Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 13 of the new Journey: See Less of Bo: The Cape Fear Heart Walk Journey with Adam Freeman and O2 Fitness

Made it! even though today is a holiday and I am definitely still sick...I got my butt up and made it to the gym with time enough to do cardio for 15 and ready to roll. This congestion showed in fatigue as Adam started me out on some new exercises...but we marched on....

It is the 13th day, and while I try not to buy into all that superstition mess, I may decide that 13th is actually good fortune as we weighed in this am...and...drum roll please.....I have lost EIGHT pounds to date! yep! I have given birth to a mini weight at the time of my birth has been expunged from my body! I was elated as was Adam! that is 27% of my first goal of getting under 300...and 8% of my total goal! is less pull on my heart and lungs and more heart health! that was quite a lift before I was put on the rack...I mean the exercise machines! :)

today we learned about ropes, balls, and pulleys in a little lesson I like to call Cirque de SoBO! It was not enough that I had to stand on the half ball and feel the fires of hell on one I got to stand on the half ball...both feet squarely planted and squat...yes, that's right..butt out...back straight...balancing on a ball...and squat. Oh the joy that was that moment in time...those repetitions...the fire burning from the feet up the legs and into the..well. butt! :)

Then, I got to kneel and pull a rope like a greek model doing a pose for a sculptor..knee down closest to the machine....other knee straight out...pull down..arms straight out...and then straight across keeping arms straight....then switch the other side.

Just when I thought that there could be no more fun for today...Adam got out the big blue ball (leave it alone!). I asked him if those had ever popped under the weight of a person and with a complete deadpan..he said " not yet, but we will see" Love the sense of humor! Then he got dumbells and showed me how I was to sit and then roll myself out so that my legs were in front of me and only my shoulders  and neck where on the ball...then I would do exercises with the dumbell by taking them 90 degrees to a straigth up touching position and back.....Oh yeah! (I thought, as I visualized myself rolling off that thing and hitting the floor).....but...wait for it...I DID IT! and not only did i do it...we went up to the 15 pounders and that was comfortable! we also used the ball for me to sit on and do pull downs under my chin...and again..increased the weight! I was elated! I have to tell you...each time he brings out something new it is scary, but when i figure I can do is amazing...He keeps reminding me that slow and steady...building muscles to do more exerices...will "win the race". You don't have to kill yourself. You do have to keep that heart rate up and work those muscles..but you have to build to it. Today was about balance and doing things to work all sorts of areas that a stationery machine could never do.

Lastly we did the fly thingys on the floor where I lay on my back and lift one arm and then the opposite leg at the same time and then the opposite and then every third i left all together...It was amaizng how much better all that is! The first day I could barely do i just do them! He also had me do crunches where I was reaching for a target with my hands...

So, no high wire act...but I did have a good work out..and I pray that this cough and congestion will leave soon!

I have attached the "aware" program below that Adam gave me. It is really helping me with my eating. Already I am starting to see some of my paterns and triggers and it is awesome to be able to start some corrective resoposes.

I am in today with a brief outing so that I can fully recover from this cold thingy! But looking forward to Cardio tommorrow!

A.W.A.R.E. Program

Food is the number one building block, but sometimes the toughest battle to defeat when trying to reach your fitness goals. When you look at or use food in a negative way, it will cause you great strain on your goals. You need to be aware of your eating habits and train your mind to make the nutrition portion of your goals the easy part of your program.

To develop a healthy relationship with food that keeps you healthy and fit, it's imperative to become consciously aware of what you believe about food, and how you use food outside of your physical needs.

I believe that emotional eating - although it may appear very complex and challenging to overcome at first - is really a very simple problem revolving around two primary issues:

1) Our beliefs about what food means to us.

2) the simple fact that we sometimes eat for reasons other than to satisfy physical hunger or physiological needs.

In other words, we sometimes eat for all the wrong reasons.

