Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Eating Tip Avoid Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Watch out for the partially hydrogenated oils! During the holidays these buggers can be hiding out in a variety of places, including pastry wrapped around appetizers and in pies and cakes.

When you see baked goods that are not home made, the chances are good they have some of these nasty oils because it is easier and cheaper for the commercial bakers to use them.

You have the most control over the ingredients if you are the one providing the treat. When buying goodies for yourself, parties, the office or to give as gifts, if you do not have the time or desire to bake yourself, check with the local bakery--whether in the grocery store or a separate specialty shop. Ask them if they use any partially hydrogenated oils. Or if you buy a packaged type at the grocery store, read the ingredients list and pass if they are present.

If you are someone else's party--whether their home or office--it is better to be safe and presume the goodies are store bought and may contain partially hydrogenated oils.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Taking Action

You have defined your goals, set your intentions and made plans to support them. And for some of us, we have been given the opportunity to see how we can refine those plans and make them even better.

So what is left to do? ACT upon them.

  • Move more.
  • Contact your chosen support personnel.
  • Go to the grocery store and buy raw nuts and veggies.
  • Move some more.
  • Cut up the veggies to have on hand for noshing.
  • Put a small baggie of raw nuts in your purse or briefcase.
  • Move again.
  • Call your support people and USE them!
  • Talk about your feelings rather than shove down with food
  • And did I remind you to move?
And remember to take one day at a time...heck, take it one bite and one step at a time.

And please, take the time to breath in the sights, sounds and smells around you this season. Appreciate the people around you. Enjoy the next month and know that you didn't miss out on anything! That way you can start the new year with joy in your heart, pride at your accomplishments and a heart filled with happy memories!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Are You Happy After Thanksgiving?

How did you do on Thanksgiving regarding your health goals?

Did you follow through on your plan?

Did you move more?

Did you enjoy some of your favorite foods in moderation?

Or perhaps did you overindulge a bit -- or a lot?

In other words, are you happy with how your Thanksgiving went? Are you happy with the decisions that you made?


If you are not, dust yourself off (gently) and reset those day does not ruin your program UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO LET IT! So if you made some less than perfect decisions, follow them up with better ones!

Take a few minutes today to reflect back on what you could have done differently yesterday that would have allowed you to feel better today. Don't beat yourself up, this is observation time, not a day of judgment.

Now, include those insights you have gathered into your plans for the remainder of the holiday season--and let's talk tomorrow about taking action!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day to be grateful for the many blessings that we have in our lives.

Enjoy the day. Savor the flavorful food, stories and love.

  • I am grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life, for my health and for the beauty that surrounds me.
  • I am grateful I wake with a smile on my face, for hot coffee on a cold morning, for safe travels and healthy food to fill my belly.
  • I am grateful for my loving partner, my friendly neighbors, for warm sun and the moisture that the snow brings.
  • I am grateful for the peace in my heart, for the optimism I feel in the country and for equality for all of God's children.
Share the love, folks! Extra helpings of hugs and well wishes all around!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Planning for Holiday Meals with Friends and Family

We've been talking about plans to support your health goals over the holidays. What can you do when you are invited to someone's house and you really have decided you are going to drop pounds over the holidays?

Yesterday we discussed what you can do at home right before the event, but your plan can start much before then.

First, you can let you host or hostess know that you are watching your calories/fat/carbs whatever, and can (s)he tell you what the menu will be ahead of time so you can plan accordingly?

This one can be tough...One of the best ways to use this information is to let your hostess know you will be planning your other meals so that you can thoroughly enjoy what she is preparing.

You really cannot expect the host to change the menu at the last minute to accommodate your dietary constraints. And if they do accommodate you then it might be awkward to have dessert if you told her that you were watching be consistent with your requests and your actions.

Ask if you can bring a dish to help with the meal. Many hostesses will love to have someone take on a task! One of my favorite things to bring is a vegetable pot--a bunch of great veggies all cooked together with seasonings. Cut up veggies and put in an oven safe pot with a lid. Add a little water and your favorite seasonings (I like Herbs de Provence). Cook with the lid on so the veggies steam. Healthy, delicious, light--and easy.

Another great tip is to bring a hostess gift. Many people bring wine or can bring a basket of fruit or special sparkling water. While there is no guarantee that the hostess will open the gift during the evening, she might and then you will know that there is something you can enjoy, too.

