I hear it all the time, a woman I work with will have a great, fantastic health goal but will be completely stalled out because they just can’t figure out how to get what they need in order to get started and keep going. In today’s episode I’m going to teach you how to break out of this mindset, believe in the blessings God has given you, and move forward with practical and powerful resources.
I have to start out by telling you a funny story. Just to let you in on how human I am, I need to share with you a failing. So, last spring I really wanted to get back in shape. And, if you’ve been listening for a while, you’ll remember the episode I had about wanting to get ready for a family vacation to the beach and how my main goal was to work on my fitness level. Well, I decided that running on my treadmill was exactly what I needed most. However, my treadmill is in the bunkhouse and that place had the worst invasion of moths (we also call them millers). I did not want to be there. Moths fly at you and around you and the dust from their wings is fine, triggering lots of sneezes and coughing. So, I decided I needed the treadmill in my bedroom. For TWO WEEKS there was zero exercise. Instead I measured the floors and had endless conversations with my husband about moving our massive, old, clunky treadmill into our bedroom.
It didn’t happen, it just wouldn’t work. But I confess to tunnel vision. I truly believed that without this one resource I wouldn’t be able to get in shape. I needed the treadmill in the bedroom. End of story.
Okay, I know a lot of outside listeners are hearing this story and you can probably see a lot of solutions here like get rid of the moths or do other kinds of workouts.
This is so common. I see it the most when women decide they need to lose weight on a specific diet, especially ones full of foods they don’t enjoy or that require a ton of food prep that they aren’t used to doing. They also get tunnel vision believing their weight loss has to happen this way and not any other way. I’m going to walk you through the process of how to become resourceful so that you reach your goals.
Step #1: Define your goal. This is something that you should be able to measure somehow so that you know when you’ve reached it. My goal was to be able to do 30 minutes of intense cardio workouts in order to have the stamina and energy needed for our family vacation.
Step #2: List all the things that you can do that will help you reach that goal. Please note, I didn’t say for you to list the things that you WILL do but to list the things you CAN do. For me, this looked like running outside, doing fitness videos, and engaging in fast-paced strength training or aerobics.
Step #3: On another page, I want you to list your assets. Really expand your mind. Think about personal skills you already have, relationships that are supportive and can keep you accountable, time in your schedule that can be utilized, and even monetary resources such as space in your budget you could use. For example, one of my strongest skills is being organized and a good planner with great follow through. I also have an accountability group full of strong Christian women. Plus, my family is highly supportive. Listing your assets will help you start to see solutions and give you hope instead of making you feel lost and unconfident.
Step #4: Now, take your list of the things you can do to reach your goal and then, next to each item, figure out what resources you need to accomplish them. For example, if I want to run outside then I’ll need to plan to get out before it heats up outdoors, and I’ll need to arrange for the family to help me with Micaela. If I want to do a fitness video, I need to find videos that I would enjoy and that are intense enough to give me the challenge I need. Then I, once again, need to set aside time to do it.
Step #5: Make a plan for what you will do to reach your goal. Be detailed and have backup plans. For example, my plan was to run outside three days a week and do strength training three days a week. But, I knew that if that didn’t work I could put on a fitness video inside with the airconditioning going. I also had a way more flexible schedule with school out for the summer so I listed three different times that would work to get that workout in.
Being resourceful is very important. It will help you not to get stuck in a rut, able to see your way out of limitations. And, before we sign off there is one more resource I want you to consider: prayer.
I have a lot of listeners that are awesome prayer warriors, but have you ever prayed very specific prayers over your food choices and fitness? For me, this would look like asking God to bless the time I’ve set aside to move my body and to protect my mind from attacks of the enemy that might make me believe I can’t do it. So often we pray for everything except our health goals. God really cares about your health, sweet sister, and the power that is unlocked in prayer should not be underestimated. Ask your accountability partners to pray for that, too, for you. Ask them to pray specifically that you don’t give in to temptation after dinner or that your family honors your time to go for a walk. It is so fun to see God to bless your life in that way.
I’m rooting for you! You are going to take some great steps to becoming resourceful. I know it. In fact, I want to challenge you to send me a message and ask me what I can specifically pray for for you in your weight loss journey.
All my love to you, catch you next week.
I think it is completely appropriate that as we dive into our 100th episode, we talk about persistence. Persistence is a skill that comes in real handy when you are trying to make permanent changes because change takes some time. In today’s episode I’m going to give you some tips for staying persistent while giving you a sneak peak into my life and what persistence looks like for me.
***Weight Loss from the Soul***
If you are a busy lady who really wants to make progress in her health and weight loss goals, I open up my program three times a year. We dive into an incredible 12-week journey that helps you learn and implement physical, mental, and emotional habit changes so that you can gain momentum and stay in charge. All my program graduates then have life-time access to the course. Get weekly coaching, daily encouragement and accountability while learning how to lose weight for the very last time.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, Persistence is a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition
In other words, persistence means you keep going, even when it is hard.
