Archive for fitness

What’s Holding You Back?

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do but you’re still sitting on the fence?  Are you feeling it’s either not the right time or impossible to accomplish? There are so many excuses..I mean reasons for procrastination. A big one I’ve been hearing lately is “I need to talk it over with my husband”. Ladies – if you really wanted to do something you believe is in your best interest like changing your diet, getting healthy and losing weight – you shouldn’t need to run it by your spouse. You should know that it’s important enough for you to do. And what is more important than your health and peace of mind? Don’t fall prey to this avoidance type thinking and take a stand for yourself.

When clients work with me they are often surprised how much I care for their overall success. I take a stand for them – even if they are unable to do so for themselves. That’s my job to help you believe even when you find it hard to. I’ve worked in my practice for over 20 years helping individuals say yes to their dreams and yes to themselves. I work on this very thing in my own life and often hire coaches of many types, usually business or professional coaches in particular, to help me be the best I can be in my work and then offer you the best I can on a daily basis. Always consider your goals and dreams worthwhile by making them and yourself a priority.

Here are Five Ways to Say YES to yourself NOW:

1.  Give up your “Someday Thinking”.  If you think too far into the future and think your magic day will arrive someday know that you are most likely fooling yourself. Most people, including you, often think they have more time than we actually do. You and most of us are so conditioned to put things off for another day. Life is too short. Have you ever heard this saying: “Procrastination causes sorrow – so I’ll stop tomorrow”. I just heard it today and it’s what in fact inspired to write on this topic. You see when it comes to creating a healthy body and life know that someday may never come.

The clothes in the back of your closet – the ones you want to fit into someday, or the stability ball that also sits in your closet collecting dust or the recumbent bike which becomes a clothes hanger – these are all representations of the “Someday Syndrome“ (as I call it) winning out. You can change your future by taking one small step today – by not only thinking about it but actually doing something about it.  For example: I put on my new gym clothes today – a gift my husband gave me last week for my Birthday. Just having them on inspired me to pull out my yoga mat and do a few poses for 20 minutes. It just takes a little to get started.

2. What’s Making YOU Afraid? If you aren’t taking action you must ask yourself what’s making you afraid to take action. Do you think you’ll fail, or you’ll be laughed at, or that you’ll overspend time, energy and money and not get the results you want? When you think of losing weight do you think mostly of all the lbs you want to lose or do you also think about the possibility of learning how to manage your emotions so you don’t give in to your emotional eating habit? Do you even consider getting to the root of your automatic habits? This takes time and gives you an opportunity to become more grounded and compassionate towards yourself. Changing unhealthy habits isn’t an overnight fix but a process. For some it’s 6 months for others it takes 6 years for even others it’s a lifetime. I encourage you to embrace this concept and give yourself the love and time you need.

3. Be Practical. I’m a big fan of making dreams come true but I’m also a big proponent of taking realistic and practical steps to get you where you want to go. I’m all about getting results and I pretty sure that’s what you want, too. Staying in a dream state unable to achieve your weight and wellness goals is not the best place to be. Sometimes I need to reinforce “the one day at a time” principle and sometimes it even converts to “one meal at a time”.  Don’t over plan, under achieve and end up falling off the wagon. Appreciate each victory. If you didn’t have desert and everyone else at your table did – acknowledge yourself for that. If you brought your lunch to work 3x/week last week – give yourself a pat on the back.  You ARE making significant inroads towards achieving a healthier life.

4. Go with Your Gut. You know eating right, de-stressing and taking your supplements is the right thing to do and yet you just don’t do it. You might want to ask yourself – do you have a history of not committing? If so consider when was the last time you actually committed to something. Did you commit to saving money for a trip you wanted to take? Did you commit to looking for a place to live that was just right for you? Did you commit to a relationship? Whatever it was – you did commit. Sometimes it’s not commitment at all but rather a matter of timing – are you in place in your life where you can focus on healthy eating and really taking good care of yourself? Sure I want you to be doing this all the time but yet it may not be realistic for you right now. Maybe you have kids at home still needing a lot of your time and energy, maybe it’s elderly parents or a project you’ve just started. Whatever it is be honest with yourself – is it or is it not the best time for you?  I believe that even when other things in your life are taking precedence it may very well be the best time to consider a weight loss or nutrition program.

So evaluate –do a Pro and Con list  if it helps you get clear.  But remember - if not now then when?

5. Make a Decision. Make it and then stick with it. Making a decision is the best and often the only way to move forward in your life. Stop putting the brakes on in your life and start taking action. Know that you will always learn a lot more by doing something than by doing nothing. Watch escape route tactics that distract you rather than propel you. Are you watching too much TV, comparing yourself to others, picking arguments, going to the mall too often – these are all ways to avoid taking the time to decide what’s important to you. Instead of watching your favorite sitcom this evening decide to give yourself some quiet time to get centered and think of what health goals you want to accomplish in the next 3 months. Do you want to get the sugar and starchy carbs out of your diet? Do you want to let go of the last 10 or 30 lbs from your life? Do you want to change your sleep habits and go to bed earlier?  Ask yourself these questions? By saying Yes to these questions you are saying a resounding YES to YOU!

Would you like to feel lighter, freer and happier?
Then say YES to yourself.

Habits to Ditch

It’s the New Year and it’s time to clean up your act –right? Well there are some habits you may not have thought were unhealthy or needed to be ditched. I reveal some of those shortly.

