Tag Archives: journal

6 Ways to make 2017 a Healthy Year

Are you looking to make 2017 a healthier year for you?  For your family?  Here are 6 ways to make those changes:

  1. Make healthy food choices. Grab a health snack on the go. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Be active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away and walk.
  3. Protect yourself.  Put a helmet, sunscreen or bug spray.  And make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Manage stress. Don’t overschedule or overcommit.  Take short breaks throughout the day.
  5. Make an appointment for a check-up, vaccination, or screening.
  6. Quit smoking.

It Won’t Happen…….

Overnight that is!

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3 days ago you have committed to a new exercise routine, you are eating more fruits & veggies and less processed foods.  But you are not seeing any changes ~no weight loss on the scale, clothes are still tight, you don’t feel like you have more energy.  So you say screw it, I’m done.

But WAIT!

You are NOT going to see changes overnight.  Heck you won’t see changes even within a week, 2 weeks, maybe even a month!   It did not take you a day to gain weight and make your body unhealthy, so you cannot expect it to take only a day to lose it.

If you are consistent you are going to see changes.  I guarantee that.  BUT if you are only half consistent ~ eating healthy all day, then binge eating on chips, having a bowl of ice cream, etc. you are NOT being consistent.  Why ruin all of your efforts on the junk food?  Or you exercise every day ~ a nice mix of cardio & resistance training but then you leave the gym & grab a bagel with cream cheese & large sugar loaded coffee.  Again, why ruin all of your efforts on the junk food?

Find your balance with food, exercise and overall wellness and you will reap the benefits of a healthier body!

Check out tomorrow’s blog for ways to maintain balance with your food & exercise

What to do each week?

Do you often wonder WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING EACH WEEK to maintain a healthy lifestyle?  Here are some great tips!

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  • In addition to cardiovascular exercise, include strength training two to three times weekly.  Resistance exercise elevates calorie burning for up to fourteen hours post-workout
  • Include low back exercises in your core training routine.  The truth is that the abdominals make up a very small part of your overall “core”.  Add a ball cobra or supine bridge in your next workout; your body will thank you.
  • Replenish your body after a workout.  Consuming a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio following exercise will speed recovery and maximize your hard work.
  • Pre-box your meal when dining out.  When you place your order, ask the waiter to box half of your meal before he or she serves it.  This way, you will win the portion control battle every time.
  • And don’t forget the basics!  Pre-pack your exercise bag, exercise with a friend, set goals, and reward yourself.

Daily Food Log ~ Could this be your secret weapon to losing weight??

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If you’re joining the millions of Americans whose New Year’s Resolution involves losing extra pounds, keeping a daily food log could be your secret weapon to losing weight and keeping it off.
A research study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found that the single best indicator for dropping weight came down to keeping a food log. Americans underestimate their food intake by as much as 25%. Many people overlook the bites, licks, and tastes, or BLTs as food experts call them. Especially in an office environment, it’s easy to forget about that piece of chocolate a co-worker supplied or the trip to the vending machine. These little indiscretions, however, quickly add up to big calories.
Writing everything down will help you make smarter food choices and provides a more accurate picture of your daily consumption.
Exercise is also as important to weight loss as a healthy diet. You need to keep track of your exercise in your daily food log. Weight loss cannot happen without physical exercise!
The scale may not show immediate changes in your body composition, since muscle weighs more than fat. But for most people, who start a regular exercise program and eat a healthy diet, will experience looser clothes, their bodies toning up & feeling more energized within weeks.

Here are some tips:
* Logging: When you log your food, you should also include the portion size and calories (where possible), and the time of day and where you ate the food.
* Be Honest and Accountable: You are only cheating yourself if you do not write down everything you ingest! A glass of wine at dinner or that midnight snack can quickly add up to extra pounds.
* Keep Your Diary Close: The best way to keep track is to log foods immediately after consumption. This eliminates the forgetful factor.
Here are some Internet-based food log diaries, some of which are free of charge.
Sparkpeople.com, an online food diary that offers personalized diet & fitness plans, calorie counter, workout tracker, exercise demos & videos, answers from their dietitians & trainers on message boards and connect with others like you in the support teams.
MyNetDiary.com, an online food diary and calorie counter, offers iPhone and Blackberry applications, among others for a fee, and provides additional services.
Myfooddiary.com, which has a database of foods and nutrients and a food search engine, allows individuals to start on a 7-day free trial, but then charges $9 a month.
Fitday.com, a free online diet and fitness journal, offers multiple diet-related services, but asks individuals to first create a user profile.

Short on Time? Try this quick workout

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Pressed for time today or this week?  I love doing a “mini” workout ~ 30 minutes of non-stop heart pumping, fat burning exercise!  Shorter, harder workouts may actually be better for revving your metabolism!  So how do you maximize your workouts?

* If you were going to exercise for 60 minutes, break it up into 6 10 minute sessions or 2 30 minute session.

* Move before you start making excuses.  If you know you have a busy day the next day, set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier and get your workout in.  If you know going straight home from work is going to deter you from getting your workout in, pack your gym bag & head right to the gym.

* Push, Push, Push.  When you are doing a short workout, going all out is the name of the game!  You don’t want to have time to read the latest article in Shape magazine or be able to carry on a conversation without sounding breathless — get moving!

Try this workout when pressed for time:

30 secs high knees

1 minute Side step squats (step right foot out & squat, return to center position, step left foot out & squat; repeat)

30 seconds squat jumps

1 minute pushups

30 seconds mountain climbers

1 minute plank

30 seconds burpees

Repeat 2 times if you have 10 minutes or 4 times if you have 20 minutes.

Ways to avoid the goal pitfalls

So now you have established your goals for 2016, but what happens when you feel you are shying away from them?

