5 Tips to Coexist with Candy

Easter is right around the corner, and for many, Passover Seders just behind us. There is chocolate covered matzo leftover in my fridge, and I’ve been steering my husband away from rows and rows of Peeps in the grocery store for weeks now.

Me and one of my Peeps. We may seem like BFF's, but really, I'm much more of a Reese's girl.

Me and one of my Peeps. We may seem like BFF’s, but really, I’m much more of a Reese’s girl.

If you’ve got a fat loss goal, these highly marketed, food-centric holidays can be stressful! You want to stay true to your goals, but the brightly colored treats are everywhere! Most likely, you’ll be bringing some of it into your home for your families, or you will be met with leftovers come Monday.  If you struggle with mindless snacking, then http://wayselectric.com/rheumatoid-arthritis the presence of these addictive foods creates a real threat to your progress.  

I totally get it. For me, the special occasions and get-togethers themselves are fairly easy to navigate, because I can anticipate the challenge and plan for it. I always tell my clients to enjoy their holidays with family and friends, and make your treats “worth it,” but then move on and be done with it. Easier said than done, though! Enjoying food with loved ones in reasonable portions, check. Getting home from a long day and seeing those leftover candies sitting on my counter though…now that’s a bit tougher to resist.

Because we think that if it’s there, we need to eat it, right? We couldn’t possibly bear to let it go to waste! That’s like throwing money down the toilet…even if each piece of candy probably cost only a few pennies.

 

Just because it was free, doesn't mean you need to eat it. Besides, discovering its true hollow nature is always disappointing.

Just because it was free, doesn’t mean you need to eat it. Besides, discovering its true hollow nature is always disappointing.

Some thoughts and ideas on managing the upcoming challenges:

5) buy furosemide tablets uk Out of sight, out of mind! Tuck the candy up on the highest shelf in your cupboards. There’s no need to have a bowl of M&M’s sitting out in the open all day long.

4) lithium ukulele tabs Make it easy to avoid or resist leftovers. Don’t buy your candy in bulk; it’s cheap enough already. If you need a lot of candy for an Easter egg hunt or for lots of young guests, opt for varieties that are easier for you to pass up or throw away when they inevitably get left behind after everyone goes home.

3) Make healthier or at least homemade alternatives. Obviously this is more expensive and time consuming than the standard holiday fare, so let your frugality work FOR you by portioning out and savoring these “higher cost” treats. Additionally, you’ll be ingesting much higher quality ingredients than what you’d get from the store.

2) Remember that candy exists year round. You can have any type of candy your heart desires within minutes, or at worst, within a couple of days. Peeps come in all kinds of animal shapes and colors, and are always available in stores. Cadbury eggs, jelly beans, Reese’s pieces and all the other crap that’s marketed for Easter are not really THAT “special,” so don’t let the seasonal packaging make you feel like you’ll be missing out if you don’t buy now.

1) Write down your own plan. Include your long term goal and WHY you want to achieve it, along with specific standards that you know you will be able to attain. You need to really be honest with yourself on this one. Don’t write that you will skip starches at Easter Brunch to account for a little extra chocolate later in the day if you KNOW you can’t say “no” to your aunt’s famous stuffed French toast.

Your plan doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t) be about perfection, either. It’s okay for your plan to allow yourself free range with candy for a day. One sugar-filled day will not ruin all of your progress, unless you really go overboard. In that case, your plan may not set ANY restrictions on food quality, but instead aim to pay attention to whatever it is you decide to eat…and in many instances, that mindfulness will be enough to minimize any negative impact on your body composition!

 

I’d love to know: What is your plan for getting through this crazy, candy-filled weekend?? If you need some ideas for reasonable but attainable goals for the weekend, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter! by entering your email address over to the right!

Always here to help,

Jamie

Set It and Forget It: Great for Chicken, Bad for Goals

Last week we discussed how to set goals. Basically, figure out where you want to ultimately be, then determine the behaviors your will need to get there, without necessarily having an “end date” for completion.

Here we are, seven days later…

How are those goals going for you? Are you seven days closer to achieving them?

I sure hope so!

For some of you, though, maybe not. You probably read my post and decided you would figure out your goal behaviors later, after scrolling through Facebook a bit longer. You probably thought, “Yup! I’ve got my goal: lose 20 lbs! Starting my sugar free, high protein, low carb diet tomorrow!”

But did you follow up and take action towards those goals?

