Archive of ‘2015’ category

Happy New Year!

We are so grateful for YOU! Being able to offer Peaceful Weight Loss is a dream for us. This work is helping so many and we are truly blessed that you are a part of it. If you have participated in Transformation, our online 9 month course, a BIG thank you! This community is growing stronger by the day and we are honored that you have all chosen this path to find a little more clarity and peace in your life. If you read our newsletters, have participated in our seminars, or simply observe our work from afar, we look forward to implementing new ways for us to stay connected so that we may all experience our fullest potential.

This year we will also be expanding the ways we can connect and serve our community. The first new offering is our free online event “Ending The Battle Within” January 12th. We look forward to offering more in the upcoming year including small group live sessions several times a month with Transformation and webinars for all. Let’s keep the conversation going about how we make peace with our bodies and food.no matter what that looks like for each of us.

Below is a 10 minute meditation for the new year. Enjoy a few moments of contemplation on how to best serve yourself in the months ahead…

May we all find clarity and intention this new year,
Brandt and Anna

Let’s Not Binge This New Years

Here it is! New years again. A time for reckless abandon where we swear we will do things differently in the coming year so that we can eat whatever we want now.

What a perfect recipe for low self esteem. Waking up onJanuary 1st and saying to ourselves “I should not have done that”. “I really shouldn’t have eaten like that”. I’m going to humbly suggest that we look at this new year’s differently.

Let’s ask ourselves a question. What do we really want out of the new year’s holiday? Do we want to celebrate with friends? With family? Do we want to feel less alone in the world? Do we want to feel more alive? Do we want to skip it this year and go to bed early?

All of these are really legitimate ideas. There is probably a way for you to move towards any of these goals. Make dinner plans – go to a candlelight yoga class – go to church or temple – take a hot tub – invite someone over and watch a movie – go to the movies by ourselves – take a hike – you get the idea.

What we don’t need to do to move towards our goal is binge eat. It doesn’t take us anywhere. It doesn’t solve our problems, or connect us to the world around us. Wherever we are this new year’s eve, let us allow it to be pleasant. Whether that’s going out all night because it’s fun, curling up with a movie because it’s relaxing, or anything in between. We can eat what want but let’s not do that eating as celebration leading to despair thing this year.

That’s my plan—join me!

As always comments and intentions are welcomed. Share on our facebook page, or email me back!

May we all be held and happy this new year’s and in the coming year.
Brandt

Anticipating Weight Loss After The Holiday Madness

As the holidays approach we often find ourselves in anticipation mode. We ponder the difficult terrain ahead: holiday parties, food based gifts, new year’s, with sugar, flour, and alcohol everywhere. We can’t even go to the grocery store without a free sample of that creamy, cheesy, sugary thing being thrown in our face (by our own hand). It’s a free for all!

Since the holiday landscape consists so much of this, we look ahead — right past the holidays to the  a world of healthy eating, weight loss, and a less difficult environment. It’s called “a new year’s resolution”. This anticipation would be fine except our minds tend to take this as an opportunity to store up for the impending fast. We become bears eating as much as possible before the long winter ahead. Sound familiar? The problem is that we are not bears. We aren’t going to starve for the next 3 months. We are going to gain a few pounds and then go back to the regularly scheduled program.

So what to do? How about really looking at the holidays instead of avoiding them? How about seeing where and how we can practice during the month and being ok if and when we can’t. How about moving out of anticipation, fear, and agitation and into a place of looking forward to those 1 or 2 or 3 meals that allow us to enjoy what this season has to offer. If we do this our mind is happy to pass on the crummy office cookies. We are in the present knowing that we will not miss out on anything with no pending doom. We can remember that the new year is simply an opportunity to continue our work of evolving ourselves into the person we wish to be.

May we all be present this holiday season.
Brandt

5 Reasons Not To Worry About What You Eat On Thanksgiving

pumpkin pie

Let’s keep it simple this year with 5 reasons not to worry about what you eat on Thanksgiving.

  1. It causes you stress and stress causes you to gain weight and eat more.
  2. The chances of worrying about what you eat changing your eating behaviors is minimal.
  3. Thanksgiving is not the reason anyone is overweight.
  4. It might actually be one of the few times this year that overeating is a reasonable thing to do. (you are not alone)
  5. Giving yourself permission to just be yourself and eat in a way that is pleasurable, might make your day easier.

