Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eat Your Vegetables

We've all heard this from our parents, from nutritionists, "Eat Your Vegetables"...

It is true, but let's also look at what are vegetables.

Vegetables include potatoes and sweet potatoes...high in starch. If you have already cut back on the empty calories in sodas, sweets, etc and are still wanting to lose some pounds, you may need to watch how many of your vegetables come from this end of the spectrum.

On the other end of the spectrum there are the lettuces...very low starch, low calorie, etc. It can take a lot of these foods to get you to feeling full. The good news is you can eat as much of them as you want. The bad news is you might get bored and some lettuces have little more nutrition than water.

Then there's a bunch in the middle--like broccoli, beans, etc. I find these to be the best bet for me in the "bang for the buck" as far as nutrition goes.

So there's a huge variety of vegetables and all of them are good to a certain point.

I love a big salad...but it is definitely not all lettuce. I make it chock-full of veggies so that I get a variety of textures, tastes (and vitamins!) in every bite. I pick colorful and flavorful veggies so that I get a pretty meal as well as one that is satisfying to my taste buds.

So don't just shake out the bag of romaine! Get mixed greens, add some peppers, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, mushrooms, green beans, whatever you like. Make a salad that a restaurant would be proud to serve and you won't feel deprived! Add your favorite protein--lean beef, chicken, tuna, maybe some walnuts or almonds.

Be brave and experiment. I have found pine nuts to be a great addition to my salads.

During the winter I add more ingredients and less lettuce. During the hot days of summer I enjoy a lot of lettuce for the lightness.

Then top off the salad with something light--my favorite is fresh lemon. Sometimes I add olive oil.

Try some of the other oils that are high in omega 3s...try flax oil, hemp oil, try sesame oil for variety...No matter the oil, keep the quantity of it down. It should augment the flavors in the salad not overpower.

Try a little soy sauce and sesame oil combo. Or red wine vinegar with olive/flax or hemp oil.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Changing Habits

What are your eating habits that you most want to change?

Knowing what they are is the first step to having success in reaching your goals.

For me, unconscious (emotional) eating was the biggest eating challenge.
Another big one: I would NOT eat for too long a stretch.

Hmmm...over eating and not eating. Seem like opposite problems don't they. I believe they are just the flip side of the same problem. Not listening to and not trusting my own body.

I spent so many years (ahem, decades) ignoring my body's messages that I truly didn't know when I was hungry. I still have issues with it. It may be something I deal with my entire life--don't know, will have to see if this is conquered or managed!

The learned behavior for me was to eat when I was told to, not when I was hungry. To eat what I was told to. To eat how much I was told to.

Some of this was practical--Mom made breakfast for the family and it is good to eat breakfast and you have to eat before going to you ate, even if you weren't hungry, because you were breaking the fast.

Some of this was cultural--we all sat at the dinner table and had to clean our plates. I don't remember if we were told about the starving children in Africa or China or wherever, but we definitely we are "clean plate club" family.

On the other hand, I was the heavy one in the family, so I was constantly monitored about how much I was eating and I was told more than once that I had had enough.

Because I was not given control over my eating, but was always directed when, what and how much I could eat, I found that I learned to "turn off" my recognition of hunger. It was just easier that way.

I was always trying to lose weight, so it was natural that I feel hungry, right?

I was exercising a lot, so it was natural that I feel hungry, right?

I was overweight so I needed to not eat, even if I was hungry, right?

So my biggest habit change is listening to my body and believing it when it tells me I am hungry and I should eat.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hunger Pangs: What to do?

So you want to lose some pounds, you are eating healthy, but gosh, you're just plain hungry, what do you do?

First thing I do when I feel hungry is to stop for a second (instead of just reacting and grabbing food) and analyze the situation to determine if I am really hungry or if it is something else...

I ask myself a couple of questions:
  • Am I hungry in my stomach or in my mouth?
  • Am I hungry for a specific food?
  • When did I last eat?
  • Have I had enough water?
  • Am I bored?
  • Am I feeling stressed? (boredom and stress are 2 of my emotional triggers, they may be different for you)
  • Am I avoiding doing something or saying something?
I typically find that if I am "hungry" but it is really centered in my mouth as opposed to real stomach hunger pangs, then I may be craving something and that is almost always an emotional thing rather than real hunger.

