Tag: health and wellness

Still Time to Re-Think Your New Year’s Resolutions!

Still Time to Re-Think Your New Year’s Resolutions!


How About Losing Your Girly Thoughts?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD  

You have just spent most of the last two months cooking, buying gifts, wrapping them, entertaining, and, of course, eating all those wonderful holiday treats. But now the holidays are over and the new year is here. This might mean you’re now dealing with higher-than-comfortable credit cards bills and a larger-than-comfortable waistline or bottom. 

New Year’s Resolutions 

Enter the New Year’s Resolution. Here you have the opportunity to begin anew, to make conscious decisions that will improve your life—and for many of us, this is to lose weight, especially the weight we just gained over the holidays. Goals are good. There is nothing wrong with having weight loss as a goal, but how you go about fulfilling this particular goal will make 2014 either a great year or another year where you start out strong and fizzle fast.

Your desire to lose weight is just what the multi-billion-dollar diet industry has been waiting for. You are reminded to try the latest quick-loss diet plan through ads on TV and by magazines at the grocery checkout (as you’re tempted by the most delicious-looking desserts in those same places). But will that newest plan really work for you? Maybe it’s time to look deeper at what caused your weight gain in the first place.

How About Losing Some Stress? 

Yes, stress. Those extra pounds did not come from nowhere. You are probably a stress eater. This means when you feel stress, you do something to relieve it, and that may mean eating or drinking to just calm down.

When you feel stressed, you feel you deserve that brownie; it has your name on it, doesn’t it? After all, desserts is just stressed spelled backward!

Consider this scenario: You’ve had a really bad day at work. You deserve a beer or that glass of white wine . . . or two. As part of the eating frenzy that is a family dinner, your kids want spaghetti—seconds, even—and if they’re going to have seconds, you will as well.

Stress is a given in your life. But to lose or reduce it, you need to figure out what is stressing you.

Dieting Stresses You Even More 

If you are a stress eater, if you eat as a way of calming yourself, dieting only increases your stress because you are taking away your stress reducer. This is why diets do not work. Dieting increases your stress. You are now in a no-win situation.

 The Stress of Girly Thoughts 

Focusing on reducing a negative way you are dealing with stress is one strategy. But a strategy with an even bigger pay-off and no back-end payout is to reduce your stress level. And what stresses women out? All those societal messages—those girly thoughts—that tell us we are

  • too fat
  • too young
  • too old
  • too aggressive
  • too smart
  • too boring 

So is it any surprise that you take solace in something that gives give you immediate satisfaction, like eating or drinking? But what if there was something you could do that would accomplish the same thing? Something that would calm you down, give you satisfaction, with no calories?

Challenging Your Stressful Girly Thoughts—A Zero-Calorie Solution 

Learning to talk back to that negative inner dialogue where your girly thoughts are found is one way to do that. How does this work?

  • Identify what is causing you stress. If it is your girly thoughts, then name them. Naming something for what it is gives us power over it. 
  • Don’t let a thought determine how you feel. Don’t feel if this, then that. Having a negative girly thought, or any negative thought, does not have to determine how you feel. It is, after all, just a thought. 
  • Tell your girly thoughts to take a hike. You can choose to not indulge a negative thought about yourself. Instead you can: 
  • tell your girly thought to get lost
  • treat your girly thought lightly, thanking it for its wisdom but saying you’re not interested
  • invite yourself to think of something else, something more pleasant, such as a massage or sitting on the beach 

None of us can control what pops into our minds, but we can control what we allow to be there rent-free.

We can control what we think, and by doing so we can reduce our stress, cut down on our stress eating and drinking, and save some money on all those worthless diet books that we rarely read anyway.

So for a real New Year’s ResolutionSTOP THINKING THOSE GIRLY THOUGHTS! 

Dr. Patricia GormanDr. Patricia O’Gorman, Ph.D is an internationally-recognized public speaker known for her warm, funny, and inspiring presentations, coach, psychologist, and a consultant to Lifescape Solutions in Delray Beach, Florida. She is noted for her work on women, children of alcoholics, and trauma, in the child welfare, mental health, and substance abuse systems. She is in private practice in New York.  READ MORE

Author of eight books including: 

Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012)
12 Steps to Self-Parenting (celebrating 25 years in print)
Coming in April in 2014:  Out Your Girly Thoughts . . . Embrace Your Strength
SUE INGEBRETSON ~ Author of FibroWHYalgia

SUE INGEBRETSON ~ Author of FibroWHYalgia

Sue Ingebretson has been studying health issues, and fibromyalgia in particular, for fourteen years. Committed to helping others afflicted with chronic illness, she serves as the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia Research and Education Center at California State University, Fullerton. She has collaborated in an assortment of community education projects with local support groups and the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) to promote education and understanding of chronic illness.

