This is a great quote for people who have a tear in their eye wondering why The Secret isn't working for them. The truth is you can recite positive affirmations all day long. But if there is no action behind it nothing is going to happen.
You know in your heart when you are doing a good job or are just phoning it in. The less you do to reach your goals the lower your self esteem.
You can not fool yourself just by saying, I am healthy and slim while eating a donut. You are not going to fool your mind or your body into believing it. Your internal audience knows the truth.
You can recite positive mantras all day until you are blue in the face but if you don’t put passion and effort behind your words nothing is going to happen.
You need to work toward small daily improvements that align with your authentic self. That’s the only sure-fire way to boost your self esteem. By actively doing, you will see or more importantly feel a difference in your mood and self respect.
You can not trick your internal audience or inner voice into feeling good about yourself. You have to do the things that you know you should be doing to live a happy life.
Boosting your self esteem is easy with the target activities sheet. You can download it for free from this website. You can make your own. Or, buy my BREAK THE CYCLE WORKBOOK that has a target activities sheet at the beginning of each of the 16 weeks.
Along with the check marks for sleep, your meals and walking, there are lots of empty spaces. You can use these spaces to personalize it for small daily tasks that you can check off every day. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to use this simple tool.
I use my check sheet every day. Here is an example of what I put in my extra spaces which I have taken directly out of my personal journal. So along with the sleep, meals and walking, I have the following tasks that I try to do every day:
It’s funny how a little thing like showering or brushing my teeth can make a big difference to my mood. And they are easy check marks. I list these because when I am feeling down and crappy about myself even taking a shower seems like a big deal.
The writing on my activities sheet is for my long-term goals. They are specific to my goals to get some new books out there. I don’t need to write for long. Only 15 minutes to earn a checkmark.
You will, of course, have your own long-term goals. You can break them down into small daily activities. These small activities will keep you moving forward and help boost your self esteem.
If you are struggling with your weight and that’s your focus, watch a Chef AJ YouTube video every day. It will also help to keep you motivated to lose weight.
The target sheet method is really good if you are feeling stuck or you are just living your life without direction. Every check mark will help you feel stronger, better focused and happier each day.
Most importantly don’t get obsessive about it. Be gentle with yourself. Shoot for 80% of your check marks every day. Then you can rest your head on your pillow knowing you did a good job.
This quote was actually a revelation for me. It is filled with so much common sense when it comes to addiction. Visual cues play a big part with things that were once habits that turn into addictions.
For example, to quit smoking, it is recommended to get rid of the ashtrays and of course cigarettes. That way you have to go to great effort to break your resolve to have one. You would have to go to the store and buy at least cigarettes and matches.
The same with alcohol, if it is in your refrigerator, chances are you will drink it. But if it is not in your environment and you have to go to some effort to get it, you stand a better chance of abstaining.
When it comes to avoiding processed foods, you must clean up your environment. So, remove all the refined foods that are not supporting your health or weight loss goals.
Along with having the processed food out, you need a strategy to have lots of healthy food in your kitchen. A well stocked fridge when you are hungry can make all the difference in helping you keep your resolve. Prepping your vegetables and bulk cooking can be a life saver.
A lot of us live with others who haven't made the connection between food and health. They insist on having their highly refined foods in the house. Make some sort of compromise. Make it so that you don’t have to see the food.
Sometimes my husband orders in food. If it is not what I can eat, then I take the dog for a walk while he is eating it. His snack foods that are off limits for me are stored in a box that is not readily visible.
There are more tips and tricks in my book, BREAK THE CYCLE. But remember that to have life long success, work on your environment first. Keep your kitchen free from highly refined foods that contain salt, sugar and oil.
Dr. Lisle says to put 80% of your effort into cleaning up your environment. The remaining 20% is the effort you put into yourself. Without the refined food in your house you are more likely to eat the healthy options that are available.
So, I challenge you to purge your cupboards and fridge of highly processed food and prep that healthy food. Guard your food sobriety.
Here we are starting week 16. The last week in this workbook. By now you have lost 8 pounds in fat which is fantastic. You have probably dropped at lot more than that in water retention. This is because you have balanced your body with healthy foods. You have removed excessive sodium and reduced all the inflammation in your body.
But remember this quote: success is not final. The way I interpret this is from personal experience as a yo-yo dieter. Once I would ‘cross the finish line’ of my diet it was right back to eating as I had before. Back to the junk food and the processed foods. And the weight I had worked so hard to lose would come back in no time at all.
And with the weight would come the inflammation. And then the fear from chest or abdominal pains and the low self esteem knowing I wasn’t doing right by my body.
