Monday, November 30, 2009

Love and Trust Lead to Weight Loss Success

Support yourself in you goals to lose weight and gain health. Now and always. Especially now with the holiday season upon us.

Start by knowing you deserve to have a healthy, energetic and slender body. Learn to love yourself enough to know this! This positive attitude is essential to your weight loss success. It is a mindset change for many people who are overweight. We are very practiced at beating ourselves up over our weight, our appearance, our failed efforts to change. We have done it so often that we begin to believe that we cannot succeed...that even when we want to and promise that we will, we cannot keep those promises. We do not trust ourselves.

Gain trust in your abilities by making small promises to yourself--and then keeping them. Make them super easy to keep in the beginning so that you can and will keep them. Each time you keep a promise to yourself you are building a new pattern...and a pathway in your brain...a belief that you can do it.

Make this holiday season a glorious, healthy, and happy one. It starts with loving yourself--not beating yourself up for what you have done in the past...even if that past was just an hour ago, or 5 minutes ago. Love yourself in THIS moment.

Make one small promise that is loving and that supports your health goals--it could be to move the treats somewhere out of easy could be to do 1 jumping could be to walk 20 extra could be to drink 1 glass of could be to look yourself in the mirror and say one loving thing about could be to write down 5 successes you had today before you go to sleep.

What the promise is, or the size of the promise, is not what is is the keeping it. So if you never drink water, don't make a promise that you will drink 8 glasses every day this week. Start with one glass. If you have trouble getting in exercise, don't commit to doing an hour, start with 5 minutes. If you don't like vegetables, don't say you will eat 5 servings every day, add in one.

Then, at the end of the day, look at yourself in the mirror and repeat the promise you made and say "I kept my promise to myself, I did ____!"

Good job! Be joyful that you kept your promise. If it was easy, then you can make a little bit bigger one tomorrow. If it was at all a stretch, you can keep the same one all week long.

If you didn't keep the promise, was it because it was too big? Or did you simply forget?

If it was too big, then make the promise smaller.

If you forgot, either make a promise that you can keep right away, or do something that will make it easy to remember--a big note, get help from someone to remind you, tie a string around your finger...whatever it takes.

It is by making and keeping small healthy promises to ourselves that we build trust. Building that trust helps us to feel worthy of good things. Feeling worthy is a start for loving ourselves. As we strengthen one, we strengthen them all...and we are on our way to permanent, healthy, weight loss success!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Handling Holiday Feasting Regrets

Hopefully you don't have any regrets over how you spent your Thanksgiving holiday...presuming you are an American, or living in the USA...

After all, that was yesterday, and there is no point wallowing in thoughts of "if only" or "why did I?" Instead, enjoy with fondness the highlights of your day. Celebrations are a part of our lives and are to be enjoyed--before, during, and after!

But if you overdid it a bit...or more than a bit...with the feasting and festivities I do have a few tips for you on your weight loss journey.

If you ate a lot at one sitting...a very common behavior on this 4th Thursday of November...then you may find yourself a bit extra hungry today. On the other extreme, there are folks who ate so much they find themselves still full when they awaken on Black Friday...even if they don't get up at some unbelievable hour to hit the sales!

Another common feeling on the day after any feasting is to want more carbs...the devilish carb cravings can hit us hard when we've broken out of our usual pattern of eating.

The good news is no matter which of these maladies are striking you today, the solution is the same simple 3 steps:
  1. Don't think about what you did yesterday with regret. It is over, done, finished. Think about NOW.
  2. Eat lean protein with every meal today. Frequent mini-meals or snacks are your best bet. Having some left-over turkey is one good source!
  3. If you want to have other left-overs that are higher in simple carbs (like mashed potatoes and gravy, bread stuffing, rolls, or pumpkin pie) do so...just be sure to also have your protein first. This will help keep your blood sugar level, thereby reducing your carb cravings and keeping you from feeling famished.
If you follow these 3 steps you will be able to continue on your path to weight loss success, and you will have the long-term energy and health that you need--instead of a sugar-induced short-term rush!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

11 Weeks at The Biggest Loser Ranch: Mindset Shift

Wow! It is amazing what the participants of the Biggest Loser television show have accomplished in just 11 weeks. They've worked hard and I am pulling for them to finish what they started and have the success they deserve.

Whether they made it to the final 4 or were home after the first week, I hope they have been able to incorporate into their lives some of the changes they have made so far--so both they and their families can enjoy better health.

I was struck this week by how many times Jillian and Bob mentioned the importance of mindset...if you are not ready to accept the new you then the old one will come back.

It was fantastic to hear Amanda say she loves herself--this is a crucial part of this journey. Loving yourself--knowing that you deserve the time and effort spent to achieve your health is so important. And you have to start that process NOW...before you reach your goal weight. You cannot expect to hate yourself to health! Becoming slender is not what makes you are worthy already...and knowing that, you can become slender.

