Thursday, December 31, 2009

Your Mindset and Weight Loss - Condition yourself to Lose Weight

This post comes from James Stein--I know you've heard me say that affirmations and mind set are important, well crucial to achieving weight loss success...but I thought you just might be interested to know that I'm not the only one. I've been reading many others who are also learning this "secret"...I thought James wrote it really well.

Happy New Year everyone--and enjoy James' take:

You can condition yourself to help shed those pounds away. As you probably already know many diet products on the market do not work. But there is more to weight loss than just eating a well balanced meal and exercising properly everyday. A surprising fact that you will not see these diet programs advertise is that your mindset makes a huge difference on success or failure.

When you constantly visualize in your mind what your body will look like with 10 - 20 - or more pounds shed away, then your subconscious will begin to take over and move you in that direction. You will soon become more positive about how your body looks, more accepting to dieting or exercising, and you will reach your ideal weight quickly and more easily.

If you ever wanted to learn to true secrets to losing weight than you have just learned that. When you condition yourself to be focused and positive on any goal you set then you will always be successful. This is true not only with weight loss but with everything you do in your life, including running a business. If you truly want to lose those extra pounds then condition your mindset and you will have the body you always dreamed of.

Many of those that are overweight tend to have the belief that they simply can not lose weight. Sometimes these people may say it out loud or even worse hear friends tell them they can't lose the weight. When you are around people that have a negative impact on you then it is best to stay away from those people because this can also effect your subconscious.

Staying around these people with negative attitudes can cause you to actually believe what they are saying. Negativity can have the reverse effect of the goal that you want to achieve because your mind after awhile will be conditioned that you can't lose that weight. By separating yourself from these people you will be able to gain control over your mindset and keep a positive attitude towards your goal.

It is important to practice the conditioning of your mindset every day - morning and evening. Find a quite place in your home away from all distractions and close your eyes to visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Focus on this and tell yourself in your mind that you will reach your goals and you are going to think positive. Doing this several times throughout the day will greatly increase your chance of obtaining your goal.

During the day while you are not in your quite place you still want to think positive thoughts and think of yourself at your ideal weight. Create your own affirmations and repeat them often, always in the present tense "I am glad to be fit and slender". Notice affirmations should say "I am" and not "I will". You can enjoy the feeling of having a positive self-image.

While your weight loss will of course be gradual, conditioning your mindset along with using proper weight loss tips will give you the success you want to achieve..

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lose Weight Naturally by Having Fun

Last night a good friend came to visit...well, actually the husband of my very good friend Diane. He was in town on business and stopped by for a couple hours...we had a fantastic visit...enjoyed a great was really good to see him. One of the things I noticed was how much longer our meal lasted...because we were all so busy chatting...our hunger was satisfied and we had a lot of fun, too. It reminded me that enjoying life is part of the secret to losing weight naturally!

An interesting thing happened during the course of the "tour" of the house (it was his first visit since I moved to this house) he saw a galley copy of my book, Refuse to, he's seen the physical changes in me and not said much...but at seeing the book his eyes lit up.

He was really impressed that I actually have a book that is "real" and asked how and when I did it. Lots of other people have been asking about my book, too (which will be available next month--soon, very soon!)

So I wanted to share some info with you in case you have a book inside you that is ready to come out, but you just aren't sure how to do...

Writing a book is a very exciting thing...and it was a lot of fun...and I think we all deserve to have as much fun in our lives as possible! By having fun we fill our lives with joy and, frankly, we are less apt to overeat when we are loving life! So, you can write a book and lose weight, too!

Don't think you have to be a "great writer" in order to write a book...I'll share a few tips I learned from my "writing coach" Donna Kozik that helped me get over the fear of the red pencil (remember high school English class--YIKES!)

Book Writing Tip 1: Select a topic that's an "inch wide, mile deep." It's easier and faster to write, and readers like books that are very topic specific.

Book Writing Tip 2: Keep your book short & powerful-it doesn't have to be your version of "War and Peace." The upside of this type of book is that it's easier for people to read in one sitting or while on a plane ride.

Book Writing Tip 3: The key to getting finished is getting started! It sounds simple, yet it's very true. There's power just in getting started.

Book Writing Tip 4: Start writing where you're most passionate. It might not be Chapter One and instead could be Chapter Five. Again, the key is to get started and build momentum.

Book Writing Tip 5: Don't consider yourself a writer? "Talk" your book. Record, transcribe, edit and - wah lah - you have a completed manuscript.
Another thing that freed me up was when Donna really encouraged me to write like I be myself. After all, when you are writing it is YOUR book...not one written by Hemingway or Dickens or by fill-in-the-blank-with-name-of-your-favorite-author!

