I have been there, too. Lunch comes around and I stare at the wonderfully packed over-night oats I brought to work. I distinct voice in my head says: “I don’t want to.” and I’m overwhelmed with longing for a candy bar or something loaded with salt and grease that would make my heart happy (just not very healthy). I tend to panic, needing my brain to be on board with my choices or else French fries and chocolate bars will soon be shoved in my mouth.
So what do you do when you just don’t want to? I’ve got some great ideas for you. This is going to be a fun one.
Micaela’s favorite word is still, “No.” and it is interesting because she uses that word to give her space. She literally says no because she needs time to think, a lot longer time than most people. But “no” doesn’t always mean, “I won’t” it means “I won’t right this second.”
I’ve noticed we often give in or feel discouraged when we realize we don’t want to be healthy or follow through with our healthy choices. We might then believe that we don’t have enough will-power or that we aren’t motivated enough. This is far from the truth. We actually instead are probably struggling with some emotional or physical needs and we actually just need a moment to process what those are.
Micaela’s tendency to say no is a powerful tool. It doesn’t just give her space, it also helps all her caregivers from school to home, become more aware of what she might be feeling. Today I want to encourage you to do the same thing for your own moments of “Don’t want to” so you can take even better care of yourself and find even more determination and commitment to your health goals. This is expert-level weight loss advice. So, let's dive in!
Micaela and her caregivers are always using her, “NO!” to go through the exact same process. 1. We ask her to notice how she is feeling emotionally and physically. 2. We ask her and ourselves what she might be needing or missing. 3. We address the true problem. 4. We set good expectations for follow through for Micaela and everyone involved.
So, as you stay committed to your health choices, even through this Holiday season, remember to address that thought of “I don’t want to” by #1: Noticing the thought, #2 asking what is going on, #3: finding healthy solutions, and #4 making a plan for next time.
I don’t know about you, but I am really enjoying this time of year. I love the events and the activity. I have my fall break coming up just next week where my husband, girls, and family will spend really amazing time together. I pray that you have a blessed week. Good bye for now!
#110, My Favorite Hacks for Accepting Food Gifts and Enjoying Them Without Paying the Price on My Waistline
The holidays aren’t just loaded with activities and social gatherings that come with all our favorite foods, we are also usually given food items as gifts. In fact, I remember growing up here in rural New Mexico, we had tons of neighbors and friends giving us food. We received anything from tamales to wrapped sweet breads to tins of chocolates. There were definitely items that we looked forward to each year and there was no way I was going to turn down that experience. I still look forward to those gifts. I love enjoying them, giving honest compliments, and giving my own offerings of sweet treats.
The question becomes, how do we accept food gifts, enjoy them, and still stay healthy throughout the holidays. I’ve got some great hacks for you today.
This year I want to give out gift bags of sugar-cinnamon pecans. Last year Adela and I spent hours baking and creating cookies, and it was way more stressful than I cared for it to be. So, this year I planned an item that could be made ahead and stored then brought out and packaged when it came time to give things away. Sorry, this is a total spoiler alert for my coworkers and family, but it is important to me that I’m honest with you about how I felt about gifts of food. I don’t think they are necessary or the only thing to give during the holidays. I truly enjoy over the candles and soaps and mugs we receive during this time of the year as well. However, it is such an integrated part of our culture that we really can’t get away from it.
This week’s podcast centers on what to do if you are given food items AND you want to enjoy them. This is totally optional. Not everything you are offered needs to be ate or drank. But we can all probably name that treat that we anticipate each year or the special person we won’t say “no” to. So, with that in mind, here are some tips to help you stay in control and stay healthy as you enjoy the season:
It was so fun having this chat with you. Once again I want to encourage you by reminding you that God made food to be enjoyable, as a blessing to our lives and I pray that you find that balance as you both enjoy those gifts during the holiday season and continue to honor God with making healthy choices for your body.
All my love to you! I’ll talk with you next week.
Yes, we’re a couple months or so from the time when new-year’s resolutions are going to be posted all over the internet, but as we enter into the holidays, this is the perfect time to set some goals for how we would like to handle the next couple months of celebrating. So, with this in mind, I’m going to talk to you today about how specific goals are powerful and how you can create them.
