By Guest Blogger Gay Norton Edelman, author of The Hungry Ghost: How I Ditched 100 Pounds and Came Fully Alive bitly.com/1gg7mId
Yes, I loss 100 pounds. Yes, I have kept it off for 20 years.
People ask all the time how I got the courage to do this.
The courage came from desperation. I had been trying all my adult life to get the binge eating and the weight under control. Diets, support groups, therapy, the works.
After years and years of trying and failing, grace finally arrived. That day, my doctor prescribed blood pressure pills. I cried all the way home. I had three little kids whom I loved more than life itself. I did not want to leave them to go to rehab. What else was there?
My friend Betty had told me about a spiritually based peer support group. I called her and she took me to my first meeting. There I learned that I am a food addict, meaning once I start eating food with sugar, wheat and flour in it, I can’t stop. I was given a food plan and I made a commitment to weigh and measure all my meals with a cup and scale.
It was very hard work. That first year, learning how to eat, read labels, exercise felt like a full time job. But I did it. And along the way I learned the most important lesson of all: to pay attention not just to food and exercise but also to my hungry, hungry soul.
I had made food a god. I had made food the solution to stress, loneliness, frustration, anger, despair, disappointment and all the other feelings I wanted to avoid. Instead, I needed to depend on a power greater than myself that was based not in things of the world but things of the spirit.
All of this was—and is—a lot of work. How do I find the time? How do I not find the time?
I have to come first. The things I do to stay in recovery from food addiction, compulsive overeating and obesity are as vital to my health as regular dialysis is to the kidney patient or chemo is to the cancer patient. This is life and death.
I work as hard at it now as I ever did. What comes in the way of my health has to be deleted or delegated. My kids didn’t need to be in a bunch of after-school activities and lessons. They needed their mother. My husband didn’t need fancy meals or his laundry done for him. He needed a wife who was alive, well and happy. I didn’t need to be in the stratosphere of my profession. I needed to have me.
I don’t mess around, ever. I can’t be perfect. But I never take for granted any of the things I have to do to sustain life.
There’s tons of good information about eating right, moving your body, filling your soul needs. And I’ve just published my own self-help book, The Hungry Ghost: How I Ditched 100 Pounds and Came Fully Alive, to explain in detail what I do, and how you can, too.
If you decide you really, really want to live, you’ll keep trying and failing, like I did, until you find the way to eat right, move your body, and nourish your spirit.
If there is any secret or magic to what I do, it’s this: You only have to do what’s right for your body, mind and soul one day at a time. Too much to think about? Do it just one moment at a time. Trust me, there are still plenty of days when I live by the saying, “Right foot, left foot, breathe.”
Simple, yes. Easy? No. But remember, you are one smart woman. You are not alone. And you are so worth it!
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Our Theme Here at Get Your Girl Back today is EMBRACE!
Incorporate 4 New Habits into Your Weekly Housekeeping Routines
As you work to embrace a new way of living, where fun, laughter and adventure rule, we must talk parenthood and home. The fact is someone has to do the dishes, laundry, grocery shop, cook and more- I imagine in most cases, that means you!
I’ve never really met anyone who loves to cook and clean. In fact, a friend of mine has a sign above the laundry room door that says, “Purgatory” – I think that about sums up laundry, ha! That being said, it has to get done so the question is- how can you embrace it and make these tasks less stressful?
Consider incorporating new habits into old routines? Here are a few to consider:
- Laundry– Buy detergents that smell wonderful and make pulling the clothes out of the dryer intoxicating. Set a basket up for each family member and as you fold, place the clothes in respective baskets and create a new habit where each family member puts their own clothes away. Kids as young as six can do this and will take great pride once it’s actually done.
- Food! Nothing is worse than coming home after a long day of work, sports, and non-stop activity than realizing you have to figure out what to cook for dinner. Consider a new habit where menus are created over the weekend for the upcoming week. Subscribe to a few magazines and pull delicious fresh recipes that are easy, fast and appeal to you (My favorite is Bon Appetit).
- Find five to six menus and create your list by using a good app that organizes items by category (and also ensures that list is always with you).
- Get what’s needed for the week (if possible) so you’re not scrambling come Monday over what to cook. Being organized is so important to family meal planning, health and your sanity (Cooking Light also has a great app for meal planning).
- Cleaning: If you work outside the home full time and can give something up in your budget to make space to fund a housekeeper, do it. I promise- this is the best gift you will ever give yourself. On a daily basis, create a habit where everyone takes their dishes from the table and puts them in the dishwasher, no exception. Consider the phrase, “Will work for food!” Ask for help. Rather than picking up after your kids, start having them pick up after themselves. While it’s easier to do it for them, they must learn to do it themselves and you are not their maid.
- Clutter: Spend 10 minutes a day tackling just one area of your home. Even five minutes can do wonders with this new habit. This week focus on the kitchen and dive in for 10 minutes- Cupboards on Monday, mail basket on Tuesday, pantry on Wednesday, fridge on Thursday, dish cabinets on Friday and so on. Within a week your kitchen will feel “lighter” and you will enjoy being in it. The next week move on to another room in your home. By the end of the month your entire home will be decluttered just in time for you to start all over!
These are just a few ideas to tackle the things you probably do most often. While you will never find these task fun, you can take steps to reduce how much time you spend doing them, in turn adding more hours back to your day to do the things you want to do.
Lastly, focus on gratitude. I imagine the mother of five living in the Democratic Republic of Congo would give anything to have your washer, a grocery store to buy food from (rather than growing and tending to her own), and a home so big and with so many items it actually gets cluttered! See your life through the eyes of women who are less fortunate and you will see these responsibilities not as drudgery, but as the blessings they really are.
If you have not yet joined us for our FREE Get Your Girl Back Life Series, jump in! Our classes are every Friday from 12-12:30 with Q & A from 12:30-12:45. You can register at www.GYGB.com and join a movement of women seeking a new way of living- free of stress, anxiety and pressure and full of joy, laughter, and abundance! Please share what you are doing to embrace daunting tasks or make them more fun, on our Facebook page at the Get Your Girl Back movement or here in the comments section of our blog. I love to hear from you!
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Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & expert on Women’s Issues