Archive for the ‘Tony Robbins’ Category

The Last Meal: Changing the Diet Up Yet Again

If I had a dollar for every time that I’ve radically changed the way I eat….

It’s been a rough few months on the body-love front. I have no idea what I weigh, but very few things in my closet actually fit.

A couple of things are going on:

My thyroid crashed (again).

I’m not doing the things I need to do to take care of myself (meaning less yoga, less hooping).

I’m not getting enough sleep.

I’m not getting enough exercise (see above).

And I’m not loving myself in any way shape or form – sorry coach!

The one thing that I was doing, however, was eating cleanly. In fact, it’s not a exaggeration to say that this is the cleanest that I’ve eaten, ever. I had hoped that would be enough.

Yet I keep getting bigger and bigger and more recently PMS is now pre-, present-, and post-. Bloating, mood swings, and boobs from hell. Two days ago, the cloth of my blouse was nearly unbearable; the poor things hurt to the touch – which also cuts down on any desire intimacy or closeness of any form.

I had a call with a holistic health care person and he mentioned something about food and thyroid suppression and, more importantly, the foods that suppress the thyroid – the number one culprits being sweet potatoes (yams), brussel sprouts, raw spinach, raw kale, turnips, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. You might not know this, but 90% of everything that I eat (other than hemp and other forms of protein powders) is comprised of yams, brussel sprouts, raw spinach, raw kale, turnips, cauliflower, and broccoli.

You know, it never ceases to amaze me how the body becomes addicted to the very things that are bad for it.

Last night, I had my last meal: brussels, broccoli, carrot and cauliflower soup, and a little mini-green smoothie with spinach and kale. Before I began, I just looked at it, letting the anticipation build. Then I enjoyed every single solitary bite. I swear, you would have thought I was eating cheesecake! I even lit candles.

Somehow this latest dietary transition seems more difficult than previous ones, and I’m not sure why. There are obviously straightforward substitutions. Collards or chard for kale, green beans for broccoli, asparagus for brussel sprouts, and romaine and red leaf lettuce for spinach. And I’m sure that I can find a nice butternut squash soup recipe to replace my carrot and cauliflower, but it’s not going to be the same.

I keep reminding myself, food is food. It’s not for pleasure. It doesn’t matter that you’re being asked to give up your favorite foods, yet again. Because, when I think about it, this last batch of favorites became favorites when the last batch went away.

So what can you eat when you want to help nourish your thyroid? Well, the list is short and there’s nothing on it that’s particularly appealing. But appealing or not, it’s what I’ve got and I’m sure that however unappealing it may seem, I will learn to love again.

Because, to paraphrase Tony Robbins, nothing tastes as good as feeling good feels.

Stay tuned for thyroid nourishing recipes (sans sweet potatoes (yams), brussel sprouts, raw spinach, raw kale, turnips, cauliflower, broccoli, etc). Wish me luck!

The Christmas Pants (otherwise known as leverage)

Before heading home for the holidays, I took a long hard look at the closet. And instead of going for glamour, which would be lost on my folks anyway, I decided to pack for leverage. In other words, I did what peak performance guru Anthony Robbins recommends: I packed my tightest jeans – you know, the ones that make overeating a near impossibility?

In my case it’s the size four bootcut jeans from the Gap. Though I also brought the ridiculously tight DKNY sixes. I wore the latter on Christmas Day, just to give myself some slack.

I am happy to say that I am sitting here (and breathing) in the fours (and yes, they have been washed and dried since last Thursday)!

Would I have been more comfortable if I’d done something a little less radical?

Undoubtedly.

Would I have been totally bummed out if I had gotten back home only to find that the jeans no longer fit had I left them in the drawer?

Most definitely.

All in all, the gain (or the relative lack thereof) was totally worth it!

Healthy Holidays!

Regaining momentum (and finding my focus)

Maintaining positive momentum is absolutely crucial when you’re trying to achieve or maintain a goal.