In case you had any question about my humanity, I am excited to reassure you that my world is less than perfect. Between the responsibilities of the home and farm and the busy life of school as a teacher I find the holidays are a perfect opportunity for me to go back to the old habit of stress eating. To top it off, the holidays are heavily laden with opportunities to eat in ways that really don’t serve my brain or body at all.
Once upon a time, I would begin this time of year with a vague concept of not gaining any weight. I would just “be good” this year and January 1st would find my waist the same circumference that it was on October 31st. No biggie. After all, I’m a grown up and I can handle the holidays.
You can guess that I started the new year with extra pounds and regret each and every year.
Learning how to care for myself in better and different ways made it to where a few years ago I finally made it through the holidays with no damage control needed once they were over. But, I can’t lean on old success to get me through that situation again. Every year is different. Our daughters are at different developmental stages and my work at school is different too. Plus, the needs of the home and farm are constantly in flux.
I have found it extremely helpful to set specific goals this time of the year and I’m going to walk you through this process.
I am determined to stay healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally over the holidays so this is what that looks like for me:
As I worked that out with you I got excited. It doesn’t seem hard and it feels so good to have a plan. For years I would just try really hard and fail because I never went through this process. Also, this plan gives my brain a task and something to look for. Instead of making my brain think we need to be fearful of all the spontaneous eating and food gifts, I can instead approach it with confidence. Our brains love doing what it believes is important so telling my brain that meal planning, drinking water, eating vegetables and taking time to refresh is what is important will help my brain look for opportunities to follow through.
And, if you are one of my members, I am posting a PDF of this process for you as part of our monthly challenge. Remember, the membership is only $5 per month and comes with the entire 12-month course as well as access to an online community and the monthly challenge with resources.
Stay tuned to this podcast, I am really going to be concentrating on giving you support, encouragement, and tips over this Holiday Season. Our next episode is all about my favorite hacks for accepting food gifts and enjoying them without paying the price on my waistline.
I love you, sweet sister! Talk to you next week.
For just a couple dollars and a few minutes you can harness some serious health and habit changing power, without even breaking a sweat. Interested. I hope so. Today I’m going to break down why journaling is truly an impressive health and habit change tool, how it works, and what you can do to get started without feeling like you’re back in your high school English class. I’m passionate about this one because I’ve seen it work both for myself and so many women I’ve coached.
I was such a nerdy little girl and still am a pretty nerdy woman. I don’t mind because as I learned the skills of being a life coach, I've come to appreciate some of the things that I already do that serve me so well, and the first on the list is journaling.
Did any of you keep a journal as a young girl? I have one that started when I was 8 years old. I remember how good it felt, even then, to write down the secret thoughts in my mind and feelings from my heart. Once on paper I would then read it all again as if viewing a different world, my own world taken out of an angsty soul and onto a piece of paper where it felt less overwhelming.
Journaling can take places of deep pain from the shadows and into the light where you are capable of doing things about it. Journaling can clear up confusion, helping you piece reality back from the pieces of shattered heart. And, journaling is accessible, available with the need of only a cheap notebook and writing utensil, or the notes program in your phone.
However, even with all that lovingly said, I know many of my sweet sisters are far from convinced. You don’t want to look at your words on screen or paper and see another side of your imperfect person out in the open. However, I’m going to walk you through three key reasons that journaling is one of your most powerful assets then walk you through some tips to get started journaling in an easy way.
Writing brings things out in the open. When things are hidden they are often not brought into healing light. Let me give you an example of this. I am really good at harboring resentment. Things will build up in me until I don’t want to talk to anyone, I’m in a terrible mood, I feel unappreciated, and I’m completely unsatisfied with life. But, if asked, I really would have no idea why. When I pour it out on paper, suddenly I feel like less of a monster and more of a flawed human who needs a nap and hasn’t had a break in a few days. Just writing it down helps the weight lift from my heart and it is so much easier to invite God into my world because I’m no longer hiding from or shoving away my pain.
