Tammy Fuller
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hunger scale

Using a Hunger Scale to Curb Mindless Eating

hunger scale

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Using a hunger scale to stop overeating

The hunger scale is a useful tool to help become more aware of the body’s signals for fuel. Once I started practicing using a hunger scale I realized how many times I was eating just because I felt like it was time to eat. I realized how often I had habits of putting bites in my mouth when I wasn’t hungry at all. A piece of cheese while waiting for dinner to be ready, a handful of nuts before bedtime, a morning snack when I was bored at work. Cleaning my plate even though I was full. It all adds up.

Tune In

Using the hunger scale can help you tune back into your body’s needs. It’s a way to eat when you get a little hungry and stop when your satisfied but not full. If you have fat to lose you have stored calories on your body. Allowing yourself to get a little hungry before you eat allows your body to tap into those fat stores and use them for energy. When you eat every two or three hours you don’t allow your body to use up those energy resources.

There  are many different versions of hunger scales you can find on the internet. This one is how I think of my own hunger scale.

Put it in Practice

Start listening to your own body’s signals. What does a -2 feel like for you? How does your body feel when you are satisfied at a +2 but not full. Journaling this at each meal can be helpful. The more you practice the sooner you will find the sweet spot. Your goal is to stop at satisfied. Satisfied is where your body is telling you it has had enough. I spent years thinking I needed to get to full each meal. This one tweak – stopping at satisfied – helped me break a months long plateau and has continued to help me make good choices.

When this is dialed in you will have more and more opportunities where you do not overeat. Be prepared to leave food behind. It’s OK to not eat the last few bites if you are satisfied. Even if it’s broccoli. Using this tool can help you learn to stop when having a treat. It can help you learn not to overeat when out to dinner. Some of the physical signs of “satisfied” I noticed were subtle. I tend to sigh when I am approaching satisfied. If I pay attention and stop a few bites later I find that it is perfect. If I am moving past “satisfied” I start picking out the good parts of my food. That’s a good signal from my body that I am no longer eating for fuel but for entertainment.

It takes a while to get it dialed in. Feel free to comment below with any questions you might have about the hunger scale.

This post is a part of a 30 day series for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. For more topics like this click here for the main page with all the links.

24 hour planning

Ending Overeating with 24 Hour Planning

24 hour planning24 hour planning is one of the best tools I’ve learned in my weight loss journey. Using this tool consistently has taught me to plan ahead, decrease the number of decisions I need to make in a day, and best of all it has taught me to have my own back and stop self-sabotage. Having my own back means that I make a commitment to myself and then I follow through and stick to it.

Prior to using 24 hour planning I made a lot of last minute decisions. I chose what I would eat based on how I was feeling. I didn’t always make the best choices when I was tired, stressed out or bored. I was also subject to last minute decisions when there were goodies on the break room table or when friends wanted to go to lunch. 24 hour planning has simplified the weight loss process for me.

Benefits of 24 Hour Planning

  • 24 hour planning helps me make decisions when I’m not overly hungry or tired. I make better decisions that way.
  • It helps me make decisions that align with my weight loss goals.
  • It gives me a chance to follow through and create wins in my life.
  • 24 hour planning also gives me a chance to learn from failures and strengthen my resolve in meeting my goals.

Why is it Easy?

You can put any foods you want on your plan. It’s important to make it a doable plan so that you can fully commit to it. So don’t stress about the foods you think “should” be on your plan. Put what you will actually eat. The practice is in following through the next day.

What Will You Learn?

You will learn how to practice committing to yourself and sticking to your commitment.

You will learn to focus on today and not get overwhelmed by the overall goal.

You will have opportunities to learn as you practice sticking to your plan. It won’t always be perfect and those moments are your chance to evaluate and grow.

Ready to Get Started?

