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Body, Food + Health

The Secret to Skinny: Part I

Posted by | Body, Food + Health | One Comment

Yes, there is one secret to losing weight.

I was at a weight loss conference this past weekend. My girl, Martha Beck, talked all about the Secret to Weight Loss, which reminded me that I’ve been wanting to tell you about it.

And, no — it’s not a diet, or a pill, or an exercise regime that you must revere as if it were a religion until you die, or it kills you — whatever comes first.*

*Tracy Anderson, I’m talking to you. My knees were shot after doing your cardio dance DVD 4 days in a row back in ’09. Granted, I was cardio dancing on my wooden, apartment floor… but still. You are cute as a very toned (and slightly under-nourished) button, but I think I’ll keep my knees and stick to your mat workout. Besos.

Knowing the Secret to Weight Loss is all you need to lose weight. And, it’s free.

“But, Laurie! If there were one Secret to Weight Loss, wouldn’t, like, EVERYONE know?”

Apparently not.

It’s not all the buzz because it’s not a quick-fix kind of secret.

It’s not that appealing to people who want to lose weight without having to actually do anything.

And maybe the Secret to Weight Loss hasn’t gone viral because it has nothing to do with your weight.

What you’re eating or the kind of workouts you do or your family history of obesity, or how you look naked are totally irrelevant to the one thing you need to know to lose weight …. forever.

Read More

“Taking It All Off.” Or, “Guerilla Weight Loss Tactics (that work)”

Posted by | Body, Food + Health | One Comment

Crazy thing happened last week.

I announced that I am doing my Take It All Off (or, Guerilla Weighi Loss Tactics) class, again, early in 2010.

I got quite a few questions!

Some people (my posse?) even discovered a secret waiting list for it (no longer secret — get on it if you’re interested in the class.)

Here are the appropriate-for-all-audiences questions, answered.

Answers: I have some.

Q. #1: To be honest, I just don’t believe you that, if I take your class, I will lose weight permanently.  (including sub-questions)

Read More

Pick a little. Talk a little.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health | 3 Comments

You know when you go out to dinner with a bunch of people? And you’ve had a really good week where you’ve been working out every day, and eating right, and not raiding your refrigerator at midnight?

Until! You go out to dinner with a few friends. [Cue ominous music]. Everyone wants to split pasta. Everyone wants to split 7 bottles of wine and 14 desserts.  And you don’t want to be the lame one who orders a salad and an appetizer.

What if they think I’m boring? What if they think I have an eating disorder or something? What if they make FUN of me??

(Or whatever your particular brand of self-abuse and criticism happens to be.)

Of course you feel social pressure in this situation – there is social pressure. Especially if you are female, many of the lessons of your youth might be like mine: don’t make waves! make other people happy! other people’s approval is important!

And we could choose to buy into these messages, except that believing them makes us fat.

Which is why I think you should consider rethinking your dinner experience so you not only survive (without overeating in the blink of an eye), but ENJOY it.

How about finding some new stories about why NOT overeating, mis-ordering or caving to the pressures are the BEST things you can do for yourself AND your friends?

Here are some that have worked for me and clients – try these on for size. If it feels like, that is SO true, then remember this next time you are PLANNING to go to dinner, then again BEFORE you go to the dinner and, finally, while you’re at it.

  • If I do what I REALLY want (ordering a non-pork-fat based dinner option), it liberates others to do the same.” SO TRUE – so many times, I sheepishly say “I don’t want to split the fried razor neck clams” and someone else says, “You know, I think I’m happier without, too.” How we can help that other sheepish person!
  • “When I eat too much, I am not making anyone happy.”
  • “How much I eat is no one’s business but mine.”
  • “Everyone’s different, and I am different in that a smaller portion satisfies me. Maybe more food is right for them – we are all unique in appetite as in all things.”
  • “Scared people are scary – if they tease me about being healthier, it is probably because they feel insecure about their choice to kind of pig out.”

See? Those are much more useful ways to see the situation. You stay on track and still get to go to dinner (and don’t have avoid situations that bring up your stuff! You are so evolved, working on it, like you do). Win-win-wins all around.

If this was kind of your thing, check out this blog post on Feelings are not for eating.

Do NOT do a cleanse to lose weight.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Miscellaneous | No Comments

Because it will not work. End of discussion!

I kid. That is not the end of the discussion. The discussion never ends, it’s a blog!

The reason it will not work is the point of a cleanse is not to lose weight, but to cleanse.

I know this is not news, but don’t we always search and search and search for some easy way to lose weight, and then feel validated that there MAY be a fast way when there’s quick fix that alleges to be “healthy”? We totally do.

When you cleanse your system of toxins (which is the alleged purpose of a cleanse, though I’m pretty sure we have a self-cleaning system of our own) you may lose a bunch of water weight, but that’s not real weight.