Writing uses the higher brain. I’ve discussed this often but let me recap the higher and lower brain. God beautifully designed your mind, but of course the Devil knows how to take advantage of our humanity, too. So, your higher brain is less emotional and way more logical. It can make great decisions and sift through information to serve you best. But, the lower brain is loud, emotional, and often takes over whenever it senses discomfort in any way. I truly think God designed us this way to keep us safe and keep us balanced. But, when the lower brain is running the show, it is hard to make great choices. When we write things down, our thoughts and circumstances become more black & white and less full of emotional baggage. We can sort things out then and begin to see how our thoughts and feelings can be acknowledged, healed, and changed. Without this process of writing things down, though, our lower brain continues to run the show because we can’t separate fact from emotional thoughts and reactions. This especially helps when we are trying to make changes but feel like we keep sabotaging ourselves. Afterall, when we realize that we don’t need to go to the candy bin out of anger and frustration because those feelings are being fed by a lie, then we can turn away from food for comfort and seek out the real healing for our pain instead.
Writing helps create habits and adopt life-giving thoughts. After you’ve done the work of sorting through the hurting thoughts and limiting beliefs you have in your head, it is the perfect time to write down life-giving truths about who you are and about your life. Writing them down is very different from just thinking about them. It is a declaration and it takes it out of your head and out where you can see it and believe it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sorted out all the hurt and realized most, if not all of it, was twisted truths or downright lies. Then, when I challenge those thoughts and beliefs I find peace with single phrases or sentences such as “I’m never alone.” “You’re doing good.” “God is within me.”
So, now that you have a better idea of how journaling can help, let's talk about two tips to get started.
Hey, before we part ways today, I want to encourage you not to feel like you need to get started and do this every day from the get go. Just set out at first to build those journaling muscles. You could start by just doing a weekly written response to this podcast, answering the questions I ask, or making connections to your history or current reality that it reminds you of. Set a timer for just a few minutes so your brain doesn’t freak out thinking you’re about to sit down and try to hash out an entire term paper.
Journaling is a gift and I know it will lend itself so much to your journey for change.
I love you so very much. Have a great day and I’ll talk to you next week.
The other day I almost gave up on a lesson. I was guiding my English students through a lesson on grammar and mechanics and things just weren’t going as I’d planned. I knew I’d messed up and the possibility of a perfectly executed lesson was no longer possible. I paused, and all I wanted to do was tell the students to open up their Chrome Books and work quietly on their research projects. Perfectionism was killing me. My old tendency to give up once I knew it had no possibility of it being a perfect experience, filled my being. But, surprisingly, I heard the Holy Spirit gently remind me of my humanity. So I swallowed, let my student know that I hadn’t done things well for them but that we were going to try a different direction. We kept going on the lesson and finally things began to click for the kids. By the time the bell rang we were all relieved and I was happy I hadn’t given up, even if the whole thing had taken twice as long as I’de planned.
Perfectionism will get you to quit on yourself quicker than almost any other habit I’ve encountered both personally and while coaching women on weight loss and habit change. Today, I'd like to walk you through this and what you can do about it.
Perfectionism is so normal and I have to call out the Devil on this one, because he loves to lie to us that we do and should have the capability of doing something perfectly. But we don’t. Perfectionism is a tendency to want things around us to be perfect like a perfectly organized pantry or a perfectly clean living room. Perfectionism is a tendency to want our bodies to be perfect--slim, trim, capable of running a marathon, and devoid of scar or mole. Perfectionism is a belief that we must be perfect, demonstrating the fruit of the spirit--love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control--with no flaw in our words or actions.
Dear sister, there is a thin line between high standards and impossible expectations because we are not, nor will we be, perfect on this side of Heaven. And, as soon as you hear me say that or you say it to yourself, the perfectionist inside you will throw a mini-tantrum, announcing that if perfection is not impossible then what's the point in trying?
See how toxic that is? See how defeating that is?
That is not the space we were meant to live in. It leaves no room for love, grace, compassion, and celebration. Perfectionism will slow you down far more than it will motivate you.
Here are some tips for knocking yourself out of perfectionism and into powerful motivating growth:
Okay, sweet sister, let me walk you through those tips again. 1. Rely on God more than yourself 2. Seek support from others 3. Celebrate every little thing. The journey to leave perfectionism behind will not be finished in a day, but as you learn to do this in your health journey, I pray you start to leave perfectionism behind in other areas of your life as well, inviting love, grace, and joy into those spaces.
All my love to you. I’ll talk to you next week. Good bye for now.
