Week Twelve, Day One

I would venture to say very few of you naturally like to exercise but I know some of you do like it. This is written to those of you who struggle with getting their exercise in. That would include me.

I want to remind you again you only have so many Willpower Points available in the day. Stress, arguments, and unpleasant tasks all strip those points from you. Therefore, since exercise is so crucial to your health and well-being, you have to be very strategic about planning it.

If you wait and exercise in the evening, and you can get it in consistently, then that is fine. My husband is one of those disciplined types who can make himself do whatever he should, no matter how tired or stressed he is.

On the other hand, if you do not have this ability (moi!) and must have margins or excess energy/Willpower Points in order to exercise, you must schedule your exercise early in the day.

You have to know yourself and you have to protect yourself from you. I know I have to exercise before 2 PM or I realize, from past failure, that I won’t exercise that day.

I want you to think about this for yourself. If you have trouble with making yourself exercise, then you need to think about when you have the mental discipline to make yourself do it. Many people get up and get exercise over with, first thing. I did this for years when our kids were small. I would exercise before everyone woke up.

I want you to be intentional and the common person does not like to think about unpleasant things. But I want you to be different. You know you need to exercise. Actually you know exercise is nonnegotiable in order for you to be healthy.

If you’re still not exercising consistently, drag out your Ruby Journal and work on Lists 7 and 8 regarding exercise.

Many trainers say that clean eating is 80% of your fitness and exercise is 20%. Focus on your eating, but when you’re ready, figure out your exercise. It is imperative to exercise for health and wellness. But no one is coming on a white horse to make you do it.

Now, let’s revisit finding exercises you like or that you will do.

As a child, I loved to swim. I actually got certified as a lifeguard in high school. And after child #2, I swam laps at a YMCA to get back in shape. But now I don’t like getting wet. I don’t like getting the water on my hair (ha ha, it messes up my highlights). I just don’t enjoy swimming anymore. Just because you used to like something doesn’t mean you still like it. I’ve been trying to swim for the last year and finally I heard myself say, “Quit trying to make yourself swim. You don’t enjoy it.” Maybe you need to come to grips with letting go of a past way to exercise because now you don’t enjoy it, or it is no longer realistic. Find some exercise that you actually enjoy…or at least will do.

One reason I like the Ruby Journal is because it helps me collect good thoughts. I’ve told you before that sometimes I go back and read journals and I wouldn’t even believe I wrote it except that it is in my handwriting. So you have to collect your good thoughts about exercise because you will forget. This Ruby Journal will become a collection of all the thoughts you need to re-bathe your mind…so when you lose your way, you can get back on track. (Many of you resist filling out your Ruby Journals and I want you to know that you are only harming yourself by resisting this important task.)

If you will read the Genie’s teaching, read your lessons, be active in a group, and fill out your Ruby Journal, then being chubby is now over for you. That’s right, it’s over forever, even if you’re still not at your Goal A weight yet. Yes, you’re going to live the rest of your life in a thin body because you are training your mind how to think correctly about food, eating, and exercise. And how you think about food, eating, and exercise determines your weight forever. The only person who doesn’t get this mindset is the person who quits. And of course that’s not you because you’re a Champion. Champions don’t quit just because goals are hard or because they fail a few hundred times.

Champions keep working until they figure it out. 🙂 And you have to figure out exercise.

Week Twelve, Day Two
Handling “The Crummies and Bunk”

(The next two sections, from lessons in Wife School Online, were written before I wrote Skinny SchoolThese sections are about your heart and your mind. Our eating for self-soothing and entertainment is very intertwined with our thoughts, as you know, so I thought this lesson would be helpful. The Turquoise Journal mentioned below is the journal we use for Wife School, just FYI.)

You get up, have a quiet time, and feel okay. The day has now started.

Then, the Crummies begin to barge into your day. You know, that Bunk stuff that brings your spirit down. The trash didn’t get picked up, you’re on hold for 30 minutes to the garbage company, and they still can’t come get your garbage. You hardly ate a thing and gained two pounds. You are responsible for an event and no one else is pulling their weight. The girl who was supposed to come help you with a project said she doesn’t “feel well” and can’t make it so now it’s all on you. Your husband asked you to do “one of his jobs” in the marriage. The school called and little Johnny threw his pencil and hit Sally in the head. The Crummies have walked into your mind and you can feel the downward pull.

