2 more pounds lost! Total lost: 3 7 more to go by January 1st.
Annnnnd we’re back! Hope you all are doing well! We are deep into November and Thanksgiving is approaching fast. A lot going on in my life in the last week. Wasn’t perfect with my goals, but I LOVE 2 MORE POUNDS
A look back over last week’s goals (and the date should say Nov 7th, not Oct 31st). I feel that I did much better this week!
Journaled for 3 out of the 7 days last week. I consider this a major success, considering there were a few times that I collapsed into bed to watch TV and didn’t even want to look at my PHONE i was so fried. SO being able to jot down my thoughts at night and them in the AM is a win
Definitely hit my workout goals of 4 days per weight. Did 4 videos – Cathe Friedrich ICE Boot Camp, T25, Metabolic Workout and a yoga DVD
Managed my hunger levels better than last week!
LOST TWO POUNDS!
Areas for Improvement
While I am not a fan of restrictive diets, and counting calories, I do find that planning my meals ahead of time greatly increased my chances of success. I found that this last week when I was left without a plan, I tended to choose something that didn’t help my goals.
Need to continue improving my journaling skills. I want to make this work, as I have felt like a long time that I needed to re connect with my soul – writing is a great way to do that.
As I mentioned above, I am trying to get more journaling and self reflection into my life. I’ve seen a lot of people succeed and find deeper levels of self understanding with this practice, so I am making it a part of my journey, as well as yours. SO let’s talk about journaling for a second.
What is Journaling?
Essentially, journaling is the process of putting your thoughts, emotions, experiences and observations down on paper. It can be daily, it can be when the mood strikes you…it can be whenever. The key thing?
That your process WORKS FOR YOU.
I have been going through a pretty cool book called “Let it Out: A Journal through Journaling” by Katie Dalebout.
Katie is a funky millennial from the Detroit area (holla!) that loves deep conversations, soul searching and other cool stuff like that. She speaks to my hipster side! 🙂
Anyway, she describes journaling as a way to get UNSTUCK. I love that idea. SO many of us gals who are trying to get unstuck in our journey to weight loss do the exact opposite. We end up in a pile of mud so thick, you could mistake us for Atreyu’s horse from the Never Ending Story (yikes!)
Journaling can give you a way to put all those feelings on paper…things you never wanted to say outloud or didn’t know you needed to say. You can talk about it to your journal and never be unsafe. Recording your journey can be an invaluable tool for pushing you toward your health goals in a way you never have before. So let’s take a look at 3 actionable ways that journaling can help you lose weight.
1. Journaling can help you heal.
If you are reading this blog, you likely have had emotional eating issues. Everyone’s emotional journey is different, but chances are, you’ve got some sort of baggage hanging around. I’m not saying that you wake up every day thinking about your divorce from 10 years ago and decide “Hey I’m going to eat 14 donuts because I’m single” You may not be thinking anything when you reach for 14 donuts. You just feel some sort of emptiness. So you eat. Over time, we may think that some of our issues are resolved, when they really may not be. So what do we do? We tend to reach for food.
Journaling is one way for you to start getting deep with yourself and figure out why you are struggling. If you don’t need professional help for your issues, (and honestly not every one needs to. Just because you emotionally eat doesn’t mean you need therapy!), the pick up a pencil and paper and start asking yourself the hard questions. In Katie’s book, she gives a lot of tools for getting this part of your brain stimulated because let’s be honest. Do you even know how to start this process? Here is one example:
Write down a specific fear that you have, one that holds you back from achieving something. Write down one actionable steps that moves you toward that fear. Make it small and NOT overwhelming. Now…immediately go out and do that thing.
Easy! Well. It’s not easy to face these things, but at least the process is simple.
The point I am trying to make in this bullet point is that journal is one excellent technique that can help you start identifying and working through issues that can cause you emotional harm, and thus unnecessary eating.