The reality check with Bob was interesting too...seeing the shift from the rah-rah, sure I can, answers to the genuine fear regarding the challenges they face coming up. This is the "moment of trught" as it were. Will they be able to keep this up? As several of them pointed out, work and family will now be dividing their focus. It is unlikely they will be seeing the big numbers, but they can still make great progress after this jump start.

I've written about the high costs of obesity before, and how we cannot sit back and think this illness is not affecting others. It was really interesting to have Suze Orman talk about it on national television. Some of the numbers she sited are staggering. I'm not 100% convinced that the reason obese people earn less money is because they cost companies more money...sure there is that component...but I also believe there is a huge bias against obese people...a perception that they are less productive, less desirable...just as there are biases against other people who are visibly "different."

The scene that bothered me this week was the one on the gridiron. It was a great eye-opener for the participants to haul their weight reinforced their accomplishments which was cool. However, the hatred with which they tackled their oldselves bothered me. I'll confess...given that environment, I probably would have done the same...pumped up and tired...but hating yourself...your present self or past not the answer.

That fat person deserves some love and respect. At the very least for making the decision to get healthy. That person carried this new thinner person through. That fat person protected you in the only way he/she knew how. Hating the "old you" may be part of the process...but hatred is still a powerful attachment and force of attraction.

We are truly done with the old body when we can thank it for gettting us where we are now (wherever we are on our health journey)...but acknowledge we no longer need its protection. We can bid it farewell without regret, without animosity, without attachment.

This is easier when your weight loss takes have more time to evolve. I totally understand the appeal of rapid weight loss...ironically that keep me fat for years! It was when I changed my head first and focused on my mind and my health that I dropped long as I was fixated on my weight--losing fat, the number I was at--then I kept having issues and struggles.

Best of luck to all The Biggest Loser participants. Continue to love yourselves to health!

Holiday Weight Loss Success is Possible with Planning

Gaining weight over the holidays is not inevitable--even if you have done it every year. You can lose weight with a little planning.

The holidays are stressful and many of us who have struggled with our weight don't deal well with stress...or other emotions either. Our way of handling emotions that make us uncomfortable is to eat unconsciously.

The good news is by making some conscious choices and developing a plan you can change your patterns and have a healthy and happy holiday season this year.

Start by listing some things you can do when you feel like downing the punch bowl or eating the entire tray of Christmas cookies (tray and all!) Take a few minutes and write down various things you can do that will work for different emotions, times, circumstances.

You might be able to get out some frustration by throwing snowballs at a tree...but if you live in Tucson that probably won't work for you! Enlist a supportive friend (or several) whom you can call when your mother-in-law is driving you nuts. Go for a quick walk to clear your head when the walls at the office party are closing get the idea.

If you need any tools, be sure to have them handy...calling your friend will be easier if you don't leave the cell phone on the kitchen counter! Walking around the block is more comfy in tennies then heels.

Remember how you have felt when you have overeaten and stuffed down your feelings in the past. The positive feelings don't last long...they are soon replaced with remorse and give yourself permission to enjoy some of the treats while you consciously eat this holiday.

Make your plan. Stick to it. And you will have weight loss success this holiday season. And what a wonderful gift that will be!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crash! Hit By A Truck

The clock reads 5:15pm. It feels like midnight. I feel completely drained, like I've been hit by a truck. My brain is foggy--can't...make...simple...decisions. Suddenly, all I wanted was to eat and sleep.

That's what I wrote the Sunday evening. What hit me wasn't a truck (thank goodness) but I had a crash of another sort. I hadn't really eaten since 8am...not true, I had a Sunday treat at noon...a cup of coffee and a slice of nut and fruit bread. Very little food, and even less protein all day.

Scientifically, my blood sugar tanked...(don't you love it when I use technical jargon?)

Personally, I felt like crap.

This put me into a danger zone--I was fully capable of eating the entire house...not just the contents of the cupboard.

I know better, and it would have been easy to beat myself up for getting myself into that situation...fortunately I chose not to go that route...but I'm telling you, it is a lot easier to make healthy food choices BEFORE the crash. After a crash, you body is screaming for sugar...simple, refined sugars that get you pumping quickly. Trouble is, it sets you up for another crash if you don't combine those carbs with protein.

I used to have these crashes pretty frequently. I was good at pushing through and ignoring my body's signals...hunger, pain, fatigue. And I was also good at pushing through the "full" signals too. Ignoring all those signals is how I got to be 300 pounds.

I'm typically much more conscious about eating on a regular basis. That is one of the tools I've used to drop 125 pounds. Small, frequent meals or snacks keep my blood sugar up and my body operating efficiently. With my blood sugar up level I don't have to use "willpower" to eat right. Top that off, I have better energy--and I'm more pleasant to be around, too.

Moral of the story: if weight loss success is your idea of a happy ending--don't forget to eat!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Biggest Loser Weight Loss Inspiration

Rudy faced a big mental break through on the Biggest Loser television show this week...I wrote about that yesterday...but there were a couple other moments that I also found inspiring...and important to point out.

