Often people think it is a secret. So, I am offering the 6 Secrets to End Overeating a free live Webinar on Friday 7/30 at 12:00 pacific to answer that question.
Why should you attend this webinar?
You find that you eat when you are not hungry?
You end up eating more than you planned, and then feel afraid you will gain weight?
You find that you eat for emotional reasons?
You are a smart person and can’t seem to figure out how to stop the battle with food and your weight. You have tried diet after diet, and nothing seems to work for the long haul. It can seem like there is no way out of the cycle of dieting, overeating, and then feeling guilty from gaining weight. Now, you will learn how to end overeating.
Join me live on Friday July 30 at 12:00 Pacific to get all the answers to your question.
Sign up in advance to get the link. No problem if you cannot attend live, it will be recorded, and you will have access to it later in the day.
You will learn:
The 6 secrets to end overeating.
See how overeating is not about what you think it is about.
Identify a doable at the end of the webinar that will have a profound impact.
After the last 15 months of closure, a lot of the world is opening. We can try on clothes in the store, go to the movies, and gather to worship. Are you ready? No matter where you fall on your opinions about the pandemic, I think everyone has a takeaway or life lesson coming out of this last 15 months. If you have not considered your takeaways, this list is going to be a reminder of what you can take from the last 15 months into the future. I call it making lemonade out of lemons.
1. We are more social than we think we are and there is still a necessity for down time. The time of covid was an introvert’s delight. There was a permission to sit and just be. But I heard from many introverts that did want more freedom to go out. I am an extrovert, and I missed all the public places I had gone and the people I could not see. Even though I missed the time out with others, I found I cherished the downtime where I was not expected to be anywhere. Holidays at home and no requirement to drive anywhere felt freeing to me.
2. There is an interconnectedness to this world. As I heard the stories of sadness, loss, and fear, I found it so extraordinary to hear my clients and others share feelings and experiences I was experiencing at the same time with them. I felt powerless to make big changes and sitting with the feelings was my call to action often. People in the helping profession are not usually experiencing the same experience at the same time as their clients. This was profound. I had to make a conscious decision to more connected to my self-care than ever.
3. We do not always know what curve balls life will throw us. My family and I thought we had the year 2020 planned when the clock struck midnight and the new year began. We entered 2020 with a feeling of exuberance and joy. We had so many plans for the year. We dubbed it the “year of the McLaughlin’s.” I had heard so many of my friends express the same excitement for 2020 and saw it as a turning point year. The curve ball is my metaphor when life does not go the way I planned or expected. Once the year began to roll out, it was clear 2020 would not look like what any of us thought.
4. Be grateful for what you have. As I sat home with my family, I was grateful that I had my husband and child here and my parents close by. I know of people who had some many different experiences, either feeling alone or being around too many people for too long.
5.Food is comforting. We know food is comforting, but the world experienced food as comfort. I felt scared when I went to the grocery store and saw the shelves empty of food. I have never lived in a place where there was food scarcity, and this is what I experienced. We never actually went without food, but my empathy increased for people who do experience the lack of food.
6. Movement is critical. I sat- a lot. My family and I walked most every day to get out of the house and to get fresh air and to have movement. I found working from home created more time of sitting and my body hurt. My gym was closed, and they had virtual exercises. I tried to engage virtually, but I did not push myself like I do at the gym. I was grateful when the gym “opened” in early summer at the park. We were able to work out together and stay socially distanced. I realized that I need the social experience of movement to push myself to do more.
7. Routines are important- no matter what. The pandemic brought this lack of centeredness for myself, my family, and my clients. We did not necessarily have to keep to schedules because life felt upside down. Working from home and virtual school created different routine patterns and I expected less from myself. Sleep was off, food routines were off, and general life was off balance. Once I realized that having a routine no matter what was essential, life became more in balanced.
8. We can adapt to difficult situations, and we are resilient. I worried about my daughter’s school closing. I did not know how she could get the education she needed. I knew my husband and I were not equipped to be her teachers. It took time, but her school figured out how to have quality virtual classes. We were able to set up a routine for her where she was not on a device all day. She had a lot of virtual playdates where she and her friends make DIY projects, talked, and played games.
