Preparing for Weight Loss – New Year’s Resolution – Part I

In preparation for New Year Resolutions about weight loss I thought I would give you some tools for increasing the probability of success.  This series will help you fine-tune your goals and get started with some success-building tapping. It is time for self-discovery.

What are your main reasons for wanting to change your weight?  Your answers will probably be similar to mind and to those of most of your friends.  The standard answers include things such as to be healthy, to look good at my next class reunion, so my doctor will get off my back about my weight, and so I can enjoy physical activity more easily.  Those are really good answers, but you will have more success if you can be even more specific about your reasons.  Check out these examples below.

General Reason Specific Reason
I want to be healthy So that my chest doesn’t hurt when I climb stairs
To look good at my next class reunion Because I want to see the look on Joe’s face when he realizes what he gave up when he dumped me
So my doctor will get off my back about weight To be eager to get on the scales instead of dreading ig
So I can enjoy physical activity more easily So I can fit in the swings when I go to the playground with my children

 

Step One:

On a piece of paper, or better yet it your tapping journal, list your top 10 reasons for wanting to change your weight.  Be as specific as you possible can.  Include as much information as it takes for you to get a clear image of what YOU really want.  This is not the time to write down things that you think you should want or what other people tell you that they want.  This is all about YOU.

Step Two:

This next exercise may be a bit more challenging.  What is the downside for you in changing your weight?  How can there be a downside? I can think of many.  Perhaps you are not looking forward to the feelings of deprivation that you are expecting.  Maybe you have concerns about the time it might take to prepare healthy meals or to exercise.  What about fear of failure?  Do you experience panic when considering how you are going to manage your moods if you don’t have food to rely upon?  It is time to identify at least 10 factors that you would consider the cons or negative side of changing your weight.  Write them down on that paper or in your tapping journal.

Wow, that was a lot of work.  Stay tuned.  The next article will continue this process of self-discovery.  Put your lists in a safe place so that you can find them easily.

Dirty Genes

Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben LynchDirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health by Dr. Ben Lynch, is not an easy read, but I consider it well worth the effort. Whenever I see an article or book about genes or genetics I assume it will just be another fatalistic presentation about the futility of preventative medicine.  We are stuck with whatever genes our parents gave us at birth.

Fortunately this isn’t one of those books.  Dr. Lynch offers self-tests to get a basic idea of your health status since most people can’t afford or don’t know how to get a complete gene assessment, as well as things you can actually do to positive impact the gene expression and your health.

Is it hard? Not really, but it will take effort.  You really already know many of the solutions: better diet, more restful sleep, stress reduction strategies, and regular physical activity.  For those of us who haven’t optimized all of those things, or already are showing signs of chronic illness, supplements to modify gene expression are also recommended.

There are recipes included, and the ones I have tried so far are pretty good and not terribly difficult.  Unlike some “healthy” recipes I’ve found elsewhere, Dr. Lynch’s recipes didn’t even include strange ingredients I have never heard of or wouldn’t know where to buy.

Since most of us plan to start 2019 with a resolution for better health, give this book a try.  It would be a great foundational plan for the new year.

Holidays Are All About The Food

Christmas CupcakesI’m sure I’m not alone in associating holidays and food.  Sometimes it seems that for me the holidays are all about the food.  I just made it through Thanksgiving without completely sabotaging my health with food, but it wasn’t easy.  I’m already thinking ahead about Christmas.  My house is decorated and the next thing that popped into my mind was what kind of cookies I wanted to bake.  If I only baked them, then gave them away it would be one thing, and that may be what I do, but it isn’t really what I was thinking and feeling.  Don’t get me wrong, food isn’t the only thing I associate with holidays, but it is a very powerful association for me and a real danger point for my health and well-being.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (karate chop point): Every time I think about the holidays I get images of food.  I wish I didn’t.  I would much prefer to associate holidays with something other than food.  Even though I have this unwanted association between holidays and food, I choose to love myself anyway.  Even though I have this unwanted association between holidays and food, I choose to accept my feelings.  Even though I have these unwanted associations between the holidays and food, I choose to accept myself anyway and to remember that I am a work in progress.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…Food and holiday celebrations go together