Rebecca was the big inspiration to me...not because of what she did while on the show, but because of what she has accomplished since going home! She is showing the drive and determination to succeed and achieve her health goals...and to help overweight kids to become healthy and I applaud that!

The spotlight is still on her...and will be for a long time, especially in her hometown...and I hope that she is able to reflect that light to shine a beacon of hope for many, many and adults alike.

One of the biggest lessons I got from TBL this week, was that even with all the exercising and access to coaches, weight loss is not a consistent, predictable event.

Weight loss is not a simple math equation. Two women "only" lost 3 pounds...while that would be an excellent weight loss at home, 3 pounds at the ranch is surprisingly low. You could see the disbelief on the faces of everyone. Not just this week, but in other weeks when a participant didn't lose much weight.

The truth is, it happens. It doesn't mean the person ate more than the others or exercised any less. Sometimes weight just hangs on...I don't know why...but I know from personal experience it does!

Then sometimes you will have a HUGE weight drop even though you are doing the same things as the week before. This was exemplified by Amanda's weight loss success this week.

The three women all weigh about the same amount. Amanda and Rebecca are similar in age, and appear to workout at a similar why did one have a 3 pound weight loss and the other lose 9 pounds?

The take-away here is not that one of them was better or luckier than the other. It is that this does happen. Don't beat yourself up over it.

Take the steps towards your health and you will get there. It might take you months or even years...but as long as you continue to take the steps you will get closer and closer and ultimately achieve your goal.

Use this to inspire you to your own weight loss success!

What did you think about this week's show? What part moved you the most? Was there a message you resonated with...that you can apply to your life?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weight Loss Inspiration on Biggest Loser This Week

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that the Biggest Loser television show (TBL) is not my idea of the perfect way to lose weight...

While I don't think that any one way to achieve your health goes is perfect for everyone, I'm also open to the idea that most ways are good for some people.

This week on TBL a couple things came up that really had me apologizing to Jillian, Bob and least mentally. Hmmm, maybe I'd better send them a apology tweet, too.

Why the change of tune? First I got to see how Jillian was with Rudy and to actually hear her say that unless he faces the emotions behind WHY he got to be obese he won't have real, permanent success. That was huge...and to see her push him to get to the answer was very important...for Rudy and the viewers at home.

While Rudy's success has been of my concerns all along (for all contestants, not just Rudy) is will they be able to keep it off? Once they are away from the ranch...working on their own...back to their families and their lives...will they have success.

I am hopeful that this signals in Rudy an awareness...because it is by being aware of when we are eating and why that we can actually make some changes! It is about conscious eating choices, not reactive eating.

For most of us, there is an underlying reason why we packed on the pounds. Rudy faced abandonment issues, Liz put everyone else first and stuffed down her needs...whether you had a traumatic experience or just allowed life to overwhelm you, it is possible to overcome this pattern and achieve your weight loss and health goals.

Another point that I want to commend Jillian and Bob that you don't see too often...was how they were supportive of Allen when he didn't post a huge weight loss number. You could hear them telling Allen that he is healthy, it is a good number. They reminded him more than once this week that it isn't about the isn't about playing the isn't about winning the is about getting healthy.

Check back tomorrow and see what else inspired me from this show this week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Your Weight Loss Success Affects State of Health and Wallet

Are you healthy? How about your state? How does your health affect your state? Conversely, how does your state's health rate affect you? Will your weight loss success save you money?

According to a recent article by, the New England states rank amongst the healthiest, while those in the South rank the lowest. In fact, of the top 5 states (in health terms) 3 are in New England.
5 Healthiest States
1. Vermont
2. Utah
3. Massachusetts
4. Hawaii
5. New Hampshire

What goes into determining a state's health rank? Here is what Forbes' says (emphasis mine):
This annual ranking, published by the United Health Foundation, looks at 22 indicators of health, including everything from how many children receive recommended vaccinations, to obesity and smoking rates, to cancer deaths. (Insurer UnitedHealth Group funds the foundation.) Scores for each state are determined by gathering data from a variety of government and nongovernmental databases and then calculating how much each state is better or worse than the national average for each measure.
Of particular interest to me is the data on obesity and costs associated to obesity. So often we think that obesity only affects us...after all, we aren't subjecting others to second hand smoke...if we overeat then we are only affecting ourselves, right?

Well, of course we are also modeling behavior for our children (if we have them), but obesity does affect others from a cost standpoint. I'm not going to tell you to lose weight because it will save your state, or your neighbor, or even you, money...but it is something that we tend to not think about. It doesn't hurt to have some awareness of it.

Why would my being fat cost anyone money? For one thing, being extremely overweight leads to wear and tear on our bodies...which can mean more surgeries on knees, hips and feet. It can also lead to lower immune systems and more aches and pains--possibly leading to more doctor visits and/or time off work.

