“I had lost 52 pounds which I was proud of, but I still had more to lose. I had hit a wall and I felt I was stagnant. I knew I had to do something different. When Dottie told us she was a personal trainer I knew she could help me.
First she helped me look at the food I eat. I was eating a good diet, but she helped me cut back my calories which made a big difference.
Next she pushed me to my limits on exercising. I was doing things I never would have tried on my own.
One thing that I love about having Dottie as my personal trainer is that she is not this young 23 year old girl who was probably never fat in her life. Dottie is closer to my age (I am still the OLD one) and she understands the feelings of not liking what you look like and wanting to make a change.
I have still not met my goal, but I am very close and I believe I have the tools that will help me get there. Thank you Dottie”
Go Red for Women! What is it? “The fact is: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute!” according to goredforwomen.org. Don’t think this affects you? Think again, young and old and every race and socio-ecomomical level.
But why do I care? Because I was born with a heart defect. I was born with coarctation of the aorta. Simply put, my aorta was too narrow in one place. A pediatrician with a good ear heard my heart murmur at the age of 2 and I was sent to Riley Children’s hospital for evaluation. At the age of 4 my blood pressure was very high and my legs would hurt if I got too much exercise because of the lack of blood to my legs. After 2 catheterizations (which were more like surgery back then) and 2 surgeries (the last when I was 11), my blood pressure was normal and I no longer got so fatigued. However, I was one of the first people of my age to have this type of repair and, frankly, I don’t think doctors knew what to do with me. I was told I could not play competitive sports or get my heart rate up too high indefinitely.
When I was a senior in high school, a researcher at Riley Hospital was following up with cases like mine and asked if I would come in for a follow up exam. My mother brought me in and after many tests and a clean bill of health, we asked again about my restrictions. The doctor said, very matter-of-factly, that she could not see any reason why I couldn’t do whatever I wanted. Research had caught up to me! I was free to compete if I wanted to.
I entered my first bicycle race in college and raced throughout my early 20’s. The freedom was wonderful.
I rarely even think about the fact that I was born with CHD, except when someone asks about the scar on my back. It does not bother me, I wear it like a reminder. Oh yeah, I’m lucky to be alive!
Now my understanding is that my type of CHD is not as big of deal as it was back then and I am so glad little kids do not have to go through as invasive of surgery as I had. This is why this month I am supporting GO RED FOR WOMEN! Make a donation or read about goredforwomen.org
Let's say you just arrived home from a long day of stressful work and there is a gooey plate of chocolate chip cookies sitting on the counter. You are in a weakened state from the stress of the day and the time of day and those cookies are begging to be eaten. A stratedgy that has worked well for my clients is the following.
1. Acknowledge that you really WANT the cookies. Acknowledge that you do not NEED the cookies to fuel your body.
2. Tell yourself that you are going to have 1 cookie, but not right now, later.
3. Drink a big glass of water.
4. Distance yourself from the trigger food. In our scenario, go get into your at home clothes, take a shower, play with the kids or dog, or exercise.
5. When your mind goes back to cookies or trigger food remind yourself that you are going to have one, but later.
6. Have a healthy dinner.
7. Have another glass of water.
8. If you still really can't stand it and must have a cookie, take out 1 (have someone else put the rest away), put it on a plate and sit down and eat it.
9. Acknowledge that it was a delicious cookie and do not feel guilty.
10. If you mind returns to the trigger food fix a decaf coffee or green tea.
I hope this helps. The idea is that eating one cookie is a whole lot better than eating the whole plate. As much as we may try to keep are trigger foods out of the house, we sometimes come face to face with them and you need a stratedgy to deal with it. I would love to hear your stratdgies as well.
My biggest hurdle to fitness is after dinner cravings and grazing. In the book, "The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction" by Dr. Pam Peeke, she suggests the following to help.
For most of us this evening craving is a mental issue. We feel we need a snack or a post-dinner meal not from real hunger but out of habit or to soothe us. Just as an alcoholic is soothed by drinking, the food addict is soothed temporarily by overeating. Like any addiction, you need more and more to make you feel "better."
Dr. Peeke suggests we literally close the kitchen after dinner. Going as far as putting a sign on the door reading "Kitchen Closed." Sorry no service right now. Eating is so often ritualized, she suggests creating a new ritual such as making a cup of herbal tea after dinner and mentally say to yourself "the kitchen is closed and I am done eating for today."
I have done another blog reviewing this book, so you can see I think it is great. I am in no affiliated with Dr. Peeke, but if you think you may be a food addict, you need to read this book.
From Amazon's description: "Food addiction is real. Our body’s built-in reward system, driven by the chemical dopamine, tells us to do things that give us pleasure: Creative energy, falling in love, entrepreneurship—even the continued procreation of the human race—are driven by this system. Unfortunately, so is the urge to overeat.
In The Hunger Fix, Dr. Pam Peeke uses the latest neuroscience to explain how, with repeated exposure coupled with life stresses, any food can become a "False Fix" and ensnare you in a vicious cycle of food obsession, overeating, and addiction. Indeed, she shows that dopamine rushes in the body can workexactly the same way with food as with drugs like cocaine.
Luckily, this very same system can be easily rewired to reward us with a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. The Hunger Fix lays out a science-based three-stage plan that shows us how to break our addiction to False Fixes and replace them with healthier rewards. Fun fitness activities, customized meal plans, and delicious, satisfying recipes are designed to trigger the specific neurochemical cascade that stimulates your body’s reward system, reclaims your hijacked brain, and supports your lifelong recovery. Energizing Healthy Fixes such as meditating, having sex, writing your own blog, or going for a walk on the beach—even laughing—quickly replace the junk food, couch time, and other self-destructive habits that can leave you unhappy and overweight
Packed with practical tips, useful advice, and plenty of wit, wisdom, and inspiring stories of those who have successfully transformed their bodies, The Hunger Fix is a lifechanging program for anyone (of any size) trapped by food obsessions and the urge to overeat."
I'm about midway through this book and have finished reading the first stage (detox) section of the book, but I had to let my friends know about it right away. Peeke's book is full of helpful advice on breaking food addiction. In some ways it is a workbook and will take some time to get through as Dr. Peeke helps you identify if you are a food addict and then what to do about it.
She says that if the advice "eat less and move more" worked for food addicts we would all be the fit and healthy. She treats overeating for what it is and that's a hardcore addiction and gives you a path to break the addiction.
She provides the food addict healthy was to deal with standing on the cliff of a binge and how to pull yourself back to safety with small changes to the ways that you THINK. You will find out how to identify trigger foods and what to do when faced with them.
I am excited to read the rest of the book which includes 2 stages of recovery and Dr. Peeke outlines a diet plan, but I am going to go back and read stage one again.
I would highly recommend this book as a healthy way of living in the food jungle we live in now.