Category Archive: Lifestyle

Jun 09

What Do You Do When Life is Insane?

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

 

Things are about to get (more) insane around here.
My kids and grandchildren are all traveling to my house over the next 36 hours. We’ll have 6 adults and 5 kids. It will be loud and chaotic. It will be crazy. It will be amazing. I’ll be knee deep in babies and I’ll be loving it. We’re going to have so much fun.
 
They will all be here for a week.  #mycrewe
 
The same day they leave, I’m leaving. We all have a 6 am flight. I’ll be on the road for business for 2 straight weeks, holding a TSP webinar, and also indulging in an annual girls’ weekend between those commitments with 3 of my very best friends. #vegasgirls
 
I have to catch a red-eye home at the end of that trip, to have a closing on our new house. We will then have 3 days during which the packers will be here; everything will be boxed up, we’ll have our final home inspection, wrap up things in DC and hop in the truck and drive from here to Nebraska.
 
There will be a little stress.  #thisislife 
I’ll handle it by remaining steadfast in my commitments to myself.
 
==> I WILL WORKOUT. If I don’t make it to the gym, I’ll run, play on the playground with the babies, dance, or do something with my exercise bands.
==> I WILL FIND SOME TIME TO WRITE every day – even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes before I get out of bed.
 
….because if you only work on your goals when life is uncomplicated and not stressful, you’re never going to work on your goals.
 
xo

Mar 09

Don’t Follow “All of the Rules”

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch 

3 Simple Tips to Break Free

 

 

I received an email a few days ago from a woman desperate for help.  She’s continued to gain weight and is incredibly frustrated.  She feels trapped.  It occurred to me that the response I sent her might also be of value to other people so I want to share that here.

 

 

If I were to give you a bit of free, personal advice, my top 3 tips would be these:

 

 

START WALKING

A little bit every single day.

Outside is best, and as we move toward spring hopefully that will get easier.

Both literally and figuratively, baby steps ARE still steps.  Small changes tend to be more sustainable over

the long term.

 

DON’T WORRY ABOUT FOLLOWING ALL THE DAMN RULES.

 

Don’t try to be perfect.  Don’t go on a crazy strict diet.  Don’t detox.  Don’t try to live on salad.  Don’t start exercising 3-4 hours a day.

 

Pick ONE thing to change for the next two weeks.

Drink more water.  Eat more vegetables.  Make one meal a day “perfect”.

 

Focus on dinner since that’s where you said you have the most problems. You “don’t like to cook but like a hot meal”. Me too!!!  But you have to get comfortable cooking a little bit.

 

How about throwing something in the crockpot before you go to work?

 

How about cooking on Sunday afternoon? I grill a huge package of chicken, scramble up some ground turkey, and steam veggies on Sunday afternoon. I put all of these in individual containers and throw them in the frig. Then, in the evening, I just pop one in the microwave.
OR
Pick a few local places to pick up food on the way home. I love Chipotle (salad with black beans, fajita veggies, chicken, mild and corn salsa is what I order 99% of the time), Panera (just about anything although I normally pick an apple vs bagette) or Applebee’s (shrimp and steak with potatoes and veggies).

 

PLAN TO EAT MOSTLY NUTRITIOUS MEALS EACH DAY

 

Protein (e.g. meet, egg white, protein powder) with every single one of them

Some carbs (veggies mostly, but also fruit and grains) with every one – and

Healthy fat (olive oil, nuts) with at least two.

 

Scatter in snacks, treats, and the things you love.  Making them “off limits” does nothing but make you want them more.  You are not going to go through the rest of your life never again eating chocolate cake (or…..)

 

**********

I might also suggest you pick up a copy of one or both of these books:

 

or

 

 

Both are written by people I’ve personally met, and trust: they’re reasonable, habit based, solutions.

Hope some of this helps. I’m here if you need anything.

Debbie

Jan 06

What’s Your Nutritional Plan?

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.  

Between posting my dive photo for #GGSFlawless, yesterday, and a question asked in one of the forums I follow.

“What nutrition plan does everybody follow?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about nutritional habits.

 

I’ve written down everything I eat for as long as I can remember. I have food journals dating back 30 years. No joke!!

 

 

 

I competed in Figure for a number of years and started counting macros – a whole new level of “writing stuff down”.

I did that (to the extreme) for about 5 years. There was good that came of it too. I can eyeball one serving of “this” and 3 ounces of chicken, like nobody’s business. Seriously, one of the reasons I start my clients out counting macros is because most of us have no idea how much (or little) we’re actually eating and we don’t know how much one serving is. Tracking gets you familiar with both.

