Are you just eating because you’re bored?

The Grinch

The Grinch

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t recreationally eat from time to time? Eating is fun. Food is awesome and very few things in this world can provide that kind of instant pleasure. However, if we aren’t careful things can get out of hand. Telling you not to eat when you are bored would be unreasonable. But here are some ways to get a handle on your boredom.

Do something less boring: If you have the option, go do something else. Learn something new. Workout. Play an instrument. Try to make something you found on Pinterest. Plot to take over the world. Is eating really the best you could come up with?

Take a break: If you find yourself getting bored while studying/ working, take a break. Go take a brief walk or grab a drink of water. Change your scenery for a bit. Phone a friend. Space out and entertain the endless possibilities of Lala Land. You will be more focused and work better when you return. *If you are on your computer, doing something else on your computer doesn’t count.

Drink Tea: Tea has little to no calories, is healthy, has a variety of flavors and will often give you a similar satisfaction to eating when bored. Try having a cup of tea before you go for that bag of chips.

Chew gum: It’s like eating without actually eating.

Snack on Veggies: My favorites for snacking are bell peppers, baby carrots and celery.

Snack on something that requires effort: A great example of this would be pistachios. Pistachios are one of the most tedious things to snack on. It takes 5 minutes just to crack open a single shell.This makes them the perfect food for boredom eating because you can’t just mindlessly shove a handful in your face every 10 seconds.

Eating something that has a lot of volume for not too many calories: A good example would be popcorn. It is whole grain and has 130 calories per cup.

 

 

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Honesty and Authenticity

“Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering” – Carl Jung

Have you ever been asked how something was going and you responded with “good”? Have you ever felt that they seemed to magically interpret good as meaning something other than good? Last I checked, good means good. And even if it didn’t, why should someone be seemingly dissatisfied by how you feel things are? What are they, the feelings police?

I think this ties into the robot barbie mentality that seems to resonate in our culture. I think part of this may be because of the excessive amounts of sugar-coating, sweeping problems under the carpet and conflict avoidance that goes on between people. It has come to the point where basically anything that isn’t filled with rainbows and Care Bears is a potential trigger for anxiety. It is like you have to walk on egg shells and dodge around the truth like an obstacle course built for the Avengers simply to avoid offending people by stating facts, observations and opinions based on them. That said, I also have a tendency to come across as a bit blunt, so it is partially a matter of perspective.

I think that the ripple effect of the social pressure to always fake pleasantries and cheerfulness can be destructive. I think it compels people to put a mask on and pretend to be someone they are not. I think it can more greatly alienate people when they aren’t in the best place and can create a stigmatization and sense of shame around that. This is a concern when an estimated 1 in 4 American adults have a diagnosable mental disorder. This doesn’t even include unhealthy mindsets the DSM doesn’t recognize. Maybe if people felt safe being themselves, we wouldn’t have such an alarming rate of mental illness.

I’m not saying we should take being “honest” as an excuse to be a jerk. I’m also not saying we shouldn’t get offended by things we find offensive. I just think a little bit of authenticity and acceptance could go a long way. Don’t tell people their subjective viewpoint is wrong. It doesn’t make sense to objectify and create rules around things that are subjective in nature. The facts are objective, but their personal meaning is not. Maybe we should try to understand rather than judge every once in a while and see what happens. I highly doubt it would create more discord than harmony.

Perfect is Boring

There are countless articles, books and other forms of advice on how to improve yourself. They give you these set of rules on how to live your life to be what they consider a better person. They share their secrets to success in careers, health, relationships and more. They tell you to do this and do that. Some even tell you which people to allow into your life and which ones you should throw out like human garbage. But there is a bit of an undertone in this advice of “you aren’t good enough” or “you need to be fixed”. While like many people, I want to be the best version of myself… I’ve also come to realize the absurdity and self-absorption of it all (sometimes I forget). I think accepting some of these little so-called flaws and quirks are key to really being human.

So many aspects of our life revolve around judging. We judge others. Other people judge us. We adapt our behaviors and goals accordingly. We determine our self-worth and the worth of others based on our ability to adapt ourselves in alignment with those judgements. While judgements have a value, sometimes I think we are excessively influenced by them. What if we learned out of curiosity rather than because we feel obligated to get better grades? What if we chose our romantic relationships based on love rather than”practical” reasons? What if we didn’t give a shit about the conventional definition of success and did what we really wanted instead? I don’t think it would make society fall apart, I think it would make things more balanced.