Grab a sheet of paper or your journal  and plan tonight for what will you eat tomorrow. Think about what obstacles you might face tomorrow. Plan for them. You don’t have to write exact amounts on the plan if you don’t want to. This is not about trying to be perfect. Meet yourself where you are right now. This is about making a commitment to yourself and learning.

At the end of the day answer the questions below. Write it out. This is where the learning happens. This is where discovery and skill building happens.

What did I actually eat?

Did I start eating only when hungry?

Did I stop eating when I was satisfied?

What did I do well today?

Did I stick to my plan today? Why or why not?

Now with all that in mind fill out a new plan for tomorrow. Repeat each day.

Example of my 24 hour plan

Here’s a sample of one of my 24 hour plans. This one is from yesterday which was Easter. I splurged a bit with potato salad. I planned ahead for it. I didn’t plan for eating any Easter candy and I didn’t eat any. I am getting better at sticking to my commitments to myself.

a.m.- Keto coffee, eggs, bacon

noon – big salad with cheese and salami

dinner – tri tip, potato salad, deviled eggs

Still Have Questions?

Comment below if you have questions. I’d love to help.

 

This post is a part of a 30 day series for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. For more topics like this click here for the main page with all the links.

end overeating

End Overeating and Simplify Your Weight Loss

end overeating

Photo by Michael Nunes on Unsplash

End Overeating and Simplify Your Weight Loss

Today is April 1st and I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. My goal for this challenge is two-fold. The object of the challenge is to post daily for the entire month. This helps to grow my blog and to get me in the habit of consistent writing. My second goal is to start developing parts of a future course to help women who struggle with weight loss to end overeating and gain victory over food.

I will link each topic here so if you are interested in following along you can return to this page to see links to all the content. I will be covering things like:

Why do we overeat?

Simple daily practices to help you lose weight without a special diet.

How to end emotional eating.

What does God say about our relationship with food?

What beliefs do you have that might be holding you back?

Who am I?

My name is Tammy Fuller and I’m a Registered Nurse. I have struggled with my own weight for decades. I have tried many diets. Some worked well for me but I could only stick with them for a few months and always felt deprived. When I quit I would gain all the weight back and more. I was frequently ashamed of myself and was not comfortable in my own skin.

One year ago I was 100 pounds overweight. I have hypothyroid and take a medication that can cause weight gain. I got to the point where I knew something had to change. Since then I have lost 38 pounds and kept it off. I have implemented some simple practices in my life and I know that I will not only lose the rest of the weight but it will be the last time I have to lose it. I’d love to share with you what has worked for me. Follow along this month as I share more.

POSTS:

End Overeating With 24 Hour Planning

Using a Hunger Scale to Curb Mindless Eating

Eat More Fuel Foods to Help You Feel Your Best

Bringing the Joy Back to My Diet – Joy Food and 24 Hour Planning

Learn From Overeating So You Can Stop

Clean Up Your Thinking With a Daily Thought Download

6 High Performance Habits That Can Make You Extraordinary

Developing a Habit to Change Negative Thinking

keto coffee

Why I Start My Day With Keto Coffee

I have been a coffee drinker since my Marine Corps days. Back then my First Sergeant taught me to make coffee that was more like mud. I would add a packet of hot chocolate to it to make it more tolerable. In later years I learned to make better coffee and would drink it with just a few drops of liquid stevia.

Once I discovered eating a ketogenic diet I also learned about keto coffee. Many people also call this Bulletproof Coffee. If you are going to be technical, Bulletproof Coffee is a brand name using specific products. This recipe is for a  generic version but you can also buy the Bulletproof brand of MCT oil and coffee.

I follow a ketogenic nutrition plan. This means that my body is adapted to using ketones for energy instead of glucose. To maintain this fat burning process I eat a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Keto coffee is easy to make and supplies me with a generous serving of fat and deliciousness in the morning. On weekdays this is all I have for breakfast. It’s frothy and similar to a latte.

Read more about the keto diet here.

 

Keto Coffee

A delicious frothy coffee to add healthful fats and boost ketones for more mental clarity and energy. 

