Mood Music: Can’t Fight This Feeling
Am cup, noon cup, pm cup are all twittered in and you have done so well today. You have felt hungry before eating and left space after your meal, you walked the dog, did some core work. You feel good on this portion control, lifestyle changing, psyche awakening, mind body enhancing program called Fill Your Cup, and then – it hits you. This Sucks! Its late, you still have stuff to do and you’re hungry! No really, there is no time for another walk or a yoga class. It’s not a mood thing or an emotional emptiness for anyone or anything. You want a salty/sweet something ASAP and you “just can’t fight this feeling any longer”
Here is one of my tips from Chapter 9: Myrtle Tea named after my grandmother.
A cup of warm water
+ a TBS Apple cider vinegar (also useful in salad dressings)
+ tsp of raw honey.
Okay but even better I am at Sprouts Market in Phoenix and I find my “Myrtle Tea” packaged by Braggs Apple Cider Company YIPPIIIEEEE… convenient and quick.
Find it – sip it – fight the feeling – NO SNACKING!
*Sprout’s market is a health food-ish grocery store kind of like Henry’s in California, not sure what the Midwest, Deep South or East Coast equivalent would be.
I need to renew my ACE (American Council on Exercise) Certification in order to have my workshops accredited for Continuing Education Credits. The first line in the manual reads: “The fitness industry is facing a unique and difficult time. While the expertise of fitness professionals has never been stronger, statistics show that Americans are getting heavier and less active as each year passes.”
I want to jump up and down and scream IT’S BECAUSE FITNESS PROFESSIONALS ARE AFRAID TO TELL PEOPLE YOU WILL BE HUNGRY AS YOU BEGIN TO LOSE WEIGHT – AND THAT IS OKAY!
There – it’s out. I feel better, don’t you? Sip some water then when you are really hungry and you are ready for a meal, Fill Your Cup!
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” – Aldous Huxley
Do we take our meals and eating in general for granted? When we eat as much as our stomachs will stretch out to hold, or we nibble all day long, can we really appreciate meals when they are presented? Can you notice the tastes and textures of each bite when those bites of dinner will go on and on half the evening?
Although Fill Your Cup (eating what fits in the cup of your two hands) is challenging to our bodies it maybe even more challenging to our minds. Fill Your Cup requires a shift in expectations and in how we are raised in western civilization regarding food. We expect to be full, and stay full, all of the time. As if it is our birthright. Most of us have never felt real scarcity or true hunger. And yet there are blessings in the hunger beyond our skinny jeans. If we will to make time and sit with the space in our gut and feel our hunger for 20-30 minutes (at least) before eating, we find anticipation, appreciation and true delight in our food. Keep Your Cup and keep it gratefully.
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
You knew this day would come. D-Day. Diet Day. Dial-it-all-back-in day. Every time you over indulged the extra cookie, the extra bite of brownie, the extra serving of steak or the one more candied something or other, you knew this day would come. Every time you put something in your mouth after you knew your belly was full you knew there would be a future hunger to balance it out. Didn’t you? Really? If you think about it, somewhere in the back of your mind you knew you would need to be a little hungry/empty later on, in order to balance it out and get back to “normal” didn’t you? I did.
When I piled my cup a little too high I knew there would be a concave cup in my future. There would be several bites that I’d be skipping in my future in order to keep my body light.
So now what?
1. Find your cup. Literally have the container you will eat from. Make sure it fits in the cup of your hands or order a set of cups in your size from our website (click here) http://www.fill-your-cup.com/merchandise.htm.
2. Commit to drinking more water – two glasses of water before you get out of bed in the morning and six-eight more glasses during the day.
3. MOVE – yes walk trudge hike run spin dance whatever, just move your body till you feel your heart pound and your muscles talk back.
4. Get hungry before you eat. Yes, get hungry notice it and move on with your day. Stay with hunger for 10-15 minutes then 20 minutes maybe even 30 minutes while you thoughtfully decide what your modest cup sized meal will be.
5. Enjoy your cup (meal) entirely each bite, taste, notice the texture and temperature. When you are finished with your cup, you are done eating for this time.
6. If you are really hungry and it isn’t time for a cup (meal) then sip some herbal tea with honey and drink more water. You will survive. It’s only a feeling (like melancholy) it will pass.
7. Live your life-get busy–start the project-make a list and knock it out.
Yes, it’s a change from your overindulgent holiday habits. Slimming your body requires that you slim your expectations. If you expect to feel less fullness in your stomach (eventually) you will see less fullness on your belly/thighs/hips. It is worth it! In three to four weeks this space (that today feels empty) will feel okay – even good. Really, space is good! Space in your stomach, space in your mind, space in your jeans, space is good.
Fill Your Cup.
Last night we had dinner at one of the best restaurants in the southwest. Binkley’s in Carefree, AZ is spectacular. I ordered the four course-tasting menu there were 3-4 delectable bites with each course. After four courses I felt comfortably not-full. My meal would have stacked high in the small cup but fit easily in the medium cup. (See cups here: http://www.fill-your-cup.com/merchandise.htm)
So can we serve ourselves the “tasting menu” at home? Taking only a few bites of each delish dish we enjoy in our own kitchen? I try to. When I feel my best, not-full. I have followed a few simple habits.
1. I choose a small cup in order to really see my portion,
2. I serve the food thoughtfully often with a grateful heart or blessing
3. I am conscious, looking for a flavor or noticing texture I expect or didn’t expect to taste or feel.
4. I anticipate a contented time after the meal – easy clean up, a book to read, bath to enjoy – something that is going to Fill my emotional Cup and keep me from snacking around the kitchen.
Taste everything in your holiday meals, but keep the tasting menu in your cup. You can sense and feel all that is offered in each course with only a couple of bites. Fill Your Cup.
