A client of mine recently shared that she was nervous about an upcoming vacation she had planned because she wasn’t sure how it fit in to our weight loss program.
She was nervous about the eating, drinking, and weight gain that vacations “always entail”.
Here’s the thing:
Vacations don’t have to always entail anything.
A vacation, by definition, does not include the words “food” or “alcohol” at all.
Merriam-Webster says that a vacation is a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation; a respite or a time of respite from something.
Respite is defined as a period of rest or relief.
The next time you plan a vacation, ask yourself what is a respite for me?
What brings you deep rest and relief from your day-to-day hustle?
Is a respite for you a time of overconsumption and indulgence?
Does gorging at an all you can eat buffet and downing sugary cocktails and a bottle of wine bring you deep relaxation?
That shit just brings you stress, anxiety, and discomfort.
Your anxious ahead of time about the weight gain.
Your worry, maybe subconsciously, during the indulgence about the looming food/booze hangover and the inevitability of weight gain.
You stress after the event about how you are going to make up for it all-- the hangover, the bloat, the weight gain.
Then you start your frenetic mental planning.
Planning to “be better”.
To not eat carbs tomorrow.
To workout more.
Do portion control.
The whole bit.
And the vicious diet drama cycle continues.
As it has for ages.
And you spend your precious life energy beating yourself up for it all.
Knowing damn well you’ll do it all again on your next vacation.
“But I had fun!” you’ll say.
And you did...
But the net result is negative.
So really, it wasn’t that fun.
And here’s the thing:
You deserve to have mind-blowing fun in your life.
You deserve to have so much fun you can’t see straight.
Your life should be full of real fun.
Real fun always has a net positive result.
And that means having fun on vacation and not “paying for it later”.
Fun is not transactional with self-loathing.
How to have more fun--and no regrets-- on your next vacation
The goal of any vacation should be to have a net positive experience.
Here's how to make that happen.
Spend some time thinking-- or better yet, writing--, ahead of time, about the following questions.
It all comes down to spending time, ahead of time, thinking about how you want to feel, planning to take action so that feeling that way is inevitable, and then committing to the plan.
Vacations don’t “have” to be anything.
In fact, they should be only what you want them to be.
You get to choose, MamaBoss.
You are in charge.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Today we are going to talk about the best exercise for weight loss.
First I’m going to tell you why I tell my weight loss clients to stop exercising, and then I will give you the two magic questions to ask yourself to determine you should exercise or not.
OK, let’s get started.
People are often shocked when I tell them that I recommend my clients DON’T exercise when they are trying to lose weight.
They look at me crazy, giving me the incredulous and suspicious side-eye saying “Whaaat?!?! You’re crazy.”
I get it. It’s crazy because it goes against everything we’ve ever learned about weight loss-- the whole calories in, calories out B.S.
But hear me out.
The reason I say ditch exercise while trying to lose weight is because for most of us overeaters we use exercise for transactional purposes.
For most of us overeaters we use exercise for transactional purposes.
Our thoughts sound something like this:
“I am going to eat a third piece of pizza but it’s OK, I’ll run it off tomorrow.”
We overeat or indulge in food and then we try to go “work it off”.
And that has never worked.
Berating yourself into running on the treadmill for 30 minutes, bored and miserable, is never going to burn as many calories as you overate.
And even if the machine did say that you burned the same amount as you ate, it still doesn’t seem to work.
Not to mention being bored and miserable on a treadmill is no way to spend your one, precious life.
But yet we keep doing it. Telling ourselves that we will be better, do better, eat better tomorrow.
It’s not necessary for weight loss.
Exercise can sabotage your weight loss efforts-- making you gain weight instead of lose.
Not only is it not necessary, exercise can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts-- making you gain weight instead of lose.
Haven’t we all had that experience? We sign up for some crazy intense sweaty hard class, go everyday for three weeks, and don’t drop a pound-- maybe even gain?
The reason is because for a lot of my clients, the transactional thinking about food and exercise goes both ways.
Our post-workout thinking sounds like this:
“Wow, I really worked hard and killed that workout-- I’m starving! I can have this pizza and beer now.”
But the workout, despite being hardcore and sweaty, didn’t compensate for the biochemical reaction the pizza and beer had-- so you don’t lose weight.
And let’s talk a little bit about self-loathing (because it’s me and I can’t seem to write a post that doesn’t include those words. ;)
Far too often women exercise because they hate their bodies.
They want to fix themselves.
