SMART Health Goals Progress Update

I have now completed 9 days in my checklist of SMART goals for physical and mental health. Although I’m still struggling a lot overall, I’m proud to be doing well with these specific goals. It reminds me I’m capable of improving myself and, just as importantly, I’m able to at the same time experience “failure” without allowing it to take away (too much) from my other qualities and achievements.


My 6 SMART goals for the past 9 days and the 12 more days to come follow:

  1. Protein: I make sure to get 30 g with breakfast every morning, often Greek yogurt with raw vegan protein powder or sometimes a salsa egg wrap. The aim to start my day with satisfaction and long-lasting fuel. Since dairy makes me congested and eggs make me feel queasy, I don’t have much variety here. Still, I’ve met this goal every day.
  2. Exercise: I complete a total of 30 minutes exercise, usually yoga, Tracy Anderson, Pinterest workout videos, or just extra walking. The idea is to build strength and flexibility. I get anxious for these sessions to end but I’ve met the goal even if I had to count bachelorette party belly dancing.
  3. Walk: I walk for at least 30 minutes (about 5,000 steps) daily, usually in 2-4 smaller sessions due to my fatigue. The purpose is to get out, move, be active throughout the day. I can get a bit anxious about the step count because I use my phone so it’s not the most accurate… this is the only one I didn’t fully meet once because I didn’t make enough time for it.
  4. Meditate: I take 10 minutes every day to sit quietly focused on my breath, currently using Headspace to relax without food. I only added this the past 5 days (it was a more general goal earlier) and it’s challenging but I’m making progress.
  5. Write: I spend at least 10 minutes writing down my thoughts and feelings, sometimes on this blog, sometimes in a workbook, to manage my emotions without food. This one is sometimes the easiest, sometimes the hardest because it depends on desire.
  6. Puzzles: I do Lumosity or another stimulating game to engage and entertain myself without food. This isn’t always as fun or as focusing as I’d hoped, but it works and I think it’s good to regularly exercise my brain this way.

I’ve also signed up for a SparkPeople team and StickK commitment to keep accountable, on top of this blog and Twitter. Everything is set up for success!

Why I Hate People And It’s Ok

I find a lot of things irritating, light and noise especially, but nothing irks me more than people being loud or invasive or just boring to me. I recognize my tendency to be annoyed correlates with my mood and energy. Plus, everyone has a right to be themselves as long as it doesn’t hurt others (beyond giving me a headache, I guess). Clearly, these other people are not to blame and need not change. But that doesn’t mean I need to change either.

I generally take on all responsibility. If I get in a disagreement, I’ve done something wrong. If my team is unsuccessful, I’ve done something wrong. If I get a pimple, I’ve done something wrong. And yet I’m learning to stop that nonsense. There are numerous contributing factors; usually I play a role but others do too. It’s not about blame, either.

One of my favourite things about my boyfriend is we can joke together about “hating people” and understand that we’re not being serious nor are we making it up. Many people are annoying much of the time, at least to me, and apparently to him as well.

I’m allowed to leave a party if I’m not having a good time. I’m allowed to cross to the other side of the street if there’s a big slow group ahead of me. I’m allowed to plan get togethers with people who make me feel good and without people who make me feel irritated. I can accept these feelings and preferences and not force unnatural behaviour just so others are more comfortable. I deserve to be comfortable too.

And that is why I hate people and it’s ok.

Body Fat Solution (100% in 1% Book Summary)

The Body Fat Solution: Five Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscle, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight by Tom Venuto is like the regular person’s Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, an extremely popular fat loss and bodybuilding book. The approach in this book is to get 80% of the BFFM benefits (about 1% weekly weight loss) for 20% the work (clearly an approach I like very much). Venuto found “the only thing necessary for most people to succeed is a handful of daily behaviour changes and a shift in mind-set.” He spends a good amount of time addressing root causes of overeating and inactivity from physical, mental, emotional, and social angles. In addition to the “softer” ideas like affirmations, I find this book realistic, particularly focusing on caloric deficit and admitting willpower will be necessary at first to get healthy habits set up, but those will build a natural long-term lifestyle. It’s about putting priorities in order and adjusting your environment to support them. “Work develops your character, strengthens your discipline, and boosts your self-esteem.”