2. Journaling can clean out the mental garbage.
I mean honestly…who DOESN’T thrive better in an organized environment. And if you’ve raised your hand, please email me. We need to talk about this arcane magic you us! hhahah
Honestly though, our American lifestyles have left us in a constant state of “what’s next?” We run the kids around, run to work, make food, find time for exercise, get the dog to the vet…it never ends. With increased busyness can come a myriad of unfinished projects, piles, mental garbage and other things that just crowd you out. You’re left with a feeling that nothing is done, you’re unorganized and just plain frustrated. How might we cope with this?
You got it.
Writing in a journal is a GREAT way to brain dump. Basically, writing down anything and everything that is on your mind. Once it’s out of your head, you start to sort through the stuff that’s just not worth being stressed about.
3. Journaling can help you keep your goals present and accounted for.
If you’ve ever made a commitment to yourself to lose weight and had grand plans to change, it’s very possible that these goals got lost in the shuffle of life (see my previous post!). If you maintain a regular journaling practice, you have these goals written down where you can revisit them. Instead of saying them to the air (where they promptly get sucked up the exhaust fan and out into the atmosphere, never to be seen again), they have a physical place in the world. They have a home on these pages where they can serve to invigorate when you feel tired or as a reminder when you forget.
Basically? It serves as an accountability partner (just made of trees).
If you are interested in diving deeper into journaling, I would suggest checking out Katie’s book here.
If you aren’t digging a book and would just like a good solid list of journaling prompts to get you started, then join my “Say Goodbye to Emotional Eating: 30 Day Journaling Challenge! Scroll down for deets!!!
What do I do now, Christie?
Click on the picture below to get a FREE PRINTABLE challenge that will give you 30 days of thought provoking questions to get you on the path healing that annoying emotional eating!!
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Have you ever started a project with vigor and lose steam after a couple days?
Yep! Me too!
I could say that a little about the Christie Project (already? Yeah I know). I set a few goals and headed into the first week of November with excitement, only to quickly get buried in the grind of life and stop paying as much attention to myself.
How did I do on my goals? As a recap, here’s what I wanted to work on
Did I establish a journaling routine?
Did I assess my hunger levels before and after each meal?
Make a list of weight loss struggles?
Plus side? I lost 1 pound! Woot! So fortunately, my semi vigilant assessment of my hunger before and after each meal did me some good!
Even though I didn’t really seem to achieve my goals this week, I actually choose to use this as a learning experience. As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve come to realize that everything is an opportunity….it’s just how you spin it. That’s a blog for a completely different day though.
***IMPORTANT LESSON ALERT***
I will need to take a more aggressive approach to making sure I meet my goals. In order to do this, I will set aside 5 minutes each evening before bed and 5 minutes in the morning as my little one is eating breakfast to journal, write out my thought and reaffirm what I want to accomplish day day.
BOOM! Goal of establishing a journaling routine? Done-zo!
Anyway. Let’s talk a little more about something that I think will be helpful for you: how exactly I lost 1 pound without counting one calorie!
I still remember the day that I seriously considered taking my ridiculously expensive IPhone and throwing it in the trash. I was looking at my Sparkpeople food logging app and it was telling me that in order to stay on track for losing one pound that week…I couldn’t eat any more calories. I was at 2150 for the day and allowed no more.
What. The. Heck.
I was standing at the kitchen counter with a growling tummy pondering all the ways I could trick my body into feeling full. Celery and a big glass of water. A diet coke and green peppers. Maybe just two diet cokes.
I then looked at the Cheez-Its on the counter, hissed a few expletives, and dug into the box until all that was left was cracker dust.
Ever happened to you?
After the cracker dust had settled, I sat there and pondered my situation. I had eaten very nutritiously that day. Had a great workout. It was clear to me that my body still needed something but I couldn’t have it.
The more that app on my Iphone told that I couldn’t eat something, the greater I felt myself creeping toward turning into the Incredible Hulk.
Never again. I couldn’t continue on in this vicious cycle of restriction and binging. I was no closer to my weight goal than I was when I had start…and I was only more stressed.
