024 Lapses and Relapse

by John Bukenas on January 20, 2014

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Solving ProblemsIn this episode I come back and talk about what has been going on since October 7, 2013.  That was the date of my last Podcast.  And what and who started me back down the right path to continuing my journey.

Oct 7th was my last podcast.

Since then I have moved twice.

Started working for TV Talk and had to adjust to working the graveyard shift.

With all of the craziness going on in my life I started to back slide.  Then I felt guilty, like a fraud, a failure.  I knew what to do, I woke up every morning and made a commitment to get back on track, but by the end of the day I would sabotage myself and the feeling of guilt and remorse would start all over again.

And as I reflect on why this happened I keep going back to one word. “Pride”

Pride is a killer.  I couldn’t come on here and let you all know I was failing.  I was in trouble.

I would retreat back into myself with my best friend.  Food.

So there is two very special people in my life I am so grateful for.  Nancy Walters and Holly Rose.

Nancy is a true blessing from God.  Nancy is a life coach.  You can find her at http://newyouwellnessllc.com As much as I try to quit Nancy won’t let me.  Trust me I have put her through the paces.  We would talk and set up a plan and she would have me motivated and then the next day, I would slide back into my self inflicted depression.

The blessing and the curse of Nancy is that she is a fighter.  For fun Nancy trains in MMA.  So she is tough on the inside and the outside.  Nancy doesn’t not quit.  Nancy should have kicked me to the curb months ago for all my shenanigans and she hasn’t.

Now Holly Rose has been a guest on this podcast.  If you go back to episode 15 Holly and I got a chance to talk about our journey.  Holly is such an inspiration to me.  If you want to check out Holly’s blog and I highly recommend you do it’s at http://300poundsdown.com

So this morning as I was checking out Facebook I saw Holly had posted another blog. And Like I always do I grabbed a cup of coffee and when to read her blog.

But this time she did something different.

Something so powerful, so raw, and to me so motivating.

Holly posted a video or a Vlog of herself as she was going through a craving.  And because I have lived it so many times myself my heart just broke for her.  I understood.  I understood her pain, her frustration and her courage to let others inside to share this emotional state.  She just started the video and started sharing.

Holly showed me that I wasn’t alone.  Holly showed me it’s ok to fail, but it’s not ok to give up.

The fear of failure is failure.

Failure is acceptable, what is not acceptable is quitting.  Quitting is failing.

So of course I had so sit down and look at why I backslid.

Lapses and relapse are common.

They are common while you relearning new habits and attitudes.  It’s like dribbling  a basketball with your left hand if you are right handed.  You can do it, but it really feels unnatural and uncomfortable.  If you do not continue to practice dribbling with your opposite hand you will go back to dribbling with your right hand.

As you start to form new healthier living habits you are still very susceptible to falling back to your old habits.

You can be drawn back to what you did naturally until you practice and strengthen your new habits..  This could mean that you have unresolved issues that need work.

One of the signs you are in trouble is the feeling of guilt.  As soon you losing guilt free eating.  As soon as guilt come up you are setting yourself up to return to old eating habits.

Guilt comes when you break a commitment to yourself.  The guilt you feel from breaking a comitment can lead to binge eating.

But guilt is only a sign or a signal that you are in trouble.  Once you feel guilt it’s time to fall back and start mindfully practicing your plan.  Review your goals.  figure out where the breakdown is and make adjustments to get back on track.

Long bouts of guilt will send you spiraling back down to your old destructive habits.

To me guilt and shame is like a darkness that sucks you in to your old habits.  The best thing to combat darkness is light.  The light will come from the knowledge that you are in trouble.

Attitudes that encourage lapses

Complacency – You are working your plan, you are losing weight, you are feeling better.  You feel like you got this.  You no longer need to Journal, you no longer need to schedule your exercise, plan your meals, batch cook, or log your food.  You think you know your plan so well that all that fussing and fretting over planning is over rated.  Complacency is one of those slippery rocks on your path to a healthier lifestyle.  The great feeling you get from having success in the beginning can lead to complacency and you really need to be aware not to fall into that trap.