Back to the new year, It’s invigorating to think we have a whole year to create what we want. It’s our very own canvas waiting to be revealed to ourselves and maybe even the world. If you’re wondering what your year will look like heed the words of Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

I’m sure by now you’ve reviewed 2013 and devised a plan for 2014. Despite all the usual things like lose weight (my favorite cause I help so many with this one!), make more money, save more money, have better relationships, find your soul mate, etc.

Wanting to overhaul the not-so-healthy habits for healthy ones is always a smart idea not only at the start of a new year but, of course, always.

Here are 5 Healthy Habits to Incorporate This Year:

1.  Marathons. If you are running more than 30 miles a week you are creating more of a problem than a health benefit. Researchers have found that the tissue damage that repetitive endurance training causes raises the risk of heart damage and large artery stiffening let alone wear and tear on joints. Better to do a casual run or walk around the block than running a marathon this year. Doesn’t that sound more pleasurable and do-able?

2.   Snooze Button Essentials.  Opting for more rest rather than getting up earlier to catch the worm is the best. A Japanese study found that those who wake up before dawn have a higher risk of having medical problems. As you know I’ve been saying this for years - getting enough Vitamin S (Sleep) is so vital for weight loss, hormone balance and happier moods. If you can swing it try waking up naturally rather than with the disrupted, and sometimes startling sounds of an alarm. If that sounds impossible perhaps getting to bed earlier would help you get the best natural sleep cycle.

3.   Forget Having Dessert For Breakfast. Let’s face it most “breakfast” foods in the marketplace are just desserts – cereal, muffins, pancakes, yogurt parfaits, and even many smoothies.
You must get your day started with protein and some non-starchy carbohydrates like 2 eggs with tomatoes, or a combination of cottage cheese, plain yogurt and almonds. These types of choices have sufficient protein to balance blood sugar and reduce further cravings for refined carbohydrates throughout the day. Stop thinking sugar or refined grains will give you what you need to get your brain and body in gear in the morning – it will in fact have the opposite effect – brain fog, low energy anyone?

4.  Stop the Pour. Although an occasional glass of your favorite wine may be just the thing you’re looking for at the end of a long day – don’t plan to make it a nightly ritual. Studies show frequent indulgence of alcohol will have an effect on your brain function, hormonal balance and sleep patterns. Sound familiar? Sort of like what I just mentioned regarding sleep. Know that everything affects everything. Best to drink a nice soothing cup of tea to calm you down at the end of those challenging and full days.

5.  Become a Fat Head. I’m not referring to a big ego but rather the need to consume healthy dietary fat.  Don’t be afraid of having it in your diet. Good fat is essential for brain function – your brain is primarily water and fat. So being called a “Fat Head” is actually a compliment.  Have the avocado, coconut oil or butter, regular butter, nuts and seeds. Fats are pre-cursors to the production of all your hormones. Fats line every cell in your body. Avoid the bad fats – the ones that are combined with refined carbohydrates and sugars – these are the bad guys. Plan to have good fat in every meal.

Want More Meaning in Your Life?

I just listened to a TED talk where the speaker said the following: “we would rather chase meaning than avoid discomfort.” Is that true for you? Are you interested in having more meaning in your life?

This time of year always marks a time of re-evaluation of how far you’ve come this past year. Did you accomplish what you had hoped to? Did you get more done or did you fall short? Did you get off track? Out of control or worse yet – felt paralyzed and nothing much happened at all?

Like a wish list a yearly goals list can merely be a hoped for outcome. Whether it’s realistic or not – it sets you up and gives you a roadmap to hopefully follow for a 12 month period. Whatever occurred was most likely not exactly what was on your list. I’ve always said you know what kind of year you’re having usually by the time the last month of that year rolls around – it’s just too difficult to predict otherwise. Life happens – changes and course corrections are made and you move forward one day at a time.

I heard author Danielle la Porte in a recent interview use the term “Soul Goals” to categorize her goals. A soul goal is one that comes from a deeper place within you. It’s more about feeling good rather than checking things off your list based on the outside world’s view of what should be important and what success should look like.

I’m sure you, just like me, get caught in a cycle of trying to be something that isn’t quite you and isn’t quite right for you. Striving for goals that neither fill you up or give you what you need are rather meaningless in the end.  As I mentioned, this is time of year to re-evaluate what’s most important. Give yourself time this holiday season to go inside and truly be with yourself. 

When I look at my past year at what I’ve accomplished I am happy to say that one of my life-long dreams has, in fact, been fulfilled – completing my first book “Skinny Jeans Lifestyle”. There were many times over the last year I wasn’t sure if it would happen. I set up some unrealistic goals for my book’s completion especially when it came to the time available to write it. I thought since I’m a seasoned article writer surely a book would be a similar experience and take me very little time to complete. Wrong! It’s a very different thing altogether. It’s more like building a house versus painting a bedroom. It takes a lot longer, you need a lot more help getting it done and it requires many, many hours and days of review, rewrites and re-edits.

You, too may have some life-long goals or “soul goals” that may need some edits or rewrites as well. Whether you have relationships, career or healthy living goals – an ongoing assessment of them is always required. Once you embark on your goal know that you’re done until you’re done – especially when it comes to healthy eating, weight maintenance or exercise. Sometimes you just need to take a break and sit with your goal for awhile. For example – say you’ve been successful at losing 20 of the 40 lbs. you want to lose.  Getting comfortable at that weight for a period of time may be a good idea. For whatever reason you may not be able to fully focus on what’s needed like portion control, eliminating grains or sugar from your diet. For now staying at your 20lbs. loss is good enough.  The thing is you can always return to getting more results later on.  That’s what I did with my book – I wrote, I took a break, wrote some more forgave myself when other things took my focus away from writing. But I never gave up and nor should you.

