Combining prosperous work lives and balanced personal lives
My goal is to bring you news, insights, and information about leading a balanced and prosperous life.
In this issue, you'll find:
- A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind
- BossWoman coaching
- Up and coming workshops
1. A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind
A Charlie Brown cartoon has Charlie expressing ambivalence and
stress. His conclusion: “My mind and my body are at war with
each other.” Do you sometimes feel like no matter how much your
mind wants to look good for those holiday parties, your body
sabotages that intention by mysteriously gaining weight over
the season? If you are like most women, you will gain 7
pounds over the winter holiday season, lose 2 and keep the
rest. How can you prevent this annoying annual ritual? This
newsletter will remind you of things you already know about
why it is not so mysterious that you might tend to gain
weight over the holidays. So run off a hard copy of this
newsletter and implement its suggestions. Your mind will be
glad that you do and your body will feel better as well.
Principles of Weight Maintenance
- Watch your CICO: Calories are not the culprits; they are
merely a physics unit of how much energy it takes to raise
the temperature of water one degree. The culprit of holiday
weight gain is the imbalance of CICO (calories in, calories
out). Your weight is maintained when you consume the same
amount of calories you burn up in your daily activities
and metabolic processes. If you eat more than you burn, you
gain weight. If you burn less than you eat, you gain weight.
To maintain your weight, eat what you burn. (And, of course,
to lose weight, eat less than you burn.) In practical terms,
if during the holiday festivities you want to eat extra over
and above your normal caloric intake and don’t want to gain
weight, you will have to exercise more to burn up those
- Pace yourself: Eating until you feel full at the end of
the meal will always lead to weight gain. The
counterintuitive reason for this phenomenon lies in the
mechanics of your brain/blood sugar system: it takes about
one hour for the calories consumed in a meal to raise your
blood sugar sufficiently to flip the shut off switch in
the brain which tells you that you are full and should stop
eating. Even if you eat slowly, you will not feel full until
approximately one hour after beginning the meal. But if you
have gulped seconds and thirds of the turkey and stuffing,
and the hour has passed, you will already have overeaten
and will feel as stuffed as the turkey. What to do instead:
push back from the table before you feel full.
- Pushing back from the table when you are still hungry will
feel odd at first if this is a new practice for you, but you
will improve quickly in your ability to take portion sizes
that are right for you. Hint: leftovers from restaurant
portion sizes can feed a semi-sedentary office worker for
- Manage the caloric bank account: Imagine balancing your
caloric bank account daily with the same amount on both
sides of the equation. In other words, you burn up the
calories you consume. Now, what if you upset that balance
by a small extra bit of intake, say, sugar in previously
black coffee? Unless you increase your exercise level, you
can add one pound of weight in a year. Baking 3 dozen
Christmas cookies for your family and eating half of them
over a three week period while not increasing your activity
level will result in a weight gain. Burning off 350 calories
from a fully loaded cup of eggnog will take one and a half
hours of brisk walking to balance the caloric equation.
- Pay your calories forward. Instead of planning an
extreme post-holiday diet, consider eating slightly less
than normal for two days before holiday social events at
which you plan to consume more calories than you usually do.
Then you can enjoy a dessert, a glass of wine, or slightly
bigger portion sizes than you normally eat. Similarly you
can cut back a bit on each meal over the days following the
party to return to your caloric balance without taking on a
January starvation diet that will make you feel hunger all
of the time, a state of brain which prompts you to overeat
as soon as you are off the diet.
Tips for Satisfying Holiday Eating
Eating is fun. Food tastes good, meals are sociable, and we
all like to feed our body good stuff. Your goal should be
how to enjoy the pleasure of eating and get over the war
between your mind and your body. Women spoil their pleasure
with their ambivalence. Overheard in the buffet line: “Oh,
that looks good but I really shouldn’t. I started a diet
just before Halloween, you know. Well maybe just a little.
That can’t hurt me anymore than the Big Mac I had for
lunch. I have already broken my diet for the day; I might
as well pile it on.” No, honey, just take a little bit,
enjoy it, and don’t feel guilty.
