The benefits of saunas!
I love having a good melt in the sauna, it warms you up when you have a chill, it sweats out the toxins in your skin, and of course it helps you lose that little bit of weight.
Sauna’s can actually help you quit smoking as when you sweat for long periods of time the excess nicotine in your body will be expelled to help curb the cravings. I find that when I have stalled in my weight loss having a sauna can help break the barrier to losing the next few pounds. Interestingly enough though the only way to continue the cycle is to drink lots of water. I will drink nearly three litres of water during the day, sweat it out in the sauna at night, and voila! Another point lost.
Of course it is important for your body to stay hydrated as toxins and fat need to be flushed out of the body, and if you are planning to try having a sauna please keep in mind that proper hydration is key for your body to be able to handle it. If I use the sauna to break my weight loss stall I will do it for up to 5 consecutive days, any more than this and I find that not only does it stop working but I wan’t to rely on it. Usually I will be able to continue with the weight loss or I will have to fast for a day to kick start my body.
It’s also important to not get too excited over the weight loss of a sauna as you can lose a pound a day. This fast paced weight loss is not maintainable for the long term. The best amount of weight that you should aim to lose is 1-2 pounds per week, this will ensure that your weight loss is achievable and less likely to be regained.
If the thought of a sauna is enticing, try an epsom salt bath before hand to relax and open up the poor of your skin. Try a face mask and hair mask during your bath, this way when you have a sauna any left over particles from the face mask will be sweated out, lessening the risk of acne.
The Food Journal
I have mentioned keeping a food diary several times throughout the duration of this blog, this is because it is the most helpful tool in my weight loss journey. I think that normally the food diary is to simply record your weight, what you eat, how much you eat of it, and what it all means in the world of calories. I however have come accustomed to not only recording all of these aspects but also my mood and emotions and how it effected my eating choices. Doing this took a lot of work as going from eating whatever you want and suddenly becoming fully aware of every aspect of your food is never easy to do, but I am happy to say that it is a habit that I take time to do every day.
The first thing that I always record is the date, this allows me to have an idea of time when I flip back in my journal. Then I record my weight for the day. After this I write a sentence about how I feel. Sometimes, if I have enough time in the morning, I will write down a little self affirmation to make myself feel better if things didn’t go as planned.
If you are just starting off and are trying to understand the real concept of food, this is where I suggest you get more diligent and specific with your recordings. Now that I have been doing this diet for quit some time I know exactly how many calories, carbs, and grams of protein are in the foods that I eat. If you are just starting out however, I recommend writing down what you eat, how much you have eaten, and the carbs and calories that go along with this. As time progresses you will begin to develop an understanding of what works and how much of it you can handle. If you are suffering from tinnitus I would recommend recording the salt content in your food as well, you never fully understand everything that is put into processed foods until you’re forced to write it down.
At the end of the day I like to sit down and really write out how the day went, the ups and downs, the fast parts and the dull parts, how it all overall effected my choices. Then I give a brief description of how it all made me feel in the end and if I feel confident that tomorrow will bring me good results.
Keeping a food/mood diary will help you understand how food can effect your emotions and the effects and consequences of these emotions, whether good or bad. Give it a try!
Your body and it’s limits
I think it is incredibly important to be aware of your body, what it looks like, how it feels, the actual limitations of it and so on. I used to hate looking at myself naked in the mirror, every time I did I would see everything that I didn’t like in myself and just couldn’t find anything positive to say about it.
Since October of last year, starting the Emotionally Focussed Eating Program, I have not only been weighing myself but also measuring myself. My bust band, the biggest part of my bust, my waist, and my hips. Doing this has given me a sense of where I lose weight and how much I have lost, and most importantly has given me a sense of how much weight it really takes to make a difference on the tape measure.
Measuring myself has taught me to respect every pound that I lose because in all honesty, it takes a lot to lose just five inches off of yourself. I have become more aware of my body and the changes it has gone through by really looking at myself. For a while I had to put aside the emotional reaction I had to my body to be able to do this, but now that I realize how amazing it is and how successful it has become through weight loss I can finally appreciate it for what it is, mine. My body is my responsibility, my success and my failure, I alone have the power to heal it and bring it to it’s full potential.
Another source of understanding the limitations of my body is with a technique called The Emotionally Focussed Cleansing Technique. Take a bar of soap when you are in the shower and brush upwards towards your heart, alternating from your left and right side, while saying an affirmation. I have come to love this technique because it allows me to give myself the time needed to assure myself of all the things I am capable of doing. It allows me to check in with how I am feeling emotionally and how my body is reacting to my current state of being.
