The Right Diet For You

diet-over

 

Say what? Did I just use the word “diet” in my title? Maybe you’re thinking… “you don’t do diets… what’s up? And what do you mean the right diet??”

And you’re correct, I don’t subscribe to any particular diet or current trendy food movement that’s going around.

8 years ago I decided when I was going to finally do it ( lose weight) and be done with it this time (for good)  that I needed to figure out what worked for me.

I had to first acknowledge what DIDN’T work for me.

I knew that I didn’t like having to follow some set daily food plan telling me what I could eat and how much. I didn’t want to be locked into something ridged that kept me from living my life and enjoying it.

I didn’t wanna be miserable. I didn’t wanna be deprived. Basically, I wasn’t interested in suffering.

Isn’t that what diets are about? You jump into something for 6-8 weeks, hope for the best, and count down the days till you can return to “normal” life and eating. You just get through it.

And well, I’m honestly a bit of a rebel at heart and just  don’t like having to follow the rules of a set diet. Like… don’t tell me what to eat and when….. everything in me rebelled against that.

That’s when I decided… I’ll just do my own thing…. and you know what? it’s worked for me.

I wanted to lose weight, not be hungry, and eat what I enjoyed while I did it.

Let me give you 3 tips or suggestions on building your own daily “diet” ( and I use that term to describe what you consume in your day)

 

Safe.  Whatever you decide to do, it needs to be safe in a health way. Don’t overly restrict your calories or live off nothing but bananas or some crazy stunt. Understand what your basic daily caloric needs are and operate within that zone.  If you actively exercise don’t forget to adjust your needs for higher active days. If you need help understanding your calorie needs, consult with your doctor for a good base line starting place. It also needs to have all food groups included.

 

Simple. For me that meant being able to eat foods I enjoyed and could easily prepare. It also meant having a working plan that I could stick to and follow. It also had to be flexible. If the family went out for a burger, I certainly didn’t want to sit there picking at a salad while they had fries!  ( although, now days, a salad is almost always my preference simply because I like them and feel better eating them over a heavier meal) If I had a burger, it was an intentional choice that I enjoyed and then just moved on with life.

 

Sustainable.  I think this is the most important point. Whatever you set up for yourself has to be what works for you. That is the only way you will stick with it and be successful long term, and for the rest of your life.  It doesn’t have to be what your co-worker is doing or your neighbor. They aren’t you… you aren’t them. It’s time to set aside cookie cutter diets and not try to fit into molds that aren’t designed for us.  I think that’s why so many fail in this process of losing weight.  Trying to fit into something that is designed to fail from the beginning .

 

Other suggestions to this would be:

Make sure you include all food groups in your plan. If you aren’t crazy about something ( like veggies) then just start taking small steps to incorporate them.

Eat enough food to satisfy your appetite, but don’t stuff yourself.

Listen to your bodies natural signals… eat when hungry…don’t eat when you aren’t.

Don’t restrict foods. I think that was a huge thing to my success. I basically told myself that I could have anything, nothing was off limits, and it really takes the power out it knowing you can have it…if you realllllyyy need it…  but it gives you the freedom to leave it alone too. It puts a huge level of control on your side.  Understand.. this wasn’t open season for me to just eat crappy food. I knew that was stuff that needed to be limited for my success. It just removed its power over me by mentally by not restricting it from my life. We always…want…what we cannot have.

Structure your meals to where you eat larger ones early on in day…tapering to lighter at the end of day.  Really, think about when you need the most calories and energy…it’s not before you go to bed in the evening with a huge meal.

Get to know your body! Know what foods make you feel good and energetic and which make you feel like crap. Don’t shun foods groups just because it’s the latest trend. If you have a valid allergy issue or if you don’t feel great when you eat it, fine. Otherwise aim for balance of all foods.

By developing and building your own plan, you will be able to stay on it for a life time and not just a few weeks.  Making your own rules will keep it sustainable and doable for you which will lead to your success.

