Life Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Wonderful

By Laura Moncur @ 11:27 am — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on Discipline of Motivation and I put it on my phone wallpaper so I could see it every day.

Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

It is actually a quote from Annette Funicello.

Here are a few more images of the quote that I thought were pretty:

Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful from Starling Fitness

Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful from Starling Fitness

I always thought my striving for perfection was the reason I was successful. It took me a LONG time to realize that I was successful DESPITE my desire for perfection. Perfection got in the way of everything. If I made one little mistake, perfection was the excuse that let me binge. If it seemed to hard, perfection made me procrastinate until I could do nothing. Getting rid of perfectionism is difficult and I find it popping up in my life almost every single day.

So knowing that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful is a blessing.


Feel Like You’re Going To Die

By Laura Moncur @ 11:14 am — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on Funeral For My Fat and it made me shake my head.

I want you to feel like you're going to die. Jillian Michaels from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I want you to feel like you’re going to die.

  • Jillian Michaels

THAT is the kind of exercise that spawned a binge for me EVERY TIME. It might not have sent me to a binge that day, but it ALWAYS led to a binge. I could exercise like that for weeks on end, but the desire to binge would surface almost immediately. There is something about intense exercise that makes me hungrier.

And it’s not all in my head.

Exercise has been shown to increase hunger. This article from the Journal of Endocrinology tested that hypothesis:

It reads:

During the exercise period, hunger scores were significantly decreased; however, this effect disappeared in the post-exercise period. Exercise significantly increased subsequent absolute EI, but produced a significant decrease in relative EI after accounting for the energy expended during exercise. Hunger scores and PYY, GLP-1 and PP levels showed an inverse temporal pattern during the 1-h exercise/control intervention.

What they’re saying is that when you exercise, you get a slight decrease in hunger during and after the exercise. Afterward, however, your body produces more ghrelin, which makes you even hungrier than you were before you exercised.

As of this morning, I have lost 70 pounds. I did it by walking the dog and letting her sniff every interesting blade of grass on the journey. SLOW walks and easy yoga. That is all the exercise I did during this weight loss period. EVERY time I’ve tried to increase my intensity to running or intense weight training, I have had an increase in the desire to binge and hunger sensations.

So, when I see Jillian Michaels saying that she wants you to feel like you’re going to die, it just makes me sadly shake my head. That might be very motivational to some people, but to me, it just reeks of a binge about an hour after the workout.


We Become The Victims of Our Feelings

By Laura Moncur @ 8:16 am — Filed under:

I remember reading The Mysteries of Uldolpho. I remember underlining quotes and adding them to The Quotations Page. Unfortunately, I never USED this quote the way I should have.

We become the victims of our feelings unless we can in some degree command them. Ann Radcliffe from The Quotations Page

The FULL quote reads:

And since, in our passage through this world, painful circumstances occur more frequently than pleasing ones, and since our sense of evil is, I fear, more acute than our sense of good, we become the victims of our feelings, unless we can in some degree command them.

  • Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho, 1764

Learning how to command my feelings is the ONLY thing that has changed my failure to get to a healthy weight to success. It’s not some new diet plan. It’s not a different exercise routine. It was learning how to harness my feelings. Learning how to diffuse my feelings. Learning how to command my feelings.

Does that mean that I will never again be a victim to my feelings?

No, but now I can keep those feelings of victimization to a minimum while I work on commanding them. Now I can do something to deal with them instead of eating to hide them. If I hadn’t been taught how to manage these feelings when they come up, I would still have my head in the food. I would still be struggling.

Inner workouts are FAR more important that physical workouts. Learn how to manage your emotions and eating healthy will be easier.


Set Yourself On Fire

By Laura Moncur @ 11:03 am — Filed under:

I love this quote that I read today:

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. Reggie Leach from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.

  • Reggie Leach

The hardest part in that quote is that “setting yourself on fire” thing. How do you do it? For me, the way to keep going, the way to keep setting myself on fire every single day is very simple.

It’s a list.

I have a list of things to do every day. Some of the items are work related, so that I get things done and make some money. Some of the items are health related, so I finish my journey to a healthy weight. Some of the items are self-care, so that I don’t go insane. I really think the self-care items are the things that make it easier for me to eat healthy.

Here is my list of self-care items:

  • Write one page in my journal
  • Exercise 20 mins
  • Meditate 15 mins
  • Be outside in the sun for 20 mins
  • Read 30 mins
  • Practice French

Something about reading for fun or learning a new language really adds to my feeling of well-being, so I’ve added them to the list. All of these things make me sane enough that I can eat healthy every day.

