Episode 72: Super Simple Snoozing Strategies, Part I
In this first in our series on sound snoozing, learn about the weight loss - sleep connection as Renee outlines her three steps for getting you to get your z's. Plus, how to self-correct when your fast food meal delivers hidden calories, and lots of them.
Announcer: This program is brought to you by personallifemedia.com.
Renee Stephens: Welcome to "Inside Out Weight Loss." I'm your host Renee Stephens and together we're accessing and adjusting the control panel of your mind, body, spirit system. Bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey, and fullness to the rest of your life. A special welcome to new listeners to the show, we're delighted you found us. I encourage you to jump right in to today's episode and also to go back to the beginning starting at the prologue where I share the "Inside Out Weight Loss" and Renee method philosophy as well as why I care so darn much about ending the weight struggle.
You'll get many times more out of this program than you put in, but you must put in to get out. The way I see it if your weight loss journey isn't easy yet; you've got more work to do. "Inside Out Weight Loss" is here to help you. We've learned cutting edge behavior changing tools with a foundation of unconditional self acceptance to give you a whole new experience of weight loss. By the way there is a thriving listener run Yahoo! group dedicated to this show. You'll find links at my blog at personallifemedia.com/renee. Go there to support and be supported. An environment of positive encouragement.
Now let's go ahead and drop inside as I share a moment of bliss. Courtesy of blisstrips.com. "A golden sun rises above you. Feel the gentle streams of light flowing over your body slipping down over your head, your neck, and shoulders. Bathe in the luscious essence of pure relaxation. Allow that soothing sensation to soak into your thirsty skin. Feel the golden warmth penetrating your muscles, and even your bones. The peaceful light entering your body, comforting your mind, and encouraging your soul. Let this sense of peace permeate your entire being and imagine it flowing out into your day; a wonderful golden path upon which to walk."
This Bliss Trip reminds me of what it must feel like to be a cat sunning itself in a warm sunny window simply knowing that in this moment all is right with the world. From this place you're in an excellent place to set your intention for this episode, and perhaps even to revisit your intention for your weight loss journey. Notice that I say "journey" as oppose to "outcome" or "result." We live in a goal oriented culture, and sometimes we forget that life is about the journey as oppose to the goal. Goal setting is certainly a useful tool, it's very, very helpful. We also want to remember the process because the reality is that there's a whole lot more process than goal; than the moment of achieving the goal.
Because the process of "Inside Out Weight Loss," the process of your journey is both the journey of losing weight and the journey of maintaining your weight. Because they're the same thing. As I said in the last episode maintenance in the Renee method is pretty dull, not a lot changes. It's the same dedication to serving your highest good. It's the same desire to take great care of yourself that continues during and after your reach a particular number on the scale. You're still self correcting, just more, and more quickly and easily. The longer you've been following this program.
If you're a binger, the binges become less, and less frequent. Less, and less severe. In fact you become a really lousy binger. That's what happened to me. You lose your edge, I'm afraid to say. But it's not like one day it's there, and one day it's gone. It just peters out gently over time almost imperceptively until you look back and you say "oh yeah, I remember that! That used to be me."
All right and here's one for you. When you eat the same in front of other people as you do when you're alone. Now that has got to be self actualization, enlightenment, or something extremely advanced, I'm sure. All right I'll confess my table manners are a tad better when I am in the company of others than when I'm alone, however. But you get the idea. It's a general tendency we're looking for. I say as I think about the swigs I take from the sparkling water bottle straight from the fridge. Oops!
Oh yes we were talking about setting intent for the journey as well as the outcome. I was talking to a friend the other day, helping her walk through an investment decision she's making. I said "what about setting your intent for the process?" She said "oh yes, I know exactly what I want to purchase; I want this, I want this many units, and etc cetera, etc cetera." Then I said "yes and what about the process?" She said "oh yeah, I want that to be easy and enjoyable." I said "Absolutely, that sounds great!"
So take this opportunity to check back in with your intention for your journey as well as for today's episode. As you do that open your awareness and your heart to the presence of the fellow journeyers listening to this show. Even extend your love and support to those who perhaps are still struggling. Send them your compassion and then feel all of the support coming back to you magnified so many, many times over. It's a giant ponzi scheme except it's one that is infinitely renewable and works. Give a little support, give a little love and compassion, and get tons back in return.
I'd like to take a moment to share a client experience from a newish client of mine. She was travelling and ended up at a fast food restaurant treating her family members, her relatives to a meal. So she did what she thought was a good selection she chose a chicken sandwich and when she got home and got online she looked up the nutrition information and was distraught to learn that this particular chicken sandwich had well north of 700 calories which was far more than she had budgeted for her lunch time. Yikes!
