Dealing with Tough Emotions

In case you didn’t know, life is 50/50 – 50% positive and 50% negative.  We aren’t supposed to be happy all the time. Sorrow is what makes joy possible.

The downsides are sometimes rough.  We often feel like we are the only ones that feel this way.  But, every single one of us goes through it.

It is how you react to those down times that define your experience.

A client shared with me that she was unhappy the other day – like world falling apart unhappy.  Everything in her life felt terrible. On top of that, she was beating herself up for being ungrateful about her absolutely amazing life.

She was able to catch herself in the moment and realize she just needed to allow the emotions.

What she DID NOT do (which she would have done in the past):

  • Go buy a bottle of wine (or two).
  • Drink fancy rum drinks.
  • Order and eat almost an entire pizza.
  • Get a box of cookies, and eat them all.

What she DID do:

  • She cried – like 8 times.
  • She ugly cried.
  • She felt the terrible and questioned everything.
  • She slammed a door (OK, she knew this one was childish, but she isn’t perfect.)
  • She ate what was on her protocol and only that.
  • She did a mean, horrible thought download… and then deleted it.
  • She did models to pinpoint the true focus of her pain.
  • And then… She took some time to herself, sitting outside and gazing at the stars, and realizing that she was right where she needed to be in life… no matter what the circumstances.

We live in an amazing world, and though we may not always understand our path, we can rest assured that we are right where we need to be.

Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session

One Lap

I heard the best analogy for weight loss the other day on The Last 10 Podcast with Brenda Lomeli.  She talked about walking one lap on a track.  

One lap equals however many pounds you want to lose.  All you have to do is walk one lap, and all your weight will be lost.  You don’t have to sprint, or run, or jog.  Just walk the lap.

For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, imagine for each pound you lose, you are taking a step toward the finish of your lap.  Or, if you want to lose 10 pounds, you are still just walking the same lap. When you lose the 10 (or 50), you have finished the lap. 

BUT, if you gain weight back, it is like walking back toward the start.  Then, you have to walk that part all over again when you lose those pounds again.  It is a great visual, and it got me thinking.

Since I have gained and lost weight repeatedly, how many times have I already gone around the track?  

It turns out, I have walked almost FOUR TIMES backwards and forwards around that stupid track. 

And, guess what… I’ve only lost eight pounds from where I was 19 months ago!  No wonder we get so frustrated in our weight loss efforts.

If I had just kept walking forward (losing the pounds), I would have lost the weight by the end of the lap.  But, I kept gaining a few pounds back (and taking a few steps back). I have been walking on the same part of the track back and forth… going nowhere for 19 months.

So, I decided that I only want to walk forward from now on.  I’ll only go back a few steps on special occasions.  

I made myself a chart.  It is a picture of a track.  I’m going to map out my weight loss on it so that I can see if I start walking backwards too much.

If you want a copy of the track map for your own journey, just email me: angela@attiecalistodesign.com

I will be happy to share.  Let’s walk this lap together.

Mistakes

So, you got on the scale this morning.

It was up 2 pounds.

You, sigh.  It is ridiculous.  2 pounds? You are so mad at yourself.

I mean, really, it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

It happens every single time you overeat pizza the night before.

You ate 8 slices of pizza.  The scale goes up 2 pounds.

But, that isn’t what you are really upset about.

You are mad at yourself, because that pizza wasn’t on your plan.

You let yourself down (again).

You chose to go against your plan & get pizza.

You let your primitive brain convince you that immediate gratification is way more important than achieving your goals.

You are frustrated that you quit on yourself (again), and you are giving yourself a mental thrashing for being so bad.

Let me give you a small reality check:

No one is perfect… not even you… and that is ok.

We ALL make mistakes.

Beating yourself up over it doesn’t help you get any closer to your goal.  As a matter of fact, it often pushes you further away.