Course Drinks
Cuisine Keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1
Author Tammy Fuller

Ingredients

  • 10 oz brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp MCT oil
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed butter

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to blender and blend until frothy. Be cautious when blending hot liquids. They sometimes splash out of blender.

Recipe Notes

Warning! When you first make this start slow with the MCT oil. It takes time for your body to get used to it. I would start with just one teaspoon for the first few days and gradually increase the amount up to one tablespoon. Otherwise you may end up with what's known in the keto community as "disaster pants."

emotional hunger

Understanding the Difference Between Physical Hunger and Emotional Hunger

hungry

Physical Hunger vs. Emotional Hunger

  • Have you ever had the urge to eat even though you just recently ate? This used to happen to me all the time. I would eat a great lunch and as soon as I got back to my office I felt the urge for something sweet.
  • Have you ever eaten just because it was time to eat and you weren’t even really hungry? Me too. All. The. Time.
  • Have you ever kept eating past the point where you were stuffed? Yep. Me too.
  • Feeling the need to reward yourself with comfort food after a rough day? Totally!

As part of my weight loss journey I’ve been learning a great deal about the differences between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Distinguishing the difference between the two is one of the most important skills when working on decreasing overeating.

Physical Hunger

One of the best indicators of actual physical hunger is that any food will satisfy it. If you are hungry for just an In N Out burger and nothing else will do it’s likely that you’re feeling emotional hunger. Physical hunger occurs after some time has passed since your last meal. It comes on gradually and you can wait. In fact you may find that if you wait, the hungry feeling goes away for a while. You may have a rumbling sound or an empty sensation in your stomach. One key point is that satisfying true physical hunger doesn’t make you feel bad or guilty.

Emotional Hunger

Emotional or psychological hunger is a desire to eat even when you are not physically hungry. It can come on suddenly and feel very urgent. You may feel that you need to eat immediately. When trying to satisfy emotional hunger you tend to eat more – you have difficulty stopping when you are full. You may also crave a specific food. Emotional eating tends to trigger guilt, shame and a sense that you are powerless over overeating. It may satisfy you temporarily but since the root problem isn’t fixed, the hunger returns. The problem may be unmet emotional needs, the discomfort of feeling negative emotions, stress, anger, depression and boredom. It can even be simply out of habit.

Take Action

To start becoming more aware of how you feel when you are hungry try journaling for the next week or so. Each time you feel hungry or you just want to eat, write it down. What are you thinking about? What physical sensations do you have? Start to look at possible triggers for overeating. Once you can identify your triggers you can begin to take action. You can limit the triggers or develop alternate healthy behaviors.

Remember that emotional eating does not solve the problem you are trying to numb and you add problems – weight gain, feelings of shame or guilt, unresolved issues. And you never learn to actually notice your negative thoughts and emotions and learn to manage them.

 

2018 Reading Goal

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

reading goal

Photo by Aliis Sinisalu on Unsplash

2018 Reading Goal

2018 is the 3rd year that I’ve set an intentional reading goal to challenge myself. I don’t do it just for the sake of saying I read more books. The goal is to be more intentional about the type of books I read and what I get out of them. I want to read books that are actionable and help me grow.

Types of Books

My book choices focus on personal development, spirituality, how-to, and biography/autobiography. I also throw in a few just for fun books here and there – these are good for my imagination. My goal this year is 24 books.

As part of my learning process I will blog about some of the books and share the key points that I find helpful. My hope is that some of these tips may be helpful for you too.

Disclaimer: The links for the book titles take you to Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate and I make a few cents if you purchase using my link. This helps me fund this blog.

January Reading

My January reading was a nice mix of personal development, how-to, biography, and fiction.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – Read more about some of my lessons learned from this book here. The big takeaway I got from this book is that effort counts twice. Others may be more talented than I am but how I put my gifts to use with intentional practice matters even more.