So they literally pound the pavement and feel miserable before, during, and after.
I want you to know that that is not the purpose of exercise.
Exercise should feel good.
Exercise should light you up.
Make you glow.
Exercise because you love your body.
Not because you hate it.
That brings us to the criteria every MamaBoss should ask herself before she starts or continues any exercise routine.
In summary, if you are currently exercising for the purpose of weight loss, stop.
If you are currently beating yourself up because you think you should be exercising for weight loss, stop.
Explore movement that your body craves-- walks in the evening light with your loved ones, yoga for self-care (not exercise), strength-training with a trainer who you enjoy spending time with, Zumba classes with your bestie-- or better yet, go out dancing with your homegirls. Take walks throughout the day if you sit at a desk. Play with soccer or swim your kids.
Treat your body to movement.
But whatever you do, mama, stop feeling obligated to do one more thing that makes you feel miserable.
It is not getting the results you want anyway.
Hey Mama Bosses!
In this post I'm going to talk about self-sabotage: what it is and how to overcome it using four simple steps to get you started.
Earlier this week I was talking with a client about self-sabotage.
She was frustrated and disappointed with herself the she had, for the millionth time, gone on a "high-carb" binge.
What had started as exception turned into a full-on three day flour and sugar fest that ended in a puddle of guilt, shame, and anxiety.
It started with dinner with a friend where she decided in the moment to eat foods she hadn't planned on eating.
She told herself that making this "exception" just this once was no big deal.
Afterall she has been "so good" and would get right back on the wagon tomorrow.
Yet when she left the restaurant she felt a nagging sense of disappointment.
But her disappointment wasn’t the same old brand of disappointment she’d been feeling for the last two decades.
This old version of herself would have been fretting and angsting over her looming weight gain.
Her lizard brain would be telling her that she was sure to gain weight from that one meal, that all her progress was lost-- reversed even, that she was destined to balloon into a gargantuan human so large that she would eventually implode all over herself causing a huge mess for her loved ones to clean up.
OK, these may be exaggerations, but you get the idea.
Our lizard brains like to have a hayday when we “slip up”.
But her brain wasn’t saying all that this time.
For the first time since she could remember the old story loop of fear of weight gain went silent.
Instead, the new version of herself had created what I call an evolved story loop rooted in self-awareness.
Her new story was one of disappointment in handling the controls over to her lizard brain and putting food in her mouth when her evolved brain, her prefrontal cortex, was screaming a very muffled “Noooooooo!!!!! You don’t want that!!!! Remember your plan???”
She was disappointed that she had given in to something she didn't really want.
She didn't really want to eat the high carb meal.
She didn't even really enjoy it as much as she had anticipated she would.
She was disappointed that she had "given in" to the impulse to eat it and that she hadn't managed her mind in the moment.
The next day, another temptation came her way and this time she felt weak and unprepared to manage the urge to eat.
All of the tools she had learned and had been implementing through our coaching sessions seemed to have gone out the window-- powerless in the face of old habits.
What she learned was that she had adopted a victim mentality about food.
She no longer worried about weight gain in the sense that she is no longer confused about what to eat in order to live at her natural weight.
Instead she is living a battle of two brains: her evolved prefrontal brain and her primitive lizard brain.
For us emotional overeaters, it can feel like food overpowers us.
We don’t feel empowered to make the choices that we actually want to make around food because we are operating under the belief that food is somehow stronger than we are.
The result of beating herself up after the "exception" meal with her friend was a weakened sense of power over herself and her food choices.
Remember how your thoughts create your feelings, which in turn creates your actions and then your results?
She had to get out from under her victim mentality and find her power over her own thinking about food.
Because food is neutral.
Cookies are neutral.
Chocolate is neutral.
Wine is neutral.
Fettucini alfredo is neutral (believe it or not).
It is our thinking about it that gives it power.
And therefore it is our thinking that has all the power.
Our thinking is what empowers or disempowers anything and everything.
You can start to work with your thinking and intentionally choose empowering thoughts at anytime.
This is not “positive thinking” or manifestation, but rather a method of managing your mind in ways that are based in results-driven action.
Admittedly this is seemingly more challenging that it actually is so I encourage you to check out my video to learn more.
Make today the day you finally put an end to feeling disempowered around food and ditch the diet drama once and for all.
As for my client? She is back in action!
Working her thoughts and slaying her relationship with food.
Life has never been better.
Lia Pinelli is a weight loss coach and educator who helps women put an end to emotional overeating and lose weight, permanently.