Self-Coach Sunday 79: Say It Like It Is, But Gently

Prepare people for what you have to say. Avoid the difficult, awkward and even painful things you may say to people by saying it like it is. For example: let someone know that what you want to talk to them about isn’t easy for you and may be difficult for them to hear. The point is not to sugar-coat what you say – say exactly what you need to in a way that the other person can hear and understand. It is not about saying something to upset someone – so be gently. Even though you are “saying it like it is,” be in a positive and unconditionally constructive state with everything you say.

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Health & Wellness Wednesday 3: Mindless Eating

Brian Wansink studies how you eat. He’s a professor of consumer behavior and nutritional science at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, and he’s written several books, including Mindless Eating and  Slim By Design. Essentially, he’s a proponent of controlling our immediate environment – particularly in our own homes and kitchens – to help foster healthier eating patterns. The size and color of our plates, the shape of our glasses, how our food is stored in our refrigerator and cabinets can all influence how much we eat… and he offers tips to help us to design our environment to make better choices.

An article in Lifhacker’s Vitals talks about Wansink’s approach and links to a simple checklist of ways to “help your kitchen make you slim.”

Wansink has provided this sort of “checklist” (PDF) that’ll guide you toward making your home environment more conducive to healthy eating. You’ll find tips like eating from smaller plates; placing a bowl of fresh fruit plainly visible in the kitchen; keeping junk food out of sight (and out of reach); and keeping the TV turned off while you eat. These familiar-sounding tips are based on food psychology and work by manipulating your environment to let you continue eating “mindlessly.” At the same time, you end up making better choices without needing to tap into your willpower much or at all.

We’ve got two video clips that offer more on his ideas. The first is a CNN 5 minute intro to some of his ideas on Mindless Eating. It shows some of the tests that he ran and why we are so easily tricked into overeating.

The second clip is a longer but highly entertaining 22 minute talk in which Wansink takes on two myths: that “buffets make us fat” and “we are smarter than a cereal bowl.” He talks about ways to make small structural changes to our environment to push us in the right direction, and offers tips. He talks about how our eyes often trick us about portion sizes. For example, in switching from a larger to a smaller bowl, the portion difference may seem imperceptible but the difference over a year could be as much as 17 pounds.

Self-Coach Sunday 47: Date Your Spouse

Often, our spouse is our biggest support. They are the ones who cheer for us, hold us tight when needed, love us flaws and all. How much time to you spend one-on-one in conversation with the love or your life? The national average is 27 minutes. We assume our spouse will always be there when needed, but somehow that time gets eaten up with busy-ness.

If you want a nurturing, loving, supportive relationship, date your spouse or partner once a week. Try to break that national average. Keep the romance alive and nourish your relationship. You don’t have to go someplace fancy, but do go out. Something as simple as a walk will do. Consider avoiding topics you know will cause trouble and stick to romantic stuff. Nurture the most important relationship in your life and he/she will give you the energy you need to go out in the world.

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Self-Coach Sunday 46: Find Your Own Family

It can be difficult to attract the success you want without close friends and family who love and support you unconditionally. What is success without someone to share it with? You may have been born into a loving supportive family, but if not, create your own. Find people who will “adopt” you and love you. Instead of complaining or blaming parents and family members for your problems, just accept them for who they are and start looking for someone who can support you. We assume our parents will here forever.  This isn’t the case – consider building your”other” support family now so you will be supported no matter what. And by all means, enjoy all of your families now. Tell them how much you love them with words and actions.

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Self-Coach Sunday 45: Ask For What You Really Want

Most often a lot of hurt, frustration and energy would be saved if we just asked for what we really wanted. It sounds simple, but most people are reluctant to do this. The first thing to realize is that most people don’t know what you want, how you wish to be loved, or what you need. Often what happens is we GIVE what WE would like to receive. We are all different and have different needs.

Ask yourself: what do I need? Once you have identified your needs, it is time to ask your friends and family, or even colleagues, to satisfy those needs. Be specific. Set a goal to ask five different people to meet a given need. Try to overdue your goal – try to get more than enough!

Once you do this, you will come across much less needy, and be more satisfied and confident. Ideally you want to get your needs so completely satisfied that they appear to “disappear.”

Ask away! And don’t forget to acknowledge others for doing it. This is a challenging goal, but well worth it. Don’t skip this one.

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