Archive for July, 2009

Vacation…Ironman/girl style!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Whether you took last week off from your regularly scheduled class in Athens or attended one of the other WoW! options, I hope you had a WONDERFUL week!  My family certainly did!!

We vacationed IRONMAN style (or ½ IRONMAN in my case)! 

 Running:  While some of you were running the P’tree Road Race, we started our July 4th celebration with a 10K (in the mountains at Lake Rabun).  It was a challenging course to say the least.  I took 1st in my age group and Michael won Overall Men’s Masters (that means you’re over 40!, but the fastest) and he brought home a PRIZE for the family….8 hours of jet ski rental-FREE!  Kids were a little more excited about Dad’s win!!

 Swimming:  After our friends left, I took Robert’s place of guiding Michael down a part of the lake called “the narrows” in a kayak while he swam for 1 hour.  I had no idea what an upper body workout that is!  My triceps are still sore (or is it from holding on for dear life on the “Taco”?)!!  For the record, I only swim in lakes for races.  I find a lot of comfort in numbers.

 Biking: Then there were the bike rides!  We’d take off super early while the kids were still asleep ( I went 2.5-3 hours while Michael would have to continue on for 5!).  It was so beautiful riding in the mountains!!  Just beautiful and exhilarating .  We had lots of challenging climbs and crazy steep descents.  One minute we would be rolling along at 20 mph and the next struggle to maintain 6 mph then hit a wild 40mph downhill (you know …those kind of hills where you see the signs with a truck on it to show you how to stop if your brakes give out)!!  I was sceeeered.  It was so awesome being able to share this together!!

 And more running!:  I misunderstood Coach Michael one day when he told me where to run for 1 hour.  I started off on a beautiful course along the lake, over a dam, but ended up running a 2.5 mile climb!!  Cursing-wondering why he sent me up the side of a mountain like a darn billy goat?!?  Turns out I was to go left, not right.  Details!  I know I’m stronger for it…somehow!

FUN!-Training just got the day started.  All the swimming, biking & running were followed by a full day of skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, tacoing, fishing, reading, grilling, eating, and playing board games. Each day was a full day & we all slept sound at night!

I love that we’re an active family!  It’s fun having goals and sticking to them, even making them a part of our vacation.  Eat, train, relax & Fun!  I can handle that!!  It sure beats how I vacationed just 4 short years ago.  I still remember sitting in a beach chair, covered with a towel (and a blanket of insecurity) dreading the kids wanting me to get up.

 I’m glad I woke up and realized no one is in control of my happiness but me; therefore, I have the power to change anything about myself or my life…everyday – Just as you do!  Go for your BEST LIFE!!

I’m energized and ready to see you at Boot Camp for one fabulous contribution to your best life!!

April

Rewards!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Many of us have struggled time and time again to keep our body weight under control and our overall health at a good level.  The concept of rewarding & comforting ourselves with food is a common block that must change in order to achieve the good health & fitness we’re all looking for.

You know how it goes:  a bad day at work, traffic jams, doing a particularly nasty job around the house, dealing with an overbearing person, a bad night’s sleep, or even a really intense or particularly long workout.  Whoops, time for a treat.

Changing Habits

Habits die hard and, if you are rewarding yourself with food, you have probably been doing it for a very long time. We also know that trying to simply abandon bad habits is not easy to do.  In fact, it may be downright impossible to approach habits with that mindset.  

The most successful way to work with habits is to play with them.  Watch yourself closely to see what feels like a reward and what doesn’t.  Probably 90 percent of rewarding yourself with food actually feels like punishment — after you’ve eaten that pint of Ben & Jerry’s and the guilt sets in, do you really feel rewarded? 

Try substituting new and different rewards for those old ones.  Do it gradually, quietly and don’t expect immediate results.  Identify one particular “reward moment.”  Is it Friday night when the work week is over?  Is it Saturday afternoon after the house has been thoroughly cleaned?  I once counted 16 times I felt I needed a reward – for me it’s Friday after my last class or assessment is finished!  I replayed my thoughts (impulses!!) as I was driving home from the downtown post office…I drove home dreaming of all the food stops I could make between downtown & my house ( Barberitos, 5 Guys, Dunkin Donuts, Big City bread for cookies, Wendy’s for a Burger, The Grit for mac & cheese, Marti’s for Chicken Salad and lots of Pita chips…) Before I realized the pattern, I gave in to the urge countless times (and on occasion – gasp!- still do – ’cause I’m not perfect)!!  It’s not about these choices being “BAD” it’s the whole idea that I could “pig out” because it was the end of the week.  That kind of thinking has always added up to extra weight.

What do you really like?  If it’s something you love, that might be an appropriate reward, especially if you rarely get to do it.  If you typically eat ice cream AND read a book (or watch a movie), try separating the two events.  Is it just a habit that you eat when you give yourself time to read?  Would a cup of tea be nice at those times?  (Again, substitution will work much better than simple abandonment of the old habit.)

Giving Yourself Gifts

You may think that it sounds expensive to give yourself “gifts” but have you ever stopped to think about how much some food costs?  Especially “reward” food?  Perhaps if you stopped having Starbucks mochachinos every afternoon at work you could save enough for laser hair removal (or some other cosmetic treatment) before you know it!  Consider giving up an immediate reward for a bigger, more permanent reward you’ve been wanting for years.  She set your sights on a higher goal, and it will work for you.

As you lose weight, it’s often very productive to give yourself rewards along the way for each weight loss goal you reach.  Chose a reward that does not involve food that you can give yourself for reaching health and fitness goals. Pick rewards that do not interfere with your diet, nutrition or exercise plans.  Rewarding yourself in a healthy fashion will ultimately help you stay motivated to continue making steady progress towards your weight loss goals.

