A New Approach to Wellness & Weight Loss

New Year…New You? …Not so Fast!

If you are like millions of Americans, the past few weeks have been a mix of recovering from the merriment/madness of the holidays & contemplating change.

We all know the drill, January 1st rolls around & gets us thinking about what is and is not working in our lives. If only for a few days, making a commitment towards positive change seems like an obtainable goal.
For many, this positive change involves losing weight. Every January 1st, I leap onto the weight loss band wagon, only to be derailed at the first sight of cheese & wine.
So why is it so difficult to develop & maintain healthier habits? 

By now, the “how’ is no mystery. I’m no rocket scientist and I really really hate math, but I understand that my calories out have to be less than calories in. Nevertheless, study after study indicates that while many succeed in in losing some weight, the long term results are usually poor. Why is it so hard then to stick to a healthy eating plan and a reasonable exercise regime? I’m a mom, so I could give you a thousand reasons…stress, time, lack of planning, picky children, wine. If you are R.E.A.L. Tired Housewife, the reasons truly are endless.

So this year, I am taking a different approach to better health. It’s one that I actually know quite well but have never thought to apply to the areas of weight and wellness. (Talk about a light bulb moment!) It’s no secret that  I constantly sing the praises of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  I am so passionate about this approach to maintaining one’s mental health, that I use it as my primary strategy when working with clients of all ages.

Image result for quotes about changing yourself

So it stands to reason that if faulty thinking patterns contribute a host of mental health problems, it might also be the reason they remain unable to finally achieve the healthy lifestyle they  so desperately aspire to.

I would suspect that it is because knowing what to do & knowing how to get yourself to do it are entirely separate skills. Getting ourselves to create new habits depends largely on the silent conversation we have with ourselves: our thoughts. 

Since I would never ask a client to do something I would not be willing to do myself, the ideas that come next are going to be tested first and foremost on me. I’ll agree to be my own guinea pig.

Let me state for the record that I am not focusing on losing weight. I have wasted way too much of my precious life focusing on a number on a scale. No longer a slave to the scale, what matters to me most is how I feel on a daily basis. So the goal is: be a little less tired real housewife. 

  I’ll first work to identify destructive thoughts keeping me from  achieving my wellness goals. Once those are identified, I will develop strategies to actively challenge and change those thoughts into more helpful ones. I ask clients to do this all of the time and I am their accountability coach. You then, friends & readers, will be my accountability guide.

So what does this actually look like in real Mom Life?  I’ll create cards on a ring to record new, more helpful thoughts & keep these cards in a prominent place..i.e. kitchen, car, office, or any place where I tend to lose focus and motivation. If you have children, (that’s basically everywhere and anywhere). Think of it almost as a portable vision board of words!

Here are a few examples of thoughts I plan to tackle:

  • Old: I have tried eating healthier before and always fall back into my old patterns.

NEW: Changing my thoughts has led to great gains in mental health for me and this time I’m applying those techniques to wellness. 

  • Old: My family is full of picky eaters and they won’t be supportive of this new way of eating.

NEW: My family has supported my goals in the past and will be inspired when I succeed.

  • I will have to be much less social if I change my eating & drinking patterns, and being with friends is a huge part of my life that I am not willing to give up.

NEW: I can & will still go out with friends, but I can  plan what I will eat/drink in advance & not waiver from that. I will surround myself with people who have like-minded goals and bring out the best in me by supporting my positive changes.

Using note cards to keep it real & stay motivated..
I love this reminder that this journey is about progress not perfection.

 

As I say often, the goal is progress, not perfection. I know I won’t be perfect on this journey to wellness, but I promise to keep you posted on my progress and cheer you on if you too decide to make 2018 a year of change.

Personal Reflections from 2017: Twelve Months and 12 Lessons Learned.


 This week has marked the beginning of a new year. 2018 is upon us and 2017 has forever left us. Sort of. It’s not like any year is completely done and over. We take with us all the happenings, good or bad, into the current new year.

There’s always so much talk about how we want to make the incoming year better, brighter, bolder, bigger; How we want to make it our best year ever! That’s some serious pressure right there. All while poor 2017 gets the shrug and middle finger as we walk hurriedly away. But you know, every year is wrought with both good and bad, highs and lows – it’s all in our perspective on what we choose to take from it.