For more book writing and book publishing information, join in a special teleseminar series being conducted by my coach, colleague and friend, Donna Kozik. You can find out more here, plus see a cool video Donna put together with a tip on how to build buzz for your book-before you even start writing it!

Experience more joy in your life--write what you love and you get to experience that passion again and again...and share it with others! Have fun, Refuse to Diet, and lose weight naturally!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stop Comparing: Weight Loss Tip for New Year

It is really common for us to compare ourselves to others. We are encouraged to from a very early age. Some of it is through subtle messages and other times it is shouted in our faces.

Whether quiet or loud, these messages that we are not enough...that we must be better than or we are less than...these messages are internalized and we take them on as our own.

Women in particular are subject to the body image comparisons...not being pretty enough or thin enough are probably the two most common.

No one benefits from these comparing ourselves we are making someone wrong...and based on the experiences of most of the women I know, the person who is wrong is usually US!

Even when we are trying to better ourselves we compare...if we want to lose weight we compare our numbers to everyone else's...we beat ourselves up if we do it slower than someone else...or if we don't have as big a result.

Instead, let's focus on what we want to achieve...we want to improve our health. How does that feel? What does that look like for you? Not what does it look like for your sister, your mother, your best friend or the super model in the magazine at the check out stand--YOU. What will you be able to do that is a challenge now? How will that feel when you can do that?

Now, visualize yourself doing that...feel how happy you are in accomplishing this goal...see yourself celebrating the accomplishment.

That is what this is about. Focus on you, your success. Measure your success against your desires and your goals--and forget what anyone else is doing!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Weight Loss is a Process...Thanks...Tips on Exercise for Losing Weight

I want to thank the folks who take the time to read my blog and let me know their thoughts and feelings about what I write, their questions and what is working for them.

For example I got a very nice email today from "Bonnie" today...who was thanking me for a post I wrote back in September...about how
weight loss is not a straight line... reminds me its ok to have a detour but get back on track... I enjoyed reading it and I was reminded not to be hard on myself as I didn't work out today...I will move forward and remember I did 11 miles on the bike yesterday which was a first for me.

First--congrats on the 11 miles on the bike yesterday...I hope it was a fun and exhilarating experience and that you will continue to have fun moving your body.

Second--I am so glad you will be gentle on yourself for not working out today. If perhaps you were a bit sore from yesterday's ride and that's why you didn't work out today, then remember to stretch before the ride, and maybe make the ride a tad shorter next time!

I have found that why I try something new, or that I haven't done in a long time, it helps me to do the same exercise two days in a row.
That may seem a bit odd, but maybe it is because the muscles are sore and tend to tighten now you stretch them again. The BEST exercise for losing weight is any exercise...that you keep doing...whether it is the same exercise or different is just about moving more...and if you hurt too much you are apt to not want to keep it up!

Celebrate your accomplishments...and keep making small steps in the direction you want to end up at and you will get there.

Does 11 miles seem like too much to you? That's what YOU can do easily and then just a tad more...even if that is walking to the mailbox.

It isn't about keeping up with Bonnie, or me, or your spouse, colleagues, or is about being the best YOU that you can...and to do that you have to start where you are right now!

It is easy to think about what we want to do, or what we used to do...and that can be a great place to long as we keep it in our minds in a positive way and then use that to catapult us to taking an action that will get us where we want to be.
Weight loss starts with our minds...not our mouths!

Thanks to Bonnie and to my other readers for keeping in touch and helping to inspire me every day!

My New Year's toast to you:
To your healthy, energetic, slender body--You deserve it!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weight Loss Tip: It Isn't About Food

I was at a holiday party the other was a really nice night and I had the opportunity to get to know some of my neighbors a little bit better.

One of the neighbors mentioned to our newest residents that I had recently lost over 100 pounds. This announcement was followed with lots of questions...and they are the same sort of questions that I get asked whenever someone finds out about my weight loss success.

It goes something like this:
Q: What did you do?
A: I focused on changing my thinking first.
Q: Did you eat certain foods?
A: I eat whatever I want...I focus on eating consciously.
Q: I like __ (fill in the blank, I've heard it all), do I have to give that up?
A: I don't believe in forbidden putting foods off limits we just want them more.
Q: So what do you eat?

This isn't an exact transcript of the conversation but it gives you the idea. And I hope you see that the line of questioning almost always revolves around food and the idea that there is a specific formula that one must follow.

Folks...that is a DIET, and diets don't work.

I always try to steer the person back to the key concept which is that weight loss success starts with your have to change your thinking in order to permanently, safely, lose weight.

If you've been around the diet block a few times then you know it isn't just about counting calories. But you probably don't really know what the answer is...because we've been told our entire lives it is about food in versus calories out.