If we keep looking at people through a lens of how they are “good/bad”, how can we expect to actually connect with them? How can we expect to have genuine relationships with people if we are constantly trying to assess if they are “good enough” and are constantly distracting ourselves in some way or another with those judgments? It is one thing to acknowledge the characteristics of a person and consider what that means, but I think in excess they can distract us from truly connecting with them. I think this may play a role in a deficiency of true compassion for both ourselves and others.

I think the only way we would be completely flawless in everyone’s eyes was if everybody didn’t give a shit about anything at all. Collective apathy doesn’t sound very appealing to me.

Flaws are beautiful. They are what make us human beings and not human fucking robot barbies.

Why I am Grateful for Having Been Overweight

I used to have a lot of resentment towards myself for having been overweight. I was mad at myself for letting myself go like that. I was ashamed. But as I have become further removed from being overweight, I have taken a new perspective on the experience and have become grateful for it.

I believe that good can be taken from any situation if you just find a new way to look at it. Rather than looking at a challenge you face as a problem, look at it as an opportunity for growth. See how you can take that challenge and create something good out of it. See how you can use it to find a new appreciation towards other aspects of your life. This is how I have become grateful for my experience with being overweight.

I don’t think it is likely that I would be as fit as I am today if I hadn’t first become so overweight. I wouldn’t have been uncomfortable with myself enough to take action. People usually don’t take action and change when they feel comfortable with where they are. This is why I think a little bit of discomfort and suffering is needed to become our best selves. I believe that wherever our greatest sources of fear and suffering are in life are also where our greatest potential for growth is.

I think having been overweight has made me appreciate my health more. It has made me love of my body more. I think it has made me enjoy food and all forms of physical pleasure more. I have learned to savor each and every bite of food I eat. Each meal is more satisfying to me. I appreciate indulging more because I do so less often and I do it with a more positive mindset.

I think my experience with being overweight has made me more confident with who I am today both internally and externally. Even though there are days where I look in the mirror and am not happy with how I look, for the most part I am. To be honest, I was kind of obsessed with mirrors when my weight loss first hit me. It was a version of myself I had never seen. I remember seeing my reflection in a window while walking down the street, and at first it didn’t even register that it was me. I think that was when I first really saw myself differently. I think seeing myself without realizing it made me able to see myself for what I really look like.

I think being overweight has made me appreciate clothes more. I actually enjoy shopping now. I like to wear things that I find flattering. I feel more comfortable playing with new patterns, colors and styles. I use clothes to highlight the parts of myself that I love rather than hide what I don’t like.

Learn to see challenges you face as obstacles to overcome rather than barriers preventing you from reaching your goal. Rather than focusing on your problems, focus on the solutions. By making this simple shift in your thinking, you will be able to become much more resilient and be able to appreciate even the difficulties you face in life.

Instead of looking at the mistakes you regret, appreciate and become grateful for the lessons you have learned from them.

Dirty Little Secrets from When I was Fat

I thought it would be fun to spill the beans on all the irrational shit I would do before I lost weight.

1. Wearing black because it is supposed to be slenderizing.

2.Repeatedly bingeing at night, not eating enough the next day, then  bingeing again that night… and the cycle continued.

3. Wearing exercise clothes to make other people think you are coming from/ going to the gym.

4. I used to lie about my weight constantly. Like it’s just a number and it clearly does not change anything about what is right in front of you.

5. The Red Bikini wasn’t the only time I bought something that I had no plans of wearing in the present. When I bought The Red Bikini I definitely felt more of a pull from it, but I bought things I didn’t fit in all the time. Like buying clothes a size or two down will magically make you to lose weight. Being an optimist is only useful if you are willing to implement the solutions.

6. I used to order diet sodas with my fast food. Totally logical.

7. I had a habit of watching the Biggest Loser while flopped onto my bed and eating junk food. It was glorious.

8. I used to fake check-in at the gym on Foursquare.

9. I would tell myself I was going to start a diet on Monday which would give me a great excuse to go all out until then.

10. Most of the diets I attempted involved cutting something out entirely (no grains, no sweets, etc.). The result? Bingeing on that same food group about 2 weeks later.