As I started to reflect back on my 2017 I felt a well of emotion come up. I realized I’m actually sad to see it go. Not that anything is really different from yesterday to today, but the ending of it, just like the beginning of this new year, felt like that – an ending. I decided that before I get caught up in planning all my goals, hopes, and plans for the new year I ought to pay homage to what this past year brought me through some reflection and gratitude.  As I started recounting the months I became more and more in awe of how much change, growth, and wonder has been packed into these past twelve. In fact each month seemed to carry with it something significant and worth exploring. So here goes…

January: Accepting Mommy Imperfection (the beginning)

This first month of the year started out with the bang of announcing my pregnancy with baby #3. As I shared this exciting news I more silently was experiencing the fear and panic of “how the hell am I going to do this?” Searching for and finding support from fellow moms in the “large family” clan gave me solace in knowing I was not alone in feeling crazy, scared, and insane most days. I realized if I was going to do this with any real enjoyment I was going to have to be real in accepting that it wasn’t going to be perfect or even appear that way. Life was about to get messy(er).

February: Forgiveness

Month number two carried with it the sadness of my grandfather dying. I didn’t know him well, which was the saddest part of all. The light cast through this gave me the awareness that it was time to reconnect with my own father. Time to forgive and time to forge a new connection beginning with forgiveness that was hard fought for nearly 10 years. I’m grateful for the ability to do this and for the growth in this relationship that took place over the next 10 months forward.

March: Starting Again

Following a reconnection with my dad via phone in February, March was highlighted by his first visit back. I decided to approach this new beginning with openness, limited expectation, and honesty. These are areas I have to continually hold myself to as I can easily fall back into the pit of hiding, disappointment, and bitterness. The change from a parent/child  to adult/adult relationship is an awkward one at best. I’m working on it.

April: Happy Mind Happy Home is Born

There is so much to be said for this month and what this blog has done for me. To put it succinctly, I never anticipated how much vulnerability, fear, relief, acceptance, and pride I’d gain from publicly exploring my daily struggles. I have found a sense of peace and acceptance with who I am through this honesty which at the start seemed so terrifying. I am beyond grateful for this unexpected journey and what it has brought me in such a short amount of time.

May: Divorce and Dating

I forgot to mention that my mom and my step dad of 20 years divorced in January. Yes, that also happened. And here into April my mom began dating… this was weird. And hard. And messy. I had never experienced my mom dating. I had no idea who this new man, whomever he came to be, was supposed to be to me? Was he going to be like a new step dad? That didn’t seem right. I’m an adult no longer in need of this, so that didn’t fit. And what about the family I had known for most of my life? This ending was hard to process. Comprehending the way forward was very very strange. From this I learned, whether an adult or a child, divorce sucks. But, life does go on.

June: Trust and Marriage

From what I recall June was a pretty quiet month. Not such a bad thing. What I can say for June is gratitude for my husband. It is the month for husbands that are fathers, after all.  I have mad appreciation for my husband and his commitment to growth for himself, our marriage, and our children. He never misses an opportunity to challenge me, which admittedly might piss me off in the moment, but somehow allows me to trust him even more. I would say this very notion – trust – has grown for me this past year. I don’t think I even realized I wasn’t trusting him fully – something I imagine he brought to my attention as well – but as I opened up more and stepped forward into this trust, I can say our relationship has deepened, arguments have lessened, and my love for him has certainly grown. I’ll take that.

July: Growing Older

My birthday month! I turned 35 this year. I’ve heard it said that as you approach 40 you begin to worry less about what others think of you. Well, whether I recall this saying correctly or not, I can say I’m finding it true for me. I am sure it is a mixture of many things that took place this year, but all things combined I do feel more comfortable in my own skin than I can recall feeling since the age of approximately 8 years old. I am less preoccupied with what other people think of me, which honestly was a strange feeling until I got used to it. Feeling this confidence felt foreign. I had to intentionally stay with this feeling instead of reverting back to the familiar. This is still a new thing for me, a growing thing. Writing truths like this certainly help, I must say. I don’t know if I would be feeling this newness without choosing to show myself to the outside world. It has been and continues to be a risk well worth taking.

August: Babies, Kindergarten, and More

August, oh August. What’s not to be said for August. Had baby #3, celebrated my oldest child’s 5th birthday, sent oldest child to kindergarten, and found out my sister was pregnant with her first baby. A lot packed into a few short weeks. This month started the tailspin that would become my life for the remainder of this year (and into the present new year). Life has been forever changed by increasing our household number to 5, learning how to be a parent of en elementary age student, and all while not letting my middle child fall through the cracks. Who are we kidding, she’d never allow that to happen. To say it’s been busy is an understatement and I’m still learning how to catch up.