It comes back to you with the first vodka soda.

Not only that, but if you’re into cleanses, which is totally cool with me (though they are not really my thing), consider just not putting toxic stuff into your system to begin with.

This is my current approach (well, reducing the toxic stuff, I’m too in love with food and vino to stop my meat-eating ways). I’m a no-artificial sweetener advocate, for example.

What I’ve found, with reducing the chemical-based, God-knows-what-this-really-is stuff, I do feel a lot better.  And I am pretty sure I have less cravings

HUGE, *MASSIVE* CAVEAT: most cravings are NOT physical, they are emotional. I mean cravings for the mutant food/beverages w/ fake stuff in them.

Because less cravings means more time doing whatever it is you do, focusing on your kids, being present at work. That can’t be bad.

No, not bad at all.

If this post was kind of your thing, check out Tricks of the Trade.

It’s been two weeks, and all I’ve lost is two weeks.

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Girl Eating Food

You know, all I’ve ever lost on any of the diets I have ever dabbled in was time, a few pounds (that I subsequently gained back) and money.  Oh, and all self-control around chocolate.

Then, one day, I had a revelation. This revelation led to losing a serious chunk of change which I’ve kept off for 8 years.

I realized that I could eat when I am hungry, and stop when I am full – because there will always be more food later.

It may sound simple and obvious, but to me, realizing that I could listen to my body to know when to eat and when to stop was revolutionary.

My next revolution happened a few years later.

I was approximately 30 seconds into my first semester of law school and experiencing the beginnings of a panic attack, complete with brown paper bag to breathe into (once I dumped my lunch out of it).

With so many smart people out there in this 200-person auditorium, blood-thirsty and dangerous – and me feeling like Sookie Stackhouse in Fangtasia without Bill to protect me – I felt waves of fear, nay, TERROR, coursing through my limbs.

I thought, “Panick! Alarm! I will never be the top of my class! And I must be the best! or else I will never be successful!”

And then, it hit me: None of these people know me, just like I don’t know any of them. For all they know, I’m the smartest kid in class – and, what the heck, maybe I am.

I realized that I could create the reality of my law school experience. I am smart, so I’ll be smart in school, I decided.  I will be at the top of the class. I will have my pick of jobs, and I will not believe in this fear.

And that is EXACTLY what happened.

But that’s not the end of the story. Read More

The Last Weight Loss Class You’ll Ever Need

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Tuesdays @ 7pm EST October 20 to November 24.

Back by popular demand! And just in time for the holidays…

Up front, a diet promises you weight loss. You WANT what they say to be true, so you bite.  And then you eat nothing but protein for a month (so hard to do; also, doesn’t work), or drink nothing but the stuff the “cleanse” permits (you won’t lose weight on a cleanse) or stop eating at 7pm every night, religiously (fat knows no time).

At best, you lose weight and then gain it back. At worst, you only get bigger. Ugh. Stupid diets. The vicious cycle of obsessing over what you’re eating, overeating and then berating yourself for overeating continues.  The food thoughts and dissatisfaction with your body can be all consuming (and never fulfilling).

You have permission to feel stuck.

You’re frustrated with the constant struggle. As you should be! The diet industry is terrible. Terrible! It exists ONLY because diets don’t work – every customer who buys into a diet has to go back to the market place for more diets every time.  This is, in my belief system, is very, very not okay.

Because, the reality is, it takes more than knowing to eat less and work out more to reach your ideal weight. You’re not crazy for knowing that and yet still wrestling with losing weight, gaining it, exercising enough, doing the right exercises — it’s really exhausting.

The good news is that you really and truly can reach at your ideal weight and just live in our own skin like a naturally thin person seems to do.

My background: or, why even bother listening to me.

Obviously you don’t want to learn from someone who doesn’t get it, and hasn’t been there. Like some ineffective guru who does everything perfectly. Or some perky, hyper-enthusiastic “let’s get going” mile-a-minute motivational former-camp-counselor-from-hell that is not realistic about the demands of your life. Nooooo!

On the other hand, there’s also no point in learning from someone who has your problem and hasn’t turned it around. I’ve turned it around. I’ve done the work and I’m doing the work to stay at my ideal weight.

My name is Laurie. And I seriously believe that if you deeply want to be in the body that is YOUR body instead of carrying the extra weight around, you absolutely, 100% can do it. BUT! You have to be willing to look and see what’s going on on the inside (we talk about feelings and there’s no stinkin’ way around it).  And we figure it out in a compassionate, intelligent and conscious way.

