This is something I have really struggled with. In The Gabriel Method Jon talks a lot about envisioning yourself as a thin happy person. I have had such a hard time with this. Not only could I not see myself thin, but I didn’t believe I could ever be thin again or even that I deserved to be. This is the exact reason I took a break from actively trying to lose weight and concentrated on getting my head straight while continuing to improve my eating habits (nutrition and portion control) as well as learning to like exercising because it makes me feel good and not to punish myself for being overweight.
Isabel gets this too and the first chapter of The Diet Solution is dedicated to this. Today she sent an email that talked directly to this part of the weight loss journey with some really good ideas for changing these patterns.
The strategy that touched me the most was that we should be talking to ourselves like we talk to our children. Isn’t that so powerful?
We fill our children with love and support, we tell them they can do anything they put their minds to, that if they work hard and show passion they can achieve anything. And when they are scared or nervous or feel insecure, we give them the best, most heartfelt pep talks. We hold them close and tell them how proud we are of them and how we know that they are capable and brave.
But when we feel those same things, we turn on ourselves. I would fill my head with doubt and fear, blame and anger. I would tell myself how lazy and stupid I was for not being able to do it. I would get angry at anyone who tried to encourage me or support me, because I didn’t really deserve it anyway. Sound familiar?
Well, I’m done with that. I deserve to accomplish anything in my life that I set my mind to. I deserve to be happy and healthy and loved and supported. I deserve these things just as much as my children do and I can see that thin, healthy, happy, fulfilled person now and I’m going after it. And you can too.
Every day I am more and more impressed with Isabel. I really encourage you to check out The Diet Solution.
This is the email she sent today in it’s entirety. I hope it is ok that I shared it this way, I just felt it would be important for you to read.
I was remembering back several years ago when I used to do one on one client coaching, I had a great call with a client. It was actually her last coaching call with me and I wanted to be sure that I left her with all the “tools” she needed to maintain and continue her incredible weight loss success.
Me: “What do you think will be the most difficult challenge for you moving forward?”
I was expecting an answer like traveling, going out to dinner, maybe even cravings, but that was not the case.
Client: “Isabel, the absolute hardest thing for me is the mental part of losing weight. I see how successful I’ve been and I clearly see the results in the mirror, but I still find myself doing a lot of negative self talk. It’s almost like I know I’m going to blow it, just like I have so many other times.”
WOW! Talk about honesty. And I know she is not the only person who is going through the same thing. I can remember years ago when I first lost all of my weight, I would get compliments from people and I would always thing to myself, “Yeah, whatever, let’s see how long this really lasts.”
But there is a reason why the FIRST chapter in the Diet Solution Program Manual is about MENTAL PREPARATION because this is an ESSENTIAL first step. It doesn’t matter how good the information is, how easy I have made it for you, or how delicious the food is. If you’re going to talk yourself out of your own success all day, then you might as well just throw in the towel now (in this case, walk away from the computer and stop reading).
So how exactly did I overcome this common hurdle? Here are some strategies I use even today in my life that keep me focused, motivated and always working towards my goal.
1. I start each and every morning with a gratitude list. This is non-negotiable! It takes me no more than 3 minutes and it changes my spirits for the entire day. How’s setting aside 3-5 minutes for a joyous rest of the day? Worth it, right? I write “I am so grateful for…” and then just write, write and write. For me that list always includes my family, my health and my work. I wouldn’t start any day without this!
2. I go to sleep each night playing my personal mind movie in my head as I go to sleep. What is a personal mind movie? Basically, it’s you imagining yourself looking, feeling and doing whatever it is you would do if you achieved your health and weight loss goals. Imagine yourself in a particular outfit, at a party getting compliments, participating in some awesome athletic event. Athletes have actually used this strategy for decades with much success. This approach helps me to fall asleep happy and is much better than lying there thinking about all the things I have to do the next day or harping on stressful events. I sleep so much better at night like this!