September: School Days

September was marked by the ill fated awareness that elementary school is about a lot more than lunch boxes, backpacks, recess, and early dismal on random Fridays. It is about my kid growing up and facing the harsh reality of peer influence and peer rejection. Figuring out how to not freak out has been a test in itself. What I’ve learned is that just because I’m concerned doesn’t mean there’s something to be concerned about. Me being worried doesn’t imply something is wrong. Mostly I’ve learned that I need to monitor my own fears and trust that my children are not as fragile as I may think they are. Keeping my own anxiety in check in not a situation fully resolved, let’s be honest, but at least I’ve got some awareness. I’m sure this topic will need further exploring…

October: Busy Gets Busier

October marked the month of returning to work following baby #3. My busy life just turned it up a notch, or three. I’d say I’m still not used to the new normal of rushing from place to place but I have found that the more I attempt to resist it, the more tension I experience: from myself and everyone else. I have learned from this new busy that I need to make time when there is no time. I do not work well under constant go, go, go. Maybe for a few days or a week I can go with it, but soon after I crash hard. I don’t have the time to crash anymore so I figured I needed to try something else. I’ve had to cut out somethings, enjoyable things sometimes, just so I can have the energy and focus to keep going. Saying no to things I want to do has been tough, but I have found solace in something a friend of mine said, “This is just a season.” This season, for me,  means being busy doing a lot of mom things. I feel comforted knowing there will be other seasons to come and hopefully they’ll include more sleep!

November: A Thanksgiving to Remember

With November comes Thanksgiving and our party of 5 successfully traveling 4 hours by car to visit family. What I learned from this is I can manage this clan of mine under tight quarters and in confined spaces. It was an adventure for sure having all of us in one hotel room. Especially when my oldest had a coughing fit that turned into a mini panic attack at 2:00 in the morning. Good thing we’re well versed in sleepless nights. What I take from this episode is that I am capable of getting us from point A to point B in one piece. Some days.

December: I’ll Bring the Chips.

Now this brings me to December. Another busy month, as it is for most, taught me that in this current “season” of my life I can handle very little extra without the threat of a meltdown hanging over me. I realized that the many things I want to do may not be things I can do (gracefully at least). I realized it is better to simplify and enjoy my life than it is to reach beyond my limits in effort to impress. From this I realized no one really cares if you bring the store bought hummus or the homemade. All they really care about is that you showed up. And if they do care, well, who gives a shit. Remember, this whole year has been about being real and accepting imperfection. If we’re being real, it’s all pretty messy even on the good days. You just have to roll with it.

So there’s my year in a nutshell. If you made it this far into the post, congratulations! It was a long one. I’m excited to see what lessons 2018 bring but I’m still enjoying and processing all these from 2017. Let us not always be in a hurry to rush too far forward.

I wish you all the best in this new year. My hope is you reflect back on the year last and feel gratitude for the challenges as well as the pleasures. It is all good.

R.E.A.L. Housewives

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” – Charles Dickens

     

Good old Charles….He pretty much summed up motherhood while singlehandedly managing to write a classic tale of two cities.

I’ll be honest that lately mommin’ has just felt like the worst of times…I.e…Waking up with Shelf Elf Anxiety (It’s really a thing people!!!) & coming to grips with guilt over with my decision to honor the Bad Moms Christmas movie & not send Christmas cards this year (Sorry Mom… In advance.)

So when my BFF Shelly and I were invited to a Real Housewives Themed Bunco party, I was super stoked. This tired mama more than needed a night out!.

Full disclosure, I proudly claim The Real Housewives of Anywhere one of my most thrilling & yet equally embarrassing guilty pleasures.

The invite challenged us to embody either our favorite housewife or the housewife we most related to…

Which one? Which one? The possibilities were endless.

Luckily for me, there was a handy dandy quiz to help me find out.

  • Did I recently jet off to another state in search of a miniature pony? Um No.

     
     

  • Did I sell my 10 million dollar house, only to upsize to one with 15 bathrooms with a champagne bell conveniently located in the master closet? Not unless screaming at my husband from 3 rooms away to bring me a glass of wine counts? I’m guessing probably not.

 

  • Was my biggest stressor in life finding the perfect outfit to wear to my annual White party? (Nope again) I digress, but WHAT?

    Who in their right mind has a white party? Don’t people know how hard it is to get red wine stains out of clothing?? Strike 3.

After trudging through the extremely thoughtful yet super shallow & super depressing 5 questions, my results were in…..

Wait…WHAT?

UMNO!!!!!!!!

Turns out that the housewife I was most compatible with was not even on my radar, let alone one of my top 5 faves.

So when I called my sister from another mister to discuss my dismal quiz results & our equally dismal costume options, she had the perfect response…

“Do we really have to dress up? Can’t we just go as the real $%$^&&ing housewives we are? TIRED ONES!!!!REAL TIRED ONES!!!””