Or ask if you can bring some sparkling water! Reducing alcohol is a great way to keep to your health goals. Not only does alcohol have a lot of calories and sugar, it also reduces our inhibitions and so we tend to eat more than if we didn't drink!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Eating Tips for Weight Loss Goals

So you have set your intentions and figured out what kind of support you want from friends and family...and asked for it. Awesome!

What are some other things you can do to ensure your success over the holidays?

Do not go to events hungry! It seems counter-intuitive, but eat something before going to a party. Most dinners do not start at the time of the invitation. You'll have time before for hors d'ouevres and drinks which can really add to the calorie load. The temptation is to starve all day so that you can eat whatever you want at the party. This always leads to eating way more.

I suggest a handful of raw nuts (most of the nuts you will find at parties will be roasted...enjoy them in moderation, but buy raw nuts to have on hand at home!) Raw nuts help suppress appetite and have lots of the healthy fats which help you feel satisfied.

Other foods to have to munch on before you go to a party are raw vegetables. Leafy salad is not a big winner in my book at this time of year...I like finger foods. They are easier and feel more like a treat! I buy some of my favorite veggies like red peppers, sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes and english cucumbers. Normally I would put them in a wonderful salad, but for this purpose I cut them up and have them ready for noshing as is.

Add a little protein and fat (the good kind) by having a tablespoon of hummus, peanut butter or yogurt (try plain mixed with mustard for a tangy dip) and you have a healthy snack that will keep you going until the main meal!

And please remember, the holidays only come once a year... enjoy some of your favorite foods...if you are going to be upset that you didn't have Grammie's special pie you will be more apt to "fall off the wagon" later and do more damage to your health goals than if you just had a small piece and savored it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Planning for the Holidays

It is important to have some plans in place that support your intention. Let's face it, intentions and affirmations all by themselves are not what it have to plan and take action. Remember the saying "the path to Hell is paved with good intentions"? Well that is true about intentions for our health...just replace Hell with Ill-Health and you get the picture!

I suggest you enlist the support of a few close friends and family members. Do not broadcast to the entire clan-- either on the work or home fronts --that you are on a diet or health journey or that you intend to maintain or lose weight over the holidays. Not everyone will be supportive of your goal. Others may be supportive but will try to help in their way, which may not be the best way for YOU.

Carefully choose your allies. Typically the best people to select are folks who are also health conscious, no matter what their weight is.

Set up the ground rules! Don't just ask people for support--tell them how you want to be supported.
  • Do you want someone to point out to you that what you are about to eat has 200 calories a bite?
  • Do you want a walking buddy so that you know you will keep your body moving when it would be easy to let that slide?
  • Do you want a person to be able to call when you are feeling "called" to eat?
  • Do you want someone who will listen to you express your feelings/stress/anxiety so that you don't stuff them down with food?
  • Do you want a friend to go to social gatherings with so that you know you have at least one person you can talk to rather than grab more food or drink?
Think about what you want in a support person. Then choose your person based on the type of support you want and if you believe that person can provide it for you. In other words, if you need someone to listen to you express your feelings, and your feelings are triggered most by your mother, then she might not be the best support buddy for that purpose.

You can have more than one support person--in fact I encourage it. Maybe Mom can't be your emotional support, but maybe she can help by preparing a favorite dish that is a healthy choice. Or maybe she is a great choice for going for walks after every meal!

Sometimes you don't have to let a person know you have selected them...for example, if you are going to be visiting family for the holidays and you decide you want to move your body more, you could enlist a sibling as a walking buddy. Or you could say "wow, I could really use a short stroll around the block after that delicious meal...anyone want to join me?" OR use the opportunity to have a little one-on-one time and select a different person and say, "Sis, we haven't gotten much time to catch up, how about just you and me go for a spin around the block and chat?" That way you get your body moving and you have a chance to visit with some of your favorite people away from the crowd!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Setting the Intention for the Holidays

Once you have clarified for yourself what your goal is, it is time to set that intention. The intention is worded as an affirmation and they work best in the positive, present tense.