When you have positive momentum, it’s just easier to do what’s right. It also tends to easily and effortlessly override both internal and external sources of resistance. You know the ones, the little voice that says, ‘Well, you’ve already blown it, why not?’ Or the well intentioned friend who offers you a brownie to help you ‘feel better.’

Further, when you have positive momentum, you know deep down inside that you will be successful. It’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when, which is in and of itself an incredibly powerful personal resource. It really is as simple as that.

What’s equally simple, though it doesn’t seem like it when you’re in the thick of it, is that the opposite is also true of negative momentum. So if you ever find yourself in a back slide situation (or a tail spin) such as the one that I was in night before last as my vacation wound itself to a close, it’s crucial that you put on the brakes, turn it around, and pick up speed (heading in the opposite direction, of course) as soon as possible!

One way you can put the brakes on negative momentum and start creating (or rebuilding) your positive momentum is to focus on the positives, while keeping the negatives in perspective.

For example, it is true that while I was on vacation I picked up a few bad habits: I got sloppy with my food diary, I started taking small bites off of MJ’s plate (“just to taste”), and I found myself with a glass of California red wine in my hand on more days that I didn’t! I also didn’t get nearly enough sleep! Now any one of those transgressions has the potential to undermine a maintenance program, let alone a program designed to actually release weight! But add all four of them together? It’s no wonder that my clothes are a little tight!

But that said, there were also a lot of things that I did right. And given that I have a 10 hour travel day yesterday, my goal for myself was to set forth an honest accounting of all of the little things that I did right as well as the relatively small number of pretty big things that I did “wrong.” And my definition of wrong here is that they simply derailed my health and fitness goals. And, I can tell you right now that the list of rights overshadow the “not quite rights.” But it was important to include both so that I can remember what I need to keep doing as well as what needs to get ditched or modified now that I am back home.

As my mother is so found of telling me (and I am even fonder of ignoring), life (and any other important transformation) is really about the journey as opposed to the destination. That may be true, but I’ll tell you one thing: I’ll be much more appreciative of maintenance once I make my way back there! Because despite my earlier post, maintenance is looking (and feeling) pretty darned sexy, in comparison!

Just one more note about forward thinking, positive momentum, and focus. Peak performance coach, Anthony Robbins often tells a very funny – and profound – story about his experience learning to drive Indy 500 cars. My relative lack of charisma aside, the gist of the story is this: when you lose control of your car and you start heading toward the wall, whatever you do, do not look at the wall. Allow me to repeat:

DO. NOT. LOOK. AT. THE. WALL.

If you look at the wall, what happens?

Simple, you hit it!

So, when your momentum starts to slip, put your attention where you want to go (i.e. I am a firm, fit fabulous, four!) and just know that eventually, with enough sustained, positive momentum (which, of course, may mean changing tracks on occasion of you find yourself in a rut) you will get there!

I’ll post my list of rights and not-so-rights later on just to give you a better idea of the types of things I consider to constitute success. Did I have any “perfect” days in the course of the last two weeks when it came to food and exercise? No, not really. But I did have thousands of successful moments and, after all, isn’t that what vacations are for?

Family insights — it’s not enough to want it

Last week, while visiting my parents, we went to a family funeral. The deceased was the mother of my mother’s sister’s husband. Or, to put it another way, she was the grandmother of my cousins, though she, herself, was not my grandmother.

The last time I saw some of these cousins — sadly enough — was at our grandfather’s funeral last August.

There, at the wake, one my cousins, referred to me as Skinny Minnie — in a good way. And she kept eying me suspiciously and mouthing: How did you get so skinny?

Well, that was 10 months and probably close to 15 pounds ago.

This time she came up to me and said, “I would love to be as thin as you.”

I smiled, thanked her for the lovely compliment and then said. “It’s not that hard, but it is a daily chore.”

And, she smiled — though hers didn’t quite meet her eyes — and sighed. “But it requires a degree of self-discipline that I just don’t have.”

My gut level reaction, which often gets me into trouble, was: Then you don’t want it bad enough!

But, given that she had just lost her third grandparent in less than a year, I kept my mouth shut.