This summer I started a new journey in my prayer life. Last semester things got crazy at school, and that is an understatement. Like so many of us do, I started to let some of my self-care practices fall to the side, feeling short of time and short on energy. At the top of this list was my exercise and daily journaling. As the school year came to a close I felt more frazzled than ever.
I hated feeling this way. I was exhausted and had a shorter fuse than normal with my family. I was desperate to feel peace and guidance from the Lord that I knew would fuel my life. So, I love studying my Bible, but I’m a terrible prayer warrior. I like to use my brain more than my heart, and I often just skipped prayer more than a simple greeting of God in the morning. God totally put it on my heart that so much of my frustration and anxiety would ease if I learned to lean on Him and invest in prayer.
So I did. And, spoiler alert, it has flowed into every other area of my life. I have more peace and energy as I trust in God instead of trying to do everything in my own strength. I even started investing more time into my physical and emotional health, realizing that I am loved and God holds my life in His hands.
If you haven’t thought about adding a strong prayer life to your weight loss journey, I highly encourage you to consider it.
However, as you can imagine, it has been a little difficult to stay persistent in prayer. When I start my days, my mind immediately offers me a dozen other things that it feels are way more important. And, sometimes my responsibilities as a mom and wife clash with my desire to spend quality time with God. I have learned to be persistent by following these three steps. As I go through them, I want you to consider how you can apply this to just one habit in your weight loss journey. As an example, this might be planning your food everyday, drinking enough water, daily movement, or logging your food.
#1: Know Your Why: Something will always come up to get in the way of your good intentions. It might be an emergency, a temptation, or a relationship that makes your follow through difficult. That is why you have to be very clear about WHY this habit is so important to you. If not, those other things will naturally be prioritized or you’ll be guilted into doing whatever you think everyone else needs or wants you to do. For example, if you have committed not to eating unless you are physically hungry so that you can honor your body, then you might cave if feel tempted by a treat that is brought into the office. However, if you know why honoring your body is important for your health and weight loss progress and remind yourself of that truth, you will have strength to persevere even if those cupcakes look amazing.
#2: Evaluate the Process: Sometimes things don’t work. You can set yourself up for failure thinking you have to do your new habit in a certain way or at a certain time, without attempting to figure out what really works best for your life and family. For example, you might decide that working out first thing in the morning is the best time to get in some exercise. But, in a single week, your baby needs to eat or be changed at that time and you have no way to get in some movement before the rest of the family is up and you’re on duty. Instead of giving up, you evaluate your process and realize that naptime or the evening is a better time for exercise and try that instead.
#3: Celebrate Progress: I can’t say this enough, you have to be celebrating your progress. So many of the things we do for our health aren’t seen by another human being. We have to learn to celebrate ourselves along the way. In weight maintenance, progress looks like consistency in habits instead of a downward trend on the scale, so I literally set habit streak goals, buy, and wrap my own little gifts to reward myself when I reach that streak. It is fun and it helps me stay motivated even when nobody knows what I’m doing except me.
Okay, sweet sister, I pray for many blessings over your weight loss journey and I am so honored to serve you through this podcast.
I really want you to consider joining me on for my next weight loss course. It’s an amazing experience. You get twelve weeks of groups coaching and a powerful step-by-step guide to how to lose weight for the last time. You will have daily encouragement and accountability and everything is yours to keep and access even after the course ends. If your interested head over to loraarmendariz.com/weightloss for more information or to enroll.
I’ll catch you next week! All my love to you.
This one is both for you “foodies” out there and for those who suffer with the “see food, eat food” condition. Did you know that you can severely undercut cravings and anxiety around eating opportunities by becoming a little bit of a snob? This is a fun episode where I’m going to break down the two main benefits to becoming a food snob then show you how to implement this into your daily life.
The other day I added doughnuts to my grocery order. I wanted to surprise my daughter since we don’t have doughnuts very often and she had mentioned them a few times. However, my order of glazed doughnuts was substituted with a box of filled doughnuts. Immediately I was disappointed, but later when we opened the box I decided to go ahead to have one. It was awful. The pudding in the center made for a very unappealing texture and it didn’t seem like there was enough glaze to go with the bread-y-ness of the doughnut. I ate half and gave the rest to the chickens. (Yes, I have chickens)
However, not long ago I would have finished the doughnut and had one or two more, holding on the supporting fact that it didn’t matter what they tasted like since we didn’t have doughnuts often. I have to admit, I’m becoming a bit of a food snob, and I like it.
So, what is a food snob? A food snob is simply someone who is just a bit discerning about the taste and texture of a food while staying aware of how it affects your body. I’m not saying you need gourmet meals or high-priced cooking ingredients, I’m just saying you can become a little picky about what you eat and then make some great choices about what you put in your mouth.
There are two main benefits to this: #1 You don’t eat everything & #2 you pay attention to what you eat.