3. Only talk to yourself as you would a small child (This one is my favorite and given to me by my best friend Jackie). Would you tell your children all day long that they were never going to achieve their goals, that they should stop trying or that they shouldn’t even try in the first place? No, I sure hope you wouldn’t. You would encourage them, give them hope, and tell them that anything is possible with hard work. Treat yourself, in your own mind, the way you would want to speak to your children or better yet, the way you would want others to speak to your children or speak to you.
Karin, keep your eye on the prize because the prize of the body you are dreaming about is within your reach! If I can do it, so can YOU! Tell yourself how awesome you are and how this time you are changing your life and there is no looking back.
Speaking of keeping your eye on the prize, I just got the most wonderful celebration email from my friend Joel Marion. He had set his goal to help as many people around the world achieve their own weight loss goals and getting his information out to every person that was ready to take his Xtreme weight loss challenge.
He has accomplished just that and is celebrating the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet system officially becoming the #1 Bestselling e-book on the internet right now!
To celebrate this monumental event in Joel’s life, he’s decided to keep the $30 OFF offer open for a couple more days.
If you haven’t secured your discounted copy, THIS IS THE TIME TO DO IT! (before Saturday).
I couldn’t be happier or more proud of him, and if you are one of the 20,000 people that has decided to take him up on his offer, I am proud of you too!
Take a look at Joel’s celebration page here:
The Xtreme Fat Loss Diet
And join me as we give Joel a big round of applause. Bravo…(clap, clap, clap).
Keep your eye on your own prize…and you will get there!
In health and happiness,
Isabel De Los Rios
Certified Exercise Specialist
Author of www.TheDietSolutionProgram.com
PS – If you enjoyed today’s newsletter, feel free to forward this email on to any of your friends, family, or co-workers that would also enjoy the information.
Have a really great day and remember to care for yourself, you deserve it.
Jon taught me to look at more than just the food an exercise and I understand more clearly the mental sides of things. It also led me in the right direction to find the information I needed.
I also learned that I need more structure. At least when starting out, I need to be told what to do and when. I need a plan that I can look at and see what is coming next and not think too many steps ahead. I get overwhelmed by the big picture and then give up because it looks too daunting.
With that bit of knowledge I went to work on that stuff and just kept improving my diet and reading and reading about metabolism and the mind body connection. I also concentrated on working out to feel good and improve my fitness level for my triathlon this summer. I have been running (something I swore I would never be able to do again), biking and have just started swim classes. The swim classes rock and I would totally recommend taking an adult swim class for anyone who is looking to get into swimming for fitness. I have only been to two classes and my crawl and back stroke are already completely transformed.
I have also made major breakthroughs on the psychological side and am glad to say that I have finally made the mental shift. I can see the thin and fit me and can’t wait to get there. And let me just tell you, what I thought was standing in my way had nothing to do with it. I dug deep and with the help of my therapist have cleared away some serious stuff.
I found this picture of myself from when I was 21. I had just met my husband and was in the best shape of my life. I had just come off of a summer as the horseback riding director at a girl scout camp where I had hiked about 8 miles a day and spent the majority of my day on horseback or running around an arena teaching others on there horses. I lifted saddles and hay bales and swam across the lake and back twice a week. I had never been so active, or so confident. This is an image of myself that I can get behind.
That image is now taped to my head board so that I see her/me right before I go to sleep and first thing when I wake up.
I am very excited about this mental shift and what it means for me finally getting some results. With that in mind, I am starting a brand new program next week that is going to really give my body an Xtreme shake up. I think this is just what my body needs right now. I have also chosen a long-term program that I am really happy with that I will continue with once the shake up is complete.
I look forward to sharing more information about both these programs with you.
Funny, that word changes. In the forum they teach us to differentiate between changes and transformations. Change is something gradual that you must apply will power and constant attention to to make it happen. Transformation is instant, more like an immediate shift that sends you in a new direction. These are the more powerful mechanisms for making significant differences in our lives and I have seen this in several areas of my life and now finally with my health.
