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How to Recognize Your Limiting Beliefs to Change an Unhealthy Behavior

by | Jun 19, 2017

Once or twice a week Allison and her husband decide to order take-out for dinner. They find fun reasons to celebrate, often making a night out of it by renting a movie and having a couple drinks to go along with the food delivery. It is a good time and sharing these moments together brings a lot of joy to their relationship.

Theoretically there is nothing unhealthy about this behavior. But for Allison and her husband the problem is the amount of food that is ordered and how much of it is consumed. It is not uncommon for them to order two extra large pizzas and eat one each.

Allison knows the amount of food she and her husband are consuming on these nights is not healthy and has seen a fluctuation in their weights. To compensate for the extra calories she often turns to dieting tactics and maintains a very intense exercise routine. She and her husband have tried cooking at home to compensate for their binges and have even planted a garden to inspire them to eat more vegetables, but eventually their willpower gives out and the co-bingeing ritual repeats.

Allison wants to change this unhealthy behavior, but she cannot seem to stop herself from doing it. Throughout the episode Allison and I investigate why she is over ordering take-out and discover that she has many limiting beliefs around what she considers to be healthy behavior. It becomes clear that these limiting beliefs have created blind spots for her, which are preventing her from seeing a solution.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Foodist, by Darya Rose, Ph.D.

The Mindful Meal Challenge

How to develop confidence in your ability to get healthy (podcast)

The No.1 Thing That Prevents You From Changing Your Habits

 

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: The real reason diets don’t work, the best exercise for aging, and a new clue to binge eating

by | Jun 2, 2017

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

This week the real reason diets don’t work, the best exercise for aging, and a new clue to binge eating.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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How to Stop Bingeing After Going Out With Friends

by | May 15, 2017

Becky is normally a healthy eater and exercises regularly. She isn’t overweight, but would love to lose a few pounds. She also knows that if she stopped her periodic binges the weight would likely take care of itself.

Becky has also read Foodist and Summer Tomato, and knows that dieting isn’t a good strategy and that she has a tendency to moralize her food choices in a way that undermines her efforts. Yet she doesn’t know how to stop and continues trying to use willpower to both change her beliefs and stop her bingeing, which clearly is not working. She often finds herself bingeing at night after going out with her husband and friends, consuming thousands of calories at a time and feeling horrible the next day.

Knowing that your beliefs are counterproductive isn’t enough to change them, and willpower isn’t the answer. Reshaping your beliefs is difficult and you can hear in Becky’s voice how hard it is for her internalize the idea that pleasure is a valid reason to eat. Her experience to date has only shown her that she loses control around these foods and feels bad afterward, so it is almost impossible for her to see at this stage how a middle ground is possible.

In this episode I help Becky recognize the fundamental limitations of her approach and develop a strategy to start to unravel her rigid belief that she should only eat for fuel and nutrition. There are multiple issues she needs to work on, but she’ll have a much greater chance at success with this new approach.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

No, You Don’t Deserve That Indulgence Today

 

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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How to Troubleshoot a Single Mysterious Bad Habit

by | May 9, 2017

Sometimes it feels like you have everything figured out except for this one, baffling problem that seems to defy all logic. For Nina, her healthstyle has always been rather straightforward. She enjoys eating healthy, she understands the value of indulgences, and can easily adjust her behavior to align with her values in almost every circumstance. Almost.

Nina reached out to me because she can’t understand why she binges on junk food during her babysitting job, despite knowing it’s a bad decision and not worth it. She has tried a few things to stop, and had a bit of success, but still doesn’t feel like she has control over her behavior in this one, specific circumstance.

As is often the case when a very specific context becomes a trigger for an intractable habit, Nina can lucidly describe her issue and the circumstances that cause it to arise. She knows she’ll regret her actions, she knows Cheetos and Cinnamon Toast Crunch aren’t special on a random Thursday afternoon, and she knows it’ll impact her ability to enjoy herself after she leaves. What she can’t figure out is why she continues to act in a way she doesn’t like, despite this self-awareness.

For Nina, solving this mystery requires reframing an old habit in a new light. Even though the circumstances have changed for her as an adult, she is acting out an old behavior she developed as a child. As a result, she lacks the perspective necessary to recognize a solution that is right under her nose.