10 Common Reasons For Emotional Eating:

1) To obtain a good feeling
2) For comfort
3) Out of sheer boredom
4) Out of habit (for example, every time you watch TV)
5) For social reasons
6) To cope with stressful events
7) To fill a void or missing need
8) To recapture a feeling or memory associated with a food
9) To cope with depression
10) To cope with other feelings such as anger, loneliness, frustration, disappointment, grief, lack of control or anxiety

Sometimes eating for other reasons are caused by peer pressure, such as a social event, family get-together, birthdays or holidays.

There are five simple steps to this process, which I call the AWARE Program

1) Become AWARE of your emotional eating behavior patterns
2) WATCH out for the thoughts, emotions, events and situations that trigger those behavior patterns
3) ARREST the patterns when they happen
4) REPLACE the old emotional eating behavior with more constructive alternatives, outlets or coping mechanisms to satisfy the emotional need.
5) ESTABLISH new beliefs about food and the right reasons for eating, then repeat them as affirmations until they're hard-wired in as the new pattern. (This is the most important step)

STEP 1 - Become AWARE of your emotional eating patterns

Awareness is the starting point of changing ANY behavior. One of the biggest challenges with emotional eating is the fact that you may be unaware that it's even occurring.

We all can make choices and use willpower, but at the same time, almost all of our behaviors ever day are automatic. It's called habit.

The majority of behaviors you carry out on a daily basis are habits. Habits are actions or repetitive behavior patterns that are carried out under the direction and guidance of your subconscious mind.

For example: When you get up in the morning, you do certain things in a certain way time and time again.  You get dressed, tie your shoes, shower, brush your teeth, drive your car to work and so on.

All of these are habit patterns. You don't have to think about them anymore or use willpower because they've been repeated so many times, they're now unconsciously carried out.

Well, guess what? Your eating behaviors all day long are also habit patterns.

Eating habits typically form at a young age and your patterns will continue unless you are aware of those patterns and can break those habits with substitutions.

It is absolutely critical to pay attention and become acutely aware of your habitual eating behaviors, until new behaviors take over and become the new habits. Some people call this "conscious eating" or "mindful eating" and it is the opposite of "mindless eating" or "impulse eating," and it is the first step to end emotional eating.

EXERCISE: Make a list of behaviors you repeat every day that have become habit patterns. Focus on your eating and exercise behaviors, but take your time and think hard about every little pattern that you can. This way, you will begin to become aware of and respect the power of habit.

EXERCISE: Keep a food journal that includes nutrition information as well as a diary of your personal thoughts and feelings, for at least 4-12 weeks, at least once, when you first begin changing your lifestyle. Keeping a food journal for life is not necessary, but in the early stages when you are first developing new habits, there is absolutely NO substitute for a food journal. It not only readies your awareness of what you've been eating, it's an education in nutrition that simply cannot be obtained in any other way.

STEP 2 - WATCH out of for thoughts, emotions, events and situations that trigger emotional eating.

Every person has different emotional eating triggers or cues. Some people have many. So it's time for a little investigation. What are your emotional eating triggers? Where will the "scene of the crime" be? Keep in mind that common triggers can include emotions, events and even places.

For example - triggers can come from:

1) Stress
2) Loneliness
3) Boredom
4) Anger
5) Frustration
6) Sadness
7) Depression
8) Feeling unappreciated or ignored
9) Parties
10) Buffets
11) Restaurants
12) Television
13) Your workplace
14) Specific people (who "push your buttons")

EXERCISE: Make a list of all the things, people, places and events that "push your emotional buttons."

When you've identified and written down all your most likely triggers, you've already raised your awareness level and you'll be more conscious of these triggers when they happen. This also allows you to draw up a battle plan and shore up your defenses to eliminate their influences on you in the future.

For example, you can set up your environment - your refrigerator, your kitchen, your home, and your office - to give you the greatest chances for success. For starters, you can keep unsupportive foods out of your house. You can't eat what's not there and what's out of sight is out of mind. Make it extremely inconvenient to get access to comfort foods.  Do not kid yourself, if your kitchen or office is stocked with junk food, YOU WILL eat it when the opportunity presents itself.  Keep lots of what you DO want to eat well stocked and out in plain view. Place large bowls of fresh fruit on your countertop, keep raw vegetables in the front of your refrigerator and keep jugs or bottles of pure water always within arm's reach.