Overconfidence – Success leads to confidence which if you are not careful can lead to overconfidence.  You put yourself in situations you are not ready to handle.  You put your new attitude and habits to the test by going out with friends where you have no chance of staying on plan.  You unneedingly test yourself when there are all these other test you deal with that you have no control over.  A test is not a test unless you can fail.  So why expose yourself to failure when you don’t have to?  As soon as you think you have everything under control you are setting yourself up for a relapse.  You make these bold assumptions when you feel confident on the outside when you have fear on the inside.

Impatience – You didn’t get this way in 6 months, it will talk longer than 6 months to reverse the process.  So the length of time needed breeds impatiences   The problem is we get thin from the inside out, our bodies change faster than our minds. Even though others start to notice our progress and the compliments start coming, inside we are still struggling to maintain our new habits and attitudes.  We get impatient, we want this to be over.  Well I have news for you It’s never over.  What do you want to be over?  Your healthy eating?  Your exercise?  So let me understand? If this is over, what are you going back too?

Hunger – Irregular eating causes hunger.  By putting off eating for a long period of time food becomes a reward.  Also, portion control suffers when you become extremely hungry.  When you wait until you are hungry food also starts to fill psychological needs. It becomes medication that suppresses unwanted feelings. I remember talking to my friend Dan Hayes about his battle to stop smoking.  Dan knew if he tried to just cut back that it then became a reward.  So he substituted the old habit of smoking with brushing his teeth.  And that worked for him.

Anger - It is a struggle with emotions. As men we are not allowed you show certain emotions that could be perceived as feminine.
As men we allow ourselves to show manly emotions like anger, indifference, happiness.
But sadness, hurt, loneliness, being overwhelmed or fear are not emotions we are comfortable expressing.
Those emotions we are taught to suppress. The suppression causes an imbalance. Imbalance is hard to maintain.
Some men drink, some gamble, and some like me turn to food to ease those feeling we don’t want to, or know how to express. As crazy as it sounds it gives off the appearance of balance.
Keeping a strong emotionless demeanor comes with a price.
A very high price.
So as Men we have to learn how to evolve out of this destructive cycle.
As men we need to be able to express these emotions in a nondestructive manor.
I still am struggling myself in this area.
I find journaling and confiding in a close friend (A Woman) does help.
But it still is a daily struggle.

Loneliness – The holidays can be a very lonely time regardless of the size and proximity of our family.

Rather than be disappointed by another holiday gathering that promises joy and merriment, many of us turn to food for companionship.

We imagine a safe and drama-free evening at home, watching TV and pigging out on our favorite comfort foods.

Or we may decide we don’t want to be alone so we go to the party and find ourselves feeling lonely in a crowd of people.  The solution is to seek out the nearest buffet table or bar stool and eat celebratory, festive goodies and drink more than we planned.  Why not?  Everyone else seems to be doing the same thing and enjoying it.

Then there’s the need to be with someone, anyone.

We start thinking about our ex and trying to convince ourselves that he wasn’t really all that bad.

Or we look for someone new, fast. Wouldn’t the parties be better with someone by your side?  Who are you kidding?

Stop looking for temporary, superficial fixes to occupy your time and your emotions.
The solution for loneliness is not food, it’s not your ex, and it’s not shopping at the mall to be amongst people and spend money just so you’ll have something new to bring home.

Try these healthier antidotes for loneliness:
Help someone else.  Maybe your neighbor needs help putting up holiday lights, or shoveling snow.  Does the elderly lady down the street need a ride to the market? Is there a family in your neighborhood who will not be able to buy a Christmas tree this year?  Can you afford to contribute or get other neighbors and friends to chip in?

Volunteer. See if the local soup kitchen, sober-living facility or women’s shelter needs a few hours of free assistance.

Learn to say no.  If you don’t want to participate in an event just to have something to do, stay home.  But don’t just stay home, have a plan.