In our culture, almost no one needs to be eating everything they are offered and what is on their plate. The typical American is constantly over-served and has way too many eating opportunities. In order to stay healthy we need to be able to say no. When you have things you will or will not eat, you can commit to staying healthy.
Americans also eat too fast. When you become a food snob, the eating experience becomes more intense. You think about the sensations of what you're eating and then process how much you enjoy or don’t enjoy what you are eating. Then, your brain has a way better chance of both remembering the experience and noticing when you’ve eaten enough.
Okay, how does that sound? Are you ready to back-track and become a picky eater? I have a few tips that will help you.
Alright, my dears, I’m so proud of your journey. I hope this episode was some good food for thought, (sorry for the pun). I’ll be back next week for another episode. Goodbye for now.
What is your first bite of food for the day? Are you an intermittent faster or a three squares a day kind of gal? What do you start breakfast with, lunch or dinner? You might have never considered this, but that first bite holds incredible power. In this episode I’ll give you some interesting information and teach you how to implement this concept into your weight loss journey.
I love this time of the year. It is a perfect time to jump start your weight loss journey. With kids going back to school and less summer social gathering, you can really target your health goals. Join me August 24, 25, and 31 for a special weight loss masterclass called Powerful Christ-Centered Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss. In this masterclass I’ll teach you practical and potent weight loss strategies to get you started losing your weight for the last time. Can’t make it in person? No problem. After the webinar you’ll have access to the replay, but those that attend live will get a very special bonus. You deserve a healthier body and a strategy that makes sense for your life. Sign up today at loraarmendariz.com/masterclass. And the best part, it is completely free.
I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for a few years now. My body loves it, but just recently I fell upon some research shared in a really cute podcast called Donna’s Intermittent Fasting Journal. Apparently, I had been missing out on a simple hack that could make all the difference in cravings and urges around food.
It’s called “the first bite”. If your first bite is something that serves your body such as vegetables, nuts, or fresh fruit, you will actually learn to crave this food instead of more unhealthy options over time. Let me explain how this works.
First, you experience the first bite with more pleasure. Have you ever noticed that the first bite of food, either for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack seems to capture your attention? You notice the flavors, textures, smells. But, with that next bite, the intensity of your experience begins to dim. So, if your first bite, say of fresh broccoli, comes with a heightened state of pleasure, you will be more excited to eat it the next time it is on your plate.
Second, the first bite teaches the brain what the solution is. Until just a few months ago, I almost always broke my fasts with the most delicious and palatable food on my plate. However, whatever we are satiating our hunger with, we are teaching our brains to see that food as a solution to our problems and we will crave that food more. What is interesting is that if we teach our brains that hunger is relieved with unsalted nuts or an apple, our brain will actually start suggesting that food whenever we are hungry. I have a theory that this is one of the reasons we love certain restaurants' bread or chips that they leave on the tables before the meal. I’ve went to restaurants where the “famous” bread or chips really weren’t that outstanding, but since we often come to the table hungry, we associate that food item with many feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
Third, The first bite teaches the brain what you prioritize. Our brains are very good at trying to find more of what is important to us and our brain gets its cues from whatever we seem to think is important. So, if we are scanning the menu or our plate for that lean protein or steamed veggies then making that our first bite, our brain will start to learn that veggies and lean meats are important to us and need to be prioritized. You’ll start to realize that you are much more likely to notice what’s being served in the salad bar or how good the chicken looks right off the grill instead of fixating on sugary solutions or simple carb dishes.
Lastly, it allows you to start your meal with balance. Did you know that your taste buds send signals to your brain that then decides how much insulin to release whenever you eat something? If you begin your meal with vegetables, healthy fats, or quality proteins, then your body won’t be immediately saturated in insulin. Plus, the fiber and fats in certain foods can slow down digesting, preventing the onslaught of glucose rises and crashes.
This “first bite” strategy is so powerful. It doesn’t require you to change what you eat, it just offers a way to begin that will have incredible effects on how you approach food and eating in the future.
Remember to sign up for the masterclass. I’m here to serve you, sweet sister. You’ve got this.
I see you, sweet sister. You want the weight gone yesterday. You want to wear those smaller clothes, fit into your skinny jeans, and feel lighter and energetic. I get it. That was me. Today we are going to talk about rapid vs slow weight loss. This is an incredibly important topic, especially for my sweet friends who want this time to be the last time. So, buckle up and get ready to get pumped up and encouraged in your journey.
There is always some amazing program, diet, shake, procedure, or pill that promises a fast weight loss solution. And, I get it, this is something we want so badly. Why can’t we have it now? Studies show that women who lose their weight fast are far more likely to gain it all back. Depending on the research, the percentable that regains is around 90% or higher. For a lot of work and pain, that completely sucks.
But it is hard not to cave and do whatever your best friend is doing to get her hips into a smaller size of pants. So, today I am going to fuel your healthy fight for permanent weight loss with some facts that will help you understand what you are doing and how it affects your future.