Side of Eye…IF you took the food away I don’t know what would be left

Under the Eye…Unfortunately, most holiday foods aren’t very good for me

Under the Nose…And overeating seems to be the norm

Chin…It doesn’t feel like the holiday without cheesy goodness.   Mmmm cheese balls and crackers

Collarbone…It is not a real holiday without cookies and candies.  Mmmm homemade caramels and gingerbread

Under the Arm…It doesn’t feel like the holiday without appetizers and snacks.  Mmmm caramel pop corn

Top of Head…There has been so much focus on the food that I don’t know what else to do to get that warm nostalgic feeling

Hot ChocolateEyebrow…Even though food equals holiday for me

Side of Eye…I choose to look for new symbols to make myself feel good

Under the Eye…Even though I seem to have always focused on the food

Under the Nose…I choose to focus more on the people and relationships

Chin…Even though food has always been a huge part of the holiday for me

Collarbone…I choose to find other ways to have fun

Under the Arm…I am afriad that without the food it just won’t seem right

Top of Head…But I choose to find other ways to celebrate

Eyebrow…I love and accept my thoughts about this

Side of Eye…I love and accept my feelings about this

Under the Eye…I love and accept my willingness to learn new ways of celebrating

Under the Nose…I am open to clarity about my relationship with food

Chin…I am open to clarity about my relationship with the holidays

Collarbone…I chose to enjoy food

Under the Arm…Without making it the most important part of my holiday

Top of Head…I am looking forward to embracing my new and improved holiday celebrations

This tapping, and others like it, can be found in Don’t Diet.

Happy Tapping.

My Cravings Always Win

cravings always win when faced with donutsAlthough this is not as true as it used to be, I do sometimes feel my cravings always win.  Some days are definitely worse than others.  What follows is a tapping exercise for those rough days.  One way to make this even more effective is to have the item you are craving right there where you can see it and smell it.  If you choose that option please be sure to rate the intensity of your craving on the 0-10 scale (10 is severe) before you get started.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point):  Even thought it seems like my cravings always win, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.  Even though it seems like my cravings always win, I choose to continue to try.  My cravings are part of me, and I accept myself.

 

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…My cravings always win

Side of Eye…So it doesn’t seem worth it to even try to resist

Under the Eye…I might as well just go ahead and eat it

Under the Nose…If I fight it and then lose, I just end up feeling worse

Chin…Even though it seems that my cravings always win

Collarbone…I know that it isn’t really true

Under the Arm…Sometimes I am able to resist

Top of Head…I am open to learning about what makes me more successful

Eyebrow…At one time and less successful at another

Side of Eye…My cravings don’t always win

Under the Eye…My cravings sometimes win

Under the Nose…In reality, my cravings aren’t against me

Chin…They are part of me

Collarbone…My cravings are a signal that something needs my attention

Under the Arm…I can choose to deal with it with or without food

Top of Head…I can choose to continue toward my goals

 

Take a deep breath and let it out.  Now say the statement aloud “My cravings always win” and re-rate the intensity.  What do you notice now?  Did anything shift?  Once the intensity is at or below a 3, consider tapping on what your cravings might be signaling for you.

Just Because Its There

Eating Food Just Because It Is ThereI confess.  Sometimes I eat food just because it is there.  I don’t think it really is  out of boredom because I’m almost never bored.  I have lots of things that I want to do and enjoy doing.  Perhaps it is just habit.

In the tapping example below I have added a tapping point that isn’t part of my regular tapping routine.  It is labeled wrists.  At the point turn the underside of your wrists toward each other and tap them together.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping karate chop point): Even though I have a tendency to eat food just because it is there, I love and accept myself, even though I have unhealthy behaviors.  Even though I eat food without any real good reason, I am learning to love and accept myself anyway.  Even though I eat food, and I don’t even know why, I choose to love and accept myself anyway.