 

 

For the last two – it was Thanksgiving at my son’s house two years ago that I decided not to count my food – I’ve done very little counting or recording.

 

I still worry about it sometimes.

“Oh my gosh…how many calories have I eaten today?”

“Is my protein on point?”

“How long can I get away without writing stuff down?”

 

BUT – – I am in the best shape of my life.
Not counting.

Protein Waffles (egg whites& protein powder)        topped with Greek yogurt and fruit.

 

There ARE certain things I do.

1. I make sure I have some protein with every meal.

 

2. I have a salad at least once a day (all the veggies, no cheese and typically little to no dressing).
3. I drink lots of water.

 

4. Before I eat, I check in.  I ask myself, “Are you really hungry? Would you sit down and eat fish and veggies right now?” OR “Are you just in a mood to munch? Do you just want that candy because it’s sitting here?” If I wouldn’t eat the fish, but I would eat the carrot cake, I’m probably not really hungry……

5. I no longer (I was raised this way…..it was a hard habit to break) feel like I need to clean my plate. I stop when I’m full – not when the plate is empty.

Keep it simple.

Dec 31

Was 2016 (Really) “The Worst Year Ever?”

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

 

This is not a blog about politics.  It is not about socio/economic affairs.  It is not a debate.  This blog is about resiliency, reality, and mindset.

 

Let me ask you this:  What does your FB feed look like right now?

Mine is (has been for the past two weeks) filled with statements and memes about how horrible 2016 has been. That’s not how I usually handle things.  To each his/her own – there’s no judgement even in this, but

I prefer to review what good came of the past year (for me personally, professionally, and our world).  I prefer to make a plan for moving forward rather than staying mired in the past.  Acknowledge that stuff.  Feel it.  Work through it.  Don’t get stuck there.

 

I’ve been pushed to my limit for the “2016 was the worst year ever!” stuff so I spent a little time doing research this morning.

Turns out that 2016 may not have been “the worst year ever!”  It may not even have been the worst year in recent history.  Some really scary, bad stuff happened!  Absolutely.  I am not minimizing that in any way.  Before we lose all perspective, though, let’s do a quick history review of our recent past.  Not the past 50 years, just the 15 before this one.  Not all of the events, just a few of the quickest-to-grab highlights.  These are in no particular order and I’m making no judgment as to whether these are more/less important than other things that have happened.

 

Do you remember:

 

– The US 2000 Presidential Election? 

So contentious and tight that it went all the way to the Supreme Court! The term “hanging chads” became a national punchline as Florida seemed to have difficulty counting hand-punched ballots. This was the first time in our history that the SCOTUS had to settle a presidential election.

 

– Terrorist attacks of 2001?

2,996 people died immediately, 6,000 more were wounded. That doesn’t include residual deaths from breathing noxious chemicals of burning materials.

– The wars in Iraq/Afghanistan? (2002/2003 – today)

Official numbers for civilian deaths Iraq over a 13-year period stand between 168,905 and 188,152.  Total violent deaths including combatants 251,000.  We’re still fighting.  68 died last week.  149,000 people died/were killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan over this period.

 

– The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake?

The 3rd largest quake ever recorded on a seismograph.  280,000 people died within a few hours, in more than 10 countries hit by surging waves; 200,000 in Sumatra alone.

 

– Hurricane Katrina in 2005?

1,836 people killed.  Rescue efforts led to a national conversation about race, poverty, and the efficacy of bureaucratic aid. The storm also destroyed $108 billion worth of property, making it the costliest hurricane in American history.

 

– Virginia Tech Shooting, 2007?

Second-deadliest school massacre in American history.  32 people killed and 23 others wounded.

 

– The Market Meltdown of 2008?

This wasn’t about physical casualty but it put a few things in perspective for us. We were going backwards!  The median U.S. household income in 2000 was $52,500. In 2008, it was $50,303. In 2000, 11.3% of Americans were living below the poverty line. By 2008, that figure was 13.2%.  I’m well aware that we need to be careful reporting such statistics – they have been changed several times, and are frequently massaged by whomever is doing the reporting.  No question, though that our financial institutions, auto manufacturers and housing industries all but failed.  We had government bailouts.

 

– Back to Back Earthquakes in Haiti in 2010?

The first earthquake measured 7.0.  A second, measuring 6.1 occurred a week later.  At least (reported numbers vary) 46,000 people died although the death toll may have been as high as 110,000.