Rather than saying "I will not gain weight over the holidays" try something like
"I have a wonderful holiday season, enjoying the company of friends and family, and I maintain my current weight while taking pleasure in many special events and favorite holiday foods."
Notice the key points: present tense, a visual and emotional connection with things other than and including food, and a positive statement about weight. If you like that one, use it as is...or take it and modify it to better fit your personality and holiday.

You can take the same affirmation and make it for one about losing weight very easily:
"I have a wonderful holiday season, enjoying the company of friends and family, and I shed excess fat while taking pleasure in many special events and favorite holiday foods."
Another example could include other visual aides:
"What a wonderful holiday I am having! I see old friends and family. The parties are fantastic--I look and feel marvelous. I enjoy sampling great holiday treats. I make my health my priority and I am having fun, I eat in moderation and I move my body. This is a great holiday and I am giving myself the BEST present -- my improved health!"
Tomorrow's post will cover some of the plans you can make to help support your intention! So go ahead, take some time TODAY and set your intention. Then come back tomorrow!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What is Your Weight Goal for the Holidays?

Yesterday I asked the question, can we actually get through the holidays without gaining weight. Of course, the answer is yes--as long as we make the decision to do so.

So first, be clear in your own mind what your intention you want to LOSE weight during the holidays or do you want to NOT GAIN weight during the holidays.

If your primary goal is on Jan. 1, 2009 to be at most the weight you are now then that is important to know. That intent is quite different from wanting on Jan. 1, 2009 to have the scale read a smaller number than it does today.

Neither goal is wrong/right/good/bad/better or worse. They just are. No judgment. And only you can decide what you truly want.

I suggest you take a few minutes and sit with the thought quietly. Let your inner voice guide you on this one.

Part of the answer will come from your lifestyle and the traditions that you have and where you are on your journey. If having a goal to actually drop pounds over the holidays will be stressful or bring a sense of deprivation then perhaps a better goal for you is to maintain your existing weight.

Come back tomorrow for the intention setting exercise!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Surviving the Holidays Without Gaining Weight

Is it possible to get through the holidays without gaining weight?

Not only is it possible to "get through" them, we can actually ENJOY the holidays and not blow up like a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

How do we do that?
  • One key component is setting the intention that you can and will do that.
  • A second is to make the plan that will support the intention.
  • Third is to follow through by acting on the plan.

Maybe you are asking yourself "why on earth did I start a diet right before the holidays?"

Or maybe you have been on your health journey for a while and this is the first major challenge you are facing.

Or perhaps you have been on the path for a long time and know that you could use some extra support during the dark days of winter and many eating opportunities ahead.

No matter where you are on your road to health, take a minute to congratulate yourself for making the decision to improve your life. That is HUGE!

It is possible to have success even at this time of year. Check in tomorrow when I talk about setting the intention!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are Fats Good or Bad? What About Carbs? I'm so Confused

Yesterday I mentioned a book that helps dispel some of the myths or misinformation we have about food. Does that make it "mythinformation"?

Michael Pollan has written another such book, In Defense of Food. He makes a good point that we tend to demonize a food group (it used to be all fats were considered bad, for example) and glorify others. This goes on for a while and then we learn that--whoa! Hold your horses!!! Some fats are good for you and actually help you lose weight!

Since fats were no longer total evil, we then turned on all carbs. That turns out not to be correct either.

Really the best thing to do is to eat a balanced diet and eat as close to nature as we can and to eat in moderation.

Not only does this prescription help us with our waistlines, it will help the planet too. Less refined foods and less packaging results in less waste.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Are Eggs Bad for Me?

Eggs got a bad wrap when I was in school. Blamed for high cholesterol levels in people because they have a lot of cholesterol in them...

Turns out there is no correlation between eating eggs and having an increased risk at heart attack.

Remember my "rule"-- there are NO forbidden foods! So eat your eggs--they have a lot of good nutrients and are high in protein. Calorie for calorie they are a great food for anyone wanting to drop some pounds.

You can read more about eggs and other foods in Barry Glassner's book The Gospel of Food.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dr. Oz says Measure Your Waist Not Your Weight

Seems we are all obsessed with the number on the scale.

I'll confess I do like seeing that number get smaller.

I'll also confess that I have in the past been addicted to watching the number on the scale. And that did not serve me. I actually got on the scale 3 times (or more) every day.