 

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I seem to eat food for no good reason

Side of Eye…If it is there — I eat it

Under the Eye…I eat food even when I’m not hungry

Under the Nose…Heck, sometimes I eat food that I don’t particularly like

Chin…My tendency to eat food just because it is available

Collarbone…Is not good for my body

Under the Arm…And when I notice what I am doing

Wrists…I feel like a failure

Top of Head…This tendency to constantly eat is not a behavior that I want to continue

Eyebrow…I’ve tried to manage it by not having food around

Side of Eye…But that isn’t realistic

Under the Eye…I can limit the choices, but it won’t stop my overeating

Under the Nose…I don’t really believe that I eat food just because it is there

Chin…I believe there is another reason. One I am not yet aware of

Collarbone…When I catch myself eating I choose to stop and consider why

Under the Arm…There is a reason behind everything I do

Wrists…It is up to me to figure out why

Top of Head…Then I can change my behavior more easily.

I Plan to Follow the Diet Plan Perfectly

weight loss This tapping includes a tapping point that I don’t always include.  At the spot labeled “wrist”, tap your wrists together so that the underside of one wrist taps on the inside of the other wrist.

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point):  I always plan to follow the diet perfectly.  Sometimes it doesn’t work out.  I can usually maintain it for a few hours, days, or weeks, but then I always fail.  Maybe the problem is my need to be perfect.  Since I can’t be perfect, I end up back where I started, or never get started.  This pattern isn’t working for me anymore.  I choose to try a different way.

Eyebrow…I always plan to diet perfectly

diagram of the tapping pointsSide of Eye…I always fail

Under the Eye…I am so tired of that failure

Under the Nose…I am so discouraged

Chin…Instead of following a diet plan perfectly

Collarbone…Maybe I can try a new way

Under the Arm…Those diets are someone else’s plan

Top of Head…I know a lot about diet, health, and nutrition

Eyebrow…I could make my own plan

Side of Eye…And follow it closely

Under the Eye…I could allow for some variation and change

Nose…Then there would be no real failure

Chin…Better yet, I could listen to my body

Collarbone…I usually listen to my emotions

Wrist…But my body knows what it needs and what is bad for it

Under the Arm…It gives me clear signals

Top of Head…I’m not perfect, so I might not always understand what my body wants and needs

Eyebrow…But I’ll probably get it right most of the time

Side of  Eye…And that would be much better than what I’m doing to myself right now

Under the Eye…I could view this as an experiment or an adventure

Under the Nose…That might help me to stop thinking in terms of perfection

Chin…Even though I’ve always tried to follow the plan perfectly

Collarbone…I haven’t had a perfect plan

Under the Arm…My new plan won’t be perfect either and I won’t follow it perfectly.

Top of Head…I choose to love and accept myself anyway and feel proud of whatever successes I have.

Out of Control Update

out of control with food and wanting pizzaWhat follows is an update on my tapping about being out of control with food.  There were several positives, although baby steps, and a resolve to set myself up for more success by making tapping more automatic instead of relying upon myself to decide to tap when I need it.  I also explore what might be some of the underlying issues that will need to be resolved in order to experience more success in managing my food more successfully.

 

They Had Bread

This is a very old article (at least 7 years) but when I found it today it made me so happy that I decided to re-post.

Bilmore EstateIt is hard to believe how much excitement I felt as a result of the opportunity to have bread with my meal.  For those of you who don’t know, I have been living gluten-free for about a year now.  While I never “cheat” on purpose, eating out in restaurants is always a gamble for me.

 

 

Last week I had lunch with my son and his fiance at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.  While the website said there were gluten-free options, and I had consumed a magnificent meal there on Thanksgiving, I still expected to have very limited choices.  I looked longingly at the regular menu and then let our server know that I would need gluten-free options.  She said she would be right back with a gluten-free menu.  One star for that?

varieties of breadThe gluten-free menu was in my hands within a few minutes and I was thrilled to see that almost everything on the regular menu was also available to me.  I could have the herbed chicken or the barbecue.  I was so excited.  Two Stars!!  Then she said that if I wanted one of the sandwiches from the regular menu just to know and they would put it on gluten-free bread for me.  Gluten free bread?  I don’t think I have been to a restaurant yet that actually had gluten-free bread.  Four Stars!!.  I actually chose a meal that did not include bread, but just knowing that I had the option was amazing.

