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Dear Sugar,

I’m breaking up with you.

You’re my bad habit, my secret addiction, and I don’t like myself when I’m with you.

It’s not me.goodbye2

It’s you.

Yes, you are tempting and sweet in the moment, but it’s hard to avoid overindulging…

and overindulging doesn’t make me feel good.

You are draining my energy.

Exhausting me.

And when I’m with you, I get that same sluggish feeling as I do with a glass of wine.

So I have decided that you are a drug and I don’t want to be addicted. I don’t need anything that makes me feel regretful and hungover after I’ve indulged.

I’m dumping you.

Yes, I may feel withdrawal, but it’s not nearly as bad as giving in to your temptation and how that makes me feel about myself.

It’s not nearly as bad as running from my feelings and stuffing them with sweets.

It’s not nearly as bad as spending my whole life numbing my pain and choosing the brief, but costly reprieve for my problems.

Yes, I may feel deprived. But so what?

Who promised me a life without feeling deprived?

I am stronger than I give myself credit.

And you know what?

It’s part of being human.

I embrace my humanity and all the feelings that are a part of it.

If I’m not attempting to avoid them, numb them or control them, then I can actually feel what it means to be human.

What if I just make space for those feelings?

If I do that, then they can dissolve quickly, easily and naturally, without my attempts to control.

All I need to do is allow and accept and know that this is part of life.

Feelings are part of being human.

Is this final?

Sugar, this is not about abstinence. It’s about choice.

I choose to take care of myself. I choose to create my own sweetness. And once I get out of the habit, I don’t think I’m going to miss you very much.

Sure, we can still hangout sometimes… in small doses. I’ve never been much for cutting someone out of my life completely. That just feels too restrictive.

But you are no longer my only sweetness. stress-eating-list1

You can no longer fill in the empty spaces where my loneliness resides.

I don’t need you to feel good.

I don’t need you to have sweetness in my life, or to soothe my tired, aching feelings.

I don’t need you to soothe the places where my heart is shattered.

I don’t need you as a mute button on my crazy whacked-out life.

You can hang out with me sometimes… but I definitely need some space.

For right now.

Today.

I choose to feel my feelings.

I choose to face whatever is there that I haven’t been facing up to.

I choose to face everything that I can’t control.

And to let it be.

Will it make me want you even more?

Maybe.girl2

But remember, you are not the only sweetness in my life.

Don’t try to make up.

You say you can take away my pain and my loneliness.

You say you can comfort me.

You say we’ve been together so long. Who will fill in?

Don’t try to make up.

I’ve fallen for your empty promises too many times.

I’m stronger than I give myself credit.

I’ve been dependent on you far too long.

You say you are my friend and you’ll never be the harsh critic I may have to face in the world.

That may be true.

But I am ready to face the world with a clear head.

I want my freedom.

You say you will always be there for me.

You say you can soothe my hurt feelings.

I see you for what you really are.

A sweet obsession.

And I’m not falling for it.

You exist in so many places.

But mostly, you live in my head.

You are no longer my everything.

Because I don’t need you to be my everything.

This is about how I show up in my own life.

What I am willing to feel.

And what I feel worthy of having.

This is about knowing what I need and being willing to give it to myself.

Sugar, I’m not perfect.

This is about knowing I don’t need to be perfect.

I can have slip-ups, knowing -

I am stronger than I give myself credit.

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I Just Can’t Resist Sweets

by Carol Solomon

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One of the most frequent questions I get from clients is this:

“I just can’t resist sweets. How do you just say no to certain foods?”

Personally, I’ve weaned myself off of most grains and sugar, which does NOT mean that I am perfect or that I have stopped eating sweets – no way!

I still crave treats like anyone else.

Try this pumpkin gingerbread cake, for instance! Or my chocolate chunk scones.

No matter what food is calling your name this holiday season, here’s my guide for passing it up, without feeling deprived.

You’ll need 3 things, so put these on your gift list to yourself.

1. The Gift of Willingness

Are you willing to make your own healthy substitutes?

No matter what you love, there’s a simple, healthier version. That means being willing to take the time to research it and create substitutes for the rich, fattening version that disturbs your waistline.

If you are willing to do this, then you won’t ever feel deprived. And there won’t be any struggle about whether to have something or not. Freedom!

2. The Gift of Planning

Are you willing to make a plan for any event that may be challenging? If you are, then you will always feel prepared and calm. (Hint: Tap before all events – mandatory!)

Your plan may include sampling your favorites, sharing dessert, or bringing your own (see #1). If you minimize grains and sugar, you’ll feel good leaving the party. Success!

