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A hundred things for a better life

At the end of last year, when I was contemplating my intentions for 2020, I thought about how weight and diet had always been part of my life. In my ever-lasting search for weight loss truth, I even became a weight loss coach. But the quest no longer interests me.

It is not that I do not want to be at goal weight, but not against every price. I tried to, but it was not worth it and it did not create a better life. To be at that weight is costing me too much. I started to wonder if it would be so bad if I would never reach that so sought after goal.

What is more important? Reaching a goal weight and having to fight to sustain it, or having a higher weight and living a carefree life? It was pretty mind-blowing what was going on in my head because my True Self answered that question right away. Deep down I want an effortless life and to be happy.

Because I do not believe in sitting around feeling effortless, I thought about what might make it joyful. It was then that my coach suggested creating a list of a hundred things that made me happy. We look for simple things, with a couple of hard stuff in between.

The meaning of the list is not to be finished by the end of the year. That would make it work. The list is a source of joy for when I need it or want to fill my life with some additional meaningful experiences. It took some time to make it, but I think I have some fun and joyful things on it and I look forward to taking on the challenge.

Over the coming months, I will bookend (report) about things I’ve done in separate blogs and strike them off my list. Some items will be a one time experience, and others may grow into habits. Let’s see where it will take me.

better life

My 100 list

  1. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy and blog about them
  2. Declutter the attic
  3. Declutter the garage
  4. Buy a new house (and sell the old one)
  5. Make monthly plans and evaluate them
  6. Pull a monthly card as part of the month
  7. Go to my friend Karen in the United States (scheduled for June 2020)
  8. Attend a workshop by Abraham-Hicks (scheduled for May 2020)
  9. Go sailing with Anton
  10. Visit the market in Groningen
  11. Visit the market in Leeuwarden
  12. Visit the Hortus Botanicus in Haren
  13. Create the effortless life food plan
  14. Go on a boating picnic
  15. Go shopping in Zwolle
  16. Visit a hammam
  17. Visit a new beach
  18. Visit a national park
  19. Add two extra levels of Swedish in Duolingo
  20. Bake a cake
  21. Eat a vegan meal
  22. Bake a sourdough bread
  23. Go to the movies with Anton
  24. Go to a wine tasting at AB’s shop
  25. Have a high tea
  26. Cook a meal for friends
  27. Grow tomatoes
  28. Declutter my computer
  29. Declutter my email program
  30. Meditate every day
  31. Draw a daily tarot card
  32. Do a self-love tarot experience
  33. Eat a healthy meal every day
  34. Plan my meals every day and bookend them with my buddy
  35. Go plogging (Google it!)
  36. Study astrology
  37. Do a full tarot reading every month
  38. Meditate for an hour
  39. Meditate for three hours
  40. Learn watercolor techniques
  41. Send someone who needs it a letter
  42. Send birthday cards
  43. Do an online course
  44. Do a jigsaw puzzle
  45. Do a full no-spend week
  46. Find a new podcast and binge-listen
  47. Bake a beer bread
  48. Declutter DVD’s and CD’s
  49. Do a maintenance walk-around before the house goes on sale
  50. Go for a hike with marrekrite.nl
  51. Declutter the websites
  52. Create a time-capsule
  53. Scan old photos and create a photo book
  54. Do the MyHeritage DNA test
  55. Go geocaching with geocaching.com
  56. Take a nap
  57. Have facial
  58. Donate three appliances I no longer use
  59. Research the family tree and find a cool detail
  60. Finish a difficult sudoku
  61. Finish my book
  62. Read a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel
  63. Watch an Oscar-winning movie
  64. Binge-watch a new (to me) Netflix series
  65. Write a letter to my future grandchildren
  66. Go to a sauna
  67. Play the piano
  68. Clean out my closet
  69. Donate stuff to charity
  70. Reread three books I’ve stored in the attic before I donate them
  71. Go on a weekend cycle trip
  72. Create healthy-er icecream
  73. Make cider
  74. Go for ten early morning swims
  75. Buy veggies at a farm
  76. Organize a barbecue party
  77. Plant something that we can eat from each year
  78. Make iced coffee on a hot day
  79. Create a meal in an Instapot or Slowcooker (don’t have one)
  80. Knit a thick blanket for cold evenings
  81. Attend a PV meeting
  82. Drink 2 liters of water every day
  83. Replant the Swiss Cheese plant (Philodendron Monstera) in one bigger pot
  84. Make a Christmas wreath
  85. Attend a Brussen Day
  86. Organize a Brussen Day
  87. Take new headshots
  88. Republish the tarot book (maybe in another form)
  89. Whiten my teeth
  90. Do a weekly evaluation
  91. Plan dinners for the whole week and get groceries
  92. Go canoeing very early when at the houseboat
  93. Write a fictional story
  94. Sleep in a weird B&B
  95. Donate blood
  96. Buy something cool from Etsy

