ipcoachz's Blog

A journey to health, wellness and gratitude

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Mindful Eating Basics

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about lately?  Mindfulness, you hear about it everywhere. It seems to be the new buzz word.  Yet how many of us can claim to be “mindful” of anything?  We rush around, getting through our daily routines, hurrying through our workdays so we can come home and hurry through supper, to hurry to some activity, to hurry to get to bed, so we can wake up and do it all over again.  In this lifestyle, one of the first things that we lose is mindfulness.  I mean, do we really know what being mindful is?

The dictionary defines Mindful as:

 conscious or aware of something.
  1. “we can be more mindful of the energy we use to heat our homes”
    synonyms: aware, conscious, sensible, alive, alert, acquainted, heedful, wary, chary;More

When we are being mindful in all aspects of our lives, things stop being so stressful. We start to gain focus on the important things and slow down a little bit.

One of the first places we lose  mindfulness is in our eating habits.  How many of you have grabbed a couple of cookies, a handful of cheesies, or driven through the fast food drive thru just to grab food, not being mindful of what it is or what it is doing for our bodies.  All we are trying to do is make the hunger pang disappear so we can continue our busy day with a minimum of interruption.  Well I am going to focus on Mindful eating for this blog.

Using the BASICS of Mindfulness is helpful for both shedding unwanted pounds and keeping them off in the future.  Lynn Rossy, a health Psychologist at the University of Missouri, has come up with these six basics for mindful eating (that form the acronym BASICS)

Breathe (or Belly):


Check for hunger and satiety before you eat. Check to make sure you aren’t hungry for something else, like non-food stimulation. Guiding rule: Eat when you’re hungry; don’t eat when you’re not hungry.


Assess your food:


Notice your food, what it smells and looks like, to be sure it’s what you really need.


Slow down:

This can help you enjoy your food more and notice when you’re full.


Investigate your hunger and satiety throughout the meal:


Since you’ll be distracted during meals, bring your attention back to eating and tasting, being alert to your hunger or satiety throughout the meal.


Chew your food thoroughly:

This helps you slow down and allows better digestion of the food’s nutrients. Chewing thoroughly also helps you to realize when you have eaten enough.


Savour your food:


Honour your taste buds and body. Don’t grab the nearest food at hand. “If you can’t savour it, why eat it?” she writes on her blog.  She is also quoted in the following Globe and Mail report on Eating to combat stress.


It takes time to develop mindfulness.  I would encourage everyone to start with one small thing and keep going.  Start with the BASICS and then see where it takes you.


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Does Love Cause Weight Loss?

We have all been there, that early stage of falling in love. That giddy feeling of contentment. We feel high, unbalanced, happy. The world looks brighter, we smile at everyone. We can’t stop talking about our love interest. We don’t sleep, and surprisingly, we don’t feel like eating either. As songs have said “you swoon you sigh can’t deny it”.

So what’s with the not eating part? I remember years ago before my marriage and divorce, I could guarantee almost a 10 lb weight loss at the beginning of every relationship. I couldn’t explain it, I didn’t diet, but it happened. Having been an emotional eater my whole life, I have now found the explanation for this and it is called oxytocin. It is the feel good love hormone the brain produces when it is in love and happy.

Now for those of you who are like me, “mature men and women” (I prefer that to the “wow Mom you are sooooo old” line that my children say to me) we sit back and think to ourselves…”that is great to know but we are not about to go chasing a new love interest just to reach our diet goals”. We also can’t walk into our neighborhood pharmacy and order oxytocin with a side of giddiness thrown in for good measure and make it to go please.

So what can we do? First off, we can resolve to do something that makes us happy every day.  In short, we can “fall in love” with ourselves.

You can start by getting up in the morning and no matter what you are doing, make an effort to look your best. This doesn’t mean that we need to get all overboard on getting ready in the morning and load up with makeup and hairgel. What it does mean though is that we make an effort to look attractive for ourselves every day. Knowing we look our best helps us to feel good about ourselves.

Set aside a bit of time each day to do something that we enjoy…fall in love with ourselves and explore who we are and what we enjoy. Have you been living your daily routine for so long that you don’t even know what makes you glow anymore? Spend 15 minutes a day discovering what you love and what lights you up. You can do this by meditating, journaling, being creative and brainstorming things that interest you.

Listen to your favorite music on the way to work, school or errands, leave the dreary and depressing news station off. I know that when I rock it driving to work, I arrive pumped, full of energy and surprisingly, giddiness.

Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. Daily I hear people talk about why they put themselves last, in relationships, at work, with their families…they tell me that they can’t (or won’t) change this. I have heard them tell me it’s selfish to think of themselves. Yet really, if you cannot love and treat yourself with the same desire and respect that would give to someone else, are you really living a full and authentic life? Yes the voice in your head will initially scream at you, but if you tell it to hush, eventually your inner voice will become very quiet and will begin to shut up when you tell it to. We honestly treat ourselves worse than we would treat strangers we meet. We say mean things to ourselves that we would never say to someone else. We place expectations on ourselves that we would never place on another person. So Stop It. Make a plan for what to do, get help if necessary and stop it.