3. The Gift of Mindfulness

The last thing you want to do is go unconscious during a social event that is loaded with carb-dense foods. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve overeaten and then having to wait several hours to feel better. If you stay mindful, eat slowly and savor every bite, then you will feel satisfied and in control at the end of the meal without overeating.

Best of all, instead of feeling defeated, you’ll feel GOOD about yourself, with a growing confidence that you are the type of person who can do this.

And that is the best success of all!

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Gluten_Free_Coconut_Chocolate_Chunk_SconesServings: 16
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

2 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup organic sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup shredded coconut (toasted)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine almond meal, salt and baking soda. Whisk together sugar, eggs and coconut oil in a smaller bowl.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Then fold in remaining ingredients.

Drop the batter in scant 1/4 cup portions onto the baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream or egg wash if desired.

Bake 14-17 minutes until golden brown, or toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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How I Conquered Snickers

by Carol Solomon

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Success Story #1:

My Life-Changing Experience (Excerpt from Lose Weight Now…Stay Slim Forever)

How I learned to be kinder to myself, to purposely interrupt the cycle, to take myself out of the power struggle, to give myself permission.

I had a number of “food fears”. I was terrified to walk down the candy aisle of a supermarket for fear of buying all the candy and then consuming it. I felt out of control and didn’t think I could trust myself not to overeat. So I avoided and actively steered myself away from the candy aisle whenever I was in a supermarket. I tried to keep a tight rein on myself thinking it was the only way to stay in control.

But it wasn’t working.

The tighter I held the reins, the more I would rebel and fight myself. I would go on a binge, which only reinforced my vision of being out of control. It was a vicious circle.

I had a special affinity for Snickers-probably because my mother had a reputation for hiding them from us as kids. I used to eat Snickers on occasion and thought it was such an indulgence that I probably didn’t even taste them. I felt too guilty to really enjoy them.

At some point, I decided to break the cycle.

I decided to face my fear and to do exactly what I was most afraid of.

I went to the candy aisle purposely and bought 2 bags of Snickers. I carried them everywhere-in the car, at home and at work. Snickers were my new best friend. I gave myself permission to eat them whenever I wanted them. It was one big experiment. I had no idea what the results would be. I only knew that I couldn’t keep going on the way things were. And avoiding the problem was only making things worse.

Having that permission made me feel a lot more relaxed. I no longer had to fight myself. I went through the 2 bags and bought 2 more bags. I ate them whenever I wanted. I ate them slowly. I tasted them fully. I enjoyed them. I kept buying more bags until one day, something strange happened. I didn’t want them anymore. I had finished a bag and had no urge to go and buy more. The Snickers magic was gone. They weren’t charged for me any more. I didn’t dislike them. They had just lost their power. They were neutral.

I haven’t been afraid to walk down a candy aisle since-in fact, I don’t think I’ve had a Snickers bar since then.

What happened? What made the difference? Did I just satiate myself to the point of not wanting them anymore? It’s possible, but I think it was something more than that. It was something about being able to be kinder to myself, to purposely interrupt the cycle, to take myself out of the power struggle, to give myself permission. The result was like a temper tantrum without an audience-it just doesn’t have the same impact. It can’t be maintained without something to push up against.

I knew I had given myself a life-changing experience. It felt different. There was no vicious cycle. The life was gone out of it-I had crossed a threshold. Unfortunately, despite the victory of sorts, I had to wait a long time to fully understand the experience and how to apply what I already knew to my whole life… [ Continued in the book]

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The Candy Diet

by Carol Solomon

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A lot of people use candy (and other sweets) to deal with stress and mute their emotions.

Let’s face it – candy is a quick and easy fix.

the-candy-diet

Maybe too easy…

And unfortunately, loaded with toxic chemicals.

If you find yourself eating candy in your car or anywhere in private, chances are you are using it to soothe yourself…. or to get through a difficult situation… or do something you don’t want to do.

We do what we do with food for very good reasons!

Back to the Candy Diet –

I considered writing a book by this title when I discovered that there used to be a website by that name.

I don’t think there was much research behind it, but there was a diet where you used some type of oil before meals to reduce appetite.

Crazy, right?

Crazy enough to make sense…

So I wondered what would happen if I ate my own candy, which is high in good fats, between meals.

This is not the candy that you buy in the store! Way too sweet for me…

But one of the best strategies to eat less sugar is to is to *train* yourself to prefer low sugar treats.

The way to do this is simply to start making them yourself and use less sugar.

That way, you aren’t eating *less* – you are just eating less sugar.

There are plenty of recipes that already have less sugar.