Similarly, if I am hungry for a specific food (especially if that food is high sugar or fat, like ice cream or chocolate) then I'm not really physically hungry. It may sound great, but probably I got some trigger from either a visual cue (like I just saw someone eating ice cream, or an ad for a chocolate bar) or I am reacting to a situation emotionally.

Generally speaking if it has been 3-4 hours since I last ate, it is possible that I am actually physically hungry. I still run through the rest of the questions. However, If I am having mouth hunger of specific cravings AND it has been 3, 4 or more hours since I last ate, it is possible that I have waited TOO long and gone beyond the stomach hunger point.

If it hasn't been that long since I last ate, then I definitely want to look at my water intake. Many times we think we are hungry when we are really thirsty. That is why I always have water with me.

If it hasn't been that long since I ate and I have been drinking enough water, then I want to look at my emotions.

If I find that I can honestly say that I'm not reacting out of an emotion--in other words I'm not trying to "stuff" my emotions by eating, then I will eat something. Even if it has only been an hour or so since I last eat.

I just eat something like, high in protein and/or complex carbs.

It is important to learn to listen to our bodies...we just need to practice listening! We are in the process of changing our habits and learning to listen to our healthy bodies and make healthy choices!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More About Mindset

So how do you get your head in the game, like discussed yesterday?

I've said this many times before, but affirmations are a great tool for changing your head.

I know that I started and failed many diets over the years. I had myself convinced that I actually COULD NOT SUCCEED. Sure enough, as long as I held that belief I didn't.

What changed for me? I started by being open to the possibility that maybe I could be healthy.

Sound simple? Well, if you have been struggling for years (almost 40 in my case) to be healthy then it may be simple but it is far from easy!

If you are struggling with affirmations--or struggling with the idea that it is even possible for you to lose weight, then review some of my past posts that deal with the subject of affirmation. I have several posts that give specific affirmations as well as how I have used them in the past.

If you are still challenged with affirmations and your mindset I suggest you give yourself the gift of some help. Louise Hay has been a great help to me. I love You Can Heal Your Life. I have the extended version with the affirmation tool kit and listen to that daily. I also meditate with Wayne Dyer. I suggest you start with one, and I would start with Louise Hay. Then as you get more comfortable with affirmations you can add some other tools.

Bottom line is to be loving to yourself! Give yourself the gift of health. You deserve it! Be open to the possibility of health for you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Get Your Head in the Game

This is one of my favorite sayings...and it is true for just about anything that you want to do in life. It refers to your mindset.

It is "the secret" to success!

You must first and foremost make a decision that you are going to do something, whether it is to lose weight, increase your fitness level, quit smoking, get off sugar or caffeine, or learn something new. It doesn't really matter what "it" is--you CAN achieve it as long as you truly commit to it.

It seems like losing weight is harder than some other things to commit to. That is true--if you let yourself believe that. If, on the other hand, you choose to believe that it is about attitude and choice and it is no different from any other choice then you will have an easier time.

If you do not believe in your heart, soul, the very core of your being that this time you can be successful at achieving your goal, then you probably won't be.

That doesn't mean you are destined to be obese for the rest of your life! It means that your work must start with getting your head in the game. Working on the mental and emotional attitude first. Then you can work on the foods themselves!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm Proud of Myself

I am proud! I have been at a very intensive course for the past several days (hence no posts!)

Sessions starting early in the morning and running to midnight could have easily led me to revert to unhealthy eating habits. There was quick access to high caffeine, high sugar, high simple carb foods which give energy surges, followed by the inevitable crash.

Instead, I kept my energy level constant by eating complex carbs, nuts, lean protein and drinking lots of water. Although not as much water as I normally do (there was so much info and very few bathroom breaks and I didn't want to miss a word!)

I brought my healthy food with me and that made it EASY to CHOOSE to eat what was healthiest for me.

Of course that meant I had to plan before hand. Most importantly I had to decide that I was important enough to be taken care of! I deserve to keep my healthy habits up and keep up with my health and weight loss goals!

