Weight-loss Wednesday – The Urge Jar

Urge Jar

I’ve been learning so much about myself since I started losing weight 18 months ago.  One of my favorite tools  I’ve been using is called “The Urge Jar”.  I love It because my brain is a sucker for shiny objects.  I’ve been filling my jar with pretty pink marbles for a couple of months. I want to have jars full of marbles lined up in my window by the end of summer. 

Let me explain how it works for me.  I discovered that one of my persistent habits is to sit down at my desk and in a couple of minutes, run into the kitchen to get something to eat.  I was having a hard time focusing on getting any work done because I kept distracting myself  getting food from the kitchen when I was supposed to be writing. Not only was I not getting any work done, I was eating so much I wasn’t losing weight.   Jumping up and going into the kitchen to get food is an “urge”  (a strong desire or impulse).  When I would have an urge to run and get food from the kitchen, I would set a timer for 10 minutes, then I would sit at my desk and “allow” the urge.  I didn’t resist it or tell myself that something was wrong.  I was kind to myself and said things like “I know you want some chocolate, but we don’t do that anymore”.  Usually the feeling would go away in about 2 minutes. Sometimes a little longer – especially if I wanted chocolate…  After the timer rang and I had not gone to get food,  I would line a bead up on my desk and go about my work until the next urge hit, and I would repeat the process.  At the end of the day I would dump all my marbles in my jar on the window sill.  My brain went from having two-year old temper tantrums – like full blown throw yourself on the floor and kick and scream, to quiet sneaky thoughts like “a little chocolate sure would taste good about now.” To finally saying – “Oh yeah, we don’t do this anymore – do we?” Some days there would be 5 or 6 marbles lined up one the desk.  It took several weeks to de-condition the habit.

Marbles I’ve earned.

 It’s so nice to be able to sit at my desk and concentrate, and get some work done without being distracted by food.  That doesn’t mean that I never feel urges any more, it just means that when I feel them – my brain goes along with me when I tell it “that’s not how we roll any more”.

The urge jar works so well for me that I am using it other places I feel urges.  I use it to manage time, money and of course food.  Check out this link to the podcast where I learned about The Urge Jar. 

Day in the Garden – Rabbits

Lee and I have been backyard gardeners for nearly 40 years.  It’s something we enjoy doing together.  It takes both of our talents to make it happen.  Recently, Lee and I built a chicken wire fence to protect our perennial bed from Peter Rabbit.  Tonight, Lee was doing dishes and I heard him say – RABBIT! I jumped up and ran to the window.  Sure enough, there was a tiny baby bunny inside the fence, munching on my newly planted flowers.  I hopped the fence to chase him out.  We wanted to figure out how he got in.  I chased him around the bed 3 times before he finally found a tiny hole to squeeze out of.  Lee repaired the hole and sprayed the fence with rabbit repellant (again).  That baby bunny was adorable but he can take out an entire garden in just hours. 

I am Jennifer with JennieB coaching, I am a gardener – I help food, flowers and people grow.

Weight-loss Wednesday – My Story

Welcome to weight loss Wednesday!  In January 2018 I chose losing 70 pounds as one of my impossible goals for the year.  It seemed impossible because I thought I had tried every weight loss plan known to woman.  I thought because I am post-menopausal and insulin resistant, I was absolutely unable to lose weight.  Imagine my delight when I lost about 20 pounds, almost effortlessly.  It was amazing!  I stopped eating sugar and flour and started planning my meals – and eating what I planned.  I kept track of my food on an app.  Every day I wrote down what I ate, how I felt and what my plan for the next day was.  It was amazing.

Then my weight loss stopped.  I hit a plateau, and between August 2018 and December 2018 I gained and lost the same 5 pounds.  So, I changed things up, I started intermittent fasting, I ate less, I ate more, I worked on weight loss skills and I did a LOT of thought work.  Perhaps I was a special snowflake who was absolutely unable to lose weight? But I promised myself that I wasn’t going to quit, no matter what.  I was going to do whatever it took.