It isn't about the food...not a specific food to eat, not a specific food to avoid. It is about how you feel about yourself, your body, about your ability to lose weight. It is about eating consciously. It is about not stuffing your feelings down with a side of mashed potatoes or a gallon of ice cream.

Weight loss success starts in your mind.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

3 More Tips for Healthy Holidays Without Weight Gain

It is sooooo common for people to gain 5 or 10 pounds over the holidays....heck, I used to do that in a weekend!

But why does this happen...bottom line it is because we tend to focus on overwhelms us, we eat by rote, we also believe that it is the FOOD that is special.

Here are my tips on how to have a healthy, happy holiday--without gaining weight--by shifting your mindset...both away from and towards food. Confuse? Stick with me...

1. Meet new people, or engage people in a new way.

This definitely takes your mind off food--unless talking to people makes you so nervous you want to bolt yourself to the dessert table! If that's the case, make it a goal to meet 3 people this holiday season. Imagine you are entirely comfortable and your favorite person from history, current events, industry, or entertainment was going to answer 3 questions. What would you ask him or her? Ask those questions...or something similiar...of someone else, a co-worker or neighbor you want to know better or someone at a party. Now listen to their answers. You'll learn some fascinating things and you just might make a great new friend. And when you are really listening to someone else, you won't be eating!

2. These special foods can be had any time of the year.

Yes it is true! Just because gingerbread houses are a Christmas tradition, it doesn't mean you can't make gingerbread in July if you want to. Take away the rule that says you can only have it now and suddenly the need to store it all in your cheeks until next year is taken away! If you have a favorite treat then enjoy it, but remember you can have it at any time. Otherwise you are apt to limit yourself and then binge on something else later--something you don't enjoy as much and so you will eat lots more of it!

3. When you eat, eat mindfully

So much of the time we eat completely unconsciously. Bowls of nuts and candies are all about and we grab handfuls without even thinking about it. Make it a point to be aware of every morsel that you put in your mouth. Not from a counting calories perspective--from the point of fully enjoying every single bit. And commit to stopping when you are no longer enjoying it. Give yourself permission to eat anything you want with this one rule--as long as I am making a conscious decision about what I'm eating and I am enjoying it!

If you follow these 3 are sure to avoid the plague of added pounds and you will have the gift of a healthy, happy holiday season!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How to Survive the Holiday Party Season: 7 Weight Loss Success Tips

Holiday parties aren't generally when people plan to lose weight, but you can avoid piling on pounds over the holidays and still enjoy the festivities by following these 7 simple tips.

1. Eat Before You Go Out
It doesn't have to be much...but you never know if food will be available when you walk in the door, so don't arrive hungry--you're sure to eat more if you do.

2. Pick and Choose
Thoughtfully select from the variety of goodies available. Take your favorites and try a couple new items, but you don't have to eat it all. Start with just a bite and you can always go back for more.

3. Water, Water, Water
Drink at least 2 or 3 glasses of water...plain, sparkling, with lemon...for every glass of alcohol or other holiday drinks like punch or eggnog. It'll help keep your blood levels even and you will be better able to make conscious eating choices.

4. Talk It Up
Enjoy the people at the party. Get away from the buffet table and avoid "liquid courage"...Momma always told you not to talk with your mouth full, so'll eat less, and you just never know the fascinating people you might meet!

5. Protein Is Your Friend
Be sure to have some protein...bring a little pack of nuts along in case you get in a bind. By having protein you keep your blood sugar even which helps keep you from peaking and then crashing...and wanting to bolster the crash with more carbs.

6. Take a Break
Remember to stop a minute and enjoy the surrounding. Interrupt your feeding frenzy for a few moments and eat up up the sounds and sights of the holidays.

7. Enjoy and Avoid Regret
Overdoing during the party can lead to a pile of regret the morning after. Enjoy the party and follow the first 6 tips and you will likely not have anything to regret. But if you do eat, or drink, more than you planned, beating yourself up the next day won't make it any better.

There you go--7 simple tips to help survive the holiday party season...without gaining weight!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Avoid These Holiday Weight Loss Success Mistakes

Treats are everywhere this time of year and that can make it hard to lose weight. Even if you have the best intentions. There are 3 common mistakes that people frequently make during the holidays:

1. Deprivation

By being too restrictive we can actually sabotage our weight loss success. By not believing in forbidden foods and giving ourselves permission to enjoy the special treats of the season we will not only be merrier, but we will actually eat less!

2. Drinking

While I don't believe in forbidden foods (or drinks) be careful with the booze. It relaxes us...and we tend to eat more--LOTS more! So mix in some sparkling water with or between the alcohol and you will reduce the calories you drink and eat.

