Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Running just because...

Last year I started running with some friend; friends who had participated in 1/2 marathons and marathons and others who had been running for what seemed like for ever.  I was intimidated and had they not pushed me and filled me with some much needed confidence, I would have given up before getting started.

I ran in my High School Track Team, I ran when I was in the Marines, and then I gave up running and started teaching fitness instead, using every possible excuse to NOT run.

In all honesty, I started running again after being in Guantanamo Bay and realizing that there were some things I needed to do differently, something about a bucket list I needed to begin checking off.  So I joined my friends and started running with them.  They were kind enough to run my pace and walk as needed; in return I pushed harder each time to avoid those stops or slow runs.

Together we ran what would be my first 1/2 Marathon.  The GTMO Girls 1/2, we called it.  It was amazing and I was addicted.  I continued running smaller races, 5Ks, 10Ks, 2 miles with the dog, a mile with my kids, etc.  I didn't have a reason to run, I ran just because.

My last hurdle in running was to run alone.  I really didn't like the idea.  I love to talk and having someone by my side to push me when I feel like giving up is a huge plus.  I love bonding with my friends as we run and share stories, ideas, and plans for the future of our children.  Recently, however, I realized I needed to go for a run, partly to train for the Marines Rockin' the Fence Line 1/2 Marathon and partly to prove to myself that I could run alone and that I would love it.

First run took me over some steep hills.  My Lab, Honey, and I ran 2 miles.  Second run, again with Honey 3 miles.  The feeling was definitely good.  I felt a sense of accomplishments but still did not feel like I jumped over the biggest hurdle.  After all, three miles is not really far and having ran 13.2 miles, three miles seems more like a warm up.

This past week Honey and I started running at 7 am and ended at 8 am.  I ran up some hills, by the waterfront, through some housing areas and as I ran I realized two things: First, I was pretty far from home and still needed to get back; Second, I felt great.  We made a few short stops through the neighborhoods to let Honey drink some water and cool off, but other than that we ran for an hour straight.

Me running, just because.... it was energizing, revitalizing, comforting.  It was a way for me to connect with me and the road.  I didn't have to talk to anyone, except honey, and I was able to just focus on how I felt and on living in the moment.

I never thought I'd be able to run anything more than a 5k.  I thank my friends, most of all, for believing in me more than I believed in myself. I'm excited for the next run, despite how I might feel in the hours leading up to it, in the end I feel happy and that, to me, is what it's all about!

Go for a run, walk if you need to but don't stop moving.

Stay well!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Getting rid of the fat deposits: Spot Reduction

I truly believe that most women and some men wish they could use one product or do one thing that would help them burn off the fat in one particular area of the body.

I know I do.

If I could do one thing to really tighten my core like it was back in my 20's, believe me I would do it and I would share it.  It would be a miracle.

Many of the people I train ask, "can you help me get rid of this?" as they grab their muffin top or saddlebags.  I say, "no I can't, sorry, however, I'm sure a little plastic surgery can take care of that."  Ha ha, real funny, no really can you?

OK, well actually I can help you better understand how your body works so that you can exercise and eat to lose weight, all over.  Spot reducing really only works with plastic surgery, nothing else will reduce just that one spot on your body.

I have done some research, for my own general knowledge of course, and found that wrapping myself up in a steam bag was a crazy way to lose weight because you really only lose water; that taking pills is pointless if you don't change how you eat; that walking 20 minutes a day IS a good way to START a program NOT a very efficient way to lose weight and keep it off; that if you don't change your eating habits any results you achieve on a diet WILL be temporary.

The key to being at a healthy weight and feeling energized is not in a bottle or in a temporary diet or in a "miracle" fitness machine (As Seen on TV).  It is really simple to reach your health and fitness goals:

Eat less junk food/empty calories;
Eat more fruits, vegetables, fiber, lean protein, and water;
Exercise more often always increasing either duration or resistance or both.

This seems so simple, so easy to follow... then why are we in such a battle with food?

I know for many people, controlling what they eat is half the battle.  Sometimes peer pressure has more to do with food consumption then anything else.  But most times it has to do with what you're eating.  If you eat foods that have a low nutritional value then you will be hungry all the time because you are not feeding your body what it needs. If you don't eat regularly throughout the day your blood sugar levels drop, you feel fatigued, tired and you will eventually eat the box your meal came in.  If you drink too much sugary drinks, eat fried foods, and choose to sit instead of exercising... well, you can guess the results of this action.