If you want to set yourself on fire, think about what you need for self-care and put them on a list every day. Every day, check off those items as you do them. Every day, when you are feeling crappy and don’t want to do them, do them anyway. They are supposed to make you feel good. You’re going to feel crappy before you do them, so feeling crappy isn’t an excuse.

Don’t depend on spontaneous combustion to get yourself going. Set yourself on fire every day.


No Fear of Perfection

By Laura Moncur @ 12:28 pm — Filed under:

This quote from The Quotations Page brings up a very good point:

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. Salvador Dali from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.

  • Salvador Dali

I had a hard time releasing the desire for perfection when it came time to do step six and become willing to release all my defects of character. The biggest reason I clung to it (and keep clutching it back), is because perfectionism is one of those character defects that fools me.

The desire to be perfect can be VERY beneficial. It is what has made me successful. It has made me achieve things that even I thought I couldn’t achieve. It has given me a career.

But in the end, the desire for perfection is also quite crippling. It’s why I procrastinated on so many projects. I knew I couldn’t be perfect, so I would delay starting them and do them at the last minute. If it failed, I could blame it on my lack of time to complete the project.

It was crippling in other ways, like the times I wouldn’t leave the house because my underwear didn’t match my outfit. I LITERALLY did a load of laundry rather than wear the wrong color underwear with my clothes.

You see, the desire for perfection is never enough. No matter how perfect you try to be, just like Salvador Dali said, you can never achieve it. Not only that, the goal posts keep moving. Once you achieve one level of perceived perfection, it doesn’t give you the acclaim you were looking for, so you step it up a notch.

Perfection can never make you feel good for a long time. It’s just like binge-eating. Being perfect might make you feel a little good right now, but it wears off in a half-hour and then you have to deal with the consequences of your binge. You need even MORE food or perfection next time. It’s just as harmful to me as binge-eating was and once I realized that, it was easy to become willing to release that defect of character.

Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.


Google’s im2calories: A Good Idea With Costly Execution

By Laura Moncur @ 7:12 am — Filed under:

Long, long ago, in December of 2005, I wrote a review of My Food Phone, which was a paid service that allowed you to take pictures of the food you ate and a nutritionist sent you a video of what you should be eating instead. Back then, I called it a good idea with costly execution.

Unfortunately, Google hasn’t learned from My Food Phone’s mistakes. They are creating a program, called im2calories, that can calculate the calories you have eaten based on a picture of your food. You can read more about it here.

That sounds like a lot of computing power to not solve a problem. Knowing the calories in my food was never the problem. NOT eating the food was the problem. Somehow we got sidetracked. Doctors and nutritionists and even AI computer scientists are under the mistaken impression that if we just knew how many calories are in our food, then we wouldn’t eat so much. They seem to think that our obesity is caused by lack of information.

It’s not. It is SO not.

Our obesity is caused by a dopamine response in our brains. We feel bad, either emotionally or physically, and we use food to make our brains make us feel better. It’s the same as drug addiction. Drug addicts know that drugs will kill them and burn through their brain cells, but they keep using because they can’t stop. It’s the same with food. It’s not like we don’t know that overeating will kill us. It’s that we can’t stop.

Sorry, Google. It sounds like you’re spending a lot of R&D funds on something that is irrelevant. Knowing the calories in our food doesn’t stop us from eating it. Thanks to you, we already HAVE that data. At any time, I can pull out my phone and Google nutrition facts for every restaurant in the city. Knowing the calories never stopped me from eating them.

Obesity is NOT an education issue. It’s a brain chemistry issue and until medical science solves that problem, the best we have is Overeater’s Anonymous.

Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.


A Willingness To Change

By Laura Moncur @ 9:32 am — Filed under:

This quote really spoke to me today:

Its not that some people have willpower and some dont. Its that some people are ready to change and others are not. James Gordon M.D. from The Quotations Page

It reads:

It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.

  • James Gordon, M.D.

That day when I sat on the couch, eating all day and couldn’t stop, I KNEW there was a problem with me. I told the story of what happened when I talked to Mike about it.

At that point, I knew that everything about the way I was doing things was OBVIOUSLY wrong because I wasn’t able to lose weight. I wasn’t even able to stop eating. I KNEW I had to change, I just didn’t know how to change or even how I needed to change.

Thankfully, Overeater’s Anonymous taught me how to change and in what ways I needed to change and honestly, it had little to do food and mostly to do with my attitude, my character defects and my emotional life. I felt completely lost in October of 2013 and now, my life has a direction that I never thought it would. I am so grateful to OA for helping me get my life AND my body back!

Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.


The Imitation of Those Whom We Cannot Resemble

By Laura Moncur @ 12:10 pm — Filed under:

I saw this quote today and it really spoke to me.

It reads:

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.