 

It is funny to see how I have seriously up-leveled my life already by deciding that happiness is more important than a goal weight. Since I made this list at the beginning of January, some things can now be stricken off because they do not feel right anymore. Activities like fast for a whole day are not conducive to what is right for me since I’ve concluded that an action like that comes from a diet mindset. Since I now have a happiness mindset, I’ve replaced it with Buy something really cool from Etsy.

Photo by Olenka Sergienko

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How to know if your weight scale is a big fat liar

Your weight scale is a great tool to measure how much weight you’ve lost? I mean: your weight isn’t showing anything else than the force of gravity on you, which may be defined as the mass times the acceleration of gravity. Or something. I was never any good at this in school, so correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not even going to Google this.

But this gravity thing isn’t all that reliable when you weigh yourself very often. Every time you get these different numbers. One thing is real, though: down is right, up is terrible.

The question is, though: does that devil of a thing show you the right number all the time? I dare to say that it doesn’t. Your weight scale can be a big fat liar, so now and then.

In whatever way you use your weight scale, please don’t let it define if you’re good enough, because whatever a scale does, it doesn’t say if you worked hard enough at reaching your goal or if you’ve lost enough this week.

Enough is such a subjective word. We load it with sub-conscious stories about who you are and if you’re good enough as a person.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR WEIGHT SCALE?

In my opinion, you shouldn’t weigh in more often than once a week when you’re on a weight loss program. I will explain why, later on in this blog. But when you are just starting maintenance after you’ve lost a lot of weight and wanted to keep it off, your weight scale might be a good friend.

Depending on how you label the results, the weight scale gives you; I might also advise you to not even weigh in at all while on a weight loss program. There are so many other ways to define if you’re losing weight that it is ridiculous to trust that one tool so much. Too often, I see emotional eating or disordered eating in connection with daily weighing. When you’re obsessed with the number on the scale will not help you to come back to who you are and what you want to create in your life.

To help you, here are eight moments when you’d better decide that your weight scale is a big fat liar.

scale

RIGHT AFTER YOU’VE HAD DINNER

So, you only had dinner, and you’re 4 pounds heavier? Huh? How’s that possible? This weight gain is often not about added body fat, which takes so much longer to create. What is possible is that your blood volume has grown because you ate and drank during the day. Without noticing, this can cause quite a lot of weight. Calculate the weight of all those cups of water you drank plus the weight of all the meals you ate. It is probably more than the weight gain you now see reflected between your toes.

It often takes 24 hours or more for your body to decide what to do with the food you ate. So eating outside of your rule book doesn’t mean you’ll gain weight. Eating outside of your rule book several times a week does.

Know that it takes at least 3600 kcal above your metabolical maintenance level to gain a pound of body fat. That is a lot, and it will often be reached by eating more than you should on a daily level than in one meal. So it is the daily habit that you check, not the one ‘over the top meal with friends.’

DURING THE FIRST FEW WEEKS OF A NEW DIET OR TRAINING PROGRAM

Don’t you love it, those first two weeks of a diet? You lose weight fast, and you think it will always be like that. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re most probably losing water weight and muscle tissue. Losing body fat doesn’t go that fast. Yeah… bummer.

After a week or two, your body will settle in the new regime and will build back the muscles if your diet is healthy enough, and if you eat enough.

Most people also become more active when starting a new diet by going to the gym (again) or starting a work out regime outside. So what your body lost in the first few weeks because your body had to get used to getting less food, is now being rebuilt again. This aspect may cause your body to gain weight a bit. Building muscle is hard work.