So it’s just being *willing* to use those recipes and to make them yourself, instead of buying gobs of the store-bought, super-sweet toxic variety.

You’ll notice a difference in your weight and your mood over time.

You may even eat less, because you feel more satisfied.

No, it’s not eliminating sugar altogether …but I never was about that anyway :-)

We can all do a bit better on this!

Click here to download the recipe!

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There are a LOT of reasons to stop eating sugar besides weight loss. eft_for_cravings250

My dentist says if I want to have better dental health, I have to stop feeding the bacteria in my mouth (read: Stop Eating Sugar.)

My physical therapist says if I want to have less pain, I need to reduce the inflammation in my gut (read: Stop Eating Sugar.)

I just can’t.

At least not completely.

So I’ve managed to create my own low-sugar substitutes that are very satisfying.

But give it up altogether?

Not happening…

Here’s what I CAN do – (and what you can do too.)

————————
My Low Sugar Plan
————————

1. Choose to eat less sugar (by choice.)

That means less sugar AND less food that turns into sugar quickly, i.e. bread, pasta, potatoes.

2. Choose mostly low sugar substitutes.

For instance, if I want something sweet, I may choose a scone over a cookie because it is half the amount of sugar.

3. If I’m going to have junk food, I make it myself.

It’s amazing what you can make without white flour! (See #2) I make my own scones using almond flour.
Yum!

4. Train yourself to prefer low sugar treats.

Most of the time, I’m not tempted by sweets in the grocery store because I know I can make it better (and healthier) myself.

5. When I do eat something high in sugar, I savor…

That way … I usually need less of it.

Most of the flavor is in the first 2 bites!

None of these strategies are hard. It just takes a
“willingness” to do them consistently.

If this topic interests you, let me know in the comments and I’ll share some of my recipes with you next time.

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eft_weight_loss_confidenceYou tell yourself a story inside your head every day.

Our stories are based on past experiences and the beliefs we form because of those experiences. We often create limitations in our minds that are usually untrue.

Our stories can play like a soundtrack in the back of our minds.

If you listen for that small, quiet voice, you’ll catch yourself. The story makes up a big part of who you tell yourself you are. And to a large extent, you play out the story in life.

  • Are you playing small in order to avoid conflict?
  • Are you withdrawing from relationships in order to avoid pain?
  • Is your story worn out and no longer relevant?
  • Is it causing you to feel bad about yourself? To limit yourself?

Your story will either empower you or limit you. If you tell yourself you “can’t” or you aren’t “_________ enough” (fill in the blank – smart, disciplined, strong, etc.), those are all versions of the same dis-empowering “I’m not enough” story.

Or you may tell yourself something about the task, like “it’s too hard.” Do you believe that losing weight is hard? Perhaps that is how you perceived it in the past. But if you continue to echo that story now, you make it a reality.

If the challenge you are facing is big enough, the “not enough” story will show up. That’s because you are venturing out of your comfort zone.

You can do some investigative work and ask yourself “Where did I learn that?” A memory may come to mind. But even if it doesn’t, it serves you to create a new story. (Note to self: you can use tapping to uncover and change old stories.)

One of my favorite stories that I *choose* to tell myself when I’m facing a challenge is this: “If other people can do it, then I can do it too.” This makes so much logical sense to me, that I don’t have any other choice but to keep moving forward :-)

I don’t worry about “how” I’m going to do it. The “how” is generally revealed after I make the commitment.

You either use your stories to your advantage, or they limit you. If you tell yourself the right story, then you keep moving forward, no matter what. Yes, you may feel more vulnerable, but you will also feel more passionate, more loving and more alive…maybe even unstoppable.

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What if you had to take a picture of everything you ate before you ate it AND post it online for all to see?

I decided to do an experiment and do just that. I wanted to see if it would influence what I ate. Here’s the results:

I started at 6:00 p.m. -

This is my preferred meal for dinner. I like to eat my lightest meal at night. I just feel better that way.

Ok … It’s not a great picture, so it may not look so delicious or filling, but it is.

Although the ingredients vary, I usually have a large salad with greens, broccoli sprouts, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts and boiled egg. I use my favorite homemade tahini dressing – very rich and filling. Between the dressing, the avocado and walnuts, there are plenty of good fats that are rich and satisfying. [Read the full stress eating article…]

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Your Story Matters

by Carol Solomon

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You tell yourself a story inside your head every day.  Our stories are based on past experiences and the beliefs we form because of those experiences. We create limitations in our minds that are usually untrue.

Our stories can play like a soundtrack in the back of our minds.

If you listen for that  small, quiet voice, you’ll catch yourself. The story makes up a big part of who you tell yourself you are. And to a large extent, you play out the story in life.