If certain people or places are triggers for inappropriate eating, come up with a strategy in advance so you can be prepared to handle them when they happen. For example: It helps if you anticipate peer pressure such as invitations to eat too much or eat the wrong foods, by planning a "rebuttal" for every comment you are likely to hear in those situations. 

Here are some ideas:

1) "Well, maybe it does taste good, but nothing tastes as good as being lean feels."
2) "Eat more food? Are you kidding? I already have enough calories stored on my butt and thighs. No thank you."
3) "It's not important that I EAT with family, It is important that I BE with family."
4) "It's not about missing out on sweets, it's about missing out on the life I deserve as a lean, healthy person."
5) "It's not about losing freedom to eat whatever I want, It's about not being a slave to food."

EXERCISE: Think about situations where you know you will be pressured to eat inappropriately by other people in your social circle. Write down the things that they may say to you, and write several rebuttals for each one.

STEP 3 - ARREST the pattern when it happens

Once you've begun to develop conscious AWAREness of your behaviors and yours WATCHing out for the feelings, events, places and people that trigger them, you can interrupt or break the pattern the moment you realize it's happening. I like to call it ARRESTING the pattern.

When you feel the urge or temptation for the inappropriate behavior, that's an important moment of decision. When you've been alert and WATCHing for your common triggers, you now have the opportunity to "think before you eat."

Start by simply saying STOP!!! and use some creative procrastination to remind yourself what this kind of eating will do to you.

For example: "Am I eating this because I'm hungry and need to feed my muscles and boost my energy or am I eating for another reason?  If the latter, ask yourself why you are eating.

Continue asking yourself some questions that will make you realize you were about to eat mindlessly. One that works for me is: "Do I really want this processed junk to become a part of every cell in my body, my biceps, my brain, my lungs or my stomach." Then I ask myself, "How will I feel after I've eaten this?" 

Some other example questions to ask yourself are: "Is eating this worth it?" or "Is eating this going to move me closer to or further away from my goal?"

EXERCISE: Write down your top ten questions to ask yourself when in this situation that will motivate you and drive you closer to your personal fitness goals.

STEP 4: REPLACE the old behaviors with positive alternative or more constructive outlets that give you the same feeling.

If you are eating to obtain a certain positive feeling, or to cope with a negative feeling, it's important to realize there are ALWAYS alternatives and more constructive ways to obtain or satisfy ANY feeling. Remember, it's not about the food, it's about getting a feeling. You may have a belief that it's only food that will make you feel better, but is that really true? I am positive you can REPLACE that belief if you'd like.

For example: "I used to believe that eating would make me feel good, but now I realize that overeating only made me feel sluggish, bloated, fatigued and guilty afterwards and it wasn't worth it for any short-lived pleasure I got. What really makes me feel good is being in control and the victory I feel from becoming fitter, healthier and better than the me of yesterday."

Try out that belief and find other ways to get that "good" feeling in its place.

Some examples:

1) When some people get upset, they will reach for food to cure the upset feeling. Others will workout by hitting the gym, go for a run, punch a heavy bag, or take a kickboxing class.
2) When some people get stressed, they reach for food to suppress the stress. Others find ways to relax, meditate, do yoga, go for a walk or simply remove yourself from the stress.
3) When some people get depressed, they drown in their sorrows with alcohol or binge eating. Others reach out to their friends and loved ones to talk their way through it with the help of a sympathetic and supportive pair of ears.

It is simple when you simply understand that there are always alternative behaviors, you will never feel trapped again. Changing you settings can greatly increase the change in your feelings. Exercise and physical movement are some of the best ways to change your feelings. Other way are to simply break focus away from whatever was troubling you and change your focus and your thoughts to something different and something positive. 

EXERCISE: List as many positive REPLACEMENTS as you possibly can that you will and want to engage in when you have become AWARE of your triggers and ARRESTED the problem.

STEP 5: ESTABLISH new beliefs about food and the right reasons for eating, then repeat them until they become your new pattern.

The single most powerful strategy for ending emotional eating or any other negative behavior or undesirable habit is within the power of your beliefs.