11. I used to order most of my clothes online because I was embarrassed to go shopping in person. Then the clothes I ordered didn’t fit right. I kind of went on a mall rat phase when I first lost weight (I had no clothes that fit me anyways). Seriously, weight loss is a great excuse to take up shopping as a new hobby.

12. I complained about my weight all the time, but rarely would I actually do shit about it.

13. I would wear Spanx all the time. We’re not just talking when you need to look nice. I would wear them on a daily basis. I made a contract with myself that I would never wear Spanx again. I think it represents the idea of not accepting yourself and feeling like you are not enough (or too much, I guess).

14. I bought countless weight loss products, joined a handful of weight loss sites and researched anything and everything relating to weight loss. I had a library of nutrition books. I read so much about nutrition that when I took a nutrition class my senior year of college, there wasn’t much new information for me. I did the same with exercise as well.  I could tell you all about all the muscle groups to work. I knew countless strategies for working out. I pretty much had the nutrition facts of the menus of every restaurant I went to learned by heart (and brain). I looked up countless scientific studies on weight loss and how to best lose weight. I was fascinated by the subject. It wasn’t only with individual weight loss. I did a ton of research about the obesity epidemic, nutrition in the education system (or lack thereof), government policies that impact the health of the population. I was kind of embarrassed about how much I knew about it all while still being overweight.   Actually taking action on my own weight problem? Haha nope. Mind over matter only goes so far, I can tell you that much.

I think the source of a lot of these  behaviors were a sense of knowing there was an issue to be dealt with, but the only motivation at the time was external. There is only so far that wanting to look good for others, impressing other people and doing something to gain more acceptance in general can push you. If you really want something and want to improve yourself, the drive has to come from within, for yourself and your own good (at least for me it does). I didn’t start taking action until I had that spark go off, until I was able to see myself at my goal weight in my own mind. Up until that point I didn’t have the drive. I didn’t have a true inner desire for it or belief in myself. I had to see it to believe it (just not necessarily in present physical reality).

Finding Your Strength

When a lot of people think of being strong, they think of being able to lift heavy weights, to have great physical power. But strength is a lot more than that. It is about finding the motivation, the drive to take on anything within yourself. It is about allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the face of adversity.  We all have it, we just need to find it and hold on to it.

Strength is about having confidence and faith. It is knowing without a doubt that you can achieve your goals. It is the ability to see barriers in life as challenges that you are destined to overcome, rather than the reason you are being prevented from achieving them.

So how do we realize this strength? How do we hold onto it?

Believe in yourself. Try to envision yourself at your goal. What is it that you want from achieving your goals? How will you feel when you get there? If you can picture yourself at that place, then you know you have it in you. The next step is to flip the switch and rise to the occasion.

Don’t just go through the motions. Take in your experience. Be aware of your thoughts, your actions and responses to the world around you. Be engaged with life.

Have an adaptable plan. Consider your environment and circumstances, but allow yourself to adapt when the situation asks for it.

Never forget where you started but keep your eye on the prize.

Stay Motivated, Maintain Balance and Be Strong.

Embracing Your Inner Fat Kid

Because we all have an inner fat kid.

Can we be honest here? Nobody is perfect with their diet and fitness routine. We all make mistakes. And guess what, mistakes are usually a lot of fun. Who doesn’t love to spend an entire day on the couch binge-watching Netflix and not giving a shit? Who doesn’t love the occasional gluttonous feast? And there is nothing wrong with that. We shouldn’t feel ashamed when that happens.

Part of why I am able to stay in shape is because I’ve learned to not be too hard on myself. I made a lifestyle style change. I didn’t ever go in saying I was going to always stick to the plan. I suck at that. I am messy, disorganized and show up late to everything. So why would I expect myself to pitch a perfect game? Not my style. But I eat healthy most the time. I love fruits and vegetables. I love healthy food… but, junk food is kind of delicious. I eat the occasional pint of Ben and Jerry’s. I occasionally say “fuck it” and get a soda instead of water. And I’m going to say it, I LOVE FAST FOOD! Well, I usually feel like shit after, but it’s delicious in the moment.

So you want to know the real secret to being healthy and balanced? It’s called moderation! It’s this great thing when you are healthy most of the time, but you still unleash your inner fat kid every once in a while.

And the best part is I get to I eat chocolate on a daily basis.