You HAVE to engage in cardiovascular activities such as swimming, running, biking, kayaking, speed walking, SPINNING, Zumba(r), Step Aerobics, or any other form of activity that raises your heart rate and keeps it elevated for at least 20-30 minutes.  You pick the activity and wear a heart rate monitor if you wish to see your numbers.

You HAVE to do resistance training or weight training. Don't worry girls, you CAN'T ever look like a man by working with weights.  You truly don't have what it takes to get muscles like that.  But you do want to occupy the space under your skin with LEAN muscle mass instead of fat, so, grab those weights and work the muscles until they are fatigued, then eat to fuel your body with the nutrition it will require to help you recover.

Forget about trying to go the easy way.  Those miracle diets, pills and machines don't work unless that's all you want to do for the rest of your life.  You don't have to give up the food you like to eat, you just have to eat in moderation and exercise to burn off the excess.

Ask me anything? Stay motivated!

Stay Well!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Water - how much should you drink

For ... EVER, I have heard, been told, and been telling others to drink at least 8 cups -  8 oz of water a day.    Seems  easy enough to do and healthy.  When you break it down into ounces per hour that amounts to about 4 ounces every hour for an average of 16 hours we spend awake.  So what's the big deal? Why can't we drink more than one or two glasses a day?

As with anything related to health, the requirements for what we need and want changes daily it seems.  I recently read an article in Woman's Day magazine that detailed the many ways we can stay hydrated and how to know if we are lacking fluids in our diet.  I am going to share some of the key points with you because I think it's important that we stay up to date with nutritional requirements and how to supplement what we are lacking.

From WD:  "You don't really need to drink eight glasses of water a day."  I've heard this before but that's where it ended.  I found it hard to believe that anyone would support  this statement because I do believe we all need a certain amount of fluids to maintain our bodies' homeostasis.  However, the article in WD goes on to say that "your needs fluctuate from day to day depending on your activities, what you eat and how often, and the weather." If you spend your day eating water based fruits and veggies you are less likely to need 64 ounces of water that day; if you go for  a long run and drink only two cups of water and eat foods with little water in them, you will notice a difference in the color of your urine -- lemonade color is good, apple juice color, not so good.

From WD: "Drinking coffee--or any caffeinated beverage--won't make you dehydrated." Thank Goodness because I like my morning coffee and I love drinking tea in the afternoon.  So the studies now say that caffeine makes you urinate but not more than water would so you're good.

From WD:  "Water alone isn't a weightloss aid." No, it's not. Just because you're drinking 64 oz a day doesn't mean you're suddenly going to start burning off the fat; however, drinking water can help you really determine if you're hungry, bored or actually thirsty.  Many times we confuse hunger for thirst so we eat.  Try drinking some water or tea before giving in to the undesireable hunger pangs.

In researching the health benefits of water I came across this article at the Mayo Clinic website, which pretty much sums it all up:

"Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired."

As with anything else, everything in moderation.  An excess of water in the kidneys can lead to electrolyte imbalance.  Listen to your body, drink enough water to stay hydrated, keep your urine light in color. Drink between meals, before, during and after exercise. 

Make water your beverage of choice.

Stay Well!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Staying motivated is not easy

No. It's not easy to stay motivated. It's not easy to stay on track. It's not easy to do a lot of things that we know are good for us.  It is because of the everyday "easy" that we find ourselves in situations difficult to resolve.  We eat fast food because it's easy; we buy coffee at the coffee house because it's easy; we sit instead of exercising because it's easy.  Easy is truly over rated.  Easy is not good for us, it never will be.

Starting a health and wellness program or an exercise program or even a diet program IS easy, the hard part is sticking with it, staying motivated and keeping your eyes on the goal.  The challenges begin with your goals.  If your only goal is to lose weight then you are setting yourself up to fail.  Say you start a program and you lose weight, then what do you do? What's next?

Try this goal for a change:  To become healthier and live a healthier lifestyle!

This goal has nothing to do with losing weight or inches and everything to do with living happier and healthier.  It has a lot to do with learning how to eat and what to eat.  Learning how to exercise and when. Learning to listen to your body and learning to love being active.  The loss of weight and inches will be your reward as a result of your healthy lifestyle.

