Tag Archives: lifestyle

#TransformationTuesday Small Steps = Big Strides

A few weeks ago I posted about falling back and gaining weight. It’s been a tough thing to work so hard to lose 40 pounds and gain it and some more back. It made me uncomfortable and created worry about the health consequences of it. Things like stroke, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Because of that, I went back to work on a lifestyle change, trying to take small steps in order to get back on the right path to being healthier. I set a reasonable goal: 10 pounds lost by the RWA Conference in Orlando. Why only 10? Well, 10 seems more doable than 40 or even my ultimate goal 75 pounds. Setting a seemingly unattainable goal would only make it that much harder to commit to change.

So here I am, a week away from RWA and guess what: 10 pounds lighter since June 27 when I posted about my yo-yo weight gain.

How did I do it? Small steps. Upped my cardio exercise by 10 minutes. Walked faster on my way to work. Cut down on carbs. You’ll see that I didn’t say eliminated them because that seems to not work since the moment I have any carbs, I yo-yo and go on a carb binge. So an occasional roll, piece of bread, rice or even pasta mixed in seems to work.

I increased fruits and vegetables. Perfect in summer when we’ve got luscious peaches, plums and nectarines available. Mangoes also. Love them!

What’s the next small step? Another 10 pounds by Labor Day. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going!

#WisdomWednesday Nothing Worthwhile is Ever Easy

My mom was an amazing lady. She had courage and wisdom that inspired me throughout my entire life. She told me that anything was possible if I worked at it hard enough. She also told me that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. She was right about both. Whether it’s a relationship or being a writer or trying to lose weight, it’s not easy, but if I want it and since it’s worthwhile, I need to not give up!

#ThrowbackThursday My First 5K #fitness #health #thisgirlcan

If you had asked me a year ago whether I thought I’d ever be able to run a 5K again, I would have been doubtful. Actually in my youth, I’d run multiple 10Ks, but that was before excess weight pulled me down.

Today’s Throwback is to two weeks ago when I was able to do a 5K on the treadmill. I didn’t break any land speed records, but like I told my hubby when I did 3.5 miles on Sunday, it’s about just being in the race and not how fast I finish.

Anything is possible. I sometimes lose sight of one of the things my mom always told me: Anything can be yours if you’re willing to work hard for it.

For the last year I’ve been working hard at improving my fitness and health. I’m going to keep on working hard at it. I also hope I can inspire any of you who doubt you can do it to take that first step toward a better life.
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#TuesdayTip Eating Fat to Lose Fat #Fitness #Health

I hit another milestone today – 40 pounds lost. It took me a long time between the holidays (no pounds gained luckily) and the dreaded plateau.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight has hit a plateau and sometimes they are tough to break through. I tried lowering and raising my calorie counts. Exercising more. Even exercising a little less. Those stubborn 3 or so pounds just would not leave me.

I spoke to my trainer and we talked about my diet and it turned out that in my quest to eat healthier I had seriously eliminated fat from my diet. Both good and bad fats. He said to me, “You need to eat fat to lose fat.”

As you can imagine, I was surprised, but I took his words to heart because he has really helped me improve my overall health and fitness.

So I added back some healthy fats. Avocado. Nuts. Low fat dairy. Coconut oil. Olive oil. Eggs.

What happened? Well, those stubborn pounds disappeared in just a few days. WOO HOO.

So today’s Tuesday Tip is: Eat more healthy fats.

If you want more information on this concept and healthy fats, you can visit these links:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/557726-eat-fat-to-burn-fat/

http://www.coachcalorie.com/eat-fat-to-lose-fat/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/how-eating-more-fat-helps-you-lose-more-weight.html

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/tips/why-non-fat-isnt-the-answer/

Just a last word of warning: Watch out for foods that claim to be low fat, but just seem too good to be true. Oftentimes there is a lot of added sugar and salt or artificial ingredients to make up for the “lower fat.”
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#TuesdayTip Mindful Eating #Fitness #Lifestyle #Healthy

Like so many people, I make New Year’s resolutions. This year I want to refocus on my writing, get more organized, lose another 35 pounds and be healthier in general. Big goals and sometimes they seem scary, but then again, there’s that old adage: Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

So I wrote down some goals for when I want some new books to be out and plans with friends. I’ve been slowly emptying closets and cleaning up in my home office. As for continuing to lose weight and being healthier, I’m eating better and working out, but to not have the yo yo effect I’ve had in the past, I’m trying to find ways that this new me is the future me. That means having sound eating habits and not relying on food as a crutch the way I have.

I’ve acknowledged that. Since college and immediately thereafter, food has been the go to thing when I get stressed out or unhappy or to celebrate. I need to change that emotional connection to eating to break a cycle I’ve repeated all too often.

I’ve been reading more about diet and incorporating healthier foods and I signed up for a course at Rodale U. The course is on mindful eating and so far, the course has made me more conscious of what I’m doing with my eating and food choices. If you’re one of the first subscribers to the course, it’s free with the coupon code MINDFUL. You can click here to sign up for the Take Control Rodale U course! Remember the coupon code is MINDFUL.