 

Parades, Small Towns, And County Fairs

So this past weekend we celebrated Labor Day weekend in the good ‘ol  U.S. of A.  This holiday weekend typically signals the end of summer, the start of fall and school activities, and a general wind down of simple, lazy summer days.

The town I’ve lived and grown up in has its county fair all weekend long and on Saturday the streets are literally closed off for the fair parade. This was the 111th year for all the shenanigans.

The parade, like the fair, has definitely changed a lot over the years, but then so has the town. It’s not so small anymore and some of the small town things have given way to a bigger town growth and ideas.

One thing that remains with the Saturday morning parade is the gathering of families, a relaxed fun morning and an opportunity to run into friends you might not see all the time.

Oh, not to mention hanging out at the local bakery, drinking coffee and indulging in a rare pastry 😉

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Hey! I’ve got coffee and that’s most important 😉 and don’t miss that I caught a kid in the act of shooting a basket, quite by chance haha

 

The parade has it’s usual variety of local business advertisements, some actual and real parade floats, bands, dance teams, military representation, and of course a plethora of clowns.

I’ve found over time people fall into two camps with clowns.

They love them… or hate them.

 

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They look harmless enough, right ???

 

Then you have grown men that speed around on things like this…. this is what scares me… well not really… not anymore as they’ve made them kinda tame down their crazy speed circles they used to do…. right at the crowds…

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This is what happens when dads are left unattended on weekends. Their version of a sports car 😉

Ok and you only see a few pictured here… there  really are like… thousands of them… in their loud lil cars, doing donuts and stuff…

Of course it’s not really a country parade without… you know….tractors….

 

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Old school tractors.. complete with the farmer….

 

 

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Why yes, that is a life size fake elephant on a little trailer 😛

 

 

 

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Reppin’ old military

 

It is worth mentioning, we actually roll up the streets like, three times a year, for parades. June is a German heritage celebration, then in December of course it’s a Christmas parade.

I will freely admit the Christmas is my most favorite. Our town is full of white lights and is so beautiful. Every entry in the parade is light covered and there’s just a fun spirit in the air.

Well, wait. Maybe that’s the kettlecorn I’m smelling. And oh my gosh, if you’ve never had it… I’m sorry…. really I am.

It’s this amazing combo of sweet and salty and I always want them to bag it for me right after it’s finished. Truthfully though, it’s always fresh as there’s a line waiting for it.

Some years the weather is the right amount of crisp, cold. Other years, you can wear shorts 😛

Gosh, hard to imagine we’ll be at that parade in a few shorts months…

Ah yes. Small town USA. Even though we’re not so really small anymore, during parades and town celebrations it still has that wonderful vibe.

And no matter what, it’s home, and everything always feels good when you’re home.

Go Big Or Go Home

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Go big or go home. It’s an expression the speaker says to the listener to encourage the listener to be extravagant, to go all the way, and do whatever you are doing to its fullest – and not flake out. 

It’s an expression used on many different occasions. Sometimes, it’s in a funny context, other times, it’s thrown down as the challenge it’s meant to be.

I’m kinda wired in that way. If you give dangle the carrot in front of me… I will be going after it.

Example, when I was in a yoga class ( my first to be exact) she neatly showed several ways for a move all designed to be modified for the individuals level of ability.

Then, the final move, was the hardest way to do it. Yeah, you know which one I went for.

Or the fact my first race was a half marathon. I found out later…most people… just start with a 5K.

Go big or go home.

As a competitive person I don’t find this bad. It challenges me, motivates me, makes me not be content sitting where I’m currently at knowing there’s always room to improve, grow, get stronger.

There’s one area that I don’t think it works well. Weight loss.

Yet, it seems to be how people often take it on.

Do or die. I’m gonna lose weight. All or nothing.

Go big or go home. No. Just…. no.

This isn’t a time to apply this approach.