This Thanksgiving cut yourself some slack. Try to be in the present and enjoy the day. On Friday, return to whatever part of your process you’re working on. And you may find you never left it in the first place.

May this Thanksgiving bring joy and peace.
Brandt

Weight Loss and The Frustration Mind: What’s The Point?

It’s not working!!!!

How often do we hear ourselves saying this. We get on that scale, or put on that old pair of pants and things are not better. We get frustrated, angry, sad, despondent or all of the above. Maybe we quit? Give up? What’s the point?

This last question is the only one that matters. What is the point? Are we trying to lose 30 pounds this week? Are we trying to eat as little as possible? What are we really trying to do here?

It’s important to regroup when we get frustrated. Numbers on the scale don’t always mean that we’re doing something wrong. Peaceful Weight Loss is the ongoing process of eating and LIVING in a way that brings us more mental contentment; shifting our body in beneficial ways.

We get frustrated when we are not losing weight even when we are not actually at a point where we are making changes that would facilitate weight loss. It’s important to recognize this and shift into a mental space where we are calm, centered, and most importantly clear.

This clarity often comes from practice. Asana with breath, yoga nidra, breathing, meditation. These practices are designed to shift us into a state that is more balanced. We can then ask ourselves “what is the point today?” What do we need to do this day that will bring us more peace and put us on a path to being less heavy?

If you are in our 9 month course then the answer will be to work on this month’s coursework. If you are dieting then find useful, pleasant ways to be on that diet. Let’s not let our frustration mind derail us from the contentment and joy that is available right now as we read this. Take a breath and find your practice.

May we all be happy,
Brandt

Yoga, Weight, and Pants

My pants feel tight and uncomfortable. Are my pants tight? Or is my mind tight?

It happens all the time. We look for something to wear because, well, we need to dress ourselves. And then, poof! A fine mood turns into a bad/sad/angry/disappointed/frustrated/annoyed/wistful/collapsed mental state. It’s a cycle that so many of us struggle with. Our mood being determined by a pair of pants seems like a lot of control to give to an inanimate object, don’t you think?

So how do we combat this unrelenting roller coaster ride of feeling bad about ourselves based on something as simple as what pair of pants or top we wear?

Practice. We practice. I practice. When we get on the mat and breathe and move, even if only for a short time, we are more likely to hold onto our power – our center. We shift our physical and mental state with movement so that even if our body is exactly the same, and our pants are exactly the same size, our “feeling” of “fatness” or “wrongness” is lessened when clothes enter the picture. Because so much of how we feel about our body is a head game. One we can win.

I’m not saying that we can imagine ourselves dropping weight and it will happen, but we definitely feel better when we do a little breath and movement. Consider yoga practice part of the formula for more peace and well-being from this perspective. Mental weight loss is a much better place to live then the helpless “clothes crisis” of a mental state. Not to mention that it’s also a much easier place to begin making small changes if that’s what you want to happen.

I certainly couldn’t have lost weight or attempt to lose weight in pants that make me feel bad about myself. Isn’t that what spandex is for? Start with your breath, and the rest will follow. Including your pants.

May we all feel cozy and comfy on and in our bodies.
Om Shanti,
Anna

Is My Practice Working? A Peaceful Weight Loss Perspective.

That’s a really good question—glad you asked. It’s probably the most important question we can ask ourselves in the Peaceful Weight Loss process. In the past, most of us have moved forward with “a program” whatever it was: a diet or an exercise system. At some point we hadn’t achieved our goals so we stopped. The real failure in this approach is the failure to ask ourselves the question is this working? The reason this might be a hard question to pose to ourselves is that we don’t have the metrics to assess if it’s true. What’s working? How would I know? How do I assess today, or this week, or this month if what I’m doing is a good idea?

In our approach we have some goals for our practice that aren’t directly tied to weight loss. Feeling more centered, calm, energized, clear, aware. These are some of the reasons we practice. We know our yoga practice is useful if it helps us experience these states more frequently. If we aren’t experiencing some shifts from our practice, we modify so that we do. A different yoga practice or switching/adding meditation, maybe a few days walking outside. We change our practice if it’s not working and then when it does we regularly check in to make sure it keeps working.

