WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

October 30, 2012

How We Feed Ourselves

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 5:12 pm

If America’s obesity trend continues at its current pace, all 50 states could have obesity rates above 44 percent by 2030, according to a new report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

A few days ago I stood in front of the Southern Region Education Board, an organization that supports the graduation of minority PhD students, mostly African American. In the last month, I had received a call from my “sister” Shari, one of four Black children I grew up with in Central Florida and called my second family. My Black “sister” Jackie had just died of obesity-related diabetes. Shari will die of it too if she continues to eat the way her mother, Christine, my other “mother,” fed us all. Christine died of obesity-related diabetes.

To an audience filled with some of the most brilliant minds in American I told this story, and begged them to reconsider their eating habits. Jackie had been only 61 when she slipped into a diabetic coma. “It’s criminal,” I said, “To lose anyone that young. I am standing in front of America’s brain trust. We cannot afford to lose you.”

It’s not just the minority community that suffers from obesity. It’s all of us. Many of us have gained and lost weight many times over. We lull ourselves into believing we can do it again and dig into that pizza while we watch the NFL or Survivor. We are in serious trouble. What we say to ourselves has everything to do with it.

If we are abusive to ourselves in the mirror, we’re likely to go bury our hurt in comfort food. I’ve done it. If we have a hurtful parent or spouse who constantly harangues us about our weight, we will fight back by eating even more. I’ve done it. We are mammals and we have our appetites. However, every seven years our bodies are completely remade- the cells, even our bones are newly remade. And we can fundamentally remake ourselves. I’ve done it. It starts with changing that internal conversation and speaking to ourselves as we are right now with respect, honor and regard. I know we can do this.

Most of us know perfectly well how to eat. We know about the food groups. We know to reach for that apple instead of the brownie. And life is full of mini choices all day long. We win some, lose others. When we miss something at ten, it doesn’t blow the day. Choose better next time. Change the internal conversation. It’s not about a magic pill or bariatric surgery. It’s about choices.

We need you out there, we need you coaching and mentoring your kids. As it is, our kids are getting diabetes and hypertension before they’re teenagers because they are obese. Change the conversation. They’ll do what you do. That’s how we turn this around.

October 22, 2012

How We Talk to Ourselves

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Julia Hubbel @ 9:41 am

Several weeks ago, my big brother took his life, at only 61. I hadn’t seen him in seven years, and had learned of him through his girlfriend on Facebook. She contacted me and I listened to her explain the circumstances while I sat in my car, stunned. How could a multi-talented, athletic, literary, motivated and capable man end up dead in a car, having given up on life altogether?

As I listened to her piece together the last years of my brother’s life I heard the thread. She quoted him as repeatedly saying that he was “only taking up space.” That he “couldn’t make her happy.” Other toxic comments, clearly taken out of what he was saying repeatedly to himself.

She had spent years trying to bolster him, and redirect his thinking. Unfortunately, my brother would pull events out of his childhood and angrily focus on them as reasons to be bitter, reasons he wasn’t happy or successful today. She would point out that each day was a day to recreate possibilities but he wasn’t open to such words.

My brother was subject to terrible mood swings, and had prescriptions he refused to take. As a result, he had alienated all but one or two of his lifelong friends. By the time he took his life, he had few left who were invested in his future, and he took this as proof that no one cared any more. This added greater toxicity to his internal conversation.

The truth is that he had, and made choices. Like all of us, he had pain in his life. He also had the choice to allow that pain to make him stronger, more compassionate, wiser. Instead, the WordFood he fed himself was bitter and self pitying.

I loved my brother and I am sorry that the world lost a talented man. But Peter talked himself into a selfish act that damaged a great many people.

It speaks to how powerful self talk can be, that we can persuade ourselves to take away the greatest single gift we have been given: the right to live, to be, to thrive, to make a difference.