Soon January will be here along with a mad race to lose weight and get into shape. I recommend you not view the beginning of the year as being the only time weight loss and healthy eating is important. It’s best to consider a long-term approach that may actually take a full year or two to fully cement into your life. By making a commitment to your well-being you will feel a deeper sense of accomplishment and meaning in your life as well.

Here are 5 Ways to Bring More Meaning into Your Life Today: 

1.  Ask Yourself First. When you begin your year-end review ask yourself what you learned this year. Think of all the challenges and successes you had in the last 365 days. Did you fall behind and feel like a failure because of it? Let go of any judgment you might have – just note what comes up. And ask yourself a 2nd question,  What do you think you missed out on this last year and how can you include it in next year?

2.   Three Goals Only. Don’t pile on a bunch of stuff into your projections for the New Year. Only three that’s it!  Impossible? Well just try it. If it helps pick 3 categories if that’s easier to do. You can try health, relationship and career categories to start.

3.   Feel Your Way Through it. Slowly check in to the “goals and/or categories of goals” you’ve written down so far. Close your eyes for each one of your goals and imagine it coming to be. How are you feeling? Do you feel light and joyful or full of dread and anxiety? Of course, how you feel will give you a good clue as to whether it’s a “soul goal” or a “should goal”. 

4.  Let Your Heart Sing. Your meaningful goal should make you feel light and make your heart sing. Yes, this can be possible. Does imagining looking great in your clothes make you happy? Does staying in your sweat pants all winter long make you feel happy? I know it’s not as simple as all that – is it? After all you may find that looking great in your clothes may cause some initial anxiety because you wonder how you can possibly make that happen. Well, stay with it – go beyond feeling the doubts and suspend reality a little bit more. Close your eyes again and envision yourself being at your best. At your best weight, level of health, or what have you. Somewhere in the recesses of your mind answers about the HOW will come to you. They really will!

5.  Practice Kindness. Always practice being kind towards yourself. Moving forward on your meaningful “soul goals” requires patience. Go ahead practice. Remember it’s not about getting the weight off and eating nutritiously until…It’s about making a commitment to your health for life. Take it one year at a time or one day at time. Maintaining good health and a weight you feel emotionally, physically and mentally comfortable with is not a race but a well-lit path you can certainly choose to take.

In these colder, darker days of winter it’s a perfect time to go inside and discover what’s right for you. What are the right goals for you, the right things you want to put your focus, energy and love into?

Are You on the Heavier Side of Light?

Every week I have clients come into my office who inspire me.  Often in our sessions amazing ideas come to me for article topics.  Last week one of my clients was claiming that her summer clothes were tighter this year.  Even though she had maintained most of her  initial weight loss from when we first started working together – she had gained 4 lbs in the last 4 months.  It may not seem like a lot, but because she’s tiny to begin with – it was enough to put her into another size – up.

So I ask – are you also on the Heavier Side of Light right now?  Almost sounds like a movie title – doesn’t it?  Like the Unbearable Lightness of Being, for example?  But what I’m asking here is have you lost weight and now some of it has crept back on?  You aren’t feeling that far behind the eight ball, but just enough to have your new smaller sized clothes feeling a little snug.

You must admit you are lighter than you were before – maybe by a lot or maybe just a little.  But you’d like to get back to the smaller size, but maybe you’ve lost the motivation to do just that.  Maybe you don’t want to feel like you have to deprive yourself of sandwiches or desert or that glass of wine at dinner.  Maybe you just don’t want to live that way and the extra 2-12 lbs (or whatever the number is for you) is not worth being upset about.

If you are at that cross roads in maintaining your healthy lifestyle – you may want to ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are willing to do what it takes or simply accept where you are right now. 

Here are your Questions:

Question #1  Do you Like your Body Today?  Perhaps you’ve reached a point where you actually approve and love your body just as it right now.  You realize you will never be perfect or look like a movie star and finally you’re actually OK about that.  You still like what you see in the mirror.  Most of your clothes fit you just fine.  It’s not like it was.  You did dispense with all your “big clothes” long ago or you had your favorites taken in – that’s always a good thing.  So stay proud of how far you have come and the progress you’ve made.  Think of all the things you continue to learn and admire about yourself today.

Question #2  Do you plan to yoyo?  If you feel like you just may end going up and down & up and down for the rest of your life, ask yourself if you’d like to live with these planned fluctuations?  I don’t really advise planning to yoyo – it’s hard on your body, mind and spirit.  Normal fluctuations are common due to water retention, menstrual cycles, or exercise levels.  Eating larger portions than you’re used to or having foods you don’t normally eat are all  part of the “fluctuation dance”.  Watch for  incrementally continuous rises in weight – stopping this pattern as soon as it starts is essential for helping stay in your healthy weight range.

Question #3  Does your new weight require less effort to maintain?  If your new “heavier side of light” weight requires less effort you may want to consider that this is your new normal and stick with it.  You may want to enjoy more of this or that and find that the cost benefit is worth it to you.  Just make sure you stick with your healthy food choices 80-85% of the time.  

Question #4  Are you trying to maintain some fantasy? If you’re trying to maintain an unrealistic weight – a weight you may have been when you were 16, but not at 40 or 50.  This unrealistic weight may become impossible to maintain and will only set you up for further frustration.  Your hormonal balance is so much different now than when you were a teenager.  You most likely got away with a lot when you were younger; but now these indiscretions count – both on the scale and in how you actually feel.  Whether you are getting into your Skinny Jeans or not, you must make sure your weight goal is attainable – long term.

