Onward to Weight Loss and Happiness!
Don't lest stress take over your good intentions...
Chapter 1: My New Me in Pictures - De-Stress Goals
I bet that you lost already a few pounds. Just by embarking on a new life transformation road, the mind becomes more focused on what matters.
The last stretch of your goal setting is to make sure you learn to deal with stress. You will read in Chapter 5 that stress makes you fat because it triggers stress hormones that create sugar cravings, promote fat storing and distract your logical brain from eating healthy. I am one of these women. I gained weight just because I was too stressed out, even if I was watching what I was eating (after I lost my initial unhealthy eating habits).
How would you describe your current stress level?
Gauge it during the day and see how it ebbs and flows, unless you realize that you are stressed, ALL THE TIME! In that case, you must seriously re-assess your life. Unless it is a temporary life situation such as a divorce, a move, an illness, you cannot survive with stress every minute of your life. How could you even take the time to care for yourself and lose weight?
How do you feel, on a scale from 0 to 5? Zero feels like being in nirvana, super cool and chill. Five is being in hell with conflicting priorities, no sleep, overwork, family issues, marital problems, a major illness (you or a loved one) etc.
Level 0 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Here are a few "stress elimination list" tips:
- Eliminate the easy parts, what I call the 'time wasters" such as Facebook, Instagram G and social media screen time, excessive partying or packed social life, shopping for food every day instead of once every three days, lack of planning etc.
- Eliminate sabotaging situations or people (toxic friends in restaurants, including food - pushers? Shopping in dangerous places such as Starbucks because you can NEVER resist the 500 calorie drink?)
- Learn to say "NO". How many times are you doing something you don't want to do? Are you also volunteering too much for extra work at the office, charity, your kids' school, or for your local church?
- Do you take time to exercise or relax (meditation, yoga etc.) instead of maybe having a manicure, a blow-dry, a pedicure, eye lash extension every week? This may amount to 6 hours in the week that could be devoted to health - promoting activities. NB: There is nothing wrong with a pedicure, I am just provoking you.
- Do you take time to have regular five - minute mental and physical breaks at the office?
The Free Options to De-Stress Are Multiple:
- Free. Learn to breathe when stress occurs.
Get in harmony with the flow of life, get extra oxygen in your lungs. Picture the oxygen circulating in your body and providing energy and life to all your cells. Imagine yourself as the lady in the picture above.
An easy trick is to inhale - counting to 4, keep the breath in for 4 counts and then exhale in 4 counts. Do it ten times next time you are stressed. You can even do it discreetly during a meeting at the office!
- Free. Pencil in "relax time" in your agenda.
Even 5 minutes every two hours will make a difference. Your brain needs mini mental breaks.
- Free. Stop in your tracks.
If you feel stressed and are reaching for some food, try to stop in your tracks and ask yourself if this food will solve the underlying issue? Breathe, drink a glass of water, take a short walk. Talk to yourself.
- Almost Free. Create your own Zen environment.
Create mini ceremonials and pleasing environments. I am not joking. A nice picture on your desk, a sand-raking mini garden (as pictured below), a cup of tea in a beautiful cup and saucer, a glowing salt lamp, an aromatherapy diffuser, beautiful crystals or objects will make your life more harmonious.
Write Your De-Stress Goals, Now!
Remember You Started a Diary!
I, .....................(your name), will ...........................(breathe, create a Zen decor, take breaks, start meditation...) tomorrow.
This is the end of your first week. Here is a recap. As a summary for Week 1, you should have:
Your vision board ready and visible
Your goals ready: weight, nutrition, exercise and stress - related
Your weight loss benefits written down as well under your goals
You should have started to eliminate sugar, snacks, sodas and processed foods
With Love, Veronique