As I wake up each day, I thank my big brother for the reminder of the sacred gift that we are all given, to speak to ourselves with the respect we deserve, to honor the journey we are on, to ask for help and guidance through the tough stuff which is inevitable and important, and to embrace each day with all its challenges with humor, dignity and courage.

October 11, 2012

Energy Enhancers: Magical WordFood

It seems that we call need a little boost once in a while, and that we can never get enough positive input from each other. The problem is that we are faced with so much negativity: bosses that are catching us doing something wrong. Parents that are criticizing us. A spouse finding this or that imperfection. Add this to how critical we already are of ourselves and boy, it can be tough getting out of bed in the morning. In a society that demands the best of us, every day, it  can be pretty defeating.

That’s why Energy Enhancers, my favorite form of WordFood, are so important. These are the compliments, the acknowledgements that we pay each other – and ourselves- every single day that keep us focused on what’s right. And there is a lot about what we do every day that is right, and good, and worthwhile.

It’s so important to begin with looking at ourselves and giving us the credit we deserve for the work we produce, for taking care of business, for caring for those we love, for doing our best. We know when we don’t. And we know when we fall short. There is no such thing as perfection. Sometimes a little pat on the back goes a long way. This isn’t about grandiosity, this is about taking credit for showing up, for being there, for caring.

The other habit is to offer compliments first. In a world where there isn’t enough acknowledgment going around, it starts with us. A kind word offered to a coworker about showing up early, or doing yeoman’s work on a project can go a long way towards making her day. A reminder to a child that you noticed he cleaned up his room means a lot. Telling a spouse how handsome he looks in that new shirt puts a glow on his face. Just noticing isn’t enough. Saying so out loud makes all the difference. When you’re willing to make someone’s day, it’s amazing how quickly this  comes back around to you in some form later on, from someone else.

WordFood Energy Enhancers leave others uplifted and energized. They make up for a rough start to the day. Long hours. Bullying at school. They can soothe hurts and take away insecure thoughts. Beginning with how we speak to ourselves in the mirror in the morning, Energy Enhancers can change the fundamental conversation with our spirit, and that flows out into the breakfast table and to work every day. The effect on those around us is stunning.

When you compliment others, you glow. You feel powerful, because you are affecting others’ state of mind. It is an incredible gift. In the WordFood Diet, if you do this 3-5 times every day, it will transform your world. Try it today and see if your mental and emotional states aren’t improved immediately. What goes around comes around!

October 2, 2012

Family WordFood

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 7:14 pm

A few hours ago I had a conversation with a friend who was beating herself up over a son who was having some challenges. This woman felt responsible for his life- although he is now thirty- and she continues to bail him out of constant problems from half a country away. She is angry at herself  because she can’t save him, because he’s a troubled person, because of a laundry list of crimes she imagines.

This internal dialogue has cost her a great deal. She has put on fifty pounds. Once a svelte size 8, she now is a size 16-18. She berates what she sees in the mirror. She has a gym membership she never uses. She has a husband who cooks food that adds to the problem. Her ex-husband and daughter rail at her for her commitment to the troubled son.

What I saw was someone who was drawing a set of circumstances to her to provide a wonderful opportunity to grow. To set boundaries. To make some powerful choices about life and love and food and family and bad habits. In her early sixties, this woman has plenty of time to make some fundamental, important changes, changes that will take time and patience, starting with how she addresses herself in the mirror every morning. Because it isn’t about the son or the family or the food or the body, it is about her relationship with herself, and how she chooses to live out her last thirty years- in slavery to the habits of a lifetime, or learning to live life for herself.

Her son needs help, but not from her. The dynamics are toxic. He can get professional help where he is. She is going to start walking. And go back to the gym. Swtich from heavy carbs to more salads. One small step at a time. But it all starts with the respect offered to the image in the mirror. A boundary set with the part that wants to criticize the image.

Family isn’t perfect. Boundaries are important. Set with loving WordFood they can save a life, put us back on track to self respect and peace.

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