3. Flagellation

When we fall short of perfection at keeping to our resolution to eat healthily, the tendency is to chastise, criticize or otherwise beat the drum of our "failure." Be gentle, this is the season of forgiveness--and that, like charity, begins at home.

Have a very happy holiday season--enjoy this time thoroughly and start the New Year in good health!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weight Loss Success and Bicycles

I'm not talking about riding bikes for exercise...though that is a fun way to move around a bit!

What I'm talking about is how losing weight and learning to ride a bike is very similar.

Both take some basic skills. These skills all intertwine for a successful trip. In learning to ride a bike we learn balance; getting on the bike; how to move the bike forward by pedaling; how to brake; how to stop. All are important steps, but the most important is balance.

In learning how to lose weight successfully, permanently, we also have some basic skills to learn. We learn about nutrition and exercise...this is where most diets focus...but to really have a successful outcome we must learn about our mindset and that's what diets leave out.

Changing our thinking is actually the most important part of dropping excess pounds. We must believe that we can do it. Just like we won't be able to ride a bike if we believe we can't, we will not have permanent results in losing weight if we believe we are now and always will be fat.

Think about mindset like achieving the balance you need to get on, and stay on, that bicycle. It didn't come overnight. You had to practice. It took effort and determination. Maybe you even said "I can do it" over and over, trying to convince yourself that you could...and ultimately, you did!

It is time to get the childlike focus back...focusing on the belief that you can and then relaxing with it. As long as you focused on keeping tight hold of the handlebars and not falling, what happened? You fell, of course! When you relaxed and focused on the belief that you could, then suddenly it became if you turned on a light switch.

Change your mindset about your weight, your body, and your ability to lose weight. You can do it...other people have done it, I've done it, and we are no better than you, no luckier, we don't have it easier, we are no more deserving, no more special. We are all human, all deserving...we just have to know it inside.

Once you've made that shift, the rest of the skills will fall into place and you will find yourself flying along the road to weight loss success! And what a fun ride that is!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reduce Stress and Weight Control Like Maria Shriver

One thing that you just have to do all year long if you want to control your weight or drop a few pounds successfully is to move your body.

That's not to say I encourage people to exercise like a maniac...or like they do on The Biggest Loser television show!

What I mean is literally MOVE...a little bit more.

Studies show that by getting moderate amounts of exercise it is easier to control our weight, our moods tend to be better, we crave carbs less, our energy levels are higher, we can focus better...all good things.

So if moving our bodies is such a good thing, why does it seem that we don't do it?

We don't put ourselves first...heck, often we don't put ourselves fourth or fifth...we're lucky to find ourselves on our priority list at all!

Most of us, at least most women I know, were raised to put everyone else first...that to focus on your own needs was selfish.

The truth is, by focusing on our own needs we have more energy to give to others.

Lest you think you just don't have the time in the day to add one more thing, it is important to know that we don't have to be totally consumed with ourselves...taking care of ourselves doesn't have to take hours out of our day.

I recommend a combined body movement and affirmation routine that takes just 15 minutes. It has worked wonders for me, emotionally, spiritually, and physically!

Maria Shriver, (you know...wife of "Ahnold", and the First Lady of California) has a goal of setting aside 5 minutes each morning that is just for her. She also works in some other physical activities as do I...maybe a quick walk, or doing breathing exercises.

Exercise has gotten a bad rap--it isn't about high school is about being healthy by getting enough oxygen into your bloodstream so your heart, brain, and other organs all function is about reducing your stress levels.

Take a few minutes for might not make you the First Lady of California...but you do deserve to be the First Lady of your own home!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fruitcake & Festivities

I've never been much for fruitcake...but a friend sent this recipe and I am tempted to make it...
but then it would definitely not fall into the "conscious eating" category...and definitely not a recipe for weight loss success...enjoy anyway!

Best Fruitcake Ever


1 or 2 quarts Whiskey
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 cup dried fruit
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup of nuts
1 oz of lemon juice

Mixing Instructions:

Before you start, sample the whiskey to check for quality. Good, isn't it? Now go ahead and begin. Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the whiskey again as it must be just right. To be sure whiskey is of the highest quality, pour one level cup into a glass and drink it as fast as you can. Repeat.

With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 tsp. of thugar and beat the heck out of it. Meanwhile, make sure that the whiskey is still of the finest quality. Cry another cup.

Open the second quart if necessary. Add 2 arge leggs, 2 cups dried fruit and beat ‘til high. If druit gets stuck in the beaters, just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey again, checking for toxscisticity.

Next sift 3 cups of salt or anything - it really doesn't matter. Sample the whiskey. Sift 1/2 pint lemon juice.

Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts. Add one babblespoon of brown thugar, or whatever color you can find and wix mell.