Mindfulness is actually a thing I’ve been focusing on in general. Thinking about body and breath connections when working out or doing yoga. Being in the now instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I’ll share more about that in the future! For now, here are some quick tips for mindful eating:

    Take a moment to appreciate the food in front of you. What does it look like? How does it smell? What is the texture in your mouth on the first bite and later, as you swallow?

    Why are you eating the food? Is it because you’re hungry or for some other reason? If you’re not sure, ask yourself: Would you eat a regular meal right now instead of chips/chocolate/cookies?

    Write down what you are eating! Keeping a food journal is a good way of tracking what you are eating and when. Are there patterns to your eating? Do you eat late at night? If you’re using an activity tracker, like Fitbit, there are journal capabilities in their app. I’ve mentioned Wellcoin in the past to journal, but also get rewards and prizes. I just won a $10 Amazon Gift Card there. Other food journal apps you can check out are Lose It and My Fitness Pal. There is also the grandmama of all fitness plans Weight Watchers.

I’d love to hear what some of your resolutions are and how they are going!
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#TuesdayTip Fitness Apps WellCoin and Fit Bit

As some of you might know, I’ve had a long battle with my weight. I’ve gone up and down so many times that I guesstimate I’ve lost and gained hundreds of pounds.

I’m on the heading down again and have lost 30 pounds. I’ve done that with a combination of better eating (a key part of it) and being more active. I’ve shared some of my healthier recipes with you in the past and today I’m going to share two of the apps that have helped me meet new people who keep me encouraged and help me track what I’m doing so I can keep to my lifestyle change. In the future, I’ll share some apps for workouts and exercise that are helpful.

WellCoin

I learned about Wellcoin several months ago and am now a Wellcoin Ambassador. What is Wellcoin? Wellcoin bills itself as the “World’s First Health Currency” and basically, you enter information about your lifestyle to earn points you can exchange for things like gift certificates, healthy food and drink samples, yoga lessons, etc. It’s free to join, but to earn the points you will need to photo document the various healthy activities you are doing.

The activities are many. You get points for counting steps, sleeping 7+ hours, eating healthy meals, participating in the community by verifying other people’s activities, etc.

I find that documenting my activities helps keep me aware of what I’m doing and also, I see interesting new foods, etc. that others are trying out. Makes me want to be adventurous and try them out as well.

Click here if you want to follow me there!
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FitBit

As I mentioned, being more active is a big part of being healthier. I log at least 12,000 steps a day by walking to and from my office from the train station, getting up every 30 minutes to move and going to the gym for cardio and strength training. Yes, it can be work, but I am feeling so much better and stronger. It’s worth it!

I use FitBit and its community and app to help me. This does require the purchase of a FitBit device and there are several different kinds. I have the Fitbit Flex which I wear on my wrist. I have friends who use the Zip and the One which attach to your clothing. Still others have variations of the Charge (wristband) which also track your heart rate. Regardless of which one you choose, the end goal is the same: monitoring your activity.

In addition to monitoring, you can friend people on FitBit and cheer them on. Challenge them to daily or weekly goals. It’s all in the name of helping others stick to it. You can friend me by clicking here!

Another thing I really like about the FitBit is the smartphone app. You can use the GPS on your phone to have the Fitbit track your walk. You can also journal what you eat with a really nice interface.

The Fitbit also helps you track your sleep so you know if you are getting that essential 7+ hours of sleep (I don’t regularly, but am getting better).

I hope you enjoyed today’s Tuesday Tip!

#TuesdayTip Boosting Your Metabolism

As some of you may know, I’ve been trying to lose weight and be healthier. I’ve made some lifestyle changes to do that and have lost 30 pounds. Some of the changes are probably obvious, but I’ll share them anyway along with some links for you on this Tuesday Tip day!

I drink more water! Water fills you up. It helps your liver process toxins from your body and first thing in the a.m., it wakes up your metabolism from a long night of rest. Click here for more info on how drinking water can help you!

I walk more and I exercise every day in one way or another. I try to hit the gym for cardio exercise at least twice a week and then do strength training twice a week. As we get older, it’s important to improve our core strength and stay strong to do everyday tasks. Click here for info on the muscles to work on for core strength and a quick core workout.

If you want, you can friend me on Fitbit and challenge me to a workout! I love challenges.

I’ve stopped using artificial sweeteners and only have sugar in my first cup of coffee. I’ve also limited myself to two diet sodas a day. Rough for me, but I know they are not healthy. Here’s a good article from the Mayo Clinic explaining the different sweeteners and possible concerns with them.

Finally, I’ve been researching ways to boost my metabolism to help burn calories. At work I’ve got a little kitchen timer that dings regularly to remind me to get up and move. I’ve started doing intervals on the elliptical and even while I’m walking, changing the pace to increase my metabolic rate. Click here for more tips on things you can do to boost your metabolism and burn calories just by doing some pretty simple things.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Tuesday Tip!
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