It is estimated that out of our 2003 health care dollars spent nationally, almost $75 billion was obesity related...and about 1/2 of that money was provided by public in tax money! In 10 years, the amount we will spend on obesity related health care costs is projected to be over $340 billion!

Like anything, these are generalities...there are many people who are pretty darned healthy despite being overweight. However, being overweight will add physical stress to your joints, so you may be relatively healthy...but certainly not your healthiest...and you may not see the affects for years.

I was very active and rather healthy for my 300lb size for example...but I had 3 knee surgeries. Sure I had insurance and I paid my portion of the costs...but more surgeries leads to more expenses for the insurer...and can lead to higher rates overall.

No one individual is affecting our insurance rates...but the healthier we ALL are, the lower our costs should be (not being in the insurance industry I'm not going to venture a guess on how this would actually affect those rates!)--if for no other reason than we just don't have to go to the doctor as much! When we eat better, our overall health is better. Our immune system is stronger, too. These are great reasons to eat better--for our health! When we focus on our health, then we will be more apt to lose weight naturally and with a whole lot less pressure and stress than when we diet for our appearance. Losing weight for health is a long-term process, not a short-term event.

So how does your state's ranking affect you? It is probably an indication of what kind of health care is available as well as what you & your neighbors are doing about your health. This could mean that your costs, either for insurance or taxes, may be higher than a state with a healthier rank.

Before everyone decides to move to Vermont, realize the most important impact you can make to your health, including weight loss success, and your wallet is within your control. You can make small changes that will greatly effect your health--no matter where you live. Don't try to do it all at once...and don't make foods off limits...that's called dieting...and diets don't work!

Instead, start with your mind...fill it with healthy and loving thoughts. Care for your body because you deserve health...this will lead to a healthy, energetic, slender body, and just maybe a fatter wallet!

Like statistics?

Click to see where your state ranks.

To see more about America's health rankings, including ranking by measure or by state, or to get the full report, click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is Your Weight Loss Success Hindered by Junk Food Addiction?

I heard for years that it takes will power to lose weight. My mother was an advocate of the "Push yourself away from the table hungry" about needing will power!!!

I hear over and over people who say they can't lose weight because they just don't have the will power. Some people joke that they have "will power" it is "won't power" they need. Well, losing weight is not a matter of will power (or won't power, either.)

Trying to make losing weight a matter of will power puts the person who is making the effort into a power-LESS position instead of a power-FULL one. It implies that we are weak when diets fail us...and they DO fail us!

Food is a is probably the most commonly used and abused drug there is. It is legal, easy to get, relatively inexpensive, and comparatively a socially acceptable drug. But drug it is.

I've joked in the past about being a "chocoholic" and we've all known people who say they are addicted to sugar...

Put the jokes aside! Sugar can be addictive...not just a bad habit that can be broken by sheer will power. A new study suggests that junk food may actually be as addictive as cocaine or heroine!

The study was conducted at Scripps Research Institute. Researchers gave rats unlimited high-fat, high-calorie foods that we would call "junk food"...items readily available at the corner store or gas station. The rats became compulsive overeaters, and became obese, just as people do. What the scientists showed was the rats' brains became less and less responsive to the pleasure received from the junk the rats had to eat more of it for the same thrill.

The rats used their foot to get the good. When the scientists gave the rats a slight shock to that foot, the rats still went for it.

Both the need to eat more for the same pleasure, and eating despite the shock, are indicators of addiction.

In addition, after having had unlimited amounts of junk food for 40 days, the junk food was replaced with a nutritious food. With no junk food available to them, the rats chose to starve rather than eat the healthy food provided.

"Not only did we find that the animals' brain reward circuits became less responsive as they continued to overeat and become obese, but that decrease in responsiveness was similar to what our laboratory has seen previously in rats as they become addicted to cocaine or heroin."
--Paul Kenny, associate professor of molecular therapeutics
So eating junk food can be addictive...but that doesn't mean that it is impossible to lose weight. It does mean that "will power" is not the answer.

Be gentle with yourself when/if you are drawn to eat junk food...beating yourself up for your addiction is not going to serve will have lots of opportunities to eat junk food--it is all around you. So don't expect to be "perfect" in your eating. Make small changes gradually rather than trying to go "cold turkey"

Have other plans for handling the situations when you want to help break the cycle.

And since our pleasure centers may be a bit depressed, we must give ourselves other rewards...stimulate the pleasure center in our brain through means other than food.

We can have weight loss success, by changing our mindset. We have to first believe we can lose weight and also that we deserve to lose weight. This is the beginning to losing weight, permanently, safely, and naturally.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oh No! I Have to Lose 125 Pounds AGAIN!?!

Boy, is this overwhelming...there is so much to far to on earth am I going to achieve this goal?

I didn't gain 125 pounds overnight...and no, I won't drop it overnight, or in a weekend either...but where to begin? This excess has been accumulating for years and years.

