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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Third World Squatter

We were at the annual JP fitness summit last week and looking over the pictures, Roland said I was a third world squatter. Squatting was never hard for me, pistol or no pistol, and believe it or not the only squat that makes me cry is the Bulgarian squat, but I hadn't noticed how I just dropped down into a squat every time I was tired and didn't feel like standing up. It made me read an excellent article over again, too, and also gave me the cruel idea of bottom up progressions of static low squat positions that my clients will surely hate once I make it back to Bulgaria.

Friday, May 8, 2009

No bottomless bowl

During a lecture at last week's Fitness Retreat we were discussing how much is enough to satisfy a craving. In the context of emotional eating, where we are filling a nearly bottomless pit, the answer is closer to infinity. And yes, every conscious eater finds the following to be true:

whether you have a little or a lot, you eventually come to the end

It could be the end of a piece of candy, a red vine, a bar of chocolate, a box of chocolates, the bottom of a box of ice cream, your safe stash of super duper healthy double organic raisins, or a bottle of juice, sooner or later, 50 or 500 or 2500 calories later, it's over, diet goals be damned.

In Mindless Eating, a brilliant book I picked up last year, they invariably show that if food is available and easy to see, it will be eaten. If you are one of those people that come home with the intent to eat clean only to finish off a bar of chocolate that was meant to last a week, consider the following no bottomless bowl laws:

1. Sooner or later, you've eaten it all. You'll digest it, assimilate it and some of it will go on top of your hard earned muscle. You'll see abs "some other time" as we say in Bulgarian. Knowing this, choose to beat the quantity, not the quality. Have a piece of chocolate, fully conscious that one more won't add more taste or more satisfaction, it will add more time to your goal. It will add more fat to your body. More dissatisfaction, more sacrifice. You don't want it THAT bad. Limit yourself to 10% of your calories for the day in happy foods and you've had enough.

2. Doughnuts aren't love. We all need to feel good. It just so happens that most feel good foods are not feel lean foods. Face the feelings that overwhelm you at moments when you want to eat. Find alternate ways to show yourself that you love your body and you give it the best it deserves. Some of us want to mask a feeling, by coating it with a thick layer of sugar, others want to make food disappear, because they want to make a problem disappear. Honestly, will it?

3. It's all in your head. Have you even spent the afternoon thinking of going home and destroying whatever is in the fridge. Taking a break. Doing it all for fun. Sometimes the thought of food excites us so much that it paints a picture we crave even more. Try this simple NLP exercise. Imagine your food like it's on a TV screen, watch it and think of how you are going to enjoy it. Then make the image black and white and shrink it to the bottom right of the screen until it's so tiny you almost can't see it. This simple tricks works great. If it doesn't work, go back to law 1 and use the 10% rule.

There is really no magic to beating emotional eating, sometimes it takes months and years to face the real issues behind it, if one is willing and patient, but I have seen the damage from food minimized, until real solutions present themselves.