The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success  by Darren Hardy – This one was a re-read. I will probably read this book every year. I find this book helpful for anyone, no matter what kind of goal you are working on. You can read more about it on my post here. I highly recommend that you download the worksheets that go with the book and DO the steps.

The Beauty of a Darker Soul – by Joshua Mantz – I saw Josh speak last year at a conference I attended. He is a veteran who was killed by a sniper in Iraq and saved by a skilled combat trauma team. He now works with veterans to help them heal not only from physical trauma but from the trauma of shame, guilt and powerlessness. Here’s a quick video of Josh.


Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet– by Jimmy Moore – This book has been a valuable resource in my keto journey. I will refer back to it over and over. Jimmy Moore has lost 180 pounds with a ketogenic lifestyle. This book is easy to read and includes information from research and physicians as well as his own experiences.

Small Great Things – by Jodi Picoult – This is my first book by this author and I enjoyed her writing style. This book tackles subjects such as power, race, and privilege. The moral dilemma of a nurse in an OB department gripped me from the beginning. As a Risk Manager for a hospital this one hit home.

February Reading

Kill the Spider – Carlos Whitaker – Carlos is a well-known worship leader, author and blogger. This is an engaging peek into a very tough part of the author’s struggle with deep-rooted issues that were cropping up in his life in various ways. I really identified with the concept that we should stop cleaning up the cobwebs in our lives and get to the root of the problem. Kill the Spider is a great read and has actionable steps for you to start looking at the spiders in your life.

Even So, Joy: Our Journey through Heartbreak, Hope and Triumph – Lesa Brackbill – This book is powerful. Lesa is a friend that I met through Facebook when we were doing an online challenge together. We’ve been able to connect in person a couple of times even though we live across the country from each other. This book tells the story of of their daughter Tori who was diagnosed with a fatal genetic disorder known as Krabbe Leukodystrophy.  Lesa and Brennan’s story is a beautiful example of how we can live with joy even in the midst of unfathomable grief and pain.

Memoirs of Pontius Pilate – James R. Mills – This novel is written from the perspective of Pontius Pilate looking at the events surrounding Jesus life and crucifixion. I found it to be a fascinating read and it gave me a better perspective of the political situation of that historical time. It’s interesting to see the historical events from the perspective of the Romans.

March Reading

High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way – Brendon Burchard – I love anything by Brendon Burchard. His latest book covers 6 deliberate habits that high performers embody. The habits are clarity, energy, necessity, productivity, influence and courage. This is a meaty book filled with actionable information to help you be your best. He is a great storyteller and his examples make the reading interesting.

The 49th Mystic: Beyond the Circle – Ted Dekker – This book will be released in May. I got an advanced copy and enjoyed reading it ahead of time. If you have enjoyed the Circle series by Mr. Dekker you will enjoy this one. It’s the first book in a two book series and takes place years after Thomas Hunter fell asleep in one world and woke in another. If you have not read the Circle series you can still enjoy the book. The fun part of the series is that the stories are interwoven so there’s no right book to start with or end with. Here’s a link to the original Circle series.

April Reading

A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) – Barbara Oakley – This book wins the subtitle prize. The subtitle is what convinced me to buy this book. I was always a good student in school until I hit algebra and then I really struggled. This continued throughout high school and college. I’ve not been much help to my kids as they’ve hit challenges in school with math. I got this book so that I could stop telling myself that I’m bad at math. Math is a skill that can be learned and telling myself that story doesn’t serve me. I found this book very interesting and I will go back and read it again at another time. It digs into how to learn math and science by way of teaching how your brain works when it is learning. This book is helpful for learning math and science but also helpful for learning anything.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Malcolm Gladwell – This book was sitting on my shelf waiting to be read when my son (a high school Freshman) came home with a copy assigned by his English teacher. I enjoy Gladwell’s story telling. He is a master of using story to make you think and look at things in a new way. This book delves into the way we make judgments and decisions in the blink of an eye. I found it very interesting and brought up some great discussions between me and my son.

Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men – Harold Schechter – This book was a pure impulsive purchase. It was free on my Kindle and I was fascinated at the thought of a female serial killer in the early 1900s. It’s a true-crime account of a woman who lured men to her Indiana farm and brutally murdered them. If you enjoy true-crime stories this was an interesting read.

May Reading

The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey – I read this book straight through but I am going to go back and read it again with a pen and a notebook. It is a look at the Jesus of the Gospels that made me look at Him with a renewed viewpoint and blasted through some of my preconceptions. The author asks himself tough  questions and then digs through the Scriptures for the answers. Yancey made me think deeper about the Bible stories I’ve grown up with and made me want to study and learn more.

June Reading

The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith – This is Book 4 of the series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Books. I find this series endearing. The setting is Botswana and the series follows private detective Precious Ramotswe and her business adventures. I have loved all 4 books and will continue to finish the series. The stories are heartwarming and I enjoy learning a bit of the culture of Botswana. The stories are easy to read and leave you feeling good.

July Reading 

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold – This book is written by the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the shooters in the Columbine High School tragedy. I first heard her speak in an interview on John O’Leary’s Live Inspired podcast. I was struck by her story and how heartbreaking the event was through the eyes of the mother of a killer. Dylan was very different from the boy I imagined would become a murderer. This is her journey of reconciling the boy she loved, and raised and thought she knew with the killer that killed 12 children and a teacher and wounded many others. It will shake you but it is also a story of how to work through tragedy and grief and learn how to reach out and help others. Highly recommended.

August Reading

Beartown by Fredrik Backman – After reading A Man Called Ove by the same author I wanted to read more by him. This book did not disappoint but it was different than I expected. On the surface it’s about a hockey team in a hockey town. Backman develops characters that you quickly bond with. But underneath there is a story of a hidden crime and deception. There are several heavy topics tackled in this story and they are masterfully told. I’ve heard that this is going to be a movie as well.

There’s Not Enough Time…and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves by Jill Farmer – This book was sent to me by my coach, Amy Latta after we had a discussion about the concept of overwhelm. Farmer takes on the thought that there’s not enough time and turns it on it’s head. If you struggle with the same thought as I did, I encourage you to grab the book and learn a new way of thinking. It’s a quick, fun read and very insightful.

September Reading

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank – I listened to this one on Audible. This novel is set in a town in Florida and is about a town that is mostly spared from nuclear holocaust while much of the country around them is ravaged. It is a story of survival and ingenuity. The main characters were well developed and I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

New Spring: The Novel by Robert Jordan – This is a prequel to the Wheel of Time series. The Wheel of Time series are one of my favorite reads of all time. When the series ended I was sad to say goodbye to the characters that I had grown to love over a period of years. New Spring was a nice way to revisit some of the characters, namely Moiraine and Lan. It tells the story of their backgrounds and how they met and how the search for the Dragon Reborn began. If you are a fan of The Wheel of Time, I recommend that you pick this one up too.

October Reading

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah – I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I first heard Trevor on a podcast (I can’t remember which one). He is also on the Daily Show but I didn’t realize that until later. This book is a memoir of his childhood in South Africa. He was a child during the time that apartheid ended. He was born of a Swiss/German father and a black African mother. At the time it was illegal for whites and blacks to have sexual relations. Trevor didn’t fit in with the whites and didn’t fit in with the blacks either. Where he came from, a mixed-race child is called colored, but he didn’t fit in with the colored either because he was raised black. He is a comedian so the stories are funny and entertaining, but many times heartbreaking as well. I enjoyed Trevor’s life story and I appreciated the opportunity to learn about the many different South African cultures and the difficulties he faced navigating them.