I have so been looking forward to having this conversation with you. Right now, in our monthly challenge within Weight Loss from the Soul, we are taking a break from our trigger foods in order to regain some perspective on how those foods affect our brains and bodies. The next step though can be even harder, especially for my sweet sisters who have been putting themselves in ultra restrictive diet prisons for several years or decades: how to plan and enjoy treats.
Today’s topic is so important. I don’t know about you, but the holidays are filled with a lot of my favorite food. Stuffing, pecan pie, iced Christmas cookies, and Halloween candy. I am going to teach you all about the power of permission when it comes to handling foods or beverages that traditionally might have thrown you over the edge.
Do you remember that verse in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 where Paul says, “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial”? I have always found this statement to be a balm for my soul, reminding me that I am fully loved and saved even if I am far from perfect. I used to have so much shame around my eating habits and that shame never helped me get thinner or helped me find healing around that addiction.
So, today, I am going to walk you through how giving yourself permission to enjoy treats can lend itself to healing in this area of your life.
First of all, let's talk about what our brains think whenever we are typically on some sort of restrictive diet. Our brain decides that certain food items, beverages, or categories are evil and shameful and must be avoided at all cost in order to be successful. Then we decide to have a “cheat meal” or “cheat day” or we simply take a bite of that off-limits item and suddenly we’re face-first in a hundred things we feel we shouldn’t be eating or drinking. Why? Well, we’ve already messed up, soiled the clean eating of the day. We might as well eat and drink it all because we can’t take it back and tomorrow we’ll be “good”.
Sound familiar? Yes, sweet sister. I know. That was me, too. Honestly, learning how to give myself permission to enjoy treats helped me break free from the pattern of binging and restricting. Eating is pleasurable and I still look forward to danishes and a cafe mocha from Starbucks. I want to encourage you to start planning enjoyable eating experiences. And, if that sounds scary, let me walk you through how to do it right so you don’t fall off that make-believe wagon.
I call this the 5-P process. It is very simple. And, if you are part of my membership, there is a page on this month’s PDF that walks you through this..
Choose the meal/situation and a food that you will enjoy. Avoid thoughts like “cheat meal” or “Cheat day”. You are not doing anything wrong. Also, don’t think of it as a “day-off.” This is a planned food item or meal. Not a day to go crazy.
Decide what the number or quantity will be for that food or drink and say out loud, “Okay, I am going to have ----- and enjoy it.” For example, yesterday I said, “Today I’m having three peanut butter cookies with a cup of coffee after school.”
It is important that you plate it at this point. If your treat is a beverage, pour it into a special glass or tell yourself it will only be this bottle, can, or cup. This will help you stick to your portion size and remind your brain that the experience is sanctioned and should be enjoyed. I put those 3 cookies on a plate and took it to the table away from the container of cookies.
Eat or drink in peace. Turn off the TV. Put your phone on silent. Try to have as little distractions as possible.
Slow down. Take small bites or sips. Savor the flavors and textures. Describe it in your brain. Often our need for more and more is driven by our lack of attention to the experience.
It really is that simple: Plan, portion, plate, peace, and pleasure. If you do this you will find so much more enjoyment in the experience and little to no thoughts of shame or fear. Those two things combined can give you the strength and power to stop yourself from falling into a binge or going off the deep end for a day or more.
I really struggle with perfectionism and I know that is the same for a lot of you. And, sometimes, I just have to look myself square in the face and say, “Don’t be a jerk, plan a treat.” I have to say that because it has been so deeply ingrained in us that certain ways of eating are bad. Planning enjoyable eating experiences will help you begin to heal. And, if you are worried about that food or beverage sabotaging your weight loss I want to offer a couple thoughts:
Remember, if you are interested in signing up for the membership, enrollment is open and you can join in on our October challenge. It’s only $5 per month. Just go to loraarmendariz.com/weightloss
Talk to you next week. Good bye for now.
We live in a culture famous for its canceling, quitting, and retreating tendencies. Then we wonder why we can’t get the hard things done. Hey, Sweet Sister, this journey you are on for habit and health changes is worth the fight and the commitment. Today I’m going to walk you through the steps you can take so that you don’t quit on yourself.