– Hurricane Sandy, 2012?

87 fatalities occurred in the US. At least 126 additional fatalities occurred in the Caribbean and Bahamas.

This was also the year of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings where we saw 6 year old children and their teachers/caretakers killed.  I remember exactly where I was and how hopeless I felt when I heard this news.

 

– Boko Haram abduction in 2014?

276 Nigerian girls were abducted from a boarding school in the northeastern town of Chibok.  Here’s something you might not know.  Despite a “very aggressive” #bringbackourgirls Twitter campaign, as of May 2016, 218 of these girls are still in captivity.  The world has simply forgotten about them and moved on. It’s what we do.

 

Let’s not forget the Ferguson riots that spread over a four-month period of time.

 

There were 355 tornadoes throughout the Midwest and Southeastern US.

The worst being in Joplin, MO and Tuscaloosa, AL.  606 people died.

 

– Paris Attacks of 2015?

130 people killed and almost 500 injured.

 

“Peaceful protestors” (title provided by news agencies, not myself) lit 144 vehicles and 15 structures on fire in Baltimore, MD. 2,000 National Guard activated, 500 additional law enforcement officers from Maryland and as many as 5,000 from around the mid-Atlantic region responded.

 

Frightening stuff happens in our world.  Catastrophe’s – both created by man and nature.  We should care about this stuff.  We should not give up.  We should not tear ourselves apart, and/or burn our cities down in an outcry that “this is the worst…. ever.”

 

Guess what else….

People got married (both of my kids and numerous friends, within this 15 year period:  my daughter, in 2016).
– People were born (every one of my 5 grandchildren:  one grandson in 2016).
– Friends came through illnesses and injury (Rebeca and Linda in 2016)..
– Friends & family worked through significant life events (almost every one I know in 2016).
– People got jobs and promotions.  My company grew; both in size and number of customers – in 2016.
– Kids started, and finished, school.

A lot of good stuff happened every single year. Significant stuff.

 

I am very much looking forward to 2017.

 

Nov 23

Thriving Throughout the Holidays

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

 

I wrote Part I of this blog on Monday.  It discussed why people worry about “Surviving the Holidays”, and some of the misinformation accompanying that madness from the diet industry.  You can find it here.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-5-42-04-amToday, in Part II, I’d like to give you my Top 10, plus 2 (I’m an over-achiever) ways you might thrive, rather than just survive this holiday season.

 

In no particular order:

 

  1. Get some exercise. Not as “punishment” for eating! Rather, because movement is good for your body and soul.  It makes you feel better and it helps digestion.

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How do I do it?  I have, historically, done a 5K Turkey Trot in the morning – sometimes organized, sometimes with just my husband, sometimes alone.  It’s not a group that makes the turkey trot, it’s the trotting before the turkey J

 

 

 

  1. Drink some water. Yes, this one again! Here are ten quickie reasons from this article why we should drink water:  (1) If we don’t drink water, we will die…more quickly.  While this should be enough to convince you!!, here are the others.  (2) Various research says staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon and bladder cancer. (3) Be less cranky:  dehydration can affect your mood.  (4) Hydration contributes to increased athletic performance.  (5) It helps you lose weight:  many times we’re actually thirsty when we think we’re hungry (6) Water helps decrease join pain. (7) It flushes out waste and bacteria. (8) Dehydration causes headaches. (9) It’s great for skin – the largest organ in our body!  And (10) It aids digestion.

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How do I do it?  After my first cup of coffee, as I’m cooking and working around the house, water will be my drink of choice.  I’ll save the glass of wine for dinner.

 

 

 

 

  1. Have breakfast. “Saving your calories” for later may seem like a good idea, but it isn’t.  Skipping everything up to the “big meal” makes that meal even bigger!  You’ll be more hungry and therefore, more apt to overeat.

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How do I do it? While I will limit snacks until our meal is served, I will have my normal protein and carb breakfast.

 

 

 

 

  1. Focus on the people, not just the food. Chances are that many of us will be with family and friends.  {Certainly not everyone.  If you’re experiencing the blues, clinical anxiety, or depression – which can all be magnified at this time of the year, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from a qualified mental health professional.}  Spend time having conversations, playing games, and enjoying each other’s company.

 

222015_1880275359124_5667102_nHow do I do it?  I love the interaction.  I’m the one who suggests a game or asks questions that might be pondered, and give us an opportunity to truly talk.  I’m leery of sitting out snacks during this time.  It’s super easy to eat the entire bowl of peanuts while talking, without even being aware of it.

