The key to good looks…your energy?

Why do women obsess so much about looks and weight? I find myself doing the same thing at times, which surprises me. I realized this past year (after putting on some weight) that I wanted to break the cycle. In some cases it is good to be concerned about excessive weight gain, because you don’t want to be unhealthy. Unhealthy can mean ‘weighs too little’, but hopefully most people realize they shouldn’t starve themselves and then run 10 miles a day. Just look at Christian Bale in “The Machinist” If you see this movie, or even just the photos you immediately see the more disgusting side of being too thin. If you see what Christian Bale looks like normally (ladies, you know what I am talking about here) then you also know that ‘thin’ is not really a good thing and having more weight is a lot more appealing.

If you want to worry about looks so much that you end up looking like plastic is that a healthy choice? Is it healthy to obsess and worry that you don’t look good enough? Improving your looks may seem like it makes you feel better, but you only feel better because you ‘think’ you look better. In reality you are trying to fix a confidence problem with improving your looks, when instead you need to work from the inside out. Change the inside and you actually change the outside too.

How many times have you seen a beautiful woman, but she has a sourpuss expression or she appears unhappy? The pretty hair and the tight body are just not enough. What people see is energy. They see your inner glow – your positive radiance. The energy is what draws them to you and makes them want to be around you. Sure, we all want to put our best foot forward (comb our hair, put on clean clothes, or put on a little lipstick). The point is we make the energy, and through it can enhance our looks or attractiveness to others.

Without a complementary combination of energy and looks, you get a fireball (just energy) or a facade (just a shell). Worry only about looks or weight and you end up focussed more on the facade and not enough on your inside energy. What is important is balance and the whole package. The next time you get ready to go out somewhere, think about generating positive internal energy for the same amount of time that you spend getting dressed and fixing your hair. You might be surprised at the results.

Don't try the chocolate chip diet

For some reason I decided that it was a good idea to lose 5 lbs this month. This is not just a goal I committed to myself, but I committed it to a room full of other goal-setters. In other words, I can’t just back out now, I have to keep going. I was just pondering how many calories it would be if I ate my notebook? I was talking about the paper kind, not my computer. I feel like I am counting calories of everything around me, and now, not just food! I have a few strategies I have come up with, but none has eliminated my tremendous pangs of hunger. Did I mention I could really eat?

Considering I work from home and I sit only feet from a vast selection of tasty treats in my kitchen pantry, it has been a real feat to eliminate in-between-meal snacks. Every time I would walk past the pantry (before) I would stop and grab something. It wasn’t anything big. Just a Cheez-It or a pretzel. What could be the harm? Well, my pants are so tight I feel like if I eat a single grain of rice, my stomach will expand – ripping my pants apart like the Incredible Hulk. As a result, I will be forced to buy a whole new wardrobe. Clearly this weight-loss thing is about mind over matter; my minds desire to not go broke buying new clothes. Right now the mind is winning, but my stomach pangs are holding strong.

As a tactic to limit my eating, I started writing down everything that crosses my lips in one of those on-line food diaries. It is great because you can even track calorie burn by activity and your weight over time. I now log every cup of tea, every nibble of a cookie, and every chocolate chip. Everyone eats chocolate chips right out of the bag don’t they? Or is that just me? When I tried to log it in the food diary it didn’t have a measurement for “chocolate semi-sweet morsel”, so I had to improvise with 1/100th of a cup = 1 morsel. I didn’t actually count the morsels, but surely a handful couldn’t be more than 15 morsels? Could it?

Now I see why the ‘single chocolate chip habit’ is so bad. You eat a handful, which doesn’t look like much. Then 10 minutes later you have another handful. It isn’t long before you realize that 1/2 the bag is gone and you barely have enough left for those chocolate chip pancakes you were planning to make at the weekend. Did I mention this would happen by Monday at 10 AM? I kept wondering if someone else had been getting into my chocolate chips. Then I realized I opened the bag this morning and everyone else was out of the house for the day. The next day when I stepped onto the scale, I would realize that it must have been me eating all the chocolate chips, because the dial inched upward ever so slightly. Now I am scared to eat any snack for fear that I will tumble down the slippery slope where my single cheez-it turns into a box-a-day habit. Sadly, my eating problems are just that, habit.

You would think without all my snacking, I would be a lot more productive because I don’t have to brush bright orange crumbs from my keyboard. Unfortunately, at times I find it hard to focus because I am distracted by the hunger pangs. Pangs that seem to hang with me most of the day. Well, except when I am sleeping. Then I can just dream about eating everything I want. I may feel hungry a lot of the time, but something must be working because the scale dial has started inching downward instead of upward.

How am I surviving this hunger? Surprisingly I have been positive for the most part. I have traded my sugar crashes to “Choose to feel better”. Besides just watching the calorie counts, I have reduced my gluten intake (you know, wheat? or anything made with flour?). This seems to really improve my mood and alertness. Another trick I tried, but not sure if it actually works – I wear my loosest pants and ‘think thin’. Can I brainwash myself to think I am thin? Will my brain just ‘make it so’? I thought this might be more motivating than trying to squeeze into pants a size too small. The pants must have shrunk in the dryer because I couldn’t have gained THAT much weight? In 2 weeks it looks like I have lost about 2 pounds. Feeling hungry isn’t so bad; just don’t put your hand too close to my face because my choices may be down to eating your hand or a notebook (although I need to check my calorie counter first). Here comes another hunger pang, time for my mantra…”Choose to feel better”.