Why? Because I know of no one who dives into altering their food/nutrition and turns into an athletic junky overnight.

Or, if they decided to go all out, they burn out within a week, maybe two.

Unfortunately, what is fed to us today are quick fixes and schemes to convince the average person they can be fit and strong in 12 weeks and all their problems are fixed.

It’s just not true. Well, I mean if you’re working out for 12 weeks I know you’re gonna be stronger, heck you might even be feeling a bit fierce about yourself. But it’s gonna take some time to get to where you’re going. It takes time to build new habits and behaviors in your life.

Slow and steady becomes the game plan that works. I firmly believe doing small things, every day, leads to bigger things.

I know… it’s not glamorous or instant gratification like so many programs offer… but I tell you it will be way more sustainable for you.

Here’s what I mean. People don’t want to be told or hear that small things add up. We are to used to the modern day hocus pocus on weight loss. We’re told small isn’t enough…doesn’t matter or have as much benefit for us.

But what if you began a practice of parking further out at the store to walk a bit more? or taking the stairs instead of elevator? standing more and sitting less? being active outside? Cleaning house or doing more of your own yard work? What if you just looked for ways to move your body more?

Then what if you added in some sensible and sane eating? Practicing moderation and balance while learning to eat healthy and more nutritious foods?

What if each day you slowly, and steadily lived a life that was active, balanced and powered by mostly wholesome foods ( hey, I still like chocolate cake too!)

Because of the huge weight loss industry we are (sadly) wired to think if we don’t have a go big or go home mentality we might as well give up before we start.

Beginning in a slow steady way, allowing your body to lose 1-2 pounds a week is a healthy and long term approach to being successful. It also allows you to build your confidence as you move from day to day being successful in your achievements.

There will be good days, and there will be not so good days.

The point is …pay attention to this boys and girls… continuous forward movement.

As you gain confidence and see that you have everything in you to be successful, you might begin to look at more specific goals for yourself. That’s when you might have to consider what physical activities you need to add to your plate as well as how  your nutrition might need to be balanced towards that as well.

On my own health and fitness journey, it has been a constant, forward movement. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’ve taken a huge step all at once, other times, I feel like I’m in a holding pattern.

Right now, I’m excited to be in a new activity that’s pushing me more out of my comfort zone and definitely making me take new and bigger steps. But you see, all of this fits into my personal goals. None of what I’ve done has been accomplished quickly.

It has been small steps, small goals, that quickly became fueled by loftier goals. My athletic goals challenged my nutrition ( it is really hard to be a good athlete and eat garbage) see how it all kind of fits together?

You may have some big goals for yourself athletically. Or you may have big goals for yourself to lose 20 pounds. Maybe it’s to be able to walk up stairs without being winded or chase your kids around without feeling like you’re dying.

No matter what your personal vision is, remember slow and steady is the name of the game.

Save the go big or go home ideal for those crazy things that kinda scare you 😉

Tell me.. have you ever taken the idea of go big or go home with weight loss or fitness? Did that work for you? What thing helped you be most successful?

 

 

 

Obstacles And Opportunities

overcoming obstacles

Have you ever noticed conversation is just better over coffee with a good friend? I had the opportunity recently to have coffee and conversation with one who is special to me and when we get together, well, our conversations last hours. We both have a passion for people and helping them be successful in fitness, health and wellness.  We compare notes and brainstorm ideas off of each other.

It’s a refreshing time to encourage one another in the callings we have.

At one point she told me how I was an encouragement to her. She knew I had been off running due to an injury and she also knew I had picked up other activities to keep me moving.

She was admiring the fact I hadn’t just quit  since I couldn’t run.

Honestly, at this point, I’m so used to some high level of activity it seems crazy to me to not have something to fall back on. Not to mention, I’d totally go crazy not doing anything.  I’m  used to having that physical movement in my life now.. it’s not only a habit, it’s an outlet, and a place that is just for me to go to.