But this time, it's going to be different. You are coming from a place of unlimited amounts of good healthy food. Full plates of it. So you are not coming from a place of deprivation from small measured portions. You now know you can eat almost unlimited amounts of food to satiation by eating the correct foods.
If you want this weight loss to last, you must continue on with your new healthy lifestyle. That means:
And the avoidance of sugar, oils (fat) and salt.
I am not saying that you have to be perfect and that you can never eat processed foods again. I want you to aim for an 80% diet. Make it a lifestyle diet that you can live with. If you need to add a little sugar or salt to your food, then do this.
Make the lifestyle doable for your unique personality and preferences. If you want to eat turkey at Christmas or have that piece of non-compliant birthday cake, then do this. But know that adding non-compliant foods may take a toll on your health. And it may reawaken your processed food addictions.
Have seen progress but are not anywhere near your ideal weight range? Take heart, buy your next 16-week BREAK THE CYCLE workbook on Amazon and just keep going starting May 1st.
By the new year, you will have reached your goal weight range. Then you will be able to continue your new slim and healthy lifestyle in 2024. So, stay the course and look forward to the new year with a slim, fit body, a healthy self esteem and a zest for life.
This is a quote that I want you to take to heart. It will save you a lot of unnecessary stress if you lead by example only. Seeing is believing. So don't expect to defend your lifestyle choices against others with just words.
People like to see proof. They don’t want to hear about your new healthy way of eating. So save yourself some heartache and keep your mouth closed.
Let your new healthy body do the speaking for you. So if you have family and friends that you want to help lose weight and improve their health. Do NOT talk about this way of living. LIVE IT EVERY DAY.
The proof will soon become evident to everyone. Once you are fighting fit and in the peak of your health. Then these people will seek you out for help to turn their health destiny around.
Only then should you be sharing what you have learned and practiced. This is a slow and steady trek back to peak health and ideal weight. Don’t expect to be talking about it for a year or two. When you have not only reached your ideal weight but have maintained it for some time, then you can help others.
Your only job is to take care of your health and maintain your ideal weight. Let your body do all the talking for you. Only then will you be in a position to share what you have learned. It will come from a position on knowledge and personal experience.
This quote is so true because we are ‘lazy’ people. What I mean is that we all have an energy conservation mechanism. We want to get our calories by expending as little energy as possible. This is an ancient survival mechanism. You are programed to eat as many calories as possible while expending the least amount of energy.
This is why drive thru restaurants, snack foods and heat and serve meals are so popular. It requires very little effort and energy to get them.
So, if you want to be successful at losing weight it is so important to keep your environment ‘clean’. You must remove the calorie dense convenience foods that will derail your success.
When you are shopping, don’t even put these items in your cart. Because once at home, these foods which may not even be intended for you will call to you day and night to eat them.
There are two things you need to do to solve this problem.
You need to keep the fattening processed food out of the house. And you need to make eating healthy foods as ‘convenient’ as possible.
Have your fridge stocked with lots of fruit, vegetables and premade compliant meals. That way when you are hungry and tired, you would have to make a great deal of effort to get a healthy meal or snack. To your ‘lazy’ mind it costs less energy to eat the healthy pre-made food rather than going out to a store or drive-thru.
It also means that bulk cooking is important so that you will always have a meal that you can heat up or prepare in five minutes.
So make it easy on yourself and stay lean by:
If you plan and prepare, you can work with your natural desire to conserve energy. That’s the way to be lean.
This is practically Dr. McDougall’s mantra. And he swears by it. In his book, McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss, he explains this thoroughly. He dedicates an entire chapter to this principle.
In a nutshell, our body converts macronutrients into energy. The easiest to convert is carbohydrates, then protein and finally fat. So since fat takes a lot of energy to convert into fuel/energy, the body prefers to store it.
As a result, samples of adipose fat cells show what kind of fat the person has been eating. For example if you eat a lot of olive oil, the fat stored in your body will be monounsaturated fats. Or if you eat a lot of fish fat, your fat cells will be filled with omega-3 oils.
But the point that I want to make is that extra fat is extra fat. When you look at someone suffering from obesity, you can’t tell what type of fat they have been eating. Just that they have been eating too much fat and as a result, it has gone into storage.
This was my biggest problem as a fat vegan. I was eating super healthy foods but I was consuming way too much fat especially for my petite frame. Sure, if you analyzed my fat, it would be from nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and olives. But that didn’t help when swimsuit season came around.
