To so many folks battling with their weight, next month’s O Magazine cover shows an unre-touched Oprah at her current weight, next to a photo taken 4 years ago, is like reading a page from their own diary. It’s an all too familiar story of weight lost, feeling confidence & power over food, and then regaining the weight.
Oprah: "I’m mad at myself. I’m embarrassed. I can’t believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I’m still talking about my weight. I look at my thinner self and think, ‘How did I let this happen again?’"
I empathize with Oprah’s struggle, and anyone else who has struggled with their eating and health habits. And HABIT is the key word there. We are the size and shape we are because of our habits.
As a Wellness Coach I help people change their behaviors, or rather, their habits that surround their health; eating, activity, sleep, stress, and smoking cessation. Imagine what a fraud I felt like when I wasn’t able to maintain the weight that I wanted to be.
I’m not a big New Year’s Resolution maker. I create goals when I want to change something in my life, and then I do it. At the beginning of 2008 though, I felt like I had an unhealthy eating habit and I wanted to get rid of it: I eat very good quality foods & for the most part, I would eat good portion sizes. But every now & again I would binge. When I looked into the future as a young woman, I didn’t see myself at 40 with that type of relationship with food. I wanted to get it under control.
I know that when some people binge that they take in upwards of 5000 Calories. I didn’t go to near that extreme, but I felt out of control with my eating & therefore resolved in 2008 to get control over my eating habits.
There were two things that helped me:
- Am I Hungry – This is an e-book that guides you through the process of eating intuitively. It seems stupid, but before you eat anything, you ask yourself, "Am I hungry?" The accompanying journal is more than just a food log; it’s an exploration of why we eat the way we do. It can really help open your eyes to your own eating habits.
- Bodybugg – This device tells me how many calories I’ve burned in a day. The Bodybugg helped me in my eating habits because I am so active. There were days that I don’t think I ate enough because I wasn’t hungry (following the Am I Hungry? plan). Not eating enough meant that the next day I didn’t have enough energy to fuel my workouts and I probably overate because I was hungry from the day before. By monitoring my activity level along with my food intake, I was able to easily take off the weight that I wanted to get rid of by eating just enough food to create a calorie deficit while at the same time eating enough to not get hungry.
So I still struggle. Some days are better than others, but I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago. Boredom seems to be my biggest emotional eating trigger, and just being aware of that is helpful. As with any transformation, making it through the program is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the following days, weeks and years that reinforce that good behavior and allow us to acquire new habits to replace the ones we’re not so fond of.
Copyright Elizabeth Sherman. Purchase a Bodybugg through Elizabeth Sherman.