 

 

  1. Fill your plate differently. Start with some type of protein, then add vegetables.  Starch comes last.

How do I do it?  I promise you, I AM going to have a little bit of everything that makes this holiday special to my palate.  I love cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie with – a fair amount of – whipped cream on top. I’m going to start, though, with turkey, carrots, and a little sweet potato.  In re-reading this, I noticed I’ve inadvertently typed “a little bit” and a “little”.  Exactly!!  Priorities first and then just a little bit of everything else.

 

  1. Stuffing is for the turkey: not you. There is no reason to eat until you are uncomfortable, and chopping on Tums to help with heartburn. You know how that feels and it’s not good.

 

How do I do it?  See #5, I will start with my turkey and veggies.  I’ll add a spoonful or two of everything else.  Once I’m finished with the plate, I’m going to sit my fork down and wait 10-15 minutes (see #4, I’ll be talking).  At the end of that time, IF I’m hungry, I will get some more.  I will not eat because, “If I miss this opportunity, I will not get mashed potatoes and gravy or those yeast rolls for a whole year…”   Plus, while the pie might have tasted absolutely fantastic on bites 1 – 3, bite 20 has lost some of the original appeal.  I’ll just stop.

 

  1. Clear the food away right after the meal. If it’s sitting out, you know you will pick. Not because you’re hungry but because it’s there.

 

  1. Move a little in the afternoon. I know how easy (and typical) it is to eat mountains of food, be too full to move, and crash on the couch in front of the television for the rest of the day. That’s all cool.  But, if you see #6, by not stuffing yourself, you will feel better.  Go for a walk.  Play a little soccer of football with the family.  Then turn on the game.

 

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How do I do it?  This is a perfect time to chase my grandchildren around.  We could go for a walk, ride bikes, check out the playground, or throw rocks at the lake.  The possibilities are endless.  The fresh air is good for body, soul, and digestion too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Remember that this (one day) is the holiday. We have a tendency to stretch the holidays out and act as though the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one continual holiday.  When we start eating as if the holiday starts on Saturday (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or even Wednesday), it will continue through Thursday night.  On Friday, there will be leftovers to take care of.  By then, we’ll be getting close to Christmas (Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or Festivus) – and then we’re getting close to New Year’s.  Oh, what to heck?  We might as well wait for January and start fresh at that point.  Sound familiar?

 

How do I do it?  I enjoy the family time, the meal, and special foods of the holiday.  I don’t turn it into a “season”.  That means Monday – Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I’ll eat my normal, nutritious food.  I won’t have pie until Thursday.  I will freeze some food on Friday rather than thinking I have to eat it all.

 

 

  1. Enjoy the food you do eat. Unless you have an impending physical competition, enjoy a piece of your grandmother’s pecan pie or Challah French toast.  Try your sister’s cornbread stuffing, latkes, mincemeat, or egg nog. Those of us fortunate enough to be able to celebrate, should be grateful for the opportunity.  Enjoy family, friends, and yes, food.

 

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How do I do it?  I’ll be mindful of everything I put in my mouth.  I’ll savor each taste and texture. I’ll sit down, or at the very least stand in one place.

 

 

 

 

  1. Stop eating out of guilt. Just because somebody made this food, and it’s sitting there, doesn’t mean it’s your job to eat all the food!  We all have that pushy co-worker or family member. Don’t make a big deal of it.  Take a little piece of whatever they’re offering if you feel you must.  Have a bite or two but don’t feel like you’re required to eat it all.

How do I do it?  My mom is a pusher! Always has been.  She shows love by baking.  Somewhere along the line, I had to come to the realization that blaming her for the amount I was eating, was just an excuse.  She made the food.  I ate because I wanted to.

I’m just saying

  • Don’t have it just because somebody else is.
  • Don’t complain about your food choices.
  • Don’t play the “poor me, I can’t have that” card.
  • Don’t die-t!!
  • Make consistent nutritional choices for YOU – and own that decision.

 

  1. Control what you can control. You might not be able to change the crazy hectic schedule but you do have the choice of going back for that second plate of food, or not.  You choose whether you’re going to munch, even when no one else is around.  You can choose to go for a walk.

 

You can pick 1 or 2 things out of this list and set them as personal priorities for the day.  I would love it if you did!  I would love it even more if you’d share your experience with me.

Nov 21

This BS About Surviving the Holidays

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

The days are shorter.  There’s a nip in the air; although I have to say it seems warmer, everywhere I’ve been recently, than is typical.  The airports were packed yesterday.

