And the cravings – my 7 tips to take control!

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You’ve been good all day.  You ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. And they were all reasonably healthy meals. You ate fruit and drank mostly the recommended daily amounts of water. Even went on a 30 minute walk during your lunch break. You’ve finished with all your stuff for the day… You’ve planted yourself on the sofa, probably watching teve while surfing the internet at the same time. And then…

The cravings kick in.

You need to eat… something. Anything. But something sweet preferably. Maybe… just a cookie. Just the one. Or, one scoop of ice cream. You’ve done so well during the day! One little cookie isn’t going to hurt. You are a bit bored, despite several medias going on at the same time in front of you. And you are off, there is forces stronger than you at work, and you go and grab that allowed cookie. You go sit down in front of your teve again and eat your cookie. You did good. Didn’t bring the entire box over. And then…

The cravings will just not die down! One cookie didn’t do any good.

You get another cookie… and then it’s just a downhill slope from there and before the night is over, that box will be empty. You don’t even know how it happened, all of a sudden you were grasping thin air when reaching for another cookie. You actually feel a little… sick, come to think of it. A bit “sugar-over-load-icky”. And guilty. But tomorrow – you will control yourself! You don’t want to feel this guilty again, and that sugar-over-load isn’t very pleasant either. Tomorrow, for sure, will be different!

Recognize any of this? Well, I know I do! Late night snacking is for sure my downfall. Here are how I try to get the upper hand when the cravings gone out of control.

1. Recognize its power over you

You need to know and respect the power of the “craving-alien” that wakes up at that time in the evening. It’s a very, very strong force not to be taken lightly! You shouldn’t feel guilty if you lose, and you will need to plan if you want to beat it. Many studies emphasis that these sugar-cravings topped with emotional eating, stress eating etc are to be put together in the same bracket as heroin and nicotine addiction. It’s not as easy as tabloids have us believe, you probably can’t “just stop”. We all know we should stop, we all know it’s unhealthy, but we just can’t stop. It’s a process.

2. Find a substitute

Depending what your weak spot is – and why you eat it – the substitute can be a million things. Are you stress eating, eating out of boredom, emotional eating? Is it ice cream, or cookies, or chocolate, or candy, or chips, or donuts, or…?  You need to find something a little less unhealthy that can act as a replacement. This is what I do. For me, its satisfying bordom vs a sweet tooth. And my achilles heel is donuts. I try to have nuts, dried cranberries, strawberries and dates at my disposal to eat instead. It works most of the time. But you need to find what you and your body can accept as a substitute. You will have to go trial and error on this.

3. Face it out

Some people can go cold turkey. I would say that it is only for a few – and I would recommend facing it out. If you start telling yourself that you never can eat chocolate again – your entire body is going in to resistance-mode, making it even harder. Reward yourself with ice cream on friday night if you manage to not eat ice cream monday-thursday? Find a system that works for you. And also, there is no such thing as a perfect diet. NO ONE can uphold eating perfectly every day, all day, year around, year in and out. It’s ok to go for the cheese and crackers once in a while, to have a drink, enjoy an ice cream on a warm summers day. We need to live, treat ourselves, enjoy life – but these things should be “sometimes food” and we need to view eating healthy as enjoyable and not a punishment. I usually advice against aiming for a very low body fat percentage. Unless it’s for competition prep. Because I don’t think you’ll enjoy the life-style going with it. Sure, you’ll have abs one can grate cheese on, but is it really worth it?

4. Don’t buy it

Simply just don’t have any of those items in your house. You will resort to your healthier options instead if you are desperate enough. And if your unhealthy options are sitting there in the kitchen – you will probably not even remember that you bought all those unsalted cashews that you are supposed to happily nibble on instead.