9. You do not know when your last day on earth will be, cherish the people and the moments. This was a tough year. We had a few family members who made their transition during the time of COVID, but they did not die of COVID. Actually, we knew only a very few people close to us who got COVID and no one who was extremely sick with it. I heard many stories of loved ones who died of COVID or got extremely sick. There was and is much pain with the loss of so many lives over a relatively short period of time. I was reminded that death can give us a different perspective on life and to appreciate the moments, no matter what they look like.
10. No matter what, kindness is the key. Lastly, kindness matters. It really does. I felt so grateful for the doctors and nurses who were on the front lines and did their best to assist as many people as possible. I had more psychotherapy clients want sessions than I could assist. People were feeling the stress, loneliness, and fear. I felt it was an honor to help people during this really difficult time. I had such regard for those who kept working at the grocery stores and made sure we could all get the food and essentials we needed. It was a time of helping neighbors and strangers. We were all going through this shared experience that bonded us together.
I do not know what the future will hold, and I am grateful to be healthy and incredibly grateful my daughter was able to go back to school. My gym is open, and I love my workouts and do not take them for granted.
I am embracing the lessons from the time of COVID, and I strive to not forget them. I feel changed in a way that is hard to describe.
I have been creating a whole podcast and blog series on the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (you can find the companion Feed Your Soul with Kim podcast here.) Each month Gretchen takes on a topic related to happiness. She talks about being serious about play. I find it interesting that we would talk about being serious about play when play is about being fun and not serious. I have found in my adulthood that I do not necessarily take time to have play and to commit to the effort to it. I did not say do not have time for play, I said I do not make time for play. There is a difference, and I can get stuck in work and what I have to do. For me, it does take effort to remind myself that I need to be in this matter of play.
How can we be serious about play AND make it a priority?
1. First, we need to find more fun. The starting point I think is to find what is fun and to have more of it. As adults seriousness creeps and that can suck the life out of the fun.
Gretchen encourages us to asked ourselves to ask ourselves, “what is fun for me?” She goes into depth about is finding what is fun for you, not what you think should be fun.
She talks about thinking she had to have fun in to way others have fun, like playing chess, getting a pedicure, etc. She realized that it was no fun to have to model our fun after what we THINK should be fun. I encourage you to determine what is fun for you. One way I suggest is reminding yourself that what you did do for fun in the past. Thinking about what I used to do in the past for fun brings up good memories and ideas for me that has been listening to musical theater, collaging and going to the library.
2. Second, Gretchen encourages us to take time to be silly. Being silly can be tough to do in this fast-paced world. Find laughter can be illusive, especially in this year+ of COVID 19. Gretchen talks about silliness being contagious. The phenomenon of “emotional contagion” where you unconsciously pick up emotions from others. Good mood brings out good moods and others.
3. Third, she talks about starting a collection as a way of having fun. I thought this idea a little silly until I realized that I have a collection of dragonfly items that I love. I love to search for the perfect dragonfly item to add to my collection. My collection goes so deep that I got a dragonfly tattoo on my forearm. It brings me joy to see dragonflies and see my dragonfly collection.
4. Fourth, she talks about going off the path, which means to me to do something new, unexpected, and different. Ideas for play are endless and a starting spot can be to do what you used to do for play.
I keep list of what are new things I would like to do. I actually have a list of 100 things I would like to do. Going of the path and doing something new can mean being uncomfortable, but it could be well worth it. I do yoga every week and sometimes the poses are well out of my comfort zone. Every time I try a new pose, I feel satisfied. Truthfully, I never thought I would have called anything physically fun, but the workouts I do provide an atmosphere of fun. Getting out of my comfort zone physically is one of the ways of going off the path, for me.
I encourage you to consider how you can go off the path and find something new. This past year+ during the time of COVID 19 we all had to go off the path and it was often not fun. Now I am ready to add more fun in and am excited to explore this idea.