Questions #5   Do you just want to have fun?  You want to forget about constant control – you just want to be free from the scale, calorie counting and “weighing in” – is that right? You just want to let loose and enjoy your life – don’t you – after all isn’t that what life is all about?

This can be a beneficial strategy for some, however for most people too much letting go and having fun may set you off in the wrong direction completely. You may end up several weeks or months later, after having caused more damage and feeling worse, having to start over from scratch.  Now who wants to do that?  You don’t want all weight that you’ve worked so hard to lose. Consider all the time, energy, and money you’ve spent to accomplish a healthier and leaner life and now it’s all gone. So go ahead and have a little fun and know that discipline is not such a bad thing when it comes to your overall sense of wellbeing, pride and respect for yourself.

Don’t Gain it Back

We have all seen many celebrities have problems with their weight – needing to stay in the greatest of shape and then just not being able to sustain it. Right before our eyes, on public display, they bare their souls about their struggles.  Many of us can identify and try as we might, this challenge becomes more and more daunting and difficult to conquer.

Here are five tips on how you can get it and keep it off.  Being able to wear your wardrobe easily – year after year. Let’s get you back into your Skinny Jeans and keep you there. Talk about true freedom!

Tip #1: Stay connected to the qualified professional who helped you lose the weight in the first place. It’s so important to have a strategy and surround yourself with the people who helped you become successful before. Let me be honest – it’s hard to sustain your good eating, exercise, and self care habits on your own. It just is!

We are constantly exposed to triggers in our environment that easily take us off track and distract us from taking care of ourselves. It’s important to have someone who can help you stay empowered, inspired, and successful for the long run.

Tip #2: Take things OFF your plate. This is especially true for you women reading or hearing this today. We women tend to overdo things and we feel virtuous and seemingly “guilt-free” by saying YES to everything and everyone. I encourage you to stop this habit as soon as possible. I have found the most successful people in my programs are those focused more on their wants and needs first, before focusing on what everyone else wants and needs – either in their personal or professional lives.

What happens is that when you are taking care of yourself, a miracle happens. Everyone else seems to be doing just fine and maybe even getting healthier as well. As you start to take better care of yourself, those close to you actually become inspired and start doing the same. Now there’s no guarantee this will happen; however, surprisingly, I see this happen a lot. So stop doing for everyone else, fixing everyone else’s problems, and start focusing on you. You owe it to yourself. Unless you are dealing with young children or elderly parents, everyone else can take care of themselves more than you think they can. Believe me, I see this happen everyday.

Tip #3: Make sure you reward yourself with things other than food or alcohol.  There are so many other, non-caloric, ways to give yourself a gift of appreciation for a job well done, or for something you’ve accomplished, a massage, a new scarf, a new belt, new piece of jewelry, going for a walk on the beach, a concert, a belly dancing class-why not?

I just started ballroom dancing myself, again (I tried it a couple of years ago). Even though I’d always taken dance classes most of my life, ballet, modern, jazz, and most recently hip-hop, which I loved (and didn’t think I would).  I thought I’d add some “new steps” to my repertoire. You know, learning a new activity is not only good for your waistline, but also for your mind and your confidence. So go ahead, give yourself a healthy reward. It’ll be satisfying in so many more ways than eating a bag of M&M’s.

Tip #4: Eat real, whole, and fresh foods as much as possible. They are loaded with the stuff you need and won’t leave you starving or feeling deprived because they are providing the nutrients you need to stay slim and healthy. I have never been a big fan of packaged, processed, or altered foods. There is not much to these bagged, boxed, and artificial foods, which I sometimes refer to as just “good tasting cardboard”, with the “good tasting” component being questionable of course.

The closer a food is to its natural state or as I always say, “closer to mother nature,” the better it is for you. You can’t derive much fuel for your mind and body from empty calories. Even if a whole food appears to have more calories like a sirloin steak, in comparison to a box of crackers you will always be further ahead with the real food versus the packaged one.

Consider staying away from packaged “diet foods” as eating these types of foods actually prevents you from learning how to cook healthy foods.  Often these pre-packaged foods are loaded with sodium and other additives. So think healthy, not necessarily quick fix.

Tip #5: Move. You need to move. There’s no getting around this. Find something that doesn’t feel like work but is loads of fun. As I just did with the ballroom dancing. Yes, that’s right – exercise can be fun (just like eating well can also be fun). Make a point of doing something everyday, even if just for 10 minutes.

You need to make this a habit. It’s good for your brain to help with stress reduction by taking a simple break in your day. Have things around that trigger you to move like the weights or pictures of you doing yoga. That is what I have on my Vision Board, which I get to look at every day. I also have a recumbent bike, free weights, ball and bands at home, and a beautiful neighborhood to take walks in if I choose to. Don’t just plan to go to the gym someday, take the first step and then stick with it. And also mix it up a bit. Don’t always do the same thing everyday. Try something new, so you can work different muscle groups and keep it interesting.

These are the tips that will keep you from heading down the same path that some famous people have gone down. Do these and you will always be in great shape-mind, body, and spirit!

Are You Afraid of Dieting?

