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,