Friday, October 31, 2008

Diets Don’t Work

I work for Weight Watchers and this is our slogan. It really is true. If we want to lose weight and become fit and healthy we need to stop believing that just by depriving ourselves of what is intended to keep us alive will make us thin.
  • Diets don’t work! I know I said it once, but I figured it was worth stating again. If they did, we would all be thin because don’t we all start one every Monday morning?
  • If you are hungry, truly hungry, then I say eat. In fact, studies have shown that people who eat small frequent meals/snacks during the day are less likely to be overweight. Why? If you are eating every few hours your body will never become hungry. When I started this practice, it was so foreign to me that I set an alarm clock at 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm,and 9pm. Yes, I eat at 6am and even right before I go to bed!
  • NOTHING is off limits. Stop right there and take a breath, because you heard me right. Some foods are better choices than others but if we deprive ourselves of something that we really want then we tend to binge. I say, work it into your week’s meals, plan for it, eat it and enjoy it.
  • If you aren’t hungry, don’t eat. This is a tough one as each of us have triggers that lead us to believe that somehow those Ho-Hos in the cupboard will satisfy the feeling of anger over your child’s current report card. Trust me it won’t.
  • This brings me to the issue of our emotions. Learn to respect them. Learn what emotion you are attempting to satisfy with food and learn to find other ways to comfort or distract yourself from that emotion. Maybe, your child’s poor grades make you feel that you are not in control of him or her. Find something that you can control. Like what you put in your mouth. You will feel better and will learn to work with your children on positive ways to overcome their issues.
  • Respect yourself both on the inside and on the outside. Who you are on the inside is more important than what you look like on the outside. I’m always talking with my Weight Watchers members about “fixing what is on the inside and then our bodies have no choice but to follow”. Each of us is a wonderful being made in God’s image and has talents and gifts that can be shared with our families and friends. Identify your gifts and start using them.
  • As you begin to value your health you will want to become more active. Find something that you are good at or that you enjoy, perhaps a walking group in your community, a softball league or riding bikes with your family. All of these are great activities that get you moving and feeling better about yourself.

Remember all of these things don’t have to be done in one week. Choose one and work on it for the next 21 days. We know it takes 21 days to make something a habit and in a matter of a few months you will be on your way to a healthier and more fit you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Traveling and the Phit Lifestyle

Part 4 - How do I Exercise on the Road?

You might think that with traveling comes the halt of all healthy eating and exercise. During our series we have discussed how we can go about eating healthy through proper planning, grocery shopping and wise restaurant choices.

Today I want to discuss exercise. Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean that we get a “get out of jail free card” from exercise. This is something that can be incorporated into your day with little or no effort, again with just a bit of planning. Here are a few tips:
  • Take the stairs and ask for a room that is not on the ground floor. Why? I took the elevator up when I first arrived. I’m on the second floor and other than my trip arriving and my trip departing I have taken the stairs daily. This is at a minimum twice daily and on a few occasions four times. It doesn’t seem like much but it all adds up.
  • Since we planned our hotel we should know whether a gym or not exists. If it does, use it! Plan to wake up 30 minutes earlier or make a date with it at the end of the day. The hotel I stayed in was open until 11 p.m. No excuses there.
  • No gym available? Gotcha covered. Resistance bands; purchase them for about $10.00 and bring them with you. The box contains a great little workout and you can do them in your hotel room. They don’t take up much room and fit nicely in your luggage.
  • Don’t have resistance bands or forgot them? Sorry, but I can fix that too. Regular, wide and narrow pushups bang out a fantastic upper body. Now toss in some lunges and squats and you have a great lower body workout. What about your core, throw in some planks and planks with knee raises, run the stairs a few times, jog in place, do jumping jacks or high knee raises and your cardio routine is done.
The point here is that you don’t need to forgo a workout just because you are traveling and return home being set back in your fitness level. Put some creativity into it and you can be active anywhere and at any time.

Being phit for life means that you will have periods during your life where you are not in control 100% of your food and exercise. However, incorporating just a few of the tips above, research, planning and execution and you have no need to worry about traveling for business or pleasure.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Being the Best YOU

I saw a military commercial the other day that talked about how joining the army or some other military branch, could make you better. I'm sure they can do a few good things but it made me think about how we always want to change ourselves into something or someone else. It seems we're never quite satisfied with the way God made us and the inner and outer beauty we all have.

None of us can twitch our noses or bob our heads and become someone else. We aren't paper dolls on which we can mix and match arms, torso and legs and honestly, I'm not sure I would want that anyway.