I have been on an incredible personal journey for the last four years. I am unrecognizable from who I was and I still have an exciting road ahead of me. Difference is, I am loving myself. In loving myself, I have attracted love and abundance into my life. I greet each morning with enthusiasm and joy. Of course, there is the matter of a sincere thank you to “D” for helping the process. Finally, I didn’t do it alone. I sought out personal development courses such as Landmark Education, Leadership and coach training, had people coach, guide and mentor me, and most recently am learning and being coached in Emotional Management by the auther of “Put Your Potatoes on Your Desktop”. I have decided to love myself enough to take the steps I need to succeed. I am not special or extraordinary. I am just like you and if I can do this, I know you can. Message me if you want any information. I would love to share my growth with you.

For more ideas and information, see the link below.



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Week 6 So close to completion

It has been another amazing week on this weight loss protocol. I am down 4.4 lbs this week and it is really showing. My new tight clothes are loose and the inches keep rolling off. I am so stoked and excited to keep this up.

I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday morning, and let me tell you, I used to dread those appointments. I didn’t want to hear about my test results and face more prescriptions. This appointment was totally different and amazing.

First, I have known my physician since I was 16 when we met in an emergency room while he was still doing his residency. That’s when he became my doctor. That means we have spent a lot of years together. He has seen me through my weight losses and gains over and over. He has helped me with my health problems, prescribed medication for anxiety, depression and pain. He has seen my children grow up. He took care of my Dad and was there for our family at the end of Dad’s life. He’s almost like family even though we don’t socialize. I can’t imagine ever seeing another Doctor and dread the day he decides to retire (Dr. B you know you are not allowed to if you read this).

Let’s start with my blood pressure. It was a really healthy 107 over 67. Let’s move on to my blood fats and lipids. My HDL (good) cholesterol has never been better and is in optimal health range. My LDL (bad) cholesterol is so low again in optimal health range. My blood sugars are bang on, exactly where they should be for a normal healthy individual. My liver enzymes show that my fatty liver is now non-existent and from what is there, my liver is functioning well and is healthy, something it has not been for years as I was always in pain and headed down the road of cirrhosis of the liver caused by obesity.

The best part is medication. None. No more. I don’t need painkillers, I do not require antidepressants. I do not require medication for Acid Reflux, I don’t need medication for incontinence (caused by my obesity) and I certainly do not require a CPAP machine. The look on his face was awesome and he congratulated me. The best part, is he is going to be sending me for plastic surgery for my abdomen to help with the residual skin that is remaining as a result of such a large weight loss.

I have shrunk enough to get into size 8 jeans and I never in my wildest dreams or fantasies thought that would ever happen.  I have only a few percentage points left to go to reach a healthy body composition.  I can hardly wait.  The only pitfalls coming up are the ones where the closer I am to my goal, the harder it is to stay on track.

I feel great.  I look good. I fit smaller clothes. I know this is all because of staying the course.  Yet still, I struggle, wanting it to be over already.  Wanting to be able to eat whatever I want…and yet….I must realize I will never again eat whatever I want whenever I want.  In order to stay healthy, keep the weight off, I will need to be vigilant the rest of my life.  It`s a lot like quitting smoking.  I know that if I have one drag on a cigarette, even after 12 years smoke free, it would be too easy to start again. So I don`t ever have that one.  It`s the same with this.  Once I fall off of the healthy eating bandwagon, it`s too easy to just keep eating the wrong way and put on the weight.  The only difference between a food addict and an alcoholic or drug addict is that alcoholics and drug addicts can stay away from the substances that they are addicted to.  I need to eat in order to live. Therefore, the vigilance is always on high alert.  There are never any “out of sight out of mind” days. Does this mean I can never enjoy anything yummy again? Not at all.  It just means being wise about the choices I make, my portions, and enjoying a treat occasionally not always.

The way to stay the course on healthy eating is to make sure that what is prepared and what we eat is yummy and satisfies the need for taste, texture and volume, without lots of added fat and calories.  It is also important to know what to eat together and not eat together.  I have learned that I can have fat and protein together, or protein and carbohydrate together, but not fat and carbohydrate.  This is because of the way insulin acts within the body and how fat is stored.

The other challenge that I run into is weekends.  You know those days when the schedule is completely off and the socializing and catching up on household tasks takes place.  It’s easy to eat during a workday.  The schedule is laid out, you eat when it’s scheduled, you plan and no problem.  Then the weekend comes.  Sitting in a pub with friends, or browsing through the house looking for food after I have slept in, that’s when staying the course is tough.  To help myself,  make sure that there are no temptations in the house for me to dig into.  I ask for my family’s support and for the most part they are great (except when they leave 1 piece of leftover pizza on the counter and I come home famished…..thank you very much).

So, to stay on track not just on the diet but for a lifetime, I have posted and remind myself daily of these rules…

1.   If it’s not good for you don’t store it in the pantry

2.  Never combine my fats and carbs

3.  When tired, brush my teeth and go to sleep

4.  make a food plan for the weekend and stick to it.

5.  acknowledge the achievement I have made in ridding myself of 140 lbs and never go looking for it.

I have a link for more tips to help keep the weight off. We can never have too many tools to staying healthy.


Until next time…