5. Don’t eat in front of the teve/computer/smart phone/tablet

You aren’t even registering that you are doing it! You could probably start with that one cookie and then just continue with some apple slices. Eating in front of the teve etc is proven to make you eat so much more because you aren’t registering how much you are eating. If you are having that bowl of ice cream – go and sit at the kitchen table, turn off all distractions and really be mindful when you eating. Enjoy it! Let your brain properly register that it’s getting what it wants.

6. Address the route of your emotional/stress eating

It’s not going to fix itself over night this one. And you might not even wanna go there. But if you need to eat a box of chocolate coming home from work to wind-down, and this is regularly occurring/happening every workday – then you need to change something in your working life. If you can see that a situation is going to be “passing” I would perhaps say that go for it. Sometimes in our lives we need to focus on coping and not obsess about figures. If you just broke up with your fiancée, I think eating 10 donuts and 2 tubs of ice cream in a day is completely acceptable for a shorter time-span. 😉 But eventually you are going to have to stop – and address the issue. Sorry, but at some point, regardless of what it is, you need to deal with it. Numbing yourself and your emotions isn’t the way to live your life!

7. And drink the water

You are probably ALSO thirsty. I will bet you a reasonably large amount of money that you have not been drinking as much water as you think you have. And the body signals hunger/cravings instead of thirst, stupid thing. Why can’t it just say it’s thirsty?! Now I’m not saying that these kinds of cravings don’t go a bit beyond just “being thirsty.” I’ve tried that trick myself on occasion. I drink my glass of water – laugh at the stupidity of this advice, and eat more chocolate. BUT I would say, do it anyways. Try to drink water instead, try making it a bit nice like with lemon or cucumber in it. At least it will make you eat less. Drink water with your candy. It will keep you busy, and it helps.

Hopefully the points are to some help. Try 1 or 2 of them, and see if they help. And don’t be so hard on yourself. Let it be a process, that can be tweaked, altered, thrown out the window, started up again and changed from before. It’s life, things happen to throw us in all kinds of directions. The point is to stay healthy most of the time.

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Missing

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Oh dear. I really need to get back to post more consistently!

Well I graduated, got all my certificates, then spent like one week doing nothing, feeling a bit sorry for myself and eating cookies. On sunday I got sick of myself and got back into things. I have gone to a job interview today – I’ve been called in for part 2 on thursday, and hopefully that will work out. I’ve formulated versions of back up plans if it doesn’t work out, so it’s all hanging in the balance right now, and I have a lot of stuff to figure out. But, all in good time, all in good time.

Planning to eat

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Oh dear I’m tired. Like someone just pressed an off button. Think I need some rest, going to try to take it easy tomorrow. Cut down on training today too.  And it’s not always easy trying to rectify 8 years of sitting at Uni and at work. You can almost single-handedly point some of my issues down to all the damn sitting. If you sit all day – it really doesn’t matter if you do 1 H at the gym, tree times a week. That will not counter act that. My back muscles are basically fucked up, and hamstrings, and hips and quads, and gluteus. Nothings is working the way it’s supposed to. But I’ll just have to be patient. Fixing 8 years of not moving will not be done in a few months. Muscles needs to be unclenched, released and learn how they are supposed to work, and how to work together. It’s a process, but I do see progress already. Going on regular massages really helps with that too. And having my own PT, targeting my weak muscles, cueing my posture and looking after me, is really good too.

But another thing is that since I’m not used to be so active, and moving so much – I’m also not used to the amount of food I need to eat. When you work in an office, you can afford not to eat a proper lunch. You’ll get a bit hungry maybe, but that’s probably it. Now it’s a completely different ball-game. I just stop functioning – in a bad way. I’ve passed out! A whole other level of depletion hits, and you can feel in your body what it needs. Carbs, mostly. But it takes planning to avoid you from not getting to depletion status, and I’m not really used to have to be so on-top with my food. I’m not used to have to eat such an amount of food either. And sometimes I fail. And I need to listen to my bodies signals and adjust my activity level if that happens. So today, even though I spend the entire afternoon eating, I didn’t join in and exercise. And now I’m going to finish today off with some more eating!