Are you playing small in order to avoid conflict?

Are you withdrawing from relationships in order to avoid pain?

Is your story worn out and no longer relevant?

Is it causing you to feel bad about yourself? To limit yourself?

Your story will either empower you or limit you. If you tell yourself you “can’t” or you aren’t “_________ enough” (fill in the blank – smart, disciplined, strong, etc.), those are all versions of the same dis-empowering “I’m not enough” story.

Or you may tell yourself something about the task, like “it’s too hard.” Do you believe that losing weight is hard? Perhaps that is how you perceived it in the past. But if you continue to echo that story now, you make it a reality.

If the challenge you are facing is big enough, the “not enough” story will show up. That’s because you are venturing out of your comfort zone.

You can do some investigative work and ask yourself “Where did I learn that?” A memory may come to mind. But even if it doesn’t, it serves you to create a new story. (Note to self: you can use tapping to uncover and change old stories.)

One of my favorite stories that I *choose* to tell myself when I’m facing a challenge is this: “If other people can do it, then I can do it too.” This makes so much logical sense to me, that I don’t have any other choice but to keep moving forward :-)

I don’t worry about “how” I’m going to do it. The “how” is generally revealed after I make the commitment.

You either use your stories to your advantage, or they limit you. If you tell yourself the right story, then you keep moving forward, no matter what. Yes, you may feel more vulnerable, but you will also feel more passionate, more loving and more alive…maybe even unstoppable.

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What does an apple, a football scoreboard and someone loving you have in common?

Weight loss is a terrible goal – partly because it’s not controllable. You can plant an apple tree, water it, fertilize it, nurture it, but you can’t make it grow an apple, not any more than a football player can control the scoreboard, or any more than you can make someone love you…

You can’t control the results.

We think we can…we want to…but we can’t control results. So you don’t want to be attached to getting results in a certain time, in a certain way. Focus less on the results and more on the causes.

1. It increases pressure (self explanatory.)

2. You can’t control it – any more than a football player can control the numbers on the scoreboard. Willpower gets depleted easily. You can be doing everything right and still not lose weight.

3. Do you see this when you wake up in the morning?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or do you tend to judge yourself by the numbers on the scale?

It’s best not to have your self worth tied to something that you can achieve or not achieve.

A better goal is to maintain psychological balance. You do that by taking care of your feelings and taking care of you. Tapping can help you feel more comfortable with saying yes to you and to break free of these patterns.

4. Weight loss is an inside job. Once you set a weight loss goal, all the focus goes onto the weight and how to get rid of it, and is no longer on the feelings that drive the behavior. It goes onto eating less and exercising more, instead of the internal work that needs to be done, and since we don’t like to be told what to do… even by ourselves… we end up in the same old vicious cycle. Until you feel the feelings, name them, deal with them, feel them… it won’t end. Your job is to feel your feelings. If you are going to force yourself to do something, force yourself to sit with your feelings.

5. Losing weight is a marathon… not a sprint – there are lots of emotional and physical pitfalls. So commit for the long run, change your thinking, learn to manage your moods, and stop fretting about the day-to-day stuff. Work on managing emotions, confidence and perseverance – learn how to get back on track more quickly when you tumble off the track (we all do.)

6. Weight loss goals toy with your identity – your sense of who you are.

  • Who are you as a thin person?
  • Who are you if you aren’t struggling with your weight?

This obsession with food and weight can become such a huge part of your life. So when you start having success, you can start to feel uncomfortable, but you don’t know why. You only know that you keep sabotaging yourself. I’m getting too much attention…I don’t want to be noticed. “As soon as I get the first compliment, I throw an extra bagel in.” sometimes you are afraid of negative reactions of other people – some people have negative views of thin people, so they don’t want to be viewed as that.

A better goal is tending to your emotional well being – your psychological balance. This is a global factor that will affect everything else. Weight loss is at least 90% psychological. Tend to your thoughts, feelings and habits. Where are you on the emotional scale? Where are you on the worthiness scale?

Paradoxically, focusing less on the results and more on the causes improves the odds of getting the results you want.

Here are 3 guidelines on goals:

  1. Goals should be activity goals, rather than outcome goals, like weight loss. When you focus on the activity goals that are going to get you to the outcome, then you don’t get worn out and frustrated stressing about the outcome.
  2. Make your goals small. Losing weight slowly is a good thing because it’s something you can maintain. If it’s too big, you just keep sabotaging.
  3. Commit to less rather than more. Eating right is a long-term goal. Eating better is infinitely more doable. It’s something we can do right now.
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