In January 2019 I again chose losing weight as one of my impossible goals.  I learned more weight loss skills and began using them, and I started losing weight again.  This time very slowly, about 1 to 1.25 pounds a month – and I was frustrated. I had two peer coaches at my coaching school help me identify some places I could be doing better. 

There was a long list of things I learned about myself:

  • I wasn’t always honest about recording my food.
  • I quit every weekend so Lee and I could enjoy eating together.
  • I recognized that I had “diet Mentality” which is not surprising since I have been on some kind of diet my entire adult life. 
  • I eat emotionally and use food to comfort myself. 
    I thought I could handle anything with a little bit of chocolate. 
  • I didn’t recognize when I was hungry or full.
  • Every time I thought about eating something – I ate it.   
  • I learned that I was using will power instead of recognizing what was behind my eating and fixing it.

Here I am again in 2019 with losing weight as my impossible goal.  I’m still not giving up! I am not following a “diet” and I choose what I want to eat each, plan my meals and eat according to plan.  I mess up – a lot – but I don’t quit, and I don’t get mad at myself.  There are no restricted foods, there is no calorie counting.  I still use regular intermittent fasting, which I love and will probably continue the rest of my life.  I have lost a total of 8 pounds since January 2018.  I look good and I feel good.  I am strong and flexible, I have less inflammation in my body, I have discontinued all of my RA medication and my doctor told me that I am in remission from all my auto-immune conditions.  What a blessing!  

I decided that I couldn’t overcome all my bad habits without help, so I have hired a weight-loss coach to help me learn to overcome all the habits that aren’t working for me, and to develop new habits that will help me lose weight a little faster.  I can’t wait to see myself in December 2019.  Come along with me on my weight loss journey.  Every Wednesday for the rest of 2019, I am going to share a little of this journey. 

If you can relate to being over-weight most of your adult life and feeling like you have tried everything, maybe we can explore more options together. 

Flowers or Weeds?

Do you see this weed?  I saw it in the back of my front flower bed this morning after my walk.  Do you know what I did with it?  I bent over and pulled it out – and a couple more of its friends.  Weeds are a part of gardening.  A weed is a plant growing where it is not wanted. When you leave weeds in a garden  they multiply, they put down roots, and crowd out what you DO want to grow

I found a rhyme that is true – Your mind is like a garden – your thoughts are the seeds.  You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.  We think thousands of thoughts every day, some are weeds and some are flowers.  Flowers bloom and grow and beautify or produce fruit.  Weeds are competitive, they interfere with your harvest by crowding out the good plants. 

How is this like your thoughts? Positive thoughts lead you to do more and become more, you feel useful and productive, you grow, you feel good.

Negative thoughts crowd out positive thoughts and they produce negative results. You feel anxious, overwhelmed and bad.

When I think of my mind being like a garden, what do I want to plant on purpose?  If some of our thoughts look like  weeds – take a moment pull them out, leave more room for flowers.

If you need help with your garden of thoughts – let me know. Send me a message and we can talk.

Gardener’s See Into The Future

It’s May, and I’m planting. Every year I try something new. A new color, a new plant, something different. This year I planted a perennial bed in the back of my yard. I’ve tried planting perennials many times. This year is different. This year we fenced in a little triangle in the back of my yard. This year I made a list of the all the perennials I wanted. This year I prepared the soil. This year I took into account early, mid and late season plants. This year I put the tall plants in back and the short plants in front. This year I planted spashes of pink, purple and yellow. This year I had a vision of what it will look like during August and I planted from that vision. I know what it’s going to be like because I can see into the future in my mind.

My future self is much the same. I sat down this year and laid out plans for this year. This year’s fit neatly into my master life plan. I know who I want to become. This year is a special year – 2019 – I was born in 1959. I turn 60 this year. I have a lot that I want to accomplish. I’ve set goals and made plans. I am working on them. Nothing ever turns out quite like the plan, but I can see my future self – I’ve named her. She has two nicknames, JennieB and Skinny Ginny. I talk to her. Best of all I know what she is going to be like in December 2019, because I have a vision and I am “planting” from that vision. I am thinner and stronger. I am someone who has learned to control impulses. I am joyfully committed, I am a life coach working with LDS empty nesters to plant their own future selves. I am laying on a beach at the end of the year celebrating all the changes and growth that have come this year.