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Here are some ways to avoid those pitfalls:

* You make your goals too big ~ when you set goals that are too big (say I want to lose 100 pounds) but do not break them down into smaller, more manageable goals, there is a stronger chance of throwing in the towel or getting disappointed from not reaching your goal fast enough.  Make that your long term goal of losing 100 pounds by “x” date; then set smaller goals of losing 5 pounds in January, etc.
* You lack clear motivation ~ what is your driving force behind your goals?  Did you set those goals because you “thought” that was the thing to do?  Are you doing them for yourself or for someone else?  Are you not fully committed to making the changes?
* You don’t track your progress ~ when you initiate your goals, you need to keep track of your progress.  Progress can be starting weight, starting measurements, your blood levels, how your clothes fit, etc.  If you do not know where you started, how will you know how much progress you have made?  You can use an online site such as (myfitnesspal.com or sparkpeople.com) or you can use a regular notebook.  Just get that information written down.  And don’t forget before pictures!  Trust me, nothing speaks louder than looking at pictures!
* You delay ~ do you drag your feet at starting a project?  Do you view any “project” (household, task, chores or getting healthy) as overwhelming?  Do you view it as too large that you are afraid of failure?  Are you afraid that it will take too long?  Make it more manageable (can you see a pattern here) — break it down into blocks of time and actually set a timer.  You will get started and find that it really is not overwhelming.  You may even find that you keep going for longer!  Try it!

Make those resolutions stick!

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We all have experienced it – we make the resolutions for the New Year, stick with them for a week, a month, maybe even 3 months.  But then it just happens, we slowly back off from them until we are not making any progress towards achieving them.  Try these tips for making resolutions stick:

  • Keep it simple. Big resolutions can become discouraging. Try making them more manageable by breaking them into
    small daily or weekly goals.
  • Keep your mood in check. If you only focus on the negative it will get you
    down. Spin your goals in a positive way by stating the good habits
    you want to start.
  • Make it actionable. Vague resolutions are hard to accomplish ~ put some power behind your intention by designing it to be doable.
  • Journal it. Writing down your progress will keep you accountable.

Goals, why am I struggling?????

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I am constantly talking about the importance of setting goals, writing them down, placing them where you can see them every day, multiple times a day!  By not having goals identified and written down, how do you know when you reach them?  Are you solely going to rely on your memory?  Why not have concrete information?

As I sit here 11 days before the year 2016 starts, I find myself struggling to identify what MY goals are going to be for the year.  In 2015 my number one goal was the Disney Princess Half Marathon; then I lost it all ~ lost my motivation, dealt with some leg issues that kept me sidelined and not participating in a couple of races I had planned.  I spent a good chunk of 2015 just going through the motions, with no real plan in place (that is NOT A GOOD THING FOR ME!).

So what do I want to do for 2016?  I honestly don’t know.  Sure I can sign up for a few 5K races, even 10K’s but I need something BIG, something to push me beyond my limits.  BUT I don’t know what that is.  I’m really struggling here.

Granted I have the more common goals ~ lose a few pounds, stay fit, eat more vegetables, etc.  But I’m looking for that “big” goal!

10 days, 3 hours, and 34 minutes left to think……

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Keep yourself Accountable!

Are you finding you are lacking in accountability?  Need fresh ideas on keeping the fire lit?  Try these 3 tips!

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  • Keep track of your progress.  Instead of focusing on the scale, get yourself pumped by logging improvements in your performance (sets, reps, and energy and they way your clothes fit.
  • Surround yourself with positive role models.  Whether she’s got the body you want or a sense of determination you admire, find inspiration in other women who motivate you to be the best.
  • Excuse-proof your environment.  Leave a packed gym bag on the passenger seat of your car, your running shoes by your door and the latest clean eating recipe you found in a magazine on your fridge.

Do you make excuses?

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Are you constantly finding yourself saying “I’m too busy” to exercise, to cook dinner, to take time for yourself as a destressor?  Do you find an excuse for every obstacle or every task you do not want to complete?
According to Wiki, making excuses is “an unconscious defense mechanism in which perceived controversial behaviors or feelings are logically justified and explained in a rational or logical manner in order to avoid any true explanation, and are made consciously tolerable by plausible means.”
If you break this down when it comes to fitness ~ do you make the excuse for fear of the unknown with exercising? ~ With so many options to help your learn about exercising, you do not have anything to complain about.  YouTube, invest in a personal trainer (some will do a 1 time appointment to help you get started), look at fitness magazines or books, take to social media, google fitness workouts.  Will you look “silly”? ~ no one is watching you exercising and if they are, they are not working hard enough for themselves!   Are you bored with exercising? ~ try different types of exercises (have you tried running, Zumba, CrossFit, Boot Camp, etc), do not limit yourself to just walking on the treadmill or in your development.  Do you not like a gym setting? ~ then look for outside classes such as Boot Camp, Zumba, Spinning, and more Cross Fit.
If you break this down when it comes to your diet ~ do you make the excuse you have to take this kid here, this kid there so you have to grab fast food? ~ that morning before work, get your ingredients and throw in the crockpot; it will be ready by the time you all return home to eat a healthy dinner before becoming a taxi cab!  Do you make the excuse that you don’t know how to cook? ~ google your favorite ingredient (i.e. chicken) and look for different recipes, then experiment.  You may find you truly love cooking & have a knack for it.  Failing to plan is planning to fail!  Designate one day a week to plan out meals (maybe you just plan out dinners) and all ingredients needed, then those things that you can prep before hand, do so.  You just saved yourself a few minutes that night you are going to be running all over.
Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be cumbersome ~ a little planning goes a long way!  Grab a friend, grab your dog and get out for some exercise!  Then prepare dinner!