Your body needs food, water, and rest to do its job. So at first, your weight scale might show a rise because your body holds on to things first before it starts to build muscles. Does that tell you that you didn’t do your best? Hell no, you did you best and more than that. Give that body of yours a bit of slack… it is working hard for you.

To know if you’re losing fat mass, you’ll need a particular weight scale that sends a small current through your body to see what kind of tissue it finds in its way. The current will move through the water quickly, but it takes longer to move through fat tissue. Use a high-quality weight scale that has this feature and use the impedance feature only once a month or even once every three months to see a difference. All other weekly weigh-ins, you only register your weight. Nothing more.

Doing an impedance measurement more often shows the up and down of water in and out of your muscles only and its effect it has on fat mass. Trust me; my personal experience is talking here. It will drive you crazy, trying to understand how you can suddenly gain 2 pounds of fat mass in a week while you didn’t do anything wrong.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER A WORKOUT OR A SAUNA VISIT

I’ve seen them, people who step on the scale in the gym or the sauna. A weight scale in a gym is only real information if you want to know how much sweat you lost and how much water you need to drink again to stay healthy.

The same with stepping on a weight scale in a sauna – you’ve spent all day in the spa, spent time in the sauna, and when you go back to the dressing room, there might be a scale. Don’t use it to see if you’ve lost weight. Only use it to see if you need to drink up.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU DRANK A LOT OF WATER

There are days that even before I hit my office chair, I’ve already drunk a liter of water (4 cups). I have a darling of a husband who brings tea in the morning. I drink another cup of tea at breakfast, maybe even a cup of coffee if I’m in the mood, plus I drink two big glasses to take my vitamins. So my moment to weigh myself is right after I wake up and after I’ve gone to the bathroom. Any later than that, it is no use anymore.

Choose your moment of weighing on the same day of the week, same time, after bathroom visit and preferably without drinking or eating anything before. That will give you the most trusted result.

JUST BEFORE BED

This aspect connects with the first reason why your weight scale is a big fat liar. There is another aspect added to it. Weighing before bed is nothing more than punishment because you probably overate during the day. Why would you weigh yourself if you already know that you’ll be heavier because of what you ate?

If you do this, notice the inner conversation you start with yourself because of the number you see. Also, monitor your quality of sleep because I can’t imagine you’ll have a rested night after being upset with yourself. A better strategy would also be to skip the weigh-in the next morning because you know for sure you’ll see a weight gain. If you’re prone to negative self-talk than weighing in after overeating is not your strategy.

AFTER YOU’VE HAD A BABY

After you’ve had a baby, you often think you’ve lost quite a lot of weight, right? Baby + placenta + amniotic fluid = YESSSS!!! Well, it’s a yes when you’ve weighed just before you went into labor but a big fat no if you compare it to the weight you had before you got pregnant.

Your body will have to change its hormonal balance (again), and it takes time to change it. Going on a diet is a bad idea because changing hormone balances are very, very hard work for your body, and it will need lots of high-quality carbs, proteins, and fats to do that. Enjoy the new baby, follow the food instructions you get from your post-natal coach, and you’ll get there in the end. Don’t go crazy over all the “I had a baby two months ago and look at my abs already” images on Pinterest. That’s social media, not real life…

Take care of yourself to also adjust emotionally and mentally to be a new mom. It is okay to do that. And much healthier for you and your baby.

AROUND YOUR PERIOD

Let me start with the good news: in the two weeks before your period, your metabolism is a tiny bit higher because of the hormonal changes that lead up to your period. Don’t start your happy dance just yet because this is only 4%, so put-back-the-chocolate-bar-now.

Still, this rise in metabolism could be an explanation of why women struggle with eating just before their period. They feel hungrier than the weeks before, and it is hard to say no to something tasty when it comes along.

Right before your period, your weight starts to rise because your body needs water to make this whole process possible. You’ll lose it quite quickly as soon as it has begun.

Your best strategy is to skip your weigh-in when your period is just about to start because of the added water weight.