It is easy to go off the path by simply exploring your neighborhood, walk a different way, go in a different direction down grocery aisles. These are daily easy ways to go off the path. I encourage you to make a list of what you can do for fun and start DOING it. Increasing fun is a fantastic way to increase happiness
I love Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project each month she tackles a topic to help us improve our happiness. She outlines tasks that are scientifically proven to increase happiness. Each month we have looked at the suggestions she has made to increase happiness and see how we can do it for ourselves.
After this last year of the pandemic, all our escapes to find “happiness” had been taken away and now we have been poised to look internally.
Gretchen talks about focusing on becoming more playful and she relates it in the context of being with her children. I want to focus further out then seeing playfulness with just children. I know some of you do not have children or your children are grown.
Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project encourages us to look at some new methods to increase happiness:
1. Sing in the Morning-
I find this interesting since I remember when I was a teen, the mom of a friend of mine would play the radio in the morning as they were getting ready.
I remember it felt so soothing to have music going in the morning.
During the pandemic, I had been listening to more music and especially listening to more musical theatre recordings. It is so uplifting to have music playing. Yes, I do put it on and sing, which is half of the fun. It thoroughly embarrasses my daughter.
Gretchen introduces us to the idea of having a “sing in the morning” frame of mind. I think this enables us to be less stressed at any point in the day.
2. Acknowledge the Reality of People’s Feelings
This is a classic truth about communication 101.
People can tend to tell you…
“You do not feel the way.”
“You shouldn’t feel that way.”
“Get over it.”
Over this last year, we have been in close proximity to the people we live with and there have been less outlets for feelings. We had been asked to not see people, I know we are getting back to seeing people now, but the trauma of this last year lingers.
I work with my clients on effective communication and one sure technique to help manage a situation, is to just acknowledge how the other person feels. No judgment, just acknowledge it. This is powerful.
Allow the other person to be with their feelings, listen to them and acknowledge you hear them. Man, often, we just want to be heard. You do not have to do any more than that.
Be a Treasure House of Happy Memories
Gretchen says it is important to, “Keep happy memories vivid.” She says studies show that recalling happy times helps boost happiness in the present. I call them, “remember when’s.” Remember when’s bring back the joy of the time. This is why looking at old pictures is so important. It reminds us of the fun we had. We then share stories and this enlivens everyone.
Keeping up with family members to let them know how you are doing as well as connecting is critical. These people you have spent years of connecting with are important.
Gretchen talks, also, about the importance of family traditions. There is familiarity and excitement with the traditions. Last year, many holidays fell during the time of the pandemic. Many of you like me and my family decided to forgo our traditions to shelter in place. We made some new family traditions to make the holidays special. It was kinda fun to have holiday get togethers over Zoom.
What are you going to do to increase your happiness? I just gave you at least three ideas today. We are still in a time of transition as we move back into having gatherings. How we move through this time will have an effect on how well we transition out of it. There is room to be happy in tough times. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and there are blessings all around. Happiness is all around us if we decide to find it.
Could you use more happiness? Is there actually a way to be happier?
In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she challenges us to look at happiness and see what we can do to boost it. Gretchen engages her readers in different concepts each month to build a stronger foundation of happiness.
In her first chapter, she focuses on how to find happiness. Her happiness project is fun and helps us explore the idea of happiness and how to increase it.
Happiness is the state of being happy, a feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Do you know that 1.2 billion people are looking up happiness on the internet? This tells me that lots of people are trying to find more happiness.
Not sure how happy you really are? One way to determine your happiness is to take the Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H).
Taking that quiz can be an eye opener to how happy you are. How did you score? Did you notice in some ways you are not happy or not as happy as you want to be?
Gretchen Rubin spends time in each of her chapters looking at how to increase happiness. I think you will find the ideas presented are helpful to boost happiness.
One way to increase happiness is to boost your energy, which entails increasing some basic shifts in your life.
First, go to sleep earlier.
