The Weight Loss Stalker

He waits patiently. His window of opportunity is right around the corner.

He is smart. He knows just the right time to strike. He is the Weight Loss Stalker (AKA your primitive brain), and he is out to destroy your weight loss efforts.

He knows just when you are most vulnerable.  It’s that time of day when he starts his chatter. He is sneaky, manipulative, and very convincing. He will do whatever it takes to get his dopamine hit, and you will be the one to give it to him.

He keeps coming back every, single day – no matter what you try to do to get rid of him. He can’t get enough. He always wants more, more, more. There is no use in trying to avoid or resist. He will get you eventually. You will give him what he wants.  Unless

Yes! There is a way to stop him [suspenseful music playing]: your prefrontal cortex (PC brain) is the answer. Only your PC brain can choose your actions. The Weight Loss Stalker can’t. He can only try to control you with his clever manipulations. Your PC brain is the only one that can move your hand to pick up that food… and it is inclined to disagree with the Stalker.  You see, your PC brain wants you to achieve your goals, too. But, you have to listen to your PC brain over the Stalker’s rantings.

The primitive brain can cry and scream and throw a temper tantrum all it wants. But, the logical PC brain chooses our action. Sorry, ol’ cranky primitive brain. Not today. Today, we choose to stay on protocol and eat what we planned in advance.

When does the Weight Loss Stalker come looking for you?

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Professor Prefrontal vs Caveman Primitive

We make 35,000 decisions a day.  They are made with two different parts of the brain: either the prefrontal cortex or your primitive brain. Can you guess which one should be “in charge” most of the time?

I think about my primitive brain as a caveman (or Thor in the Avengers: Endgame).  I call her the Caveman.

I think about my prefrontal cortex as the professor (or Thor in all of the other Avengers movies).  I call her the Professor.

  • Caveman just wants to keep us alive: always looking for danger.  She seeks pleasure, avoids pain, and conserves energy.
  • Professor uses her scientific method in decision making always reaching for our goals.
  • Caveman wants immediate gratification.
  • Professor wants to achieve the goal we set despite what is in front of us.
  • Caveman says we need to eat the donut right now (or we might die).
  • Professor says that donut won’t help us achieve anything.
  • Caveman is extremely verbal: all that chattering going on in your head is all her.  She is very persuasive. Never underestimate her. She can yell louder and longer, because she is very motivated by your survival.
  • Professor will state her case factually and expect you to make the correct decision. She doesn’t even here Caveman’s rattle.
  • For Caveman, every decision is urgent and frenzied, based on the moment.
  • For Professor, every decision is based on a plan for a future result.
  • Caveman is your urges.
  • Professor is your reasoning.

I love Caveman.  She does a great job of keeping me alive.  But, there just aren’t that many lions running the town these days.  She is more into sugar and flour – getting us the biggest dopamine hits she can find.  

I love Professor.  She keeps pushing me forward toward my goals, becoming better than I was yesterday.

These days, Caveman isn’t really serving me in the food department.  I need Professor’s emotionless viewpoint on food. She will get me where we want to be… in the ideal body.

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Trust

I always thought trust was earned by another person.  Turns out I was wrong.

Trust is an emotion – felt by me.  If I feel trust for you, you can’t feel that.  Only I can.

Trust is not black & white.  I can choose to feel it a little, a lot, or not at all.  It is a spectrum, like any emotion.

Whether I trust you (or not) is based on how I choose to feel – not your actions.  Wait, what?!

Let’s say you are married.  You choose to trust your spouse.  It turns out, they were cheating on you.  You find out. You no longer trust your spouse now that you know.  But, you trusted them while they were cheating on you. It wasn’t their action that made you not trust them.  It was your thought about their cheating that created your trust (or lack thereof).

If you have a hard time trusting others, it is because of your beliefs about other people – not their actions.

If you wish you could trust people more, you can.  Right now. You can feel trust at any time.

I’m not saying you should trust every person or all the time… I’m just saying it is available to you. It is your choice and in your control 100%.

Trust me. 😉

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Joy

This picture brings me so much joy my heart just wants to burst.  This is my amazing world.

This man in his pjs.

These two dogs.

This sunset.

This view.

The water… the colors… the quiet…. the calm.

And, there is me – behind the camera, sitting on the porch, reading a book, and taking it all in.

This is my heart, my joy.

I am so grateful.

Look around you.  See your joy. Soak it all in.

What are you grateful for?

Action & Reaction

All of my hard work for the last six months culminated last week…  *** …By the end of it, I was emotionally and physically exhausted….

***I deleted the entirety of this story.  Although entertaining truth, it is irrelevant to what happened next. See, all of my reasons why I acted in the manner I did doesn’t change these 4 sentences.


A child told me, “Those grown ups are yelling at me, telling me to hurry up.”

I thought, “How awful are those adults to yell and be rude to a kid!”

I felt angry.

When I approached them and one of them said something rude to me, I engaged with them. We all said lots of rude things back and forth in very loud voices.

As a result, I was rude and yelled at them… notice a pattern?


My point is, because I didn’t manage my thoughts before interacting with the adults, I REACTED to them from a place of ANGER.

End. Of. Story.

None of the other details matter.

What they did doesn’t matter.

Why they did it doesn’t matter.

Because, I can’t control other people.  All I can do is control me. I am not the morality police. It is not my place to judge.  It is not my place to teach them a lesson or make them feel the way I perceived that child felt.

If I was faced with the same situation, I would still defend that child.  But, I would come from a place of love.

