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Lifestyle Chats Summaries

Sometimes I will post a brief summary. Other times I will post excerpts from the chats. Occasionally, the chat topic will inspire me to write more fully on a topic than I could in the chat - but the topic was inspired by the chat that night.




Did you ever wish you had a response for a doctor, relative, waitress, or someone who makes a hurtful comment to you. Here is a way to be more prepared next time:

**In your mind, practice what you WOULD say if you were going to respond. Practice often.

**Then when the situation arises you may find your response just pops out of your mouth.

** Even if you do not say anything and only THINK of your response, the hurtful comment will not sink in as much.




This week we discussed HOW you measure the success of your healthy living efforts. The diet mentality says the scale tells you how you are doing. In my 23 years as a psychotherapist helping people with health/weight issues, I have never seen anybody who was not frustrated with the amount or pace of weight loss. This frustration usually is the cause for giving up on self care and healthy living. There are much better measures than the scale to see how you are doing.

  • Instead, pay attention to your ACTIONS. Did you eat enough fruits and veggies? Did you enjoy some activity or fitness today? How is your evening routine to help your sleep?
  • Or you can track your success by noticing changes over time. Notice how you FEEL! Once a month, fill out this form, print the results and keep the printed pages in a notebook. Then you can review and see the changes in your life and your health.
  • In this Tuesday's chat, we will address one specific measure: How's your cholesterol profile? What can you do to improve it? You may really enjoy this article: Eating Your Way to Lower Cholesterol from Tara Parker-Pope (She has written some wonderful articles on size-diversity and health.)

Every body of every size has the right and responsibility to take care of themselves.




It Matters WHY you eat healthy and exercise.

If you are motivated because you deserve the care, then you are both physically and emotionally healing yourself. If you exercise and eat healthy because you do not like your body, then every action is an act of criticism.

When depression prevents you from self care, get support and help. If you can implement your anti-depression lifestyle you will improve. If you cannot do anything, then talk to your doctor and see about adjusting your brain chemistry so you can break through and take action.

Take action to feel better in your body NOW. This is the only body you have today.:

  1. For joint pain relief, try tart cherry juice.
  2. For joint improvement, if your doctor says it is good for you, try glucosamine and chondroitin.
  3. Enjoy regular non-impact fitness

Possible focus to avoid the daily or weekly "mini yo-yo diet":

  • Eat more nutritious foods during the day
    ... so you have fewer cravings in the evening.
  • Eat more nutritious foods during the week ... to avoid weekend binges




We gather on a conference call line that will hold up to 99 people. Some participants just listen, some talk. We vacillate between discussion and Kelly sharing information in response to questions raised.

In our first chat, we talked about water weight and hydration, how depression affects self-care, and the emotional cost of the diet mentality.

Chat 009

You can find a partial transcript of the chat here.
The main topics were:

  1. The difference between "dieting" and making healthy food choices.
  2. HOW does the journey from body loathing to body appreciation take place.
  3. Dangerous Curves - a bad experience.
  4. Building a life that meets your needs ... a menu of things to do instead of eating.

Chat 008

You can find a partial transcript of the chat here.
The main topics were:

  1. While people of all sizes use food for many reasons, we all could benefit from finding more effective ways to meet out basic needs: comfort, entertainment, coping with strong feelings, etc.
  2. A primary motivation for healthy eating, fitness, and building a quality life is that we DESERVE the care ... we deserve to have our needs considered and met.
  3. When designing your fitness or movement, look internally and discover what kind of supports and structure you need to succeed. What time of day is best for you? What to you enjoy? As you learn about yourself through trial and error, you can set up a fitness system that is uniquely yours and works for you.

Chat 007

This was such a nice chat, that I will post the whole thing here.
The three main topics were:

  1. How self-care is a self-sustaining goal, while weight loss as a goal can be frustrating.
  2. Setting boundaries is difficult, but worthwhile. Clear boundaries improve relationships and help each person function better.
  3. When we eat for reasons other than hunger, it is valuable to ask ourselves "How could I meet my needs BETTER than eating?"
Chat 006

V: I've also started "healthy living campaigns" for myself in the past, but they never last. It might be because the goal was weight loss (or a killer bod or whatever). need to start shifting the thinking.

V: "Eating well" scares me because I think it = depressingly teeny portions and going hungry. Not to mention eating fake/diet foods (fake sugar, fake butter, etc.). I suspect your philosophy is a little different, Kelly! ;)

KellyBliss: REAL DIFFERENT! I use enjoying your food with increased awareness as a way to improve nutrition. I encourage internally motivated choices, so you are never following some external program. Basically, you learn enough about who you are and what you need ... that you eat whatever you want! However, what you want is what is good for you!

F: Regarding motivation: Ok, this might sound weird, but lately, when I think about eating healthy and exercising, I feel like I'm "selling out" to the idea that thinner=better and we're doing this to get skinny...or at least, that's what we're told.