How do you begin to live a healthy lifestyle?

That's easy.  No really, it is...

1.  Spend a few days evaluating your current lifestyle: Journal your nutrition, exercise, sleep, water - record what you eat and drink through the day for a few days, then evaluate it for content and ask yourself Am I eating enough of all the "good for me" foods (fruit, vegetables, lean protein, complex carbs, etc)? Am I exercising enough or at all? How much sleep am I getting? Am I drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day?

2. Adjust one thing at a time:  Change only one of your meals and get comfortable with that meal then change the others, one at a time until you are able to make wise decisions about what to eat and when.  If you are not exercising begin with walking, biking or swimming then increase the resistance, duration, quality of your exercises as you progress.  If you are not drinking water begin to drink and increase by adding 8oz or water to each day until you've reached a comfortable 64 or more ounces.

3. Educate yourself: Do a little research online about food, exercises, recipes and other activities you can do that feel more like fun than every day exercise.

4. Find a support system. Surround yourself with people who really care about you and who support you in your journey.  The minute you come face to face with the negative people of the world, turn your back and walk the other way.  It's not worth your time and effort to convince them that what you're doing is right FOR YOU!

One step at a time, one change at a time, one small goal at a time. That's how you do it!

Stay Well,


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let's be honest...about fitness and nutrition

Have you ever uttered the words "this diet isn't working" or "I exercise but it's not working?"

I have.

Long, long ago, like last week as a matter of fact. No seriously, it was last week when I accidentally stepped on my bathroom scale and found out that I had gained three whole pounds.  Now I know that's not a lot, but it is when it is so hard to lose three pounds to begin with.  I am a fitness instructor, I teach several classes a week, I run, I'm active with the kids, I don't buy junk food (well, rarely), what gives.

OK let's be honest here.  How many of you really think that physical activity should take care of the problem without changing your eating habits?  Sounds like an infomercial doesn't it?  You know, "do this for 8 minutes, three times a week, don't change your diet or anything else, you will see yourself transformed into a chiseled, leaner person... blah, blah, blah..." really?  Don't believe anything they say, they just want to sell their crap.

Skipping meals because we're busy leads to eating poorly when the hunger pangs really hit.  Nope, it's definitely not thirst this time, it's huger and we'll eat just about anything... like a full bag of Stacy's Salted Pita Chips-YUM! Yes that's me, over indulging only to feel crappy later.  I know better and that's why I wont buy those things unless I'm having a party or willing to deal with the effect of over indulging in unhealthy food.

The best way to really see what we're doing or in my case, not doing about living a healthy lifestyle, is to write things down.  Journaling our progress helps us to stay true to ourselves and gets us back on track.  That goes with anything, any goal.  By writing down what I eat and how much I exercise I get a good idea of what I need to change to see change.  Some weeks I'm ready and some I'm not but I continue to work towards one goal-- living a healthy lifestyle, every day!

What I have noticed is that when I write down my activities and foods, even if only for a few days, I make changes before things get too ugly.  Journaling has helped me really see when I should be eating more protein, more fruit and veggies, and when I've skipped on my exercise routine.  It has helped me stay motivated and stay in the game.  Try it!  Your thoughts and comments are always welcome!

Stay Well,

Image source:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diet or the "D" word

As a personal trainer I hear the word "diet" quite a bit from clients, friends, and even people I don't know. Do you have a diet that will help with this or that? Is there a diet that will burn this off?

That "D" word has become such an icon and so significant to people who want to lose weight, particularly those who want to lose weight super fast. Diet is defined in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as "food and drink regularly provided or consumed, habitual nourishment." Be it a diet of twinkies or a diet of fruits, it's a diet.  It does't have to be bad, tasteless, prohibitive, or restricting (unless there are specific reasons such as diebetes or high blood pressure.) It is simply what we eat everyday.

I was crawling through different sites today and came upon this article written by Michelle May, M.D. and posted in the Calorie Count website.  It highlights five important diet myths.  Read it, highlight it, post it on your fridge and every time you start to question your diet, read it again.  Very informative.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

5 Diet Myths and What You Can Learn from Them

By michelle_may_md on Apr 21, 2011 10:00 AM in Dieting & You

Diets are filled with rules about when, what, and how much to eat. While “the rules” may make sense on the surface, unless you understand why you do certain things, you’ll break the rules as soon as the temptation is greater than your motivation.