What you should do:

  1. Get off the scale, and pull out your journal.
  2. Write down what you did and how you would like it to be different next time.  Use the mistake as a learning opportunity.
  3. Have compassion for yourself.  Write down some amazing things you did this week.  The overeat was one small mistake in the grand scheme of life.
  4. Get back on your food plan right now.  Don’t turn one mistake into a week of overeating.
  5. Remember, the only person that puts the food in your mouth is you.  You have all the control.

Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session

I LOVE Food

TRUE or FALSE: I love food, so it is hard for me to lose weight.


Well, if you believe that statement, then it is true.
If you don’t believe that statement, then it is false.

Yes, you get to choose whether or not to believe it… because, it is just a thought… a sentence in your brain. It is NOT a FACT.

I want to share with you a Love Story.  I have always loved pizza. I can’t resist pizza.  I always overeat pizza, because it is so good. It doesn’t even matter what kind of pizza… the dough, the sauce, the cheese… So. Good. Heck, just writing these words makes me want it.

I LOVED pizza… until I learned that all those sentences are just thoughts in my head and are optional.


(Remember, “I love pizza” is a thought – NOT a fact.)


I asked myself: Does the thought “I love pizza” serve me?

The answer is a resounding “No”.  That thought keeps me trapped in my overeating habit – making me feel powerless over pizza, out of control around it.

Although it would be fabulous if I was able,  I can’t magically spread fairy dust and change that thought.  🧚🏼‍♀️

Changing a thought I have believed my entire life will take some work… baby steps…

Over time, I have been able to use a tool called “bridge thoughts”- I use transition thoughts to get me to my goal. The thoughts have to be believable.  (For example, going from “I love pizza” to “I hate pizza” won’t work. Because, my brain would reject the “I hate pizza” PDQ.) When you believe the next thought, choose another closer to your goal.


 Here is how it works.

Original thought: I LOVE cheese pizza, and so it is hard for me to lose weight.

I love cheese pizza, but I can still lose weight.

I like pizza, but I like losing weight even more.

I choose not to order pizza.

When I am around pizza, I will only eat 2 slices.

Goal thought: I can be around pizza and not want any.


Insert your food for “cheese pizza”, and try the bridge thoughts

Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session

Losing Weight on Vacation

For most of us, vacation means a time to let go of all responsibilities, relax, and just enjoy life.  

And, for most of us, that includes what we eat as well.  We let go of any mindfulness of what we eat or how much. 

Some of us just let go of self-control altogether when it comes to food (for example:  I should try every type of pizza they serve on the buffet since I’m on vacation… my only chance at freedom).

We end up gaining weight on vacation and then are miserable when we return home and get on the scale.  (O.M.G. How can I gain 10 lbs in 5 days?)

Sound familiar?

But, what if you could actually lose weight on vacation without feeling deprived and restricted?  

You can.  You simply have to decide ahead of time that weight loss is what you want (I really want the scale to be lower – or at least the same when I get home.  I’m tired of self sabotaging my efforts). Here is how:

#1 You commit to yourself that you will lose weight over the vacation (I can do this.  It isn’t hard).

  • Write down your goals and be realistic.
  • Nothing is worse than telling yourself you will eat nothing but kale on vacation and then letting yourself down when you eat the fried shrimp over and over again.

#2 You must come from a place of positive emotion.

  • Coming from self judgment will not serve you and will only cause a struggle in your brain the entire week (Yuck, I hate this. I wish I could just eat whatever I want like those skinny people).  
  • Coming from feeling of curiosity and abundance will set the stage of success (I wonder what choices I will make instead of “the usual” pigging out).

#3 You will be mindful of what you eat.

  • You will create a plan – even if you don’t know the specifics of where or when you will eat that day. (I know we will eat at a seafood restaurant tonight.  I will choose shrimp and only eat half the portions they serve.)
  • You will write down everything you actually eat as usual (12:00 Buccee’s brisket sandwich, french fries, rice krispie treat, 6:00 Pizzeria buffett: 10 slices of pizza, 2 ice cream cones).
  • You will do your thought downloads (well, I ate way more than I wanted to eat.  I’ll use the 10 min. rule next time*.).
  • You will focus on the experiences of the vacation and the people that surround you – instead of the food (we went kayaking, boogie boarding, built sand castles, read a book, flew a kite, and hung out together as a family).
  • If all else fails, stick to the *10 minute rule.  If you really want the dessert, set a timer for 10 minutes.  If you still want it at the end of the 10 minutes, eat it – without the self judgment and self beat down.

