I’m about three weeks into my Personally Fit Nutrition Coaching, and last time I reported that I think of myself as an emotional eater. When I’m stressed, I go for sweets. And for me, it’s been a stressful summer….

Here are a couple of good strategies I’ve learned from Coach Chris. One helpful thing he suggested is that I “earn my carbs.” So making sure I get in a workout at Personally Fit, or swim at the Y, allows me to increase my carb allowance for that day. The other helpful part of this is the “not now, later” approach. So I defer the food I’m craving for as long as possible. Sometimes I push that craving into into the next day! I’m also exploring alternatives to high calorie treats.

There are fresh peaches everywhere right now and I’m really enjoying fresh peaches with ricotta cheese on 15-grain toast, drizzled with a tiny bit of honey. For many days, that is “enough” for  me to think I’ve had a treat. And no, it doesn’t always work, but each day that it does is a step in the right direction!

The other strategy that’s really working well for me is this idea: when I’m stressed, and when there’s way too much going on to think about what I’m eating, I retreat to a “simply basics” approach. Here’s what I mean. On my restricted calorie plan, I need about 70-90 grams of protein a day. That has to be a priority because without that much protein, I don’t lose weight. I also – like most of us – need to get in the right amount of water each day.

So on my most stressful days, I focus on just getting those two tasks done. I don’t worry about every single bite.  What that does is make my life simpler on very stressful days. Did I get enough protein? Did I get enough water? If so, then that has to count for a success in my book!

Right now, I’m consistently working out at PF twice a week, progressing to higher weights in strength training and adding more time on the bike. My current fitness intention is to increase my swimming time at the Y to two times per week.

And it’s great to have the support of Coach Chris. He listens to my challenges, and always has new suggestions. I also like that he thinks of me outside our scheduled time, so I might get a text or phone call, saying, “hey, did you think about this?”

I’m also mindful of remembering that what we’re working towards is strategies that can work for me even when my life is not on an even keel.

Next week, since as Coach Chris says, you can’t change what you don’t measure, I will begin reporting “numbers.” (Here’s another nice thing about nutrition coaching – Coach Chris says, “You don’t have to worry about the numbers. You follow the plan and I’ll worry about the numbers.” Isn’t that great?)