KellyBliss: True size acceptance includes appreciating your body whatever size it is ... even when you live a healthy lifestyle. Your weight is just a side effect of your your self-care ... combined with a zillion other things we know little about. If your weight goes down, you have not sold out on anything. You are just living with the side effects of healthy living. (Note: some people, like me, eat healthy and workout and remain fat. You cannot tell a person's lifestyle by their size anymore than you can tell how hard someone works by their bank balance.)

V: Does anyone have the book "Great Shape," by Debby Burgard and Pat Lyons? I look to that for inspiration. They paint fitness in a way that makes it sound like a birthright, and that it should be done for health and fun.

B: I think self care and deserving care is like putting your oxygen mask on first ... you can give more to your community and others when you are well

Chat 005

Excerpt from tonight's chat:

SFC: What if you don't feel like you deserve to care for yourself even?

KellyBliss: Ah, in my group therapy tonight (which just ended) they have a great concept ... they say that if you don't feel like you deserve your self-care ... then just do one tiny bit of it. Every teeny tiny bit of self care helps to fuel your self-entitlment! It is like momentum. A body in motion stays in motion.

KellyBliss: If you cannot make yourself take ANY action toward self-care ... none at all ... then your depression may be too great to get out of without some medication and/or therapy.

S: I had a book recommended to me by my GYN for depression. Called Noonday Demon. Please get that book. It explains about depression.

TG: Sometimes just moving to music helps. I have a deep love for latin music and when I play it, it makes me want to move. It makes me feel better.

C: I have one of those big inflatable balls and sometimes instead of sitting on the sofa to watch TV, I sit and bounce a little on it. The fun of this seems to chase the darkness of the blues away.

C: I found a ball at Amazon! Search for "Max-fitness Anti-burst Exercise Balls for Premier Core Training" The ball is made of burst resistant heavy gauge PVC vinyl and is rated to withstand up to 500lbs.

KellyBliss: Anytime you shop at Amazon, PLEASE use the Amazon link on my site (or in I make a few pennies off the purchase and this helps pay for my sites so I can continue service.

Chat 004

Excerpt from tonight's chat:

L: It is very timely for me because I am feeling really frustrated about my efforts at weight management

KellyBliss: The way I solved my frustration on weight issues was to change my focus.  I focus on these three MAJOR questions: Who am I.  How do I feel.  What do I need. If I can answer these questions on a daily, or moment to moment, basis, then I take much better care of myself and I am much healthier

C: Sometimes, I think I am afraid of the answers, especially to number 3. I am always the last one on my list of people to care for, and I know that is not good for me.

L: My biggest obstacle is that, after almost 30 years, I still rebel against the idea that people won't accept me exactly as I am . . . today. So I fix them! But, ultimately, I am a slave to their perceptions of me

L: I have recently garnered the insight that, one of the functions that holding on to extra weight serves for me is that it allows me to avoid looking at my real fear, which is confronting my core belief that I don't feel very lovable

KellyBliss: In my group therapy, time and time again, I see people start out with self loathing (that they were taught) and end up really liking and loving themselves.  They seem to travel this road one act of self care at a time ... but there is a trick ... We need to take care of ourselves because we deserve the care, not because we hate the size or shape of our bodies.

C: You are right. If I could do just that, I would feel better and be healthier.

KellyBliss: Paradoxically, when people focus on the actions of healthy living, they end up at their best natural weight.

Additional reading: Redefine the Problem - or -
"You take care of yourself and your weight will take care of itself!"

Chat 003

Oops, I had a seizure tonight and the chat was canceled. However, I cannot help comment on how my seizures have taught me to accept whatever characteristic nature has given us ... and make the most of our lives. I was told in 1991 that I would never be able to work. Well, that is not true! I just needed to design a WAY to work that met my needs.

Now, that is a good summary for tonight's chat. I hope for each one of us that we design a life that meets our needs. Take care. .................Kelly

Additional reading: Obstacles or Opportunities

Chat 002

Topic: As we explored OTHER needs behind feeling the cravings a dominant need was for social contact or human interaction. Many group members felt isolated or disconnected from the people buzzing around them.

Solutions found: Group members talked about ways to connect with people. Also, we realized that getting moving or enjoying exercise was actually a way to meet some of the emotional needs (and sometime that included connecting with people!)

Additional reading: If You Can Walk, Then Walk. and What Matters Most is HOW You Feel When You Walk.

Chat 001

Topic: Feeling what seems to be (or actually is) insatiable hunger.

Solutions found: Increase your nutrition, in case nutritional deficits are motivating cravings. Specifically, eat more fruits and veggies and take appropriate vitamins for you. AND look into how you feel. If you can discover your emotional needs and meet them without using food, you may feel less cravings.

Group Member Quote: L: A friend of mine gave me a good piece of advice tonight . . . when I told him that dinner is my hardest meal because I want a reward after a hard day's work, he asked, "in what other ways can you reward yourself besides with food?"

Additional reading: Lists for Life (1) and Lists for Life (2)

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