You’ve got it oh so very wrong

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I’ve got a couple of questions and/or comments the last week, which I think probably are very common ways to go about things in regards to health and fitness. The thing is that they are just totally wrong and goes a long way in explaining why you are ultimately failing.

“No, I will not have any cake. I just started my diet!”

Now, why is this wrong you think? Because it should not be a diet! It should be a lifestyle change! If it is a diet you are planning to stop at one point right? And then what? Well you’ll just put on all that weight again, and then some. Weight-loss never works in the way that the body goes “hey, it’s fun being at this weight, lets stay there!” And you do know that.

It should be something you can commit to – forever. And to be able to do that – you need to allow yourself some cake once in a while. Not everyday, but here and there. Otherwise you’ll go crazy and eventually end up in some kind of binge eating haze. Ask any slim/fit person if their eating habits are perfect everyday 12 months a year? The answer will absolutely be no. But the majority of their meals are.

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“Is it okay to eat maybe another fruit for my snack between lunch and dinner?”

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Of course it bloody hell is! When it comes to fruit and vegetables – knock yourself out! Have a swim in it if you wish. The problem is not that you had two apples instead of one as a snack, and you know that very well. The problem is all the crap you eat in addition to that extra apple – and that you don’t “ask permission” for. That secretly hidden chocolate bar in the car and late night ice cream/chips and that soda you have with your dinner. THAT is the problem. Not if you eat an extra fruit. People are so concerned about getting the healthy foods right (what about the fructose in the fruit and fat in the avocado) but have no problem justifying chips, candy and alcohol (that have some pretty scary chemicals altering your biological functions). That is completely backwards and you know it. Cut the crap out first, and then we can start talking about fruit ratios if that still poses a problem for you, but until then I will refuse to say anything about your fruit and vegetables other than “eat it!”

Many times specialized nutritional advice are only valid for professional athletes, people who do a lot of exercising and needs to time carbs or people with certain health issues such as diabetes, celiac etc. For normal people the advice “just cut out the crap most days” goes a long way. And the people who need specialized nutritional advice should see a certified dietitian.

This article is great in highlighting the problem.

End is near

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Next week it’s wrap day at school. We have one last thing, and then we get all our certifications and stuff. And then we are unleashed upon society. I’ve postponed all decisions about “what to do with my life” until after the course. You know, because I’d scheduled my epiphany at that time. Great, coz that is how epiphanies work.

Until our wrap day we really don’t have anything else that needs to be done in school. I’ve submitted all my assignments and they went flying through. Interestingly enough. So I’ve been left with like all this spare time all of a sudden after 3 months of “when the HELL am I supposed to be able to shower?”

Did the freak out arrive as expected? Yes, of course. I don’t bloody hell know what to do now! As in not a single freakin’ clue! I’m going to do my very best to get a job and some kind of income. Really gotta focus on that, and that will provide a wee bit of a distraction for now. But I can’t deny and hide from the fact that my visa is coming to an end, in about 4 months. It’s creeping ever so slowly closer. And I can’t make up my mind about things. Argh!

Living life like this, they way I have been going about things for the last 1-2 years or whatever… Can be considered, I suppose, bit exciting and stuff. And for sure it is, it rarely get’s boring, that’s obvious. But the down-side is that the extreme lack of stability and certainty does do your head in from time to time. I don’t even know what side of the world I’ll end up in in 4 months. Not a clue. And money is running low, and… blah!

Hopefully I’ll figure something out. Soon. Would be good if that freakin’ epiphany showed up about now, thank you very much!

Stupidity

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I like it when I freak out – and I don’t even realize I do it. Favorite moment, really.