And well… I don’t quit.

My friend had been dealing with an injury herself and was encouraged to try and find other outlets or activities she could pursue while she recovered.

I was thinking about our conversation later that day. Thinking how if I had become discouraged about not running and just did nothing, all I would’ve missed out on.

Before my injury, running was what I primarily did. Oh, I did structure in a few days strength training and I’d toss in an occasional day here and there on my little mountain bike to take the place of an easy run and to give my legs a break from running.

Running was my love. My passion. A place that made me feel strong and powerful.

I eventually started adding a little more cycling in to my routine, but again, nothing serious.

My injury made it a seamless move to more time on the bike. It gave me the mileage, time out on the road,  and being outdoors that I craved.  It filled that hunger in me.

Last year I “upgraded” to a cheap road bike from Walmart. I proceeded to ride the wheels off of it.  It was during this time I realized how much I was really enjoying this other sport, and not just as a supplement to my running.  I realized with the strength I had built running that I had the potential to be good at cycling.

Somehow the obstacles I had encountered actually brought about new opportunities for me.

Opportunities to experience new things, grow, and challenge myself to try things I hadn’t done before.

There’s a lot to learn about cycling! Therefore, I talk to those who are knowledgeable, I read, and most importantly, I’m just out there on my bike doing it.

I can hardly wait to find a race to challenge myself with.

Was my injury something I wanted? No. I can hardly wait to be out on the road really running again like I want to be.

Allowing myself to move in new directions has allowed me to grow more as an athlete, but also it lets me see that I can do anything I set my mind to.

But then I’ve kinda always approached obstacles in this way. I don’t let them stop me from where I’m going. I just look for ways to get around them to keep heading the direction I want to go.

Obstacles are limiting and I don’t want to be limited. Obstacles are simply new opportunities.

What about you? How do you view obstacles that come to you? Do you find ways to get over them to keep pressing on to your goals?

obstacle

Committed Or Just Interested ?

commitment

 

Habits.

I talk a lot about habits mainly because in the context of successful weight loss and making a lifestyle change, developing new ones to replace negative ones are key to a permanent change.

Habits are often ingrained in us from a life time, whether they are good or bad. When it comes to our eating behaviors and exercise  a firm hand often has to be taken to those habits if we want to move into more positive choices.

WHY is it so hard? That topic comes up often with people I talk with and most recently with my client.

In discussing her week and some of the difficulties she had her response was “I know what to do in my head, why do I go back and do what I know I shouldn’t do?”

Oh indeed. Why do any of us ? Why are we pulled back into a poor choice when we ( intellectually) know better and have even been doing better with more positive habits, yet, in a moment, we seemingly skip right back to what we know.

Why? Because it’s comfortable and familiar to us. Because it’s easy, it requires no effort to bounce back to the old and familiar. And once there, it can almost be a sandpit to crawl out of again and begin our forward progress. The key thing is to crawl out and keep moving forward, not give up and allow ourselves to be sucked back into the negative habits we seek to change.

I can say that because there are times I can still do the same things.  I understand what that’s like. I do get those struggles.

To change negative habits requires a willingness to commit to the journey. To own it. To allow ourselves not to make excuses to go back to old ways. Yeah, we will slip, but there must be a determination and ownership to want that change and not stay where we are.

I read this today and it’s just so true. I’ve never thought of it quite like this, but it’s true.

  Are you “interested” in a healthy lifestyle? Or “committed” to having a healthy lifestyle ?

Yeah. Just think about that for a moment.

When you’re interested in doing something you only do it when it’s convenient.

When you’re committed to something you accept no excuses, only results. You follow your established rules and get it done.

The difference between interested and committed is a big jump to permanent success.

If you approach weight loss and your health journey in the light of when it’s comfortably convenient, you can see where you will encounter constant setbacks.

You must make a commitment that takes you beyond just being “interested.”

