“No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you’ll find the positive side of things.” ~Demi Lovato
The Brick Wall in Narcissistic Abuse and Toxic Relationships
If you ask me, being in a relationship with a narcissist feels a lot like running your head into the same brick wall, over and over. And despite the fact that it gets bloody and beaten, you don’t stop. You just keep running your head into the wall, hoping to get through it (and make it happy) – and while you logically realize, eventually, that there’s no breaking that wall down, and that the wall is not capable of change, something in you makes you keep hitting the wall, bloodying your head and hoping for different results.
How do you find hope when you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse?
So let’s talk about the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m about to wax philosophical on your ass, so get ready. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you can probably agree that eventually, you stop living for yourself and start living to avoid the next blow-up, drama, or manipulation.
So many people have come to me as they were beginning the process of recovering from an abusive narcissist asking me how I was able to redefine and rediscover myself after escaping my own narcissistic abuse situation. And this is what I tell them.
As I see it, living without that kind of passion is sort of like living in the dark. Food doesn’t taste as good, the air doesn’t smell as nice, the colors don’t seem as bright.
Without passion in our lives, it’s as though there’s a barrier between our senses and the world around us, one which doesn’t allow us to fully experience our lives.
This barrier could present itself in the way of depression, anger, fear, or any number of debilitating emotions. Or maybe there’s a certain situation in our lives of which we’ve lost control. Maybe it’s simply that we’re bored, and that we’ve begun to take our blessings for granted.
This can lead to a very toxic state for our souls and even our bodies. But we can change our minds, and this can change our lives. Start now by trying this Bliss Mission.
Bliss Mission: Discover What Inspires You
Begin with figuring out what inspires you. Then, find a way to make it happen. This can help you to start living with passion, and living with passion is one of the first steps to becoming whole, to becoming truly happy.
Whatever your passion or inspiration, take some small step toward it today, and let the rest flow. If you’re not sure where to start, consider taking a walk to clear your head, or writing in a journal to work it out. You could draw or paint a picture, or cook your favorite meal. Take a bath or do a little yoga. Whatever works for you.
Tell yourself that today is the day that you begin living with passion and purpose. And then, my friends, do it. Your life will be richer and your heart will be happier.
Feel good! You ready? Let’s do this.
Resources to Help with Gaslighting in Narcissistic Abuse
“It’s tedious and time-consuming. It tethers you to your phone or computer and can trigger anxiety and obsessive behavior in people who get overly hung up on numbers. Yet research repeatedly demonstrates that people who keep food journals are more successful at weight loss and weight loss maintenance than those who don’t.” ~Tamara Grand, FitNitChick.com
Listen. If you’ve been reading my stuff for long, you know that I pretty much tell it like it is. With that being said, you’ll know where I’m going with this.
There are some things we have to do if we want to meet certain goals in our lives. And sometimes, those things aren’t fun, at first, but once you get moving, you realize they’re totally worth your time.
The good news is that you can do it, and even if you’re lazy and don’t like to feel uncomfortable (like MOI), you can STILL do it.
The Harsh Truth About Food Tracking: It’s a Pain in the Ass.
So yeah. Tracking your food is TRULY a huge pain in the ass. I’m not gonna lie.
But if you can do it for a month, you can do it for six months.
And often times, if you do it for six months, you don’t have to keep doing it all the time. That’s because you can train your brain to actually WANT to eat healthier foods and in healthier ways. I swear.
Here are some super simple food tracking hacks that will help you make it happen, too.
Food Track-Hack #1: No Cheating (At First)
I had to be very strict about tracking during the beginning in order to lose the weight.
I had to track LITERALLY every single day for at least six months before I felt like I was ready to try going track free.
I tracked every single thing I put in my mouth–even if it was just a handful of peanuts or a bite of a cookie. It mattered, and it changed my life.
Food Track-Hack #2: Okay, Cheat a Little (Within Reason)
Some people do well with a “cheat day” each week, others need two. My suggestion is to do one or less “days” of “freedom” at first.