Together Nina and I come up with a simple way for her to hit pause on the autopilot caused by the babysitting trigger and pull herself back into the present moment so she can make a more rational and value-based choice in behavior.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Listen:

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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How Reshanda Overcame Binge Eating and Lost 28 Lbs

by | Apr 19, 2017

Reshanda had a very stressful job that ultimately led her to develop a binge eating habit and gain a significant amount of weight. The weight gain naturally led her to try to correct it with dieting, which instead led instead to more bingeing.

In her work to find the solution to her bingeing and weight gain, Reshanda stumbled upon Summer Tomato and started addressing her habits and psychology. As an active part of the community here and on Facebook, I’ve watched her develop new habits over the years from learning to cook in Foodist Kitchen to mindful eating in the Mindful Meal Challenge.

Today Reshanda shares her story of how she overcame bingeing, lost 28 lbs, and more importantly learned how to develop the self-compassion, mindfulness and habits she needs to live a fulfilling life that isn’t dictated by stress and avoidance.

Her story is incredibly powerful and full of wisdom and insights into how to develop the psychological tools to build a sustainable and life-affirming healthstyle. It’s an incredible story that shows the power of self-reflection to solve even the deepest and most intractable problems.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Foodist Kitchen

Mindful Meal Challenge

The 4-Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss

Triggers, by Marshall Goldsmith

The “I Don’t Feel Like It” Fallacy

I Thought It Was Just Me and critical awareness by Brené Brown

Calm app

 

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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Rebecca Learns How to Care For Herself Again After Having 3 Kids and Gaining 100 lbs

by | Oct 25, 2016

Foodist_Podcast

With the hustle and bustle of working and being a mom and trying to fulfill all these duties I completely lost myself.” – Rebecca

Although she had never been completely happy with her physique, after having three children within five years Rebecca found herself over 100 lbs heavier than she was before starting a family. It wasn’t until she ran into a friend who had lost 100 lbs of baby weight after working with a personal trainer that she changed her mindset and decided she needed to start investing in her own wellbeing again.

Over a period of eight months Rebecca embraced a new self-care routine of fitness and nutrition and lost all of the weight. The road wasn’t perfectly smooth, and she struggled with some of the struggles that come with dieting including binge eating. Ultimately though, she was able to find balance in her nutrition, stop bingeing and truly enjoy her healthstyle for the benefits it brings her.

Rebecca has also been kind enough to share a before and after picture for us to see her transformation.

rebecca-success

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

Relevant links:

Home Court Habits

After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

Does ‘The Biggest Loser’ Study Prove That Long-term Weight Loss is Impossible?

 

Listen:

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If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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Linda Discovers The Mystery Behind Her Late Night Binge Eating

by | Mar 20, 2016

Foodist_Podcast

Linda suffers from late night binge eating, despite her healthy eating and exercise habits throughout the day. In this episode we consider a few possible reasons her habit may have developed before finally uncovering the true source of her trouble.

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: The critical role of hunger, Western diets devastate your gut, and why kale isn’t healthy

by | Jan 22, 2016
For the Love of Food

For the Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. 

This week the critical role of hunger, Western diets devastate your gut, and why kale isn’t healthy.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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For the Love of Food

by | Feb 13, 2015
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week Costco is making you fat, meditation protects the brain, and the strange psychology of taking a pill.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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The Heartbreaking Story of the Joyless Splurge

by | Oct 6, 2014

Photo by Kalexanderson

Back in the early 90s I was offered a choice. Actually that isn’t quite right, because at the time it didn’t feel like a choice.

At an age when I was way too young to be thinking about these things there seemed to be two paths I could follow. One promised beauty, confidence and happiness. The other seemed boring, average and all around disappointing. Without hesitating, I swallowed the blue pill.

From the outside the dieting path seemed so glamorous. With my natural inclination toward perfectionism, the most seductive illusion––and the one that’s been hardest to break––was that of control. The myth I believed was that if I could restrict my eating enough, then I could control my weight and appearance. The confidence and happiness I envisioned stemmed directly from this control.

The sad irony is that dieting does the opposite of what I believed, and in fact robbed me of control. As humans we are not hardwired to withstand indefinite restriction and deprivation, particularly when it comes to food. The more we try to restrict and deprive ourselves of the things we crave, the harder it gets to hold onto the reigns.

But that doesn’t stop us from trying. For the truly dedicated dieters who still believe restriction offers control, we dig our heels in deeper and hold on with all our might. This manifests as some terribly odd behavior, like bingeing on foods we don’t really like.

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