I first saw this in action when I quit smoking. We had heard of this book (The Easy Way to Stop Smoking) that supposedly could help you quit smoking with little effort or withdrawals. Now, I had been a smoker for over 15 years and had quit and started countless times. My problem was that I liked smoking, no I loved smoking. But, I hated being a smoker. There is a very distinct difference there that I think most smokers can relate to.
So, we had heard stories of several people who had read this book and then simply stopped smoking forever. At this point what did I have to lose, so I gave it a try. Basically the book tells it like it is, separating you from your addiction and helping you to see how it is standing in the way and certainly not serving in any way at all. But the funny thing is that it is really more about the act of reading the book than even what the book says. At the end they have this list of questions and if you can answer yes to any of them you need to start the book over. It took reading the book twice to get through the list, but then I put down the cigarettes and haven’t had another since and it wasn’t even hard, like at all. My best friend even looked at me the other night and said she can no longer even imagine me as a smoker. Amazing.
Do you need to quit? Get the Book!
The point is that it was my first introduction to the instant transformation I am talking about. It wasn’t hard to quit like it had been the many other times I had tried. It was like something shifted and I just didn’t need it any more. Quite the transformation.
Back when I was depressed and having regular debilitating panic attacks my therapist would tell me to differentiate and identify the depression and anxiety as separate from myself. “That’s the depression talking”. It was amazing how quickly I started to feel better once I started doing this. I kept telling myself that it was just anxiety and depression and that what it was saying was not true and that I could keep going even though I thought my heart would explode out of my chest and it eventually just disappeared. In the moment that I realized that I wasn’t the awful person my depression told me I was, it just dissipated and I started feeling better and soon I was better.
At The Forum I learned to separate my stories from my actual experiences and found forgiveness and peace with my past.
Do you see a pattern here?
Well now it has reached my battle with my weight. I was noticing last week that my whole outlook was starting to change. But this didn’t happen slowly over time with a lot of will power. Yes, I have been thinking a lot about it and have made some changes to my diet and have obviously been working on the emotional aspects, but I was feeling really frustrated that it didn’t seem how much I worked at it, I still wanted to the sweets and junk food and couldn’t keep myself from eating it. And I still had no desire to work out at all.
I hit my peak of frustration as I scarfed down a brownie on the way to therapy last Monday. Two bites and I was feeling nauseous, yet I still ate the whole damn thing. What is going on?
So I was talking to my therapist about it and she taught me how to differentiate this as well. There is was again. She recommended stopping when I felt these cravings and looking at them from another angle, identifying the intensity of the craving by giving it a number 1-10. Then if you decide the number is high enough and eat the craved food, then identify how much satisfaction you got from eating it by giving it a number 1-10.
During this therapy session, something just clicked and since then I have been following her advice, which has unfortunately taken the joy out of several sweat treats I was really looking forward to, and yet again transformation has happened. Not perfection or magical weight loss, but a totally different outlook that seemed like it came out of nowhere.
I have been almost jonesing for exercise and food has lost its power over me. I am even down to just one Diet Coke a day, a miracle in and of itself.
It is just a craving and separate from myself. That craving has nothing to do with my body’s need for sustenance or nutrition or even something yummy to eat — it is emotional and completely separate.
I think this is part of the message the Jon Gabriel is trying to convey to us. Just give your body what it needs and realize that you are emotionally separate from your need to eat and your body will start asking for what it needs and giving back what you want from it.
The real test will be how this plays out over the next couple of months. Please let the weight loss finally come. I create this possibility for myself and for all of you too.
As I have said many times, I am not all of a suddenly skinny nor have I dropped three pant sizes, but I do feel different and my body is starting to change and I think that the pictures show some of that.
It has taken a while and I even was starting to think that even though I felt great that maybe this wasn’t going to work for my weight loss. I have been at this for a while now and I have experienced some amazing changes in my mood and physical well being, but not much actual weight loss.
Jon even says in the book that the more barriers you have to losing weight the longer it will take for the weight loss to begin. Even though it has taken a long time, I just kept going with it. It wasn’t even like I had a lot of choice, my body was making changes and demanding different foods and I just was open to it and let it happen at its own pace.