FAQ’s

What is a life coach?

A life coach is someone who helps you get perspective on what’s happening in your life.  She helps you look at your current life and decide what you want your future to look like and then helps you create a game plan to achieve it.  This happens by looking at what you are thinking now and doing simple reprograming to change the thought patterns, mindset and habits that make you feel stuck. You will move forward into the joyful, satisfying life you want. With a few simple tools, this can happen faster than you thought possible.   

A life coach is not a therapist who explores your past. She is not a friend who will commiserate with you. She helps you see where you are and move forward. 

Can A Life Coach Help Me?

Do you feel stuck, heavy, weighed down or burdened? Are you confused about where your life is going?  Do you feel like you have lost purpose and direction? ABSOLUTELY!

What happens during a coaching session?

A coaching session takes place in weekly 50- minute one-on-one calls over Zoom.  Zoom video meetings that takes place on your phone or computer.  Each week there is a lesson and application, with weekly accountability check-ins through text or email.  Mostly it looks like: you talk, I listen, we make a plan.

Will it take a long time to see the benefits?

Some things in your life may change instantly, as soon as you become aware of them.  Other things take longer. Try my 8-week “Your Best Year Ever” program and see how coaching fits into your life. 

Can’t you just tell me what I should do?

Nope, I don’t know what you should do, but I believe that YOU know what you should do in your life, and I can help you sort through your choices and help you make decisions. 

Are you going to ask me about my feelings?

Yes, we are going to talk about feelings.  Having the language of emotions helps us to experience a much more beautiful and rich life.   It’s just one of the tools you will learn in the coaching toolbox. We are also going to talk about thoughts, actions and results.

Do you have a coach?

Yes, I do.  I have a couple of them.  I have a life coach and I have a business coach.  I also self-coach on a daily basis.  I do my own work, so that I can be fully present for the people I coach. 

Why I Think You Need A Life Coach

I think everyone should have a life coach.  This is why. 

Once upon a time a long time ago a customer came into my scrapbook store, while we were talking she told me she was a life coach and offered to help me if I needed her.  I rolled my eyes on the inside – and told her “No Thank You”. I thought people needing a coach to manage their own lives was the dumbest thing I had ever heard.  If I had only known how much help she could have given me, I wouldn’t have been able to say “Yes Please” fast enough. 

I was balancing being a mom, wife, having a calling at church, managing 25 female employees, buying from 100 vendors, seeing 100-200 customers a day and everything that comes with being an entrepreneur.  I had deadlines, workshops, newsletters, schedules and timelines.  I felt stretched, worn out and inadequate on all fronts. 

A life coach could have helped me identify my priorities and focus only on those and delegate the rest.  A life coach could have helped me see the beliefs that were limiting me both at home and at work.  A life coach could have helped me realized all the possibilities that were open to me but that I couldn’t see. A life coach could have helped me with all the relationships in my life – my husband, my kids, my employees and friendships.  I had good relationships, but they might have been better if I had realized that I had a manual for each of those relationships.  Dropping the manuals and loving my people they way the were would have been so much less painful for me and probably for them.  I always had lofty goals and I reached them but now I know that a life coach could have helped me reach those same goals without all the drama that took a toll on my mental and physical health. 

I am 20 years older – my kids have left home.  It’s just me and Lee and retirement is just down the road, and I have a life coach and I don’t know what I would do without one. 

I still have goals, I still have relationships, I still have competing priorities and beliefs that limit me but now I have learned tools to manage my own thoughts so that they are always working for me and not against me.  These tools help me keep the spaghetti that sometimes clogs up my brain all sorted out.  It’s like a dental hygiene.  I can do the every day brushing and flossing that protects my teeth, and my thought work is really like having my brain flossed.  Sometimes brushing and flossing don’t get all the plaque on my teeth and I need a good cleaning by a hygienist to maintain our oral health.  My life coach helps me deep clean my brain and I love it.