These aren’t sin areas, they are just the little things of everyday life. But this is the point where we have to choose if we are going to let those disappointing circumstances stay in our mind or we are going to boot them out and set our minds on other things. You don’t have a choice whether Bunk happens, but you have a choice whether you are going to ruminate about it. Discouragement only happens if you let disappointments get to you. Fight the thoughts of what is disappointing and what is missing by choosing to think about something positive and you will largely conquer discouragement.

Listen in on your thoughts. “I’ll never lose this weight.” “I’m always going to have to struggle with this child’s situation.” “No matter what I do, he (or she) doesn’t act right.” “The finances are always going to get me down.” “I don’t want to have to deal with this issue but it seems like it’s not going away.” Do you hear the permanence and the lack of faith in those sentences? Those are not Philippians 4:8 thoughts!

Those are Bunk thoughts. Those are the Crummies. Write those annoying sentences down in your Turquoise Journal and then (here’s the money), dispute them!! Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

You can learn to have a positive, encouraging, upbeat mind and heart. But you will have to learn to fight the Crummies and Bunk in your brain. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says,“…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Every thought is to be taken captive. They are not to run around like some undisciplined hooligans. This is where you win this battle against discouragement, by girding up the loins of your mind, and booting out those negative thoughts and replacing them with hopeful thoughts, thoughts of how you will figure this out because you “can do all things through Christ”. Write down proactive ideas. Pray like a madwoman. You do NOT have to stay in a ditch with the Crummies and Bunk running the show.

More On A Happy Heart

(From Wife School Online also:)

I know I pound this topic, but if you aren’t able to have a happy heart when you are through with Wife School Online, then I have failed. A happy heart is imperative in order to delight your husband.

Another aspect to learn in order to have a happy heart is that you must learn to frame things in the best light in your mind. This morning I texted a person to invite them to dinner. They texted back, “I’ll have to let you know later.” Just being honest between you and me, I was a little offended. (Hey, just because I’m the teacher doesn’t mean I have this stuff mastered!) I thought to myself, “Well, they want to keep their options open and see if something better comes up.” See how negative that was? I had no idea why this person needed to let me know later. Maybe they already had plans and super-want to be with me for dinner (ha ha) and they are going to see how they can rearrange their schedule so they can come.

Now that is Philippians 4:8 thinking, framing things in the best light. (The exception for this is if a woman is single and a guy sends messages to her like that. He is saying, “I’m Just Not That Into You” so she should take off and bat her eyes at someone else.)

To continue, you have one of two habits. One is that you tend to think the worst. Or two, you automatically reframe things for the best. Actually, either ditch can be a problem, but if you have to err, err on the side of reframing the situation for the best. I’m not encouraging you to live pie-in-the-sky with your eyes closed to reality. I am trying to tell you that you have so much control over your thoughts, and therefore, your subsequent emotions. Sometimes we have to face the truth of a bad situation, I agree. But there is facing the situation with hope…or despair. You can always choose the thoughts you let into your brain.

Viktor Frankl was in a concentration camp in Germany during World War II. Later, he wrote an excellent book called Man’s Search for Meaning. Even with the atrocities and horrors of Auschwitz, some people still chose to share their bread. Frankl wrote, “The last of human freedoms – is the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.” (If you are struggling with self-pity, just Google the images of the concentration camps at Auschwitz.  You will quickly blast out of your self-pity.)

Years ago I heard the phrase, “Bloom where you are planted”. When I heard that, I thought, “Impossible. No one could bloom here with the heaviness of what I have.” Friends, I was ridiculously wrong! We can be a sunrise in the lives of others, no matter where we are planted. At that time, I was eaten up with self-pity. I didn’t know how to “think” at that point in my life. I let “Mr. Disappointing Thing” rule the landscape of my mind, walking in whenever he wanted and staying as long as he decided. No longer! He has been booted to the alley.

It will be an amazing day when you take responsibility for having a happy heart, not blaming anyone else. The day when you decide to bloom where you are planted your life will change. This is not accomplished by looking at how others give to and love you, but by looking at how you give to and love others. God says that His grace is sufficient. I’m pretty sure that verse covers both you and me.

Just to be super clear here, I am not talking about true grief and sadness. Of course, those are normal human reactions to deep tragedy. But Friends! We get all wadded up over not being invited, not given enough attention, or by being overlooked when the high treatment was passed out! It is time to lay down our self-pity, dear Friend. It’s past time.

Week Twelve, Day Three
Planning for the Next Week

I rest on Sunday afternoons, don’t you? I also spend some time planning the next week. I hope this will become a Sunday afternoon tradition for you, too.

As I look over the week’s activities, I think about what events I need to emotionally prepare and pray for, what work I am to accomplish, who I am to love, as well as what food I should buy and prep.