That’s why giving up fat makes it super easy to lose the extra weight. Firstly, all fat is calorically dense at 4000 calories a pound. And secondly, if you are over-eating (more than your calorie range), fat is going straight to storage on your butt.
So, take advantage of all the fat free recipes on this website and in my book BREAK THE CYCLE.
Also, consider getting the following cookbooks. There are either fat free or low-fat options. Some use healthy fats like nuts and seeds but none of them use oils. So, lose the weight and protect your heart with these recipe books:
When you are tempted to eat something that you know contains a lot of fat, remember this quote: The fat you eat is the fat you wear.
Wow! This is a powerful quote that especially resonates with me. Ever since I got my first car and was driving at 16, I would ‘sneaky-eat’. I would hit the drive thru and park somewhere and eat in my car then go home for dinner with my parents.
This was back when my metabolism was high and I was super active and yet my pant size went up. I was wearing my ‘sneaky-eating’ in public.
I would secretly snack when no one was around. I did this for YEARS.
I didn’t realize that I was addicted to junk food.
Years later, while cooking, there would be several 'tastings' before serving the dish. Or, when cleaning up, I would be finishing off that last little bit of leftovers. Nothing goes to waste and everything tastes like more. These little bad habits creep up on you and, as a result, your weight creeps up as well.
If this is you. If you find yourself looking over your shoulder and sneaking food. Or you are eating food that you know you shouldn’t, there is one who knows all your secrets. Your self esteem mechanism.
Your internal audience is watching you. And they aren’t cheering you on. As a result, you start to feel bad because you know you have disappointed yourself. And as your clothes get tighter or go up in size, you feel even worse. It’s time to get a handle on it.
Do you mindlessly eat? Are you a distracted eater? Are you munching in front of the TV or computer screen? Distracted eating can really add a lot of extra calories to your day. If you are snacking, only snack on fresh fruit and vegetables.
To see how commonplace sneaky and distracted eating is, watch SECRET EATERS. This British TV show is on the FREE streaming service Tubi. This show really opened my eyes and has lots of helpful tips to keep you on track to your weight loss goals. It’s all small common-sense changes to get this under control so stop beating yourself up.
Follow the principles in my book BREAK THE CYCLE for healthy eating strategies. Become accountable by starting to record what you are eating in the BREAK THE CYCLE WORKBOOK. This quote is actually the Inspirational Quote for week 11 in the workbook. This will help you get your mindless or sneaky eating out in the open.
If you are following along with your workbook in the Break the Cycle Facebook group, we are just starting week 4. And the quote for this week is:
‘If you eat for health, the weight loss takes care of itself.’ Dr. Joel Fuhrman
I find this true when it comes to my clients with serious health concerns. Once I put them on a whole food plant-based diet and remove the sugar, salt, and oil, everything starts to get better.
In the case of one of my clients with a cancer scare, she ate healthfully for 6 weeks and lost 20 pounds effortlessly.
So, as a reminder:
1. Concentrate on a high fiber diet. Focus on lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
2. Eliminate big cancer foods like sugar, dairy, meat (especially barbecued anything), and alcohol.
3. Avoid all highly processed foods containing sugar, salt, oil or other fats.
Always use food to nourish and strengthen your body. Unhealthy food is not entertainment when you are bored and it is not your friend when you are lonely. Turn your health and weight destiny around by watching what you put on your fork every day.
Need help? You can reach out to me anytime by email. Or join the BREAK THE CYCLE Facebook group and message me directly.
This website has a great resource for whole food plant based compliant recipes. You can eat as much as you want of any recipe on this site.
Also, if you don’t already have them, you can go on AMAZON and get my books. BREAK THE CYCLE and the new 16-week BREAK THE CYCLE WORKBOOK are available.
The timing is perfect for this quote. Especially with a clean new year stretching out ahead of us.
If you want to build the future of your dreams, you have to fake it till you make it every single day. You have to be the person you want to become. So, if you want to be a slim and healthy person full of confidence and joy, you have to take steps daily to reach your goals.
So here we are facing a brand-new year. First of all, we want to do some dreaming. We want to imagine our ideal day one year from now.
Write a letter to yourself describing what your life will look like by the end of the year. Really get into it. Create a picture of the healthy active body that you want. (But make it realistic and age appropriate.)
Imagine what activities you’ll be able to take part in. Imagine what clothes your will be wearing. Imagine the positive healthy people you have attracted into your life.
Okay, now that you know what you want in the future. Let’s figure out what you need to do in the present.
- What can I do every day to get the healthy slim body that I want?
