Psychotherapist, Author, Speaker

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Robin D. Stone is a New York City based psychotherapist, coach and consultant who works to help you achieve your most optimal self. 

Posts tagged habits
Ready to Hit the Reset Button?
 

In late 2013, with a grueling semester in graduate school, three major deadlines, client sessions and rich holiday meals, I ended the year with 12 extra pounds, fatigue, dry mouth, a dry, flaky scalp and zits like I haven’t seen since I was 15. 

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What happened? The short answer: Too much to do with too little time. The longer one: in the face of late nights (and snacking), less exercise (and more sitting) and tunnel vision (less time with friends and family -- and with myself), I stopped taking my own advice. Then my treadmill -- my go-to source of exercise -- broke, and that threw everything out of whack.

I talk to clients about these issues all the time. But in the face of new stressors (demands on my time and attention) and a broken treadmill, I hadn’t asked myself kinds of questions that I ask clients, like, “Where exactly can you fit that workout in your jam-packed schedule?” And “How can you get more sleep and cut the late-night snacks?” And “What can you do to recharge?” 

As the new year started and I teetered at the edge of my wardrobe and could barely button my favorite jeans, I knew I needed to change course. I took a hard look at why I had stopped taking care of myself and explored what my life was missing: more water, more sleep, more regular workouts, more connections and balance. Then I hit “reset,” and one-by-one, began to include those missing elements. 

I know that when our primary foods -- relationships, spiritual grounding, exercise, work -- don't fulfill us, we often turn to the foods we eat for satisfaction. And stressors slow down our metabolism, making our bodies slower to process what we do eat.

I tossed out those old dieters’ delusions that I’d get quick results, and then I jumpstarted my plan:
 

  • 30 minutes walking/jogging three times a week (wake up a half hour early to get it in), and 15-20 minutes other exercise two times a week (crunches, squats jumping jacks, pushups)
  • 7-8 glasses of water daily (one just after waking up, one with each meal, one between each meal, and one at night)
  • 6-7 hours of sleep daily (and no late-night munchies)
  • Connections and fun: At least one “play date” with girlfriends or my son per week, and a real date with my honey 
  • More meditation and journaling


Three weeks in, I’m three pounds lighter, and with a little less around my middle, my clothes already fit better. I have more energy, my face and scalp are clearing up, and I don’t wake up feeling tired and parched. Of course, breaking old habits can be like turning around a big ship, so it will take time to get back up to speed on exercise, and I’m still working on the sleep (but no more snacks). But I’ve been patient, forgiving and encouraging. I'm giving myself 60 days to get back on track, and as a new semester starts and clients and commitments come in, I know I'll need to follow my own advice and stick to my plan.

My plan doesn’t look like yours. That’s why it’s important to consider what you need to reset in your own life. One Facebook friend shared that she was looking to get her “mojo” back. She asked friends to describe what mojo meant to them. She got 10 different answers from 10 people. She then defined what mojo meant to her, and has since inspired us with #Projectmojo postings as she works on hers. 

One thing I love about a new year: We can wipe the slate and start all over. As 2014 gets in gear and you strive to do this one better, happier, healthier, make a commitment to stop, reassess and reset. And then stick with it. If you need some help to start or keep it up, get it. If you stumble, get back up and keep going. My mojo is Momentum. And you've got to start to get it.

Are you ready to hit a hard reset? Let me know the first thing you’ll do differently, and why.

Be well,
Robin

 
Ready to Declare Your Independence?
 
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We’re now in the thick of summer, but the 4th of July is still on my mind. As we remember family reunions, picnics and barbecues, let’s consider the significance of the 4th – the national holiday celebrating this country’s adoption of The Declaration of Independence from the Empire of Great Britain.  Sometimes, especially since it’s been more than 200 years, we get so caught up in the celebrations that it’s easy to forget the meaning of the day.  Did freedom cross your mind when the fireworks lit the sky on the 4th? Did you celebrate that freedom?

I’d like to suggest a challenge for the rest of the summer – and beyond.

Let's make a personal declaration of independence – to be awake and aware enough to say:

I ______________________________, do solemnly declare:
I’m the one who determines my daily habits. I will take responsibility for seeing that I get the food and exercise that I deserve. I won’t blame my schedule or my mate or my kids or lack of knowledge for the choices I make.
I will pay closer attention to how I eat and what I eat, and how I treat my body. If it’s not good for me, I won’t do it.
I will be more aware of the people I let into my life. I’ll push haters, naysayers and negativity to the outer circle of the sphere that influences me.
I will explore what I believe about things – from the quality of my food and relationships to the work I do to the way I cultivate my spirituality. I’ll determine what works and what doesn’t.
I will celebrate my independence every day.

At its core, Freedom is the ability to choose. But as Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote, "Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility." As a health coach, I am here to help you choose a lifestyle that leads to your best health so that you can get the most out of life. I'm also here to hold you to your promise to yourself to do just that. The best way to start is to become more aware of your habits, to keep the ones that work for you and to toss those that don’t. 

So let’s declare our independence from manufacturers, marketers and agribusiness, from peer pressure and those who don’t have our interests at heart. Let’s be responsible, independent thinkers and choose options that lead to only the best of health. Now that’s a Freedom worth celebrating.

How will you exercise your Freedom?

Healthy eating,
Robin