This weekend I vowed to make huge progress...and by last night I was exhausted, drained and demoralized when my results did not seem to match my efforts...

I took a good look around and realized there is excess all to bottom...I've always put on weight all over, but with extra padding going to my thighs.

This time the weight settled mostly in my basement...literally!

I have been gathering "stuff" for a long time...maybe because I moved so much as a kid and had to throw stuff away...but I have boxes and boxes of stuff that is cluttering my life.

I've watched shows and read books about how to handle it, and it is exciting, scary, overwhelming and liberating to watch as people like Peter Walsh (Oprah show clutter guru) help declutter viewers in a matter of days...kind of The Biggest Loser for your stuff!

Well, for me, trying to do this on my own was daunting and seemingly impossible.

This morning I woke up with a huge Ah Ha! This is so like losing weight...okay, I know other people have said the clutter in our homes can be a reflection of the clutter in our minds and bodies, but the PROCESS of getting rid of it is also the can't just throw it all away in a weekend and expect the results to be permanent.

When I looked at losing 125 pounds of body fat it seemed overwhelming. I kept putting it off because it just didn't seem possible. I tried and failed, tried and failed, tried and failed so often that I began to believe I was a failure and that I would never have a healthy, slender body.

Weight loss success came when I changed my mindset. I began to believe that it just might be possible to lose weight and I chose to move towards HEALTH and make small changes that I could maintain.

The realization came that if I approach my basement clutter in the same way I can have success there, too! I'm moving towards health, freedom, and mobility. Some of that is figurative, but it is also literal. I've contemplated moving closer to my mom...but that thought is depressing when I think about all the c*&p I'd have to pack or get rid by going through it NOW, bit by bit, I will gain the power and freedom to move if that's what is the right thing for me and her.

Instead of dieting, rather than focusing on the entire 125 pounds, or 125 boxes, I will celebrate each box...and if an entire box is too much, I will celebrate with each item that is removed from my house!

Whether you want to successfully lose excess fat or takes mindset first, and small, consistent steps in the direction you want to go.

You CAN do it.
Celebrate every success.
It isn't a is about your life!

To healthy, energetic & slender bodies...and the houses they live in!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Celebrity Weight Loss Week: Biggest Loser Extra Edition

First off, happy Friday the 13th! Our 3rd this! If you think this is an unlucky day, then switch up that thinking...use this as another opportunity to remember that your mindset determines your reality...I love Friday the 13th, it has always been a good day for me and I expect it will continue to be one in the future.

OK, the real reason for the post...I just couldn't wait any longer to comment about this week's episode of The Biggest Loser television show. (If you TIVO the show and haven't watched it yet, then you might want to wait to read this quick, watch the show and then come right back here!)

I still have my doubts about this program, other than from an entertainment standpoint. Does the show really help people lose weight? It seems to work for some of the least some of the time...but does it work for them once they get home? And more importantly, does it really work for the Johns and Janes watching at home?

I firmly believe that no one weight loss program is perfect for every person, and the "ranch" is obviously not 'real life', but if it can help guide people to be more healthy, then I support that.

I admit, I'm getting sucked in to TBL, but I root for everyone. I want them all to succeed. It sucks that there are eliminations...but that is what makes the competition and the show...and the good part is we also get to see how those participants who are eliminated fare once they are off the ranch. Still not "normal" life because they know there will be follow up shows...but clearly, not everyone has success off the ranch as was evidenced by the follow up with Daniel (who is doing really well, hurray!) and his buddy (who isn't ready yet...)

One of my questions for you is, do you think Jillian's style works? The in-your-face, yelling, calling people names? Some of the participants seem to respond...but I've now seen 2 in very recent weeks walk out of the workout session with her because she pushed them too far. Many of them seem to really love her style about "tough love" and pushing people past what they believe their limits are...showing them they are stronger than they every dreamt possible?

I think the reason they put up with her is because she does help them get through their emotional blocks and they see results.

But her method works because they are with her so much of the time...AND because her style is also balanced by Bob's style.

Is this yelling necessary for weight loss? Absolutely not. But it makes great television.

Another question I have about all this exercising...are they encouraging behavior that leads to anorexia? (Anorexia and obesity are really just flip sides of the same coin.)

I hope that all participants are given the tools they need for dealing with their emotions and eating habits when they are no longer under the television spotlight.

Bottom line, what bothers me most about TBL is the competition...while healthy competition can be helpful for some people to achieve their weight loss goals...a healthy competition is also support. Yes, they do get some of that at the ranch...and it is why having a workout buddy can really help.

But competition where a person is punished, in this case sent home, for not losing enough weight--even when that's 17 pounds in a single week and 100 pounds in only 9 weeks like Shay's experience, that can reinforce negative messages of not being good enough, never being able to lose enough weight, etc.