Grease oven and turn cake to 350 greedees. Now pour the whole mess into the boven and ake. Check whiskey again, and go to bed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weight Loss Tip: Eat on Smaller Plates

This is not a new tip, but it is worth using smaller plates you can actually reduce the amount of food you eat.

The size of the plate doesn't actually change the amount of food you eat...but what it does do is limit how much you can put on a single plate. This sets you up to eat more consciously because you actually have to add more food to your plate later. If you are a member of the "clean plate club" and you will eat whatever is on your plate even if you are no longer hungry (and who hasn't been there?) then this one tip could result in losing weight.

However if you mindlessly get seconds and thirds then the smaller plate trick won't work for you. Allow the smaller plate to enable you to take a breath and determine if you are still hungry before going for more food. Also take that time to determine, if you are still hungry, what will feed your body.

By taking this small break and actually touching base with your body you may be surprised to find that you really aren't might have eaten more out of habit, because it was there, or because other people in the family are still eating.

A new book documents how our plates have grown over the last 50 years...which if you have ever lived in an older home and tried to put contemporary dishes in the kitchen cupboards you have already figured that one out! In The 9-Inch 'Diet', author Alex Bogusky notes that our plates tend to be 12 inches across now, whereas in 1963 plates were only 9 inches!

It may be that by going back to the "good old days" in terms of the size of our dinner plates will help us get back to a better waistline as well!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reducing Sugar is Part of the Answer to Weight Loss Success

Sugar is one ingredient that can sabotage our weight loss success efforts. Not the only one, of course, but definitely a contributing factor.

That doesn't mean that you have to eliminate all sugar...most of us can handle some sugar--and trying to eliminate it is tough because sugar is found in so many of our packaged foods--and it can feel like deprivation...and I firmly believe that no foods should be totally off limits. My slogan is "no forbidden foods" because I believe that by forbidding them they have a stronger psychological appeal. But where you can, reduce the simple sugars in your foods and go for natural sugar, in fruit, for example--not because you are on a diet...because it is better for your health.

By the way, artificial sweeteners are not fact, can be worse. Studies indicate that artificial sweeteners like aspartame will actually INCREASE your hunger levels and cravings for sweets!

You will be amazed at how sweet fruit (and even some vegetables) taste when you reduce the amount of processed sugars and artificial sweeteners from your daily diet. Your taste buds and brain really do adjust.

You can help your kids out by weaning then from high-sugar foods like breakfast cereal now. Cereal manufacturers have been facing criticism from health advocates for quite a while and over the last couple years many have reduced the sugar content in their cereals aimed at kids.

The levels may be lower, but they are still really high. For example the General Mills cereal Cocoa Puffs currently has a whopping 11 grams or sugar per serving! General Mills has made a big announcement that it will again be reducing the sugar in their cereals...with a goal of the grams being single digits. To do that for Cocoa Puffs, they will have to reduce the sugar levels by 18 percent to reach 9 grams per serving. Read the labels of the foods you eat and you can make healthier choices. A single serving of Cheerios for example has only 1 gm of you can add your own sugar (1 teaspoon of sugar is a little over 4 grams of sugar) and come out ahead. Better yet, add fruit!

This will sound like a great thing, and no doubt they marketers will spin it really well...but that is still a lot of "added sugar." Added sugar is basically the processed stuff, whether it is white sugar, corn syrup or other opposed to naturally occurring sugar in fruits and veggies. Experts disagree on exactly how much added sugar should be set as a maximum, but most seem to set the range at 20-40 grams a day. So even at the high end of that, one bowl of the reduced sugar cereal is giving your child 1/4 of the maximum recommended amount a day!

Reducing sugar (real and artificial) intake helps reduce your sugar cravings, and helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable...which gives you better energy and more even moods throughout the day. Ironic since most of us grab sugar because we are feeling sluggish...but it is actually the sugar we ate earlier in the day that is largely responsible for our sluggishness!

Keep in mind that the body does not need processed sugar at all to function, survive or thrive. It is truly empty calories that your body converts to fat unless you use it all up...

So a great health and weight loss tip is to reduce your added sugar intake.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Biggest Loser: Congrats Danny

Congratulations to Danny, the winner of this season's The Biggest Loser television show.

This finale show was a fantastic summary of a long journey...a journey where people begin a new life...and one that is really just the beginning.

There were so many incredible weight loss stories this season and it came down to two Goliaths--Danny and Rudy. Both men lost well over 200 pounds and are barely recognizable as the same person.

This is something that is quite a feat, and ALL the participants are to be congratulated. Some people had less weight to lose and the chance of them "winning" the competition was pretty slim...but they have all proven they are winners...they have what it takes--they are all weight loss success stories!

We can all learn from them. It doesn't matter if we are 20 years old or grandmothers...we CAN lose weight if we make our health a priority and change our mindset.