Commitment is not a magical condition that only comes when you hit your sweet spot and everything goes right or is right for you. That is completely off-base for what commitment really is. Oxford dictionary defines commitment as: the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
Dedication is a decision. Dedication takes preparation. Dedication requires us to move beyond comfort and convenience. For those reasons, many of us find that we are not committed whenever things get hard. Instead, we casually put our dreams down.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I made a contract with our eldest daughter, Adela. She loves every animal on the planet and we’ve lost count of the different species she has asked to have as a pet in the house or another critter on the farm. Honestly, we usually turn her down. However, she is getting more crafty, presenting reasons and creating plans behind her requests. So, when presented with her most recent desire for a goldfish that doesn’t live in a stock tank, we decided to see what she had in her commitment bank. We asked her to first tell us why she wanted a goldfish and then do some research about their needs and what equipment would be required. She did both eagerly. However, we still weren’t convinced. We needed to know she was committed to the animal. So, we made a contract where she could earn her fish and the equipment by doing extra chores. She is three weeks in and still hasn’t changed her mind. So far, she remains dedicated to her choice.
Now, we aren’t 11 years old and our dreams to make permanent changes to our health and habits isn’t going to take just a few weeks. We need to have the dedication and commitment to keep going as long as it takes to reach those goals. Thankfully, this is something you don’t have to wait for, you can create it.
Adela is still working hard with her extra chores, doing her best to earn her fish tank. I watch her and realize that it is more than just hard work, it is a choice. A choice to do something hard instead of something easy. She could give up and do less work, having more time for Legos and running around in the pastures with her lambs, but she chooses to strive toward her goal. I’m proud of her.
Sweetheart, one last thing about commitment: are you honoring your hard work? Are you recognizing the great choices YOU are making, too? Are you proud of your progress and proud of all the little things you do to get yourself there?
Commitment is a lot about relationships. Adela’s commitment is also related to the trust she has with her parents, knowing we will honor her work. What about you? What kind of relationship do you have with your soul? Do you never stop to recognize what you have done? Do you always simply push forward to the next thing, the next goal? Build that loving and honoring relationship with yourself and you’ll also find that commitment comes easier.
Well, sweet sister, I hope you are loving this fall weather and remember that if you want some extra support and community in the holiday season around your health and habit choices, you can now join my membership and get full access to the 12-week course for just $5.
I’ll be back next week with another great episode. Until then, all my love, and goodbye for now.
Whenever we are in a quest to become healthier and make lasting changes, it can feel like we are fighting against weak and flawed flesh. But how can we expect to win when we are divided against yourself? In today’s podcast I want you to harness some powerful gratitude and pride in the body God gave you in order to highly motivate your habit change and health choices.
I believe everyone deserves to be healthy and should have access to the solutions I teach in my course, weight loss from the soul.. So, instead of only going through the course with women a couple times of year, women can now subscribe for $5 a month and have:
If you're interested, head over to loraarmendariz.com/weightloss and sign up today.
For way too long, I looked at the woman in the mirror as if I were critiquing an English paper. The margins were all wrong, flesh hanging just a little over my waistline. There were countless errors such as cellulite around my thighs and stretch marks from pregnancies. My face was too full and my goodness, I definitely don’t have cute and defined ankles to go with my thick legs. I could go on, but you get the idea. However, unlike a stack of essays, there was no whipping out a red pen to mark things up so that it could all get edited proficiently in a matter of minutes. And yet, I liked to think that if I worked hard enough I could whip things into shape in no time at all.
And, that is how I saw my body. A flawed object that I was responsible for perfecting.
So so sad. And in no way did that ever make me feel confident or proficient. Instead I felt even more ashamed of binge eating and my imperfect body. Somehow, at some point, our culture fed us the idea that we were in charge of exactly how our body looked and anything short of magazine perfection meant we weren’t cutting it, we weren’t trying hard enough. Everything we do out of that attitude and space becomes almost punishing. Trying to force our bodies into a mold. And we often do things that are really hard and feel so terrible that we give up or go back to our old ways.
When you are wanting to lose weight for the last time, your perspective and attitude toward your body is worth spending a little time thinking about, because when you value and respect your body, you will find extra love, extra motivation, and extra perseverance to do what brings you closer to a healthy life.
There are three steps to this process. This is definitely a podcast where you’ll want to sit down somewhere and grab a pen and paper.