Please, do not model your program on TBL...without lots of modifications to allow for life. TBL is a television show. These people are closely monitored and supervised. To expect that you will be able to lose 100 pounds in 9 or 10 (or 12) weeks could set you up for massive disappointment.

Instead, encorporate small changes in your behavior...starting with your mindset. Believe that you can lose weight. Believe it is possible NOW. You do NOT have to be on TBL to have weight loss success.

Do you watch the Biggest Loser? Tell me what you like about it, what you don't like...has it inspired you? Or are you watching it, like Shay was last season, while eating a half gallon of ice cream?

Use their examples to inspire you to have your own success, in your own time...and to start now!

To YOUR healthy, energetic, slender body--you deserve it! (No yelling required.)

Celebrity Weight Loss Week: It's a Wrap with a Little Ham and Cheese

This has been a fun week looking at various celebrities and their weight loss successes and challenges. Big & beautiful Mo'Nique, Kirstie Alley's poised for her new show, Kate Winslet avoiding excessive dieting and exercise, and the big winner Abby...we have been able to learn something from all these amazing women.

In the past I've also blogged about other celebs and their weight loss, or position on dieting...recently Taylor Swift declared she refuses to diet, Valerie Bertinelli revealed her new slender bod on the Oprah show, Star Jones talked about her weight loss surgery, and Marie Osmond discussed her healthy "large" size 2/4 body....

Clearly, having money and fame does not guarantee you a healthy and fit body. Nor does it guarantee that if you do get fat you will have weight loss success. Women like Kirstie and Oprah can afford trainers and chefs, and still they struggle with their weight.

But we can also see that weight loss success is possible when we approach for our selves our health--not for our network...whether that netowrk is CBS, NBC or Family&Friends. If takes a shift in mindset!

Each of these women who have successfully dropped excess fat has said isn't about going on a "diet" is about changing your thinking and making small changes in your life.

These people have DONE it differently...wrapped the mindset up with different tools...maybe a diet coach or an exercise coach...but before they could do that work they had to change who they were BEing on the inside.

I hope I'm wrong in my concers about Kirsties. I want her to succeed...permanently. I don't want to see her not lose weight, nor do I want to see her gain it all back...but she hasn't revealed to me the mindset shift yet. Until she does, I fear she will only have short-term results at best.

To these other fantastic women--keep doing what you are doing. Your weight loss success inspries us, helps us remember beauty comes in packages of all shapes and sizes. You help us know we too can have a healthy, energetic, beautiful body.

What did you think about this week's theme?

Did any of the celebrites speak to you? Did you identify with any of them?
  • Mo'Nique: Bid and beautiful: dropping weight for health and longevity
  • Kirstie: Putting her health on hold: are you waiting for the perfect moment to start
  • Kate: No Slave to the gym: balancing her health with a your family and career
  • Abby: Releasing the pain gain: removing the insulating layer, willing to feel and live again
Comment here--declare what you liked or didn't like about this week's series. Who inspired you and how are you going to put that inspiration to work in your own life?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Celebrity Weight Loss Week: Abby's a Big Winner

I'm not a big fan of the Biggest Loser television show...I've written about some of my concerns before, in Biggest Loser Biggest Lie?

This time however, I have to admit that I am extremely touched by the success of one of the folks who was recently voted off...that would be Abby.

If anyone has a reason to bury her feelings, Abby sure did. Losing her husband, young daughter, and baby (just weeks after delivery)--all gone in a horrible car accident. I don't know if I would have had the strength she did to live...I hope to God I never have to find out.

Three years later, she is on TBL show and that experience has helped to bring her from living to back to life! Abby has lost over 80 pounds and true to TBL format, has lost it very quickly. Back home, she has continued her weight loss success and she is now speaking publicly...inspiring others with her story.

"You never know what's coming for you," as is often said in my favorite film, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." When life throws you a major curve ball, you may pack on some pounds. If you do, or have, know that you too can drop them off.

Like Abby, you have to face what's eating you, what feelings you are stuffing down. When you do that, you can have success.

You may not have Bob and Jillian and the Ranch...but you don't need them. And frankly, their style doesn't work for everyone. Empower yourself! Take control! Choose not only to be alive but to truly out the joy that is to be had in life.

Cry when you are sad, rail when you are angry, laugh when you are tickled...get your emotions out and make healthy, small changes that you can live with and you will see results.

TBL is a television show...yes it can be inspiring, but remember weight loss isn't about isn't about 6 weeks, or 6 months. It is about your health--and that's a lifetime.

If you want to read more about Abby and what she is up to now, you can find out on the BL site.

You go, Abby! We are so happy for you! Keep up your positive mindset and you will continue to have that healthy life that you so desperately want--and deserve!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the final post in our celebrity weight loss week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Celebrity Weight Loss Week: Kate Winslet Slim With No Gym

So far in our celebrity weight loss week we have seen comedian Mo'Nique drop 40+ pounds and pondered Kirstie Alley's claim she's back on the path.