I chose to split a sampler platter for two with my son.  He wanted to substitute french fried for the collard greens.  The server said that the substitution would be fine, but cautioned that the fries would be cooked in the same oil as gluten foods so would not be safe.  We got them on a separate plate so my food wouldn’t be contaminated and he was quite happy.  Five Stars!!!  A server who really got it.

After lunch we were interested in dessert, because it would be yummy and because I had a buy one get one free coupon.  Alas, none of the desserts looked to be gluten-free.  Once again, my server saved the day, checked with the kitchen, and brought me the most delicious chocolate pudding I think I have ever had.  Can I give Six Stars?

For the first time since starting this gluten-free adventure I felt like I had a dining experience that was equal to every one else.  Thank you Biltmore Stable Cafe for making me feel welcome and NORMAL.

 

Since the time of the first publication of this article there seems to be an increased awareness of gluten-free eating, but it still is usually treated as a preference rather than a necessity and many restaurants offer one or two possibilities rather than a full menu.  Whenever I go out to eat (which is rare) and encounter a restaurant that can work with my food issues (more than just gluten) I am again filled with the same sense of wonder, awe, and gratitude that I experienced that day at Biltmore.

Deeply Ashamed

This is a tapping exercise that I first used in 2011.  It pains me to tell you, but it was true again this week.  I am once again deeply ashamed of how out of control I am about food. In my own defense, it isn’t always true, but some things have obviously changed in my life and another aspect has clearly shown up, so I’m bringing this one back — for me.  Hopefully it will be beneficial for you too.

I have gained a little clarity about why the problem has returned.  I’ve noticed that the time right after work is the most perilous for me and I don’t have the same problem on the weekends usually.  There seems to be something about my lack of control with my job and my lack of control with food.  (We will likely address that in a tapping video very soon.

illustration for karate chop pointThe Setup (tapping on the karate chop point). I am so ashamed of my inability to control my eating. Even when I am eating, my brain and inner self often tell me to stop.  But I am out of control.  Something takes over and I just keep eating and eating and eating.  In spite of being like an out of control animal about food, I want to let go of the shame and guilt about this situation. Even though I have shame and guilt about my eating habits at times, I am trying to learn new skills and new ways of relating to food.  I get out of control around food and I am ashamed of my lack of control.  Even with this “character flaw” of mine, I choose to take baby steps to regain a healthier way of eating and living with food (although I’d definitely be ok with giant steps too.)

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I am ashamed of my eating

Side of Eye…I am often out of control

Under the Eye…I should be able to control my eating better

Under the Nose…I should be able to control myself better

Chin…Its not like I don’t know any better

Collarbone…I blame myself for this

Under the Arm…I am supposed to be a smart person

Top of Head…Obviously Not!!!

Eyebrow…Other people would be appalled if they really knew how I am with food

Side of Eye…I am so ashamed of myself

Under the Eye…I’m not really out of control all of the time

Under the Nose…Just some of the time

Chin…But I am ashamed all of the time

Collarbone…That doesn’t make sense

Under the Arm…I don’t want to be out of control

Top of Head…I don’t want to feel so much guilt and shame either

Eyebrow…I wonder if there might be something about this that I could change

Side of Eye…I wonder if there is a way I could be more mindful about my eating

Under the Eye…I wonder if there is a way to be more gentle with myself

Under the Nose…Feeling out of control is scary

Chin…Guilt and shame are awful

Collarbone…I would like to feel a little bit better about myself

Under the Arm…I could probably let go of these feelings, at least sometimes

Top of Head…I can control myself when I eat salad

Eyebrow…I can control myself when I eat vegetables

Under the Eye…There’s no reason to feel guilt and shame there

Under the Nose…I can control myself when I eat apples

Chin…Another reason to reject guilt and shame

Collarbone…I may have a bad habit of guilt and shame

Under the Arm…I choose to stop beating myself up when it isn’t appropriate

Top of Head…I choose to love myself into better health