Instead, I suggest a “cheat meal” option or a “cheat dessert” option once a week.
For me, the Weight Watchers bonus points (aka cheat within reason option) made it easier to understand what an appropriate amount of cheating looked like, and tracking taught me how to eat right and still live in the “real world.”
But even when you cheat, you should still track every single thing you eat. It will help to know exactly what kind of damage you’re doing–in more ways than one.
Food Track-Hack #3: Why Tracking Is Seriously Worth the Trouble
Look, I know what you’re thinking. Tracking food? Boring, waste of time, annoying, restrictive, waste of energy–doesn’t work anyway. Right?
Wrong. So wrong. And trust me, I know what I’m talking about – I learned it the hard way.
For me, tracking everything I ate and drank was a pain at first and felt really restrictive, but that short period of restriction ultimately led to freedom.
It will be for you too, I promise–so just do it! It is WORTH it. Now I get to wear stuff like this. Way more fun. 🙂
Food Track-Hack Tip #4: Find Your Inner Gamer (Dig Deep If You Gotta)
So listen, I’m not a gamer. Honestly. But tracking sort of became a game to me, eventually. I actually (don’t tell anyone) sort of had fun with it.
I wanted to see how much I could eat while still staying within my points allowance, so I’d figure out different menu options and play with the numbers until I had the most satisfying options possible. Give it a shot!
And Freedom From Food Tracking Looks Like This
These days, I don’t track on a daily basis. But through tracking, I learned what portion sizes are healthier, which small adjustments to which dishes can reduce your fat and calories but still retain the flavor and more.
But the biggest and most important thing that six months of tracking my food helped me to learn was how to listen to my own body’s cues.
Now, I just eat what I want and nothing more or less. I pay attention to my body and feed it what it wants–and nothing else.
How the Food Tracking-Game Changed My World
Within the confines of my little game, I naturally leaned toward healthier foods. Fruits and veggies were mostly free–so I could eat a HUGE and awesome salad with a few ounces of chicken and a couple tablespoons of dressing for seven or eight points, max.
This kind of game-playing led to a change in my taste preferences. Eating greasy, cheesy, creamy, fried or otherwise bad-for-me foods suddenly became less attractive.
Now, I wanted fresh, cleaner-tasting stuff.
These days, I am able to literally eat anything I want, simply by eating healthy MOST of the time and by allowing myself to indulge on occasion.
And since I’m still working on getting those last few pounds off, I am still keeping an eye on my scale. If I notice that I plateau for too long or even gain a pound or two, I’ll go back to tracking for a few weeks so I can regain balance.
I promise, tracking your food doesn’t have to (totally) suck. You might be surprised to find out how much (or how little) you’re really eating and how small changes in your choices can lead to big changes in your health.
Do you track your food? Have you in the past, or will you start food tracking now? Have tracking tips that worked for you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page.
I dress appropriately for my age. I love my kids and would never strap them to the bottom of a cart. I would never have poop stains let alone leave the house with them. I have self decency.
It seemed that the people who went to Wal-Mart did NOT!
I was wrong. I will be the first to admit it. I went to Wal-Mart last year. I learned so much about people and myself during this time.
1. Not everyone who goes to Wal-Mart is homeless – The people who shop at Wal-Mart are not homeless nor do they lack common sense. Some dress like they have no place to live but those people are the ones who don’t care what others think about them. I want to be more like that. I want to be able to walk out of the house in the middle of the night in my pjs to get meds for my kid without feeling judged too. (however, I will never leave the house without makeup) That must feel liberating! I am too judgmental of myself.
2. You look better than 99.99999999% of everyone there – Let’s face it. Wal-Mart is known for it’s crazy looking people. Need an esteem boost? How about a little pick me up? Go to Wal-Mart! I don’t even have to walk all the way inside sometimes. Just walking up to the door is enough for me.
3. You DO NOT have to wear spandex to shop at Wal-Mart – From photos on the web I was for certain that you had to wear spandex to shop at Wal-Mart. Preferably nude, two sizes too small spandex. I have since learned that you do not.