Committed means being willing to be honest with yourself, where you are and addressing what needs to be done.

It means not justifying reasons why you allow yourself to keep eating or drinking things that don’t contribute or lead to your goals

It means not finding other things that are “more important” to do than purposeful exercise. Or coming up with reasons to not do it.

I’m NOT saying you’re going to take it and get it immediately. You won’t.

Habits take time to change. If you have a lifetime of doing the same things, they won’t change over night.  It will require a consistent commitment to making it happen. That means in good days and bad days you keep going with the intention of improvement.

Those habits you’ve developed of going through a drive thru for fast food? or buying coke and candy at a gas station? Or eating seconds even when you aren’t hungry? Or procrastinating on getting some exercise in? Or watching tv with a bag of chips or whatever treat ? Spending that hour or more in front of the tv or computer?

You’ve trained yourself to do those things and you can train yourself to do new things. Really.

I recently went on a road trip. It’s about 4 hours of driving. I usually take a little bag with a few healthy snacks and some bottled water. As I was grabbing the water I saw a carton of blackberries that I decided to toss in too.

A couple hours down the road I was nibbling those and washing them down with water. This isn’t how I used to do trips. I might make a run in to a convenience store for some chips or candy. It’s been a work in progress that my thinking is different now… I made a commitment to wanting to live healthier and that has carried through in lots of areas of my life.

I just don’t want to do that anymore. I feel better about myself making good choices.

This has taken time.. and a reshaping of negative habits for improved ones…. and a commitment to being the strongest and healthiest I can be.

If you get with it and stay with it each day you will make progress. Understand tough times will come and you will feel discouraged. Hang in there and stay strong.

Commit to the process, don’t just be interested in it.

COMMITMENT-MEANS-STAYING-LOYAL-TO-WHAT-2

Have you truly committed to wanting to live a healthier lifestyle through activity and good nutrition? Or are you interested in the idea of it ?

 

 

 

Oh Those High Heels

So I’m taking creative liberty here to deviate from my usual health and fitness itinerary to write about something else that I love probably just as much…

Fun and unique fashion, cool, trendy clothes,  and amazing high heels.

Oh those high heels.

My mother schooled me early in life that if I was going to wear them I’d learn to walk in them properly and not “like I just fell off a tractor” ( my mother had rather interesting, colorful ways of illustrating things for me 😛

Spending some time in modeling school pretty well sealed the deal on nailing “the walk”

I’m always amused when I come into a room and the first thing I can spot is someone looking at my feet…assessing how tall I am and if I have any assistance with it.

If I happen to be around a really tall man, there is a straightening of their posture as if trying to assess my height ( which is amusing 😉

I especially love little kids. They can be so delightfully obvious…for instance… this one little girl… she started at my feet and slowly looked all the way up to my eyes when she declared… “You’re so tall!”

And probably to a 6 year old… I most definitely was…

Why yes, I’m a tall girl. And yes, I can rock the heck outta high heels because well, I can and why not ?

I guess I’ve always been comfy in them and as far back as I can remember they’ve been a part of my wardrobe.

Oh, I did try a brief stint of wearing flats. I did.

I just can’t think if I’m wearing a pair of them… like my brain isn’t fully engaged or something… 😉

But… slipping into high heels… well that boys and girls… is a game changer.

There is something rather empowering about them, a “I can take charge of the world feeling”, and well hey, topping in at 6’4 , I have no problem seeing over people, getting what I want off a shelf, or helping random petite people who ask me to drag things off an upper shelf for them 😉

Oh yes, I’ve gotten the “don’t you think you’re tall enough?” comment said with a laugh

Tall enough for who? and really, who determined somewhere in that random book of societal rules ( that I threw out a long time ago) that if you’re tall you can’t wear heels ?

Nonsense 😉

I don’t save them for special occasions either.. if I want to wear them.. I do.