Why is it that vegetarians with strong beliefs are not even tempted to eat meat? Why is it that natural health advocates with strong beliefs are not even tempted to eat artificial sweeteners or drink diet soda? Why is it that non drinkers with strong beliefs are not even tempted by a sip of wine? Why is it that an elite athlete is not even tempted to break his or her dietary regimen leading up to a competition?

It's not that they feel the temptation and have some superhuman will power that lets them easily say no. When the belief is truly strong, there is simply no temptation. It's not even an option. If a certain behavior violates your beliefs or values, you won't have to stop yourself from doing it using willpower, you simply won't be able to do it anymore. Doing it would feel totally impossible. It's almost like your neurology short circuits before you can act against your beliefs.

People don't always do what they say, but they will always do what they believe and value.

Most people are unaware of their own beliefs, but the power of a metaphor describing your beliefs can have a great impact on your life in all facets. If you believed your body was a "gift" a "temple" and a "lean, fine-tuned machine," how do you think that would affect your behavior?  I have never met anyone who talked about their body with this type of language, had a challenge with inappropriate eating behaviors or obesity. Think hard about that.

Using metaphors to describe your beliefs are powerful ways to help you develop new beliefs and toss out the bad habits. Not only to strengthen your beliefs, but metaphors are great ways to describe healthy food.


1) Food is like fuel to your body
2) Food is like a powerful drug
3) Food is to the body like bricks are to a building
4) Eating small meals frequently is like stoking your metabolic furnace
5) Fresh whole fruit is like natures candy
6) Lean protein is the lean muscle builder

EXERCISE:  If you use metaphors to describe your body and the food you eat, whether they are positive or negative, write them all down so you begin to become AWARE of them.  If you don't use metaphors yet, make a list of all the positive metaphors you could start using today. "My body is like a ________." "Food is like_________."   ***Remember, your brain is the most incredible super-computer with almost unlimited capacity to learn and to make new associations and neural connections. You can create neural associations between eating healthy, nutritious foods and positive feelings. You can learn anything. You can create new meanings. You can develop new beliefs. You can express those beliefs with new metaphors.

While we are talking about metaphors, why not change your choice of words when it comes to behaviors.

For example: If you are angry and you describe your state as "boiling mad," why not change it to "I'm a little irked at the moment," or "I'm a wee bit peeved." (It might even break your state and make you laugh)

Other examples:

1) "Stress is an essential part of like because that's how we grow. Without stress we never grow. I embrace stress because stress is a stimulus for growth."
2) "Stress is okay. What's bad for me is continuous stress without release. So when I feel constant stress is starting to put pressure on me, that's my signal to rest, relax and recover. I work hard and sometimes it's stressful, but then I play hard and relax!"
3) "Use food when I feel stressed? HECK NO! food is good for fuel and for feeding muscles, but it's a terrible way to de-stress because if you eat inappropriately, you only feel MORE stressed afterwards."
4) "It's not food that I really want or need when I feel over-stressed, it's rest and relaxation...I just need a better balance between stress and relaxation.

***If you change your perspective, you can change your behaviors. 

Having strong beliefs about your body, food, eating, exercise is enough to deal without willpower, but adding your value system to the mix will out willpower out of its misery. 

We may have completed this exercise before, but answer these questions to bring out your value system in your goals. You answer on your own, but I placed examples in to get my point across.

What's important to you about reaching your goal of reducing your weight from 185lbs to 135lbs?
Answer: If I look better, I will feel better physically, have more energy and I will feel better about myself.
Questions: What's important to you about looking better physically, having more energy and feeling better about yourself?
Answer: I will feel more confident and especially in interviews so I can advance my career and get the type of job I want. I will feel more attractive and be able to approach men more easily.
Question: If you get the type of job you want, what is important about that?
Answer: I will make more money and won't hate my job.
Question: What is important about making more money and not hating your job?
Answer: I won't have to worry about paying the bills and I will have the freedom to do what I want, when I want and with whom I want.
Question: So when you reach your ideal weight goal, you will feel better physically, you will feel better about yourself, you will be more confident, you will attract men, advance your career and make more money?
Answer: YES!