I also exercised every day--even though I would have liked the extra sleep--I knew that sitting on my rear for 4 days was not good for my muscles or getting oxygen to my body. Quick walks during dinner breaks, walking flights of stairs rather than using the elevator, long walks at night all contributed to my healthy routine.

So after 4 days I feel stronger and healthy and proud of myself for learning and for exercising my determination for personal health!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Celebrate Success Now

It is important to remember to celebrate each and every success you have on the path to improved health.

Remember it is the journey--not the destination. You will keep having new goals and therefore you must appreciate what you have accomplished along the path or you will be setting yourself up for disappointment and discouragement.

Instead, enjoy your life and feel the JOY of your health and fitness by recognizing and celebrating your achievements...every single little one!

What am I celebrating right now? My noticeable increase in stamina! I love going for my walk and realizing that I am easily going faster than ever before. What used to require a lot of effort is easy...and I am able to "step it up!" That feels AWESOME!

What can YOU celebrate today?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup

There have been some recent reports that High Fructose Corn Syrup is not as bad as it has been painted. There have even been commercials on television, which by the way are paid for by the Corn Refiners Association, that tout the safety of High Fructose Corn Syrup.

The ads state that High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a natural substance. Like that alone makes something safe! Dr. Oz points out that not that HFCS is the equivalent to cyanide, but cyanide is a poison and 100% natural. There are lots of things that are natural that are poisonous to us. Consider snake bites, certain mushrooms, and even the beautiful Daffodil can be fatal if eaten. For some plants only a part of them is poisonous--take the Rhubarb plant--we can eat the stalks but eating the leaves can be fatal. Many common household and garden plants are fatal if ingested.

This isn't an article about gardening but just to point out that being "natural" is not the same as being "healthy" or even "benign".

What the Corn Refiners Association is claiming is that HFCS is no worse for you than sugar. This may (or may not) be true. However, who said sugar, especially in large quantities, is healthy for you?

In a day when we have sky rocketing rates of diabetes and obesity amongst our children, we deserve to look at our personal habits and cut out the empty calories--sugar, high fructose corn syrup, as well as other syrups and sugars. These are found in sodas and other packaged foods. Sodas are the biggest culprit from shear volume but if you read your labels you will find these sweetners are in almost everything we buy--even in the ketchup for you burger!

Eating too much HFCS may also contribute to obesity in another way. An important hormone in our digestive-system, called leptin, signals the brain when you have had enough to eat and that you should stop. Mounting research indicates that having too much HFCS in your diet disturbs the leptin to brain communication, thus allowing us to eat more than we should and gain weight.

Cutting the HFCS from your diet is one of the easiest ways to cut hundreds of calories a day for most people. Every soda, canned (sweetened!) ice tea or fruit drink contains 200+ calories--mostly from high fructose corn syrup and other sugars.

Eliminating these empty calories will help you (and your children) lose weight and also help prevent diabetes!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Small Changes

Don't try to take too big a leap in changing your eating or exercise habits.

Make one small change that adds up over time. This is the way to successful, long-term, permanent health improvements.

The best way to make a change is to start by knowing where you really are today.

So for this week, keep a record of what you eat & drink and how much you move!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bob Greene's Best Life Plan Highlights--Foods to Eat and Eliminate

Bob Greene's Best Life program continues with tips on what to eat--and what to avoid.

Of course it is critical to eat a healthy breakfast. I wrote about this, too, including some of the science about WHY it is important.

Bob agrees that we should make small changes in our diet. Specifically he says cut only 100-200 calories per day out. This is to keep your body from thinking it is going into a famine.

Then Bob continues with a list of 6 foods to cut out for the first month or two of your program. The foods are:

1. alcohol
2. soda pop (because of the sugar and empty calories and the havoc it creates in your body)
3. trans fats
4. fried foods
5. white bread (refined carbs)
6. high fat milk & yogurt

While I believe there are no "forbidden foods" because by saying a food is off limits entirely it tends to make us want it more (supply and demand?) I can support what Bob is saying here.

However, if going off completely for 1 month will cause you to binge once the month is over, try for a week! Then when you have success, try for 2 weeks and so on.

It is the small changes that matter. One of Bob's points was making a commitment to yourself and keeping that commitment. Better to make a shorter commitment and keep it than to set a longer commitment and break it!