Yes!!! Yes!! I thought to myself. Instantly I felt a sense of relief (This is why Shelly is my ETERNAL ride or die-What would I do without her? )

Turns out, we didn’t even need a costume. We could just wear the yoga pants we’ve had on for 3 days straight.(Don’t be grossed out…We didn’t actually exercise in them.. WHO HAS TIME TO ACTUALLY EXERCISE?)

Part two of our costume could be our Tarje’ sweatshirts that sport our Coffee til Cocktails mantra. Truth be told, most days can’t we just skip straight to the cocktails???

So here’s to all of the REAL housewives out there!….R.E.A.L. tired ones. Not sure you qualify? Just take my handy dandy quiz!

Are you or have you ever been….

  • R….eady to shank anyone who messes with your kid?
  • E…specially irritable and easily annoyed (ALL the time by___(Anything & everything)?
  • A…lways broke from buying kid crap, sending your kid to summer camp, creating a wardrobe for your Elf on the Shelf? (Philosophical question: Does an Elf really NEED a motorcycle jacket?
  • L…ast but certainly not least…Literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown?

Well congrats …if you answered yes to even one of these questions…You are
a REAL HOUSEWIFE!!!

The quiz options are endless…

(R) running on empty?

(E) ating leftover goldfish randomly plucked from the center console of your mini-van or mid-sized S.U.V.?

(A)lways late!

(L)iking annoying people’s posts on FACEBOOK?…(YAY! I’m so freaking glad you just returned from a 2 week vaca in Greece whilst the most exciting place I ventured to this week was the Colleyville Post Office…ETERNAL EYE ROLL!

In a cruel twist of Charles Dickens like fate, after all of this costume planning & pondering, the long anticipated bunco party got canceled because …..

You guessed it….We were all too tired!!!!

Here’s to you REAL HOUSEWIVES everywhere!

Whether you are tossing tables, coordinating outfits for your hairless cats OR more likely, just trying to get through the day without killing someone who shares your D.N.A. , you will be ok. ..eventually anyway. It will all be ok-one of these days.

Just focus on getting through the next 10 minutes or do what my favorite author Glennon Melton Doyle says, ” Just do the next right thing.” Those 6 words have gotten me through many a mom-life crisis. Just do the next right REAL
thing. Thank you to all of the moms who help me remember that tired or not, we are all just “keeping it REAL!”

  

I AM THAT GIRL

GIRLS MATTER.

Girls receive over 3,000 messages a day telling them what they aren’t and I AM THAT GIRL exists to help them celebrate what they are.  I am that girl is a movement inspiring girls to love, express, and be exactly who they are.

My Girl…You have a beautiful heart and a beautiful mind. I love you! Mom

They have several local chapters of forward thinking girls & women on High School and College campuses. These chapters work to shift girl culture in America, by raising the standards for how girls treat themselves, each other, and the world.

When I spotted this noble venture on line, I was reminded that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is rooted in exploring and challenging negative core beliefs individuals have about ourselves,  others, and the world. This type of therapy teaches the skills necessary to overcome negative & destructive patterns of thinking.

Cognitive behavioral therapy also helps to identify which factors are playing a role in maintaining a negative body image and works to address each one by teaching the skills necessary to allow healing to occur.

Once the negative thoughts have been identified and evaluated for truthfulness, it is time to replace them with positive, productive thoughts that create a favorable outcome. this involves practice and dedication but has been demonstrated to be extremely effective in breaking the cycle of negative thinking.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” Maya Angelou

If you or someone you know suffers from body image problems, low self esteem, or body dysmorphic disorder, I would encourage you to contact a counselor in your area for guidance and support. Please take a minute today to visit I AM THAT GIRL.COM and take the pledge today!  I have done it…Now it’s your turn. http://www.iamthatgirl.com/

I, Angie Glancy, am that girl…

I have a brilliant heart and a beautiful mind. I am me, an amazing work in progress, and perfectly flawed. I promise to lift other girls up, have their backs, and make it safe for them to be exactly who they are. I’m on a mission to raise the standards for how we treat each other, how we treat ourselves, and how we treat the world. Every time I look in the mirror I’ll remind myself that I’m not alone, that my voice matters, and that I am enough.

 

https://instagram.com/iamthatgirl

Mommy Mind Make-Over…The Cognitive Triangle Explained

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”

This simple premise is the cornerstone of my work as a therapist.

I have found that the root of a client’s anxiety and/or depression is often directly related to his/her core beliefs about himself, others and the world around him. These beliefs, in combination with distorted thinking patterns, cause a great deal of emotional distress.