Try it.

You might be surprised how much better you will feel on vacation when all of your happy thoughts are about the people and the experiences – and not about how many desserts that you should hurry up and eat (since I have been depriving myself back in my “real” life trying to lose the weight).

Have a wonderful vacation!

Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session

Hunger is Not an Emergency

Today, let’s look at our friend, Hunger.

We may have met seen him once or twice (on some crazy starvation diet).  We decided we didn’t like him very much. He made us uncomfortable.  We’ve been taught he is bad.  

So… we:

  • eat a big breakfast.
  • eat every bite on our plate.
  • eat snacks in between every meal.
  • eat convenience store snacks.
  • eat a big dinner.
  • eat before we go to bed.
  • eat in the middle of the night.
  • eat if we know we won’t be able to for a long time.
  • eat in our cars.
  • eat candy during meetings.

Many of us never feel hungry, because we eat IN CASE we might get hungry soon.

Hunger is NOT a bad thing.  We aren’t going to die if we miss a meal (even if our brain says we might).

Eating 3 meals a day with snacks in between is not healthy.  It causes us to eat more than our bodies need for fuel, and the result is gradual weight gain.

The science: every time you eat, your insulin levels go up.

When insulin is in your bloodstream, your body can’t access your fat stores.

Therefore, you will not be able to burn the fat off of your body.

When insulin is down, your body accesses your fat for energy.

This is how we lose the weight. Let your body have time to access the fat stores.

Stop snacking.

Let your body have time to “dine in”.

It’s okay to be hungry for a little while. I promise.  Try it.
Let me know how it goes.

Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session

Working with a Life Coach: Part 3

Several of you have asked me what it is like to work with a Life Coach.  So, I decided to share my notes with you from 3 sessions with my Life Coach.  (These are just my notes – my “nuggets of wisdom” I wanted to take away from each session and my A-ha moments.)

Understand, I am a Life Coach myself and am really good at self-coaching and working through my thoughts.  

BUT, it is amazing how someone who is not inside your own head can help you shed light on what your brain is really telling you. 

It is truly a transformational experience for me.  So good. I hope this helps you, too.


Session #3

Curiosity instead of judgement

Decondition my brain

We crave structure – have to recreate the structure

BEFORE you are about to eat something you tend to overeat:
Write down a TDL how you are going to feel before, during, and after the food…
Make a plan for obstacles and strategies to keep from overeating

Separate the thoughts from the facts (most are just thoughts)
If I think I’m not good enough… not successful enough… stuck in a loop
This is all my Ts. 

Motivation 
Find the bridge thought… 
I’m scared and that’s ok
Having my own back and believing in myself
Beating myself up does not serve me

C: My protocol
T: I can be my own science experiment.
F: Curious
A: Stop the behavior (overeating), get out of my comfy chair, TDL 
R: Learning from the process and refining the way I handle my emotions.

Eating plan for Tuesday:
My future self does not buffer with food.

Homework:
Make decisions ahead of time
Say something and stick to my plan
Start writing down urges.


Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session

Working with a Life Coach – Part 2

Several of you have asked me what it is like to work with a Life Coach.  So, I decided to share my notes with you from 3 sessions with my Life Coach.  (These are just my notes – my “nuggets of wisdom” I wanted to take away from each session and my A-ha moments.)

 

Understand, I am a Life Coach myself and am really good at self-coaching and working through my thoughts.  

 

BUT, it is amazing how someone who is not inside your own head can help you shed light on what your brain is really telling you.

 

It is truly a transformational experience for me.  So good. I hope this helps you, too.

 


Session #2

We create our desire.
Motivational triad will create desire.