She was so upset with herself as I'm sure we can all relate that knee jerk reaction of guilt and remorse, that internal dialogue "oh my god I've blown it! How long will it take me to climb out of this one?" Yet the journey doesn't require perfection it really doesn't matter that she ate that sandwich. In fact it's probably a really good thing that she did that especially early on in her journey. Why? Because it's an amazing learning opportunity. But you might think "well gosh, I've had lots of those in my life time. I'm choker block with learning opportunities. Heck they're a dime a dozen for me."
But actually there is a difference. That difference is simply the focus on the learning and letting go of the beating yourself up. The letting go of being pissed off. I know it's fun and it's familiar to really go at it with yourself sometimes. But really what is it that gets in the way of our learning? What gets in the way of our learning is guilt and self recrimination. That's why we go into that pattern where we do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. The block to the new results is the guilt and beating ourselves up.
So really all that's necessary to unleash our natural learning potential is self acceptance. Gosh it comes back to that old thing again. Funny how all roads seem to lead there, isn't it? Exercise motivation, end to binging, new behaviors, motivation, huh, very interesting. From that place of "OK I get to learn here" then we get to do our redo. By the way I have a really cool idea for the redo for you.
In fact I think I may do another whole episode on enhanced super-charged redos using an anchor. No, not the kind that you throw off a boat. If you want to know what an anchor is, I spent lots of time discussing it in the series that we just completed on more money, less weight. I hope you're practicing with your anchor, by the way and sharing your experiences on the blog
It's time to take a break now to support our sponsors. When we come back we dive head first into super simple snoozing strategies and all about sleep. This is Renee Stephens and you're listening to "Inside Out Weight Loss" on Personal Life Media.
Carrie Runnals: Hi this is Carrie with "Words to Mouth" an author interview talk show where readers meet authors beyond the printed page and win free books. Come join me each week as I speak with authors about their lives and the books they write. That's "Words to Mouth" at personallifemedia.com.
Renee: We're back now and it's time to talk about sleep. Delightful, restful, renewing sleep. I'd like to start by talking a little bit about what the heck sleep has to do with weight loss. At the very basic level certainly as I just mentioned sleep is a time of renewal, it's quality down time. As we talked about in previous episodes. As we also know many, many people, perhaps most people in Western culture don't get enough sleep. It's the first thing to get compromised when we're busy as most everybody seems to be these days.
In fact I recently read that drowsy drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers in many situations. So let's take a moment now to look at some of the research that's been done around the connection between sleep and weight. In fact there's a decent amount of research that has been carried out that passes my common sense test. I often look at these research studies and I think "well does that make common sense?" These studies really do because when I know what I'm like when I've been tired, when I've been sleep deprived I think "gosh I need a boost."
Often times we will mistake what is tiredness for sleepiness. In Spanish there are actually two separate words to talk about tiredness. "In other words I'm tired, I've been doing a lot, maybe my mind has been running a lot, I'm tired" versus "I'm sleepy." So in Spanish we have "estoy cansada" which means "I'm tired" and "tengo sueño" which means "I'm sleepy."
So in English we often get these two ideas confused and we know that when we are tired, often we're tired because we have low blood sugar, we need to eat. Sugar gives us a boost, caffeine gives us a boost, so we'll have that to have more energy. However if we are sleepy we'll look for a boost from sugar or caffeine, which are our most obvious sources, or simple carbohydrates. Even better all three together, what would that be like a sweet vanilla latte, something like that. To get us going.
The reality is that it's not that we need more sugar in our blood to feel revived, what we need is sleep to feel revived. So we're substituting the rush from sugar, from caffeine, from carbohydrates for the renewal of sleep. Unfortunately when we have these substances the carbohydrates, the caffeine, the sugar they give us the big boost of energy only leading up to a big crash later where we're worse off than we were before we started.
It's like I did in college, I would have- I'd be running on not enough sleep, I'd have for lunch an ice cream cone, and chocolate covered peanuts, that's how I got my protein, then by three o'clock in the afternoon I would absolutely crash so I had to go and get a candy bar! Of course being the health minded person that I was at the time I would always get one that had peanuts in it, again, to make sure that I got plenty of protein in my diet.
So the sleep studies, some of these research studies, demonstrate the same thing. In one study, in 2004, out of the University of Chicago male participants, they were in their 20's, I believe, were divided into groups. The subjects who slept only four hours a night for two nights had an 18% decrease in leptin, a hormone that tell the brain "there's no need for more food," and a 28% increase in Ghrelin a hormone that triggers hunger. I'm quoting from the study summary here, it says "the study volunteers all healthy young men reported a 24% increase in appetite with a surge in desire for sweets such as candy and cookies, salty foods such as chips and nuts, and starchy foods such as bread and pasta."