So it stands to reason that if we harness the power of our thoughts, we can directly influence our feelings & behaviors.  This idea is the backbone of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Quite simply: changing your thoughts can change your life!

Sound too good to be true?  It’s not. With a lot of introspection and a little homework, you will be well on your way to mastering your mind.

In my upcoming blog posts, I will shed light on the core principles of CBT. Today, however, we will begin to explore  the foundation upon which CBT is built.

The first step in understanding CBT is to understand that feelings, actions, and thoughts are always connected.

Image result for CBT triangle

Here is an example of this triangle in action:

Situation:  I have an upcoming blog post deadline & a mountain of laundry looming in the other room. If my thought is…I’ll NEVER get this blog post done in time, I immediately feel ANXIOUS. This feeling of dread might cause me to avoid doing either task & instead, binge watch 1,000 episodes of Odd Mom Out.  

My negative (all or nothing-always /never) thinking in this situation led to anxiety and avoidance…Not to mention some serious mind sucking t.v. time…which does little to help me conquer the Everest of Underwear in the other room.

With a small mommy mind makeover, I will rewind this scenario & hopefully end up with a more productive outcome.

Situation:  I have an upcoming blog post deadline & a mountain of laundry looming in the other room. If my thought is…This blog post deadline is looming & so is the laundry. I’ve been in this situation before & I managed to get it all done. If I stay relaxed, I will be more productive.  As a result, I feel less ANXIOUS and more hopeful.  This new feeling of calm helps me to work on each task a little at a time and eventually get both of the tasks done. …Which in turn allows time for a glass of wine &  2 episodes of Odd Mom Out. 

This mind makeover is obviously a win/win for booze, BRAVO & Borax! 

Image result for quote about thoughts

Your homework this week is simple:

1) Put on your big girl panties… (Hopefully they’re clean!)

2)  Put a lot of thought into situations that trigger you to feel anxious, overwhelmed, etc..&  jot them down. 

3) Stay tuned….In upcoming posts, we will explore how to label these thoughts and (if they are irrational), change them.

 

Happy Mommin’ –

Angie Glancy

 

 

Friendship: Comes in Different Shapes and Sizes.

Friendship. What is friendship, really? According to Merriam Webster, friendship is defined as:

One attached to another by affection or esteem; A favored companion.
There are many definitions actually but I liked this one. I’ve had friendship on the brain because, well, I think about friendship, often. In a longing way. A gratuitous way. A confused way. So, I’m finding these definitions helpful in shedding a little light on what friendship is, and what it isn’t.

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Connecting with Your Kids: Why They Need It & Why You Need It, Too.

Here I am again – It’s a Sunday morning (my kids favorite time of day to throw their wildest tantrums). So I’m trying to breathe deep and remember why I don’t want to scream and yell when they are well, screaming and yelling. All I want to do is have my coffee and eat some oatmeal. Is that really too much to ask? According to a toddler, yes it is. Much, much to much to ask.

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Control Freak Under Construction

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”- Steve Maraboli

Twas the 3 months before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring-namely my spouse. The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care & the tree was still boxed, in the attic somewhere.  My cherubs were nestled all snug in their beds, while holiday panic danced in my head…..(Doesn’t anyone realize that this whole house has to get decorated ASAP and in accordance with this year’s  holiday theme???)

I relay this Christmas rhyme (in May), not to demonstrate that I have lost my marbles, but to confess to you (and to myself) that I struggle with CONTROL ISSUES!!! I wish I could say that my control issues are “seasonal” or even “Christmas tree related”…they aren’t.

Turns out, my desire for control is a 365 day dilemma.

There….my secret is out. I am acknowledging my struggle…and acknowledgement is the first step toward change.

My second step led me to seek a solution. After all, I am in the business of solutions (sort of) & I can’t expect my clients to commit to meaningful life change, if I am not willing to walk that path myself.

So I started walking and walking toward change.. Walking is hard. Walking is really hard , and tiring, & it feels like I am walking in circles. Frankly, this path is crap & needs paving! .

Detours were ambiguously marked by anger, frustration, or anxiety.  Dead ends signs screamed TURN BACK NOW!!! THIS IS beyond YOUR control. 

So I set myself on cruise control & instead of wandering in circles, I found THE CIRCLE. I have explained it below in hopes it will pave the way for you too.

Is it in your circle? If the answer is no…LET IT GO!

As you chart your course fellow control freaks…please be kind yourself.  The journey is long & you are are not lost; You are “Under Construction”-Remember to conserve fuel by focusing only on what you have control over.  You’ll need more than your fair share of fuel for the twists & turns ahead.