Changing Physicality

This reward idea will really appeal to men.  Have you always wanted to play a certain sport or try a physical activity?  Did you give up playing basketball or tennis when you reached a weight where it was uncomfortable or you did not feel you could play competitively?  A great reward might be a new tennis racket, running shoes, a set of golf clubs or joining a team. 

Or will your next adventure be more fitness oriented?  Step up to a more challenging goal like running a 5k, 10k , ½ marathon or completing a triathlon.   Adopting a new activity will help you lose even more weight and gain vitality as well, especially if you are adding metabolism-boosting muscle to your frame. 

Dump the Too-Big Wardrobe

Have you decided you are not going to buy clothes until you reach your ideal weight?  Many people do this.  But how good do you feel in clothes that are 2-3 sizes too big?  Besides being uncomfortable, they can hide the fact that you have lost weight from others and, most importantly, from yourself.  You do not have to buy a complete new wardrobe but a few items, even a new outfit, could help your self-confidence a lot.  If you’re concerned about price, designate a set amount for each 10 pound loss.  

When I was in the process of losing 40 lbs., I liked clothes from Ann Taylor loft because they were very flattering, used nice color schemes and were simple in design – this made them easy to alter as I lost weight.  I found that simple dresses and pants could be adjusted through the waist and hips easily.  Looking your best and paying attention to your appearance as you lose weight can be a great confidence booster as well as an important part of lesson in self-care.

Changing Chemistry

Did you know that, as you lose weight, you change chemically and your old perfume, cologne or aftershave may not smell the same on you?  Age can change that too.  And your tastes can change.  So, if you’re still wearing the same scent you got for Christmas 5 years ago, try something new.

Women’s attitudes towards makeup and cosmetics is another thing that also changes as you lose weight and that can be fashioned into a great reward system.  A new tube of lipstick or even a make over.

A Most Enticing Reward

Rewards are the ultimate motivation, whether it’s for reaching your goal weight or for losing your first 50 pounds!  If you are a jewelry lover, there is nothing more exciting than a beautiful ring, pendant or pair of earrings that you will wear forever.  A huge advantage to a reward that lasts a lifetime?  Every time you wear it, you will be reminded of your accomplishment!

6 reasons why we don’t lose weight!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

6 Reasons Why We Don’t Lose Weight

By John Messmer, MD

Doctors hear this complaint often: “I’m dieting all the time, but I can’t lose any weight.” For many people, losing weight is a frustrating endeavor. No matter how hard they seem to be trying, nothing changes. What is going on? Identifying the problem is only part of the solution.

6 Common reasons why we don’t lose weight 
1.     Many of our social interactions include food.
2.     Restaurants portions have increased (particularly fast food).
3.     We are less active than in the past.
4.     We find it unacceptable to be hungry.
5.     We misunderstand how weight is maintained.
6.     We forget the extra food we eat every day, or we think we ate less than we did.

It’s also important to remember that when we consume fewer calories, we have a tendency to be less active, which probably stems from our biological programming to preserve body weight for survival.

Simple truths about weight loss

Many people think weight loss is like emptying a bucket with a ladle. A scoop out of the bucket today, tomorrow, next week will eventually empty the bucket. Not so with our bodies. When we decrease our food intake, our bodies try to absorb and store more calories the next time we eat in excess of what our body needs. So, even though we are cutting down most of the time, we will not lose weight if we get extra calories part of the time.

The simple rule of weight loss is that you must consistently burn off more calories than you take in. Any type of weight loss diet can work as long as calorie intake is consistently reduced, every day. A diet that is balanced with small quantities of vegetables, fruit, grains and lean meat or fish is the healthiest. Exercise helps, but unless you are an athlete, you will have to cut calories, too. And remember, it’s OK to be hungry when losing weight. Once a goal is achieved, every day is for maintaining. If you go back to eating more and exercising less, the weight will go right back on.

Power Breakfast!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

How do we get lean, healthy, strong & fit?  We exercise consistantly & eat CLEAN!
When my friend Tami (who exemplifies all of the above - beautiful body & Iron Girl stramina to go with it) first gave me some Kefir to try i wasn’t impressed.  Actually….i gagged!  But hey, i use to not like tomatoes either, so i gave it another try when we were together a couple of weekends ago.  But this time, we added some goodies to it.  (I might add that eating Greek Yogurt really prepped my pallet and i actually crave the tart taste of it now!)

Kefir w/Blueberries & Granola

1 cup Kefir (I like Lifeway low fat plain.  It has less carbs than the flavored variety.)
1 cup Blueberries Fresh or frozen with no added sugar.  (You can even go pick some fresh ones now at Washington Farms.  A whole bucket is just $17 and you can freeze them.)
1/4 cup Granola (i like Udi’s Natural Artisan.  I can only find it at EarthFare.  I like it because it’s lower in fat & still has a super crunchy texture & is delicious!  It’s on the end of the cereal isle – brown bag.  And a side note about granola…too much of a healthy thing is still too much!  I have “issues” with eating too much, so I use a measuring cup & don’t allow myself nibbling out of the bag.)

Mix together in a bowl.  Enjoy with a nice cold bottle of water.  (I’m sipping on a 33.8 oz bottle from EarthFare right now….aaah!)

5 WW Points (cut in 1/2 & eat as a power snack!)
Udi’s Granola-120 calories 3 g fiber & 4 g fat
Lifeway Kefir – 110 calories 3 g fiber & 2 g fat
Blueberries – 70 calories 4 g fiber & 1 g fat

14 grams of Protein!!  ENJOY!