It’s the week of Thanksgiving.  Already.

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First, let me say this. Many people struggle through the holiday season.  Some are alone and feel isolated; some struggling with money, stress, relationships, or any other number of things.  Some people have lost family members, jobs, homes, or love in the past and the holidays can reopen those wounds.   This may result in a case of the blues, or clinical anxiety and depression.  Please don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from a qualified mental health professional if you’re struggling.  That’s not what this blog is about.

 

I want to talk specifically about the “Survive the Holidays” madness.  In fact, I have so much to say, I’m breaking this blog into two sections! 

 

Part I:  The Craziness Itself

 

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If I had a dollar for each of the “survive the holidays diet”, “3-day ‘pre-detox'”, “wrap”, “cream”, “pill”, “powder”, and/or “shake” messages I’ve seen come across my FB feed, in the last couple of weeks, I would have enough to celebrate Thanksgiving on a dive boat in the South Pacific with several of my friends and family members.

 

 

I typed, “Survive the Holidays” into Google and netted 18,900,000 results (0.31seconds) and another 338,000 when I added “how to” before that phrase.   And a “pre-detox”?  WTH?  Yup, it turns out that really IS “a thing”. That garnered me 656,000 results.  Check it out on google but keep your money in your pocket.  Your liver, intestines, kidneys, and lymphatic system are your body’s natural detox organs.

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But, I digress.  On to surviving the holidays…..

 

Why do we worry about it?

 

PARTY!!!  From now until after January 1st, there will be parties, at work and within our other social groups.  It has been proven that we eat more in groups.  Everyone else is eating.  We eat mindlessly – putting food into our mouths, washing it down with tasty beverages, all while we’re talking.  That plate of food is gone before we can even muse, “Yum.  Meatballs!  I need this recipe.”

 

FOOD!!!  There are tasty treats everywhere.  Pie.  Cookies.  Donuts.  Egg nog.  Mashed potato with gravy and sweets with marshmallows.  Fudge and chocolates.  Wine and spiced cider. Cake.  Stuff we only see at this time of the year, frequently made by people we love.

 

NO SUN!!!  The days are shorter so we feel less motivated to exercises when it’s dark as we get out of work. Oh my gosh, I’m really struggling with this one!! It’s starting to get cooler – adding that to the early darkness, we feel more like curling up on the couch than going to the gym.  It also leads to craving more warm and hearty foods.  We drink less water than when it’s warmer outside.

 

STRESS, ANYONE?  We are under more stress to get it “all” done.  We have our regular commitments and responsibilities but now we also need to find time to go shopping, make food for and attend the increased gatherings, and ensure we are actively carrying on family traditions.  Stress increases cortisol which can suppress the immune system, increase blood pressure, and increase fat storage.

Recipe for disaster

BUT….

 

Do we need to worry about it?

 

I was actually shocked to find that numerous studies, conducted since 2000, show:

 

Holiday weight gain actually averages 1-2 pounds vice the 5-7 we frequently see reported.  

That said, it’s not all great news.  Even though it’s only 1-2 pounds, we typically don’t shed that extra weight later.  Next year, it’s another 1-2 on top of this, and next year, and next year.  The other thing worth noting is that, while there’s less weight change than many report, there may be increases in body fat.

New Year to Thanksgiving

Asking the right questions:

 

I.  If studies show the average weight gain is 1-2 pounds, why do we hear higher numbers then?  

 

II.  A better question might be:  where are you hearing the higher numbers from?

 

Answer:  Marketing based on fear that YOU will gain 5-7 pounds and you “shouldn’t”.   You’re hearing this stuff from companies that have some type of weight loss or “health related” product to sell you.  Marketing 101.

 

III.  If you do gain a few pounds, is it a “disaster”?  Probably not.  Will you be thrilled?  Maybe not.  Can you mitigate it starting now though moderation?  Probably.  Can you change it later though consistent application of reasonable nutrition and exercise habits?  Probably so.

 

Calling it a d.i.s.a.s.t.e.r. might be a tiny bit melodramatic.    

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The holidays are times when most of us get to see family and friends we don’t see all the time.  We take more time to relax, chat, talk, and laugh.  These are all fantastic things!

The holidays are not something we should try to “survive”.

 

*****

Be sure to check in for Part II tomorrow.

That will cover my top 12 suggestions for enjoying the holidays without just surviving them.

Nov 20

No, I’m Not a Jerk But Pay Attention Please

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

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As I write this, I feel a strong need to defend myself.  I’m not posting this to be a jerk.