Remember--both Bob and Laurie say Put Yourself First...or as Oprah says, Put Yourself Back on the List!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bob Greene's Best Life Plan Highlights--Exercise

More on Bob Greene's Best Life Plan...

Bob suggests you start doing cardio 20 minutes a day five days a week.

I had you start at 15 minutes with my exercise-made-easy plan (from Dr. John Gray)...I actually started this plan sitting on the couch or bed because of severe back and knee pain from my obesity! Can't get much easier than that.

Check out other posts where I discuss alternative exercises that are easy on the body and varying exercise, getting work out buddies, etc all tips to help keep you motivated!

I'm no longer on the couch and I am able to exercise more rigorously for 30 minutes every day and I feel (and look) great!

Tomorrow we'll cover Bob's foods to eliminate....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bob Greene's Best Life Plan Highlights--Emotions

Bob has quite a thorough plan that includes making small changes to what you eat and exercise. He also incorporates looking at the emotional component to why you are overweight. Bob's been doing this for 27 years and he knows there is an emotional component.

I've been doing this for at least 40 years and I also know there is an emotional component! Even when I didn't want to admit there was an emotional component, there was an emotional component! It is critical that you PUT YOURSELF FIRST in order to be successful at any permanent change, including weight loss!

Read more on the emotional components to weight gain (and loss) and how to plan for those challenges so you have the best chance of controlling them--not the other way around!

More tomorrow on Bob Greene's Best Life Plan highlights--exercise!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oprah and Bob Greene Agree with Me!

If you watched the Oprah Show last week you know she started the season with her Best Life series and that she followed that up with live webcasts this week.

Monday featured Bob Greene. And he talked about how being overweight is not really a food issue, it is a Love or Worthiness issue. I have been saying this for a long time.

A couple points that they made that I found especially interesting--you can choose to look at excess weight as an opportunity to determine what is missing in your life. That falls in line with the food being used to self-medicate or to mask theory that I have. I've known for long time that food is my drug of choice. Oprah uses that phrase, too.

About worthiness, it is important to realize that anyone can have worthiness issues (even Oprah) about some facet of their lives. Even when we feel completely worth in one area it does not mean that we feel worthy in all areas.

Oprah asked us to look at our lives and determine where/when was it that we first got "imprinted with the idea" that we or our ideas were not as important as someone else's. Interesting question to ponder!

Bob mentioned that it most likely goes back to before you were 10 years old as that is when most of our "wiring" is set.

It isn't about blaming anyone--not your mother or your childhood--it is about self discovery. By discovering what we truly believe we then have the power to change it. By learning, "oh, that's why I believe that" we can frequently change it more easily! Knowledge is power!

If you didn't catch the webcast with Bob live, you can get the replay at

There was lots of good information and I would love to hear your comments on the show. Over the next couple of days I'll point out what I thought were some of the highlights.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

LOVE and Weight Loss

Love is the best measuring stick to determine if we are making healthy food and exercise choices for ourselves.

All choices come down to either LOVE or lack of love, which I have come to define as fear.

If I feel "compelled" to eat chocolate for example, I can ask myself if this desire is coming from LOVE (a small piece of dark chocolate which has lots of great antioxidants, for example) or fear (that chocolate is on sale and I may never be able to find it again, for example.)

If the desire is coming from LOVE then I find that I am satisfied with a small quantity and I am able to fully enjoy the experience. Even if the item I want to eat has no nutritional value at all.

If the desire is coming from fear, then I find I am not satisfied...I could stuff myself with the food and still not feel satisfied. That's because I cannot get love, satisfaction or fulfillment when I base it in the lack of love!

The path to permanent weight loss is to eat (and to move) out of love for ourselves. This may take longer than a crash diet...but in the long-run it really doesn't! And we have the benefit of our health improving over time rather than be subject to the roller-coaster ride that accompanies the crash diet!

This is a life-long path of learning and reprogramming. I've had a lot of years of experience at eating without love. It is likely that I will face challenges on this path of growth and change and when I do, if I face those challenges from a loving place then I know I will succeed. So when I stumble, I will love myself back up onto the path of health. I will support myself in my efforts and know that I did my best at that moment in time and that every time I do my best I make it easier and easier for me to be my best the next time!