Focus on getting 8 hours of sleep. Truthfully, many of us are sleep deprived. Here are some ways to get better sleep:
Turn off electronics.
Make the room dark.
Keep the room cold.
Second, exercise better (this is a term Gretchen uses)
She talks about being more efficient in your exercise/movement. I am really a just do it kind of girl. There are many hacks I try to use:
First, I call it movement. I find many people are turned off to “exercising” because they have felt so much shame over their lives about their weight and body image.
Second, I put it in my calendar. I actually have my gym time in my schedule. I find it is hard skipping a day when it is in my calendar.
Third, my movement is fun. Yes, it is fun. I make it a goal to find movement that is enjoyable. We are physical beings in a physical body that does require us to have some form of movement. Do what is fun!
Third, get rid of the clutter: toss, restore, organize:
Look around and see what type of clutter you have.
Buyer’s remorse clutter
This clutter can make you feel energetically stuck. See where your clutter is and find a way to either toss, restore or organize. You will feel more energy from it.
Fourth, tackle a nagging project.
What is an unfinished task that is nagging at you? We all have them and they help us to remain energetically stuck. I have some craft project that I either need to finish or get rid of. What about you?
Fifth, just act more energetic.
Putting out energy or effort does increase energy. I find action creates more action. It is a physical phenomenon.
After blogging and podcasting about journaling as a wellness tool, I started to journal more! I find that when I start to talk about a tool, I tend to use them more myself.
The technique I spoke about was a favorite journaling tool called Morning Pages.
I learned about this tool years ago through the work of Julia Cameron in her book The Artist Way she describes one of her daily practices called The Morning Pages.
Here are some basic tenants to the practice:
Write in your journal daily.
Write 3 pages in your journal.
Handwritten journaling, no computer
Write upon waking, in the morning.
Write without stopping: no cross outs, no need for accurate punctuation, just keep the pen moving.
Today, I want to talk about another journaling practice that I love which is more of a creative writing process that I learned from writing retreats that I have taken with Laura Davis. Laura is an extraordinary writer and cowrote the seminal book on childhood sexual abuse called The Courage to Heal.
Here are some writing guidelines that I learned from retreats with Laura and from other sources:
Here are some ways to get started:
First, your journal does not have to be pretty. I have been known to buy very inexpensive spiral bound journals at the local store. I like them because they are spiral bound, and I can turn the pages easily. This is important to me, because I like to write with one page in front of me and these journals fold into one side. I have a harder time journaling on a hard bound journal where the two sides are open.
Second, keep your inner thinking private. I make it clear to my family that my journal is private and they do not open it. I want to be able to put out all that I am thinking, and I do not want to have to temper what I say. This is not a journal that I plan to share with others.
Thirdly, set a really small reasonable period of time to write, 10 minutes, everyone has 10 extra minutes. Laura Davis introduced me to the 10-minute writing idea. It is a short period of time and you really can express A LOT in that amount of time. She also encouraged us to keep the pen moving and keep writing.
Lastly, you do not need to share everything you write with friends, spouse or family. This is your private inner life that does not, necessarily need to be shared.
One of the greatest gifts I received from my writing retreats with Laura Davis was learning to just write the worst crap ever written. I found that was so freeing and my number one rule when I write in my journal.
I find that writing allows me access to the deeper and positive parts of myself.
One technique that Laura taught was journaling through answering a question. The idea is you take one question and answer it until nothing else come to you. Then you start a new paragraph and write the question again and answer it until nothing else comes. Then you write the question again and keep writing until nothing else comes to you.
This pattern of answering the question on different paragraphs took me to a deeper level of myself.
Here are some examples of questions you could use in your journaling:
I feel most free when I…
I am most afraid…
My fears keep me from…
I love myself most when I…
My childhood kitchen was…
This type of journaling is different than others and brings up greater self-awareness, which for me is why I journal.
Once I got over the idea that my writing had to be written with others in mind, I felt freer to just write and explore what was inside of me. I encourage you to try this style of journaling and see what it does for you.