Let’s examine some of these myths, where they come from, and how to make long term changes that work for you.

Myth 1: Don’t Eat After 7pm 

Your metabolism doesn’t shut off at 7:01 pm so why is this rule so common? Many people who struggle with their weight overeat in the evening after dinner so they aren’t snacking because they’re hungry. They’re snacking because they’re bored, watching television, rewarding themselves, or feeling lonely.

Rather than using a temporary rule to address those habits, when you feel like eating in the evenings, ask, “Am I hungry?” If you’re truly hungry, eat, keeping in mind that your day is winding down so you don’t need a big meal. If you aren’t hungry, think about why you feel like eating anyway and come up with a better way to address that need. Ken, a man in one of our Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating workshops, realized he was just bored so he started doing stained glass to entertain himself while he watched TV.

Myth 2: Eat Small Meals Every 3 Hours

This rule is based on the fact that many people who don’t struggle with weight issues tend to eat frequent small meals. However, they don’t check their watch to tell them when it’s time to eat; they eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re satisfied. Since that tends to be a small-ish meal, they get hungry again in a few hours.

Instead of watching the clock, begin to tune in to the physical symptoms of hunger and fullness to tell you when to eat and when to stop. Your stomach is about the size of your fist so it only holds a couple of handfuls of food comfortably. By relearning to trust your body’s signals, you can learn to follow a frequent small meal pattern naturally.

Myth 3: Don’t Let Yourself Get Hungry

A corollary to myth 2, this rule is based on the belief that overweight people are incapable of controlling themselves when they’re hungry. In my experience with thousands of Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating workshop participants, the opposite is true.  Once people learn to tell the difference between physical hunger and head hunger, they begin to meet each need more appropriately. Perhaps the rule should be “Don’t let yourself get too hungry” since it’s harder to make conscious choices when you’re starving.

Myth 4: Follow Your Diet Six Days a Week Then You Can Have a Cheat Day

Hmmm…what if you were a harsh, overly strict parent six days a week then completely ignored your kids every Saturday? It doesn’t make sense to try to be perfect Sunday through Friday while obsessing about everything you’re going to eat on your “day off.” Then when Saturday comes, you overeat just because you’re allowed to so you end up feeling miserable all day. Personally, I’d rather enjoy eating a little of the foods I love every day, mindfully and in moderation.

Myth 5: Carbs are Bad… or Fat is Bad… or ______ is Bad

“Good food, bad food” thinking can lead to feelings of deprivation, cravings, overeating, and guilt.  All foods can fit into a healthy diet using the principles of balance, variety, and moderation to guide you. Use nutrition information as a tool, not a weapon.

A sustainable personal approach trumps short term rules.  Rather than walking a tight rope that you’ll fall off of sooner or later, dig a little deeper to better understand why, when, what, how, and how much you eat. You’ll gradually create a more flexible, personalized approach to making decisions that both nourish and nurture you.

Your thoughts....
Did you, or do you, buy in to any of these myths? 

Michelle May, M.D. is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. Dr. May is also the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops and Facilitator Training Program that helps individuals learn to break free from mindless and emotional eating to live a more vibrant, healthy life.

Stay Well,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Running my first 1/2

All this running around the base has got me itching for more.  Recently I've been finishing the 10 miles and feeling like I could just keep on running.  It really is a good feeling.  I never thought I'd say that.  IT'S A GOOD FEELING to finish!

We, my running partners and I, decided to try running a half marathon here in GTMO.  The challenge is running it without too many hills or repeating the same routes.   However, we are determined to make this work and we have been hitting the pavement and gravel roads had; I think it's time to take it up a notch or two.

We have been running at least 5 miles mid-week and 9-11 miles once a week, which I believe qualifies as training.  However, for the novice runner like me, I am going to engage in something a little more specific.  In my search for training advice I came across an app (application) from, which I downloaded to my iPad.  I put in a few details in the settings and after a few seconds the app came back with a training program that fits my schedule and does not take away what I already do, strength training/Spinning(r), etc.

