For over 15 years, I have worked with people who want to lose weight and avoid weight regain. For the same number of years, I have heard the most baffling words from these same people: “I don’t know how.”
Did you set a New Year’s Resolution? If you’re like most people who set resolutions, the chances are good that you’ve already thrown it in the trash along with last year’s calendar. Studies make it crystal clear that almost 200 million Americans declare resolutions related to money, health, career, self-improvement, family, and love.
In last week’s blog, I shared the basics of habit formation. You consciously choose a behavior that you want to make part of your life without having to overthink it. Habits are usually paired with an environmental cue. After following that cue and action, over time, a habit will be formed. This is understood to be a psychological pattern called a “habit loop.” Habit loops follow a cue pattern, a routine, and a reward until that action becomes second nature.
Continue reading “How to Make Healthy Habits Stick”
We all have numerous healthy daily habits, which (hopefully) include things like showering, brushing teeth, eating meals at regular times, and washing our hands after using the bathroom (especially now with COVID). People can also develop unproductive habits such as biting their nails, twirling their hair around a particular finger, or saying “um” many times throughout a sentence.
Motivation is the set of forces that activate, guide and maintain our behaviors in order to meet a goal. In other words, motivation is the reason(s) behind why you do what you do. The word motivation comes from a Latin word that means “to move”, therefore motivation implies effort and action—as in doing.
True story: A friend of mine had bariatric surgery. Her husband came to her hospital room the morning after her surgery with a box of donuts. They weren’t for her, of course, but he wanted something to munch on while she was recuperating.
It’s late on Thursday night. You’ve worked all day, the kids are in bed and now it’s time for you to study. The professor has assigned a lengthy reading assignment. You sit down and barely make it to the third page before you’re fidgeting, distracted, and … bored by the content. Mindlessly, you set the book down, and find yourself back at the table moments later with a bag of chips. That’s better!
Stress eating, or “emotional eating” seems to be as common a problem as mosquitos at a Fourth of July picnic! In fact, when I work with patients who are struggling with weight regain, the majority of them attribute the increase in pounds to “stress.” I remind each of them, in a playful, yet serious way, that eating, and not stress, results in weight gain.
Self talk is a powerful tool you can incorporate into your plan for losing weight and for keeping it off. Positive self talk is one of the most important gifts that you can give yourself not only in this process, but to change your life for the better in every area. Self talk isn’t usually discussed in weight loss programs, but you will easily see the impact this skill will have on you reaching your weight goals and keeping it off. Continue reading “How a Positive Mindset Can Affect Your Weight”
Hobbies are a wonderful way to spend your free time while allowing your mind to recharge. Engaging in a fun leisure activity can actually improve your mental health by staving off boredom and helping you avoid bad eating habits. This is why picking up a hobby is highly recommended for people suffering from depression, anxiety or recovering from food addictions.
By making lifestyle choices that emphasize physical and mental stimulation, you can uncover ways to control the health of your mind and body at any age. Life in our golden years can be filled with whatever you want—excitement and adventure, relaxation and peace or maybe a bit of both. If you are over the age of 65 and are looking to create a healthier path as you age, check out these six tips.
You’ve been working on improving your self-esteem by engaging in positive self-talk and by treating your body to healthy food and exercise. These are great ways to build self-confidence and an overall sense of self-worth. Yet in order to truly live our healthiest lives, we need to address our whole self: our minds, our bodies and our soul.
I can not stress enough just how important it is to find support after having weight loss surgery. Many studies have proven that physical and emotional support will ultimately help patients become more successful in the long run. Support can come in all forms but regardless of the type or the degree of involvement you would like your “mentor” to have, it is just important that you find encouragement to meet your goals.
There is no way around it. In order to truly live our healthiest lives, we need to address our whole self: our minds, our bodies and our beings (or spirit). In order to improve our self-esteem, we must work on improving our relationships with ourselves. First, we have to deal with the mind and make sure we think and talk about ourselves in affirming ways. If we want a healthy self-esteem, we also need to treat our bodies well by eating healthy foods and getting exercise. Finally, a healthy self-esteem requires time spent on nurturing our spirits through time engaging in healthy self-care, time spent with loved ones, and time alone to reflect on how we how we want to live our lives.
“Hi, I’m Connie and I truly am a grateful, recovering addict.” When I first attended 12-Step meetings and heard people saying they were “grateful recovering” addicts, I thought to myself, “Why in the world are they grateful for being an addict?” Twenty-nine years into my own recovery, I can tell you why people who are in a full program of recovery from addiction are grateful.
Food addiction is a very serious and real problem. Not simply because it leads to weight gain, but because in most cases it is a result of some psychological battle that the patient is dealing with. The problem is more than just the food. In a way, you could say that food is a symptom of the problem(s).
In the world of medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical and mental health professionals, there’s a debate, of course, about the concept of “food addiction.” Without question, scientific research shows addictive behavior regarding sugar consumption in animals. But what about humans? Brain scans of humans specifically show similar patterns for people “under the influence” of sugar that are remarkably similar to brain scans of people when they are under the influence of well-known, highly addictive drugs such as cocaine.
Social media can be a great tool, however it can also be a means of self-deprecating behavior depending on your interaction with it. We have discussed the fact that if you compare yourself in a negative light to others who post online, you are not doing yourself, or your self-esteem, any favors. Focus on what you are doing well and ask for help in improving what you can do better.