I’ve thought a lot about that exchange. I’ve thought about why it is that some people (myself included) have decided that it’s no longer acceptable to be overweight (often to an unhealthy degree), whereas others are willing to live with it even though they want to change. I’ve also realized that some people just don’t care. Even though they are heavy, if not morbidly obese, they are seemingly okay with their limited physical ability and (in some cases) their deteriorating health.

Essentially, our exchange reminded me that it’s not enough to simply want it. You have to want it bad enough to actually do something about it. My cousin wanted to weigh less, but she didn’t want to have to do anything to make it happen.

When I first started this leg of my weight release program — about three years ago, when I was 40 pounds heavier than I am now — someone (that is, Tony Robbins) gave me this piece of advice.

1. Set a real goal that is motivating. Don’t just say you want to lose 10 pounds, because that’s not compelling. Say you want to lose 20 pounds of fat so that you stop having knee problems.

2. Make it a must! This means that you make decisions regarding your health and fitness that are every bit as binding as the decisions that my cousin makes when running her business or raising her child. You have to convince yourself that if you don’t do it, then something disastrous is going to occur — that is, your physical equivalent of bankruptcy! For me, it was the fear of knee replacement and/or carrying that 40 pounds into my forties. For others, it may be the nightmare of hypertension or diabetes.

3. Take quick and decisive action. As soon as you define that clear and compelling goal, take immediate action! It could be something like joining a gym, calling a friend and telling them that you’re going to lose 30 pounds of fat come hell or high water, joining Weight Watchers, or starting a new exercise program. But do something immediately! Do anything! Don’t just make the goal and hope it will happen, because that’s not doing, that’s wishing!

It’s not enough to want it. You have to want it bad enough to actually do something about it. Hopefully, when my cousin’s ready — if she ever gets ready — she’ll set a goal, make it compelling, and do something about it. Because, truly, it’s the only thing that’s going to get you where you want to be.

Update:

Thanks to a dissent from a reader, it’s also occurred to me to add that you don’t have to want it.

It’s perfectly fine to like yourself the way you are. In fact, it’s probably the best way to go.

Not everyone needs to be thin; in fact, being thin or skinny (God forbid) was never a particular goal of mine. However, regardless of size, I do think that people should try their hardest to be as fit as possible given their own particular set of circumstances.

Quote for the Day

The past doesn’t have to equal the future — Tony Robbins

Living an undivided life – Part 2

( Part 1)

At the end the the King talk, on honesty, he challenged us to a 24 hour challenge, during which you could only be unflinchingly honest. No lies. Not even the little white ones. Total and absolute honesty.

Okay, I thought. I’m pretty honest. How hard can it be?

At the break, I went a product table, where they were selling all kinds of things ranging from Time Management Tools, Leadership CDs, Relationship Programs, and Weight Loss Products. I had a couple of questions about a 10 Day Cleanse that I had bought the day before. I’d never done one before — still haven’t the truth be told. There was also a weight loss supplement package that I was curious about, but eventually didn’t buy.

The person behind the counter was a woman who I had noticed at the beginning of the weekend. She was skinny (and therefore I had written her off as relatively stupid and bitchy; see Part 1). But, if that wasn’t bad enough, she was also very feminine. One of these ultra-feminine girlie girls. Make up, scarves, gypsy pants, low cut tops, exotic jewelry. She didn’t walk, she glided. She didn’t make sudden turns, she flowed. She was dramatic. She was also truly drop dead stunningly gorgeous.

I, of course, hated her on sight and was horrified at the thought about having to ask her anything about my weight issues.

“May I help you?” she asked in this fabulous British/Welsh accent. (Could life be any more unfair?)

I gave her another look and figured that she certainly looked like she’d know what she was talking about and asked her about the weight loss product, which consisted mainly of various dietary supplements, herbs, and teas.

She looked me up and down. “And how much would you like to lose?”

“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I weigh 151 now.”

“Well, what would you like to weigh?”

I looked her up and down. “What do you weigh?”