In the past I only spoke of running in terms of me not being the one running, most definitely not running any distance to be proud of.  I insisted I could never run far or fast, a marathon wasn't even on my list of things I ever wanted to do.  I wasn't going to try and embarrass myself.

Here's the teachable moment:0

My two good friends, Wendy and Kristin, were convinced that I could run and the only thing keeping me from running was my own mind.  I ran a couple of 5Ks and was embarrassed to not come in with a decent time.  I stopped to walk so many times that I really didn't care to be there again.  I'm a fitness instructor, I should be able to do this but I kept telling myself I could not, never.

My friends, however thought differently.  We went for a run, supposedly a 6 mile run.  Up hills we walked but ran most of the way THERE... upon arrival I realized I had just ran four miles.  I also realized I needed to come back another four.  I have been tricked and I was sort of excited about it.  A little scared but excited.  At the end of this run, right back where we started, my GPS unit said that I just ran 8.28 miles.  WOW! I was filled with joy.  I don't think my friends realize, still today, how happy I was to have finished this run. I was hooked.  We have been running just about every weekend up to eleven miles and another 5 mid-week.  Impressive.  YES!!

The moral of the story is this:  Surround yourself with people who believe in you and in what you are capable of doing and you will accomplish more then you ever imagined.  Spending time around negative people just brings you down; like an anchor, holds you down until you drown.  It's not rude to step away from those who keep you down; politely step away and wisely choose the company you keep.  Constructive criticism is good, negative feedback is not acceptable.

I'm willing to bet that if I continue to spend my time with these ladies and others like them I will be running that  marathon.  That's right.  I'm setting my sights on completing a marathon.  But for now I will continue working on this 1/2 while keeping my eyes on the ultimate goal.

Stay tuned!

Photo source:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Focus on your goals

I'm a runner? I don't think I am, but others tell me that I am because I like the way I feel after a run.  Recently and with the motivation of many true runners, I have taken up running.  It has been a while and I've always wanted to say I could run and I enjoy it but until recently that was not the case at all.

Let me back it up a little.  In high school I joined the track team in my senior year because I was following a boy.  Yes that's right.  He was cute and quiet and I secretly liked him and I was happy just being in his presence. You know you've been there.  Anyway, I joined the team, the coach was great and it put me in a new circle of friends I truly enjoyed.

Our first run started at the High School.  The coach said just run up the road, make a right and follow the main avenue to the park.  What I didn't realize is that the park was about 5 miles away and for someone who wasn't used to running, AT ALL, this was no easy feat.  I ran and ran and ran, then I reached the park and realized I had to run through the park to get to the track, then I got lost getting there so... needless to say, it was more than five miles and I was the last one to arrive.  I did well in all my runs after that and I remembered to ask the distance so that I could pace myself along the way.  However, I was a sprinter and that was pretty easy for me to do.

In the U.S. Marines I ran, again not by choice, with boots, uniforms, back packs, flag poles, in the sand, through the woods, in the water and up many, many hills.  After leaving the military I ran, never more than 3 miles, if that.  I have been an avid Spinning(r) instructor, love the plyometrics in boot camp classes and HITT, etc. But very little running.  I had no desire to run unless I was being chased.

In the last 6 months I started running with a friend who recently ran the Marine Corps Marathon in DC.  She kept saying "Terie, I've seen you working out, you are in great shape, you can do this run."  I did not believe her.  The idea of running more than 5 miles several times a week just wasn't appealing.  Even my husband tried to get me to run and I kept saying, "I'm not a runner, I'm not built like a runner, I don't like running."  Well, my friends convinced me to commit to a "short" run and they even promised to walk with me if I needed a break.  I said OK but don't say I never warned you.

First run, about 3 months ago, they claimed it would be six miles but we would walk the hills.  OK.  At the turnaround point I clocked in 4 miles and if my math was correct that would make this run 8 miles.  I felt GREAT!  A little deceived, but great. We finished the 8 miles and somehow I didn't crash, I made it.  Next run 8.5 miles... again, I made it.  Then we moved to a longer run and again I felt butterflies in my stomach.  There's no way I can do 10. My friend of course had no doubt I could and so I went.  We did that 10 mile run twice and again, I felt GREAT!!!  This is becoming a habit.  I'm planning to run a half marathon and I believe I'll be ready for a full marathon, in about a year.  For now my goal is half marathon.