Engage in spirit-lifting activities.  Put on some of your favorite music and take a bath.

Try some of the new healthy recipes you found online or in a magazine.

Use cinema-therapy during the holidays. Choose a favorite comedy, or if you need a good cry, actually give yourself permission to do so.

Lack of Sleep: 

When I’m tired I go for foods that will give me quick energy.  Sugar and processed foods.  Also when you get into a sleep deprived state you lose your ability to think.  You can lose motor skills.  Sleep deprivation symptoms are basically  the same as being under the influence of alcohol.

As we know, we have a tendency to make bad decisions in that state.

Contact Me

  • How to contact me with questions or comments

  • Listener Feedback Line at 856-472-9833

  • If you have a computer with a microphone you can record a voice message right on the  Website. (Click the Send Voice Mail Tab on the Right Side of the Website)

  • Leave a comment at the bottom of the show notes

  • So if you have any questions or comments don’t be shy, take yourself outside of your comfort zone and say hi.

Thank you for taking this journey with me.  I love it when you reach out and share your journey with me.  And If you haven’t, I just have one question, why not?  Please continue to take positive steps to take back your life.

 Legal Disclosure:

Let’s Reverse Obesity.com and the Let’s Reverse Obesity Podcast are meant for informational purposes and do not constitute medical, nutritional, dietary, therapeutic, or any other advice. Any information on this site or in the podcast reflects John’s or his guests views and experiences only. You should always consult with a medical doctor, nurse, or other certified health professional before starting any diet, exercise, or any kind of health plan.

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023: Getting by With a Little Help From My Friends

by John Bukenas on October 7, 2013

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In this episode I will be talking about drawing strength and motivation from others.I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

And I have a Health Coach.  And you know me, I turned a coaching call into an interview with my health coach Nancy Walters.  And I’m excited to introduce her to you.

Well like I said I have a health coach Nancy Walters.  Nancy completely transformed her life.  Nancy lost 90 pounds and is one of the most amazing women I have ever met.  Nancy has an internal strength and drive that amazes me.  Honestly, Nancy is a bad ass.  And Nancy knows “The Struggle.” nancy has successfully made the journey, and reclaimed her life   Nancy gave up her career and went back to school to study about health and nutrition and now Nancy wants to help others reclaim their lives.

One of the things Nancy does is check my food diary on My Fitness Pal.  Well I wasn’t as diligent as I should be in logging my food.  Nancy and I go into it in more detail in our talk later in the episode but what it boils down to is honesty.

You have to be honest with yourself.  Because, that’s where the answers are.

I’ve talked about this before in earlier episodes but “Why” is one of the simplest and most powerful questions.  Why wasn’t I logging my food?  It was because I didn’t want others to know what I was eating.  Plain and simple, but for the coaching to work I need to be honest.  If I’m not honest then I’m wasting my time and worse, I’m wasting Nancy’s time.

So I made a simple post on my profile wall over on My Fitness Pal.

“Well I made a promise to log ALL food that I eat. Even those cookies I ate at 3:00am when I was looking and no one was looking. It’s not the same as a tree falling in the woods. If you eat and no one is around…. The calories still count. <sigh> New Day, new way, let’s try this again!”

I honestly just wrote that for myself.  To remind myself that it all counts.  And something wonderful happened.

Let me back up here for a second.

I have not been posting and replying to my friends over at My Fitness Pal for awhile, for months.  I thought most of them would have kicked me to the curb and unfriended me. So I really didn’t expect a response from anyone.

Boy was I wrong!

LosinItAll2012 I’m a closet eater as well John… and yep, unfortunately those darn calories do count!! Be honest to yourself… log everything… I try… but don’t always keep up. We both know consistency is the key… We can do this John!!!

