Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Gaining and Losing

Have you ever stepped on the scale and wondered, "O MY GOODNESS! How did I just gain like five pound in a week?" We all worry about it, but especially with vacation season here, we've worried our way up until the moment we leave about how we are going to look in our bathing suit, only to worry about what the scale says about us when we get back.

Here's the rock bottom truth: We all gain weight. We all lose weight, too.
Let's not forget that a number is never finite. That means that the number that you see on the scale after the beach or the trip is not always reflective of how you ate a whole bag of Sunchips in the car on the way to the beach (done that) and had a huge handful of M&M's until the bag was empty (oops, me too).

First of all, travel always disrupts our gut and our fluid status. That means that the traveling part slows our bowels down, and then all the sitting causes us to retain fluid. Then, we eat all sorts of "treats" which are usually higher in fat and sugar-- whether it's the soda on the beach or the glass of wine at night, not to mention all the extra snacks and desserts. 

I  am always shocked when I get back on the scale after vacation. But I have to tell myself. Do. not. panic. I don't need to diet. I need to get back to what is called "mindful eating". Small weight changes or fluctuations in weight do not need to set us off on a crash diet. Most of us just need to return to our healthier habits and normal physical activities, ones that do not include lounging around like a slug in the sun slurping up every calorie laden beverage in sight...

After listening to a great webinar about mindful eating, I really liked how the speaker made her principles easy to remember and full of sound, non-panicky, wisdom:

1) Eat with INTENTION.

2) Eat with ATTENTION.

After thinking about it for a few minutes, I usually know exactly what I need to do to get back on track. First, I start choosing my food very carefully if I'm up a few pounds. Or, if I've been really busy and I've been on survival mode, I pay more attention to what foods taste like, chewing more slowly and carefully, sitting down for meals, and paying more attention to the food I'm used to inhaling. Both strategies work to manage that weight as we gain and lose in the natural flow of life.

How are you doing managing your ups and downs? Any strategies you find really helpful? I'd love to hear them!


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