Dr. Oz suggsts that rather than focusing on the scale, focus on your waist measurement.
A person's waist in inches should not be greater than his height in inches divided by two.

When I was a teenager, the rule of thumb was if you (as a girl) were 5 feet tall you should weigh 100 pounds and add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. That was pretty unrealistic for me--at 5' 6" tall I should by that theory weigh 130 pounds. That may sound easy for some, but I only came close to that (140) by starving myself and working out 1-2 hours every day.

By Dr. Oz's formula at 5 feet (60 inches) your waist should be no larger than 30 inches around. Much more attainable. My waist, even at 140 pounds was about 26 inches, so I would have passed his test.

I haven't quite gotten to the 33 inch mark goal yet, but I totally believe that it is attainable!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dr. Oz came to Town

Dr. Mehmet Oz came to Loveland, Colorado last week.

We have come to know him for his knowledge and his affable manner--showcased on the Oprah Winfrey show.

A lot of what he said was pretty basic--if you watched him on Oprah or read his book "You on a Diet" you will be familiar with his message.

A couple points especially bear repeating: remember you are in control of your health and health care. "Health care is personal", that includes taking responsibility for how you eat, exercise, asking questions of your doctor and getting second opinions! You are your best health advocate--don't leave it to someone else to take care of--"If you don't do it, no one is going to."

Dr. Oz suggests making transitions from your old habits to new, healthier ones over a period of at least two weeks. Good advice--that helps it seem like a progression rather than a "diet" or hardship! If it takes longer than 2 weeks, that's okay. Don't try to make all the changes at once--that just adds stress to your life.

What else--read labels and avoid if any of these are in the first 5 ingredients: sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, enriched flour, trans fats or saturated fats.

Keep water and a handful of nuts handy. Get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

And remember to breathe!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How to Shed off those Extra Pounds: Useful Tips and Information ...

This article has lots of good pointers and weight loss tips!

There are also ads and links for various diet programs which I am not endorsing...

How to Shed off those Extra Pounds: Useful Tips and Information ...

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why Don't My Affirmations Work?

Dr. Linda and I are on the same wave length this week. Isn't that funny how that works. (That is called Law of Attraction in case you didn't know!)

I've been really aware of how my mental attitude and my ideas about my own health seem to directly manifest in my body. Check out her blog post and get her take on that concept.

If you find yourself saying "I can't go work out", or "My body hurts", or "I'm too fat to exercise", or "Eating right is too hard" then those things will be true for you. Immediately! Do you realize that those are all affirmations? They are just negative ones!!!

So if you have been practicing positive affirmations and you do those a couple times a day but the rest of the time you are saying (in your mind or out loud) negative affirmations you will be defeating the positive ones. This is the main reason your positive affirmations are not working!

Start to be aware of when you have a negative thought (or affirmation) and stop yourself. Louise Hay in the wonderful film "You Can Heal Your Life" says we should ask ourselves this question:
Do I want to experience that thought in my life?

If the answer is no! then you should stop right then and work out how to turn that negative thought into a positive affirmation.

You mind is an awesome tool in your toolbox for health and weight loss -- if you let it be!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Power of the Mind in Losing Weight

Our mind is our biggest ally or enemy when it comes to maintaining our health including losing weight.

I'm not talking about willpower. As you read yesterday, willpower is not the answer.

Mindset is a different animal. What you tell yourself, especially if you tell yourself it over and over, will come about.

I'm convinced one of the reasons I got fat (besides being out of balance chemically) was that I said to myself and others repeatedly that I was fat. Even when I was not fat, or maybe just a little fat.

I was convinced I was so fat that no one would love me. I think I gained more weight just to try to "prove" my point!

Dr. Linda brings up in her blog
that our subconscious doesn't know if what you are telling it is true or not, but it will work to make it true.

So start by saying affirmations about your health, your journey to a slender body, your willingness to be attractive...if you can say "I'm beautiful" or slender or loved that is awesome! But if you can't bring yourself to say those words without hearing "no I'm not!" in the background then practice what you can say positive about yourself. I've talked about affirmations before and how to use them to help achieve your goals...always a good thing to remember!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Willpower is not the Answer

If willpower were the answer, I would never have gotten to be over 100 pounds overweight. Or at least if I had, it wouldn't have hung around for so long.

