The Road You Take

Which path do you want to take in your life? 

You have 3 choices:

  1. The exciting, fast, and easy one?
  2. The simple, calming, easy one?
  3. The hard, frustrating one?

Path #1 – The exciting, fast, and easy path

This path is a waterslide.  It gets you to the destination quickly.  You get a temporary high in your brain during the ride.  Sometimes, the turns are too fast. Or the path is too bumpy.  It isn’t always a thrill. Sometimes, it is scary. This path leads you to the bottom… and fast.

Path #2 – The simple, calming, easy path

This path is an escalator.  It is a slow ride. Nothing much changes.  The lights and music are not too bright or too loud.  It is comfortable here. You can rarely see the end, but you catch a glimpse once in a while and wonder if this is really the path you should be on. In the end, you will find yourself at the bottom.  That is not what you intended, and you aren’t even quite sure how you got there.

Path #3 – The hard, frustrating path

This path is an upward climb of the stairs in the forest.  The steps aren’t always stable or level. This path takes a lot of work, and it is a difficult climb.  Sometimes, you fall. Many times, you wish you could just go back to the easier path. This path is frustrating and even scary; you are dealing with the elements and listening to the unfamiliar noises surrounding you. This path leads you to the top.

There are exit ramps from all 3 of these paths.  

You can jump on whichever one you choose whenever you choose.

There are 3 destinations: the top, the bottom, and somewhere in between.

The question is, where do you want to end up?

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You Can Do All of the Things

You can do all of the things.

No really.  You are capable. 

You can get any result you want.

There is only one thing standing in your way.

Your brain.

You are working against the evolution of your primitive brain.

It works very hard to keep you safe.

  • Seek pleasure.
  • Avoid pain.
  • Conserve energy.

Your primitive brain says any change is dangerous and should be avoided.

It keeps you at status quo.

Then, there is your prefrontal cortex… the part of your brain that allows your goals to be conceived in the first place.

But, even it is working against you.

  • It is operating on solid neural pathways created by your habits.
  • Every time you try to change, it takes maximum effort and brain power.
  • It is like trying to drive in sand.  Those deep ruts keep pulling you back even though you are trying to drive a different direction.
  • Pavlov’s dogs created new neural pathways.  You can, too.
  • Change is hard.

It is time to create the change you want.

Reprogram your brain.

Decondition yourself.

Change.

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A Few Words of Encouragement

I have a really big day coming up in my life… you know, the kind that could change everything or nothing at all…. That kind that puts butterflies in your stomach and a rock on your chest.

So, whatever you have going on this week, I’ve decided we all need some encouragement.

So, this is for you… and for me… today… and everyday after.  Let’s make it happen.

Think about your goal.

You want it so bad it hurts.

Take that step of faith.

You welcome the fear and discomfort.  It means you are right on track.

Imagine yourself in that space.

Nothing can stop you.

Every moment is your responsibility.

You have the capability.  
You have the commitment.  
Be courageous.
Be confident.

You are beautiful.

You are kind.

You are smart.

This is your next step on your journey.

It is important to you. You will make it happen.

It is meant to be.

Today is the day. It is the only day that matters.

Remember, no matter the outcome… everything is happening just as it should.

Let the butterflies free.  Take the rock off and add it to your collection. 

Show them who you are and what you came to do.

Believe. In. You.

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Be Kind

Would you ever say… 

You are  fat. … to your sister?

You are  lazy. … to your mother?

You are a failure. … to your daughter?

You are gross. … to your spouse?

You are stupid. … to your boss?

You are terrible at this. … to your son?

I hate you. … to your best friend?

Then, stop saying these things to yourself.

You can’t beat yourself into accomplishing your goals.

You have to love yourself into accomplishing your goals.

Stop degrading yourself.

Stop disrespecting yourself.

You matter.

You can be whatever you want to be.

But, you have to talk to yourself like you are worthy of your respect.

You light up others with your smile and presence alone.

Give yourself what you give them.

Compassion.

Much love to you.

Think about:

Where do you have work to do?

Who hopes you will get to work soon?

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Past, Present, or Future?

Where are you living your life?

You have 3 choices:

  • You can live for the past.  
    • “It was better when… [we didn’t fight so much, we had more money, I was skinny, I worked at that company, I had the perfect…].” 
    • “I have never been able to do it in the past.”
    • If you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same results.
    • You talk about past journeys.
    • Today can never live up to how it might of been.
  • You can live for that day in the future.   
    • “One day, when I…[make more money, lose all the weight, find the right partner, have children, have the perfect…], I’ll be happy.”  
    • “I will start again Monday.”
    • “I make lots of goals.  But, I forget about them.  So, I make new ones.”
    • Your focus is on the destination, not the journey.
    • Today can never live up to how it will be in the future.
  • You can live for right now in the present.
    • “I’m going to [eat, say, do, be…] this right now.”
    • I choose every thought, every feeling, and every action for myself.
    • You engage in your journey.
    • Today is where all the action takes place, and it can propel you forward or hold you back.

The truth is, you need a combination of all three:

You need to learn from your past.  Then, let it go, and move on.  It doesn’t define you.

You need to look to your future by setting goals.  You need to map out the route you want your life to take.

You need to live in the present.  You can’t [get the job, lose the weight, find the partner, make the money, etc…] without action today.

Every decision you make today moves you toward your goals or further away from them.

You have to live and act in the present to achieve those goals you’ve set for the future and make today better than yesterday.  

Be present in your life every minute of every day.  

Because, you won’t get those minutes back.

Today won’t necessarily be better than yesterday and it won’t necessarily be better than tomorrow.  

But, today is all you have right now.

Learn from your past, lean toward your future, and live in the moment.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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