4. Their prices are great – We all know that some stuff at stores is priced higher. I’m not saying that Wal-Mart doesn’t do that too. However, I am saying that when I shop at a regular store versus Wal-Mart I do end up spending less. (What’s a “regular” store? Anything that is not Wal-Mart I consider a regular store.)
5. It’s an everything store – Groceries and clothes and electronics and paint and car repair and pet store and automotive store and why wouldn’t you shop here store? I was naive. I can now go to Wal-Mart and have my tires rotated, get a new car key made, while waiting on my living room paint to be mixed, grab the kid’s soccer shorts he needs for school, the daughter’s jewelry was fixed and is ready to be picked up at the jewelry counter, and I can get dinner for tonight even hot food all at one place. That’s a win, win, win!
I do not see people taking photos ever. I was always worried I’d be in the background of a Wal-Mart person’s photo shoot.
I have never witnessed someone posing in the dairy section for their senior photos.
I haven’t seen people having sex on the futons either. (bummer?) I do see strange people but that’s part of the fun.
I had totally the wrong idea of what this store was. Wal-Mart is just a regular store with a little something extra…everything!
I’m waiting for a nail salon and photo studio to come to our local store. Then my life will be complete.
Last week I asked you all to offer up your best weight-loss tips.
And boy, did you deliver.
I’ve compiled some of your best tips into a list of ideas, below, for those looking to lose weight (and that’s probably most of us).
It’s not a step-by-step guide, and there are contradictory tips — but there are some great ones here, so pick and choose those that will work best for you and give them a try.
Note: I couldn’t include all of them, or it would have taken me 3 days to do this.
I just picked some of the best, and combined many of them.
Some tips may be slightly redundant, but I like them, so I included them.
General weight loss tips
Remember to keep your goals in sight to motivate yourself.
5 Word Diet Plan – and the only one that works: Eat Less and Move More!
Doing the Zen Habits 30-day challenge to make something a habit really helps make exercise a no-brainer. The first step is getting yourself to do it, after that, the gains are much easier to make.
To be successful you need to change your life. You need to take control of the bad habits you have turned into an unhealthy life. You need to be excited about it too. And you have to believe that you can do it. Dreams turn into reality very quickly when you work hard.
Don’t try to lose weight. The number one indicator of excessive weight gain in the future is attempting to lose weight in the past. Don’t diet, it won’t last. Instead get up and go get more exercise.
Ultimately weight loss is about the balance between calories taken in and calories burned. Take the weight you want to be and the activity level that you maintain and calculate the number of calories that you should eat to maintain that weight. Now you have to eat fewer calories than this number, on average, over time to lose weight and achieve your target. Keep a food diary with full daily calorie calculations. Write down everything.
Never, never, never eat between the 3 main meals. Then eat what you want when it is time to eat.
Avoid processed food, or at least food where you can’t pronounce the ingredients. Keep it as natural as possible.
Stop watching the scale every day. If you weigh yourself, do it just once a week — as soon as you wake up, after you use the bathroom.
No matter how much you want a change in your life, nothing will happen until you DO something. You can talk about starting an exercise regiment and eating healthier foods all you want, but nothing will change until you START DOING IT.
Change your schedule, if possible. If you exercise in the afternoon but overeat while while watching TV at night, try exercising at night. Go to work earlier, come home later, schedule your walks during times you know you’re vulnerable to snacking. Switch things up to help break bad habits.
For people who want to lose 100+ pounds, dealing with the underlying issues of self medicating depression or anxiety is going to be a lot more effective then anything else. Feeling bad about being fat and trying to lose weight, or putting yourself in exercise situations you dont feel comfortable in are not going to really help until the underlying issues of using food to treat boredom or anxiety or depression. After treating this underlying problem, the good habits will come without nearly so much struggle.