It’s actually my perspective on pretty much anything fashion oriented. I don’t save stuff for special occasions.

Today… this day we’re given… IS a special occasion.

Of course, I had to share with you in this post some of my most favorite high heels. Here’s a sample of some ….  🙂

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I love these Steve Madden shoes… is it any surprise they’re called… “Naughty” ?

 

 

 

 

 

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Every girl needs some sparkly shoes

 

 

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These are some of my favorites… why don’t I wear them all the time?

 

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Last but not least…. crazy high black heels. I will confess to having many black ones in my shoe wardrobe 😉

 

 

ok tell me… do you love heels? or do you prefer flats or other shoes? Sorry guys, I know this might limit convo for you 😉

 

A Time And A Season For All Things

season

I saw her coming down the aisle. Shopping cart half loaded and small children hanging off of it. A baby carrier was nestled in the top portion.

A young mom juggling several small lives and gathering food for her clan.

We passed giving each other the polite smile. I contemplated her life and thought how very far away that all felt from me at this point.

I’m thankful to still feel young and energetic but my “little children” days are a few years back now.

My oldest just turned 27. My last pregnancy was in 1994.

I’m a grandmother.

I will be (again) as my son and his wife just announced they are expecting in October =)  Being a grandparent really is way better than you can imagine… really… it’s so different from raising your own kids.  And it’s kind of crazy seeing your children as adults, still your kids, but all grown up and you’re in this different place with them.

I’ve often been reminded of this truth from the writer of Ecclesiastes… “there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens”

When I was in my baby making days, ( I don’t participate in this activity anymore haha) it seemed like that part of life would go on forever. Well meaning people told me to savor and enjoy it as it would go by fast. Yet somehow, when you’re in the mix of diapers, lacking sleep, trying to keep your home orderly and make sure the baby doesn’t eat the cat liter it seems very far away indeed.

I gave birth to three beautiful sons, spaced nicely apart. I had good pregnancies and easy deliveries. I remember the nurse telling me I had a body perfect for having babies…I laughed and told her I wasn’t making a hobby out of it! 😉 I breastfed all of them successfully and loved the activity of being able to feed my sons. They were fat ( uh chubby) and healthy.

My husband and I had agreed three was our number… no matter what number 3 was… we were stopping. When my third son entered the world I was happy and joyful and had zero remorse that a girl hadn’t been born to me. He was tiny, perfect, and a total delight.

I won’t lie and tell you I didn’t go through my own season of grief realizing I would never experience those things again. Never feel life stir in me, that first movement, hearing the heartbeat, seeing that sono image, watching my belly grow larger as my child grew in me.

The anticipation of their arrival. The joy of seeing what I had when they were born ( We did not find out what any of ours were beforehand… super cool)

Not experience the joy of nursing them and the sweet moments that those times offered.  The sleepy times where they lay on my chest, the softness of their breath lulling me to sleep as I breathed in their sweet baby scent. The feel of that soft downy hair under my hand.

Those moments do go by all to quickly I was reminded as my 6’6 first born walked in and enveloped me in a huge hug before dinner last night.

A time and a season for every activity under heaven indeed.

I guess I’m at a point in my life I’m privileged? blessed? to look back and see those seasons, appreciate them, and know they are a normal part of the rhythm and flow of life.

Now, I see young moms and think “God bless them” followed by… “I’m glad I’m through all that!” And “I like having my body all to myself” haha at this season in life I’ll be honest and say I’m enjoying my freedom.

My seasons involve my children getting married, preparing for college, making future plans, getting blessed with grandbabies and watching my youngest approach her senior year of school.

Ahhhh my last one in school!

There have been seasons of change in my personal life, and my own childhood family.

There have been seasons of loss, and seasons of the celebration of life.

And for me, exciting seasons of contemplating adventures and new things I want to do.

I love the point I am in life right now.

Yes, I’ve moved through seasons that are done. Yes, some of them I’ve grieved. Some of them I’ve celebrated passing through! Some have been downright painful and full of struggle.