When our practice is going well in these ways, “working”, we can then make food choices that will move us toward the weight we need to be. In this, we are engaged in our own evolution. Always moving toward our goal of an ideal weight and a peaceful mind.

May we all find our practice today,
Brandt

Supplements For Weight Loss

Hi friends,

I thought I’d write something this month on supplements and their role in weight loss. As you may know, I don’t sell or recommend any supplements on our website or in workshops. This is for a few reasons.

1- Supplements don’t work in any way to change our habits or our relationship to food.

Some substances speed up metabolism. Some block fat absorption. Some make us feel a little less hungry. But none of them fundamentally help us with our main problem. Our relationship to food has been damaged and we need to heal that damage first if we are going to have long term success with our weight.

2- Supplements don’t usually have any science behind them.

If supplements work so well then why don’t the millions of people taking them lose weight? Ask yourself this question before buying. For most, the science is sketchy (at best). Even so, they still get promoted by doctors all of the time. Why?! Money. There is no supplement on the market today with solid scientific evidence behind it.

3- Any positive effect that supplements could have is mitigated by overeating.

In other words – any minor help we could get from supplements is cancelled out by overeating. When obese people drink green tea after meals, guess what happens? Nothing. When overeaters take Garcinia cambogia, guess what happens? Nothing. When someone suffering from bulimia takes green coffee extract, guess what happens? Nothing.

I say this because I want all of us to be reminded that there is a huge benefit to developing a practice that makes us happier, less stressed, and more energized. Not only will we meet our weight loss goals, but our day to day experience will improve dramatically.

We can’t get this in a pill. And if a pill does arrive that does all this, I will be the first in line.

Until then, may our practice bring us peace and stability.

Brandt

The Bathing Suit

Our mind’s obsession on the body. We are programed for it really. We are always evaluating ourselves and each other’s looks. It’s an evolutionary trait but it’s definitely annoying to put on a bathing suit and see every way in which we could look better. Our minds chide us for all of the dieting and working out that we didn’t do this year. Even if we did – it wasn’t enough. We don’t look the way we want to and it is not OK!!!!

 So what do we do with this mind who is telling us that we have failed yet again? Do we tell ourselves we are beautiful? We can but secretly we still know we are displeased. Do we ignore our mind altogether and grab a bucket of fries and hit the beach? That probably won’t make us feel better either.

This is a job for some serious gratitude. Gratitude for everything we have that is good. Maybe our body isn’t perfect but what does it do well? Maybe our body isn’t perfect but we have friends or family that we love. Maybe our body isn’t perfect but it’s better than it was before. Maybe our body isn’t perfect but we still get to enjoy being outside in the summer by the waves in this bathing suit. The list goes on.

The practice of gratitude is the antidote to the upset judgmental mind. You can take this on at any time by closing your eyes and saying I am grateful for [fill in the blank].

 This might feel odd because most of us spend a great deal of our time not being grateful. Tip the scales a bit and see what happens!

And a little yoga with breath wouldn’t hurt either :)

May we all be grateful right now today.

Blessings,
Brandt

 

Lessons From The Ashram

Every year I get the opportunity to teach at the Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham County, Virginia. As I sit in the airport to return home I’m amazed at how different I feel. It’s like my entire system has been reset to a more peaceful state. I’m particularly struck by how my food cravings have left me. I kinda feel just fine.​

Then the question I ask myself is what was different there from my everyday life? I was working so that was still happening – I had places to be at certain times – I had an amazing view, but truth be told, I live in a picturesque New England town on a river. I didn’t have the kids with me – but I felt this way before I had children.

So what’s the difference? It’s the regulation – it’s the schedule – and it’s the massive release of stress that happens when it’s crystal clear that you are in the right place at the right time. I think for most of us even when we are on track and doing what we are supposed to be doing we often have a sneaking suspicion we are missing something. So we check our messages “just in case” we might miss something. This constant state of high alert is exhausting and stressful.

What do we do when we are tired and stressed? You can answer this question for yourself. For most of us we try to get out of it with food. Which of course doesn’t work.

So when I get home I’m going to make sure that I am properly scheduled and then I’m going to enjoy the tiny minute areas of downtime in between all of those plans. I invite you to join me.

May we all find breath and peace today,
Brandt

 

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