November Reading

Brit-Marie Was Here: A Novel by Fredrik Backman – Another book by the author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Beartown. This story carries on the story of one of the characters of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. Britt-Marie is a person that would not be very likable if I met her in real life. At least not at first. But as the story goes along, I fell in love with her. Fredrik Backman is an expert in developing characters you can fall in love with. He reveals their stories bit by bit and weaves an engaging tale every single time. Even though this story occurs after My Grandmother, you could totally read them out of order.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis – This book is a fictional view of heaven and hell. The protagonist takes a bus ride in a dream and visits hell and then heaven. I always find Lewis’ writing to be profound and this book is no exception. For example, his description of those who chose hell over heaven, “There is always something they insist on keeping even at the price of misery. There is always something they prefer to joy – that is, to reality. Ye see it easily enough in a spoiled child that would sooner miss its play and its supper than say it was sorry and be friends.” And the description of the joy of heaven in comparison to the miseries of hell, “And yet all loneliness, angers, hatreds, envies and itchings that it (hell) contains, if rolled into one single experience and put into the scale against the least moment of the joy that is felt by the least in Heaven, would have no weight that could be registered at all.”

December Reading

Coming soon…

The Testament by John Grisham

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Thank You!

Thank you for visiting my reading challenge page. Comment below if you are you working on a reading goal this year? I’d love to cheer you on and to hear what you’re reading. One technique that helps me maintain progress is to use a habit tracker to read at least 30 minutes per day. You can download my free weekly habit tracker/planner page  below.

Disclaimer: The links to the books are Amazon links where I receive a small affiliate commission. Buying from my links helps to support this website.

How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

diabetes diagnosis

Photo by Antonika Chanel on Unsplash

What is Type 2 Diabetes Anyway?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where the body is unable to use insulin effectively to get glucose (blood sugar) out of the bloodstream and into the cells where it can be used for energy. Many people are able to manage their Type 2 diabetes with lifestyle changes. Others may need medications to reduce blood sugar levels. These medications may include oral medications, insulin or other injectables.


There are 3 Main Ways to Diagnose Diabetes

Diabetes is diagnosed with a lab test. The main test used for this purpose is a fasting blood glucose. Other diagnostic tests may include an A1c or a glucose tolerance test.


Fasting Blood Glucose

Also known as fasting blood sugar test. This is a blood test that measures the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at the time of testing. As the name implies, this test is done when you have been fasting for several hours. A normal result would be between 70 and 99 mg/dl. If your level was 126 mg/dl or higher after fasting, this indicates diabetes. That leaves of range of 100-125 that is called prediabetes or "at risk for diabetes."

A1c

The A1c may also be known by the name Hemoglobin A1c or HgbA1c. This blood test shows your average blood glucose levels over a 2 to 3 month time span. It is expressed in a percentage. For people without diabetes the number is lower than 5.7%. The goal for people with diabetes is to keep the A1c less than 7%.

Glucose Tolerance Test

The glucose tolerance test is a blood test that is taken after you drink a sugary drink in the lab. This tests how well your body is processing the sugar in the drink over time. Two hours after consuming the drink your blood glucose level should be less than 140 mg/dl. If it is over 200 you have diabetes. A level between 140 and 199 mg/dl is considered impaired glucose tolerance or prediabetes.

One use for this test is to diagnose gestational diabetes. It is usually done between 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy.

How to Grow Your Grit

Learn to Grow Your Grit and Achieve More of Your Goals

This post is a follow up to the post Stop Quitting on Yourself by Growing Your Grit.

I have always felt that I lacked the “stick-to-it-iveness” that others seemed to have when it came to sticking with my goals. I had passion but not a lot of perseverance. I would start off with great gusto on a new goal or a new project, only to give up before reaching it’s completion. My latest read has been encouraging in the news that I can improve my “grit.”

Angela Duckworth is a researcher and professor who studies the science of grit. In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance she uses the word “grit” to describe an intangible quality that people have that combines passion and perseverance. While we all have natural talents, there is usually a gap between our potential and what we actually achieve. Grit helps us narrow that gap. Some people are naturally “grittier” than others but the good news is that we can grow our grit. We can learn to push through difficult challenges and conquer our highest goals.