You might be afraid of dieting – even the word scares most of us.  Why?  Because we feel we will fail.  You may not know this but 90% – 95% of Women’s Self Esteem is based on their body image.  Surprising?   Based on my nearly 20 years in practice I have seen, felt and heard the pain surrounding how we women feel about our bodies.  It can be heartbreaking and yet so real.  It affects everything in our lives.  We care too much or we don’t care enough.  I am not a big advocate for dieting, in general, because most diets are designed to fail and they do not take into account hormonal imbalance, improper sleep habits, stress and emotional eating patterns and physiological effects.  But most importantly they don’t take into account the crucial thing – one crucial thing - our thoughts.

Most of us want the Perfect Body.  So we decide to go on a diet and exercise. We essentially DO a Diet for a few weeks and then give up.  Do you want to know the Real Secret to Weight Loss?  You actually need to Become The Person who has a Perfect Body even before you have it otherwise your efforts will only be temporary…

You must change your thoughts in order to have what you want.  It’s really not the diet that counts, it’s who you have to be to follow the diet.  Millions look for the right diet and then focus on what they have to do rather than who they have to be.  Total new concept for most of us I know. A diet will not help you if you don’t change your thoughts.  That’s where the real work begins. It’s an inside job.

As I have been sharing with many of you lately “Your real work starts only after you lose your desired weight.”  Usually we can lose weight – the real miracle, however, is in keeping it off.  But even before the weight comes off you have to be ready to change on the inside.  When thinking of changing your eating, improving your health and deciding to “diet” you may want to ask some questions.

 6 Revealing Questions You can Ask Yourself before Embarking on a “Diet”:

1) Are you more committed to staying the same or to changing?  This is a tough one because you say you want to change – but do you really?  Are you willing to do what it takes – to stick to it no matter what?  Or will you be led astray the first time you are tempted with the chocolate cake or chips and salsa?  Sometimes it’s not the actual food but the addictive patterns that seem to develop after you take that first bite.

2) Does the pain of having more weight feel normal to you? I find sometimes we are very committed to our story – even though you say you don’t want to have the weight you presently have and feeling uncomfortable with the extra 10 + lbs.  After all what would you have to complain about or beat yourself up about?  I know this is perhaps harsh – these are the deeper questions you need to ask yourself. When you lose weight, as is often the case, you start seeing your life differently and the things that appeared “fine” may not be so fine and they require some changes to be made.  Yet when one thing changes, expect other parts of your life to change – and not too worry it could be for the better and hopefully it is for the better.

3) Are you ready to make a change in your life?  Change can be frightening.  We get so comfortable in our discomfort that we can’t imagine anything different and better.  We tolerate things when we needn’t tolerate them.  It’s a big decision to actually start eating healthy and not relying on whatever happens to be in the fridge, grocery store or drive-through. We go to dinner and feel we must have everything on our plate and oh we must have that divine bread in that heavenly basket which is calling our name.  Why would we want to give this up?  It’s entertainment, social and rewarding.  I can’t live without eating whatever I want you might say to yourself.  But what is the price?  When you stand in front of the mirror feeling hopeless when absolutely NOTHING fits you – are you ready to make a change then?

4) Are you letting distractions sabotage your efforts?  Everything else takes priority – after all who am I you might ask?  Tommy’s baseball game is more important than my silly diet – right?  This work project needs to get done – after all it’s my job and it’s more important than getting to the store and stocking my kitchen with healthy foods. Oh, I’m having guests over this week and they’ll want to go out to dinner every night – I’ll just eat what they eat and not make a fuss.  These are only a few examples of how sabotaging your efforts can de-rail you on an ongoing basis.  There will always be something that comes up – always.

5) Are you wanting to lose weight for you or for someone else?  Does someone in your life let you know they aren’t happy about your present body shape?  They may not come out and say it (although some blatantly do) but you may hear some subtle and even hurtful clues and comments.  The proverbial question (which never should be asked of a man – it’s just so unfair to ask them) “Do I look fat in this?”  Is this really your perception or the observer’s?  It is a no win set up question.  But if someone in your life is making you feel less than because you may have put on a few lbs, make sure that it’s something you want to do and not just people please.  That, again, is a no win situation. People pleasing will never get you what you want in life.

6) Are you unrealistic about your weight loss goals?  I sometimes have clients come in wanting to lose weight quickly or want to be at a healthy weight they were at when they were 19 and now they are 50.   If this is the case, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment.  Setting realistic and healthy goals is a must.  You should never be losing more than 1-3 lbs per week.  If you are it is mostly muscle mass which is very unhealthy.  Yes, certainly the first week you will lose more, and most of that is water weight, but after that stick to a slow and steady weight loss pace. And expect a plateau – that is a natural phenomenon and will easily be remedied by tweaking a few things either in your diet or in your exercise regimen.

7)  Are You 3 Feet From Gold?  This is really about quitting – quitting just before you arrive. Don’t quit – you may be just at the point when you are about to make progress, whether it’s a plateau or you’ve lost all the weight you wanted to.  Again, after the weight comes off the real work begins.  Make sure you have a good maintenance strategy in place.  This is the most vulnerable time after you’ve lost the weight.  You may think you are safe and invincible and start eating “the weight gaining foods” – lots of starches, sugars, etc.  Your portions sizes may start to increase.  Or you may start eating late at night.  These habits are so tricky – they seem to re-enter your life when you least expect them to. So prepare yourself and find a professional support system.

Most important – remember always Honor Your Body and Yourself and treat yourself like Gold.

Are You are 3 feet from your own Gold?  

Don’t Quit

Are You Ready to Rebuild Your Body?

Some question I’ve posed this week – right?  Well ever wonder if that could be possible – have a whole new body rather than the one you were born?  The one that you haven’t treated as well as you should or could have?  I’m sure the latter response is a much more possible reason.  But not to worry all is not lost – yet!