I have included a link to direct you on how you can start performing this technique as well,
Give it a try!
For a while now I have been aware that a lot of people on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, what have you, posting about the veto diet include the amount of protein that is in a recipe or product. I never payed any mind to it because for me the keto diet was about excluding carbs, not including protein.
Another member of the Emotionally Focussed Eating program was talking about how they had had bypass surgery but has sadly gained the weight back. They were instructed to consume at least 80 grams of protein a day for nutrition purposes, so what my fellow member did was turn to protein shakes which contained 20g of protein per shake.
I don’t know if you are familiar with protein shakes, but typically they are a meal replacement that contain all you need to help gain muscle, protein, fat, carbs, potassium, salt, and more. How they work is that you drink it, go to the gym, shred up the place, go home and make a proper meal, bing bang boom Arnold Schwarzenegger time.
What my friend was doing was drinking the protein shake to get her recommended amount of protein, then eating, then snacking, then going out to get more food, then binging. No where in this equation was there any muscle building (except to carry it all in the house). I started to wonder to myself, how hard is it to get protein on the keto diet?
Here is a typical day for me,
2 eggs-12g protein
5 slices bacon-20g protein
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds-17g protein
1 chicken breast-30g protein
4 slices of cheese-28g protein
= 107g of protein.
This doesn’t even include the variety of leafy greens that I might have with dinner. Calculating this actually surprised me, I thought it would be so much more difficult to come to 80g of protein, but instead I surpassed my expectations and went way over! Granted, sometimes I forgo the pumpkin seeds and substitute them with these awesome little ready to eat sausages I get from Walmart because pumpkin seeds do contain some carbs but still, a good source of protein.
If the keto diet is something that you would like to try but are feeling overwhelmed by counting the carbs, the calories, and the protein, relax. I don’t count the protein because honestly, I don’t see the point. Everything in the diet has protein and sufficient sources of other nutrients people need to survive. If there is something that I would warn you about it would be to watch the salt content as some keto friendly products do hype up the sodium to make it taste good.
Accountability vs Punishment
To be accountable: To be responsible means to be answerable for something within one's power or control. Notice the two aspects of this definition – the ability to control plus being able to answer for something. To be accountable means to be subject to giving an account or having the obligation to report, explain or justify something.
Punishment: Punishment is the act of inflicting a consequence or penalty on someone as a result of their wrongdoing, or the consequence or penalty itself.
During your weight loss journey it is important to be able to keep yourself accountable, but not punish yourself. Punishment of self can lead to weight loss failure and a further development of a bad relationship with food. To keep yourself accountable you can have a weight loss buddy, someone to help keep a positive environment through the ups and downs of weight loss as well as someone to report your progress to.
I myself have a food diary and my Emotionally Focussed Eating Program support. I have never liked getting friends involved in my weight loss attempts because they just can’t provide the advice/sympathy/understanding that I need. The food diary helps me keep track of literally everything I am eating but also my emotional state of the day and how I feel about my weight. The Emotionally Focussed Eating Program support has kept me accountable and sane throughout this process. Through talking to someone who understands how difficult it is to overcome a sugar addiction and know what it is like to entirely change your own behaviour I have learned how to stay positive and not let myself punish myself with abusive negative self talk and emotional eating.
Staying accountable with your weight loss means writing everything down and having a conversation with yourself, whether the day was bad or good. Punishing yourself for the mistakes you have made, or even getting angry at your body for not losing weight faster looks like negative self talk, hurting yourself, excessive drinking, excessive exercising, excessive eating, etc.
When something doesn’t go your way remind yourself that it takes a long time to change the habits and behaviour that you have developed. Write down how you are feeling, the problem that made you feel this way, how you got there, what you can do to fix it now, what you can change so it doesn’t happen in the future. Force yourself to say some positive self affirmations like, ‘even though I cheated on the diet, I love myself and I am okay.’ or ‘even though I did not lose the weight I wanted to this week, I love myself, and I will continue to take care of myself.’
The Damage of Dieting
It’s no secret, dieting sucks for everybody; you, your loved ones, depending on which one your trying the guy that has to use the bathroom after you, etc. What is important to remember about dieting is that you have a certain way of being, a lifestyle that you have developed over years, can this really be changed by a ten day juice fast or 300 a day squat challenges?