Kate Winslet to my knowledge has never ballooned to the proportions of either of these stars, but she certainly represents a very common struggle for women today--how do you juggle your life, family, work, and health. And she does it under the Hollywood microscope...where most roles go to young and slender actors, and every bump is photographed and she pregnant, fat, or both?

What stands Kate apart is her adamate claims that she doesn't diet or exercise. In fact, Kate recently sued a tabloid for running stories that claimed she lied about exercising...and Kate won!

For Kate who has long criticized excessive dieting, this is her second win against tabloids. In 2007 a British rag wrote a story that she went to see a diet doctor...

What I love about Kate is that she wants women to accept themselves...Kate is beautiful and shapely. Is is not her natural body at 33 years old, and mother of two, to look like a stick...if it ever was. Sure, some women do...but not her...and I, for one, am glad there are Hollywood starts who look like real people of all shapes and sizes.

Exercising for hours on end is how some stars stay trim...but that isn't realistic for most of us. Who amongst us has the amount of time and money to devote to that. I don't...but then I don't have the desire, either!

That is why it is so refreshing and inspiring to read about a beautiful actress who claims she dosn't workout excessively...and that she would actually sue the tabloids who accuse her of being a liar.

Look, I will never be as delicate as Kate Mo'Nique said on the Ellen Show recently, "I'll never be a little girl...look at this isn't a little head."

What I found so inspiring ist hat we can be OUR best selves and we don't have to slave at the gym or starve ourselves to get there.

Thanks Kate, for being an example that real women with real lives can emulate...and thanks for being YOU.

So, just to be "fair" tomorrow I'll talk about another weight loss success story--someone who chose to exercise a lot to get her results...because it isn't about NOT about empowering you to do what is right for is about your health and your mindset for achieving permanent results.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Celebrity Weight Loss Week: Kirstie Alley, Another Roller Coaster Ride Ahead?

Continuing the celebrity weight loss week theme, we are coming back to a familiar face--Kirstie Alley. Anyone who has struggled with weight can identify with Kirstie's very public battles. My question is this--has Kirstie put her health at risk by putting her weight loss success on hold? Or will her plan for televised weight loss be a big inspiration and success?

In April, Kirstie Alley was on the Oprah Winfrey Show claiming she had discovered the secret to weight loss success--and that by Novemeber, she would be back on the show wearing a bikini. (She appeared on the show along with Micheal Hebrenko who also famously yo-yo dieted.)

Well, it is November...Kirstie was back and jokingly had a bikini on over her it does not appear that her body has changed much, if at all.

She still believes she has the secret to weight loss success--so what gives? She claims that she had proposed a television show to document her weight loss progress and the networks told her to stop losing weight because that's what they would be paying for. Theoretically the deal was signed just the night before her return visit to Oprah's set.

What do you think? Will she succeed? Will she have success at losing weight? At her show? At both?

People love to see inside glimpses of a celebrity's life...and they love to see that they are human, with foibles and weaknesses, just like "real" people. Given that, and the success of other celebrity reality shows, she has a good chance of a show success.

Is her chance of weight loss success as good? Statistically, no. However, being followed around by cameras all the time might do it...although I hear that after a while you get used to them and don't even "see" hard as I find that to believe, I suppose that is possible. If it is, then the cameras themselves won't be much deterrent or encouragement.

Public accountability for some people is huge...and maybe that is what will be the key for Kirstie's success (I truly hope she has success, in case you aren't sure)...but I am concerned. Get your weight loss inspiration however you can...whatever works for you, as long as it is healthy.

I believe Kirstie CAN lose weight...I know we all can. My concern is that she is setting herself up for another roller coaster ride because she is insisting that it be "fast and fun"...from my experience permanent weight loss can be fun...but it isn't necessarily fast...because you have to make permanent changes to achieve permanent results!

I'm also concerned because Kirstie was willing to put her health (and goals) on hold until a network decided they would cover her progress. To me this doesn't bode well. It sounds like the classic, "hey, I'll start tomorrow because today is (fill in the blank.")

Even Oprah seemed skeptical, "you can't lose weight for a network!" Absolutely! We can all be inspired to take control of our lives, to be healthy, and to drop excess fat...for US.

Kirstie waited 7 months for a network. What are you waiting for? What "network" is stopping you from your health and weight loss success? When will you decide that you deserve health, that you CAN have it? Change your mindset--it is the first step to permanent health and weight loss success!

Check in tomorrow when another beautiful star speaks out against diet and exercise...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Celebrity Weight Loss Week: Inspirational Mo'Nique

This week's theme is celebrity weight loss...successes, inspirations, and thought-provoking. There has been so much in the news lately about this topic...we can definitely learn from all of it!

Comedian Mo'Nique was on both the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Ellen DeGeneres Show last week. She was promoting her new movie, Precious, but another big topic was her recent weight loss success. Seeing the clip from the movie and then her in real life now you couldn't NOT see the difference.