She has written articles for the NFA’s online and print magazine, Fibromyalgia AWARE, which offers advice, research news, treatment options, and lifestyle tips for fibromyalgia patients. She lives in Anaheim, California, with her husband and her 9 ½ pound Sheltie, Foxy. Sue is available for speaking engagements.
Susan Ingebretson is a writer, speaker and the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia Research and Education Center at California State University, Fullerton. Her book, FibroWHYalgia, details her own journey from illness to wellness. Ingebretson’s writing has appeared in the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) online and print magazine, FibromyalgiaAware. Susan is also featured in the NFA’s Public Service Announcement, The Science Behind Fibromyalgia.

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Making Peace with Your Inner Drill Sergeant

Making Peace with Your Inner Drill Sergeant

Aging abundantly is easier and more enjoyable to do when we are able to leave a bit of our physical abundance behind (no pun intended!). But as we age, losing weight and getting healthy is more difficult than ever. Our metabolism works against us, our muscles lose strength and tone ~ physical activity is harder and the results less encouraging. It’s simply the aging process, our changing hormones, and perhaps more than a few years of living a less than healthy lifestyle. This in no way means we should give up on our attempts to be and live healthier. It just means we have to do things differently and adjust our expectations.

As we age, we need to leave the past behind (there I go again!) in many ways. When it comes to our physical selves, our mental picture of our ideal body, like all ideals that involve perfection, probably was and never will be attainable.  It’s time to let it go and get on with what is really important in our lives.

Fortunately, our years of l experience have taught us a great deal about ourselves and the realities of life and we can bring all of that wisdom to bear on our efforts to take better care of ourselves. The damage that has been done is done. But, we still have today and hopefully tomorrow.

I’m not going to talk about diet plans or exercise regimes. There are already plenty of people more qualified than I am who have put thought, effort and research into developing good, solid healthy eating and exercise plans. The only thing I’m going to say here is that the bottom line to weight loss and health is and always has been ~ eat less and move more. Without even counting calories, you will make a difference in your overall health if you simply eat less than you are currently eating and move more.

The real difficulty we have in losing weight is not the plan we choose, it’s what is going on inside of our heads. Women have been at war with their bodies for decades and it’s time we stopped. Nothing good can come of such a battle. The typical pattern of the “yo-yo” dieter is the common diet experience among women of all ages and is the precise reason why the majority of women over fifty are at least marginally overweight. It’s not just a psychological issue but a physiological one as well. When we diet by submitting to the part of ourselves that is disciplined and controlled we think we’re doing the right thing and for a while we lose weight. For a time we pay attention to the voice in our heads that says more or less, “I’ve had enough of your lazy, slothful ways! Shape up!” And we do, for a while, maybe even a long while. But this part of our psyche is not all of who we are even if we let it rule for a while. It is a part of our brain than truly wants to help us but it lacks compassion and has a lot of trouble having fun.  Sooner or later our “wild child” takes over ~ she will not be denied as she is a part of us too! She too has our best interest at heart and knows if we are to be happy and healthy we cannot live entirely under the command of our Nazi general.

There is scientific research that has shown that at the basis of this “wild child”, the one that binges, sneaks food, refuses to exercise and generally wreaks havoc on all of our attempts to shape up, is actually a self-preservation instinct. Our “wild child” is terrified that under the rule of the Nazi general we will starve to death and the scarcity button is triggered in our brain. It is much like the fight or flight instinct induced by fear. Our wild child compels us to eat and is looking out for our best interests in her own way. The “wild child” does not want us to starve to death but she does not care about our health. She is concerned with life and death issues.

The important thing to realize here is that there is more to weight loss and health than will power and self-control. In fact, if you are overweight and have been on a life time of yo-yo diets, chances are you have an incredibly strong will power.  But the stronger the will power, or the rule of your Nazi general, the more rebellious your wild child may be when she lets loose.

Recognizing these two very important aspects of your diet and exercise brain is the first step to paving the way to a new approach to health and weight loss that is sustainable. More on that in my next post.

The Four Day Win by Martha Beck is worth reading.