Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Goal Bracelet

I'll admit it - I'm an emotional eater.  Having a rough day?  Let's stop at the store and pick-up a pack of Double Stuff Oreos!  Up in the middle of the night stressing out about something?  Where are the chips and pretzels?  Have something to celebrate?  Let's bake brownies!

I'm also a visual person.  There are signs and post-it notes all over my house, car and office to remind me of things that I need to do.  When there is a special event in my life I like to buy or keep a small object that I can look at to remind myself of that great moment.  I have inspirational quotes and Bible Verses posted in prime spots for me see daily.

When I saw Tara Costa, former Biggest Loser contestant, on Dr. Oz's show sporting her Goal Bracelet, I knew I had found a great tool to help me on my journey towards Pittsburgh's Half-Marathon and ultimately an overall healthier lifestyle. 

Tara Costa from Season 7 of The Biggest Loser
A Goal Bracelet is simple and inexpensive to make.  I bought a pack of beads at the craft store for $4.99.  The packet included beads with letters, spacer beads and the string.  The great thing about making your own Goal Bracelet is that it can say whatever you want.  My bracelet says "I <3 RUN PITTSBURGH" to keep my half-marathon goal fresh on my mind.  Your Goal Bracelet can have your goal weight on it, the name of a loved one that you are getting healthy for, the date of an event, a single inspiring word . . . whatever will remind you to make wise choices. 
My Goal Bracelet
A great suggestion that Tara shared on the show is to wear your Goal Bracelet on the wrist of your dominant hand.  That way any time you reach for something you see it.  When I'm reaching for or doing something unhealthy, I am reminded to make a healthier choice.  When I'm reaching for or doing something good, I am encouraged to keep going.

                           Not a wise choice Lisa!                                        You Go Girl!  Give me 5 more reps!
Eating has been one of my stress coping skills for so long that I often would be halfway through the bag of chips before my conscious brain would catch up and realize what I'm doing.  Over the past several years I've gotten a lot better at dealing with stress in a healthier way, but I still catch myself falling back into old habits.  Food is my comfort zone.  The Goal Bracelet has helped me catch myself when I'm ready to put my money into the vending machine or reach for the snack cupboard door late at night.
Another great benefit of the Goal Bracelet is that people ask me what my bracelet means.  This gives me an opportunity to share with them what I'm doing.  Hopefully, through our conversation, I can inspire someone else to think about their health and the choices they are making!
A quick side note: I do still enjoy a bowl of ice cream and other treats now and then, but I eat in moderation.  A single scoop instead of three.  One cookie instead of four.  I have learned that MODERATION is the key.  Depriving myself of a treat when I really want one only leads to eating way more than I would have or a very grouchy mommy!
Time for this goal-focused mom to lace up her running shoes for a five-mile training run.  If my kids ask you where I am, please tell them that "Mom Went Running!"  

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