Create priority lists not to do lists.

Beliefs are only interpretations, generalizations, and evaluations we’ve learned. Yet we act as if they’re facts. Beliefs about identity and values are particularly resistant to change. “Behaviour is the true expression of what people believe on the unconscious level.” Accumulate small victories to reinforce more accurate empowering beliefs like “Everything I value depends on good health.”

If I eat healthy, natural foods at least 90% of the time, I know I will get good results.

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Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual (100% in 1% Book Summary)

The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual: A Practical Mind-Body-Spirit Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting has three main parts: Mastering Self-Care Skills, Tuning Up Biochemistry, and Filling Up Spiritual Reserves. Since I found myself taking a lot of notes and personal reflections throughout the first section, I summarize it here to share with you the wisdoms of Julie Simon.

1. Establish the Habit of Self-Connection

–   Disconnection from self is the primary cause of emotional eating; it leads to feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness.

–   Overeating is an attempt to soothe or increase pleasure but it often leads to unpleasant emotions like guilt and frustration.

–   Ignoring emotions take energy and results in their inappropriate expression, such as in chronic body pain, reactive emotional states, and relationship difficulties.

–   Some needs are met by others, sometimes intimacy and companionship, but most of the time adults can meet their own needs and are in fact best equipped to do so.

–   Inner Conversations ask and answer, in writing at first:

o   How am I feeling in this moment? What am I thinking and sensing? Is this someone else’s emotion?

o   What do I need? What developmental stage of life is this need? What would it look like if this need were met?

o   How can I comfort my feeling self and address my needs?

–   Self-talk thoughts have various learned “voices”: thinking self, inner nurturer, inner critic, or neutral adult.

–   “Feeling self” represents authentic childlike sensing, intuition, and pleasure-seeking that is core and unchanging.

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Intuitive Eating (100% in 1% Book Summary)

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Intuitive Eating already provides an excellent summary as appendix to the book and very worthwhile details including the science behind intuitive eating. However, as per usual, I’ve taken notes for my own reference and, of course, I’d like to share. Note many sentences are word-for-word, I’ve simply condensed it to the main parts.

Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality

Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

The problem is that dieting thoughts usually translate into diet-like behaviours, which becomes pseudo-dieting or unconscious dieting. Examples include meticulously counting calories or carbs; eating only “safe” foods; eating only at certain times of the day; paying penance for eating “bad” foods; cutting back on food, especially when feeling fat or a when a special event comes up; pacifying hunger by drinking coffee; putting on a “false food face” in public; competing with someone else who is dieting … feeling obligated to be equally virtuous; second guessing or judging what you deserve to eat; or restricting any food for the purpose of losing weight.

One food, one meal, or one day will not make or break your health or your weight.

It can feel scary because it’s been the only tool you have known to lose weight (albeit temporarily). Let go of the false hope and disappointments from dieting.

You’re bound to defy external factors and authority figures. Only you can know your internal wisdom and be empowered.

Paradigm Shift Steps

1) Recognize and acknowledge the damage that dieting causes

– undereating leads to overeating

2) Be aware of diet mentality trains and thinking

– Forget about willpower, being obedient, and failing. Discipline only works when it aligns with deep beliefs. Rebellion to rules is a normal act of self-preservation – protecting your space, or personal boundaries. When a diet doctor or a diet plan invades your boundaries, it’s normal to feel powerless. But, instead of feeling strong from rebellion, you actually feel out of control and miserable. You can’t fail at Intuitive Eating – it’s a learning process at every point along the way.

3) Get rid of the dieter’s tools: the meal plans and the scales Continue reading