The secret to my successful running experience?  

#1 Motivation from friends.  I'm a fitness professional but this was my weakest area and my friends pushed me, encouraged me and motivated me to keep running.  They made me commit at times when I doubted myself and they never gave up on me so I never gave up on me either.

#2 Good Form.  I read a lot about good form and posture during runs.  Runners World recommends eyes gazing ahead, don't look at your feet, shoulders back, arms and shoulders relaxed, soft easy landing and short, quick strides. It is so important to understand your body and know what works and what doesn't.  Also a good pair of running shoes.

#3 GPS and HR monitor.  Knowing how far I've ran during the run and at the end is a huge boost to my ego. Knowing how my body is reacting, my heart rate at different times during the run and also a general idea of my caloric burn is a huge boost to my metabolism and my nutrition plan.  I tend to eat better if I know that the calories I burned should be replaced with clean, healthy eating.

#4 Hydration and Nutrition.  Proper nutrition the night before, I found the hardway, is truly imperative to a good long run the next day.  Drinking lots of water prior to the run keeps me from needing water throughout the run.  So eating well before and after and staying properly hydrated.

My friends tell me I'm a runner because only a runner says things like "what a great run" and "let's do it again next week," -- truly?  I guess I am then because I look forward to the short and long runs so much that I rearranged my work scheduled so that I can fit in a "short" five mile run mid-week.

Whatever your goals, find the people in your life who will motivate you and encourage you to keep moving towards those goals.  Arm yourself with knowledge AND the nutrition you need to stay strong and healthy.

Be a runner, a walker, a biker, or a swimmer. Be whatever you want to be and don't let anyone cloud your path.

There is no difference between living and is impossible and misleading and harmful to think of them as being separate. - John Holt, author

Stay Well,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Commit to change

Commit to change.

Sounds so permanent, so written in stone. Why is it so hard to make a commitment that will help you live a better life?  Why is commitment such a negative word when it comes to our health?

In my opinion we have fears of failure before we even begin any health and wellness program. We already know it wont work but we're hopeful; we have hope to see results fast and furious; we expect the changes will happen overnight and with little effort on our part.  We have great intentions but our intentions alone can't possibly make anything happen.  We have to commit to make the changes and follow through.

OK now some important things to remember as you take on this journey:

1.  This is a journey for life not a temporary fix. Remember that!

2.  Goals.  Set some attainable goals and I don't mean your best friend's wedding or bathing suit season.  I mean lowering your BMI; running, swimming or walking further or faster; losing and then maintaining weight; becoming stronger, doing more push ups, sleeping better... whatever your goal it should be one that benefits YOU.

3.  Step off the scale.  It's not all about the numbers on the scale.  Note how you feel, sleep, perform, and how your clothes feel.  Muscle takes less space but weights more than fat so while you may not see changes on the scale, you might see and feel an overall sense of well-being.

4.  Baby steps.  Don't lunge into a complete overhaul.  Change your diet, your grocery list, each meal but do so a little at a time.  Start with your worst meal or snack and change only that one thing.  When you are comfortable with that change move on to the next.  You are more likely to stick with your new way of life if you enjoy what you're doing and eating.

5.  Avoid fad diets.  If it sounds too good to be true then IT IS!! You did not become unhealthy overnight and you will NOT become healthy overnight either.  Biggest Loser shows are just that, a TV show.  You do not have the time to live that lifestyle indefinitely, nor is it healthy.  Notice the shows end and people have to go back to live a normal lifestyle which is why most people gain back much of the weight they lose on the show.

6. Approach health and wellness as a way of life and not some nuisance you have to do for a short while to reach a goal.  This is truly a lifestyle change and you have to commit to change the way you live now.

Are you ready to commit to change?

Stay Well

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Are you a picky eater?

What I mean is, do you have a bite of this, a piece of that, and never really sit down to eat a meal?  Parents of young children, such as myself, fall under this category of picky eaters.  I am guilty of showing my toddlers how good their meal was by giving it a try myself.  I also admit to eating the crust of their sandwich, their leftover dinner, and the rest of their dessert.  You know who you are and you know you've done it as well.  We just don't like to see food go to waste.  So instead we see food go to our waist.