I love myself as I am today. Because I love myself I take care of my body and make healthy choices. I know that I am doing my best and being my best becomes easier and easier. Thank you for my healthy body and the healthy choices I make.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Listen to Your Body

Yesterday I said it is important to love ourselves and to listen to our bodies in order to achieve our ideal weight and health.

There is a lot of documentation that supports the concept that left to our own choices, as young children we will choose the foods that give us the nutrition we need to grow and thrive in the world.

I am not suggesting that you not provide your child with guidance on making nutritional choices and expanding the food vocabulary. I am suggesting that we have an inner wisdom, we are "programmed" if you will, to know what is good and not so good for us.

The challenge comes in that most of us who have weight issues have used food for emotional support rather than nutritional support. Food is the most popular "drug of choice" to help us get through the day. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to get, and legal.

By abusing food, either mildly or massively, we have reprogrammed our brains. We have flooded our brains and bodies with chemicals and hormones that do not encourage our thriving. Caffeine and sugar are the easiest for us to understand, but they are not the only elements that are polluting our bodies and preventing the natural progression of health.

In order to be able to trust the messages you are getting from your body, you must first be sure that it is not the sugar, caffeine or other "bad apples" talking.

One way to do that is to be conscious about what you eat. Decide today that you will eat only when you are 100% aware. Ask yourself why you want to eat and what you want to eat. Then ask yourself if the thing you think you want to eat will support you in your health goals.

Another question that works wonders for me--is the desire to eat (or drink) this coming from LOVE? If I can honestly say YES to this question, then I give that item a green light!

I choose to eat foods that support the health of my mind, body and spirit.
We'll talk more about LOVE and food tomorrow.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weight Loss is Not a Simple Math Equation

Thank goodness! Math is not my strong suit! LOL!

There are lots of "experts" who maintain that losing weight is simply a matter of expending more calories than you ingest. That's a fancy way of saying eating less than you burn!

It is possible that it is that "simple" on a short-term, basic, theory kind of level.

However, personal experience (mine and that of millions of other folks around the world) proves that this math equation is not the long-term, real solution.

Yes, to have our optimum health we must make choices in what we eat that support our health. Our bodies need certain vitamins and minerals and nutrients in order to survive--and to thrive. (I vote for thriving!)

Yes, to have our optimum health we must move our bodies. By challenging our muscles and our bones we improve our strength, our flexibility, our circulation. All these challenges give us improved health for our entire lives...not just from a losing weight stand point.

Sometimes, even when we are doing these things we do not lose weight. I think that may be one of the great mysteries on earth! Each of our bodies is unique. That means what is the right balance for me might not work for you and vice versa. The right number and type of calories to be eaten for my body type and temperament to achieve ideal weight and health might lead to another person being overweight or underweight.

That is why we have to start by loving ourselves and listening to our own bodies.

Tomorrow we'll talk more about listening...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Controlling Cravings Through Chemistry

Sixth (and final?...oh never say final!) in a series on controlling cravings!

Today's Success Tip:

Balance Your Brain Chemistry

"Will power" is an over-used phrase that, frankly, has little basis in reality.

Most dieters I know have lots and lots of will power! We have given up foods we love for years, only to have the cravings for them coming crashing through the gate of "will power"!

That is what leads so many of us to give up hope and become resigned to being fat the rest of our lives.

But you have made the conscious decision to change your life! Fantastic!

You are making the small changes necessary to achieve your goal! Terrific!

You are repeating your affirmations, you are exercising, you have your plan and you are instituting it--You are a Rockstar!

So, how come some of us STILL have cravings and feel like we are not yet in control of our lives?

It could be brain chemistry!

This should not be surprising if you really think about it. How long have you been putting extra sugar (through the white stuff and through other refined carbs) into your brain? It doesn't just go into your also affects the brain. That's why we get that sugar "high"...and that can be just as addictive as some of the other illegal drugs. What's hard for us is that our "drug" is sold just about EVERYWHERE so it makes it really hard to avoid.

The good news is that we can rewire our brains so they no longer crave this "drug"...