You can have the body you want by doing a few strategic things. Here are the tools to Re-Building Your Body:

#1 Believe You Can – I started this newsletter talking about my Vision Board.  If you don’t have a Vision you will not be successful.  You need to believe it’s possible before you ever start out on your journey of re-building and creating the body you desire.  If posting photos of ideal bodies around you works – then do it.  Or perhaps you may want to write about how you will feel, look and dress once you have the body you want. If you connect these various images and thoughts to an emotion, there’s a greater chance that you’ll reach your vision.  Sometimes it may be a matter of just accepting yourself just as you are before you leap to a new you.  Take some time to think about this visioning process – imagine and then take action.

#2 Exercise – I started dancing again and I love it!  I urge you to find something you like to do.  You cannot have optimal health or re-build your body if you don’t move period – it’s that simple. Sitting on the couch watching others exercise or play a sport is just not enough (you knew I’d say that right?).  Why not have some weights near the TV ready for you when you are watching your favorite sit-com.  Or how about investing in a stationary bike - a great way to get some exercise while being entertained at the same time. Time will go by so fast and before you know it you’ve put in 30-60 minutes.

#3 Well Chosen Foods – Portion control, balanced nutrient intake, regularity (both consuming and eliminating) all play a dramatic role in re-building your body. The three major nutrients are  Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats - you need them all.  And you need Vitamins and Minerals found in whole, real foods as well.  There is often some confusion when it comes to carbohydrates, they do not only consist of the starches which you may commonly associate with the word – like bread, pasta, french fries or doughnuts.  Of course these are the ones you want to minimize and possibly completely eliminate from your diet altogether.  There are 5 categories of carbohydrates: vegetables, fruits, nuts & seed, grains, and beans.  Choose mostly from the first two groups – vegetables and fruits.  They will give you the most bang for your buck. Choose carefully, wisely and healthfully.

#4 Get a Coach – you will not keep yourself accountable, unfortunately, all by yourself.  The most optimistic and brave goal setting is wrought with failure to perform and accomplish without the support of a qualified mentor.  How many times have you planned to get started, but you simply didn’t, and then ended up beating yourself up for not doing what you had your heart set on.  There are kinder, gentler and more productive ways of getting the goal or dream accomplished.  Open up to some expert guidance – you are worth it – aren’t you?  If you don’t feel you are, you will definitely benefit from this re-building tip.

# 5  Find a Friend – can be a furry one, too.  Our adorable furry four legged and feathered friends provide so much opportunity to put stress on hold and maybe eliminate it forever.  Rover helps reduce the negative effect of the stress hormone’s cortisol on our body and mind.  You end up feeling utterly relaxed, calm – pumping up the  Joy Factor something everyone can use a little more of – right?  So walk your dog, pet your cat, give your horse a carrot. It’s all good!

Time to Outsmart Your Genes?

Do you think you can have an impact on your genetic make-up?  I’m here to tell you that you can.  How your genes “express” or work is really up to you.  What you do and don’t do can have a direct link to how healthy genes operate in your body.  It’s kind of great to think you have that much control – right?  Or maybe not – it is a lot of responsibility for you and making the right lifestyle decisions do count.

I’ve written about Genetic Eating in several of my past newsletters.  It’s a way of eating that can directly impact your genes in a positive way.  How your body uses what you eat is what it’s all about.  If you are giving it junk, you end up with bad wiring and your body, or your mind for that matter, simply doesn’t work very well.  Recent scientific discoveries in genetic research show we have a lot more control over our genes than we think.  Can you outsmart them – no – and you probably don’t want to – but you can work in harmony with them as your partner in Healthy Living.

Here ‘s a brief science lesson – if you eat a high-carbohydrate meal, your insulin spikes and your blood sugar plummets, making you very hungry. This is the reason you crave more carbohydrates (including sugar) and tend to eat more all day long. If you eat a low glycemic load diet like the one used in the “Skinny Jeans Weight Loss Program” it will balance your blood sugar levels and keeps insulin levels in a healthy range. It also increases your good or HDL cholesterol and lowers your triglycerides levels in your blood as well – a very good thing. This type of “genetic eating” actually turns on the good genetic blueprint for healthy cholesterol and blood sugar balance.

So you can change your genes and subsequently “fit into your jeans”.  Diet is such a powerful change agent in this regard, more than you ever thought possible. Change your biochemistry and your genes will change as well.

But what you eat, how, when and where you eat is not the only thing that affects your genes.  Your thoughts, exercise, sleep and all your healthy lifestyle choices matter.

Here are 6 Keys You can do Today to Improve Your Genes:

Key #1  Go to Bed!  Didn’t you hate those words when you were growing up – I certainly did. Being the youngest in a family of 10 (7 siblings and 2 parents) – I always wanted to stay up late with my older siblings.  But now I know the wisdom of my parent’s words.  Sleep is essential for getting your healthy genes working well.  Sleep is an opportunity to not only rest but let your organs do there powerful work during night hours.  Even my cat Mitzi knows when to quit and call it a day, afternoon or evening…

cats

Key #2  Taste for Life.  Mindset absolutely matters in having a healthy genetic blueprint.  If you are negative all the time your biochemistry is affected in a damaging way.  Brain Studies show how negative thoughts can automatically cause depression, anxiety and affect breathing and other vital functions in the body.  Sometimes the depression comes first, of course, but lifestyle changes along with effective therapy can be most beneficial at not only improving this condition but also eliminating it.