Fast weight loss. Depending on the weight you have and need to lose, fast weight loss is anything over 2 lbs per week if you have more than 30lbs to lose and anything over a 1 lb lost weekly if you have less than 30 lbs to lose. I would even argue that if you have less than 15 lbs to lose, fast weight loss is anything over .5 lbs:
What I see in the women I coach is that three things happen when weight loss is too fast.
#1. Burn out: When you ride yourself so hard and have a diet that is so difficult you will find that day when the pressure is just too much and you give up. That burn-out point could slam you straight into binging, letting it go for a weekend or longer, or even have you giving up all together. It will also definitely lead you to stopping whatever healthy choices you were making, the moment you reach your goal.
#2. Brain freak out: God designed part of our brain, the lower part, to go on red alert and get very emotional whenever it feels like you are in danger. When you lose weight fast, typically you are doing things that are very uncomfortable in your body and your brain. So, your lower brain will start to fight you and unless you do some deep thought work, you’ll find that fighting yourself is a losing battle. It takes too much willpower for that moment when your busy life throws other pressures at you, too.
#3 Not much real learning: When you are fighting for permanent weight loss, you have to figure out some things. You need to know what you enjoy eating, what works for your life, and self-care habits benefit you the most. If you throw too much at yourself, anything that you do will start to feel like an overwhelming chore, even if it is a healthy habit that would benefit you long-term. That is one reason I encourage the women I work with to implement changes slowly while evaluating their progress.
Now, let’s talk about slow:
#1. It’s sustainable: When you do things slow, you’ll find that those same practices will be easy to incorporate into your weight maintenance. You are doing things you enjoy and that make you feel good mentally and physically, therefore it is easy to stay committed to them long term.
#2. It is safe: When losing weight is comfortable, you enjoy the changes, and you love the way you feel, you’ll find that your lower brain started fighting with you instead of against you. It learns that going out for a walk boosts your energy or that grabbing your water instead of a soda makes your body feel so much better all day. When your lower brain is on your side, you will get back so much energy, will power, and stamina because you are doing things that truly benefit you every day.
#3. Real learning: When you slow down, you can become very analytical. You can decide if certain practices are worth the effort and how to adjust things to work with your life instead of trying to cram your life into a preset diet or program.
Ready to ask yourself some powerful questions about your weight loss journey right now? Okay, grab a pen and paper if you can or come back to these later. Going through these questions from time to time can help you make the differentiating choice between sustainable weight loss and the road to burn out and freak out.
Questions to ask yourself:
If I had to do this the rest of my life, would I be okay with that? Why or why not?
What practices in my health journey feel really good right now? Why?
Which practices in my health journey are hard for me? Why?
Would I recommend these same practices to my mom, daughter, sister, or close friend? Why?
What feelings fuel these practices?
Before we sign off today I want to tell you a little story from the book of Exodus, chapter 23, verses 30-33. Whenever God promised the land to the Isrealites and set them on their way to conquer the land, He told them he wouldn’t give them the land all at once. Instead, He told them that He would drive out the inhabitants and give them the land little by little so that they would be ready to fully occupy it when they were ready. They didn’t have enough people and resources to retain the land if they were to get it all at one time. It had to be the process.
I hold that truth close to me whenever I’m working on changes in my own life. Permanent change takes time and when I honor that, I find I am so ready to defend who and what I have become.
By the way, before we sign off, I highly encourage you to take the quiz, finding out what your weight loss next steps are. Everyone is so different, finding out what would give you the biggest returns on your investment of time and energy in your weight loss journey is key.
All my love to you, sweet sister. I’ll talk to you next week.
Stress can play a huge role in how our fight for healthy changes plays out. In today's episode I want to break down both the biological and mental components of this and then give you some great tips to curbing that stress even when there might be factors in your life that you don't have 100% control over. Life is busy and the world is chaotic, so understanding stress and then working to curb the effects it has on you is an important topic.
In 2017 Micaela developed epilepsy. If you are the parent or a family member of someone with epilepsy, or have epilepsy yourself, I just want to send you armfuls of love right now. Through all the trauma that my family has been through with a difficult pregnancy, losing loved ones, having babies in the NICU, and learning to have a child with medical complexities and special needs, I have to say, epilepsy is the hardest thing we have ever gone through. That constant vigilance, not knowing when a seizure is going to hit or how hard or long it will be. That was rough. So, from the beginning of 2017 to the about the end of 2019, Micaela had nocturnal seizures that were difficult to stop. We took multiple ambulance rrides and air care flights and stayed in Children’s Hospitals trying to figure out if she would qualify for different therapies or procedures that might help.
Whenever I work with women who are undergoing seasons of stress or simply coping with the normal wear-and-tear stress of life, I always approach them from a standpoint of deep empathy. Today I want to first help you understand why working on stress is important for our body and mind, then I want to give you some practices and tools to use that might help.
First of all, when we are stressed our muscles tighten, our digestive system might slow or even struggle with diarrhea, and our cortisol levels rise putting our system on red-alert. Some women find that they might struggle to lose weight in this state and have much higher levels of cravings for quick-energy foods.