  • Samuel Johnson

I’ve talked about this before here:

Whitney Houston Skin Care from Starling Fitness* Starling Fitness – Whitney Houston Workout Routine

When I was a teenager, I would look at the articles in Seventeen magazine and do the exercises and makeup that were written about there and wonder why I didn’t look like the models. That’s because I was trying to imitate women who I could not possibly resemble. I am not Whitney Houston and I never can be. Only Whitney Houston can be Whitney Houston.

The same thing happens today. Here is an example from OK! magazine called, What I Ate Today, featuring Jayma Mays.

What I Ate Today Jayma Mays from Starling Fitness

If I ate what she ate, will I look like her? Never. If I ate what the expert says I should eat, would I look like her? Nope. No one can be Jayma Mays but Jayma Mays. Once I realized this, all those women’s magazines lost a lot of their appeal to me. I used to read them avidly, hoping for the magic answer.

Here’s the magic answer: You can never be that, and that’s okay because you can be YOU and that’s even better.

Once I realized that, so much of the absurdity in my life evaporated and was replaced by sanity and productive activity. Don’t waste your time trying to imitate those you cannot resemble, and you will can have that sanity as well.


Positive Patient and Persistent

By Laura Moncur @ 1:27 pm — Filed under:

Getting a healthy body can take a long time. Just like a plant takes time to grow, so does a body need time to recover. You can give a plant water, sunshine and fertilizer, but it will only grow as fast as its biology allows it. You can give your body water, exercise and healthy food and it will only grow strong as fast as your biology will allow it.

So, you must stay positive, patient and persistent.

Be Positive Be Patient Be Persistent from Starling Fitness

If you become negative, you might lose your patience with the length of time it takes and stop giving your body the healthy things it needs like water, exercise and healthy food. Just like the plant that withers if you stop giving it water, sunshine and fertilizer, your body will wither.

Be Positive.

Be Patient.

Be Persistent.


The Twinkie Diet: Four Years Later

By Laura Moncur @ 8:55 am — Filed under:

Four years ago, a nutrition professor at the University of Kansas, Mark Haub, went on what was called The Twinkie Diet. He ate most of his calories from processed foods like Twinkies and Doritos for 10 weeks and lost 27 pounds. Here is a news clip from that time.

At that time, nutritionist, Paleo enthusiasts and everyone else lost their minds. This little article from a magazine shows the mindset.

Twinkie Diet from Starling Fitness

The experts weighed in and said,

This diet – if you want to call it that – sends a dangerous message. I am particularly worried about still-growing teens who might try it because it sound “cool.” Losing weight is not just about calories. It is about choosing healthy foods which are rich in nutrients including fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Twinkies contain sugar and unhealthy fat, as do other junk foods. So if that’s all you eat, you’re sending your body into shock. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to learn how to eat healthy. This kind of short-term fad isn’t the answer.

You want to know what else isn’t the answer, Dr. Lisa Young? Vilifying food. It is four years later and we are no closer to solving the obesity epidemic than we were back then. Making junk food the bad guys just makes people want to eat them more. It’s called “Forbidden Fruit” for a reason. Putting it off limits makes it MORE desirable, not less.

I was a big proponent of low carb and high fat eating. The only problem with that concept is that an entire set of foods become forbidden. It would work for a while, but in the end, I always wanted to go back to what I couldn’t eat.

Tell me I can’t eat broccoli and I will obsess about eating broccoli all day. It’s how humans work.

So, what DOES work?

For the last year, I have given myself permission to eat whatever I want as long as it fits within my daily caloric intake. That includes my former binge foods, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I am allowed to eat them whenever I want.

Ironically, I haven’t had a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for over a year and a half. I can have one any time I want. They are in almost EVERY store I step into, even Home Depot and the bookstore. If I ever want one, they are right there and I can get one. But I don’t need one right now, and I haven’t felt like I needed one for a long time.

In fact, the last time I felt like I needed one, I really needed to do some meditation and have a good talk with a my sponsor. Then I didn’t feel like I needed one anymore.

It’s NEVER about the food. It’s ALWAYS about why you want to eat the food.

So, what about the Twinkie Diet? The Twinkie Diet PROVED that it doesn’t matter what kind of calories you eat. As long as you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Stop beating yourself up if you eat a Twinkie. Just count the calories and adjust your day accordingly.

It’s the guilt and the forbiddance of the Twinkie that makes you fat, not the Twinkie. Without the guilt, there is no “Oh I’ve Blown It” Binge. Without the forbidden aspect, there is no “I’m Never Going To Eat These Again, So I’m Going To Eat A Whole Box” Binge. Without the guilt and forbiddance, it’s just a Twinkie. It’s merely a simple 135-calorie snack in the middle of your day. You log it and continue with the rest of your day. Once you can stop vilifying food, it’s as simple as that.

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