The reason I find Mo'Nique to be a weight loss inspiration is her attitude. She was very happy with her appearance at 262 pounds...she say a "big sex kitten" when she looked in the mirror. Her husband gave her the health wakeup call however. He loved her as she was...and was concerned for her he said to her 262 was too much, adding, "I want you around forever."

She could have gotten pissed off, taken this comment to mean he didn't really love her, or didn't find her attractive...she could have chosen to allow his comment to alter her perception of herself as a big sex kitten. She chose instead to hear the love in his words, and to do something about it. She is still an ample woman...a big and beautiful woman...who is now considerably healthier.

Mo'Nique took some flack from some of her fans...they liked her large. I love that she looks them in the eye (albeit through the camera lens) and asks them if they would like her dead!

We can all take a cue from this weight loss comfortable in our body, no matter our size. See the beauty that we all have in us, and still go for improved health.

Congratulations Mo'Nique. Not only are you a funny woman, now you are a healthy role-model for others...thanks, from the bottom of my healthy heart!

Celebrity Weight Loss Week continues tomorrow...with more lessons we can learn from a "larger-than-life" star!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Waking Up Muscles I Didn't Know I Had

I just got back from a visit with my was her 80th birthday. It was a nice visit and the weather was gorgeous...which since we had just received a foot of snow at home was really relished!

While I was there I joined her for a "stretch and tone" exercise class that she goes to on Mondays. It was great to see my mom with her workout buddies...and they all welcomed me to the class...socializing was strictly before and after the class though...during it they were all business. I was anticipating that this class would be a breeze...after all, I'm only 51 and the class is filled with seniors.

Well, did I learn a thing or two! First it reinforced that I am not a dancer...never have been, probably never will be. I laughed at myself, as I tried to coordinate my hands and legs...and that was the warm up! Fortunately for me, the rest of the class was much easier for the dance-challenged!

Shirley, the instructor, warned the "new members" of the class to take it easy...that she would be waking up muscles that we didn't know we had...and that if we tried to keep up with her we would feel it either the next day or day after.

She worked our shoulders and hips in gentle ways--but for an hour--I kept up with her no problem...but she was Tuesday evening my hips were aching. Turns out I found a couple muscles that I had not been using.

Does this mean that I've been exercising wrong? No. It just means that I may not have been mixing it up as much as I thought I had. The big advantage to changing up your routine is that you move different muscles.

So, take a cue from me...when you try something new, take it easy...even easier than you think you need to. Then see how you feel over the next few days. If you don't hurt, then you can step it up! Get variety into your workout routine so you use and strengthen all your muscles.

Finding a sore area means that you are making it stronger, so it isn't a bad thing as long as you don't over do it is so much you quit working out altogether! If you stick with your 15-20 minute workouts every day you are much less apt to overdo it...but if you do then take it easy and really stretch the sore areas for the next couple of days.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weight Loss Tip: Feel LIFE

I have fought my emotions for a large part of my life.

I thought I was unique, but I have learned that lots of people are uncomfortable with emotions.

We have emotions...that is part of being human. And we are taught early on not to express them...or not to express certain least in public.

Little boys are taught not to cry. Little girls are taught not to be angry. Stereotypes of course...but you get the picture. We are pretty much taught to try to keep it calm all our lives. Like that is possible!

We are hushed if we get too excited, perked up if we are too quiet. We are soothed if we are upset.

We are made to feel like our emotions are wrong...or bad...or by extension we are wrong or bad.

Our emotions aren't good or bad...they just are. We were given emotions for some I'm sure they serve a purpose. I don't have to enjoy the roller coaster that I sometimes feel, but it does seem that I have to take the ride from time to time.

I used to try to squelch my emotions. I thought I could control my, hate, fear. All I did was keep them at bay temporarily. When they got really big I ate to feel better. Trouble was I had to eat more and more just to get by...not to feel good...just to not feel bad.

That did not work out well for me. I wound up fat. Really fat. Then I still felt bad...and I was fat.

That is when I decided I had to make a change. I started to allow myself to actually feel life. I started to feel actually seek it out. I stopped to watch a sunrise and feel the peace that rose in my heart--joining the sky on it's journey across the sky.

I found little things that brought me pleasure...the details in a flower, the tenacity of a bug, the shifting shapes in the clouds through my window, the sun on my cheek.

I also began to allow myself to feel some sadness, some disappointment...without eating...without drowning it.

What surprised me is the sadness was short-lived. It might have been more intense without a pint of Ben & Jerry's numbing effect, but it lived and died longer held captive by the sugar it did not have to linger. And I didn't add to the adding my regrets about what I ate to the mix.

Life happens. We cannot truly appreciate the joys if we never experience any lows. Do I wish people to be unhappy? For as brief a moment as possible. In order to do that, you have to feel it and let it go.

Stop self-medicating your life away. You will have more joy...and you will lose weight, too!