Wanting to honor and care for our body will have you making the best choices naturally. You might turn down that extra serving of desert because you want to be kind to yourself. That is actually the same choice you might make while trying to restrict out of frustration or shame. However, those choices fueled by love are so much easier to carry out and keep on making.
Know that I love you and I am praying for your journey. I am praying that you begin to love the masterpiece God made in you.
Talk to you next week. Good bye for now.
This is a special requested topic from a very sweet listener. She asked me what I thought about the shame and fear that comes with being overweight and either having or being at risk for more health issues. As you know, fear, shame, and worry can be killers for permanent weight loss. So on today’s podcast we are going to discuss what we can do if those feelings come up, especially if they derail us into unhealthy choices.
If you look it up online, you will find that the list of medical conditions that are linked to being overweight or obese is staggeringly high. Then there is an entire other list of medical conditions that are exasperated by being over the suggested health BMI range. Doctors, studies, and statistics aside, our own common sense knows that being overweight doesn’t feel good. We become slower, have less energy, and more aches and pains.
So, yes, fighting for healthy changes is worth it, but I want to ask you what fuels your fight? Love? Or fear? In order to wrap your brain around this, we are going to step into a completely different scenario.
I’m a school teacher. Right now I am teaching high school English and elementary art and music. I love my job. It’s busy, fun, and the kids are amazing. Every once in a while you’ll run into a student who is super high achieving. It might be that they are naturally good at their academics and enjoy challenges, or they might have high aspirations and want the grades and skills needed for a desired career or future. Then there is a third group of children that perform because of pressures at home. They get great grades and are possibly involved in other activities because they fear the disapproval or anger of their loved ones. What you see is that the kids who enjoy the academics or are driven to reach their dreams will keep going even when it is hard. But often the kids who are driven by fear will reach their cracking point, or, the moment they move away from home, they might go off the rails.
That makes sense, right? So, what happens when you are the person who is fighting for better health out of fear and shame? The problem is, that you are also responsible for keeping the heat up so that you keep pushing yourself forward. For those high-achieving kids whose parents are the ones who push them forward with high expectations, they have a powerful and constant force and those kids either keep going or they break. But if you expect yourself to lose weight out of that fear YOU are going to have to keep pushing. And, to be honest, it isn’t very realistic to keep going out of fear. Too quickly will come the day where your need for comfort outweighs your fear.
Now, the knowledge of your health conditions and risks can still fuel your loving need to take care of yourself. In this scenario, you become the kid that is pushing themselves forward because they want to reach their hopes and dreams. They can visualize the life they are fighting for and they can probably equally visualize the life in which they gave up before reaching their goals. They want better things for themselves. It is exciting and full of hope. They are looking for the next step forward. Yes, there are days that it is really hard and they will have a lapse or fall-downs but they get up again. They are their own cheerleaders.
We want to be the one fighting for our future and our best life. That is what God wants for us. God has never wanted for us a life where our temptations destroy our health. But, I also want to comfort you with the knowledge that He has great plans for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).
So, if you are struggling with shame and fear, I have some very practical next steps for you.
#1, Get very clear on why you want to get healthy. List all the benefits and all your hopes.
#2, Get very clear on what your goal is. Do you want to put some healthy habits in place? Is there a number on the scale you want to reach? Is there a fitness level you want to get to, such as being able to run a race or complete an exercise circuit at the gym?
#3, Share your goal and your reasons for getting healthy with your friends, loved ones, spouses—whoever will be there to give you love, support, and accountability.
#4, Identify resources you can utilize in your journey.
#5, Make a plan to revisit your reasons and your goal often. Write it down and post it on the bathroom mirror, on the inside of your planner, or on the refrigerator door.
I want to give a special thanks to the sweet listener who was vulnerable, honest, and courageous enough to show me what was going on in her head and heart. Her struggle is a common one and I am honored to share it with you here on the podcast.
If you want some health or advice about where to get started as you make some health changes, go ahead and take the quiz. With your results you’ll be given some powerful next-steps and some popular episodes from my podcast that encourage you in your journey.
All my love to you, sweet sister. I’ll talk to you later.
Do you ever get stuck in a loop in your head? Do you ever get in a cycle of not following through on your good intentions? Do you ever feel your efforts thwarted by negative beliefs and pessimistic outlooks? Today we are going to discuss a strategy to push out of cyclical failure. This is a good one.