Mentally, when you are stressed, your lower brain becomes more active, looking for ways to avoid pain, find pleasure, and be more efficient. It will start to yell for doughnuts and scream that you absolutely shouldn’t go work out right now. It is doing it’s best to protect you. Your higher brain still knows that healthy food would give you more long-lasting energy and that working out will build muscle and reduce stress, but with the lower brain making so much noise it is harder to make the reasonable choice.
Okay, so, you get it. Stress has a lot of negative side-effects. However, it is also in our everyday lives at some level. So, while I could go on and on about what high or chronic levels of stress can do to you, let's just talk about ways you can reduce stress.
I hope that today’s episode gives you some clarity and tools to use when tackling your stress and some understanding that addressing this issue is very important.
All my love to you! We’ll talk again next week. Goodbye for now.
It is normal, especially in the beginning of your weight loss journey, to feel like you are on shaky foundations. You have all these things you want to change and do. You want to drink more water, move more, eat more veggies, stop eating ice cream every night, order a small instead of a large and the list goes on and on and on.
Well, my love, take a deep breath. Today we are going to talk about cornerstone habits and how they can be the key to making this process a whole lot easier.
If you are like me, you are starting to stare the school year in the face. When this podcast releases I’ll be one week away from doing my teacher in-service and only a couple weeks away from welcoming students back into the school. This is the perfect time of the year to re-examine my routines and habits and make some thoughtful choices about what is important to me in the upcoming months of the school year.
If you talk to any fit and healthy person about their habits, they have dozens of things they do to protect good choices and cultivate a healthy body. Some of those habits they still have to put effort into and others they can do without thinking. It is first of all super normal for you to feel the pressure to do all those things that they do right away, but it is also a fast-track to burn out. We can’t completely change our lives, taste buds, and brains overnight. However, I want to offer to you that you can begin a solid and permanent lifestyle change by working on cornerstone habits.
I like to call cornerstone habits the things we do every day that set us up for success. It also becomes the bare minimum we can still do even when life gets crazy or feels chaotic. These are important investments of time and energy into your life as you establish these habits. Later they become things that you can build onto. For example, if you set the cornerstone habit of beginning your day reciting a verse, then when you finish reciting your verse that can become the cue for doing your next healthy habits such as weighing yourself or filling up your water bottle.
To give you an idea of what a cornerstone habit is, how it affects your life and weight loss journey, and offer some ideas of where you might want to get started, I’m going to give you my five favorite cornerstone habits that myself and many women I work with have adopted. I’ll go over each one and why it can provide the foundation you need for continued healthy choices over long periods of time.
1. Water--Doing something everyday that helps you get in the amount of water your body needs becomes a cornerstone habit. I like to pound two cups of water before I pour my first mug of coffee and fill up my 64 oz water bottle while I get breakfast ready. This sets me up for water-drinking success. I found through trial and error that using a smaller water bottle that I would have to refill multiple times just didn’t work for me. I would forget how much I drank or find myself in a situation where I couldn’t refill it. I have got this current habit of dreaming water down so well now that there was literally only two school days last year that I left the house without it.
The reason this is important for ongoing health is that every cell in your body needs water. Not having water will seriously stress your body out and make you have epic cravings as your body cries out for some help. So, setting yourself up for water success by some sort of cornerstone habit will help you if you're losing weight or maintaining.
2. Sleep--I go to sleep in time to get 8 hours almost every night. My exceptions are special family gatherings and date nights. I don’t compromise on this one. I’ve learned from experience that not getting enough sleep affects everything for me. When I’m sleep-deprived I am moody, have low energy, crave sweets, and am less likely to want to exercise. I love it that in the Jewish calendar the day begins and sunset, making the night the beginning of the 24 hour period. This makes complete sense because what you do in the evening will totally affect how your daylight hours go.
There are many tips and hacks to making sure you get enough sleep. Turning this into a cornerstone habit might mean you set alarms on your phone and start your going-to-bed process early enough to be turning off all lights and screens in time to get 8 hours of sleep. For me, I get into PJs right after I put the girls to bed and then read for about thirty minutes. By then my body and brain have begun shutting down so I head to the bathroom, brush my teeth, wash my face and crawl into bed. Weirdly enough, I like to do my habit tracker right before falling asleep. It feels like closing down the day for me and settles my brain. Consider what you could start doing today to protect your sleep.
3. Bible Study--Spending time in God’s word and with God in prayer has been a game changer for how I approach life. I do it first thing in the morning, having gotten up early enough to have my coffee alone. Depending on how much time I have, I might spend 15 to 30 minutes doing this. I also feel refreshed and ready having put on the armor of God before facing the day. Bible study is also my cue for setting my big three for the day, recording my weight, and making a food plan.
I can’t encourage the women I work with enough to start spending regular time with God. The world is set up to make us lose. We come up against so many trials and temptations and should never expect our own self-control and will-power to sufficiently safe-guard us into good choices. The power of God not only helps us on this journey but builds our faith as we turn to Him.