Yikes! Are we doing that to ourselves by cutting our sleep time down too much? Or by getting poor quality sleep which we'll be addressing shortly in this series. Here's another striking finding, again I'll be quoting from the summary of the study here, from the University of Chicago it says that "cutting back from the standard eight down to four hours of sleep each night produced striking changes in glucose tolerance and endocrine function. Changes that resembled the effects of advanced age or the early stages of diabetes after less than one week."
Yikes again! Obviously if you are already over weight and at risk for diabetes this is the last place you want to go. Make sure you get your Z's. So get the picture? Not enough sleep, poor quality sleep means that you crave more carbs, crave more salty and sweet foods, and you throw off your hormones and endocrine levels in such a way that you have the effects of advanced aging, yuck, and early stages of diabetes after less than a week, yuck! Double yuck!
But fear not, if you're sitting there saying "yes, but I have insomnia, I can't sleep. I take the time, but I can't get a good night's sleep, I don't sleep when I go to bed." You are in the right place at the right time, because of course I have tricks and techniques up my sleeve to get you soundly snoozing. Traditional approaches to insomnia, to poor quality sleep involve drugs. If you go to the doctor and you say "I'm not sleeping very well," the doctor will likely prescribe a sleep aid. These drugs are in fact extremely powerful drugs that we can not go off of cold turkey.
Most of them require a very medically advised slow and gradual weaning off period. I know a close friend of mine took Ambien for just a few nights while she was on vacation in Costa Rica, where there were a lot of animal noises and such. She was worried about not sleeping well because of the noise. So she took this drug for three, or four, maybe five days tops. Then stopped cold turkey. The next thing you know she's having psychotic episodes and imaging different forms coming into their bungalow at night, and things like that.
Because many of these drugs can have hallucinogenic or psychotic side effects if they're not taken appropriately. Point is that this is powerful stuff. I remember hearing a report on NPR a while ago talking about the method of action of one of these new generation of sleep aids. What it did was it caused you to forget it induced amnesia about the time during which you were falling asleep, or trying to get yourself to fall asleep. So it wasn't that you fell asleep sooner, it's that you forgot that you were awake!
I thought "wow, that's so clever, but not very restful or renewing." So what are other options that are offered? Well we have herbal supplements and I've taken some of these and they've worked well for me. Herbal pills that are sleep aids. I resort to those when I have jet lag, in fact. Many people have success taking Melatonin, which is a hormone that the body naturally releases when it's time to go to sleep to induce sleep and sometimes we have too little of it, or it gets out of whack when we have jet lag, for example.
Now what all of these remedies have in common, of course, is that they are pills. They are asking you to take something to help you sleep. Yet I've seen so little, in fact I've seen nothing, and maybe I haven't look very hard, but I personally have not seen anything on how to sleep. What the heck do we do to go to sleep? What's the technique, what are the steps? If we had to write the steps one through five on a piece of paper what would they be? Get in bed, and hope it happens? Hope the sandman magically comes into the room and bestows sleep upon us?
It turns out that, in fact, there are steps that we can take to fall asleep. There are things that we can do to sleep. Now that's a relief because it puts us back in control. I daresay that these are a little bit beyond counting sheep. But you know if it works, go for it.
Now it seems that we're out of time for today. But before we go I just want to mention that we will be addressing in this series a few things, three in fact. First prioritizing taking the time to get enough sleep. In other words it all comes back to putting yourself first, enlightened selfishness so that you make sure that you allow yourself enough time in your schedule to get enough sleep. We'll spend a little bit of time on that.
Next a big part of insomnia is often anxiety about not sleeping. In other words it becomes this self fulfilling cycle where we're not sleeping because we're worried about not sleeping. That can be a big problem that gets in the way of sleep. So we'll learn how to release that anxiety and relax about the whole thing especially when we get to part three which are techniques on how to go to sleep. In other words super simple snoozing strategies.
I will be looking for listener comments on sleep techniques that you use that work on the blog at personallifemedia.com/renee. That brings us to the end of our show today, thank you for being present. Did you know that iTunes will unsubscribe you to this podcast if you have three or more unlistened to episodes? Be sure you're aware of each and every episode that goes live by signing up at personallifemedia.com/signup where you'll get an email alert telling you when the latest episode is available to be sure that you get it.
Again that's personallifemedia.com/signup. Want to go deeper with your journey and accelerate your progress? Then consider the guided journeys, powerful experiences available for sale on my website. You'll find a link on the right hand column, guess where, at the blog personallifemedia.com/renee. This is your host Renee Stevens and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet enabling you to develop and share you abundant soul's gifts. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care.
Announcer: Find more great shows like this on personallifemedia.com