Diets, in fact, do work. Just not as people hope for. Part III

One of the top things I hear in my coaching business is, 'I want to have control over the food in my life.' I relate to this 100%. It's why, in the past, when I've tried dieting it never stuck with me for long. I felt I had no control over the foods I was eating. Have you ever felt this way?

Beginning a new fad diet can be exciting in the beginning. First, there's the prospect and hope of reaching your weight loss goals. You may be feeling burnt out on the foods you've been eating and you're looking forward to trying some potentially healthier options. After a few days, however, you may find your body is resisting these changes and is begging you for your former food choices. Sound familiar?

I've discussed different aspects of dieting and why I don't encourage it during this blog series. You can read Part I and Part II here. If dieting in the traditional sense isn't the answer, then what is?

Eat Real Food. Shift your focus from dieting and simply eat to nourish your body. Our bodies were designed to eat real, whole foods. Unfortunately, we've become confused and we've felt out of control.  Cleverly labeled, processed foods are marketed because we've become convinced that something out of a box is better for our body because it has less fat. Instead of searching for a snack in the produce section, you may pick up a 100-calorie pack of something thinking you're doing your body a favor. When you still feel hungry after eating this low-calorie snack, you feel guilt and shame. What's wrong with me? How could this not satisfy my hunger?

Truth: There is nothing wrong with you. There is something inadequate about some packaged products, and your body knows this. Your body is still looking for more nourishment so it's signaling to you that it's not full, hoping you'll feed it something better.

When you shift to eating real food, you can gain back control over the foods you eat. The reason is your body will, in time, crave what it needs, crave what is nourishing, and crave what is good for you. This is when you can begin to relax and eating will be enjoyable.

I hope you've enjoyed this three-part series. If what I've said resonates with you, please let me know! I'd love to hear from you.

Posted in Wellness.

Reflections of Christmas 2016: A Story of grief, hope and healing

As I reflect on this year's Christmas, I am filled with peace. Christmas 2015 was the most difficult Christmas I've experienced in my whole life. My mother passed away in February 2014. Ironically, that first Christmas season without her wasn't the most difficult. We had just retired from the military and moved into our new home. After countless hours of unpacking boxes and organizing I didn't feel up to pulling out Christmas decorations. It just seemed like too much work, so we kept it simple. I believe we did put up our tree, but that was all. There were no great expectations for the day. We opened presents, had a nice morning together and that was that.

Fast forward to Christmas 2015 and it was a whole other story. I completely decorated the inside of our home while my husband took care of decorating the outside. I planned in my head just how Christmas morning would go. I planned and prepared an elaborate afternoon meal. The plans in my mind, resembled the Christmas's I had as a child. I was determined to give my girls wonderful Christmas memories, even though their grandmother was gone. I wanted them to have the Christmas's I remembered. I jumped right in and played my mother's role. Christmas morning came. Things weren't going as beautifully as I envisioned. It hit me like a ton of bricks my new reality. My mother was gone. Old traditions had faded. Time keeps moving forward and I can't live in the past. I had to face reality head on and I didn't like it, not one bit. I sobbed all day. No one knew. I would retreat to the bedroom and cry my eyes out. Once I felt composed I would rejoin my family with a forced smile. I felt awful inside. I missed my mom's presence immensely.

Following that eventful day, I realized I could no longer hold on to past traditions. I had to create new ones. I could keep my memories and share those with my girls, but I had to embrace the future. Having this firmly planted in my mind for Christmas 2016 made it easier to cope.

God's timing is wonderful and beautiful. My dad remarried in October of this year. Nancy, his wife, is a true gem. I couldn't be more pleased to have her here and to see my dad come alive again after my mom's passing is nothing short of a miracle. This Christmas we created new traditions. I held onto my precious memories while embracing the present. It was a perfect day.

Seasons come and go. Seasons of bliss and seasons of sorrow ebb and flow throughout our lives. Nothing stays the same forever. Learning to embrace the present and face reality is powerful. You can't live in the past, just as you can't fast forward to the future. Whatever season you're in right now, I encourage you to embrace it. Whether it's good or one you'd like to skip over, it's reality. Facing it and embracing it allows for healing and forward movement. And now I'll leave you with this verse of scripture: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13.