Here are some ways to increase your enjoyment of eating
while doing your health a favor:*Instead of being on and
off diets, think of yourself as being on a lifelong healthy
eating program that allows you small portions of treats on a
regular basis so that you never feel that you are depriving
- Eat mindfully, slowly and deliberately, chewing 15 times
before swallowing. Roll the food around in your mouth; notice
its texture and taste. Pause to talk with others at the table
instead of shoveling the food in so fast that it misses your
taste buds. Rest between courses. Converse with your dining
- When you eat, eat. Don’t watch TV; don’t eat standing up
hoping the calories don’t count that way. Even you are alone,
set the table, relax and enjoy.
- Strive for 9. Eat nine ˝ cup servings of fresh fruits and
vegetables daily. In addition to providing a heap of
antioxidants, those anti-aging chemicals that promote good
health and longevity, the fiber in fresh fruits and veggies
will give you a fuller feeling after a meal with fewer
- Aim towards whole grains and away from processed foods.
More fiber; more fullness. And also: more sensual texture
Additional Tips for Healthy Weight Maintenance
The other way to influence your CICO balance is to increase
your normal exercise level. This is often hard to do in the
northern temperate zone in the winter months because when
it is cold, we tend to want to cocoon and curl up in front
of the fireplace with a good book.
Think outside the box to add more exercise into:
- Take up a winter sport if one is available in your area.
- Exercise inside. You could be one of those 5% of Americans
who actually uses their gym memberships or you can use some
free weights and a jump rope in your before you curl up with
- If you live near a mall, do a brisk walk around the mall
several times. The person at the information booth can tell
you the distance of the walkways so that you can log on two
to three miles early in the morning before the crowds show
up. It is kind of fun to walk in the festive atmosphere of
the holiday decorations and music and then you can complete
some of your errands when you are done. Avoid the food
court. Nothing there is good for you. Instead, bring a piece
of fruit or a small handful of nuts in your pocket in case
you get hunger. After your walk go home to eat a healthy
- Extend your exercise sessions by a few minutes of an
activity or a few repetitions of weights or stretches. Just
as a few cups of eggnog can add to CI (calories in) side of
the weight balance equation, a bit of extra exercise can
add to the CO (calories out) side of the equation.
- Invite a friend, family member, or business colleague to
join you for a walk. You can catch up personally with the
friend or get some work projects discussed with the
colleague. Don’t be rigid about just doing lunch for
business meetings. Your colleagues might like the
opportunity to include some exercise in their day during a
season when most people drop out exercise in favor of
holiday related tasks. Having an appointment to meet
someone for exercise is a great discipline technique since
it is harder to not show up when you promised to support
another person’s efforts to stay fit.
- Include exercise that doesn’t seem like exercise. Park at
the far end of the parking lot. Take the stairs instead of
the elevator. Put on some upbeat music and dance while you
mop the floor.
Have a joyous holiday season while you encourage your body
and mind to be friends with each other.
2. BossWoman coaching
About the publisher: Susan Robison, Ph.D. is a professional coach,
speaker, author and seminar leader. She loves to coach women who
want improvement in:
- work-life balance,
- career transitions,
- building your business or practice,
- time management,
- increasing productivity.
If you are feeling stuck on the way to your ideal life, give Susan
a call for a complementary half-hour coaching session.
She provides keynotes and seminars to business and organizations
on the topics of:
- leadership strategies for women,
- work-life balance,
She offers her audiences a follow-up coaching session because she
knows that workshops don’t work.
Contact Susan for your coaching, speaking, or seminar needs at
Susan@BossWoman.org or at 410-465-5892.
3. Up and coming workshops
I am currently accepting speaking invitations for
work/life balance workshops for the winter of 2008.
Contact me if your group needs a speaker on
any of the topics listed above.
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BossWoman e-Newsletter is intended for informational and educational
purposes only. Coaching should not be construed as a form of,
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© Copyright 2007 Susan Robison. All rights reserved. The above
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