How-To: Break Free From Binge Eating

This week’s series is all about binge eating.  I’m not just talking about eating a few slices of pizza.  I’m talking about eating in a zombie-like state, well beyond physical hunger, to the point of physical discomfort accompanied by a complete sense of loss of control.  This is a serious mental and physical health concern and is something I personally struggled with for over a decade, starting in my early twenties.

It turns out that I am not alone and if you currently struggle or have also struggled with binge eating disorder or episodes of binge eating, then you are not alone, either.  This issue is likely way more common than fitness professionals like to admit.  Binge eating disorder is actually considered the most common form of eating disorder, affecting both women and men, more than anorexia and bulimia combined.

The good news is that there are resources out there for treating and successfully moving away from binge eating. I’m excited that I can take my experience and the resources that helped me and in turn share them with you, if you or someone you love is struggling.

I’m going to be covering the wonderful work of Dr. Melissa McCreery this week.  Her BEAST acronym is a great tool for breaking free from binge eating, compulsive overeating and emotional eating.  This tool helps to identify, plan for and hopefully deal with overlooked triggers for overeating so that we can reduce or eliminate binge eating episodes.  I’ve taken each letter of the acronym and filmed a one-minute video on Instagram  (the videos are also on my page on Facebook).

We got this.  Together, we’re going to break free from binge eating.

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How-To: Start (or re-start) Your Fitness Journey

It’s that time of year – a new season is upon us, which usually means that people are re-visiting, re-vamping or dusting off their health & fitness goals.  Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to get started (or re-started).  If you’re looking for some easy, actionable steps to get you going, read on!

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How-To: Crush Your Chocolate Cravings

Mmm…chocolate…drool…(so, if you’ve ever heard me say that I’m a runner, basically the image at the right is what’s going on).  I just LOVE chocolate.  I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate?? (Okay, I know you people are out there.  Identify yourselves at your own risk.  You probably don’t really need to read this post, but on second thought, you probably should anyway so that you’re prepared to deal withhelp the chocolate lovers in your life.  Let’s face it; you’re in the minority.)  I’ve literally been talking about chocolate all week on my Instagram video series (and for a double dose, I’m on Facebook as well).  I’ve basically been PURPOSEFULLY trying to get you to crave chocolate all week, just so I can share with you how to crush your craving.

Let’s be clear…when I say “crush” your chocolate craving, I mean honour it.  Respect it, meet it, FILL it.  I don’t mean ignore it or use mind-Jedi tricks to pretend that those celery sticks are really rich, luscious chocolate.  I’m a firm believer that our cravings are our bodies’ ways of telling us things.  Important things. Things like, “FEED ME CHOCOLATE!”

Of course, fitting into your favourite jeans or crushing your back squat PR in the gym or playing with your kids or just plain having energy and confidence for life are important, too.  Don’t worry; I got you boo.  I’m sharing my favourite HEALTHFUL chocolate choices to help you meet those NEEDS and stay on track with your goals.  I even made a FREE E-BOOK for you!

SHOW ME THE CHOCOLATE! (/Jerry Maguire)

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How-To: Stay (or Get) In Shape On Vacation

‘Tis the season to be…on holiday (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway).  But if you want to stay more on the svelte side vs. the Santa side, then it’s important to consider how you’re going to keep your “summer body” through the trials and tribulations of travel.  Temptations of all kinds abound when you’re in holiday mode – temptations in terms of foods to eat, in terms of opportunities to forgo your workout routine, temptations to let loose and party like everyone else.  And of course, you can (and likely should!) eat the foods and relish an opportunity to take a break from your regular exercise grind AND enjoy time with loved ones.  But you can do that without abandoning all of your progress!

I’m actually currently in the middle of a two-week tour of the Maritimes to visit MY family (staying with four different hosts in two different provinces over fourteen days), and I’ve focused in on the five things I’m doing to stay on track and still have fun with the fam jam.  For the quick, super vacation-friendly version of this content, you can check out the videos on these topics on my Instagram or Facebook feed.

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The Top Five Reasons I Love Tracking Macros

Macros and I go back.  Way back.  In fact, I wrote one of my first posts about tracking macros over three years ago (July 11, 2015, to be exact), and it’s still a good read and I recommend it to get acquainted with the basics of what tracking your macros is all about.  At that point, I’d already been tracking extensively for several months.  This approach to diet/nutrition was a game-changer for me, so much so that I’ve continued to use it in pursuit of my goals on and off for the three years that have ensued since then.  In fact, I’ve taken ALL of the knowledge and experience I’ve gained and put it into my signature program, GAME YOUR GRAMS.  If you want to learn more about it, just e-mail me with the subject line “GAME MY GRAMS!”