4. Movement--Now, I firmly believe that exercise is not necessary to weight loss. In fact, if exercise makes you eat more either due to excessive hunger or mind drama, then you will need to do some work on what your body needs as you add movement into your routine. That being said, movement gives us energy, mental clarity, and a healthier body. Being in the routine of moving your body everyday, come rain or shine, even if it is a dance party or a 15 minute walk helps you have more emotional stability and endurance.
I have built the habit of doing some sort of movement everyday in the early evening or late afternoon. Sometimes it is walking up and down my house or some strength training on my yoga mat, but that is all. It is super simple and because of that, I feel I’m able to keep it going no matter where I am or what we are doing.
5. Food Log/Plan--Lastly, writing down a plan for what you are going to eat and logging what you put in your mouth is awesome. This takes me about two minutes in the morning and two minutes or less in the afternoon. It helps me make choices when I’m not stressed or hungry. Then, by having a log of what I do eat, I can monitor eating patterns that don’t serve me or food choices that might be affecting my body negatively.
Also, this last cornerstone habit helps many women with self-accountability. They begin to see that you can follow through with daily promises and show up for themselves. This is a confidence game-changer.
Alright, there you have it, a low-down of what cornerstone habits might look like and how to put them in place. Before we sign off today, I just want to encourage you not to feel like you need to have all your cornerstone habits in place right away, or that they have to be the habits I listed today. Instead, pick one habit at a time to establish, one that gives you that firm foundation you are looking for that will set you up for success throughout your day.
And, wherever you are in your journey, I want to encourage you to take that quiz and get some direction on what healthy changes you can make in your Christ-centered weight loss journey today. If you’re not sure where to get started, I’ve got you covered. With your quiz results you’ll receive a detailed action plan and a list of podcast episodes that I created specifically on the area you are needing to concentrate on. We’re quickly coming up on episode number 100 which blows my mind, so this is my way of helping you find what you need without having to sift through all my episodes from before.
You’ve got this, my love! Talk to you next week! Goodbye for now.
Are you trying, I mean really doing your best to get healthy, and yet you have this nagging feeling and some nasty thoughts that it won’t work because it never has? Well, today we’re going to dig into the science behind this learned belief and then we’re going to harness truth in the Bible that gives us power to keep going.
Did you know that there was this really awful study done on dogs that demonstrated how we learn to be unsuccessful. I read about this study in a book called “Grit” by Angela Duckworth which I highly recommend and I’ll leave an amazon link in the show notes. Okay, this study was awful. It was done in 1964 but we learned a lot about learned behavior from it. In this study they got some dogs and put them in a box. Each dog received shocks to their back paws but one group could stop the shocks by pushing their noses against a panel. The other group could do nothing to stop the shocks. The next day they got the same group of dogs and put them in the box again but this time there was a barrier just low enough that they could leap out if they wanted. All of the dogs who had control over their shocks the day before immediately got out. But, two thirds of the dogs who couldn’t stop the shocks just laid down and whimpered. Isn’t that awful. Angel Duckworth wrote this, “The seminal experiment proved for the first time that it isn’t suffering that leads you to hopelessness. It’s suffering you think you can’t control.”
This was me, my dears. And it might be you, too. I believed my suffering due to my cravings around food that didn’t serve me was an endless pain that I would just have to endure. I had stopped trying to fix it and instead just tried to keep it at bay through an all-or-nothing approach to eating my trigger foods.
So, if you are working on your health and you feel that nagging disbelief or hear those nasty thoughts that it is impossible, I want you first to understand that you are normal. God lovingly designed our brains to look for patterns and establish beliefs in order for us to adapt to our environments, be more efficient, and do things that keep us safe. In fact, the part of your brain designed to avoid stress, might totally freak out when we fight for change because the pattern in the past is that you did super hard things and it didn’t work. In fact, you might have found that the moment you decided to make some healthy changes, your brain gave you so much pushback. That’s okay. In fact, take a moment to lovingly thank your brain for trying to take care of you and then tell it that you are okay.
However, there is a more insidious aspect to the disbelief. The Devil loves getting you to that point that you believe it isn’t possible anymore. You can become like those poor dogs in the study, losing all your will power and energy to try something new or different, no matter what evidence there is that maybe this time it might be different.
However, God’s power and strength is endless, and it is in YOU. Yes, you, my dear sister. You are not defeated. You are alive and breathing and fighting for the health and energy you know you can have.
There is a verse in the Bible that everytime I read it, it is like thousands of years never happened and the prophet Isaiah is dutifully penning these words through God’s Spirit just for me.
He wrote, “See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19, NIV
That is what God’s says to me. Every. Single. Day. He is continually growing me, changing my heart, mind, body, and spirit. That is the truth that gives me hope.
Today, my love, I want to encourage you to embrace that truth. God is doing a new thing in you. It is springing up. Growing. Making it’s way through what seemed dead and dried up.