Start small. Changing your lifestyle overnight is very bad for your body and your mind. You’ll get sick of eating oatmeal 3 times a day, or grapefruit. Your life should be enjoyable and healthy!
Tell people around you what you’re doing. This will keep you motivated to continue. Don’t ask for their support, but say “I’m on this new thing where I’m going to kick my butt at the gym/road/bike today and” whatever.
Be aware of self-deception. It can sneak up on you from any angle. Examples of food deceptions: Breaded/fried chicken breast does not constitute an optimally healthy protein source, compared to simple grilled chicken breast. Potatoes do not constitute a viable vegetable source (they are a carbohydrate source).
Derive your self worth from something other than a number on a scale and instead gift yourself a body that will function well to serve your noble life’s goals.
Never give up, even after you have failed a few times. When you fail, start over. Watch those TV programs like “The Biggest Loser” or “Celebrity Fit Club”, because they are great motivators.
Rewards! New clothes make awesome rewards for weight loss. Going out with friends (but not for anything food related) is a great reward.
Weigh yourself but also take your measurements. Sometimes your scale won’t budge but your waistline will.
Get enough sleep – that’s the first and most important step. Without sleep, it’s harder to plan your meals, to exercise, or to consciously eat healthy.
Tell others your goals. Not only will you then have someone else also expecting you to perform but you’ll gain a cheering section!
Focus on one thing at a time. Everything we do is based on habits. If you’ve got to both get into the habit of eating great AND exercising daily, you run a big risk of getting overwhelmed when you’re not seeing results or you slip a little.
Find motivation other than within yourself. Workout FOR somebody else that you care about (your kids, loved ones, friends etc.). When you don’t feel like working out, remember that you’re doing it for them.
Focus on health and NOT weight loss. It is far more important that you live a happy, healthy life than look good naked. You’ll thank yourself when you are 80 and still lead an active life.
Healthy eating tips
Water water water. It kick-starts your metabolism. Stop drinking soda.
Make one change at a time. Don’t cut everything out at once. For example, cut out fried foods. When you’re used to that, cut out soda, etc.
Lay off the junk food, except for one day a week where you can eat what you like – it’ll help you stick to it and you won’t have the temptation to eat junk all the time.
Eat according to the Glycemic Index, sticking with low and medium index foods.
Be mindful of what you are eating. Keep a food journal or diary. Seeing it in writing always gives it weight and helps reveal patterns or triggers.
Stop the evening eating. You don’t want to eat and then go to sleep. All those calories just sit there unused while you sleep.
Eat mostly raw fruits, veggies and nuts.
Brush your teeth early in the evening rather than just before bed. It keeps you from snacking if you’re not really hungry.
Cut wheat-flour based products out of your diet. Wheat is surprisingly easy to replace when you start thinking about it – rice, oats (still some gluten there, but a lot less), more vegetables.
Portion control used with a 20 minute wait time — wait 20 minutes after eating the sensible portions, and then see if you still feel hungry. Nine times out of ten, you won’t. If you do, get a little more.
Cut out sugar.
No fast food. Period.
Commit to one diet — and stick to it for life. Start by making a list of low-calorie foods that you love, that you find satisfying; and when you’re hungry make sure you eat lots of those foods.
If you’re a parent, don’t absorb “invisible” calories by eating your kids’ food.
Snack between meals – starving yourself for 6 or 7 hours at a time between lunch and dinner means you will overeat at dinner.
Eat slow and you will only eat as much as you need to be full.
Whenever you eat, think about how much food you would waste by overeating. Your body doesn’t *need* all the food that’s on your plate, why waste it? You could eat the leftovers for lunch the next day and save yourself some money, or you could split it with your loved one and have company while you eat. You could give it to the homeless guy down the block who REALLY needs it. Any reason you find not to waste that food is a good one.
Everything in moderation. If you really want French fries and a hamburger, or ice cream, or a cookie it’s OK to indulge a little occasionally. Key word is occasionally. Better to indulge a little, than to binge later.
Learn to cook, from scratch. That way, you control what you are eating.