Qualifications: I got some

Chalk Board

  • My personal success story: 35 pounds gone and I’m never going back. Hello, skinny jeans that fit all of the time! (10 years ago, I never thought I would say that)
  • Lapsed disciplinarian.
  • Knowing what doesn’t work in this process, having tried all sorts of useless or barely useful weight loss programs and “systems” to no effect.
  • Knowing what does work, having tested my techniques on myself and clients.
  • Coaching certification (and accompanying 9-month long, weekly training course) with Martha Beck, Oprah’s life coach and Harvard PhD smarty.
  • Jumping-up-and-down-they’re-so-happy clients with wonderful stories to share (check out those stories!)

The zero-stress ridiculously sincere guarantee:

I know how miserable it is to try something that isn’t right for you. Plus the whole “working on your issues” thing even when it gets the weight off can be pretty intimidating. It’s important to my inner tree-hugger that you have the most anxiety-free experience possible working on your stuff.

So: if you give your best effort and aren’t satisfied with what you’ve learned, I will pay you back and I will ask you to gift the class materials to someone who could really use them. That way you get to be a connector and a giver of goodness, and someone else gets a path to relief.

I want the class info to be in the hands of people who love it. If it’s not right for you, no worries.

How much?

Think about what being at your ideal weight is worth:

You’re feeling energized and extremely confident in yourself, now that you have finally overcome this major life obstacle. And how many times have you gotten lost in that familiar vicious cycle of lecturing yourself about figuring this out. Stupid cycle. You know how it goes. Not losing weight.  Getting mad at yourself for not losing weight. Getting mad at yourself for getting mad at yourself for not losing weight. Ugh.

You will absolutely make back as a result of productivity, confidence and perspective shift what you spend on this in hardly any time at all.

Like this. I used one of my own weight loss techniques the other day, after catching myself avoiding responding to an email. What I wanted to do was go to the kitchen for a snack (interesting diversion tactic! but not original) instead of responding to it.  Doing the technique took five minutes. The snacking and self-loathing which would have successfully put off writing the email and is part of a cycle that puts on weight, ended up getting me a little consulting gig and bringing my business a heck of a lot more money than this program costs.

The point is, when you know what to do to lose weight – not just what to eat and how to exercise, but how to deal with the cravings and the compulsive eating – you save yourself not only all the pain, angst, self-loathing and merciless beating-on-yourself, you also lose weight – permanently.

My Fabulous People in the last Lose Weight Permanently class say:

  • “Had to tell you – I have lost weight. Just 2 weeks in! I am kind of shocked. Mainly because I have been trying for a long time and never succeeded until now.”
  • “WOW!!! I know it is just the first class, but I just got my money’s worth.  So awesome!!! Ok if I forward the recording to a friend?”
  • “LAUUUURRIIIIEEEE!!!! I can’t tell you how helpful its been, PARTICULARLY class 3.  DUDE!  like, MAJOR and deep revelations about my life, beliefs, thoughts and how they can all be so self sabotaging!!!

Location: Anywhere you have a telephone and can dial in!

Time: Tuesdays @ 7pm EST October 20 to November 24 (1 hour for class plus an optional 15 minute Q&A)

Cost: $199 after September 30

Class I: Everything You Need You Already Have, Part I
Class II: The New School of Exercise
Class III: Feelings are Not for Eating
Class IV: Think Thin Thoughts
Class V: Everything You Need You Already Have, Part II
Class VI: Tricks to Keep Your Success Successful

Giving people relief now and transforming lives is what I love love doing.

My whole thing is that I really love NEW challenges and innovate FRESH ways to do this, this will be the last time I offer the class.

What if:

  • You don’t have the time. It is okay if you have a conflict one night – the classes are recorded, you won’t miss out on a thing.
  • You are already on a diet. Your diet is compatible with what we do because I don’t tell you what to eat or how to move. I teach you how to think, how to end the war with yourself and our work will not ruin your diet. (But when I’m done with you, you won’t need diets no mo’!)
  • You have an active social live and don’t want to devote 1 hour per week. Well, that’s dumb.  You have one hour per week for you, and that’s cramping your social life? I don’t buy it.  Especially because it’s done by 8pm and on a Tuesday.
  • What’s a weight coach, anyway? A weight coach, at least what I do as a weight coach, is someone who gets you over those obstacles that have kept you failing all of these years.  Together, we look at your role in this weight battle, the role of your thoughts and also anything in your environment.  And we freaking change it. It’s fun and a fast way to make changes that stick.
  • Money is an issue. This is way, way cheaper than other classes on the market. What’s more is that I’ve been really effective in weight coaching, I’ve been there and I’m a normal person that happens to be a “life coach” (terrible term, let’s really figure out a better one). Plus, my program has loads of bonus stuff that’s killer:
  1. New information and discussion
  2. 15 minutes of Q&A after each class
  3. Weekly assignments
  4. Weekly tips and updates
  5. Personal feedback
  6. Full email access to me in between classes
  7. A group of like-minded classmates to learn from and support/be supported by.

You can opt out – no questions asked – anytime before class starts in case you get cold feet too. Just email info(at)blueprintbalance(dot)com and you’re out, baby.