Key#3  Spice It Up:  Eating healthy can sometimes be challenging – you are so used to having excitement in your life and often in our culture that includes your food, too. So why not spice it up using healing and flavorful herbs and spices?  Cinnamon has a profound benefit for blood sugar balance. Tumeric and Ginger aid in reducing inflammation in the body.  Cardamom and Basil have a calming effect on the body and mind.  Thyme contains anti-septic qualities.  Cayenne is known to aid in high blood pressure and heart health.  So many herbs and spices have incredible healing properties so use them and enjoy them.  And just remember your food’s main purpose is to nourish and fuel you not to entertain you.

Key#4  Add the missing ingredients:  Sometimes you need to add extra targeted nutrients to your health plan.  You may have a slight blood sugar issue – add chromium or cinnamon as I mentioned in key #3.  When suffering from tension headaches add additional Vitamin C to your supplement protocol it will help de-constrict your blood vessels and ease the tension.  We are seeing more and more of a need for additional Vitamin D - a vitamin so important for bone, immune and heart health. I also recommend certain anti-aging formulas which target certain genes and can in fact reverse some of the aging processes in the body.

Key#5  From the Garden of Life:  The more vitality a food has – meaning its coming to you almost directly from the garden – the more positive gene enhancing it will cause.  Eating fresh, whole and organic will essentially “turn up” your Vitality Gene.   Choosing food that is full of active and alive nutrients will give your body what it needs and in a form it knows what to do with.

Key#6  Stay Inspired:  Having hope and a positive outlook improves many functions in the body.  Science shows that brain waves are altered, heart beat is slowed down, nerve impulses lessen and “happy hormones” seem to kick in. You know those happy hormones or brain chemicals may have a calming effect by increasing your Seratonin or Gaba or an exciting effect with Dopamine being stimulated.  Either way there is a direct link to your mood and your chemistry and how your genes function in your body.

Remember, genetically speaking, you have an immense power to choose to be happy or sad, energetic or lethargic.  Lean or not you get to choose to make changes in your genetic blueprint if you want.

Want to Get Your Skinny On?

Is this really what it’s all about?  It’s seldom about what you are eating but more about what’s eating you.  Once you tackle and conquer this piece you will be well on your way to ultimate health, weight maintenance and happy days ahead.   Ok – I don’t want to convince you about life being perfect when you get here – to your ideal weight that is – it never is and never will be but you can get closer to feeling and being healthier if you get to the root of your hazardous eating habits.

I must admit – I am not perfect!  There I’ve said it – I struggle with sugar cravings maybe as much as you do. I am not as consistent with my exercise as I’d like to be. I sometimes do not get 6-9 servings of fruits and vegetables into to my diet on a daily basis.  I am not perfect nor do I want you to be either.  I do, however, want you to strive to make healthier choices – that is my mission – it’s my Skinny Jeans Mission.

Speaking of which – I have been on the hunt for the Most Flattering Skinny Jeans for my body. Just like you I Want to Get my Skinny On, too!  And since it’s my brand I NEED to Get my Skinny On (and keep it on)– and quickly before Bathing Suit season strikes.

I do not own a pair of Skinny Jeans and even though the Skinny Jeans Weight Loss Programs have never been about Skinny Jeans but rather about YOU fitting into YOUR Jeans - you know the ones you once wore when you were thinner. But let’s take it even a step further – this is not just about your Jeans but really it’s been about YOU Fitting into Your Life.  My program name just happened to coincide with the recent Skinny Jeans trend.

But back to my hunt for my perfect Skinny Jeans – it’s been a struggle.  The legs are too tight or the waist is too big – a dilemma – anyone else finding this to be true?

I have been told by women who want to lose 50 or more lbs that the thought of wearing a pair Skinny Jeans is a joke – something they can’t fathom or imagine putting on.  I will say this loudly and proudly Women over 50 lbs or over 50 years old can and should feel beautiful in their body and find a pair of jeans they feel comfortable in and look good in.

Here are the 5 Skinny Jean Truths to Consider:

Skinny Jean Truth #1 – Don’t Be afraid To Try them On:  As is everything in life – don’t be afraid to try something new.  Stretch a little (and make sure your Skinnies have stretch, too!).  You will never know until you jump in.  I realized this Truth during the past few weeks while embarking on my Skinny Jeans Treasure Hunt.  I really hadn’t been looking for these types of Jeans recently but now I was curious – how would I look in a pair? In my mind I had a vague memory of wearing Skinny Jeans before circa late 80’s, early 90’s. Remember them along with leggings?…who would have thought…Go ahead have fun with them.  The worst that can happen is they don’t fit.  Just like trying on a new habit – don’t be afraid to try it on for size.

Skinny Jean Truth #2 – Invite a Friend:  Playing with clothes is fun with a friend.  Whether you are doing retail therapy or finding new ways of putting existing things you already own together in your closet.  Also, doing a Healthy Eating Weight Loss Program is also better with a buddy.  If your spouse is supporting you by joining you – your efforts will be much more easily rewarded and results will soon be visible for both of you.  You won’t need to battle with someone bringing tempting foods into the house – you’ll both be on the same page with your plates.

Skinny Jean Truth #3  YOUR Jeans may be another’s Nightmare:  Do not compare yourself to anyone else.   This will make you crazy and very unhappy.  Someone will always have less weight to lose, be a much smaller size, able to eat more or eat things you can’t.  Or maybe they don’t even need to lose weight. It’s just that way – we are all different and I want you to respect your uniqueness.  Know that your timeline is different, your genes are different and your background and experience is different – honor it!