That is a very powerful list of motivators that dictate what your values are so you can dig deep within yourself to program your subconscious mind with your new beliefs.

EXERCISE: With the same technique as above and to find out your true beliefs and values that most importantly consist of your health goals, answer these four questions and dig really deep.

1) What do you believe food is for?
2) What do you believe about your body?
3) What do you believe about eating?
4) What do you believe about exercise?

You may come up with many answers for each one, but after you have dug really deep to find your beliefs and values, ask yourself which beliefs are going to get your toward your goals. Once you narrowed down your beliefs, act as if you are a lawyer in the courtroom and question that belief, weaken it, dismantle it and grab that belief and put it on the stand.  Challenge that belief and try to find evidence that it is not true, consider where you got the beliefs and if they are your beliefs or someone else's. If the belief's aren't serving you and will help you reach your goals, replace it with something that will. There is a law that states that when you remove something from your life, something else will take its place unless you put something in its place. Replace it, don't remove it.


When you narrow down your empowering beliefs, your goal is to keep it, strengthen it and reinforce it. You do that by putting your beliefs in writing and turning them in to "Affirmations" (some people may call them "declarations")

Write your affirmations just like you would for any other goal except you don't need to include a deadline, as a belief is something you want to hold on to as long as it serves you.

Remember these four points: Specific, Personal, Positive and Present Tense.

So just as you did with your goals, write your affirmations down on paper every day and read them to yourself throughout the day. Read them in the morning, whenever you can in the afternoon and just before you go to bed. Just as your goal card, you should carry these affirmations around with you where you are reminded of your beliefs every time you reach in your pocket or in your purse.

Examples: Here are 4 core beliefs about food that highly fit and lean people have, which if you follow and believe, you will be one of those people too.

1) Food is construction material for the body - "Good food is "construction material...what I eat is building material for my muscles and every other cell and tissue in my body."
2) Food is for energy/food is fuel for the body - "Good food is fuel. I will only be as energetic as the fuel I put into my bodily engine."
3) Food is for stoking the furnace of your metabolism - "When I eat good food in small, frequent meals, it stokes my metabolic furnace."
4) Food is for creating optimal health - "Food is the most powerful drug. Good food contains every nutrient I need for perfect health."

Example: 10 beliefs and affirmations about food for balance, happiness and long term success

1) "It's okay to eat for enjoyment or social reasons if I do it consciously and mindfully and I stay within the compliance and quantity limits I set for myself in advance."
2) "I am totally conscious and aware of my beliefs about food and the reasons I eat."
3) "When I feel stressed or depressed, I already have or I can easily find alternate coping mechanisms to deal with those feelings."
4) "Healthy food that helps you burn fat and build muscle can be prepared in delicious ways."
5) "I realize that good can be one of life's great pleasures and that completely denying myself of foods I enjoy is not productive in the long term."
6) "If I set a compliance rule for myself, then there's really no such thing as forbidden foods. As long as I obey the law of calorie balance and eat only small amounts of my favorite treat foods, I can still be healthy, develop a great body, and enjoy my foods in moderation."
7) "I don't have to be perfect. If I eat healthy, natural, fat-burning, muscle building foods 90% of the time or more, I know I will get good results."
8) "If I want better results, faster, I realize that I may need to tighten up my nutritional compliance and I'm willing to do it if that's what it takes."
9) "Everything I eat will have some effect on my body but I realize that what I eat once in a while doesn't impact me that much."
10) "What's most important is what I eat habitually, every day, week after week, month after month, so I'm very cautious about what I eat repeatedly. I understand and have great respect for the power that of habits."

In closing, remember that all beliefs have an effect on you either in a positive or negative way. Sometimes you follow all the steps of the AWARE program, but you still struggle with eating, goals or exercise, maybe you have a larger or global belief that is like an umbrella which covers and blocks your ability to believe in this program 100%.  Follow the same steps in to creating a belief that allows you to replace that belief with a much more positive one and you will succeed.

Always remember that belief power is 1,000 times stronger than will power. I believe in this program and so do hundreds of my clients who have changed their beliefs and are walking around "right now" at their goal weight and feeling very good about themselves.

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