I had lots of willpower...I stuck to lots of diets, did lots of exercising.

Willpower alone is not enough.

"It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not." James Gordon, M.D.

If and when you are ready to change, there is help! You do have to make the decision that you want to change and get the help.

I'm here to tell you that losing weight and keeping it off is possible! And it won't take willpower when you have the right support--emotionally and chemically!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Affirmations for Weight Loss

I received this affirmation from a friend of mine who got it from The Best Affirmations Workbook.

Affirmations have been a great tool for me in my weight loss and health journey so I am happy to add this to my repertoire. It combines health and wealth. Cool!

I am a fat burning machine!
I grow more graceful and attractive every day!
Money flows effortlessly to me from both known and unknown sources!
Every day I find checks in my mailbox!
I always say yes to an opportunity.
I attract the most wonderful customers, and they refer their best contacts to my business!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Before and After Photos

People have been asking for me to put up "Before" and "After" photos.
Truth is, I don't have a lot of photos. Maybe you can relate. I never really wanted to face what I looked like. I guess I thought if I never saw photos of myself maybe I really wasn't that big after all. Hmmm. That would be WRONG!

I'm not going to claim that never looking at photos of myself allowed me to get so big, but gosh, I don't think it helped. The truth was it was extremely painful to look at the pictures because I felt so out of control. I honestly felt like there was nothing I could do to lose weight--after all I had tried "everything"! So I chose to ignore it and hoped it would go away.

A lot of the "before" photos focus in on my face only, so I had to look for one that showed my entire body. And believe it or, this one looks GOOD! I actually was very proud of myself as I had lost 25 pounds when this first photo was taken! I was wearing size 3X clothes at the time.

This "after" picture I took just a couple days ago--when I reached the 100 pounds down milestone! Currently a size 16!

I still have some more fat to lose, but I am so happy with my progress and results! The best part is that it has all been so easy. I really don't have to think about it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cookies, the Good the Bad and the Ugly

Well, maybe there aren't any ugly cookies, but I couldn't resist!

Why am I talking about cookies, when this blog is about achieving health (and weight) goals? Well, if you remember I have said with my program I have no forbidden foods. That includes cookies.

One of my wonderful neighbors came by the house today selling cookie dough as a fundraiser for his grandson's pre-school. The child was sick and therefore could not assist Grandpa, but will be helping with the delivery of the buckets. Hmmmm. Since each bucket weighs in at 3 pounds I'm not sure just how much help the little guy will be, but at least he will be present!

My neighbor said, "I know you are on a diet, so if you don't want any that's okay". It was really sweet that he wanted me to know that he was aware that I've lost a lot of weight and that I should not feel obligated to participate. I did have to tell him that I refuse to diet! People just don't seem to understand that--how is it possible to lose weight without dieting? Well, I'm proof that it is possible!

Know what else? I was glad that he didn't assume and make the decision for me! Since most people think if you are losing weight you never eat treats, he could easily have made that assumption!

We did buy one bucket. I figure it will last us about a year!

I know that I won't go crazy...because I have evidence to prove that now. So this is the first time I have ever bought one of these food fund-raisers and not had a level of fear associated with the purchase!

Sometimes a freshly baked cookie is just what the doctor ordered (well, maybe not Dr. Linda!)

We'll chat another time about some really healthy cookies that I make that are part of the Mars Venus Wellness Solution. They are so rich and mother said
They taste so sinful I cannot get it into my head they are legal.

Oh, if only all of life's problems were so simple!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Feeling Good and Grateful

I am just feeling so good!

I'll confess that I'm not thrilled with how early it is getting dark these days, but other than that life is pretty darned good!

Walking in the morning is more enjoyable when it isn't dark and it has gotten a few degrees warmer. Maybe that helps balance out the dark afternoons (Hey--4pm is still afternoon and it is getting dark here by then!)

This time of year can be a challenge for me--or has been historically. Since I started the Mars Venus Wellness Solution 13 months ago I have been through an entire year. SO, I expect that this late fall/winter will not be the issue for me that it has been in some years past.

I am shocked and amazed at how different I am about food. I literally still have HALF A BAG OF HALLOWEEN CANDY in the house! It is not "calling my name" at all! I am so happy. It means that the rest of the household does not have to suffer just because I don't have control--because NOW I DO!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Starting My Day

This morning I woke up to the most beautiful sunrise. Wow! It was the perfect complement to my morning lemon drink.