Skinny Jean Truth #4  All Jeans lead to Rome:  If you put one foot in front of the next – you will eventually get to where you want to go.  If you expect overnight success with your weight loss efforts or healthy eating regimen – you may be disappointed.  You must do what it takes and You MUST take one step, then the next – each step builds onto the next. And then before you know it – Voila – you are there!  You have lost the weight, you are now eating 5-9 fruits and vegetables per day and you’re going to the gym every other day.  The first sign you’ve arrived at this point is that you feel something’s missing if you don’t do this new lifestyle habit.  And who knows maybe you’ll be in Rome buying your New Jeans.  Well, maybe…

Skinny Jean Truth #5  Find a Transition Jean:  When losing weight – slowly but surely – don’t deprive yourself.  Please don’t think of eating healthfully with quality proteins, good fats and fruits and vegetables as deprivation.  This is the way you should eat for optimal health.  As is with your eating, stop the deprivation mindset and buy yourself a few new things – like a pair of jeans – as you start to lose weight.  For example: if you have 50 lbs to lose – buy a new pair at the 25 lbs weight loss mark.  I suggest treating yourself half way to your goal.

Ready to Feed Your Soul?

Do you ever wonder why things aren’t easier in your life?  Why you can’t just get the job done, have your kids do what you want them to, lose the weight you want to lose?

When it comes to losing weight and eating better you may think it’s about what you are eating but really it’s much more than that!  The real story is not only about what you’re eating but rather what’s eating you!  And that’s why finding out what Feeds Your Soul is vital if you want to have success.  You must commit to digging down deep if you want to figure it out.  It can be scary to look deeper on your own – you may end up just skimming the surface looking for superficial reasons why you are not getting what you want.  Getting to the bottom of what makes you tick takes courage, patience and love. Getting there is never easy and almost always requires some assistance. Arriving at a deeper understanding of yourself, your life and how it all fits together is necessary for change to take place in your life.

I encourage you not to wait until a disaster hits before making healthy changes.  As you know my husband suffered a stroke nearly a year ago.  He’s still healing from it and it’s been a long year. Had he paid attention to the signs and symptoms earlier he may not have had such a set back. Health and weight challenges that present themselves are a great opportunity to get clear about what needs correcting and what you truly need in order to feel fed, fulfilled and healthy.

So How Can You Feed Your Soul & Stay on Track:

Here are 5 Tips:

Tip #1 – Appreciate your Uniqueness:  You are a unique and beautiful individual and you do not need to be like anyone else.  Some may not appreciate your uniqueness and that’s Ok – really it’s OK.  Some will get you and some won’t.  You are not here to please everyone – that is an impossible and unnecessary task.  The most important person you need to please is YOU.  That may be a difficult thing to come to terms with, after all haven’t you spent most of your life being told you need to consider others before yourself.  Aren’t you suppose to get along with others and make others feel good and comfortable in order to be loved?  What you need to be is yourself 1st   and foremost.  Love is always available – especially if it’s coming from you.  Those who love, respect, admire and appreciate your uniqueness are to be cherished. Everyone else may or may not be part of your cheering squad – and again that’s OK!  It’s not your job to convert them.

Tip #2 – Know Your Limitations:  Reality Check – yes you are great but identifying your limitations is a good step towards achieving your most authentic goals.  Having the wisdom to know you can’t be everything you thought you once could is a step in the right direction.  Perhaps you’re not ready to give up on a lifelong dream, but I ask you here again to dig a little deeper.  Is your goal actually yours or someone else’s?  Sometimes your goal is so deeply ingrained that you may be unable to know where it actually came from. Is it really yours or your mother’s, friend’s or society’s?   Take some time to get clear and remember you can always course correct at anytime and at any age.  Try not to waste your time doing something you’re not good at. For more information about learning what your true strengths are check out the book “Now Discover Your Strengths” – it’s excellent.

Tip #3  Eat to your Heart’s Content:  Well, I’m not going to say you should eat whatever you want, whenever you want – no I won’t say that.  However I would like you to get used to the idea that eating healthfully does not mean depriving yourself.  There is a skewed perception in our culture about what deprivation really is.  Not having food or the ability to move your body (for example being in a wheel chair) now that’s deprivation.  You need to re-frame your concept and know that avoiding candy, french fries or bread placed in front of you while dining in Restaurant X is not deprivation. Saying no and feeling certain those foods will not feed your soul or your body requires discipline and boundary setting.

Tip #4   Feel Comfortable in Your Own Skin:   Do you feel comfortable in your body?  If not than you need to make some changes.  I have seen so many of my clients over the years in tears when speaking of their weight or health issues.  I’m not saying these challenges are simple to conquer but admitting you’re off track and that you are willing to take A STEP is often all it takes to get you started.  Hiding your head in the sand is not a way to live.  First admitting a change is needed, getting help and then learning how to take control is the route you want to take.

Tip #5   Early Morning Exercise:   Studies show that if you exercise early in the day you are more likely to continue the habit long term.  As you proceed with this new habit you’ll find yourself being encouraged and having more energy, better sleep and an ability to manage your weight.  If you wait until later in the day chances are you can easily find some more appealing (or not) distraction taking you off track.  All of a sudden your new exercise habit ends up last on your list To Do List for the day.  I’m not saying that if it’s impossible to exercise early in the day that you just blow it off – no – fit it in whenever and however you can.  Generally I am more of a late afternoon exerciser however, I feel when I do get into the early morning habit I tend to be more consistent and feel better about myself.  So fit it in you will good about it and good about yourself.