- What do slim and healthy people do every day to remain slim and healthy?
You have a full year of actions to do every day to improve your body. So make the actions full of small but powerful changes. Stop thinking in a ‘diet mindset’ with starvation diets and punishing workout routines. You are not a participant on the Biggest Loser.
These small changes in lifestyle work like water on stone. Over time and consistency you will have permanent and sustainable weight loss. You will have the happiness and the confidence your life may be currently lacking.
To create a slim, fit body, you need to establish healthy habits you can do every day. By using a Daily Activities Target sheet. You can make sure you are on track to your goals every day by checking them off.
You will also be able to monitor when your target is unrealistic for you.
For example, you decide that walking an hour per day would get you to your goal faster. But then you start avoiding doing any exercise. You start making excuses to avoid it. An hour just seems too long. It is unsustainable.
Okay, so it’s time to adjust. Take it down to 10 or 15 minutes every day. Before long, with consistency, your walks will get longer naturally. Be kind to yourself but also realistic.
When it comes to food. Make sure you eat your:
· 2 pounds of non-starchy vegetables,
· 1 pound of fresh fruit and
· at least 1 pound of starches every day.
But some people can’t tolerate eating their food without salt or sugar. Without it, they will develop an all or nothing mentality. They will go totally off the rails with their clean eating plan.
So, know yourself. If you can’t tolerate your oatmeal without a teaspoon of brown sugar, then add the sugar. Or you can’t bear to eat your chili or savory dish without salt. Prepare the recipe without salt and add a little salt to the surface of the food at the table. Or if you can not imagine starting your day without your plain black coffee, have your cup of coffee.
Eventually all these healthy dietary changes will improve your health and bodily functions. Then when you are ready, you can remove the sugar, salt and caffeine. But only when you feel confident you can get rid of them.
You may say to yourself…but it is not perfect. Our goal is not perfection but progress. This way of eating even at 80% perfection is so much better for your health and waistline than the way you used to eat. So, understand your own personal non-negotiables. And then work within that framework to give you the best possible results.
So, if your future depends on what you do in the present, incorporate these small changes every day. Your future will be so much brighter. A year goes by in a blink. Don’t you want to face 2024 looking and feeling so much better than now?
Here’s wishing you a healthy and happy 2023.
You can print off the Target Activities Sheet for free on my website. Here is the link: Free Templates
But better still, get my new 16-week BREAK THE CYCLE WORKBOOK. Which, of course, also has the Target Activities Check sheet at the beginning of every week. Here are the links for Amazon.
Wow! Isn’t this the truth. We all have hopes and dreams and can get motivated to do many things. But without concrete daily habits in place, our best intentions to reach a goal are usually not met.
So, how do we get motivated?
Well, you have to do some soul searching and set some big concrete goals. If your aim is to make it to the next Olympics, like Jim Ryun, then set that goal. Or, if you want to write a book, like me, then set that goal.
If you want to reach your ideal weight range, then set that goal. And this will be our focus in this letter.
Losing weight is easy. You can lose weight on any diet. But you want to lose it slowly and steadily. You don’t want to end up looking like a Shar Pei with a bunch of loose skin. You don't want to mess up your metabolism or put undo strain on your organs. And you want to keep it off. So you will want to make serious permanent lifestyle changes.
And how do you make these lifestyle changes?
Every Single Day!
Now, you can not rely on motivation and willpower alone to reach your ideal weight range and maintain it. It is simply not sustainable.
Think of all those New Years resolutions that don’t work out even though desire and motivation is high at first. You just lose steam. You start off doing lots of big gimmicky things that are so far out of your comfort zone. Eventually you will revert back to your old ways.
You need a goal but you also need to create small concrete habits or targets to reach every day.
So in effect, even though you are not doing much like working out for 4 hours a day. You are consistent. You do your bit every day. And so it is no longer a matter of if but a matter of when.
So how do we create a new daily habit?
Well, I have found the easiest way is to use a Daily Target Activities Chart.
You write down the daily activities you need to do to reach your goal. And every day you perform these tasks and check them off when you are done.
You can find these Daily Target Activities Charts for free on this website. The charts already have the basics for keeping your diet on track already written in.
Or in my new book BREAK THE CYCLE WORKBOOK which you can get on AMAZON. These target charts have a lot more room for you to write your tasks. It's also nice to have them all in one place. Right at the start of the week you are working on.
My workbook gives you 16-weeks of goal setting, target charts, and journal entries. Unlike other workbooks, this gives you enough time to make serious lifestyle changes.
Watch the magic happen! Good luck.