Great plan. Let’s lose weight by making ourselves crazy. eye roll
Now don’t get me wrong. As a registered dietitian, I understand the science behind the calorie deficit and weight loss. I also understand that some people need that kind of guidance and structure. If you are able to be successful with using a calorie counting app and NOT think about it every moment of the day, then I encourage you to continue! Everyone’s needs are different…but here are my 3 biggest tips for losing weight without counting calories:
1. Stabilize your blood sugar
If you’ve got a human body, you were most likely born with the innate ability to know when to eat and how much you needed to eat. Outside influences, however, have made it difficult for us to maintain a true sense of hunger. A diet of steady caffeine, sugar and refined carbs have caused our blood sugars to spike and drop on a regular basis. This spike can make us lethargic. The drop can make us hungry (when we really don’t need the calories).
My biggest recommendation here is to STABILIZE THAT SUGAR. By doing so, you will be able to better tap into your hunger cues!! Now, don’t freak on me here. I’m not going to say you need to cut out your diet pop, your morning latte, or that candy after dinner. Whether or not you do that is up to you! I will tell you straight up though, that you’ve gotta find more balance in your meals. Here are my tips for doing just this:
Base your meal on the protein, and garnish with your carbs. Whenever you think of a meal or want to order something, always start first with the question “What is my source of protein?
Consider reducing your carbohydrate serving by a smidgen. For example. If your meal would normally have a cup of mashed potatoes, try decreasing to ½ cup and adding a second piece of chicken instead.
Make sure you have fiber in your meal. Whether it’s from fruits, vegetables or whole grains, make sure it’s there!
2. Learn Your Hunger Scale.
Your body has the natural ability to tell you when it’s hungry and when it’s full. The truth of the matter is…we just don’t listen to it!
Here is the secret that I work on teaching my clients:
Work on staying between a 4-6 throughout the day.
At a 4, your hunger starts to awake but you aren’t fixated on finding a meal. This is a good time to start eating before you get out of control
Stop when you are a 6, or are just feeling physically satisfied. (*NOTE, remember…this is where the whole “it takes 20 minutes to feel full” thing comes in. Take your time ith your meal so you have a chance to feel “just satisfied” and don’t bypass it…cuz it can happen faster than an Ugg wearing mama heading to Starbucks on Pumpkin Spice Latte day! Here’s a little picture to give you a closer look!
3. Enjoy the freedom and go easy on yourself
Using your hunger scale to lose weight can be a tough thing for people to adopt. To some, it can feel like a loss of control because there are no extensive numbers to keep track of. The only number you watch is a single digit which is really just a way to quantify your level of hunger.
With a positive mindset and TIME, you will naturally gravitate to the body weight you are meant to be. Will my weight loss happen fast? Not always. Could it happen quickly? Possibly!
You really have to allow yourself some slack here. Intuitively eating, as we call it, it a foreign concept to some and takes practice and patience.
I’m still not perfect on my journey to weight loss using hunger cues. There are days where I feel a drug addict trying to resist the fix – I just feel the pull to count those calories! Sometimes I give in and go for it. I’ve actually embraced those times because they serve a reminder of the lifestyle I don’t want to live! I don’t have the time and energy for that shackled existence.
Something tells you might not either.
Hope this is helpful. Wish me luck with my goals this week!
Today’s post isn’t going to be about Halloween. It’s going to be about an open letter. There are lots of tips and tricks to maintaining your weight and staying healthy over this holiday, (check Pinterest!). Just last night I decided I wanted to do something more wide scale and try to help you all by helping myself. As a dietitian, I think people expect me to be perfect in how I eat, workout and how much I weigh. It’s a tough standard to live up to sometimes, especially when all you want to be seen as is a real woman too, with the same struggles and set backs but also with a desire to improve.
Enter, The Christie Project.
For the next 8 weeks, I am going to taking another good hard look at my health, where I’m at and where I want to go (I do this from time to time). This time, I want to document it for you, using some of the tools and secrets I teach in my 7 Day LiveLoveLose weight loss and emotional eating challenge (CLICK HERE to sign up for this freebie).
To start, before I get into anything food, emotions, exercise or any of that other stuff, I want to get vulnerable for a minute and let you, and my healthier future self, what I am hoping to gain.