Mommadibo John I just wanted to say that I am also a late night snacker and yes those calories sure do count but at least they made it to the paper and thats all that matter cause you can now move on and remember to be honest and ask yourself “is it really worth it …I am gonna have to write this down!!” have a good day!! stay with it and I am trying to take a minute before I put something in my mouth I ask if I am sure I wouldn’t rather have a glass of water! lol

greekygirl Yes, I totally understand….I used to trick myself into thinking that it didn’t count when my office mate is out…how silly! I made a pact with a friend to finish logging and complete my diary daily NO MATTER WHAT. Sometimes it’s hard to do when I have a 3000+ calorie day but I do it anyway. It helps me stay in reality and get back on track. October starts our fourth month in a row completing our diaries, no matter what. Just keep trying, that’s what I do…never give up!

sistersyd I ate a whole bowl of ice cream last night before I even knew what was happening… But log-and-learn, right? It helps me figure out patterns and triggers and to plan for it. Be honest with yourself, but use the info – don’t abuse yourself with it (not that I could tell from your status).

IMYarnCraz33 i know the feeling… i have not been logging everything lately (naughty me).

I was blown away by the responses.  It really helped me.  One because I knew I wasn’t alone and two that they saw I was struggling and they took the time to send me some encouragement.

 I have to say I felt like a Dufus.

I’m worried that I would be ridiculed and criticized for my failures and these wonderful people were there to pick me up in my time of need.  I don’t know them in real life.  But I do consider them friends and I know that I would do the same for them.

So it made me think and I went back and wrote something else on my My Fitness Pal news feed.

 “What would you do if I fell off my plan

would you turn your back on me?

Well lend me your ear and I will sing you a song and I will try not to sing out of key.

I get by with a little help from my friends

I will keep trying with a little help from my friends

I’m gonna fly with a little help from my friends.

This is such an ugly, lonely, desperate condition we are trying to recover from and we really can’t do it alone. Thank you my friends for your support. You keep me coming back. You keep me from giving up. I’m grateful to all of you!!! When you need a hand. Reach out, we are here for you too.”

This is an ugly, lonely, desperate condition and it haunts us.  This condition thrives on loneliness and self doubt.  This condition loves darkness.

So I say lets not give this condition what it needs to survive.

If you are listening to me and think you are alone and no one understands what you are going through you are wrong!

We have been told we are weak, we are lazy, we lack willpower and self discipline and I’m here to tell you that is a lie.

But I’m also here to tell you that we are different from the others.  We have a issues that those who condemn us just don’t understand.

But I understand, and you understand.  And there are a bunch of others who understand.

This show has changed, and continues to change the way I view myself, this condition, and the world.

Can I overcome all my issues alone?  I’m not sure if I could, but here’s the best part.  I don’t have to find out.

Because I get by with a little help from my friends!  You want friends?  Friends who know what you are going through?  Friends who won’t judge and criticize?   Come join the Let’s Reverse Obesity Private Facebook Group.  It’s free, it’s private, and you can come draw courage, strength, and motivation from others.  You are not alone.

All you need to do is send me your Facebook Id or friend request me and I will be happy to add you to the group. Don’t know how to do all that?  just send me an email at john@letsreverseobesity.com and together we will get you in the group.

Nancy Walters my Health CoachCircle of life

Here is my filled out Circle of Life graph.  The crazy part, this is an upgrade from a few months ago, but I am on the up swing!

Please check out Nancy’s Website

Check out Nancy’s Sugar Blues Workshop

iTunes

If you haven’t already, please be sure to go to iTunes to subscribe to the show. Don’t forget to leave us a rating & review! Your review will help others find the show. Thanks!

Right now I have 29 reviews in iTunes I’d like to share some that came in since the last show.

EMT 76 who I think is Ingrid wrote:

John speaks the truth on many levels. He is supportive with his Facebook Group and My Fitness Pal. His Podcast has a lot of good information and his humor makes you want to keep listening.

Laura Elise wrote:

Very real! Great info and encouragement!

Annek 113 wrote:

John is honest about his struggle to get healthy and in sharing his struggle he’s helping us as well. You’re amazing John. Want to hear more of you. Keep up the good work.

Late Foley Wrote:

This podcast is great. John’s voice is easy to listen to and he has good things to say. Having titles that give a clue to the content of each episode is helpful too.