I’m not posting this because I’m judging my seat mate.

Truly.  I’m not.  I’m posting this because you’ve asked for my help.

 

 

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I’ve said a million times – and I’ll say it again here – just to be clear:

==> I don’t care what you weigh.

==> I don’t care about the size of your pants (or skirt).

==> I don’t believe in diets.  I’ve tried them all.  They don’t work and the rebound of having been on a diet typically leaves a person heavier and more unhappier than they were to start with.

 

 

 

I’m posting this because I do care about the fact that it bothers you.

I’m posting this because we frequently wonder why we’re gaining weight (or inches).  We wonder why we can’t lose.

I’m posting this because we get frustrated and give up on ourselves.

 

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Maybe all we need to do is pay a little more attention.

The word “mindful” has been over-used and over-rated.  We’ve learned to tune it out.

We need to tune it in.

 

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We’re two and a half hours into a four and a half hour flight this morning.  My seatmate, so far, has had two Cokes, a couple packages of peanuts, some cheese crackers, and cookies.

 

 

 

 

Is she eating because she loves these things?

Is she eating because she’s really hungry?

I’ll be you $100 the answer to both questions is, “no”.

 

Yet, she’s consumed 600 calories, 26 grams of fat, 88 carbohydrates, and 755 mg sodium merely because the food is here.  Merely because there is someone walking down the aisle asking, “do you want a snack?”

Am I getting into her business?  Nope!

Am I telling her she shouldn’t eat these things?  Certainly not!

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Who doesn’t like to take advantage of free snacks? …

 

… In truth, they don’t even have to be free.

 

We do the same thing at home.  I’m mean, we’ve all been there at some point haven’t we?  I have!!

We’ll eat the entire bag of chips, the whole box of cookies, all the crackers (NONE of these foods are bad!!!!) merely because they’re there.

 

We need to find a way to stop this.

We need to become more aware.

Oh, dare I say, “more mindful” if we truly desire change.

It’s hard!

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It’s easier than we make it.

 

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Eat your meals.  Try to cut back on snacks.

Drink some water.  Try to cut back on other things.

Incorporate a few more veggies into your day.  Try to cut back on starchy carbs if you don’t have a lot of activity scheduled.

Rather than eating directly out of the package, measure out one serving.  Try not to go back for seconds.

Eat when you’re hungry.  Try not to eat when you’re just upset, thirsty, or bored.

 

 

Let me know how I can help.

Nov 15

Was I a Grizzly Bear in a Previous Life?

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

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I went out to eat tonight. I was going to say “after a long day” but that’s not really true. It just seems like a long day because the sun was already setting when I walked out of the classroom.

I didn’t need to go out for dinner. There’s plenty of food in my room.  Good, healthy food.  I just didn’t feel like eating it.  Been there?  Done that?

 

These shorter days bother me – every single year. I’m a “sunny kind of person”! Without it, I’m tired. It feels like bedtime around 6 p.m.

Not joking. I was a grizzly bear in a former life. It's time to hibernate!

Not joking. I was a grizzly bear in a former life. It’s time to hibernate!

 

My motivation – for anything – really wanes.

Zero.  No, not even zero.  Negative 1,000 motivation.

 

It’s tougher to get to the gym consistently. It’s harder to finish anything (everything), and I start craving comfort foods. Ugh.

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So, yup, I went to a local Italian (my fav!!) restaurant.

Add this seasonal change, a craving for comfort food, and the fact that a lot of people already struggle when they go out to eat – triple whammy.

 

“What should I eat when we go out?” is among the top 5 questions I get from people. It either makes us anxious

OR

We go out to eat, over do it, and then feel guilty, or both.

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First, you should never feel guilty about food.

 

It doesn’t change what you’ve already eaten. It only makes things worse.  Guilt can lead to binging and an all or nothing mindset.   You’ve eaten it.  Okay, so what.  Don’t make matters worse by thinking,”Well, if I’ve already eaten all of that…..might as well get the chocolate lava cake and a kailua and cream, too.  What difference does it make now?”

Please don’t.  Be done.  Move on.  No guilt.  No shame.

 

As for the anxiety you might feel before going out to eat, it can help to have a plan.

Here are three things that might make things a little easier.

 

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Do you know what’s on the menu?  When I can (and it’s not always possible) I like to look at the menu on line and decide what I’m going to get before I walk into the restaurant.  This means there’s less of a chance I’m going to walk in the door and order whatever the next table is having.