I decided that three years is plenty long enough to re-visit and expand (and expound) even further on why I love tracking macros.  “Oh, tracking macros, how I love thee!  Let me count the ways…”  Guess how many reasons I came up with?  Did you come up with five?  (Did the title of this post give it away)?

Let’s discuss the five reasons why I love tracking macros (and why I think you will love it, too):

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How-To: Drink More Water

Is it HOT enough for you, Cal-GARY?  Or Halifax? (I’ve been hearing reports of record temperatures and humidity on the other side of the country, too).  Or wherever you are?  Or maybe you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s actually cold right now, and indoor heat sources are cranked and drying out the air, and YOU’RE dehydrated, too!  We’re in the middle of Environment Canada Extreme Weather Advisories and Heat Warnings, etc.  And since adequate water intake is a key component of fat loss, all the more reason to share my top tips for drinking more of the good stuff.  Good, ol’fashioned “aitch two oh” (“haitch two oh” in Newfoundland).

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Five Reasons for Accountability Coaches

This week is all about accountability coaching/coaches.  Sure, we’ve heard of fitness coaches and/or nutrition coaches, and they each provide a measure of accountability, aka keeping you accountable for your goals.  So what exactly is accountability coaching as a standalone service?  What services do accountability coaches provide?

Let’s say you’ve ever wished you could pay someone to come along and slap donuts (or other less-than-optimal foods) out of your hand.  Your nutrition coach might give you a plan or advice along those lines, but sometimes you just don’t want to admit it to him or her when you’re struggling.  Or you don’t really need a full-blown custom meal plan, but you do need some helpful nudges and/or healthful tips or tricks to get or stay on track.  Or maybe you want to have a little voice in your ear pushing you to get more out of your workouts, especially if your athletic trainer or coach has assigned you a program but isn’t there to monitor you every day.  Or you’re looking for accountability help you stay on track with any success habit or life goal, from practicing the mandolin every day to competing in an Ironman. That’s accountability coaching.  It’s like having a really intrusive and pushy friend or family member, in the best kind of way, without the awkward emotional entanglement.

Let’s read on for some of the top benefits that accountability coaches bring.

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Five Times I “Failed” With My Fitness or Nutrition Goals…And How I Got Back On Track

“Failure.”  Nobody likes to admit to it.  So let’s re-frame: a failure is really just a learning opportunity, a chance to take stock of what doesn’t work and to move forward with what will.  It would be fun but fake for me to say that I’m just always perfectly on top of all of my fitness and nutrition goals and that every approach to exercise or eating I’ve ever tried has worked out effortlessly.  Let’s just cut through that crap.  Instead, I thought it would be worthwhile to share times I’ve gotten off-track with my fitness and/or nutrition goals and what I did to re-group and get back on track (or to change tracks entirely).  As per usual, I’ve also made an Instagram video series on this topic (and if you’re not on the ‘gram, the videos also show up on Facebook.)

Here we go with five times I failed had learning opportunities to enhance my ability to stay on track with my fitness and nutrition goals.

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How-To: Journal (When You Don’t Like To Journal)

You may have heard that “journaling” (keeping a log of your thoughts and/or activities) is a surefire way to succeed in just about any aspect of life.  It’s actually described as “the most potent and powerful keystone habit you can acquire” in this article, which also goes on to tout that journaling optimizes your creative potential, accelerates your ability to manifest your goals, creates a springboard for daily recovery, generates clarity and congruence, clears your emotions, ingrains your learning, increases your gratitude…and on and on (the article actually includes at least TWENTY-ONE other benefits of journaling).  WHEW!  I really wish I had found and read the article before I launched my Instagram video series on this topic!

I’ll bet you’re ready to stop reading and START JOURNALING RIGHT NOW!  But, please stay with me – I know that consistent daily journaling can be tough and I’m going to break it down for you.  Since you’re itching to go, let’s get to it!

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Five Fun & Random Facts About The Golden Graham Girl!

Okay people (ladies & gentlemen, boys and girls…everyone inside AND outside of those categories)…it’s time to get PERSONAL.  I’m “pulling back the curtain” to give you a glimpse of the “real” me, to show you just a little bit about Lauren Graham (yes, my real name and NOT of Gilmore Girls fame), the person behind The Golden Graham Girl.  (For information on how I picked the name, The Golden Graham Girl, I actually kicked off my blog with a post on that very topic).

In this biz, this is called my “knowables” – little nuggets of information about me that show that I am not just a fitness automaton.  Some of them might surprise you; some of them might make you like (or love!) me more; some of them might make you dislike me.  And that’s okay – it’s an important reminder for me AND for you that we can’t please all of the people all of the time.  I heard a great quote from Jill Coleman – if you try to be “for everyone” you will end up being for “no one” (I’m paraphrasing!).  Another Jill gem is the fact that people don’t buy coaching, they buy coaches.  So, c’mon tribe, let’s find one another and do this thing!

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