Basically, just think hard about how you want to live the next seven days in all of your current Top Four Life Goal areas and then, write it all down. Plan it, then prepare for it. Make lists. Re-read your lists. Expect detours. Expect potholes. The unpleasant and unexpected will come, but be ready. Don’t let junk that happens to everyone get you off course…because you’re a Champion and Champions know that life includes hardship.

What can you cut out of your life that’s not productive? When will you spend more time in prayer? How can you love those that God has given you to love in a deeper, fresher way? How can you control your thoughts this week? How often are you going to read your Ruby Journal? Meet with your group? Track? Shop? Prep? Plan? Make appointments to exercise?

Just keep moving forward. Keep putting effort into your current Top Four Life Goals.

Take daily massive action on your goals, and if you do, you will wake up one day soon, and be a skinny flip of a thing (as well as make huge progress on your other current Top Four Life Goals!)

What do you want to weigh on your next birthday? Wow, what a birthday present that will be…if you can Ditch/ Plan/Wait until then.

Why would you not do this? Why would you not?

The Dark Box of Excuses

This week, I want you to think about the sentences Demanding Child is still using that throw you off your Skinny School program of Ditch/Plan/Wait. A common one is, “It’s the weekend, so I should let up a bit and get back on my strict program on Monday.” Or, “I work so hard and food is one of my only pleasures.” You have to listen in and hear the voice of your own Demanding Child. In your Ruby Journal, write down the sentences that are still haunting you and combat them with other sentences from your Sane Adult. Sentences such as, “In my sane moments, when I’m thinking clearly, I want to strictly stay on my SS program during the weekend. Loosening up doesn’t get me what I want.” And, “I see that I still haven’t figured out other substitutions for pleasure and self-soothing. I will work on that list today.”

When you write down your EXCUSES in your journal, it takes power away from them the next time your Demanding Child tries to use the same excuse. Even if you succumb to the same excuse again, you won’t bend to it after 1000 times. Eventually you will listen to Demanding Child’s plea, and then hear Sane Adult talk right back to her, and WIN. That is, if you keep bathing your mind and if you will do the work of writing in your Ruby Journal.

This is how Champions change bad habits: they work and work until they overcome obstacles. Don’t expect to change years of bad thinking habits overnight. You must do the work to override previous wrong thinking patterns. You must stay with it. Of course, it’s not easy. But perseverance is magical stuff.

Your obstacle is only one thing – you are still eating for “pleasure and self-soothing”, instead of for “nutrition and hunger”. That’s it. That’s your only problem. And if you keep working on it, you will overcome it. Ditch/Plan/Wait gets you what you really want.

And guess what else is a huge benefit from all of this? We are happier women when we act in alignment with our true goals, and the opposite is true in that The Crud Descends when we don’t.

Your whole diet-and-weight-thing is all about your thoughts. And you can change your thoughts. Are you writing in your Ruby Journal? Do you have a group that will help cement in the thoughts? (Just FYI, I have found that women who do NOT participate in a face-to-face group do NOT fill out their Ruby Journals to the same extent.)

Open up that dark box of EXCUSES and expose them to your Sane Adult.

Week Twelve, Day Four
Handling Wedding Weekends, Vacations, Funerals, and Other Hard Times to Plan

Of course, there will be times when you have to fudge a bit on Ditch/Plan/Wait. Of course, there are times when you simply are not in control of the schedule and food.

You have to have a strategy for those times. What most people do is throw the diet out the window because truly, that’s what Demanding Child wants and she sees this as an opportunity. You’ll hear her whisper things like, “I’m in a crisis/wedding/on vacation and there’s no way I can Plan so I will start again when this is over.” If you have your antennas up, you will hear her shenanigans.

So here is what you write in your Ruby Journal about what your Sane Adult is supposed to say (so you’ll have it when those times show up): “It is impossible to completely Plan right now. I am in a vulnerable spot. So I will adhere to two rules and they are these: One, choose the best food from what is available (still DITCH if possible and eat protein, nuts, veggies, good fats, etc.). And two, Wait until I am a three, if possible, and for sure, quit when I’m a five.

Even if your vacation/crisis is extended, if you will follow those two rules, you will be okay. The Crud won’t descend. The scale won’t ascend. You will actually stay on program.

Your excuses are simply your Demanding Child wanting to have her own way and go Hog Wild. Be super strict with yourself.