Dear Future Healthier Me,
It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. At least, the version that I was before I decided to start a family. Let me first start by getting something out of the way:
It goes without saying that my little guy is the light of my life and every struggle, tear, medication, needle, ache and pain was worth it. I love him deeply and forever and do not regret what I went through to create our family.
Those feelings, however, don’t hide the fact that I have been left with some broken pieces that I’ve had a little trouble putting back together. After losing 90lb by adopting a healthier lifestyle, I was in a place where I felt comfortable in my skin and my life. But then the doctor told me that steroids had to happen in order to have a healthy pregnancy.
Talk about a kick in the teeth.
But I did it, because I knew it would be best for my baby. Even though it would likely cause me a setback, I would. And it did. Maybe 15lb. And then another 15lb for a healthy pregnancy. And then the unexpected 15lb that came after when my body betrayed me and sent me into an extremely profound post partum depression. I needed comfort and I used food.
I have adjusted to motherhood and am back on the road to finding you again, Healthier Me. I’ve been able to lose about 12lb, but I had forgotten how hard it was to find you in the first place. My time is not my own anymore. I follow the same regimen I did to lose that 90lb. I’ve had to adjust so that I can find you. And that’s been hard.
I have started to realize that you, my Healthier Me, isn’t going to look like it did before. I grieved a little when I realized that, but I also have been able to accept it. I KNOW that doesn’t mean I can’t and won’t get back to my pre pregnancy weight. What it does mean, is that the Healthier Future Me is going to look different, and I’m going to have to start looking at it in a different way.
My Past Healthier Me was a lot about looks. I wanted to look thinner, wear smaller clothes and feel confident enough to enter the dating pool. While all those things are still nice (although I found my guy who loves me at all sizes), I realize that to find you again, I need to focus on a lot of other things as well. My motivation no longer lies in a desire to just look thinner. I want to FEEL better. I want my joint pain to ease and I want to exercise without difficulty. I want to keep up with my kid. I want to avoid a heart attack. Healthier Me, I realize now that you need something from me that I never gave before.
You need me to find balance in my life
You need me to find love for myself that isn’t based on a number
You need me to release myself from the jail of strict dieting and stringent calorie counting
You need me to learn to let go of perfection
You need me to lose weight to improve my body’s HEALTH, not it’s looks.
And you need so much more it seems. I feel overwhelmed looking at your list of needs, but at the same time, the things on this list make me feel comforted. If I could have those things and more, I would feel amazing. I want that for myself. I want you. I know it’s going to take work but I also believe I can find you. Or at least a version of you. I’m okay with that. One of the greatest gifts this struggle has given me is being able to realize and accept that aside from death, there is no final end point to improvement.
We are going to always be on the search for you, Healthier Me, but just different versions at different seasons of our lives.
So I look forward to seeing you at the end of the next 8 weeks, where I will be committing to new habits that will help solve my issues with food and propel me down the path to health.
Thank you for your patience and thank you for waiting for me.
I’ll be there soon.
Why Write an Open Letter to Yourself?
A great way to start down a new path to health is do what I did above: write yourself an open letter?
Why? you ask.
A lot of people launch into a weight loss program full throttle without much thought. And they lose weight! As you may know from your own experiences though, it’s so easy to gain it back with out a plan and a vision for where you want to go. The easiest way to do this is to pull out a journal, a piece of paper or something else, and to write a letter to a healthier version of yourself.
Don’t hold back – even though this is an open letter, it will only be for your eyes
Tell the healthier version of you why you haven’t achieved it yet and what you want to do about it (and WHY)
Talk to the Healthier You about things other than weight. How do you want to feel? How do you want your relationship with food to look?
Use it to address the feelings and frustrations you have about your current situation, and for identifying areas that you will start setting goals for
This open letter is just get yourself thinking deeply about what you want for your life and your health.
Go give it a try, like I did above! And for now, see below for the things I am going to start working on this week.
Next week I will be back for an in depth look at how I manage my diet to encourage weight loss!
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
Write an open letter to a Healthier You
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