In the last episode we dove into becoming resourceful in our weight loss and health goals so we can really start making progress. When I was recording that podcast I realized that it has been a while since we had a conversation about how important it is not to get stuck inside our own head and what we can do to avoid that.
Dr. Caroline Leaf did some studies on individuals where she hooked them up to brain scanning devices and told them to THINK about something that was worrying them. Then they returned the next day after getting specific instructions not to inform or discuss their worries with another individual. It was fascinating. The scans ended up being nearly identical. No change happened even though it was a worry they were trying to figure out or get ahead of. THen she had them verbally discuss the issue, then take another scan while thinking about it. The scans finally changed and never went back to their original patterns.
She found scientific evidence for something that as humans we feel all the time: Getting stuck on a problem in our heads. Continued study showed that verbal or written conversations, journaling, and prayer all hold the power to break negative cycles in the brain. Wow, right?
For a lot of women I work with, turning to food or beverages to comfort and calm themselves while they are in these cycles is a very ingrained habit. While we’ll work on using other solutions that are healthier for coping, the real solution is to learn to get out of that loop in your brain.
What are you really stressed or worried about right now? Okay, I’m going to walk you through a little exercise. It only takes a few minutes if you stay focused. You can do it on paper, out loud, talk it out with a friend, or pray about it either verbally or in a journal. Alright? The goal is to stop cycles of emotional eating by getting out of the worry cycle instead of just trying to stop ourselves from comforting ourselves from food. Instead we comfort ourselves by getting out of the negative loop altogether.
You’re going to ask and answer a series of questions with the goal of getting a new perspective on the situation, finding a solution, or possibly realizing that there isn’t as big of a problem as you suspected. I’m going to list the questions and then work through one of my own worries with you.
The questions are:
What is the problem?
Why is this a problem?
Is there any way to see this problem as a blessing?
What would have to change for this not to be a problem any more?
What do you have control of?
What are you taking responsibility for that you have no control over?
What can you take today on today, tomorrow, or in the near future?
What do you need to let go and let God take control of?
What would you like to ask others to pray about for you?
I do have a worry. So I’ve never taught highschool English before. In fact, beyond some work in church, I’ve never taught beyond the 9th grade. I’m nervous and afraid that it will be a train wreck…that I’ll be a train wreck.
Before I go through the questions with you, I want to pray, inviting the Holy Spirit into the process.
Dear God, I know you love me, you love my students. Please fill me with your insight, wisdom and peace as I sort through my thoughts, amen.
What is the problem? The problem is that I have never taught highschool English before and I am still learning the standards and the age group.
Why is this a problem? I might not be very good at my job. I might even fail and the students will learn nothing and I’ll be miserable.
Is there any way to see this problem as a blessing? It is a challenge. It will stretch me and grow me. Plus, I’ll get to know what high school students are like a little better.
What would have to change for this not to be a problem any more? I would have to learn the standards, figure out how to teach them, and develop classroom management strategies that work for me and this age group of students. Most of all, I need practice.
What do you have control of? My attitude, my learning, the curriculum,what the physical classroom environment looks like, my self-evaluation process, asking for mentor teacher’s advice and input.
What are you taking responsibility for that you have no control over? The thoughts, reactions and feelings of other students, administration, teachers, and parents. Most of all, I am trying to take responsibility for a future that hasn’t happened yet.
What can you take action on today, tomorrow, or in the near future? I can start to work on the curriculum, begin a process of self-evaluation and journaling, find a mentor, and keep admin involved in my development.
What do you need to let go and let God take control of? My students’ hearts and all my tomorrows.
What would you like to ask others to pray about for you? That I figure things out and develop a curriculum that truly benefits the students and the school and that I develop a rapport with my students that facilitates learning.
What are you worried about today? These questions are found on the show notes for today’s podcast at loraarmendariz.com/podcasts. I encourage you to work through them with a mature friend, your journal, or your prayer time. It is a process that will help you feel more calm and content so much quicker than a sleeve of Oreos. I’m serious. Already I have to tell you that I feel more confident about the school year and even excited about figuring this out.
Thank you, God. and thank you, dear friend. All my love to you! Catch you next week.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.