Just this week, I’ve heard excuses and excuses from women. When I hear them, I think, “Fine, but that’s why you’re chubby.” So, you decide. Only you. You hate it when other people make excuses, so be sure you don’t.

Navigating Parties

I was at a dinner party recently and an older, beautiful lady (who is not a SSO student) confided to me that she has health problems and because of them, she cannot eat after 3 pm every day (I did not ask the condition). But there she is, with a plate of food, and it is 7 p.m. I guess she could read my mind, and she whispered to me, “I always get a plate of food, though, and just push the food around, because I think it’s rude to go to someone’s house and not eat the food that’s offered.”

I love that, simply love that. She has a medical condition and can’t eat after 3 pm, but is so thoughtful of the hostesses that she attempts to not make a scene. This is beautiful thinking! This is thinking of others and still taking care of her health.

I don’t want you to get so focused on your eating that you make a scene about your food and offend others. I don’t want you to be known as “the woman who is obsessed about her eating”. I want you to be known as the woman who loves God and loves others. Eating healthy (Ditch/Plan/Wait) is about taking care of the car that drives around your soul. Skinny School is certainly not the most important thing in life, and it is easy to get unbalanced and become the “food police”. 

Don’t cheat, but also don’t make bold statements to hostesses like, “Wow, there is nothing here I can eat.” Just push your food around on your plate, and then go home and eat. Or if you are out-of-town, do the best you can and get back on the bus at the next feeding.

My husband has a medical condition and carbs make his conditions flare, so I actually am the food police with him. But before we go to a party, we discuss this, that “he won’t be able to eat there” so we make provisions for “before or after”. But we do it quietly, and try not to offend the hostesses. We want to be thoughtful and loving to the hostesses.

Parties are fun, and friends are wonderful. And the truth is, if you wait until you are a three and eat only until a five, you will lose weight. However, the real recurring problem is your Demanding Child that makes EXCUSES to go off the program so she can indulge herself. Demanding Child, who is always wanting to eat for self-soothing and entertainment, is always the only problem you will have. Parties are not that hard to navigate once you get the Skinny School mindset. 

So, wait until you are a three and quit when you are a five, push your food around so you are not rude, eat what you can, and then be a delightful guest, asking questions and being interested in others. THIS is what they will remember, your genuine interest in them! Don’t make your food and eating a “defining thing”. Make your defining thing that you love God and love others. Ditch/Plan/Wait is something you do because that’s the best way to fuel the temple God gave you. But we never lose sight of why we’re here on earth.


Week Twelve, Day Five
Self-Pity and Whining

David and I were out with some friends a few weeks ago and one of the women who was with us has a very severe auto immune disease. Her doctor had taken her off sugar and any kind of excess carbs, except vegetables. But there she was, eating the chocolate cake and crème brûlée. 

She has read my book, Skinny School, and as I said, she has had a doctor tell her not to eat that Trash Food. But there she was eating it. She said to me, “This is so harsh. This is so strict. I just don’t think I can do this.”

I try to be kind but after dealing with so many hundreds of women, it is difficult to continue to fingertip-drop everything. Therefore, I said to her (I know I should have been more patient so forgive me), “I can’t believe you have an auto immune disease and your health is at stake, yet you refuse to deny yourself temporary pleasure.”

When you hear yourself and your own self-pity say this kind of stuff, you have to have a strategy. This is when you have to remember the Mary Poppins phrase, “Enough is as good as a feast.” You get to eat delicious food. And you still get to enjoy the five trillion jillion pleasures on earth besides Trash Food.

Yes, I should’ve been a little more gentle and patient with her, but I wanted to scream, “Don’t tell me you want to be healthy and then insist on having your Trash Food!” Can you imagine a man who had an affair with the neighbor and then he said to his wife, “I want a faithful, loving marriage but I just love sex so much that I had to sleep with the neighbor.” How would that excuse work? 

We all know in life we have to give up some things to get other things. You cannot have an intimate marriage if you’re going to sleep around. And you can’t be healthy if you insist on continuing to eat Trash Food. It’s just one of those many things in life that you have to choose. If you choose to have six kids, then I think you need to give up trying to be the best Olympic champion in the world. You have to choose in life. Everyone is finite and there are only 24 hours in the day. Somehow people still want to have “both”. “Both” is such a deceiving principle sometimes. People want to enjoy both large quantities of Trash Food and also be thin and healthy. I want to scream, “That is insane. Insane. You have to choose!”