Don’t buy into the idea of “diet” foods. It’s better to eat the original food that has been less processed and only eat less.
Observe your hunger patterns. Choose a bedtime that’s early enough to keep you from after-dinner snacking. Stick to that bed-time. If you must snack before bed, have a something small and healthful. Maybe a tiny portion of whole grain cereal with milk.
Eat lots of fiber, it’s surprisingly filling compared to that cupcake.
Eat as soon after you get up as possible. This gets your metabolism working at a higher rate sooner in the day.
Cut out alcohol or reduce your intake to one or two glasses a week.
If you are hungry between meals, try eating a small portion of food that is high in protein. It can be more effective to eat one piece of cheese or some yoghurt or nuts than to eat bread or crackers or other snack foods.
Go to bed early and get up early. If you stay up late, you will overeat, guaranteed. It doesn’t matter if you are a night person; change into a morning person. When you go to bed early, you don’t think about food all night.
Instead of counting calories, concentrate on reducing your fat intake. Fat that you eat converts more readily into body fat than does protein or carbohydrate.
Try to enjoy your food, eat it slowly and consciously.
Only diet on weekdays. Don’t binge on weekends, but save two days a week to eat the yummy things. Also, because many people really can’t break that chocolate addiction, calculate one treat every day into your calories.
Positive change is easier than negative change. Instead of thinking of foods that are “bad” and that you feel like you need to cut out, think about all the new recipes and foods you will get to try if you start experimenting with more vegetables, more beans, more spices, etc.
Don’t count calories after you each them, count before.
Create a routine for what you eat – for a month, do not think of food as something to be enjoyed, think of it as fuel.
Take one of the three meals a day, and make it healthier (veggies, fruits, whole grains, etc.). Combine this with drinking ONLY water when at work, and it’s quite the effective method to lose a few pounds.
Eat a varied diet. Only, half your usual portions.
Eat nothing that you have not bought yourself, cooked yourself, and cleaned up after. This way laziness works in your favor. If you don’t feel like going to the store, or if you have stuff but don’t feel like cooking it or cleaning up afterwards, you are less likely to eat.
If you’re a stress eater, try sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Lots of chewing, not many calories. Just don’t spit the seeds on the floor.
Reduce the intake of three white things – white flour (all purpose flour), salt and sugar. Get rid of white flour completely if possible.
Go backpacking. Carrying a heavy pack and walking around a lot will help you shed a lot of pounds.
Exercise 3 times per week.
Exercise: any kind any time. Sure there are better times and better exercises for fat burning, but they all beat sitting on the couch.
Cardiovascular training in the morning before you eat breakfast. This forces your body to utilize stored body fat for energy rather than carbohydrates, since you are in a carb-depleted state after having not eaten for 8-10 hours.
Regular aerobic exercise helps, for a period of at least 40 minutes.
If you can’t run, start slow by walking for 9 minutes and jog for 1 minute. Do that a couple of times and then slowly exchange the minutes walking for minutes running.
Buy a pedometer and try to get 10,000 steps per day in. That’s about 5 miles +/- depending on your stride length.
Walk everywhere (carrying a baby while you walk also helps a lot).
Swim, swim, swim.
Find fun exercise. Join a softball team, commute to work on a bike, whatever. Your strategy should be time-sensitive – only make choices you can see yourself committing to for years, be it gym, dieting, whatever – temporary won’t work.
If you are resistant to exercising, consider volunteer labor. Walk dogs at the animal shelter. (Find a shelter at Petfiinder.com. Do beach or riverside clean-ups with a local environmental group. Volunteer on building and repair projects.)
Replace your least favorite TV show with mild calisthenics for 30 or so minutes.
Get an active dog! They will force you to get outside every day, and they make the best exercise companions.
Make friends (if you haven’t already) with very physically active people. If you have very active friends, you will be exercising without even noticing it because you will be having fun with friends.
Do squats while brushing the back sides of your teeth and calf rises while brushing the fronts. Then you get in at lease some exercise and also brush long enough.)