Part of the Mars Venus Wellness Solution is to start each morning with a glass of "Lemon Cleanse". I really enjoy it. I like the taste and I like how I feel when I drink it. It feels very light.

I used to be a huge coffee drinker. Hmmm. Well, actually I was pretty big, but what I meant to say is that I was an avid coffee drinker. Before I started John's program I used to drink pretty much a pot myself. There were times in my life where one pot would have been nothing!

Now I have coffee when I want it--as part of an experience as opposed to a habit. For example, it is Saturday morning...I'm going to enjoy a large mug of coffee this morning because I like the flavor of it. I like that I am in control of even my coffee intake! I no longer need that daily jolt of caffeine to get me going.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Making Exercise Fun

What can we do to make our exercise fun? How do we mix it up to prevent getting bored?

Across the street from my house is a pasture that during the winter is home to about 30 head of horses. I love watching them play. I always get a big smile across my face when I see them.

The other morning I walked over with some small apples I had leftover from visiting my brother. I had used the bigger ones and made myself a treat and decided the tiny ones were too small to make the effort worthwhile.

Of course they loved the treats! The horses got loving, great rubs and some nice eats. And I got to enjoy feeling their soft lips and warm, furry bodies. What a marvelous energy exchange.

I'm not saying that feeding the horses is great "exercise"! What was great was that I got out in nature, got some energy and moved my body in a different way, in addition to walking to the part of the pasture where the horses were. Yes, I walk on a regular basis and no, this was not a long walk, but it was different, fun and I feel happy and energized as a result!

Sometimes that is all we have to do to keep ourselves on our path to health! After all, if we aren't having fun, we won't do it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Phone Coaching Assists Weight Loss

Thanks to Lynda Lippin, the Fitness Diva for this information.

In a new study published in the November/December issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, researchers at Brigham Young University, headed by Dr. Larry Tucker, found that phone coaching has a an extremely positive effect on weight loss. In a 17 week study that contrasted men and women who were given 11 sessions of personalized weight loss phone coaching against a group who received no such support, the phone coached group shed an average of seven pounds in contrast to an average of four pounds in the uncoached adults.

Says Dr. Tucker, "Tucker: People tend to do better when they have a support system and when they have someone they report to each week. The weight loss coach can help people work through weight loss issues, barriers and problems. Compared to no coaching, phone coaching tends to show a benefit."

I couldn't agree more! My coaching with Dr. Linda (not the Fitness Diva, different fitness ladies!) has helped me immensely. I recommend finding someone who fits with your needs and who can support you in nutrition, attitude and exercise.

This is especially helpful if you live alone or in an area where it may be difficult to get support--or if you have family and friends who just "don't get" what you are trying to accomplish in your life!

I tried some of the groups in past (like Weight Watchers) and they didn't work for me. If they support you, that is awesome. But if not, give Dr. Linda a try, I think she is awesome!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fat Burning Exercises

I've mentioned before how important it is to mix up exercising see Refuse to Diet: Walking for Weight Loss, Part 2: Variety is Key. I believe that mixing it up is crucial to prevent boredom and to affect all your muscles and not require spending hours and hours working out.

That being said, I still find that I have a routine that I get into (I don't like to call it a "rut") and sometimes I don't remember exactly why I'm doing a specific thing. That is why I like to go back to the basics from time to time.

I did that this morning. I have been following Dr. John Gray's program with great dedication for over a year now and have had FANTASTIC results. However, I have not been watching the DVD daily. I do the "bounce and shake" and follow the philosophy and achieving fat burning through my exercising, even though I was not doing exactly what was on the vid.

That's okay, but this morning I decided I wanted to watch the program and bounce along with John.

I was struck by several things.
1. It is so much easier to follow now than it was in the beginning (hurray that means I've made progress!0
2. My arms still get tired at times (if your arms get tired it is okay to adjust the motions--you want to avoid "feeling the burn")
3. I had forgotten how many of the motions are specifically designed to stimulate various hormones to assist in burning fat and balancing our chemistry!
4. The time actually went by more quickly when I was watching the DVD!