Getting started can be tough. You are required to do more than just want to be different…you actually have to act in a different way. You have to fight your instincts and habits and possibly experience some serious discomfort in doing so. You have to stay mindful and focused on your goals, even when the alternative for immediate gratification is calling your name.

 

I LOVE cereal. But this continental breakfast surrounding me is not going to get me closer to my goals. Besides, that's not enough cereal...

I LOVE cereal. But this continental breakfast surrounding me is not going to get me closer to my goals. Besides, that’s not enough cereal…

In The Willpower Instinct, the authors discuss that we always believe our “future selves” to be healthier, more virtuous, and more dedicated than our “current selves.” We always lay more work on our “future selves,” thinking that they will be able to make the changes we want to see. This is a bit more than just procrastinating, though. We are actually convinced that tomorrow we will be able to make better decisions than today. We justify eating tonight’s indulgence with the promise of making sacrifices tomorrow…but when the future finally arrives, we’re back in the present again and our new “current selves” make the same old choices we’ve always made.

So, once you’ve set your goals and the path to get there, how do you actually set out to make change?

Avoid the Trap of “Set It and Forget It”

Don't let your goals sit unattended!

Good for chicken, bad for goals. Don’t let your goals sit unattended!

Setting goals is really fun. Who doesn’t love the start of a new workout or diet plan? But your goals mean NOTHING if you don’t start acting on them. And they mean NOTHING if you don’t work towards them regularly.

Intentions are great. Actions are better.

Sit down and make sure that your goals are written out. Make sure you know why you want to achieve them, why your goals are worthy of your effort.

This time tomorrow, look at your goals again. Continually remind yourself what you are working for, and that you need to stay focused on your long term success. The more you reread and connect to your goals and reasons for trying to make change, the less likely the chance of you “forgetting” about what them and putting them off until tomorrow. This action takes the distance away from your goals. Your goals are with you, right here, right now, and you have a wonderful opportunity TODAY to get yourself a little bit closer to them.

A few examples:

In The Power of Full Engagement, the authors emphasize connecting to your goals and core values as the primary step towards improving your life.  One example is a client who keeps kept an index card in the visor of his car with his business goals and core values (i.e., excellence, open communication) on one side, and his family values on the other (i.e., family is the number one priority, being present with family). He would read over his professional goals and values on the way to work and review the other side on the way home.

Tom Venuto, a successful and well known coach/author in the fitness industry, has challenged anyone who meets him to try to catch him without his goal card: an index card that he keeps in his pocket every day, so he can reread it several times a day to stay focused on the things he wants. How can you fail when you are connecting to your goals 3 or 4 times a day??

Personally, I like to rewrite my big goals in my journal every couple of days, right at the top of the page. I usually remember the things I write down, and my goals are no exception. Besides, I get to cross off my successful behavior goals each day! 🙂  If you are a list-maker like I am, you know what that’s like!

Pretty much this.

Yup.

 

So, now you are armed with your goals, a plan to get closer to them, and action steps to take every day to keep you moving closer.  Time to get going!

 

I’d love to know: what is your #1 goal right now? What are you going to do, every day, to get yourself closer to it? Let me know over on the EES Facebook page!

Always here to help,

Jamie

P.S. For more on getting started TODAY, enter your email on the right side of the page to access my FREE EES Handbook! 

Movement for Strength, Love, and Life

Last week we addressed why you can’t just go to the gym in order to compensate for your habitual overeating. I hope that idea has had time to sink in, and that you’ve accepted what you really need to work on instead.

BUT, as a personal trainer and gym owner, I still recognize the significant value and importance of regular exercise in improving your life.

So what kind of exercise SHOULD you do?

I have two BIG answers to this:

Exercise that you will actually DO

First and foremost, a workout program that you can and will do on a consistent and long-term basis is FAR better than the perfect workout program that you resent and dread doing (for the entire 2 weeks you follow it, anyway). I’m a big advocate for daily movement for everybody, regardless of your gym membership status. Many of the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can be achieved with a 15-30 minute daily walk. Some simple calisthenics in the morning (pushups or modified pushups, bodyweight squats, jumping jacks, etc.) or a few Vinyasa sun salutations are both free and easy ways to add movement to your day without ever leaving your house. Check out the EES Handbook over on the right hand side if you need more activity ideas to get started!