She glanced down and then back at me. “I weigh about 135.”

“Well, I wouldn’t want to be that skinny!” I denied, suddenly mortified that I had asked this beautiful woman how much she weighed!

(End flashback!)

Whoa! As I told my partner about the exchange the following week, I realized that not only had I been ruder than hell, I had also told a bald-faced lie. Twenty-four hours? Sorry Mr. King, I hadn’t even made it twenty-four minutes! I’ll come back to this later.

(Resume flashback)

She looked nonplussed for about a sixteenth of a second. “Well?”

“Maybe 140,” I ventured, thinking surely that she’s laugh.

“Well, you’re almost there then aren’t you. That’s just ten pounds.”

She then proceeded to sketch out a weight loss plan on the back of a note card; turns out she’s a fitness coach, among other things. A very generous one at that who gave me a lot of free advice. Free advice that worked! She also gave me her phone number to call when I was done in six weeks (her estimate, not mine, of how long it would take).

I’ve mentioned this before, but she essentially told me to cut my calories to 1,200, keep exercising, and when I’d lost five pounds, gain three back, then lose another five pounds, gain three back, and so on. So, since I was at 151, stay at 1,200 calories a day until I hit 146, then pop up to 1,500-2,000 until I hit 149, then go back down to 1,200 until I hit 144, then back up until I hit 147, and so on! It worked. In six weeks, I’d dropped 12 pounds. And using the same technique, I have maintained a two pound spread around my desired weight for over a month!

So let’s get back to the lie: Just in case you hadn’t figured it out, I didn’t think she was too skinny. In fact, I did want to be that skinny! Hell, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that I wanted to look just like her, gypsy pants, high heeled boots and all! But I thought that if I expressed that, she’d take one look at me, laugh, and snort (elegantly, of course), “And what makes you think you could ever look like me?”

Why wouldn’t she? Hadn’t I said the same thing to myself on several occasions with a lot less compassion? Hadn’t I said the same thing every time I had looked at someone I thought was attractive and called them a stupid, skinny bitch? Hadn’t I said the same thing every time I looked at the mirror and called myself fat? And, albeit less harshly, hadn’t I said the same thing when I said that I was only losing weight to be fit? Hell, I was fit. My resting heart rate was (and still is) 48! Why hadn’t I ever been able to admit the truth: I wanted to be skinny! There was some part of me that wanted to be a little, skinny, girlie girl. There, I said it!

And for the first time in my life, I had been honest about why I wanted to lose weight.

And, perhaps not coincidentally, for the first time in my life, I have been successful in reaching and maintaining my desired goal.

(Continued in Part 3)

Quote for the day

“Every problem has within it a gift. Look for and find the gift and your whole life will change. ” Tony Robbins

I’ll keep that in mind (see below)

My influences on Issues of Diet

As I always tell my students, it’s best to be honest about your biases up front. The strategies and approaches that I have adopted regarding health and fitness come from a variety of sources. For instance, a lot of the more cognitive based strategies, as well as some of the dietary practices come from my experiences of attending Tony Robbins events and listening to his audio program, The Body You Deserve. Additionally, I have been influenced by the book, Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond; unknown to me at the time, Robbins used to work with the Diamonds, so it’s little wonder that both approaches seem to resonate for me! Similarly, I also was drawn to the book, Skinny Bitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. Ironically, Freedman and Barnouin had also spent their fair share of time at Robbins seminars. In fact, the book is dedicated to him. Although I originally picked up because of the title, it’s quite informative and amusing, if shockingly obscene language does not offend you that is! And last, but certainly not least, I have been influenced by my 90-pound-weight-loss-year on Weight Watchers, my 20 years of pseudo-maintenance, and my decade of vegetarianism.

The things I share, here, are the things that work for me; feel free to take some and leave the rest. Also feel free to send me your own winning strategies. As I hope the above has illustrated, I’m not a purist. One of the keys to success is to keep trying until you find something that works; you can’t just give up because the first thing you tried isn’t, or stops, working! So send them on!