Choose. All of life is about choosing. What happens is that we just don’t think hard about these issues because Demanding Child really doesn’t want us to give up immediate pleasure. But what you’re really giving up when you choose Trash Food, is the pleasure of being disciplined, the pleasure of being thin, the pleasure of emotional freedom, and the pleasure of the increased likelihood of health. What you are really choosing when you chose Trash Food is for the Crud to Descend, depression, chubbiness, and despair. When you eat Trash Food, you are choosing to forego the pleasure of feeling fit, thin, and confident. We get confused so easily. That’s why you have to write powerful sentences that motivate you in your Ruby Journal all the time. It’s so easy to forget.

There is no reason you should ever be chubby again. No reason. All of your issues are common to man. You and I are not different from every other woman. The only thing still going on is that you have not trained your mind to think correctly about all these issues. Keep working on everything. Because you can retrain your mind. The Ruby Journal is the first place to begin.

Do you have a group? If you don’t and you keep failing, then maybe that should tell you something. People and support are very important ingredients in changing a mindset.

I want you to succeed and I can’t let you keep whining and having self-pity. Because that doesn’t allow you to succeed. There are just some very important things for mental health and one of them is to confront your self-pity. My life changed the day I confronted mine.

Finding Sentences That Work for You

I asked my brilliant friend, Kendall Tashie, one day at lunch how she kept so thin. She had many good things to say but the most fabulous thing she had to say was that she tells herself what Mary Poppins said, “Enough is as good as a feast.”

You’ll have to find the sentences that really work for you, but this one works for me. I cannot tell you how many times I hear my stinking little Demanding Child whisper sweetly in my own voice, “I’d like some more please”. The voice sounds like a sweet little girl in a pink ruffled dress with a big bow on her head. But the real picture is more like a three-headed dragon with fire coming out of his nostrils.

I have trained myself (and so can you) to say the sentence that Kendall says to herself, and that is “Enough is as good as a feast. I have tasted it and enjoyed it. But now, if I have more, it is not good for me. If I decide to have more, then I am getting into the negative attributes.Therefore, I will stop right in the middle of pleasure.”

What sentences work for you? You have to keep working on your sentences. Sentences can change your life.

Another sentence that works for me—and I don’t know if this would work for you—is that once I’ve had enough, eating more is gluttony. I think God allows me a modest portion and I’m to enjoy it robustly. But I know where that line is and if I indulge in more, it is getting into the zone of greed and gluttony. Greed and gluttony are horrible words. None of us want to think in terms of being greedy or gluttonous. Therefore maybe that can help you…that you do not want to be that kind of person.

I am not calling you greedy or gluttonous. I am only telling you that sentences like that work for me. I know where the line is for me and I don’t want my eating to move into greed and gluttony.

The whole point of those last few paragraphs was not to make you feel bad. It was to tell you that you have to find your own sentences that motivate you. I just shared two of mine.

Getting Off Sugar

Please remember that I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist, only a weight loss coach. As far as getting off sugar, I am only writing from personal experience and the experience of people in my groups. It is normal to feel like you have a minor case of the flu when you get off sugar. If your symptoms are worse though, please see a doctor!!

With that said, I had a conversation last night with a friend who is getting off sugar and here’s what I said to her:

“Usually the detox symptoms last 3 days to a week. But when it’s over, you feel like a million dollars.”

“Eat plenty of healthy food during this time. Eat a lot of salads, cooked vegetables, and drink a lot of soups. Stay hydrated. Don’t try to diet. Eat some nuts, drink herbal tea with Stevia, take soothing baths, sleep a lot, and again, stay hydrated. Try to have an apple if you feel crummy, as the sugar in the apple will ease your symptoms. Also, 1 or 2 T. of Smuckers All Natural Peanut Butter sometimes helps.”

Again, this advice is for people with “minor flu-like symptoms” when they get off sugar. Please seek medical advice if you have any stronger symptoms.

There are many sites on the internet that deal with detoxing. This is NOT my specialty and I do not like to give medical advice. But sugar is bad stuff and we have to quit putting so much of this poison in our bodies. But be careful with yourself when you get off sugar. Nevertheless, get rid of this harmful substance in your diet. You will never get rid of your cravings until you get rid of the excess sugar.

Questions for Group Discussion

  1. Do you like to exercise? If not, what kind of excuses do you make?
  2. Are you a happy person or do you struggle a lot with self-pity?
  3. Do you plan your entire week? When?
  4. What’s in your dark box of excuses?
  5. The next time you attend a wedding, go on a vacation, etc., what are you going to tell yourself?
  6. What are your thoughts about pushing some food around at a party?
  7. What are your best sentences that work for you in your Ruby Journal?