What we do have control over is making ourselves the best we can be. I'm sure some of you can't even imagine all the things that might be good about yourself and I'll tell you that it isn't always easy complimenting oneself. I'm challenging you to take a good look at yourself in the mirror and choose one part of you that you love. I don't care if it is that little spot that is between your right ankle and right big toe, just find a spot that you find attractive. Guess what, we aren't going to change a darn thing about that spot. You love it, right?

Now, look at one part of yourself that you really want to change. Maybe it is your arms. Maybe you can envision that with a little bit of work you would have lovely shapely arms. That is where we start. Position yourself on a path towards full acceptance of the best YOU, that you can possible become.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Traveling and the Phit Lifestyle

Part 3 - Dining out in Phit style

Okay you say, packing snacks and small meals are no problem, but how do I handle eating out. I mean you aren’t the chef, right?

Dining out doesn’t need to be a scary experience. As with anything we need to go into it with a plan. Knowing what restaurant we will eat at is a great start. Also, go into it having some sort of idea of what you want to eat. I mean just the basics. Is this your MB (metabolic boost) meal or do you just want a good healthy dinner? Chicken, steak, fish? What is your poison?

Personally, I don’t even look at the menu if I know that I’m trying to keep within my menu style of clean eating. I mean why even tantalize yourself with the many options? My philosophy is that if I don’t own it I can’t eat it and once the order comes out of my mouth, I in essence, “own it”.

Last night, I decided that I wanted salmon. I love salmon and if I can get it I will. As soon as the waiter came and asked me for my drink order I told him that I would like “dry grilled salmon” over a plate full of steamed veggies. I’m not picky on the veggie part so what ever they have is fine with me.

Now I will say that you will be asked if you want a potato, salad with dressing, rice anything because someone asking for this kind of food is not the norm for most restaurants and this is where you need to be strong. If you have your plan in mind then you must stick to it and if you must, write it down and read it off to him/her.

There are a few vocabulary words that you should learn during your dining out experience.

• Heavy or cream sauces
• Blackend – this sounds healthy but to get that nice crispy part, normally lots of butter or some type of oil is used.
• Fried, breaded or stuffed ANYTHING
• Sour creams and butters. (These aren’t the lo-fat version, folks)
• Skip the bread and rolls. If you can see that it is offered on the menu just tell them you don’t need it.

Ask for:
• Baked, broiled or grilled, poached or steamed
• Extra veggies
• Salad dressing on the side or just choose balsamic vinegar and olive oil that YOU apply to the salad
• Choose, water, diet drinks or unsweetened tea and coffee.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What makes you CHOOSE to live a healthy and fit lifestyle?

After 14 days of eating right and exercising while on the road, two of which I really whined about, I started to think about WHAT is it that makes me CHOOSE to live this type of a lifestyle now. I mean, really, how easy it would be to just have had a free-for-all during these last two weeks and chalk it up simply, to being “on the road”.

Two years ago when I was one month from turning 39, do you see what’s coming? I thought if I ever wanted to be “skinny” by the time I’m 40 I’d better do it now. Little did I know that those few thoughts and words would cause me to embark on a journey that would change my thoughts about food and exercise 180 degrees.

Over the last two years my thoughts have changed from about being skinny to being “healthy and fit”. I’m never going to be skinny but I can be healthy and fit. I have chosen that my longevity and the health of those that I love around me are more important than the filling in a Ding Dong or a bit of cold chicken nuggets.

I now choose to take care of myself and others by purchasing healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and preparing healthy snacks that my children and spouse can eat. They will eat it if its there, trust me. I choose to take extra time out of my day to move a bit more, through weight lifting and aerobic activities and getting my family involved too. It’s a great time to learn what is happening in the lives of those around us that we love.

As you move through your journey you need to keep in front of you, the objective you had when you started. Sometimes it is just as simple as wanting to look hot in clothing and that is okay, but be prepared that through the process you may decide that other priorities are becoming more important and as they do that you keep them in the forefront of your daily choices.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Your life begins now

I was thinking the other day of how many times I hear people tell me that once they lose weight they will be able to do something else in their life and they will finally be happy. People, I’m here to tell you that you are selling yourself short on living your life to the fullest potential now. No number on that 12x12 pad will make you happy. Do you think skinny people in Hollywood are truly happy? Some maybe, but it isn’t because of the number on the scale.

Choose today to take the first step to living your life now. Choose to make a better life for yourself and family. You can start walking today. I don’t care, how long or how far just start. Five minutes of walking today will lead to an hour in the future and who knows what next. Take your bike out; you know the one that you got when you bought bikes for the kids at Christmas because as a family you would ride? Tune it up and get riding, your body and your children will adore you for it.