 

 

 

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Can you set one or two specific goals for yourself before you go?  Stick to those goals and let the rest of the evening just happen.

This is not an exhaustive list but some examples might include:

 

 

  • I’m going to start with a salad.
  • As soon as I sit down, I’m going to ask the waitress not to bring the bread basket.
  • I’m going to start by drinking a large glass of water.
  • I’m going to order mixed vegetables instead of a potato covered in sour cream, or French Fries.
  • I’m going to get an appetizer (or two) as my meal.
  • I’m going to make sure I get some protein.  If I can choose something that isn’t breaded or deep fried, that would be best.
  • I’m going to get that pie I love so much but I’m going to share it with the person who’s going with me.
  • I’m going to only have one glass of wine.
  • I’m going to focus on the conversation and not just the food.
  • I’m going to eat slowly and stop when I start to feel satisfied rather than waiting until I feel full (or stuffed).

 

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Are you comfortable determining how much you’re going to eat rather than feeling like you need to eat everything the restaurant puts on your plate?  Servings, and plates, are frequently larger when we go out to eat.

 

 

 


What rules did I have tonight?  I wanted to get some vegetables and protein.  I didn’t want fried or battered food.  I’d never been here before and didn’t look at the menu before arriving.

 

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I ordered the unstuffed mushrooms for an appetizer.  Crabmeat and shrimp mixed with some cream cheese, garlic, green onions, and mushrooms, topped with a light cracker crust.  I ate half of it and asked the waitress to box the other half.  I didn’t have bread.  I did have a glass of water.  I didn’t worry about the cream cheese or cracker crumbs.  Who cares.  Those weren’t in my rules for tonight.

 

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For my entree I ordered grilled chicken and mushrooms.  It was cooked in a wine reduction (didn’t worry about it).  I had a choice of soup or salad.  I picked salad with balsamic dressing on the side.  I had a choice of baked potato, garlic mashed, french fries or broccoli.  I picked broccoli.  The plate of food was very large and easily two servings – so I put half on my smaller plate (from the appetizer) and sat the other half off to one side for the waitress to box up.

 

Oct 29

All Usually Leads to Nothing

Family & FIT  |  Debbie Hatch

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Ever notice how “All or Nothing” most typically leads to nothing?

 

There are very few things in life that should be looked at in absolute terms.

Always.  Never.  100% or Nothing.

 

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There are some, of course.

When I was helping supervisors write job performance standards, it was okay not to let the Pharmacist kill, through the improper filling of prescriptions, “no more than one” person per quarter. We didn’t ask the Pilot to “crash only a few planes” each year.  Doctors were expected to remove the correct body part EVERY single time.

 

So, sure, some things have to be absolute.

But very few.

 

NOT HAPPINESS… … …  screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-10-28-40-pm

 

In fact, the more we polarize our thinking, the more likely we are to become depressed.  To quote Paul Martin from his 1998 book, “The Sickening Mind:  Brain, Behaviour, Immunity and Disease”, “For a healthy emotional life, it’s not more extreme happiness we need, but more balanced emotions.”

 

Not all or nothing, but something in the middle. 

 

AND MOST CERTAINLY NOT OUR DIETS OR EXERCISE!. screen-shot-2015-07-12-at-6-35-29-pm

 

Unfortunately, many of us view them with this mindset. You know what I’m talking about:

  • If I can’t get to the gym every day this week.  I might as well not go at all.
  • I can’t spend a full 30-40 minutes working out today.  Why bother working out at all then?  What’s the point?
  • Ugh.  I ate donuts in the office this morning.  My diet is screwed.  Might as well start again tomorrow.  Or better yet, why not next Monday?

 

Health and fitness are NOT all or nothing propositions.

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Success is found somewhere in the middle!!

 

  • I had salad and cannoli last week.
  • I drank a lot of water and two glasses of wine.
  • I ate meat, veggies, AND bread.
  • This past month, there were days I went to the gym and lifted heavy for an hour, days I dragged myself in and did the bare minimum for 15-20 minutes, days I took self-defense classes, days I did yoga, days I did bodyweight exercises in my hotel room, or went for a jog, and days I sat on my ass because I was just exhausted.

 

It’s what we do – over time – that matters.

Consistency is key. 

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Doesn’t matter what you do, or for how long.  Do something.  Where you are with what you have available, at this point and in this place.

Oct 24

How Do I Juggle Chainsaws? How Can You?

