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Notes from April

August 23, 2009

Consistency & Balance

Want to get in shape AND stay in shape?  It is all about consistency and balance

DIET—get on a smart plan and stick to it at least 85% of the time! Give yourself occasional breaks on weekends to prevent cheating during the week! If you do goof-up a bit, get right back to it the next meal. Be consistent with the number of meals per day, portion sizes, and the times you eat. Balance your food groups. Eat whole grains, lean meats, fruits, low-fat dairy, nuts, and lots of vegetables! It is not about “low carb”, it is about the “right carbs!”

EXERCISE—Show up for Boot Camp on your scheduled days (that covers 2 or 3 days for you!) and do something (pilates, walk, elliptical, run, swim, bike, yoga….) at least 5x/week on average! Be consistent week to week…it should never be “all or nothing!” Balance cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training.

So…some of you may read the comments above and take it at face value.  Good common sense.  You grab onto it and say “yeah, I can do this.  It’s simple.  Let’s go!”  Many others of you will read this & think to yourself “yeah, whatever! It’s not that easy.  It’s hard!  I don’t have that kind of willpower.”

People think losing weight is all about willpower.  It’s not.  It’s also not about a moral issue.  You have not been bad.  You do not need to punish yourself with a life of white-knuckled deprivation.  It’s about self care.  It’s about taking time for self care.  It’s about changing your attitude – then your behavior and lifestyle!!

How did I make the transition to self care after years of neglect?  Consistency & Balance.  With DIET, EXERCISE & my most importantly my THOUGHTS!!

I use to think I was consistent with Exercise & Diet:  EXERCISE:  If I was truly honest with myself, I was only working out 1 maybe 2x per week.  I would have this really hard effort, feel wiped out and because I was sore I was done for the week. That kept getting me no where (but feeling defeated!) for a very long time.  It was the all or nothing approach, which I also took with my DIET:  I thought if I said no for one entire day to some yummy dessert or chips & cheese dip (because those are my major weaknesses) I should wake up the next day having lost 5 pounds or my pants should be looser.  When that miracle didn’t come to pass I would be pissed off and say “to hell with it” and go hit the “Hot Now” spot at Krispy Kreme.  I so didn’t get that I had to string a bunch of those “just say no” days together (like 9 months! worth) to lose the 40 pounds I eventually would go on to lose.  AND…learn that I could on occasion eat those things in moderation! without guilt (defiantly a concept that moves you towards Balance…which for some of us comes & goes and takes a lot of tweaking and patience!)

Ohhhh! How stinkin’ thinkin’  keeps you down!  I had to learn 3 main things when it comes to changing my thoughts: 

1.  Just because I think it, it doesn’t make it true.  (we’re thought to have some 2-3K thoughts per day!) That’s a lot floating around in our mind & it’s controlling our actions and our perception of reality.  Ever notice how there’s those 1 set of thoughts that can get you down every time.  It can spiral out of control like a whirling cesspool dragging you under…..”I’m never going to ______”  “I’m a terrible ________”. “If only ________”, “I shouldn’t have __________”.  Blame, shame, guilt, inadequacy, fear, resentment almost like a trance these thoughts can drag you down, keeping you from moving forward.  But the cool thing is….you can stop them & move forward! How do you stop them?  You talk to someone you trust.  You literally stop them by refusing to dwell on them.  When a defeating thought comes up, you don’t judge it (who knows why they come!)  you just don’t indulge or entertain it.  You don’t act on the thought.  Feeling angry and frustrated and kicking the dog only leads to kicking the dog some more and continuing to feel bad.  Gratitude is a miracle worker! 

2.  I can be done with the past.  I can have forgiveness for myself and forgive others.  Accept that we’re all doing the best we can at the given moment.  I choose to no longer pass harsh judgment on myself or others.  I hold fast to the truth that we are beautiful, complete children of God (whatever that may be for you!).  No matter how many times we have moments of being selfish, quick to anger, forgetful, disrespectful, impulsive, gluttonous, bitter….we’re still loved.  We just goofed – that’s all.  Period!  No need to take yourself down to the cesspool! 

3.  I can refuse to have thoughts of giving up!  I don’t have to awfulize a setback (injury, weight gain, mistake, missed workout, argument, etc.).  I can keep moving forward no matter what.  I now find encouragement in other’s accomplishments.  Ann participated in WoW! for over a year…hanging out between 170-150.  She finally unloaded some useless mental baggage, changed her attitude and now weighs a steady 129.  Marti gave me a magnet with a quote by Winston Churchhill.  It simply says “Never, Never, Never Give Up!”  I choose to live by this.

Realize that every day is an opportunity to create the reality you want for yourself!  You can be whoever you want to be.  (That’s worth reading again & again…until you believe it!)  Look for inspiration and encouragement.

First – shut out the negative.  TV, talk radio, the News…mostly they’re dishing out nothing but negativity – things I have absolutely no control over.  You’ll be amazed how hopeful and energized you are when you shut out the gloom & doom they’re selling. 


Try a random act of kindness – make a difference for someone that’s literally right under your nose.  A family member, a neighbor, a coworker, a boot camper you haven’t yet spoken to.  A smile, a gentle touch, a word of encouragement, a compliment, a helping hand….goes a long way!

 I find lots of inspiration from reading about other’s successes in books.  A good self-help or motivational CD goes a long way & so does some uplifting, creative tunes. 

Find your happy place.  Creativity and Expression through dance, music, visual arts, is just as vital a part of health as diet and exercise.  Maybe you can find it at the bookstore, coffee with friends, the garden, an art museum, painting, writing, organizing.

Below is an excerpt taken from Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus.

The fact is we all have positive and negative thoughts.  It’s part of our human nature.  The key is to feed the positive & starve the negative.  The more we feed the positive, the more positive and stronger we become.  Practice this every day until it’s a habit.  Here are just a few additional ways to feed that positive side: 

  • Practice gratitude:  You can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time.  Gratitude is like muscle; the more you do it the stronger it gets.  Take 10 min each day and make a list of what you are thankful for.  You will fill your body & brain with costless & priceless anti-depressant.
  • Take a 10-min “walk of gratitude” each day.
  • Turn off the news.  Starve the negative.
  • Smile more.  It enhances your serotonin levels and lifts you up.
  • Focus on “get to” versus “have to”.  I get to get up and go to WoW! Boot Camp today.
  • Reread uplifting books.
  • Get together with a positive, uplifting person.
  • Call or visit someone who has made a difference in your life and thank them (research shows this is a huge happiness booster).
  • Write a few thank you notes!  When you thank other you feed them & yourself.
  • Start a success journal.  Write down the one great thing about your day.  The more you look for success, the more you will find it!
  • Decide to make a difference.  When you help other people with their problems you forget about your own.

April Williams
WoW! Boot Camp, Founder

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