The Mars Venus Wellness Solution by Dr. John Gray has helped me from the beginning to balance my brain chemistry, which reduces the cravings. He didn't design this as a weight loss product! (although for me and lots of other people that has been a great side-benefit!) John is the author of the series of books Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and his specialty is communication -- and brain chemistry plays a part in that.

So if you want some extra support in balancing your brain chemistry, and wouldn't object to having that help you with your relationships, moods and maybe even your waist line, then give it a try!

You can check out the link in the sidebar if you are interested...or if you have any questions, let me know!

His book can be found in a lot of libraries--so get informed and see if this feels like a great tool for you to use.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Controlling Cravings Tips

Fifth in a series on controlling cravings!

Today's Success Tip:
Know WHY you want to improve your health

This is a way to give cravings the one-two punch by bringing to the forefront of your mind the reasons why you want to lose weight, gain strength, have more endurance--whatever your health goal is.

Take the time to think about why you want to lose weight (or whatever...). Get some paper and write your reason(s) down.

There are no wrong answers--as long as the "why" is honest and for YOU then it is okay.

Review the list...and mark through any that are "shoulds"--the ones that come from guilt...they tend to not motivate. Instead they give us an excuse to punish ourselves for any small infraction! "Should" whys include things like, "My doctor/wife/husband wants me to lose weight", "I look disgusting and should take better care of myself", "No one will love me at this weight", "I will be happy when I have lost 5/10/50/100 pounds"

Instead of the 'shoulds' on the list, focus on the ones that feel empowering and loving, ones that help you to want to make the changes for good...if you don't have any on your list yet, take some more time and write some more!

Examples of empowering 'whys' include--"I love my baby so much I really want to be around for her wedding", "I enjoy being outdoors and I want to be able to spend more time in nature moving easily and effortlessly", "I deserve to look and feel and live up to my full potential", "I want the health and vitality I had when I was younger and at a healthier weight", "I am a good, loving person and I love myself enough to take care of my body"

Can you feel the difference in the two types of "whys"... the shoulds are negative based, the empowering ones are positive, love based.

Keep your positive, loving "WHY" with you at all times. Write it down on a card that you keep in your wallet or pocket. Post it at your computer. Put it on the mirror where you brush your teeth. Put it as many places as you want--places where you will see it many, many times during the day.

These positive thoughts WILL help you reduce your cravings and keep you on track!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kicking Cravings to the Curb

Fourth in a series on controlling cravings!

Today's Success Tip:

Have a Success Plan

Everyone has different "triggers"...foods or events that bring cravings full-force into our lives--no matter how much we have been working to control them.

The best offense is a good defense! Know your triggers, whether it is an approaching deadline, visits with family or specific foods, and have a plan that you will institute when you feel challenged and vulnerable.

Your plan should be one that works for YOU. Make a list of activities that give you a sense of peace or power, being loved and valued, strength and control, or things that take your mind 100% to a different place.

The other tips we've talked about like affirmations, meditation, exercise, etc all help to keep the cravings down...and they can all be a part of your success plan. Have a few affirmations that you can use specifically in these circumstances, for example "Any cravings I have are an old habit and they are fleeting. My health goals are stronger than any craving."

Set yourself up for success! Put your plan into action! Don't wait until you have given in to temptation and you feel bad about yourself...that just sets you up for a downward spiral.

Is your plan to talk and vent and get the feelings out with a support buddy (sometimes that is all it takes!) Is the plan to take a brisk walk to get your mind off the situation? Or is it to cuddle with a favorite pet or loved one, so you feel loved and supported? Maybe you feel best just being able to spend 5 minutes looking at a beautiful flower--then do that! Do you have a hobby that takes you to a different place--then do that, even if it is only for a few minutes. Play a favorite song on your iPod.

What is in your Success Plan?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Today's Tip to Curbing Cravings

Continuing the series on cravings--and getting control over them!

Today's Success Tip:


I definitely include some gentle exercise every day.

I will often incorporate my affirmations into my workout. That helps keep me positive and moving!

When I first decided that I WOULD and COULD lose weight, I weighed 100+ pounds more than I do now. My knees hurt. My back hurt. The idea of exercising was painful--so I decided I would do what I could and not worry about if it was "enough"!

