give into temptation easily? Do you like exercise or find it hard? Leave a comment below!
Do you compare yourself to a friend, family member or people around you?
Do you think that being happy and feeling good in your body directly correlated with the latest fad diet, exercise class, or cellulite-busting cream?
Well, I have news for you!!
Confident, healthy, happy people view their relationship with their body and food differently than what you may think.
The real secret to loving your body (and yourself) has nothing to do with diets, cleanses, or detoxes. It has everything to do with the way you think. More specifically, how you think.
Hang with me.
You see, most of us judge ourselves, and we judge ourselves harshly.
Judgment, especially of ourselves, gets us nowhere fast. Instead, it usually gets us in a pretty bad place.
You judge that you’ve already had a crappy food day, so what does it really matter if you have more chips, ice cream, or a couple more slices of pizza?
You judge that you can’t change, you’ve tried dieting and losing weight for years, so why even try again?
You judge that your body is so awful it’ll never change, so it must be hated.
And then you go around discussing with your friends how you so need to lose weight and how you’re going on a diet tomorrow—or you’ll never be able to get that partner, that job, or heck, even that friend—because you’re not attractive enough, thin enough, cool enough you’re just not enough.
Ever had any of these thoughts?
And you want to know something?
Think about it.
Could you imagine, if you told a child, “You’re never going to succeed in school. You just won’t. You’re not smart enough or driven enough.”
Do you then know what that child is going to think and do?
They’re going to think they’re not smart enough. They’re going to not try. If they’re repeatedly told they can’t do it, they’re going to think what’s the point in trying?
This is the same thing that happens to us!
If we constantly walk around, judging ourselves for everything we’re not or our failures, and we tell ourselves this over and over and over again, guess what? We’re pretty gosh-darn likely to fulfil the expectations that we’ve set for ourselves.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Because if you want outer change (that lasts), there’s no other way to do it without inner change.
So how do you start observing instead of judging yourself?
The very first piece of this is you’ve got to start tuning in and paying attention to your thoughts. This will have you living a much more conscious and awake life, and when you’re in this place you’ll automatically start to make better choices for yourself.
Again, we can’t change something we’re not aware of. So start paying attention to how often you’re unkind to yourself and judging yourself. If you wouldn’t talk to your parent, child, brother or sister, cousin, friend, or even a stranger the way you talk to yourself, then you know something has got to change.
When you feel ready, start to reframe your thoughts. Remove the judgment piece. Observe the facts of a situation. Pull lessons for next time. Choose growth.
Instead of judgment mode:
I totally overate today. I’m so gross. Everyone was right. I can’t do this! What was I thinking? Why is it so easy for everyone except me? There must be something seriously wrong with me. I’m a failure. I don’t even know why I try. I’m going to finish this bag of chips. It doesn’t matter anyways.
Choose observation mode:
Yikes. I really didn’t eat well today. I don’t feel good about that. How did that happen? I think it’s because I skipped breakfast and didn’t pack my lunch and went too long without eating. Next time I’ll prepare better. At least I’m aware. Even though today wasn’t great, I’m going to make myself a nice healthy dinner tonight. It’ll make me feel good.
Once you’re aware of how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and/or observations, start to ask yourself the tough questions:
How did that make me feel?
What did I appreciate about it?
What’s my biggest takeaway?
You’ll notice that some of this was done in point #3 above.
And then, when you’re really ready, you start doing. You start pulling from your answers in step #4, and you put them into action. This is where the real (life-changing) transformative fun begins to happen.
Remember those confident, healthy, happy people I mentioned in the beginning?
They live their lives by observing. They observe when they are hungry versus full, and they eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.
They know what people make them feel good versus bad, so they surrounded themselves more with the people who light them up inside. They are conscious enough to know when they are being unkind to themselves, so could pull themselves out of it.
You can do all of this too plus some, and it’ll change your life.
Because when you stop judging yourself, you allow yourself to connect with your true loving self. Not the you living in fear. And it’s here, that you’re aware and awake enough to make the best decisions for where you want to go in your wellness journey.
Changing your perception from judgmental to observational truly grants you the chance to grow into your best healthiest happiest self. You’re able to look inside yourself and have deep realizations about what you need to feel good in your body and to love yourself. That alone is significant. Keep going.