Become a Show Producer

If you would like to support the show financially without it costing you a penny I have a way.  On the right sidebar of the lets reverse obesity website there is a link to Amazon.com.  That is my affiliate link.  So if you were going to buy something from Amazon and you click my link to get there you get your products at the same low price and I earn a small commission on your purchase.

Contact Me

  • How to contact me with questions or comments

  • Listener Feedback Line at 856-472-9833

  • If you have a computer with a microphone you can record a voice message right on the  Website. (Click the Send Voice Mail Tab on the Right Side of the Website)

  • Leave a comment at the bottom of the show notes

  • So if you have any questions or comments don’t be shy, take yourself outside of your comfort zone and say hi.

Thank you for taking this journey with me.  I love it when you reach out and share your journey with me.  And If you haven’t, I just have one question, why not?  Please continue to take positive steps to take back your life.

 Legal Disclosure:

Let’s Reverse Obesity.com and the Let’s Reverse Obesity Podcast are meant for informational purposes and do not constitute medical, nutritional, dietary, therapeutic, or any other advice. Any information on this site or in the podcast reflects John’s or his guests views and experiences only. You should always consult with a medical doctor, nurse, or other certified health professional before starting any diet, exercise, or any kind of health plan.

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022: Reversing Obesity with Reflection and Resetting my Plan

September 10, 2013

Podcast: Play in new window | Download In this episode I will be discussing a new weight loss hypnosis app available for your iPhone I will also give you an update of where I have been in the last month and my plans for the future. But first, I want to tell you that This […]

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021: Cooking Up Tasty Habits with Kendra Kinnison The Habit Chef

July 24, 2013
Thumbnail image for 021: Cooking Up Tasty Habits with Kendra Kinnison The Habit Chef

Podcast: Play in new window | Download This week I have a special guest.  I started listening to her podcast two weeks ago and I knew I had to introduce to you. I am very excited to introduce you to Kendra Kinnison.  Kendra is the Habit Chef. You can find her Habit Chef Podcast at […]

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020: Overcoming Excuses and Rationalizations

July 19, 2013

Podcast: Play in new window | Download In this episode I discuss how excuses and rationalizations can be crippling your weight loss efforts.  And how you can overcome these obstacles. Also, there is now a private Let’s Reverse Obesity Facebook Group.  A place where we can motivate and support each other. In the last episode […]

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019: Why Are We Like This?

July 11, 2013

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Why are we the way we are? Why do we accept the unacceptable, and not except what is acceptable? Mistakes, failures, setbacks are all acceptable. what is not acceptable is quitting but we seem to accept quitting because it stops our failures. “We can’t fail if we don’t […]

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018: Interview with Sean Webb from the I Am Podcast

June 11, 2013

Podcast: Play in new window | Download In this episode: I will be talking about where I have been and the direction of this show in the future. I will also be talking to Sean Webb from the I Am Podcast.  Ladies and Gentlemen wait to you listen to Sean.  You will be saying to […]

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017: Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin Interview Coping Skills, Binge Eating, and Food Addition

April 30, 2013

Podcast: Play in new window | Download In this episode I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin is a psychoanalyst and licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping people stop dieting and start living their best lives. Dr. Nina’s blog Make Peace With Food was named a Best Eating Disorder Blog by Healthline and […]

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016: You Got Peanut Butter in My Food Addiction

March 25, 2013

Podcast: Play in new window | Download In this episode I begin to talk a long hard look at my food addiction.  Food addiction is as real as any other addiction.  I’ve used my addiction to relieve my emotions.  So I have never really felt my emotions.  I would use food to make me feel […]

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015: Interview with Holly Jordan Rose from 300 Pounds Down

March 12, 2013

Podcast: Play in new window | Download In this episode I have an interview with Holly Jordan Rose from the blog 300 pounds down.com.  Holly is an amazing woman.  Holly is open and honest about every topic she writes about. I am a huge fan of Holly’s blog and I’m excited to introduce her to […]

2 comments Read the full article →