Kit in the Globe and Mail : Yo-yo dieter stops the cycle from February 21, 2013

Kit in the Globe and Mail

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About Sleep and Weight-Loss

A good seven to eight hour, uninterrupted sleep promotes weight loss. (It has many other great benefits, too!) Sleep affects hormones. There are a couple of hormones that are affected by too little sleep. One encourages us to eat more and the other affects our sense that we had had enough. Both hormonal responses will promote weigh-gain.

Here are some helpful ideas to try:
* Use a body pillow. It supports your hip and shoulder. Increasing body comfort and decreasing body pain will help you to stay asleep.
* Sleep in a pitch black room. Cover your little LED lights with a piece of black cloth.
* Investigate and then adopt a relaxation technique to calm your thoughts before sleeping. (examples: 1) Breath in love and breath out peace. 2) Think about all the things for which you are grateful.)
* Keep a pen and paper beside your bed to record anything that is best taken off your mind.
* Consider swapping alcohol for herbal teas after dinner. Alcohol consumption leads to early morning wakings.
* Decrease amount of fluids consumed two hours before bed in order to eliminate nighttime bathroom trips.
* If body pain persists, try to eliminate it with exercise or physio and in a pinch take pain relief (ie. a slow release Tylenol and an Advil combination).
* Embark on a head pillow search. There are great memory foam pillows which are cool, and will keep your neck and spine aligned facilitating a longer and more comfortable sleep.
* Never fall asleep on the sofa or whilst the TV or radio is on. Calm your own body and mind by preparing for bed in quiet and peaceful manner.
* When possible, sleep in a cool room with an open window using light but warm bedding.
* Sleep naked….this will increase calories burned!

My Weight Loss Story

Over the last 25 years, I have gained and lost about 50 pounds three different times. The first time was after my first pregnancy in 1988 (I call this my happy gain). The second time was in 1995 during the year my young husband was dying of cancer (my sad gain). And the third was during a second marriage filled with various kinds of troubles (my traumatic gain).

I was a yo-yo’er and my emotions dictated my body weight reality. I also had a perfect storm of personal characteristics which led to the constant up and downs: perfectionism, ruthless self-judgement, a victim mentality, and feelings of unworthiness.

The good news is that in 2006 I chose to end the cycle. I lost my last 50 and have changed for good. How do I know this? I changed the way I think among other things.

I learned many things about food, fuel, health, behaviour, attitudes and habits. Little by little I learned a great deal about me and about the world around me and chose to move towards health and happiness and away from fighting a constant war with my weight.

Over the next few weeks, I will blog about some of the truths I have uncovered in my journey to live in all the dimensions of health. It has lead to a stable body weight and all sorts of other riches – many of which I hadn’t even imagined.

Some topics will include:

– About Sleep and Weight Loss

Choosing to make small changes can help shed pounds.

It is amazing how small changes in one’s behaviour, consistently made, can have life long effects on your mind body and spirit.

Some ideas are:

– Wear a pedometer and just try to better your previous day’s number;

– Limit high fat foods to once a week (these are foods such as fries, or baked goods);

– Leave the commercials on the TV and do something active like the weighted hula hoop, skipping or walking up and down stairs;

– Become curious about your body and the affects food has on it. I recommend a magazine subscription to Nutrition Action or becoming a member of SparkPeople.com;

– Start to notice when you are putting yourself down about the way you look and stop the thought. Instead – remind yourself of all the ways your body has supported you throughout your life.

– Walk and ride your bike to do your errands. It’s fun!

Small changes, repeated consistently, will take you towards your goal of mind body and spirit health!