Take the stairs. Walk or bike ride that short distance instead of driving.
Use those multi-colored stars on the calendar for each day you’ve achieved your goal — exercise, diet, whatever it is. Gives you something, small as it may be, to look forward to.
Start walking outside to get fresh air, which translates into better mood. If rains, use treadmill. But walk fast, no sissy stuff.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~Buddha
You know that your health is important, and that daily exercise can cut your risk of disease while dramatically increasing your energy. But how do you fit a workout into your busy schedule?
Are you too tired after a hard day of work to take advantage of a gym membership, or is your budget not able to accommodate the monthly charges? Thankfully, it’s possible to stay fit without missing a beat of your busy lifestyle.
What, you think I’m just some dumb blogger who doesn’t know what she’s talking about? NOPE. Not around here, y’all – this is the real deal. Here’s ME, on the left and ME on the right. Yeah. Let THAT soak in for a minute. 😉
Wanna know how I did this? Click the photo to be taken to the book on Amazon.com!
Feeling overwhelmed with your own weight loss efforts (or lack thereof)? Don’t – because you don’t have to – I already did it for you and figured out the whole deal – so instead, check out my book Project Blissful in which I detail how I went from a very unhealthy and unhappy size 24 to a much happier and healthier size 6. – and just FYI – while the book costs less than $3, I promise there’s nothing in it that requires you to buy a bunch of stuff – but there is every single secret that I used and learned while I lost more than 100 pounds, as you can see in the photo here.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Who needs expensive, cumbersome exercise equipment or the daily commute to the gym, when you can get valuable, heart-pumping exercise almost anywhere?
Try these easy tips to get and stay fit around your home or workplace:
1. Take a walk. Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. You can incorporate more steps into your day by simply walking around the block during lunchtime or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Even if you exercise regularly at a gym, walking can supplement your routine for more energy and a leaner body.
Consider purchasing a pedometer that counts your steps. Wear it all day, and write down the number of steps you’ve taken at the end of the day. Each week, set a daily goal of steps and increase that goal each week. You’ll be surprised how your mind finds ways to get more steps into your daily routine.
2. Practice breathing exercises. As often as possible, focus on your breathing.
Learning to relax and slow down your breathing will do wonders for your physical and mental health. You’ll handle stress better and meet the challenges of your life with more effective responses when you learn to relax under pressure by focusing on your breathing.
You can focus on your breathing anywhere. When you’re stuck at a red light, use the time to relax, instead of getting frustrated at the delay. In between activities or duties at work, take a breathing break. And, when you start to feel stressed, take just a few seconds to breathe deeply and refocus on solutions.
Close your eyes (if you’re not driving, of course), and slowly inhale through your nose. Then exhale slowly through your mouth, pause, and repeat a few times. Place your hand on your stomach, covering your belly button. If you’re breathing correctly, your hand will slowly rise and fall.
3. Drink lots of water and eat nutritiously. Drink as much water as possible to keep your body well hydrated and functioning at peak efficiency. Think of the food you put into your body as fuel for your life, and choose to fuel your body with high-energy foods that keep you fit.
Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Fill your dinner plate with vegetables and a smaller portion of meat and carbohydrates. Eat fruits for an energy-producing alternative to candy bars or other sugary snacks.
4. Exercise intentionally for at least 10 minutes per day. You can exercise anywhere, without using special equipment. Examples of exercises you can do without a gym membership or expensive equipment are push-ups, skipping rope, stretches, and crunches. In as little as 10 minutes a day, you’ll notice a huge difference in how you look and feel.
5. Get plenty of rest. The amount of rest each person needs varies. The important thing is that you make it a priority to get to bed early enough that your body gets adequate rest. If you feel groggy every morning, consider going to bed earlier or finding a way to get in a short 15 to 30 minute power nap during the afternoon.
When you put these tips into practice, starting today, you’ll experience a greater sense of vitality and self-confidence. With these simple techniques, the only thing that stands between you and the new fit you is action!