Okay, so how do you put this into something practical that you can work on today to fuel your healthy changes. I have a couple of approaches that work well. First, I want you to either take some time to journal what is going on in your head about weight loss, and talk over what your fears and beliefs are. Or, you can talk about your fears and beliefs with a friend, pastor, or coach. Then you can do one of these two options. A. Find a quote or verse that reminds you of the God-truth that fills you with hope and courage. Put that truth everywhere. On post-it notes around your house, the wallpaper of your phone, and on the dashboard of your car. Everytime the nagging feelings or nasty thoughts of disbelief come up, verbally call out that truth in Jesus’ name. Option B. Write a love note to your brain, thank it for doing what it was designed to do to keep you safe, and then state how what you're doing is creating safety, health, and a hopeful future. Remind your brain that you are not alone and that the powerful and loving presence of our Holy God walks along side you. Each time you begin to feel despair or defeat rise its head, re-read this letter.
Honestly, both options can be done. We don’t need our brains to sabotage our efforts and we don’t need to give an opening to the enemy to fuel anything that might lead us to giving up. I pray that what we talked about you today will help you in this battle.
What you are doing is new. You are listening to your body and targeting the reasons behind emotional eating. The work you are doing is permanent, sweet sister. Please reach out to me if I can help you in anyway. This is the work that God has led me to, for YOU.
Talk to you next week, goodbye for now!
By now you might be totally sold on the concept that taking better care of yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically will help you lose weight and keep it off. But then, right when you could be/should be doing that very thing, a nasty little thought pops into your mind, completely derailing you, throwing you off course, and taking away your enthusiasm to cultivate your health. Ugh! Well, girlfriend, you are not alone. I’m going to give you a peek into my mind today and give you some weapons to clean up the talk in your head so that you are giving yourself the thoughts that are going to fuel your change.
This happened to me just the other day. I really needed to sit down and use the massage chair. I had been folding multiple loads of laundry. You know how that feels, right? In between my shoulder blades the muscles had gotten so tight they were painful. It was a pain I had been pushing through for hours, had taken Tylenol, and kept saying I would sit down and rest as soon as I finished the last load. Then the last load finished right as I needed to start dinner.
I needed fifteen minutes but in my brain all I heard was, “Oh, no, you have to start dinner preparations. It’s a casserole and if you don’t get it put together within the next fifteen minutes and put it in the oven then dinner will be late. You can’t stop now. You have to do dinner.
I almost felt like crying, because dinner prep starts the ball rolling on all my other evening chores like dishes, tidying the house, and Micaela’s cares. And, what if dinner is late because I’m being all lazy in the chair? That is just wrong.
A few years ago I would have shoved my hand into the candy bowl and then forced myself to keep going. But, not this day, this day I closed my eyes and prayed out the feeling of fear and frustration that filled my heart. Then I sat myself down in that chair with my eyes closed for fifteen minutes. Dinner was fifteen minutes late. Nobody noticed and I hadn’t spent the rest of the evening in pain while gorging myself with candy that I actually don’t even like.
We all have multiple thoughts that will bounce through our head whenever we need to take care of ourselves. I really want to talk to you about them because it can be scary at first to invest time in yourself and the enemy takes complete advantage of that fear and does his best to keep us from health and peace. I’m going to break down some of these common, nasty little thoughts, that keep us from taking care of ourselves.
“This is not fun.”
In one hand we have putting on our workout clothes and sweating out our frustrations and in the other hand we have a loaded double fudge sundae to soothe our frustrations. Which one sounds like the most fun? A very tired and toddler-like part of your brain can easily throw a mini tantrum at this point, insisting that going for a jog is not fun and you need fun! So, fight back with some truth. Exercising will make everything else more fun. We’ll have a body that is healthier and has more energy and a mind that is more clear and ready to handle the stressors of life. That ice cream sundae will be fun for about five minutes, end of story, and I’ll need something else or something more to help me with my frustrations right away.
“My family is going to resent me.”
Laying down for a nap means that I won’t be mopping the floor, paying the bills, or sitting down for a game of UNO. They’ll resent me doing something when our family and home needs me to do so much. My family will be frustrated and angry that I’m not on-duty. That is what I hear in my head, but then I give myself a reality-check. Literally everyone in our family gets to take time for themselves. The girls play with their toys and animals and chat with friends the bulk of the day. My husband takes breaks and meets up with others to hang out. It’s NORMAL, girlfriend. You’re the only abnormal one if you think taking a nap means you aren’t living up to everyone else’s expectations. And, if they do for some reason get upset, then expectations need to be adjusted so that you and everyone else recognizes that you are a human being, not an appliance.
“I’m so selfish”
Exactly how is it selfish to make sure that you, the one that shows up emotionally and physically for so many people in your life invest whatever it takes to help you have a body, brain, and heart that is ready to smile and serve with love. Ask your kids, spouse, or coworkers which version they want showing up: the overworked frazzled version who can work an extra thirty minutes because they didn’t exercise or shower today or the clean, composed, version who meditated on scripture and took a bubble bath last night. Yeah, not to be snarky, but I would pick the version that is actually pleasant to be around. Right now it is summer and my family gets me 24/7 and it is worth investing in the version that everyone enjoys including me.