Space is limited to 8 people!  I’m considering making it 6 people, though, because I have a good feeling about 6 weeks and 6 people.  The last class sold out weeks before it started and you can always get a refund, so if you’re thinking this is for you, you might want to reserve a spot.

Being in your right body is not overrated. Being in your right MIND while also in your right body is the best state of existence I have ever experienced.

Not in a hype-y way, in a really deep and meaningful way.  I realize now that on some level, I knew that before I lost the weight and that’s part of why I really, really wanted to lose it.  I bet you have the same suspicions. You are so so right.

[Hi guys! We are sold out! Sorry sorry sorry. Sign up here to be the FIRST to know about the next class]

Lose Weight Four Days at a Time

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Secret to losing weight permanently: Live in 4 day intervals.

Step 1: Identify a very, VERY doable goal for the next four days. Maybe you want to start exercising, or stop overeating at dinner time, or exercise in the morning, or work on the quality of foods you eat.  Maybe you want more control over your eating habits.

Step 2: Cut that goal in half. If your goal was “start exercising”, your halved goal might be “identify exercises that I enjoy” or perhaps “find a place I would like to go to exercise that is convenient”.  If your goal was “stop overeating at dinner”, your new 50% -sized goal is “take one bite less at dinner” or even “focus on drinking more water at dinner. Note that the goals are readily and specifically quantifiable.

How do you feel when you think of your new, smaller goal? If it seems like a piece of cake, or pie if you’re me and are not that into cake, but pies, fuggetaboutit, then you’re all set, move on to step 3. If the goal seems like it might require a modicum of discipline to accomplish, cut it in half again and again until it’s a walk in the park.

Step 3: Each day you accomplish your ridiculously easy goal, you get a prize! Winner!  This is particular to your preferences and needs to be non-food based. Some of my prizes are a trip to the bookstore, putting an item to sell on eBay (love doing this! great way to clean out the clutter that feels like a fun game), and writing posts for my blog.  You ONLY get the prize if you complete your goal. That’s the rule (and why the goal needs to be easy-peasy).

Step 4: After 4 days, you get a BIGGER prize if you completed goals each day. Mine include getting a pedicure, watching a good movie, buying a foodie magazine and a long convo with a good friend.

If you do this, you will be amazed at your progress.  You may be thinking, “Easy goals? 4 measly days? Pshaw. Not worth my time!” This is sinking thinking.  If you think about how long you’ve wanted to lose weight, and how little you’ve accomplished, you see that the tackle it all at once strategy is a bust.  Small steps are THE way to get moving – so get small-stepping, right now.

Thanks to Martha Beck for this concept, which she calls the “4-Day Win”.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Why We Eat Too Much & Tips to Regain Control

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Have you ever had a day where you found yourself eating much more than is typical for you but you were not very clear on why?

This CNN article on some common reasons people overeat is fairly accurate, plus it sites the science to back up the common pitfalls.

Stress, lack of sleep and weather are scenerios that increase the likelihood that our desire to comfort ourselves outmatches our desire to lose weight and feel healthy.

While recognizing these common instances for “messing up” is important, there is something MORE (much, much MORE!!) important: Read More

Tricks of the Trade

Posted by | Body, Food + Health | 2 Comments

Never exercise when you feel affirmatively hungry.

RATIONALE: Your body will not willingly let go of calories when your tank is empty. Your brilliant body is built to survive.  If you were still living in a cave and moving a lot, i.e., exercising, in times of famine, you’d thank your genius self for conserving energy, i.e. calories, this way. To your body, there is no difference between self-imposed restrictions and exercise by volition, and a real food scarcity combined with flight from a lion.

SOLUTION: Instead of eating food and postponing your workout while you digest, consume something nutritious and liquid to satiate your appetite sufficiently and prevent feeling a nauseated while working out.  Your body digests liquids much quicker than your stomach can break down food, and there is no reason to push back your workout.

I like Boathouse Farms fruit and veggie juices, soy chai and regular lattes for on the go nutrition when I’m a little peckish prior to gym time.

If you’re going to exercise, maximize your results.  Keeping your appetite in check!

Feelings are not for Eating.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health | 2 Comments

Feelings are for Feeling

You may not know it yet, but you are trying to eat your feelings. Don’t believe me? Fine – if you want to keep that rubber tire or your perpetual anxiety about fitting into your fall wardrobe, you can keep it.

Not that fun to keep, is it? I know that from personal experience.  I have found in my own life that whenever I had a weight issue, it was NEVER about the food. Not the food tasting good, not me loving the food and not the food being out to get me.  Food is just food.

We make it into the enemy: food becomes something to control and use discipline to resist.  This is actually a clever decoy – all of it – to distract us from one thing: our emotions.

Ask yourself these questions: Read More

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