West Point – Beast Barracks

Duckworth tested her theory at West Point. The leaders at West Point had a system to try to determine which candidates might drop out during the weeks known as Beast Barracks. This takes place in the summer before entering West Point. Their system, known as the Whole Candidate Score was an attempt at predicting who would make it through Beast Barracks. To test the grit theory they administered a survey to rank each candidates grit.  The  result of this survey was a much better predictor of which candidates would survive Beast Barracks. This survey identified candidates with a combination of passion and perseverance that displayed itself in determination and resilience.

Effort Counts Twice

Have you ever been frustrated that someone is more talented at something than you are? Well, the good news is effort counts twice as much as talent. All the West Point candidates had talent. It is a very rigorous screening process before a candidate even earns the right to be invited to West Point. But those who had the potential to stick it out had more than just raw talent. Consider the following equations:

Talent + effort = skills

Skills + effort = achievement

In these equations is a simplified explanation of how talent paired with focused effort produces skills. When those skills are paired with effort (as in practice) it produces achievement.

How does this work for me?

You can apply this principle to any goal you are working on. Even a health goal. For example: I lose weight painfully slowly. I don’t have the raw “talent” that naturally thin people do. I have to work extra hard at it and be more disciplined. As I put effort into it I build the skills necessary to get better at it (meal planning, figuring out what foods to eat, self-control, discipline, self-care, etc.). As I continue to build skills and practice these new habits, I get better and better at losing weight.

The author quotes writer John Irving as saying, “it doesn’t hurt anybody to have to go slowly.”  Irving was not a writer with natural raw talent. But with effort he became a master at his craft and his stories have been read by millions.

Grow Your Grit (improve your stick-to-it-iveness)

If you find that you don’t stick with your goals to completion there are ways to improve your grit.

From the Inside

You can improve your grit from the inside by:

  • cultivating interests (learn more about the habits you need to build)
  • challenge yourself daily (stretch yourself, make it a game)
  • connect to your purpose for achieving the goal (find a compelling purpose)
  • practice hope when you feel like it’s a lost cause (push through)

From the Outside

You can improve your grit from the outside by:

  • finding a mentor who will encourage you but who will also be tough
  • finding others working on the same goals – accountability matters
  • finding the friends and family members that will cheer you on and be supportive

Stop quitting

Stop Quitting on Yourself by Growing Your Grit

Stop quitting“Quitting is a habit and justifying quitting is a skill.” – Brooke Castillo

It takes practice and focus to stop quitting on yourself.

If you want to stop quitting it helps to realize many of us have made it a lifetime habit to quit. If we have our brains on autopilot this is where we will end up – quitting. The subconscious part of our brain is focused on survival. It’s job is to tell us to seek pleasure, avoid pain and conserve energy. These are great guiding principles if I find myself in the middle of the desert struggling for survival. It requires the use of the pre-frontal cortex part of our brain to make decisions beyond mere survival and to produce awesomeness in the world. We must develop our thinking in order to meet goals that are uncomfortable. Goals like losing weight, learning something new, becoming a top athlete, homeschooling children.

What we practice is what we improve:

If I practice quitting I will become a better quitter. I spent many years practicing procrastination and it made me a great procrastinator. I also had a great deal of practice as an over-eater. What do you practice on a daily basis that may be taking you away from achieving your goals?

We make excuses (justifications) for quitting:

What excuses have you made for quitting something? Here are some of the favorites I’ve used:

  • It was the holidays.
  • I’m just to busy to do this right now.
  • Something came up.
  • I was on vacation.
  • It was the program (or diet) that didn’t work.
  • It’s too complicated.
  • I’m  confused/overwhelmed.
  • It’s my biology (age, diagnosis, etc.)

When you truly commit to something, failure is not an option.