In all honesty, and I know this will be hard to accept, diets are for skinny people. Diets are for people who want to look extra lean for wedding photos or their girl trip to Cuba in a month. Diets are not for people who have eaten their way to over one hundred pounds over weight. Diets are not for people who have been overweight their entire lives. Diets are not for people who are emotional eaters.
‘Dieting’ can be harmful to people who need real help managing their emotional eating because the expectations for the results of the short term diet are unattainable. When the diet fails, and it always does, the person attempting to change their life reinforces the failure with self deprecation. No results and negative self talk results in an attempt to make oneself feel better, or punish oneself with more emotional eating.
So what to do? The reality of the situation is it is going to take a long time to lose the weight you want to lose. Until I actually got help with my weight loss from a professional I gave myself the delusion that I could lose all the weight I needed to in a year. The reality is it has taken me over 4 years to lose almost 100 pounds, these were the most inconsistent years of my life with gaining and losing and maintaining my weight.
This past year I will have lost almost 100 pounds, and as exciting as that sounds I will still need to lose another 40 pounds to be at a healthy weight. Discouraging, right? This is why dieting is not the solution, an entire lifestyle up hall is the only way to make a change. I had to move back home, have the entire support of my family, receive therapy, make countless mistakes and force myself to not self sabotage back to my old ways.
If I continued trying new diets; making cabbage soup, squatting 300 times a day, drinking water mixed with cayenne pepper, taking shots of apple cider vinegar, I would probably be over 300 pounds today. I was lucky enough to realize that I needed to change my entire life, I had to actually grieve over the fact that I would not be able to eat the way I used to love to eat anymore, and I am so happy to say that it is working.
Try the Emotionally Focussed Eating Program to get help changing your life today.
Drawing yourself, whether you are an artist or not, can provide a great insight into how you feel about yourself. Drawing yourself (a self-portrait) keeps you in check with how your feeling, how you look at yourself, and what you need to work on for your own personal health whether it is physically or mentally.
You can use any form of media, use markers, pens, paint, clippings from a magazine. Pay attention to what colours you use and the proportions of your body. After you are done with drawing your portrait take a look at it and think about what all these things (symbols) mean to you. Do you think the portrait accurately represents how you feel about yourself? Take some time to yourself to really understand how you feel about yourself.
Understanding and paying attention to how you feel about yourself can, believe it or not, help you change what you want to change. If you look at your portrait and find that you left out the details for your hands you may feel like your hands are tied or that things are often out of your control. If your body is distorted you may feel like you look abnormal compared to the people around you, if this is the case try the Emotionally Focussed Cleansing Therapy to help you become aware of your body.
I have included a picture of myself that I have drawn and asked Dr. Laurie to analyze it for me!
You have portrayed yourself as grounded and with a solid stance. feet firmly planted on the ground. You have portrayed your self as central on the page, facing forward which indicates that you have a confident self view. You have a serious and solid looking face with serious eyebrows indicating that you have serious and concentrated view, looking forward straight at the viewer. You have also portrayed yourself carrying a suitcase which is extremely thin and awkward. The suitcase almost looks more like a gas can, being held where the nozzle should be. This exaggeratedly small feature might indicate a transition from suitcase to perhaps a briefcase, symbolizing a transition from travel to a future in business. The black and white outline could be to do with concern or to do with looking forward to a future self. The hands are held separate from the body also indicating a sense of strength and security. This image is clearly in transition and yet has direction in where she wants to go and how she wants to get there, even though the narrow suitcase symbolically represents a narrowing of future direction and self-identification.
Negative Self Talk
Have you ever caught yourself looking in the mirror criticizing yourself? Maybe you decided to go on a diet and while you’re cheating on it say horrible names to yourself? Perhaps you have had the opportunity of love and have denied yourself because of how you feel about yourself?
All of this is negative self talk, and we have all been guilty of it from time to time. It’s human nature to get frustrated when things don’t go our way and it is human nature to lash out when this happens. Unfortunately lashing out can take the form of being down right mean to yourself. It is perfectly fine, even healthy, to tell yourself you need to do better, but there is a line that once crossed is classified as self harm.
A great way to stay away from too much self criticism is to understand how much you can handle all at once. If you have a stressful job, need to quit smoking, want to lose weight, are getting engaged in the next year, so on and so forth, it is easy to get overwhelmed and once something starts to fall apart everything else seems too much to handle. You have to learn how to pick and chose what is most important first, smoking is pretty unhealthy but changing both habits of smoking and overeating is a fast way to failure.