How in the world could I possibly come from a place of love when I perceive such an injustice, you ask?

We are all going through something.  Who knows what has happened or is happening in those people’s lives to cause them to act the way they did.  

My only goal would be to help out that child (whether that meant interacting with those adults or not). I would ACT with compassion, not react from anger.

For me…

Mistake made.

Reflection done.

Lesson learned.

Moving on.

For you…

Remember love… even when it is the hardest emotion to feel in the moment. You can’t go wrong if you are acting from love.

Out of Control

Does your life feel out of control?

Are you in charge of your life, or is life in charge of you?

There are so many things we want to control but can’t find the way.


  • How is my house always dirty?
  • My son’s coach plays favorites. My son is not one of them. Grr.
  • Why can’t these people drive the speed limit or get out of my way?
  • Why won’t my husband help out more?
  • Why are we always broke?
  • How can they afford to go on all those vacations?
  • Why am I the only person who can change out the toilet paper?
  • Don’t teachers know we have other things to do besides homework all night?
  • Why is my boss so critical?
  • Why aren’t my children more respectful and well behaved?
  • I never have enough time.

We get frustrated.

We get overwhelmed.

Instead of finding solutions, we just turn it all off.  We escape reality and comfort ourselves with pleasure.

  • We drink.
  • We shop.
  • We eat comfort foods.
  • We binge watch Netflix.
  • We scroll mindlessly through Facebook or achieve level 682 in Candy Crush.

We find comfort.  But, it is only temporary.  When we wake up in the morning, it is all there again… plus a few more pounds… or a nasty hangover… or any empty bank account… or a worn spot on the couch.  We do it all again.


How do I regain control of my life?

How do I get a different result at the end of my day?

If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results.

If you want a new result, you have to start taking different actions.  Imagine what your life could be like.

If you are ready to get control over your life, click here for a FREE Life Assessment.

Buffering

Let’s talk about Buffering. So many of us try to avoid our emotions with food or alcohol or Netflix. We give into the urges that we have.

We want to stop buffering. We try to stop by resisting the urges, which only makes them bigger. We try to distract ourselves or avoid it altogether. Again, our urges get stronger.

Those urges are coming from our primitive brain. It is like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store – flailing on the floor and screaming at the top on it’s lungs until you give in.

To stop buffering, you have to ALLOW the urge with NO RESPONSE. You have to let your primitive brain have it’s fit until it is done. Most people feel like that urge is intolerable.

But, allowing an urge is a skill. You have to practice that skill to get good at it. Every time you allow the screaming fit with no response, the tantrums become less and farther in between.

You have to take a step back and just allow it. Witness it. Observe what is happening inside your primitive brain. Be curious about it.

But, here is the secret. Your primitive brain has a lot to say. But, it can’t do anything on it’s own. Only your prefrontal part of your brain can actually go get the donut or the wine.

So, bring those urges into your conscious brain, and make the decision to watch your primitive brain with fascination. It is the first huge step in changing your overdesire for good.

Failing

Failure is defined as not getting the results that were expected.

Failure is a skill.

We are not taught how to fail. It should be a lesson right up there with reading and math, because we all fail.

Failure is valuable. We learn to grow. We learn to become a better version of ourselves.

But, failure feels awful. We think we are supposed to be happy all the time. So, failure must be bad, right?

It’s not. Failure is a door opening on a new path in life.

Embrace failure. Learn from it.

Shadows of the Past

Most of us have something from our past that is difficult.  We still carry it around with us. Some of us feel like it is holding us back – so much that we feel our lives are limited by the experience.

Pain of the past is heavy.  It weighs us down. We allow our past to have such a strong grip on our present.

But, here is the thing.  Whatever happened in your past happened… in your past.  It is not part of your present. The circumstances of our past are done.  

The only parts that remain of that experience are our thoughts about what happened.  And, that is good news. Because, although we may not have been able to control circumstances in the past, we can control our thoughts now.

Are your thoughts about the past serving you?  Probably not.

We tend to see ourselves as victims in the present because of what we could not control in the past.  But, we don’t have to think about it that way any longer.

It is time to take your power back in your life. Write it all down.  Release all of the anger, resentment, sadness, hatred, hurt, pain… all of it.  Put it down on paper. Write down all of those things you wish you could have said… what you wish you could have done.  And, then, destroy the paper. This is just for you – no one else.

The events of the past are facts.  We can’t change them. (Honestly, I wouldn’t want to change my past.  It has made me so much stronger of a person today.)

We can leave the facts of the past behind, and change our thoughts to lift ourselves up.  We experienced things others couldn’t even understand. Use that strength to fuel a better world for yourself and others.

You deserve it.

Emotions: The Reason for Everything

Emotions are the reason we do everything we do.

We lose weight to feel happier.  We get a new job to feel happier.  We get a new partner to feel happier.

But, it doesn’t work.  We have to find out how to be happy first… and we look to our thoughts.  What we choose to think can make us happy.

But, what are emotions anyway?

They are simply vibrations in our body.

So many of us  have been trained to ignore or push down our emotions… to not feel them… to ignore, avoid, or resist them.

But, what exactly are we fighting so hard against?

It is just a vibration in your body.

Try this.  Imagine a cute, little green alien.  He does not know “emotions” or “feelings”. He asks you to describe what your emotions feel like in your body.  What words can you use to describe what is happening in your body?

Start paying attention to your body.  Try to allow those emotions (not react or resist… just feel the physical sensations).