Monthly Archives: March 2013

If the Animal Kingdom Ate Like We Humans Do


Click Here This is a must see video. While it’s very entertaining, it’s also very profoundly telling about what we are doing to ourselves when it comes to food consumption.


Client Brag: Jim and Shawna


jimshawnaMy dear college friends Jim and Shawna. Read about their amazing transformation.
As teenagers, we never really had a struggle with our weight. It wasn’t until we both married (other people) and at age 22 I became pregnant with twins that I began to gain. There were complications and I was put on bed rest for 19 weeks. My doctor had me on a 3500 calorie diet to improve the odds for my babies. The obvious lack of exercise and massive intake of calories did wonders for my body, and not in a good way! I actually only gained 50 pounds but after the boys were born I really struggled to get that baby weight off. A year passed and there were struggles in my marriage. I am most definitely an emotional eater and I continued to pack the weight on. I went through a stressful divorce 2 years later and by then was totally fed up with myself. I pulled myself up by my boot straps and began “dieting”. I tried them all. All the “fads”, all the top diets, diet pills… I would always lose weight then gain it back plus a few more. I reached my all-time high of 318. In 2001, I decided to have Gastric-bypass surgery. In the first 10 months, I dropped 100 lbs and after another 6 months had reached my goal of 150 lbs. Over the last decade as life events soared up and down, I gained 105 pounds back. I never dreamed I would be that heavy again.
My high school sweetheart was having marital problems of his own and was having similar issues with his weight.
The problem was we had never LEARNED how to eat the right way!
In 2008 I reconnected with Jim and in May of 2009, we married. He loved me for who I was and looked past my extra “fluff”. He was fluffy, too, but after 2 ½ years we decided we wanted to lose the weight for good, due to some serious health concerns. We saw on Facebook, a good friend (who is now my coach) who had lost a considerable amount of weight. She shared with us her success story with Take Shape For Life and we immediately started the program on January 25th, 2012. A year later, we have both lost nearly a hundred pounds each! Jim has reached his goal weight. I have less than 10 to lose.
What I love the most about it is that it is TEACHING us how to be healthy, eat right, and the reason that it works! We are making changes in our eating habits that will last a lifetime and are loving the journey! For the first time in my life it makes total sense. The Take Shape For Life program has forever changed me. I want to shout it from the rooftops!

Lesson in Mindfulness

When we eat we’re hungry, right? And we stop eating when we’re full, right? We probably wouldn’t be asking such rhetorical questions if the answers were true. But just how untrue the answers are might surprise you…

Food psychologist Brian Wansink, Ph.D, introduces his book, “Mindless Eating – Why We Eat More Than We Think,” with the statement that “Everyone eats how much we eat largely because of what’s around us.” 

Wansink’s research shows that the average person makes well over 200 decisions about food every day, but we’re not aware of what outside influences impact what we choose and how much we eat. On a daily basis we’re confronted with a myriad of things that can cause us to reach out and eat mindlessly.
Wansink tested a group of movie patrons at a matinee. Each received a free soft drink and a medium or large bucket of popcorn. The popcorn, prepared days earlier, was stale.Image
Each bucket was weighed after the movie. Even given that the popcorn was stale, the big-bucket group ate an average of 53% more than those with medium-size buckets. When the volunteers were asked if they ate more because of the bucket size, responses included: “Things like that don’t trick me,” and “I’m good at knowing when I’m full.” The cues that encouraged the eating in this case weren’t hunger-related, but rather what we all expect when we go to the movies— snacks. 

So how do we counteract the bad influences and gain control over our diets and our health? Awareness is key.

Making small adjustments to your eating environment  will help. It takes about 28 days to break an old habit and replace it with a good one.

Some “mindful” suggestions include:
• Making three 100 to 200 calorie changes in daily food intake that can be “mindlessly” made without much sacrifice.
• Focusing on changing the small behaviors that move us from “mindless overeating” to “mindless better eating.” Be aware of our danger zones, such as parties, snacks, restaurants and maybe sitting too long at a desk or in the car.
• Keeping a checklist to log the changes we accomplish every day as we build good habits. 
Brian Wansink is a professor of Marketing and Applied Economics at Cornell, and director of the school’s Food and Brand Lab.

What My Program Does


If you are wondering how our program works, check out this brand-new video! If this sounds like a good fit for you, I’d love to chat with you and help you get started!


Stop Self Sabotage


ImageExperiencing change, even positive change, can bring up fear. Changes in lifestyle ripple through our lives affecting our relationships with others and engaging issues not previously thought about or thought to be long forgotten. When we are knee-deep in the change process, we sometimes exhibit self-defeating behaviors (aka self-sabotage) based on self-limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us. The inner-critic absolutely abhors change and at this stage usually floods our mind with all the lies we are willing to listen to about ourselves. Things such as “you’re a failure” or “you don’t deserve anything” or “you’re not good enough.” This is often the place where discouragement takes over and change efforts are abandoned.

In order to get over self-sabotage we will need to override these beliefs that are holding us back. Many of the beliefs that we might want to get rid of manifest themselves as “internal monologue” – they’re things that your subconscious is telling your conscious throughout the day. For example, some people have an internal monologue that constantly repeats “you’re a failure” to them. By repeating it over and over again, the message becomes true. Some people precondition themselves to fail – they draw the failure to them by accepting this message over and over during the day. In order to deal with this we can use Self-Affirmations.

Self-affirmations hack around this internal monologue by overriding the negative message with a positive one. The way this works is:

Craft a brief, positive message (phrase it in positive terms) that overrides the internal message that’s bothering you. For example, if “you’re a failure” is the message that’s bothering you, a positive override might be “I will succeed in many things that make a difference in my life.” It doesn’t need to be exactly true, but it needs to be something you can stand by, that you can believe in, however briefly. Once you have a positive message take the following steps in order to override your negative internal monologue:

  • Write this message on a post-it note or a 3×5 card, and stick it on your mirror – the one that you dress yourself in front of every morning.
  • Every morning (and as many times during the day as you can), stand in front of your mirror and, looking yourself straight in the eyes, repeat, loudly, with all the confidence you can muster in your voice, “I will succeed in many things that make a difference in my life” (or whatever the affirmation is). Repeat it 10 times. Repeat it 50 times. However many times you can.
  • Three things will happen from this. First, you will feel very silly. That’s ok, don’t worry about it. It won’t pass (you’ll still feel silly the 20th time you do this), but it really doesn’t matter. The second thing is, you’ll feel a good buzz. This comes from the sense that you’re taking things into your own hands, taking action and that feels good.
  • Most importantly, over time (but surprisingly quickly), the internal message in your head will change. As it changes, you will feel the need for the affirmations lessen. Obviously, if the message you’re overriding is deeply ingrained, it will take longer, but for me, typically, I haven’t needed to do this for more than a few weeks at most before the new message had sunk in. This is an extremely effective method. You can also do variants of this, like recording a video or audio for yourself, or writing it out by hand fifty times, but in my experience, speaking to yourself while looking into your own eyes is brutally effective.

So, there you go! Basically, self-sabotage comes from self-limiting beliefs and we can change these beliefs that are holding us back by overriding them with positive affirmations. I like to explain this process by saying it is as if you are “retraining your brain” to think in a different way just like you are retraining your body with healthy food and physical activity. We need a healthy body and a healthy mind in order to be successful!