You don't have to make drastic can make smaller changes and be just as effective in the long run.

Let these folks be your weight loss inspiration...let them inspire YOU to take control of your life. One of the most impactful moments for me was when the show physician spoke about how Shay and Daniel have literally added decades to their lives because of their weight loss success!

To YOUR healthy, energetic, slender body--you can have it--and you deserve it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside: Winter Exercising for Weight Loss Success is about 2 degrees (Farenheit) outside...and frankly, I don't want to go out if I don't have to. So there will be no outdoor activity for me today...but that doesn't mean I want to skip my workout--so what are my options?

First, my definition of a "workout" is very different from your high school P.E. teacher's, Jack Lalanne's, and just about anybody else out there deigned a fitness expert. During the course of losing 125 pounds I realized that the best exercise for losing weight (specifically fat) is one that you will actually do! So rather than believing I have to do a specific type of exercise, or I have to exercise for "X" period of time, I figured out what would work for me--what I will do every day...or at least 6 days a week.

My basic philosophy is that ANY increase in movement is better than none. I call it the One Jumping Jack Theory...where if you commit to doing a single jumping jack and do it, you are better off than the person who commits to doing an hour of exercise and can't fit it in.

This is based on personal experience and on scientific research...but I won't go into all that today. Instead, I'll offer some of the creative ways I get in exercise when it is cold enough I don't want to even go get my mail!

Of course you can do traditional jumping jacks, push-ups and the like...but (1) that isn't very creative and (2) it isn't a lot of fun in my book, but it is an option.

You can also drive to a local mall and walk around inside...but if you don't want to drive on the slick roads that won't be the best fit.

If you own an exercise DVD you can turn that personal favorite is Bounce and Shake from Dr. John Gray--I modify it and do my own version most days. There are also great videos/DVDs on all sorts of exercises from yoga to T'ai Chi to kickboxing...(these links will take you to Amazon)

You can also refer back to the Isometrics exercises that I wrote about a while ago...

But if you don't own a DVD or you want to try something new, here are a few suggestions that you can do TODAY...and they are FREE!

  • Turn on your favorite tunes and dance, dance, dance
  • Use your staircase--the original stair master. Go up and down one step, or an entire flight of stairs. (Don't try to do 15 minutes of this!)
  • Cleaning the house can be a great workout--vacuuming, changing bedlinens, mopping floors, all work. Be sure to stretch, reach, and breathe.
  • Do you decorate for the holidays? You can make that a workout by bending, reaching, rearranging
  • Don't have weights? Don't need 'em...use water bottles or canned goods and do some simple curls and arm raises
  • Strengthen your legs with mini squats using a dining room chair--start to sit down, keeping your chin up, stop before you sit and stand back up.
  • Easy pushups using a counter--being sure you won't slip, place both hands on the counter about should width apart, step away from the counter while you hold onto it so your body is at an incline, slowly lower yourself towards the counter and push yourself back up
  • Putting away laundry...focus on things that go up high or low--stretch for the top shelf, bend and reach for the bottom drawer
  • Use the kitchen counter to tone your leg muscles--holding on to the counter for balance, keep your back straight and raise your legs to the side, to the front and to the back. You may have to turn around to be able to lift your leg in all directions. These should be slow lifts not kicks. Switch and do the same thing with the other leg.
Mix it up and do a combination of some of may choose putting away the laundry and staircase, don't take all the clothes up at one time, instead take one or two items up (or down) the stairs, put them away and then get more.

This isn't about efficiently completely a "chore"...this is about getting in some extra movement, taking a task you would do anyway and getting some additional physical benefit from it.

Try to get to a pace where it is slightly difficult to talk while you do it...if you are easily singing to the tunes you aren't dancing hard enough!

Once you have done 15 minutes worth at this level, shake it out, and you can go back to being "efficient" if your task isn't completely done!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

One of the weight loss tips I share is to move your body early in the morning for about 15 minutes...not a big, strenuous gets the heart rate up...breathe deeply, and it starts the fires burning helping burn fuel more efficiently all day long.

We received about 8 inches of snow over the last 36 hours...while it is beautiful to look at it hampers efforts to move around and get the blood pumping...or does it?

I've been a weight loss success story because I change my thinking about my body, my health, and about diet and exercise...and I realized that here is an opportunity to "practice what I preach" and change another thought! Instead of looking at the snow as a hindrance I turned it around so I could see ways to incorporate different movement into my routine--one of the best exercises for weight loss is not one, but variety! Time to change it up with a little winter white!

So this morning I put on my wool socks and hat and went outside.