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch 

Gettin' down to business

Gettin’ down to business

 

This week I am studying for my Virginia State Health, Life & Annuity Certification. It’s a pretty big deal, has cost me a lot of money and I really want to pass.  The test is Friday morning.

 

I will be traveling 22 out of 30 days in November.  I have course books to mail, slides to update, and a few more travel arrangements to complete. I also have two client consultations set for this week, need to finish my monthly financial report, follow-up on several invoices and finalize my business video series prep.

 

 

As an HR specialist who has studied organizational leadership and change management for years, a former supervisor, current business owner, mom/grandmother and fitness enthusiast, I have studied the affects and management of stress for quite some time; both formally and informally.  I like to think I have a good handle on it.  
I am human though, so of course there are days and whole periods of time when I struggle.

 

Last week two different people asked me, “how do you personally handle stress?” I’d like to take 5 minutes as I enjoy my coffee and reflect, on this Mindset Monday, to share what I told them.

This is me

            This is me

 

First, I take responsibility for some (maybe even much) of my stress.  I have a tendency to over-extended myself.  I know that and I’m working on it constantly.  As a recovering perfectionist, I frequently deal with a lack of self-confidence and, as a result, I volunteer for more than I should.  I take on a lot of responsibility.  I want to fix things (everything for everybody).  The resulting stress can feel like I’m juggling too many chainsaws and I’m going to drop one or more, at any time.  I used to feel that would be disastrous (hence why they’re chainsaws and not just balls) – like that would be the end of the world.

 

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I’ve come to realize that’s just a story. It’s not really true.  I may still juggle chainsaws but I can limit the number, and if I drop one, I know life will likely go on.  I’ve made a ton of mistakes.  I’ve dropped some things unintentionally and made a conscious decision to drop others.  The world has not ended…..

 

 

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                                I frequently make “Not To Do” lists.

 

The way I’ve learned to juggle chainsaws is to:

 

===>     ASSESS:  

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Both feelings and goals.   Every morning I sit with a cup of coffee for 20-30 minutes. Before I look at social media or e-mail (those have a way of stealing hours from me before I even realize what’s happening) I reflect on my intentions for the day.  Things don’t always go as planned but I determine my 1-2 (no more) goals I would like to accomplish.  I write them down.  I then spend time thinking about all of the wonderful things I am grateful for today. I jot them down.

 

Some would call it meditation – I call it contemplation.

 

There’s no judgment here.  Telling myself I shouldn’t feel this way, that I’m being ridiculous, or even “it’s just a story” does nothing to make me move from that place.  Rather, I think, “Okay.  I’m feeling stressed right now.  Why?  What’s going on?  Are these thoughts valid or am I making a big deal out of something that really isn’t that big of a deal?  Is it really going to be the end of the world?”

This assessment can take some of the pressure off, and ground me in reality.

 

===> ACCEPT Personal Responsibility:

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I accept the fact that I tend to disconnect from people and procrastinate when I’m stressed because it’s hard to focus.  I know putting things off only increases the pressure, but it can sometimes seem difficult to get started until I see that looming deadline.

 

I find it helpful to write down all of the things I have on my plate…in no particular order, just as the tasks and commitments come to mind.  From there I prioritize and focus on only one thing at a time.

  • This IS really important and it needs to be done before that.
  • This is something I’d like to do but it won’t make a difference in decreasing my stress.  I can do that later but it is not important today.

 

===> Mandate ACTION: 

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-8-55-18-amI set the alarm on my phone or the stove for 30 minutes or an hour.  I completely shut down e-mail, all social media, and I put my phone on do not disturb.  I work for the specified amount of time.  Then I might set the alarm again and focus on something else for 30-60 minutes and so on.

I DO build breaks, time for stretching/walking and my workouts into the day even (especially) if I’m super busy and/or stressed because I know that investment of time pays large dividends in energy and focus.

 

===>  ACKNOWLEDGE Success

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Each evening, I think about everything that has happened over the day.  No matter how “good” or “bad” the day has been, I write down at least 1-2 things that made me happy (e.g. were “good) about the day.  I acknowledge areas I want to work on improving.  Not that they were “bad” but, “here’s something I can do better.”

 

Sometimes we get so focused on reaching a big goal that we forget to notice the smaller goals we’ve met along the way. If we remember to celebrate every small step we’ve taken, toward the bigger goal, we bolster our feeling of success, our confidence that we CAN “do this”, and our resolve to keep going.

 

If you find any of these tips helpful, please let me know.  In the meantime, I’m getting off the computer and down to work.  – Cheers.

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