Sunday, February 19, 2012


I am fascinated by the brain.  Learning how it works is amazing and makes me feel normal.  Seth Godin wrote a book called Linchpin where he talks about the Amygdala as our "Lizard brain".  It's role is our survival.  This part of our brain wants to take charge whenever possible.  Unlike other animals we have advanced brain capabilities that allow us to think and reason in order to do more than just survive, to make progress and thrive.

These two parts of our brains (this is a huge oversimplification by the way) do battle when it comes to eating.  You've experienced it.  As a member explained to me this week, "I was eating the ice cream and kept thinking, 'why am I doing this?'", it sometimes feels like we're at war with ourselves.  The lizard brain is only concerned with the moment - comfort right now, who cares about later.

One way to quiet the lizard brain is to keep junk food out of your environment.  You know from experience that if it's there you'll eventually eat it - all of it - until it's gone.  When it's gone, the urgency subsides.

The conflict is between what feels good now (the lizard brain) and what we ought to do to get what we really want in the future.  Think about it and find ways to tame your amygdala.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Join the PTA

I started a new club.  You know I love a group of people working together on a goal.  The goal of the PTA is weight loss and nutrition by making every bite count.

The P stands for Power Foods.  These are the healthy nutritious foods - the ones our bodies need.  They include fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and non-fat dairy products.  You'll find greater satisfaction when you eat power foods, not to mention good health from the vitamins and minerals they contain.  Focus on power foods and you'll be more satisfied with fewer calories.

The T is for time.  We are in such a rush that eating is often wedged in and around other activities.  As a club member you will slow down.  Sit at a table with your food on a plate.  Eat one bite at a time, releasing the fork while chewing.  This is probably a new habit for most of you.  Give it a try and see how you feel.

A is for attention.  Are you distracted while you eat?  Do you watch TV, read, drive etc. while gobbling something you quickly threw together so you can get on to the next thing?  In the PTA we give attention to food.  Visual satisfaction is key to physical satisfaction.  The more senses we give to an activity, the more satisfying it is.  This will be hard because you may have linked activities with eating for so long that it's a habit that triggers you to eat.  Breaking the connection will free you from mindless eating.  Look at your food, smell it and really taste all the lovely flavors.

Do you want to join the PTA?

Friday, January 20, 2012


What are you willing to do to lose weight and keep it off?  You're going to have to fight for it.  There are many forces at work to keep you stuck in your old habits.  Many ways you can lose your will to battle on.  Today you will face the enemy - how will you handle it?  

Here's an idea - meet the enemy on your terms.  Don't invite trouble into your home.  Gather your allies around you.  Fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low fat dairy.  Peel them, slice them, grill them - prepare them for battle!  When hunger strikes you'll be ready!

My battle plan today?  I'll only eat from a plate while sitting at a table.  Will it take guts and determination? Yes indeed - but I'm ready for the fight!  How about you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Someone gave up on losing weight yesterday.  Said they couldn't get the "feeling" back.  You know how it is - it's hard to lose weight - it can be discouraging.  Sometimes you just want to give up and eat whatever you want and not have to think about being healthy.  But look down the road a bit - where does the giving up road lead?  Is that really where you want to go?

I could never master not caring that I was overweight.  There is something in us that wants to achieve - to be our best and I couldn't find a way to turn that off.  How about you?  Is today the day you fight to be your best self?

Try this - find a 3x5 card or piece of paper - every hour write down a reason you want to be healthy and fit.  Why?  Why will it be worth the effort?  Recommit to your best self, hour by hour.  It will be easy in the morning hours but will be more challenging as the day wears on.  When you're ready to grab something crazy - go to your list and fight for what you really want.  Make a long and detailed list of why it will be worth eating vegetables when you want a cookie.  Why it will be worth it to go for a walk when you want to plop on the couch.  What is your why?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Don't open

So sorry I've been neglecting this blog.   I've been preoccupied with the move to the new Concord Center and organizing the housewarming event yesterday.  It's been a whirlwind of a week!  The new center is beautiful and state of the art.  I love seeing happy WW members in cool green chairs!  Now back to blogging.

It all started with graham crackers - a moment of enlightenment.  It's something I've known for awhile but I was reminded of again this morning.  If a package is open - the contents are eaten until they're gone.  If it's open on the counter, the thought of eating them comes every time you walk by.  Here is a brief tutorial on handling graham crackers (or any other treat you might find hard to control).

1.  Don't put the box in your shopping cart.
2.  If you buy it put it in the garage.
3.  If it's in the house, put it at the back of the cabinet, under something.
4.  Don't open the box.
5.  If the box is open, don't  open the package - - and for heavens sake, don't make chocolate frosting....
6.  If the package is open, put it in a ziploc bag with the Pointsplus value written on it.

There you go - may I say I am currently on step 3 and planning to do step 2 as soon as I go downstairs.  Step 5 is where I fell apart - the empty wrapper is in the garbage....

Learn from my experience!  Don't open!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


A New Year!!  How exciting!  For as long as I can remember I made "lose weight" my new years resolution.  It always started with "I'm never" or "I'll always".  I'd try to string together perfect days.  It ended in failure.  I'd have to wait another 364 days to start again with my goal.  It was crazy making.  I made unrealistic plans and then beat myself up when I inevitably failed.

If you find yourself in this position today, on the third day of 2012, it's time to make a new kind of resolution.  The only goal you need is to Never Give Up!  Hour after hour, day after day - just keep doing what you need to do to have the life you want.  Getting up when you stumble - examining the "rock" that tripped you up so you can throw it off your path and move on.  Now that is a new years resolution you can keep.