If you've ever shoveled snow, you know it is work...but maybe you haven't thought of it as exercise--but it sure is! There is no law that says exercise has to be in a gym or that it can't serve any other purpose. You can bring your tunes along, or just enjoy the peace and quiet the blanket of snow brings.

If you haven't been exercising much, don't overdo it with the snow shoveling...especially if your snow is heavier than mine. Here we have the lovely "champagne powder" so I can literally sweep it away--still a good workout, but not as hard as moving boatloads of cement snow.

My challenge at this form of exercise is determining how long to go...shoveling (or sweeping) my driveway and walk doesn't take I added in the drive and walk of an elderly neighbor...and then added some community sidewalk for good measure.

My fingers were a bit (!) cold when I got back in but I definitely got in more than my 15 minutes and broke a sweat.

Remember to breathe...and breathe deeply...don't hold your breath when you are exercising, whether that is walking or shoveling. Big tip for winter exercise outdoors: wear a scarf or something over your mouth.

But you don't have to shovel snow to enjoy the benefits of winter workouts...if your kids have a snow day (or you have a "kid at heart" at home) you can even enjoy a snowball fight. Bend down and grab some snow, toss it, bend and toss, bend and toss...laughing all the way!

Of course you can go for a walk in the snow if you have proper attire if you want. If the snow is deep it can really work some different muscles just getting to the mailbox...but I wouldn't automatically count on walking in the snow as your exercise.

Why? Think about how you walk when it is snowy and icy you carefully place your feet with each step so you don't fall? A lot of people do, especially if you are a large person who might have trouble getting back up, or someone who has had injuries in the past.

If you can't safely walk outdoors, you live alone in an area with snow removal, then what? We'll cover a few ideas in tomorrow's post...options that also work for folks who live where "winter" is a relative term!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Best Holiday Gift: Your Family

During this week I've written about what I feel...what I the best gift you can give your family this holiday season. Of course that gift is YOU...a healthy, happy, energetic, slender you.

Just being alive for your family is a big gift...and by being a weight loss success story you will live longer, save money, and have lots more fun. Well, there is another aspect to this gift that is HUGE--by achieving your weight loss goals you are giving your family and friends the gift of themselves, too!

You see, you set an example. Especially for your kids...but if you have other family members or friends who are struggling with their weight, you set an example for them as well.

Kids model their parents behavior...they want to be like Mom or Dad...and no matter what words you say about the importance of eating right and moving your body, if you are a couch potato and eat junk food, they are going to DO what you DO...and they will BE what you ARE.

Diabetes rates are rising...type 2 diabetes used to be called adult onset diabetes. Sadly, this disease is rising so much and is now so prevalent they don't call it that any more.

Type 2 diabetes is mostly a condition of habit. The good news is that the disease is preventable and reversible. Think of losing weight as a cure for diabetes!

By teaching your kids good eating and exercise habits young you will be giving them a chance for living a full and happy life.

Start with small steps...don't try to make huge changes all at once. Small, consistent steps lead to long term permanent results. It isn't about being on a diet...this is a comedian Sherri Shepherd said recently about her weight loss (she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and has lost weight and looks great) "It is not so much about a diet. It is about making healthy choices in my life and learning not to beat myself up when I do slip."

You have to decide that you are worth being healthy...I know your family thinks you are! Then take small steps to achieve weight loss...and stick with those choices. By making small changes in your life you will reach your goal and you will give your family (and yourself) the best gift possible--a healthy, energetic, slender, you...and that is truly a gift of love that will last for years and years!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Best Holiday Gift is YOU

This week I'm writing about the best holiday gift you can give your family...of course that gift is a healthy deciding to become healthy you will be around for your family and you will actually save money (refer to earlier posts if you want to see the logic about that)...

Today I want to focus on another gift that you will be giving by improving your health--that is FUN!

How much fun are you missing if you are struggling to keep up? Can you play with the kids in the park if you can't catch your breath? It is hard to play musical chairs if you don't fit, or you are afraid you might actually break one!

Having fun, being joyful, that is a part of leading a full, fulfilled life...and that is definitely a gift--to yourself as well as your friends and family.

If you have trouble moving around it sets up a vicious tend to go out less, to withdraw more...and guess what? You tend to then eat more which just leads to having more trouble moving. Not a pretty picture.

I used to worry if I would be comfortable at the theater...would I fit into the seat okay? Would I impact my "neighbor" because of my size? I still went out...but I fretted about it, and made sure whenever possible that I was on the I could get up and step into the aisle if someone needed to be seated further in. If I couldn't get into the aisle I knew that no one would be able to get by me...and I couldn't get by anyone else either. That definitely made my experience less pleasurable.

I was pretty active for someone in the 300 pound range...but I often wondered if I would be able to keep up. Frequently people had to slow down so that I didn't fall behind. I definitely felt like I slowed the group down because of my extra weight.