I know you are CRAZY-BUSY, so I will be brief:
Eating that extra:
Slice of pie, cookie, homemade fudge, chocolate dipped ________ (Fill in your favorite blank) will NOT make:
• Your boyfriend / girlfriend more intuitive
• Your husband / wife more attentive
• Your friend more appreciative
• Your in-laws more respectful
• Your supervisor more benevolent
• Your deadlines further out
The extra eating of the season will probably make you feel sluggish, thick, and unhappy as you try to button your jeans. I know it is not easy but there is no better time to Keep the Cup.
Instead of over eating try:
• Walking around your desk
• Hand standing
• Taking deep breaths
• Drinking a cup of hot herbal tea
• Sipping a glass of water (from a Fill Your Cup glass- order here: http://www.fill-your-cup.com/merchandise.htm)
• Making a long distance phone call to a favorite person
• A hot bath
• Lingering under mistletoe…
Fill Your Cup
After all, that is one of our American Dreams, to have more of what we like.
At a wedding yesterday a charming drunk Irish boy named Timmy Dolan kept bringing me vodka cocktails and repeating the mantra. “If some is good – more is better!” I tried to resist and explain the Fill Your Cup lifestyle I keep is one of moderation. Since he was already several cocktails ahead of me in his evening libation, he wasn’t hearing my words of temperance. I didn’t fight too hard or stand on a portion control pedestal because ultimately I believe, life is meant to be lived, and at this special occasion I indulged a little more than usual. An extra few bites of dinner a little desert and an extra cocktail or two.
So what happens after a night of decadence?
The next few days I will lighten my cup and try to exercise every day. Even though my stomach feels stretched so I still feel empty after eating a cup size meal. I remind myself that Keeping the Cup – eating the modest portion that fits in the cup of my hands has many benefits:
1. I will stay slimmer and look so much sleeker in bulky winter wear.
2. I will have lower risk of, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers and probably live longer than plumper people in my age bracket.
3. My food tastes so fantastic when I am really really hungry for it.
4. I will deduct better information about my life if I listen to my feelings and not stuff cravings with a snack.
Some diets allow for a “cheat day” once a week. That just doesn’t make sense if your are adopting a healthier more satisfying lifestyle. Why would you ever want to cheat good habits? The Fill Your Cup lifestyle feels good. After the first 21 days of stomach shrinking-habit change in fact, it feels great. Everyone I know on this plan has felt lighter, and better in touch with his/her body, and feelings.
If you find your self in celebration mode and spill out of your cup for a meal – notice the change and get right back into your appropriate portions. Remind yourself why you enjoy your lightness so much.
Fill Your Cup with Seasonal Blessings!
What makes a “good choice” when you fill your cup? Here are the four elements I consider most.
1. Endurance Carbs: Nutritionists refer to them as complex carbs – the kind that are digested slowly to give you a long, steady stream of energy. Just about any high-fiber carb will do, including beans, brown rice, whole-grain bread, quinoa, and oatmeal. Keep your energy levels high.
2. A little bit of fat: Your body needs some healthy fat to absorb nutrients that are fat-soluble (like vitamins A, D, and E). Fats also help you feel full longer, and since it’s a long time till your next cup, and your cup is a conservative portion, enjoy the fat! Have a little oil! Eight – twelve nuts, a few slices of avocado or even a square of dark chocolate will feel decadent.
3. Lean protein: Dr. Oz recommends making your meal “mostly veggie” and then adding some lean protein to give it a little more lasting power. I totally agree, chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, quinoa (quinoa again, it’s a two for one a complex carb and protein) and beans are all good choices for protein.
4. Whatever YOU want: The most important aspect of your good choice, the magic in staying on your plan, the nugget of gold in Fill Your Cup, is making your choice – your own. Take a moment and know for certain what YOU are hungry for! What is your body telling you it needs?
Fill Your Cup
Keeping small portions requires consciousness.
Consciousness in eating is an art more than a science. There is not one formula for success. There is not an ultimate right answer. You have found the right answer when you feel great in your jeans! You try in a little of this and a little of that and decide what fills your cup and makes you feel good. What aligns your dreams with your realities? What you want from the inside will, eventually manifest on the outside.
All of that takes practice. The more you practice – cup by cup – 3 times a day – day by day – week by week and you hone this nourishing skill. It will feel good and that feeing of goodness and accomplishment inspires more practice. You will feel lighter and look better. Honing this art requires you do it… over and over again.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso
Mood Music: Know ur Enemy
For me it’s taxes. I sit down with a stack of receipts and the craving for trail mix is over whelming. I say, with a smirk that, “Math homework makes me fat!” It is, unfortunately – true. And although I know this perfectly well at tax time I still scrounge for trail mix, mixed nuts, and have even been seen sticking a fork into a jar of peanut butter!? If you know the “thing,” or time of day that makes you snack prepare yourself for it. Maybe it is paying bills, watching TV, doing homework with kids, or just feeling anxious or restless late at night. Know that you have this eating (or drinking an extra glass or 2 or 3 of wine or _______?) own the habit. Then know that you can choose to break it. And give yourself the best shot at staying in the cup.
Here are some tips:
1. Remove temptations – the foods that you might eat too much of, keep out of your reach or out of the house.
2. Sip water or herbal tea through a straw, it gives you oral stimulation and distraction.
3. Sip Kombucha or Lemon water since the sour flavor may distract you from eating during your vulnerable time/task.
4. Whiten your teeth. You certainly can’t eat while you have those gooey things in your mouth! Practice overcoming your tempting habit as often as you can, stick to the cup and you will – one day – let the habit go.
Send us any of your ideas for avoiding the munchies please; they help everyone reading this blog. Thanks, best of luck Filling Your Cup!