Just happened to put on one of Brené Browns TED talks. Coz, you know, it’s been a while and EVERY SINGLE TIME I do it, I get an epiphany. I’ve listen to them over and over and over. But every time I listen to them I get a new realization about a situation in my daily life. It’s fascinating! Today I almost started laughing at myself. “Of course you stupid! You are freaking out, having a stomach ache and being all kinds of silliness – because you are feeling vulnerable and you HATE it. As from yesterday you now feel vulnerable when before you were guarded enough to still be chillin’ in your comfort zone.”

But for some reason, yesterday, I got kicked out of it – and I freaked. I can’t exactly pin-point the second it happened, but the over-all day yesterday was probably what made it happen. You see… (and I can’t freakin’ believe I’m even writing this) there is this guy. Let’s leave it there. Now. I know very, very little about him really. I know enough to be attracted to the person he his – but not having a freakin’ clue weather or not he is even single is driving me mental. And I literarily have no chance of asking either. It’s actually highly inappropriate if I did. We have been having a bit fun with it – me and my friends. It’s a handsome man (in many aspects), and me and my friends have just been acting silly. Like girls do sometimes. Then yesterday – flip – and I went “Nooo! I don’t actually wanna actually LIKE him! NO! It’s going to end in utter disaster, heartbreak and disappointment. Stop immediately! Please!”

Breathe. Then a bit of Brené. Haha – yeah that’s right. Maybe liking him for real – is making me feel extremely vulnerable. And scared. And vulnerable again. And sick to my stomach to that. So I just kept listening to Brené and kept breathing. And slowly I shifted back. It’s a handsome, intelligent man. Even for a small, fleeting window in my life to have met him is actually beautiful. Always embrace the beautiful souls around you, that give you this good solid energy. In whatever form they come in. And I will handle his fleeting exit if that happens. And just having to have been around him only this briefly is great – and why stress, worry and feel bad about that it might end? When you instead can be glad it’s happened in the first place?

Is it really that easy though, you might think? Well, yes it is. And when it becomes easy, that’s when you can start appreciate the beauty of it.

 

Cancellation policy

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Me vs You. Let’s battle it out. The challenge is consistency.

I mark many work-outs throughout the space of say 3 months. You don’t. You are highly inconsistent most likely. Some weeks you do real good, others are a big failure. Most, come to think of it, don’t turn out the way you’d hoped. But you know – life! Things get in the way. Actually! Work, and kids, and sleep, and being absolutely spent, and wine, and friends, and sunshine, and coffee, and sleep. Yes, we can argue that I have no life, but that might be a different discussion. We can use one of the members at they gym if that is better. She is at the gym more or less everyday. She’s got a 4 kids, working and got a husband in the military that goes out for field for weeks on end. She is going to compete in a fitness competition and is putting in hard work at the gym.

What would the single most important difference be? We don’t let things get in the way for our work-outs. We consider them important meetings booked in with our bodies. We will make them priorities in life. Yes, we can meet and have a glass of wine – after the workout. Yes we might have a doctor’s appointment for 30 minutes in the afternoon… but that doesn’t mean we don’t do anything else that day. We will just go to the gym afterwards. But, you might not actually have the time, it’s just too much to do and you haven’t eaten properly. There are days when I run around like a crazy person too, and can’t for the life of me understand when I’m supposed to have time to shower (yes, truth). But those days are the exception and we always make sure we have food enough so we can work-out. You should see the stack of luggage in the joint PT-office because we are dragging around food for half an army, extra exercising clothes, towels, shower-things, different kind of shoes, containers of protein powder… And so on. Might not be really necessary for a normal person to spend every night packing for 30 minutes, but throw in an extra banana or 2 so you are good to go. Stop using excuses. You have decided to work out three times this week. Unless you’re sick those appointments stand and you can’t cancel. You don’t seem to be in a hurry to cancel any other appointments, so why these? They are important and should be something top high on your list of priorities. Why are you – and your health – not the most important thing in your life? Why aren’t you worthy of that time to maintain/gain health? Take a moment or two to contemplate that.

PS. You are worthy.