You are worth the investment of some time and energy. You are only one step from completing things that you never thought possible, if you will just start today. Don’t let a number on a scale dictate to you. Don’t postpone your dreams another day.

If you aren’t sure where to start, drop me a line and let’s see if working together, we can’t help you start your new life, beginning today.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Traveling and the Phit Lifestyle

Part 2 - Safe bets on food for PhitLife traveling

I had about five hours that knew I would be “out of sorts”, in airport terminals or driving to and from the airport to my hotel. I knew that I didn’t need a huge meal during this time so I packed a protein bar in my bag. Unfortunately, due to the new airline restrictions I had to wait and purchase a bottle of very expensive water after I got through security.

I had about an hour lay-over in Cleveland and chose at that time to eat my protein bar and take a stroll around the airport. Don’t take the escalators or “people moving” devices. Move yourself. Walk up the stairs. It made me feel pretty darn good that I actually got to the top of the stairs before the escalator people and I really didn’t even get out of breath. If you have time, do it a couple of times and you just got a great workout in.

Upon my arrival to the hotel I quickly found a store, turned on my refrigerator and headed over for a quick shopping trip. Here is what I now have in my fridge and hotel cupboards.

• Plain oatmeal. I found them in single serving sizes.
• Almonds
• Turkey pepperoni
• Dannon Lite and Fit yogurt, individual servings.
• Apples
• Grapes
• Cherry tomatoes
• Individual servings of tuna
• Low Carb Snickers protein bars
• Protein powder (brought from home)
• Snack size baggies. Buy then or bring them.

I now have several different options to take as snacks and such during my workday. I brought one of the crushable coolers and a gel icepack and I’m ready to go. It’s great knowing that I don’t need to blow every meal and snack just because I’m not in my usual surroundings.

In Part 3 we will look at tips for a successful dining out experience.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sweet Toxicities

Do you know that an animal could die if it licks or even steps in antifreeze? One would wonder why an animal would ingest something that is toxic enough to kill. It’s because it tastes sweet to them. You may wonder where I’m going with this. Let me explain that each day most people are putting into their diets and their children’s diets a substance that is just as toxic, yet they don’t even think twice about it. What is it? It is refined sugar. It is in just about everything.

Sugar is a pure refined carbohydrate and the body is not able to use this substance unless it contains additional vitamins, minerals and proteins. Sugar will actually cause our bodies to produce an acid in our blood stream. That acid interferes with our cells ability to breath. Yikes, that is scary uh?

Sugar also is devoid of anything nutritionally valuable and is sometimes called “empty or naked calories”. In fact, it’s worse than nothing, because it will leach vitamins and minerals from our body. Remember, we can’t metabolize it without vitamins and minerals.

Sugar is also one of the number one factors leading to obesity and diabetes, both of which will shorten our lives. It causes us to crave more of it too and really acts like a drug of sorts.

The best thing for you to do is to start decreasing the use of sugar. It will be difficult at first. Begin by not buying sweetened cereals for you and your family. Then start weaning yourself from candies and other sweetened products. Instead put in their place healthy, sweet choices, such as honey, fruits or organic natural sweeteners. Your local health food store is a great place to find these types of products.

I promise that you, your body and your loved ones will thank you as they learn to live without this terrible substance in their bodies.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Traveling and the Phit Lifestyle

Part 1 – Planning is everything

I’m traveling for a few weeks for business and I really want to return with a couple pounds of fat lost or at least with none gained. This is day three of the travels, counting the actual day of getting here and so far I’m feeling pretty darn proud of myself.

Here are a few tips that I can recommend to you before you even leave your house.

1. Decide what your goals will be during your travels. I mean is this a business trip or a vacation? Do you want to lose weight, stay the same or maybe you are even willing to accept a gain.

2. Research where you will be and what will be available to you for exercise. I have a nice hotel. It has a pool, hot tub, gym with treadmills, elliptical and bike as well as a universal type weight machine and a nice array of free weights. Just knowing that I have this equipment at my disposal makes it easier for me to know that I really have no excuses in that department.

3. Learn what amenities will be available to you in your hotel room. Most hotels these days provide a small refrigerator and a microwave or for a minimal cost you can have one placed in your room. Again, just preparing yourself for this will alleviate any concerns as to how or what you can keep in your room for food and snacks.

4. Know what your schedule will be if possible. I knew that I’d be running around and that my first choices of food would not be at my beck and call so I knew that I would have to get to my destination, do a bit of shopping and some minimal preparation to be successful.

In future posts I will talk about what and how to organize your week’s schedule and what are some great foods to have one hand.