The best way to feel accomplished and actually get things done is to have one or two big goals put in place over the next year, such as lose 50 pounds and start your business. Do some research and make a timeline for getting things done such as the amount of weight you have to lose each month and what steps you have to take for your business. Pepper in small goals throughout the year to help with the satisfaction like starting a new hobby like gardening or painting, maybe make a date for when you want to repaint the porch, start collecting bottles so you can have a little extra cash for later.
Making a list of what you want to accomplish is a great start but unless you have a plan of action it is easy to become overwhelmed and give up. Making a timeline for when things need to be accomplished will actually help get the ball rolling so that the goals you set out can get done. When a timeline isn’t established the end of your goal or project is open leaving room for procrastination and excuses for not actually doing it.
What about the pleasures in life?
Food is a huge source of pleasure in our lives and this is why it can be so addictive. Chocolate cake? Creamy pasta? Nacho’s? Pass em here baby.
So how is it possible skinny people stay satisfied on their skinny people diet? How do you curb the cravings of pleasure and wanting that quick fun fabulous feeling you have never denied yourself before?
Don’t let yourself become ravenously hungry. If you prepare a wonderfully tasty, healthy meal and sit down and take in the smell of it, the look to it, and appreciate the work and love that has gone into it then you will have a small satisfied feeling. Then eat the meal slowly, savouring the flavours, the comforting feelings, the people you get to share this with, even more satisfying feelings, right?
The drive to eat is the drive to be satisfied. You’re unsatisfied with your family so you eat, you’re unsatisfied with you’re career so you eat, you’re unsatisfied with the way you look so you compensate for all this un-satisfaction by eating. Another suggestion to follow is, do not settle. Yes a hardboiled egg is great, it is healthy, it tastes nice, it is a part of the plan, awesome. But if you know yourself and you find yourself saying, ‘if I have this egg now I can have a whole bunch of grapes later!’ No. No you cannot. The best plan of action is to have something that you actually want that fits with the diet. If you want a couple pieces of cheese, a couple grapes, and an egg, go for it. At least you won’t be hungry and you will not over indulge later.
Building up the ability to have self-control for these situations will happen over time… a long, long period of time. I only recently developed the ability to ask for salad for a starter AND a side recently, and I have been trying to do this diet for YEARS. I had to come to terms with it for it to make sense to me, but once I did, I started to kick butt!
Know yourself and prepare for the actions you have been known to take.
I just read something very interesting in my local news paper! Scientists have found that red and processed meat actually has virtually no effect on cardiovascular diseases! Yay! For years health ‘experts’ have been chanting the same thing over and over again, don’t eat red meat because it is bad for your heart. Well, not any longer!
Of course I am definitely not saying that you should run out and indulge in red meat everyday of the week. Everything in moderation as I always say, having a steak once or even twice in a week isn’t what is going to have the negative effect on your health. Some things to keep in mind however is salt and sugar.
Lots of red meat and processed meats are extremely seasoned with salt and then partnered with a sauce that nine times out of ten contains tablespoons of sugar. Stay on top of what you season your meat with and you should be just fine as meat actually contains healthy proteins and B-vitamins that are essential for living a happy and healthy life.
The article mentioned that a high number of vegans and vegetarians have chosen this diet lifestyle not for the green house effect that the meat industry has on the environment but for health reasons. I have mentioned before that Anne Hathaway was actually vegan for a long period of time, helping her slim down for her characters, and because she thought it was the healthiest option for her. One day she decided to try some salmon and bing bang boom she felt better than she had in years. Now she has included meat back into her diet as it helps her feel great and energetic.
I think changing your entire lifestyle to help the planet is an admirable and almost selfless act and I cannot imagine how hard it would be for someone like myself who loves eating meat to even attempt to do this. I feel this way partially because meat has been a part of me my entire life but also because the zero carb diet is what works best for me. I suppose I would be able to get away with deep green vegetables like spinach dressed in lemon juice, but I cannot imagine being able to keep up a diet that adheres to my bodies lack of ability to process carbs and the nutritional needs that are not entirely supplied by leaves.
I am ecstatic that red meat has been cleared of its label as the bad guy of all meats, but I will not increase my consumption of it. Instead, I will allow myself to not worry about the effect it has on my health, decreasing the stress I feel towards eating it. There in lies the real health benefit, vitamin B and less stress. Win!
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.