The truth is that those little bites add up.  You can go all day not eating one full meal and still rack up your days worth of calories and potentially more fat than if you ate with purpose.

That's right.  Eating with a purpose.

What does that mean?

Well, it means that you have a clear understanding of what you're eating, when, and why.

You know that if you eat green leafy vegetables you are consuming lots of vitamins and strengthening your immune system, if you eat fish or meat you are consuming protein and in turn feeding your muscles and organs, etc.  This goes hand in hand with exercising with a purpose.  Do you know what muscle you're working when you do push ups or dips or squats?  Well you should. Ask, search, read the labels on the machines.  Be in the know. Don't just walk in and do bicep curls without knowing that you need to do tricep extentions (opposing muscles.)

Back to picky eating.  The best thing to do here is to stop, right? Yes. That's easier said then done. Again, I KNOW!  I am one who complains about  holding on to 10 pounds of "baby weight" per kid.  I am down to five lbs per kid, but still, that's 4 kids; that's 20 pounds no one wants to carry around.  Now I know that I don't need to weigh 20 pounds less then I do now or I might look a little sick; however, some of the excess weight was not left there by my children.  I put it there well after they were born.  With the youngest being 4 years old it's hard to continue to claim that I'm still working on losing the "baby weight." Ha Ha! Real funny!  I'm working on moving out the fat and replacing it with lean muscle.  If I'm going to be 20 pounds heavier I might as well make it muscle and not fat.

Here are some tips to help break the picky eating habits:

1. Eat before feeding the kids.  You will be satisfied and less likely to give their meal a test drive.

2. Don't eat the crust...or anything else the kids leave behind. Ewww! Kids play with their food, feed it to the pets and then put it back in the plate, who knows what else they do with their food.  My point here is that no matter how much you love your little dust bunny or how much you hate to waste food, don't eat the kids' leftover food.  Toss it or save it for THEM to eat later.

3. Snack on fruits and veggies in between meals and during meal preparation, this will help you avoid tasting your dinner before its done.

4.  Drink water.  Water helps to quench the thirst you don't even know you have.  Sometimes we eat thinking we're hungry when we're just thirsty so try water before anything else.

There are many other ways to avoid being a picky eater. Share what you know!

Stay Well,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Start with Motivation

I really enjoy reading quotes and passages that motivate me to do whatever it is that will help me reach my goals, whatever they may be.  Sometimes my goal is simply to help others stay on top of their fitness routine so that they can reach their fitness goals as well.  

I signed up to receive healthy living tips and ideas from and to be honest I just figured they would be like the other million sites out there, telling me what I already knew.  But I gave it a try and for the past six months I have receiving daily and weekly quotes and motivational passages that have left me really thinking about what I do, about my goals in life and in fitness, about my friends and my students and their goals.  I decided I want to share sparkpeople with everyone I know because I feel you too will benefit from their program.  Even if only to get you motivated and give you that little push we all need from time to time.  Here's one I received weeks ago--one of my favorites:

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing--that's why we recommend it daily. - -Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker

"Makes sense doesn't it? The secret to staying consistent with your goals is to stay motivated. That means finding ways to fire yourself up on a daily basis. Being inspired at a seminar, by reading a book, or while talking to a dynamic speaker is easy. But what happens when you're on your own? To follow through on that burst of motivation and reach the finish line, you need regular booster shots. Give yourself those little positive reminders that you have an important job to do and a good reason for doing it. What's pushing you? Surround yourself with visual, verbal, and physical "pep talks" that trigger that motive. It doesn't take long for dust to gather on your momentum, making your goals turn stale. A daily dose of motivation kicks off the dust before it can settle and gives you a fresh, clean start." (Source:

As a Fitness Instructor I can tell you that I do motivate myself on a daily basis.  I know I have a job to do and it's not just being there, in the gym, teaching a few classes.  Anyone can do that.  But to be there in mind and body, to see through those who may not be feeling the energy and to take them to the next level of motivation; that takes some energy and motivation on my part.  If I'm not motivated enough to be there, you will likely not be motivated enough to come back.  I give myself that boost, the pep talks and remind myself that while I'm doing my job (teach and train and motivate you) I am also doing this for me to live a healthy lifestyle and be a good role model to my children (and my friends).

What are you going to do to get and stay motivated every day? I want to know.

Stay Well,