Social media has become a great tool to stay in touch with old friends, express your creative side, and even promote a brand or a business. However, social media is also the root of many individuals’ low self esteem. With the deceitful nature of social media—people posting edited photos of themselves in good lighting or at a good angle—it is hard not to compare your “mediocre life” or “ugly body” to those that you see on your Facebook or Instagram feed.
Self esteem is the confidence an individual has in their own ability to achieve their goals, how they quantify their self worth, and how much self respect they have. We all go through periods when we have high self esteem and periods when we have low self esteem, fluctuating, most often, as a result of environmental factors. As our time is increasingly being spent on social media, it is no surprise individuals more frequently experience periods of low self esteem.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have covered topics surrounding the idea of food freedom. We have looked at how to feel freedom from obsessing over what you eat and how much you are consuming using the idea of “meaningful matters” as well as using lists. Today, I want to touch on the ultimate way to be released from the control food has over you.
The Talking it Up Show with Arlean Edwards is a local production that interviews keynote speakers within the CSRA. I, Dr. Jacome, was invited to join Arlean on set in a series of videos where I talk about what it takes to live healthy. This is the third video we are sharing from this series. You can find the first two videos on Calories and Dieting on our blog. Be sure to stay tuned to see what other exciting topics I cover in the coming months!
Food Freedom suggests being able to live your life without the burden of thinking about, obsessing over, and focusing on food all the time. One way to enjoy food freedom as a post-op patient is to use a food list. Keep in mind that weight loss surgery helps you lose weight in the initial months after your procedure. You may continue to lose weight for the first couple of years.
Think for a minute about your relationship with food. If food were a person, would you think of that relationship as being a healthy one? And what would other people who really knew how you and food behaved around one another think?
“Dieting” sounds so … restrictive. Most people, when they “go on a diet” describe feeling deprived.
You’ve probably been taught somewhere along the road that your thoughts lead to feelings and together, thoughts and feelings influence behavior. If a person is thinking about what foods they are banned from, and feel restricted and deprived, and perhaps angry, they sometimes “act out” or rebel by eating those forbidden delicacies.
Self-Image is exactly what is sounds like… the way you see yourself! There are a lot of “self” words that go together to make up our overall sense of self-worth, or our own sense of value. Remember that the more we value ourselves, the more we improve our relationship with our self, the better we will treat our SELF! Self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy, are all parts of overall self-image. They are all ways of saying, “I am good enough. I have value. I can do good things.”
If ever there were a combined pair of words that had the bariatric world buzzing, it’s these two: fat-shaming. These two words can evoke intense emotions for those who have, or who are, suffering from the disease of obesity. Similarly, the family members and loved ones of those who suffer from the disease of obesity are highly sensitive to the numerous varieties of “fat-shaming” that takes places in our society.
Are you old enough to remember the movie Kindergarten Cop? Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a policeman who, on assignment, poses as a kindergarten teacher in order to catch a criminal. In the famous scene, he is in front of his class of 5-year-olds, rubbing his head. One of the kids asks, “What’s the matter?” Arnold, the cop/teacher, responds, “I have a headache.” The child, offering his wisdom, suggests, “Maybe it’s a tumor,” to which Arnold replies, “It’s NOT a TOOMAH.”
The great thing about the New Year is it is a time for change. It is a time when we evaluate all the things we don’t like about ourselves, whether physically or emotionally, and set goals for positive self-improvement. However, it is easy to lose the momentum you had at the start of January.
Binge eating. Over eating, “What was I thinking?” eating. And, “I can’t believe I did that (again?)” eating. You’ll most likely deal with one or more of these eating experiences along your journey toward sustained good health.
The holidays are a time when family and friends gather together, and food is usually a huge part of the celebration. As we learned back in elementary school, the Thanksgiving holiday itself commemorates a special feast shared between the Pilgrims and Indians. Food is part of culture and heritage, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, family recipes and ethnic or regional dishes are one of the things that makes holiday meals so special.
For anyone who has tried to change their eating habits or even eat “in moderation” for that matter, knows that it can be hard to say no to that chocolate brownie that “has your name all over it”. What is even harder, is trying to stick to your healthy eating during the holidays. From Thanksgiving dinner to office parties to the endless amounts of Christmas cookies, it can seem like the eating is nonstop.
Food is more than just calories. Food is information that influences your genes. Food is fuel that propels you through your day. However, so many of the patients at Live Healthy MD view food as the “enemy”. They see food as the one that made them “get to this point” or, on the other hand, the one thing that can make them feel better in times of extreme emotions. What these patients fail to recognize is that food and proper nutrition, just like oil in a car, is the driver of all bodily functions. Without the nutrients obtained from the food consumed throughout your day, the human body would not be able to function at its peak, leading to a decline in health.
Have you ever felt “hungry” an hour after eating a full meal? Do you often times find yourself munching after dinner just because it “sounds good”? Well, you are not alone! Many of us confuse head hunger with physical hunger, which can lead to weight gain and other health related problems due to the type and amount of food being consumed. Once you are able to identify the difference between head hunger and physical hunger, your weight loss will be much easier to manage. Similarly once you are aware of your own environmental or emotional triggers, you can cope with your head hunger more effectively and successfully!