I bought the DVD of Isoflex movements--simple "bounce and shake" exercises that I could start to do in only 15 minutes a day!

I then modified even those simple movements (because even they were too hard for my obese body at the time!).

I actually started doing the exercises sitting on the couch or edge of the bed. In fact some of them I did while I was laying down so there was absolutely no pressure on my back or knees.

When I could, I added walking to my routine. I started with frequent, short walks...sometimes to the mailbox was all I could handle.

Now I do these exercises for 30 minutes every day and I go for a long walk in nature at least once a week, in addition for frequent walks in my neighborhood. I love that my body feels better, I have more stamina, and I can exercise without pain!

See the sidebar if you want to get the Isoflex DVD that helped me. Otherwise check out some other gentle exercise tape or DVD. Don't start with kickboxing!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Controlling Cravings Tip of the Day

Second in a series on controlling cravings!

Today's Success Tip:

Meditation and Affirmations

I change it up from time to time, to keep things from getting "stale" or being merely a "habit"

I found that starting with loving affirmations that confirm my decision and ability was extremely powerful.

Added benefit was that I generally and genuinely began to feel better about myself!

I highly recommend Louise Hay for the beginner. She teaches that loving self is the solution! (And I know for the beginner that can feel like a HUGE challenge.)

Be gentle with yourself during this process.

And if you want support, again, do not hesitate to ASK!

In the sidebar there are links to purchase some of the tools that I've used, if you are interested. Or check out your local library or used bookstore!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Getting Cravings Under Control

I have found that since I've changed my habits and no longer routinely feed myself sugar, caffeine and refined carbs that my cravings have dropped--to practically zero!

Not that it necessarily happens over night! So if you are just starting your journey to improved health, over the next few days I'll give you some tips and tools that I've used in my success. Use one or all!

Today's Success Tip:

Make the decision that you are in control--and don't be afraid to ask for help!

I started losing weight when I made the CHOICE and decided that I could.

Even though I had struggled numerous times in the past, I decided in my heart that this time would be different and that I was willing to receive help from all sources to accomplish this goal.

This help can come from God/the Universe/Angels or it can come from doctors, or supportive friends, books...and even other bloggers!
Please feel free to contact me through this blog for support. I believe in positive thinking and action...and I know that seeing someone have success helps me to know that I can, too! Let my success give you that assurance!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Am I Moving in the Right Direction?

How do you know if you are taking the right steps to achieve your health goals? The great teachers all tell us to tap into our feelings and they will tell us if we are moving toward or away from the goal.

So whether you get the guidance from angels as Doreen Virtue says, the Teachings of Abraham through Esther Hicks, affirmations from Louise Hay, Meditations with Wayne Dyer or Life Makeovers with Cheryl Richardson (or any of the other wonderful teachers out there) or you happen to read something that feels right and true to YOUR heart and spirit...listen and it will steer you true.
My dad always used to say, "If you take a step and it feels good, you must be headed in the right direction." What he wanted us to understand was that we needed to measure our progress against an inner compass, using our feelings, our comfort level, and our knowledge of ourselves as the ultimate guide.

I've spent most of my adult life trying to hear that inner voice above the noise around me...It says softly that happiness is as simple as having something to look forward to in the morning...It says, in a low murmur I sometimes have to strain to hear, that now is the time to have fun.
~Linda Weltner, No Place Like Home

Let me remember to listen to (and hear) that inner voice as it reminds me to follow my bliss--to look forward to my healthy body, my increased energy and all the other wonderful changes I am experiencing! It is time for FUN--I can move my body in ways that I couldn't before and I am having fun. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Love is the Answer

Every question can be answered with love or lack thereof.

Sound simplistic?

Apply the principle to health and weight loss--should I eat that? drink this? exercise today? Questions that those of us working at changing our bodies face on a regular basis.

If we are loving ourselves then we take care of ourselves and therefore we choose to eat and drink what is healthy for our bodies and we move about in a way that is healthy.

Love yourself. That's the bottom line to getting a smaller bottom!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

This is a time of new beginnings!

2009 is a year for improved health and abundance!

Rather than reflecting on the past, let's look to the future we want to create for ourselves, our families, our community and our world.

Peace and Prosperity for All!