C-A-N-I

At the recent Tony Robbins event that Michael and I crewed, Robbins introduced a relatively simple strategy for success, which he refers to as C-A-N-I. Not to be confused with “Can I [Do it]?”, C-A-N-I stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement. Does that mean perfection? Not at all. It means just what it says; in any quest for positive change, you should strive for constant and never-ending improvement. Some days are not going to be perfect–heck, some hours are not going to be perfect. But as long as you have your eye set on a clearly defined goal, such as losing 10 pounds (or even 40 or 50 pounds) of excess fat or reducing your weight enough to eliminate joint pain and facilitate greater flexibility, constant and never-ending improvement will get you there.

Talking Myself Back Down From the Edge (or at least from a chocolate croissant)!

Today was interesting. Today I realized why I am writing a blog. At first I thought it was just public accountability (assuming anyone’s reading). Second I thought it might give me a creative outlet so that I’m not always rattling on to Michael about nutrition, exercise, and weight loss. Today, however, I realized that I am writing a blog to remind myself of what I know is true.

While I was crewing a Tony Robbins event in New Jersey in March, I struck up a conversation with this gorgeous woman who just happened to be a weight loss coach. She gave me some free advice on how to lose ten pounds and told me to call her (in six weeks) when I’d done it. I have more to say about her and our conversation in future posts. Feeling a little skeptical (but hopeful, as she certainly looked like she knew what she was talking about), I wrote it down word for word. I even drew a little chart. I shared it with Michael. I shared it with a couple of close friends. That was March 18.

Today, after teaching a spinning class, I stepped on the scale and realized that in less than a month, following this woman’s advice to the best of my ability, I have dropped 9.6 pounds. It hasn’t even been four weeks! And these are technically 9.6 pounds of the “hardest” ones to lose!

Unfortunately for me, the number that I saw on the scale this morning just happens to be the one that in the past has always been a stumbling block. And this time was no exception. Immediately I started thinking about new blog post titles: This is Where the Rubber Hits the Road. Or thinking, ‘Wow! This is going to be a really short-lived blog! Bummer.’ I also started thinking about all of the other times that I got to this number and promptly put on 5 pounds (it’s happened at least twice before, why would this be different?) I started wondering if I was too skinny, ignoring the fact that I thought I looked great yesterday, before I stepped on the scale.

If I were going to be analytical about this situation, I would have to say that this particular number is a trigger for me and, like Pavlov’s dogs who always salivated whenever the bell rang, I started running my old patterns–you know the ones. The ones that we all have that, for whatever reason, work against us, rather than for us. If you don’t think you’ve ever been triggered by anything, you’re wrong. So, when you’ve been triggered and you didn’t know it, some of the key signs are that 1) your breathing gets more shallow, 2) your thoughts get louder and faster, and 3) your thoughts start repeating themselves. And we can get triggered in any domain in our lives–work, relationships, friendships, holidays, Mondays…. You name it, you can get triggered by it. The trick is to notice when you’re triggered before you do something you regret (like quit your job, walk out on a lover, or, my personal favorite, go to Dirt Cowboy and get a chocolate croissant).

So, in the middle of my triggered state, the thing that pulled me out of it was that random thought about my blog. And when I thought about my blog, I remembered why I started in the first place. I also remembered that these two pounds are not going to be any more difficult than the last 9.6. I remembered that I don’t need to change my behavior. I don’t need to eat less. I don’t need to exercise more or at a breakneck speed that might lead to injury or binge eating. I don’t need to do any of the things that will set me up for failure. And now that I have recognized that, I won’t.

What I am going to do instead is stick to the plan. I am also going to enjoy every healthy, nutritious, and delicious bite. And, assuming I can find her address, I may send that weight loss coach a big bouquet of flowers!

This might be worth lifting my ban on reality T.V.!

Tony Robbins takes to the airwaves! No matter what you think about the guy or how many infomercials you’ve seen, he gets the job done! If you’re not familiar with him, check out his recent TED talk! Who knows, you, too, might become a fan!