These last couple of weeks has been really crazy with traveling and multiple dinner guests and the kids being home and Ian having a growth spurt while cutting molars and now finally I have a doozy of a cold that has taken my appetite and any desire I have to move from a horizontal position on the couch.
But in spite of all that these really amazing things have happened and also some weird ones as well.
I forgave my father. This is the biggest of emotional barriers obliterated and something I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to do. He hurt me so badly and I have been carrying so much anger and pain around with me for such a long time. But that anger isn’t doing me any good, it is just holding me back and so I am letting it go.
Along with this has come a strong desire to search him out. He is aging and alone and my guess is not too happy and he is my dad and I love him despite his many aggregious acts and faults and I want to fix things between us before it is too late. I know that he wont want this from me because he can’t accept my own acts and faults, but I feel that our life lessons are tied together somehow and that we have a lot to learn from each other no matter how hard that may be for either one of us.
I have also felt some sort of chemical shift has taken place in my body. I just feel different and my physical body is starting to change. My clothes are looser and I know the weight is starting to come off. I look completely different to myself in the mirror.
I have also gotten really sick. I haven’t been sick with any seriousness since before I got pregnant with Ian. My hair is also falling out. Nothing to be worried about, but I haven’t had any hair in the shower drain since I got pregnant with Ian and now the normal amount for someone with longish hair is there. I didn’t even lose my hair after he was born like you are supposed to.
I know it sounds crazy, but I really think that my body never adjusted to not being pregnant. The chemicals just kept going. Jon talks about pregnancy being a time when your body turns on the FAT programs. Is it possible that those programs simply never got turned off? That would certainly explain a lot of things; My hair continuing to be thicker and healthier than normal, my late onset postpartum depression, my bomb proof immune system and my persistent lack of weight movement among many other things too personal to discuss.
But, whatever it was has definitely changed over the last couple of weeks and my weight is finally moving. Still not getting on the scale until October, but I have a lot more faith that the number when I do will be significantly lower than it was when I began or is now.
This salad would be perfect for apple season with fresh organic apples and fresh pressed cider from the farmers market. But, if you can’t get it in season, I have found some really good organic unfiltered apple cider available at my grocery store.
I have written this recipe as a single serving because that is how I usually make it for myself for lunch, but you could easily double this for two or even make it big for a dinner party.
Shrimp and Spinach Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
Cider Shallot Vinaigrette
- 1/2 c. apple cider
- 1 t. sugar
- 1 slice center cut nitrate free bacon
- 1 sliver of organic butter
- 1 small chopped shallot (about 2 T)
- 1 T cider vinegar
- pinch salt
- 1 turn of fresh ground pepper
Combine cider and sugar in a small pot over med-high heat and boil until reduced by more than half. While you are doing that cook the piece of bacon in a small skillet until desired doneness. Remove and place on a piece of paper towel to drain off any excess fat. Use that same paper towel to wipe out the skillet. Don’t remove all the grease, you want a bit for flavor, but you don’t want to cook in it. Cut the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
Add butter to skillet at melt over medium heat. Add shallot to pan and saute until beginning to caramelize and brown up. Stir in cider mixture, vinegar, salt and pepper. Poor into the saucepan you used for the cider mixture and hold over very low heat while you finish the salad.
If the dressing seems to be getting too reduced, remove from heat and then heat up quickly before topping salad.
- 1 large handful of organic baby spinach
- 1/2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
- thinly sliced red onion (generous amount within your tastes)
assemble on a dinner plate and set aside.
- 5 large shrimp, thawed, shelled and deveined
- 1/4 t curry powder
- 1/8 t cayenne pepper
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 t olive oil
Mix together curry, cayenne and salt in a small bowl. Heat oil in the same small skillet you used for the dressing. Dip each shrimp into the spice mixture before adding to pan. Sprinkle any left over spice mixture over shrimp in the pan. Cook until pink and opaque, but not overdone.