So if you haven't already gotten the Isoflex Exercises DVD and you are looking for some gentle ways to burn fat, check it out. I started this when I weighed over 250 pounds and was having lots of back, hip and knee problems, so if I can do it and have success, I know anyone can!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Buying Bras

OK, this is for the women out there--I am not a clothes shopper. I don't particularly enjoy the experience. Maybe that is because I have been fat most of my life and so it isn't really a fun experience to sweat and try on clothes that always seem to be too tight.

Well, I had to buy clothes recently as I was going to a conference. While I was in the store they made an announcement that they were having fittings for bras. Well, I was wearing the same bra that I had been wearing 100 pounds ago. Thinking just maybe it was time for me to have a new bra I headed over.

I intellectually knew that having new "foundation garments" would make a big difference, but I really wasn't prepared for the visual change. Heck I wasn't sagging any more! In fact "the girls" were upright and "perky" as I've heard Oprah say!

So do yourself a favor and buy a couple new bras--whether you have lost a lot of weight or just haven't bought a new bra in a while, get a bra that fits and it will uplift your spirits, as well as "the girls"!

Not sure how to pick one out--hate to go to the stores. Check out this link and get the right bra for you, shipped right to your door! Find your perfect bra with's BraFinder!

Monday, November 3, 2008

"You've Lost a Lot of Weight"

I saw someone today whom I had not seen in some time. He did a bit of a double take when he saw me. "You've lost a lot of weight", he said.

I smiled and said "Yes, I have!"

It felt really good to have someone acknowledge my results. I know that sometimes we don't know what to say when we see someone who has had a big change in their appearance, but for most of us who were/are obese it feels good to have our efforts recognized.

This happens to be a wonderfully kind man who I've known for several years. It was obvious in his eyes that he was pleased for me. That was part of what made it feel so good. He also followed it up with thoughtful questions about what I was doing and how I was feeling (my energy level, etc) and I could tell he really cared.

I liked the way he said it, noticing the change first, and asking about the process rather than focusing on my appearance.

Based on this experience, I would suggest that if you notice someone has dropped a lot of weight and you want to give a positive comment--go ahead.

I'd be interested to hear if other people would disagree with that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So How Come I Still Feel Fat?

I've lost 100 pounds (Hooray for me!), so how come I still feel fat? And why did I not dance up and down and celebrate and boast about my success? Instead I allowed myself to wallow in feeling fat.

Being with my family recently really made me think about that. I don't know that I have ALL the answers but I have come up with a couple.

First is mental image of self vs PHOTOS! I was feeling really good, trim, etc. Heck I know that I am not at my ideal weight yet--but I am well on my way. But I saw some pictures of myself and I was surprised at my reaction. Instead of seeing my progress I really saw how "big" I still am.

In my mind's eye, I look trimmer than I do in photos. And that has always been the case. I looked at the photos and thought, wow, how can 100 pound weight loss not be more significant in appearance?

Goes to show I still have a lot of work to do on my self image. Looking at myself in the mirror is not the same as seeing a photo. Is it that the camera actually adds 10 pounds? Or is it that because it is a static image and so you don't see the "life" or movement? It is easier to look at a photo critically (or objectively) perhaps than when looking in the mirror. In the mirror it is easier to gloss over some areas and move to some favorites.

Just a theory.

By the way, I decided to look at some photos from about 75 pounds ago...when I compare those to my current photos I can see a huge difference.

Weight loss tool note: when looking at photos, have a progression so you keep the positive attitude.

And maybe, just maybe I'll be willing to put up some photos!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Was Halloween a Trick or Treat?

We have kids in the neighborhood this year. Only a couple. So we wanted to have a little candy for them--we asked if they were going trick or treating. They said yes, so we bought one bag. One small bag.

We also asked that they come by early so we would be sure to give them their treats and then shut down for the night.

One neighborhood kid came by and (separately) a complete stranger. We were generous in our giving and we still have 1/2 a bag left. And I didn't have a single piece. Hooray! And it is the next day and I honestly don't want any. This is amazing!

So for me, Halloween was a treat. I stayed in and watched a movie. Had a quiet night. My neighbor got her candy and I got to support her in having fun. And I don't have a house full of candy.

If I lived in my old neighborhood, where there are lots of kids, I would have bought more candy and given more away...but this was really nice.