C Habit
T
F
A
R Loop the circle: Artificially heightened dopamine hit

Feels like I’m eating against my own will.  Brain wants to be efficient. Goes to the primitive brain to see we’ve always done it.
Store it as a habit (neural pathways) + the chemistry in the brain (dopamine hit)
Use food to numb… buffer… to cope with emotion
If our lives are unsustainable without buffering, it is a sign that we need to work on our lives.
People use willpower. It makes things worse.  Resistance creates deprivation.
Resistance makes it louder.
Nothing is wrong with me.  My brain is just doing its job.
The more I continue to buffer…
High dopamine creates down regulation.  Takes more substance to get the same effect.
Hormones drop even lower which makes us feel like we need the high dopamine (sugar and flour and processed foods) to feel normal.
Unintentionally, I programmed my brain to overdesire food. Can intentionally create new habit by practicing new behavior (Pavlov’s dogs and drooling… they didn’t take away the bell… it kept ringing)

Decrease the desire:
1. 24 hour planning
2. Learn to allow urges
3. Coaching or self coaching for all the crappy thoughts

Biochemically deregulate the brain from overdesire by taking out sugar and flour/ concentrated foods

___________________________________

Keys to success:
1. Commitment (feeling) – level will determine success
2. Massive action

Ask yourself: What do you make it mean when you….?
REPROGRAM MY brain with a new habit
Motivational triad:
Efficiency
Pleasure
Pain

____________________________________

Key #1
1. Rely on commitment: stick to plan, 24 hours in advance, be authentic
2. Allow discomfort
3. Take action anyway

Self worth and capabilities are the work here.

____________________________________

Key #2
Switch from Self judgment to Curious
break the: Start. Quit. Judge cycle)
Be flexible.
Be curious.
Decide how I want to think about eating.
Growth mindset.
Write it down and move on Worksheet.
Helpful vs unhelpful thoughts
SERIOUS, CURIOUS, AND DELIBERATE

Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session

Working with a Life Coach Part One


Several of you have asked me what it is like to work with a Life Coach.  So, I decided to share my notes with you from 3 sessions with my Life Coach.  (These are just my notes – my “nuggets of wisdom” I wanted to take away from each session and my A-ha moments.)

Understand, I am a Life Coach myself and am really good at self-coaching and working through my thoughts.  

BUT, it is amazing how someone who is not inside your own head can help you shed light on what your brain is really telling you.

It is truly a transformational experience for me.  So good. I hope this helps you, too.

Session #1:

Urges: Don’t
Resist
Avoid
React

Do:
Allow


It requires a lot of effort to change.
I am still trying to be perfect… not obtainable
Need to be ok with discomfort


Neural Pathway in my brain – need to form a new one to create a new habit
Easier to do what you know
I have a lot of self judgment

Need to…
It’s ok to be me.
Practice self love
Being ok with who i am


Personify my discomfort:
My friend discomfort… here he is again.
Call my emotions my friends.


Unintentional Model:
C my food
T a cupcake would nice
F desire
A go to store, buy cupcakes, eat 3 when I get home
R give in to the desire

Intentional Model:
C my food
T I can feel any emotion & still stay on my plan.
F self-confident
A allow discomfort,  be better at allowing urges,
R A commitment to myself


Homework
Find solutions for obstacles:
Lack of structure in summer
Pool time leads to sugar time
Perfectionism – self judgment (who am I?)

Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session

Food is Fuel

To lose the weight for good, we have to change the way we feel about food.

We love food.

Food gives us pleasure.

We are foodies.

Food is a celebration.

Food is our friend.

The reason we can’t stick to our plan is because we are fighting against our own brains.

We have to change how we feel about food.  And, it won’t be easy. (Things that are really worth it never are.)

You will have to commit to allowing all of those urges that come up (without answering them!).

Food is simply fuel for our bodies.  There is nothing exciting about it. It just sits there.  It is our thoughts that make food so enticing.

That is the good news.  Because, we can change our thoughts.

Make your life exciting – not your food.  Look into your life. Where can you find pleasure outside of food?

Schedule a FREE Mini Coaching Session