Add hot shrimp, bacon and dressing to salad and serve immediately.
NOTE: Add a handful of raw nuts or seeds and a tablespoon of ground flax to make this more Gabriel Method friendly
I find it funny that without even trying to convince him, my husband is fully on board with whatever I put in front of him these days. This one is a big hit though, so I thought I would share.
- 1 boneless skinless free range chicken breast
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 T fresh oregano
- 1/2 t salt
- couple good grinds of fresh black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
Put this all in a Ziploc bag with one chicken breast and let marinate for a couple of hours. At least one I would say but you could probably leave it for as long as 24.
- One slice sprouted wheat bread, cut into small cubes
- 1 t olive oil
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- pinch salt
- one or two grind of fresh black pepper
put all ingredients in a medium skillet and toss with your hands to coat the bread well with the oil and spices. Cook over medium until desired brownness and then turn on low (as low as you can go) while you prepare the rest of the salad. Stir occasionally.
Leaving them on low will allow them to crisp up a little and keep them warm while you prepare the rest of the salad. They are better if you put them on top warm. If they start to get too done, then turn them off and then give them a quick sizzle on medium high right before you eat to get them warmed up.
Cooking the Chicken
I like the chicken cooked on the BBQ myself. This way it has that touch of smoky charcoal flavor that compliments the rest of this meal so well, but you could also use a grill pan, broil it or even cut it up and saute it if you are in a big hurry.
You will want the chicken to be done about 5 minutes before you are ready to eat so that it can rest for a few minutes, but still be warm when you put it on the salad.
We cook it on the BBQ and it takes about 20 minutes. You will need to figure this out for yourself based on your chosen cooking style.
Assembling the Salad
These are just the veggies that I like and choose to use, but you could use anything you like and try to use what is in season right now for fresher, healthier vegetables.
- 4 handfuls of organic salad green mix – I have the guy at the farmers market mix half baby lettuce and half spicy mix. Yum!
- 2 carrots (or one if it is large – the ones I get at the farmers market are about 4 inches long, so I use 2), diced small
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 handful of sugar snap peas, chopped
- 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (use whatever kind of tomatoes you like or are fresh and cut them to bit size)
- raw sunflower seeds, raw pepitas, raw almonds (or whatever seed/nut combo you like) – about 2 T total per plate.
- 2 T freshly ground flax seed
- Your favorite dressing
Split the above ingredients between two plates and top with half the croutons and half the chicken. Dress and enjoy.
Unfortunately, I am still giving into the still too frequent junk food cravings and not being as active as I should. I find that when I am busy and overwhelmed, instead of turning to exercise as a stress release and break from it all, I look at it like the worst possible thing ever. Rather silly, really. But, I am not beating myself up over it. This just gives me tangible goals for this next month.
This month I will begin using the craving killing visualization. Couple of interesting things about this…
I have been searching through the book for weeks looking for the section on the craving killing visualization and could not find it for the life of me. I swear I flipped through every page. Then this morning I opened the book directly to that page. There is was, right in front of me. I love that kind of thing. I guess I am ready to take this step now.
I also think that it is interesting that this is the same visualization that Paul McKenna uses in his “I Can Make You Thin” book for killing cravings. Must work pretty well. Really, there is quite a bit of overlap between the two systems and I think they are very complimentary to each other.
Another thing to concentrate on this month are adding in activity several times a week. I have many opportunities for this, it isn’t a matter or not having enough time, I just need to do it. I will start adding being physically active to my evening visualizations and using the idea of making the better choice. When the choice arises simply say yes to a stress relieving, personal time, break from the family, feeling great activity and no to sitting around wishing I was doing something else.
And lastely, this month I need to start adding a morning smart session. I think this will be really calming and helpful for me, starting my day with a more positive and centered attitude and a focus on what I want to accomplish during the day.
If things keep going the way they are with my business, I am definitely going to need this increased focus and productivity, never mind someone to help clean my house and possibly even watch my kids a couple mornings a week. All I have to say is be careful what you manifest for yourself, you just quite possibly might get it. A little overwhelming, yet really really exciting.