But what is rather amazing and awesome is the fact, we (all) will continue to move through new seasons in our lives.

I’m thankful to be where I am, to be strong and energetic and eager for the new seasons unfolding in front of me.

There are so many things to pursue!

I’ve tried to learn, to view, to accept, that seasons in our life are what makes life. I often refer to them as new adventures.

Sometimes they are hard. Sometimes painful, joyful, or confusing. They are what makes life.

What do you think ? Is life made up in this way, seasons that we pass through ? Where are you now ?  Have you learned to accept and embrace where you are ?

 

New Year Goals Not Resolutions

Happy new year

 

Happy, happy New Year to you boys and girls! 2016 is upon us full of hope and new beginnings.

ok well, technically as I write this, 2016 is a few hours away and I am hanging out in Starbucks writing and enjoying a rare treat away from my usual black coffee. They offered up something this year called “Holiday Spice Flat White” and it’s a taste sensory of holiday spices. steamed milk and double shots of espresso

It’s amazingly delicious… and it will be gone soon… just like this year.

If you’re like me perhaps you look at the year ahead and are making plans and setting new goals…or resolutions….

I know the thing to do is make new years resolutions but I really wanna talk to you about goal setting instead.

What’s the difference you ask ? Let’s take a look….

A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. Do you see how that can go either way for your “resolutions ” ? Kind of subjective to your whim at the time, isn’t it ?  Not particularly concrete.

Now, let’s look at goal setting.

goals

 

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life.
It’s a pretty big difference from an ambiguous “resolution” isn’t it ?
At the top of so many peoples list for a new year is losing weight and starting an exercise program.
Setting small specific goals that are measureable and attainable will lead to your ultimate goal. Making a blanket statement that you want to “lose 25lbs.” without specific steps to get there will leave you most likely abandoning the idea fairly quick.
However, if you set out a specific goal to lose 1-2 lbs per week that is measureable, attainable and time bound. If you lost 2 lbs per week you would realize your overall goal within about a 3 month period give or take depending on how diligent you were.
Same for exercise. To just determine you’re going to go from doing nothing to taking off for a 5 mile run is crazy.  You’ll hurt and pay for it and vow that running really will kill you and you stop.
However,  beginning with a program where you implement walk/run and starting with 1-2 miles you can ease into it allowing your body to make changes and adaptations so you can run farther and longer.  You might have a goal of wanting to run a 5K race maybe 3 months out. By doing a walk/run method with your goals specific to increase your running time, and gradually increasing your distance will prepare you for that 5K (3.1 miles).
One of the things I thrive on is setting up a training schedule for my marathons.  I love the structure of a training program that leads to my ultimate goal of running 26.2 miles.  There is something about seeing my month already written out on a calendar that feels comfy to me… mainly ’cause I know those are steps to where I’m going. Without  specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time bound steps I’d never make it to the starting prepared and ready for that distance.
Let’s look at it from a nutrition stand point. So many people approach eating healthier as a do or die attempt. They think there must be great suffering and no fun stuff ever.  They believe they have to nail it every single day and if they don’t then they’ve “lost” and might as well “give up”.  (Please don’t give up… even on days you might feel like you’ve failed… you just pick up and keep going… that’s called progress)
When you take steps to make one better choice at a time it’s less painful to adjust. In time, you probably won’t think about some of those changes you’ve made as they become more habit for you.
If you drink sodas and you want to cut back or cut them all together you simply begin making small cuts to let your body adapt to that change.
Not a veggie eater? Why not try one or two new things a week ? You might be surprised at what you like.
Always take seconds at a meal even when you aren’t hungry anymore ? Train yourself to eat slowly and really focus on savoring your first plate of food.
Set specific, attainable,  and measureable nutrition goals for yourself.   A notebook or planner can help keep you on track with your goals.
I can’t claim originality for this but I love the quote “progress, not perfection”.
We aren’t ever gonna have it 100% “right” but we can keep on track to living a healthy, strong, and productive life =)
Tell me…. what goals do you have for yourself this new year ? What steps do you need to take to make them happen ?