A brief overview of a basic Sun Salutation. One movement per breath, and be careful on those back bends! You probably won't look like the cartoon drawing  there! :-)

An overview of a basic Sun Salutation. Perform one movement per breath, and be careful on those back bends! You probably won’t look like the cartoon drawing, but it gives you an idea! 🙂

Movement and exercise should ADD to your life, not detract from it. The key is to find an expression of movement that you actually enjoy. It should offer you a feeling of peace and accomplishment upon completion, and shouldn’t feel like yet another chore on your long list of daily responsibilites. In fact, try to find an activity in which time seems to pass too quickly, and you actually look forward to the next opportunity to participate. Pursuing movement you enjoy forces you to carve out time for yourself (or with others, if that’s your style) and gives you a chance to connect with your body. Making time for your health each day reminds you that YOU are deserving of your own love and care, just as you love and care for your family and friends.
Exercise that makes you BETTER

Now that you’ve eased your way in to a regular workout/fitness/movement routine and found that you CAN enjoy physical activity, the next step is to strive to improve your physical capacity. Given your current health status, quality of life, and fitness ability, figure out what elements of fitness you might want or need to improve. Do you get winded walking the dog up the street? Do you have a hard time maneuvering your body in and out of your car? Do you need to get assistance moving your groceries from the shopping cart into your trunk? Do you even try to lift something off of a high shelf, or do you immediately ask for help?

If you have no idea what needs improving or how to do it, here’s a hint:

Strength will help.

Being stronger is better, in almost every instance. The stronger of two retirees is likely to live longer, and with a better quality of life. The stronger athlete tends to succeed more often in sporting events. The stronger of two runners is usually faster. The stronger individual is less prone to injury in daily life. The stronger you are, the easier everything becomes.

Strength training also provides health benefits that are generally associated with other forms of activity, such as improved cardiovascular fitness (if you’ve ever performed a set of 10 relatively heavy squats, you know that strength training can get your heart a-thumpin’), injury prevention, body awareness, mobility and activity level later in life, muscle “tone” and (I know you were waiting for this)… fat loss.

Notice that I put fat loss LAST.

Yes, I know you are here to learn about how to overcome your emotional barriers that stand between you and a healthier and happier life. I know you were hoping for the best and most efficient fat loss exercise. If so, you’ve forgotten the message from last week: exercise is not the most direct and efficient path to fat loss!

One of the first steps in regaining your sanity around food and your body is recognizing that fat loss is not the goal to end all goals, and its pursuit should not dominate your life.

What else can you ask of your body, aside from it being smaller or skinnier or smoother or more toned? How about asking it to do more, to be more of a participant in life and less of an observer? I guarantee that when your physical body doesn’t hold you back because it’s strong and healthy, a whole new world of opportunities will open up to you.

Check out one of my clients, Loretto (along with her husband, Tom, another one of my clients), living fully and enjoying PARTICIPATING in a game of wiffle ball with her family. Before she started training at the gym, she would sit on the side and watch her family at play, declining any offer to participate. Her husband Tom (the pitcher, and another one of my clients who is moving quite well!), showed me this video and my heart swelled with pride….especially when he told me that Loretto actually VOLUNTEERED to play in this game!

In the pursuit of living and engaging more fully with the world around you, you will achieve enough fat loss to live a happy and healthy life — no obsessing necessary.

 

BONUS: Exercise that feels like a SPRINT

Sometimes, you just need to put everything you’ve got into your workout. You need to leave it all on the table. You’re required to be in your body, present, in that moment of exertion. You won’t be thinking about what’s for dinner, or reminding yourself about that mail that needs to get sent out today.

You need to feel your lungs burn, your heart pound, your legs ache, and then tell yourself to go even faster. You challenge yourself to push through your discomfort, knowing that the pain is temporary and the reward is worthy. Nothing creates more mental toughness, sense of accomplishment, and tired satisfaction than sprinting.*

…And also, in the right doses, sprinting just so happens to be an excellent tool for fat loss.

*Sprinting doesn’t have to be “running,” per se. It can certainly be done on a bike, a rower, pushing a sled, etc. Be sure to work hard while respecting your current ability and fitness level, and challenge yourself safely. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to consult a doctor or health professional before you begin an exercise program.

 

I could write for days on exercise, but you’ll have to keep checking back in for more! If you are interested in learning more about incorporating these types of workouts, then you should definitely sign up for the EES handbook and subscribe to my newsletter! 

Always here to help,

Jamie

PS – Let’s hear it from you! Let me know, either in the comments or back on the Facebook page, 1) What is your favorite physical activity, something you could do happily for hours and hours on end? 2) Do you strength train? How has getting stronger changed your everyday life?

Kettlebell carries and swings + puggle chasing feels more like "play" than exercise!

One of my faves: kettlebell carries and swings + puggle chasing feels more like “play” than exercise!