Karli gets up 15 to 20 minutes earlier than me with the kids so this gives me plenty of time to lay in bed and wake up a little and then do 10 minutes of SMART mode visualizations. I know, isn’t he great?
On the emotional front, I have taken a big step that I am really excited about. I have signed up for the Landmark Forum seminar. This is a three and a half day very intensive look at yourself. A good friend of ours just did it and he said that it was really life changing for him. Karli also signed up to take it the month after I do.
I really think this is one of those right things at the right moments for us. We have been through so much over the last year. We as individuals and our relationship could really use a serious retuning. I have been talking for months about needing to get away for a few days and just be with myself, but haven’t gotten around to it. This is the perfect compromise, three and half full days (a total of 40 hours) with myself, if not by myself. And I get to sleep in my own bed and kiss my kids each morning.
Can you tell I am excited about this?
Overall, a good month despite the fact that I still don’t think I have lost more than a few pounds (no weighing until October). No worries, all in the right time.
I have been experimenting with different toppings and styles of salad, but for most meals it is pretty much the same.
- Organic baby greens
- A variety of chopped veggies depending on what is available that week at the farmers market, but in general carrots, onions, radishes, snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes etc.
- Handful of seeds and/or nuts
- Tablespoon of freshly ground flax
- Salad Dressing
So for lunch, I generally have a big salad and then a small portion of whatever sounds goods that week. I usually make a big batch of something each week and eat it at least three times. Generally some sort of saucy chicken (cacciatore, curry, tikka masala etc.) and sometimes I will have a little brown rice or sprouted bread, but not always.
This week I made homemade chili with pork tenderloin and beans and organic veggies. For this , I actually put the salad on top and topped with homemade creamy dressing.
For dinner, we generally have some sort of meat and then a salad and sometimes an additional vegitable, especially right now when asparagus is in season. I have my husband hooked on what we call big salad, which is basically the above plus grilled chicken marinated in lemon, olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper, and some croutons made with sprouted wheat bread, a little olive oil and some garlic.
My latest favorite salad dressing
I don’t really measure so these are really just guesses. Tweak with it until it tastes how you want it to.
- 1/4 cu finely shredded romano cheese (I found a really yummy pecorino made with sheep’s milk)
- 2 t. red wine vinegar
- 2 t. fresh lemon juice
- pinch salt
- couple good grinds of pepper
- 1 t. fresh oregano (picked right out of my garden for “vitality” points)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 t. Dijon mustard
- 1 t. honey
- couple of tablespoons of olive oil (or you could use flax oil) – Just add a tablespoon at a time until it tastes balanced.
Streamlining the salad process
Although salad is relatively easy, it can be a little prep intensive for making lunch before work or throwing something together when you just have a few minutes. But with a little prep ahead throwing together a great salad can take only a matter of seconds.
I buy organic salad mix at the farmers market, but this is generally available at most grocery stores these days as well. Too keep it fresh longer, put it in a gallon Ziploc with a damp paper towel.
I also cut up a variety of veggies, mix them together and store them in a Ziploc or Tupperware. Seed and nuts can be mixed and stored this way as well. Buying small tomatoes eliminates the need to cut them fresh.
I do grind my flax fresh, but I keep the seeds in a closed mason jar on the counter next to the grinder, which makes this very easy and quick to do.
With these small steps, a handful of this and a handful of that and a few seconds later you have a great healthy salad with little to no work.
The dark circles under my eyes are lightening up and there was a few sun/age spots on the side of my face that are fading as well. A lot of the redness is gone too, leaving my complexion more even.
I only wear makeup when I look in the mirror and say “wow, I really need to cover that up” or when I’m going out. When I thought about it I couldn’t remember putting makeup on, outside of last friday when I went out with a friend, in several weeks.
A little bit of a tan helps as well, but I continue to be pleased with all the effects The Gabriel Method is having on me. Now if we could just get those pounds to start flying off. In good time.