Don’t Wait For Next Year To Change

January

“Well, I’m just gonna get started in January, you know, once the holidays are over.”

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it, yeah, a lot.

The New Years Resolution.

The New Years promise to finally “get in shape”, to “lose weight”, and to “get healthier”.

What it might amount to is a fairly guiltless free for all of eating for weeks like a man condemned to the gallows never to see good food again.

Then with a rigid determination come the official first of the year and a stoic do or die approach, you set out to finally lose weight.

All the good foods are gone ( you might have helped eat them to “get them out of the house”) you’ve stocked up on celery and rice cakes and pulled out the Jillian Michaels workout video that you will overdo on and hurt like heck the next day ’cause your body is protesting all that activity. You will hop on the scale looking for it to show some “loss” to reward you for your first hard day of labor and suffering.

Ha.. ok.. I’m  messing with you, but maybe you see yourself in there somewhere.

I do. I used a lot of my past to kinda make fun of the predictable behaviors so many go through each year.

Sad thing is, those good intentions, almost never last past that first month.

I just want to encourage you to not wait for the New Year to start focusing on taking care of yourself. Each day is a new opportunity to eat well, and get in some good purposeful movement. I was talking with someone and again the conversation came up that exercise is something our bodies require for health and wellness, not just to be used as a tool to lose weight ( although it helps with that too).

Exercise is crucial to our overall well being! And needless to say, eating well, gives us good energy to move through our day.

I want to challenge you to not wait for 2016 to start making changes, but begin today.

Taking small steps each day will position you to continue forward movement after the holidays are over towards permanent healthy changes.

Can you think of a better way to start off your New Year ?

The Habit Of Eating

In yesterdays blog I talked about will power vs. habits and their role in weight loss and building a healthy lifestyle pattern.

One habit we all have in common and I’d dare say we all enjoy, is eating.

Food is good. Food is also the source of fuel for our bodies to perform daily tasks and live life. Food is meant to be enjoyed and savored!

There are lots of things to eat, and hopefully, you are making choices to eat healthy and nutritious foods the majority of the time.

In the ways of developing habits I’m sure most of us have habits of eating at scheduled times during the day to keep our energy level up.

We have an amazing God given built in system that tells us when we need food.

Ever get that grumbly, growly, tummy ? That’s the signal you need to eat. Once we’ve eaten enough to be (comfortably) satisfied we stop…or we should.

Unfortunately, many can go to either extremes with this. Either the hunger signals are constantly and frequently ignored which can lead to possible eating disorders, or one can eat often and frequently enough to not even remember what natural hunger signals feel like.

I know when I do long runs, my appetite can sometimes hit the roof and I feel like I can’t get it in fast enough. It feels good when it hits bottom!

Why? Because I’m genuinely, truly, hungry. I always joke food tastes so amazing when you are really hungry.

What I want to ask is this… do you eat when you are really truly, hungry? Or do you eat as a habit ? Because it’s a scheduled meal time?

We do need to schedule and eat adequate meals, but we also need to learn when enough is enough to take care of our hunger but not send us into that “I ate to much” feeling.  Balance is what we’re seeking, balance in meeting our needs, but not over doing it.

Get this… you don’t have to eat if you aren’t hungry. Or if it’s a scheduled meal time and you aren’t hungry.

However, if you get balanced, adequate meals in your day you should be experiencing those natural signals before your next meal. Allow yourself to understand, feel, and act on those signals.

Developing a habit to eat, when hungry, and stop when your hunger is comfortably satisfied is a big step towards losing weight and moving into healthy lifestyle patterns.

Is this easy for you to do ? Or will you need some practice to make it a habit ?