I am learning to wrap my mind about the idea of fully committing. When you are fully committed you are no longer worried about failure. The only way to truly fail is by quitting. Quitting, in the moment, feels like relief.

When we commit to accomplishing something it feels great at first. We’re motivated and gung ho. If you have a goal to lose weight this is the stage where you’re making grocery lists, menus and diving into meal planning. As time goes by the discomfort sets in.

Then your survival brain kicks in and you may get scared that this will be one more diet that doesn’t work out. When you stop reaching for food for comfort you may find that you experience more negative emotions and thoughts. It gets tough trying to figure out how to do all this in the real world – lunch meetings with food, family functions, vacations, friends who just don’t get it. This is where you start to justify quitting. Once you quit you are relieved and temporarily happy with the decision. If may feel like peace or self-care. But later, regret and despair set in when you realize you are stuck back in your same old situation. Eventually you commit to trying again or to trying something new. And in the end you never reach your goal. It’s a vicious cycle. This is the exact cycle I was stuck in with dieting.

stop quitting

Discomfort doesn’t have to derail you!

The key is to do work on your thinking at the level of discomfort. I encourage you to get help with changing your thinking and learn to manage difficult emotions. This is the work I have been doing and, oh, how I wish I had known how to do this stuff sooner. Dive into your Bible and do some studying on the mind and on thinking. Get a counselor to work through some of this with a trained guide. Feel free to jump in our Facebook Nutrition Encouragement and Support group.

Read more about growing your grit here. Grit is a key ingredient in pushing past discomfort and learning to stop quitting on yourself. I just finished the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.  You can also sign up for my email newsletter so you don’t miss a post.

Putting the Compound Effect to Good Use in Your Life

the compound effectThis small, easy-to-read book is deceptive. The concepts are simple to understand and the examples are compelling. But the power of “small, smart choices, completed consistently over time” can be the key to whether or not you achieve your goals. The compound effect is at work in your life whether you realize it or not. The question is whether you will use it to your advantage or if you will let it gradually drift you off course. Imagine an airplane on taking off from the west coast on autopilot. If the plane is pointed one degree off course and continues across the country, it can put you 50 miles off course by the time it arrives on the west coast. If you wonder why you keep missing your targets, I encourage you to get this book.

The Key is to Take Action

The Compound Effect is one of the best personal development books I’ve read. I read it the first time a couple of years ago and I just read through it again this month as I am refocusing on my goals. I originally chose the book as a business book but I quickly realized that the concepts in the book can apply to ANY area in my life that I want to improve. The subtitle is Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success. I read the book quickly the first time because I couldn’t put it down. But it’s not the type of book that you should just read and move on to the next book. This book is filled with actionable steps that will change you if you take the steps. Each chapter gives you steps you can implement in your life to begin to make those small actions that add up to big results over time. There are free worksheets to go along with the book that you can download online. If you’re needing a kick start to achieving your goals, get this book!

Daily Disciplines

Daily disciplines are not fun and they are not always easy. That’s why they are called disciplines. You have to purpose in your heart to complete these mundane habits. But if you stay with them long enough they will make a difference in your life that builds over time. Anyone who has been successful in their lives has implemented daily disciplines. These could be physical, financial, or mental habits.

Momentum

Momentum is one of the key concepts to the book. Whenever you start to develop is a new habit it is difficult and tedious. It takes more effort in the beginning. But as you are consistent, the momentum builds and builds until it takes very little effort to continue with the momentum. The gains grow larger and larger.

Bookend Your Day

Another key point of the book is to bookend your day with great habits to set yourself up for success. Read more about how to design a morning makeover to get your day off to a great start. In general your morning and your evening are the parts of your day you can control. By using these times to focus on good habits you can be better prepared for the more unpredictable parts of your day.

Disclosure:

I am an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase using the link below I make a small amount that helps me run this blog. Feel free to purchase the book through any avenue you choose. Just read it and put the steps into action. You won’t regret it. Stop living your life on autopilot. The compound effect is active in your life already.