These may not seem like big stresses, but they can definitely impact having fun...and even little stressor can impact your health...and having fun is about reducing stress, not adding to it!

Get out and enjoy life...have fun...that is one of the steps to having weight loss success...and when you do, you are setting up a delicious cycle of health! The more fun you have being out, the more you will do things...the more you do things, the more fun you will have.

You deserve to have fun...and your family and friends will love it, too!

Come back tomorrow to learn how giving the gift of a healthy you to your family gives them a big bonus gift!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Best Holiday Gift SAVES Money

Yesterday I wrote that the best holiday gift you can give your family and friends is you...(click here if you want to read that post...or if you are on the blog, you can scroll down and see it.)

Sometimes people are concerned that they will have to spend money in order to have weight loss success. There is this mistaken idea that being healthy costs more. Au contraire, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight you will actually be saving money!

Obesity costs big bucks. Some of the biggest expenses are medical. People who are overweight tend to need to see the doctor more frequently, require more medications and more surgeries. Health and life insurance costs are higher--that is, if you can get them.

If you are employed, statistics show that obese people earn significantly less than their co-workers who maintain a healthy weight...employers know that obesity hits them in the insurance pocketbook, as well as sick days, by becoming a weight loss success story you just might land yourself a raise!

Okay, that may not be in your control, but how about this? If you go to a fast food restaurant to feed your habit, pick up your "drug of choice" at the grocery story or vending machines, or grab an extra vanilla latte, you are dropping lots of cash. If you spend an extra $4 a day feeding that habit that comes to more than $1400 in a single year. Think you don't spend that much...hmmm, test it out for yourself. Add up the trips to the vending machines, Starbucks, Micky D, and the cookies/cakes/cream at the grocery may be amazed at how much you are spending...a little bit at a time!

Then there is clothing. We don't have to go into how hard it can be to find the clothes...when you are large it is harder to find discount clothes...often your clothes just cost more. That's not unreasonable, after all, they take more material, right? What about the wear and tear you put on them? I had lots of pants that were worn out between the thighs or split at the seams...between the chafing and the stress on all the seams, my pants just didn't hold up. And the pilling on tops and sweaters because my arms rubbed against my torso. Definitely need to replace clothes more frequently if you want to look your best.

And shoes!!! I wore out lots of shoes...and one place you don't want to skimp is your shoes. Do that and you can have all sorts of foot, knee, hip and back issues. Just the weight of my body pounding on the pavement caused my shoe leather (well, not really leather, but you get the drift) to wear out prematurely.

And talking about wearing out...I wore out seats in cars faster because of my weight...and I had to have sturdy chairs so I didn't risk breaking them and falling on the floor.

I also had to buy larger towels so they would dry me off sufficiently. I was just about needing seat belt extensions too...and there were a couple of flights I was extremely uncomfortable...fortunately I had a skinny flying companion...but if you have to buy an extra seat on the plane because you don't fit into one...there's an expense.

Take a little time and add up all the "extras" that you buy because of your size...if you cut them out, how much money would you save? Over the course of your lifetime you will save a lot of money by achieving and maintaining a healthier weight.

Start today. Remember, you don't have to make all the changes at once. Start small. Be consistent...and you will be get the healthy, energetic, slender body you deserve...and save some bucks at the same time!

Be sure to check back tomorrow when we talk about the third gift you give your family when you decide to become a weight loss success story!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Give the Best Holiday Gift

Not sure what to give your family this holiday season?

Want to give them something really special? A gift they will truly enjoy for years to that is unique, filled with love...a gift that will keep on giving?

Then I have the answer!

The absolutely, positively, best gift you can give them this holiday is YOU!

If you give them the gift of a healthy and happy you, then you are actually giving them four gifts in one: You, Money, Fun, and them...okay, that seems a bit convoluted, so let's start with the first gift and then go on from there!

By achieving and maintaining a healthy weight you will live longer and be healthier during those years. People who are obese have been shown to die younger...the good news is that being obese now is not an early death sentence IF you start and make changes to improve your health NOW.

In addition, obese people tend to be sicker and have more serious health issues--from needing more surgeries, having sleep apnea, to diseases like diabetes...and even cancer. So, even if you live a long life, relatively speaking, the chances are good that it won't be a healthy one.

Make a decision today that you are worth having around! Be there for your kids, your spouse, your grandkids, your parents, your siblings...your friends and neighbors, too. And not only be there, have the energy you deserve to fully participate in their lives. They will thank you for it!

YOU. A healthy YOU. Your weight loss success...that is the best gift you can give your, this holiday season, and for the rest of your healthy, energetic life!

Come back tomorrow when we talk about how taking care of your health will also be a monetary gift to your family!