“I shouldn’t have to do this to be healthy.”
In my opinion, this is the worst one of all. We think we shouldn’t have to try so hard to be healthy and happy. We remember other seasons when it was easier or we have friends that don’t need alone time or a nap. God says that it is in our weaknesses that He shows His strength. I have experienced more grace and love from my Heavenly Father when I honor my human needs than when I have tried to bully through because I shouldn’t need that TLC. If you had a disease or condition that needed medicine or therapy, you would take it, right? I think that there is a fear that by caring for ourselves we’ll become less resilient or lazy. But, I believe that when we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we’ll learn the times to work and the times to rest. I know that I need my quiet time in the morning to fill my soul before the day begins. I know I need water to function at my best physically. And, I know that when my body and soul needs rest, and God has provided the opportunity, then I can accept that blessing and trust HIM with my life.
So, here is a fun practice for you. Try writing down one thing you are going to do for yourself today when you have the opportunity. Maybe it is going for a walk outside or calling your best friend. THen, when the opportunity comes and you start to back out of your commitment, pay attention to your thoughts? Are they right, pure, loving, and in line with God’s truth? Ask God to show you what He thinks about your precious soul.
You are loved, my dear. The battlefield does happen in the brain. With God, you’ve got this. All my love. Until next week! Bye for now.
As I’ve mentioned before, I spent nearly two decades in a weight loss yo-yo, the rollercoaster of binge-restrict-binge-restrict. Round and around I went. I was sick of it, of course, but figured that I was just one of those women predestined to struggle with self-control around food. Then the pandemic hit and I needed HELP with a capital “H”. When calling out to God I felt a distinct nudge to stop trying to do this on my own power and instead open up to the possibility that healing could happen.
And, healing did happen. I discovered how to find that Freedom around Food that Dr. Ubell talked about. Today I want to break down both what that is and the basics to how to get there.
First, freedom around food means that you eat what physically supports your body and steer clear from things that don’t serve you. That means that you no longer are ruled by the limiting beliefs that you need what you crave in order to survive.
I used to be that woman that if I made a batch of cookies, I was physically ill by the time the last batch came out of the oven. I would eat so many gooey yummy cookies that I was nauseous and frustrated at my lack of control. The only way I could prevent the occasion was by refusing to have a single bite. Do you know what Freedom Around Food looks like? Just having one. Really. I can do that now. I can put a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, fresh out of the oven on my plate, eat it, and be done. I can pass up a cupcake, turn down a bowl of chips, and even shrug away a loaded waffle.
I want this for every woman out there that is struggling with the frustration and shame they have around their eating and drinking choices. I truly believe that our culture has gotten way too good at shoving highly palatable destructive culinary choices at us and made us feel trapped. God cares about your physical health and the mental head space that is being sabotaged as you try to fight yourself out of your unhealthy choices.
So, I’ll tell you how to get there.
First, you have to listen to your body again. It is that simple. Use the bathroom scale, see what foods cause you to put on weight easily and which one allow systematic inflammation to go down. Pay attention to your digestion. Arm yourself with knowledge about your unique body and how it functions. You can read a plethora of diet books and get information, too, but the best teacher is that beautiful body your soul is housed in. Honor it and start paying attention.
Second, start to work on what your heart and mind needs in order to stop turning to food for comfort. When I work with women we address this at two levels. The first is that we pay attention to our cravings and urges and learn to comfort ourselves with better self-care. I have them dig into their personalities and invest in refreshing their heart and soul. The second level is learning to handle life with less stress and heartache. We learn to have patience with ourselves and others, we learn to lean on God and rest in Him so that we aren’t running to a jar of peanut butter to fuel our depleted minds and hearts.
Third, we kick destructive habits to the curb and cultivate life-giving rhythms. Habits are the key. Once we learn what our bodies need and how to handle or prevent stress, then we develop habits that protect our choices, setting us up for a lifetime of success. Doing what serves us becomes what we do without having to really even think about it.
So, let’s recap, in order to have freedom around food you will want to start learning what foods your body likes by paying attention to mainly digestion and the scale. Next we learn to both handle and prevent stress, exploring practices that comfort and heal when we are hurting and guard our heart and mind. Lastly, we take all that information and develop habits, routines, and rhythms for living that give us ongoing health all the way around.
Yes, it isn’t a magic pill or an overnight process, but it is transforming. I had no idea that finding freedom around food would build my confidence and strengthen my precious connection to God with the help that I received from others.
Now, I want you to stay tuned, because in a couple weeks I’m releasing a new free resource that will help you with everything we’ve been talking about today.
You are brilliant, my love. I am so excited about the freedom that will be yours. Talk to you next week, good bye for now.
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.