MY ADVICE ABOUT USING A WEIGHT SCALE WHEN LOSING WEIGHT:

  • Do not weigh yourself more often than once a week.
  • Understand that your scale is pretty stupid and only shows a gravity number and nothing more
  • Always use the scale in the same spot because even that can give a difference in measurement.
  • Stop weighing in and ask your partner or a good friend to hide your scale when you show signs of emotional attachment to your scale.
  • Understand that weight loss is about losing fat mass, not weight.

 

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Mindset change for weight loss: how to create one

Have you ever been aware that you needed to change your mindset for weight? You’ve probably done it more often than you were aware. Look back to the last few days of the last year and the first few of this year: you probably thought about losing weight again. Maybe you set some goals and maybe you even started a new diet. But if you haven’t done this yet, that’s okay. This blog gives you four aspects to not forget when you create a mindset for weight loss.

For a mindset change you only have to say yes or no

Take a serious look at yourself and grade it with a number between 1 and 10 how you feel physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Let that feeling enter your whole being and feel if this is something you want to accept for now and for later. The answer isn’t any harder than yes or no.

I always say that No is also an answer. No means that you’re not ready yet. Ready to make a commitment, ready to make changes. Accept it for now but do think about what this decision means to you in your future. It means that you accept your weight right now, without feeling bad about it. It also means that you can’t whine about the details: your clothes, your body, your energy level or maybe even your pain level.

On the other hand, your life may be in turmoil right now, and you can’t also handle a whole lifestyle change or weight loss diet. Remember that just a little bit of added self-care (go to be early my mom used to say) will help you to feel better so you can handle the other “stuff” in your life. It’s got to start somewhere. In a way, you’re never ready.

A no comes from your mind; a yes comes as a whisper from your heart; because your heart knows. You do not have to create that mindset change anymore; it is ready. You are ready.

Free download: Stick To Your Weight Loss Diet With Ease

Evaluate your current lifestyle

Take a look at your current lifestyle and evaluate how it serves you. Are you eating healthy(-ish)? Are you drinking enough water? Do you also go to bed at a decent time? Are you managing your stress by deep breathing, mindfulness practice or meditation?

I don’t expect you to be one of those people you see on Instagram, drinking their green smoothies every day and “feeling so radiant.” I don’t expect you to be the best at managing your stress or always prepare your food at home because that’s where that’s where it is easiest. You are human.

But I do expect you to become conscious of how your lifestyle influences your body, your feelings, your mind and your Higher Self. How does it really feel or do you know deep down something’s got to change?

I want you to open your eyes and be honest. Is this you at your best? If not, you do not have to create that mindset change; it is ready. You are ready.

Mindset for weight loss: how to create one

Are you going in the right direction?

To know if you’re going in the right direction with your physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health will ask you to feel if you’re going in the right direction. It is something you know inside.

It means that you do not just follow any guru (not even me LOL) who tells you to eat something because it is so healthy. Your body needs different food than mine. So do not follow any self-proclaimed guru if the instructions they give do not FEEL RIGHT.

The advice may be really good (in theory), but if it makes you feel cold or tired, change it. If it makes you gain weight, change it. If it makes you feel low about yourself, change it. Your body knows exactly what it needs. Deliver it!

If you know that you’re not going in the right direction, you don’t have to create that mindset change anymore; it is ready. You’re ready.

Check in with your Saboteur

So, now that I’ve told you not to listen to any wise food person anymore and I’ve also talked you out of consulting me to help you get well again, I also want you to check in with your Saboteur. Your Saboteur is that ugly little voice inside that rather keeps you living small than making the steps towards a life full of bliss and freedom of stubborn weight and binge eating. Sometimes it is just easier not feeling well, not being strong, not being happy, healthy and free. Sometimes it is just easier to keep eating.

The question is: does it makes you happy?

If not, you do not have to create that mindset change anymore; it is ready. You’re ready.

It is as simple as that. Don’t overthink it anymore. You can change today. Or on January 1st.

Still not sure if you have the right mindset to start working on yourself? I can help you to make a decision. I have several mentoring programs, short and long, but they all start with a free nutritional freedom call. Book one now and we’ll just talk about how your mindset is keeping you from reaching your dream.

<3

Jolanda

Stick to Your Diet with Ease