Why crowdsourcing for health doesn’t work

I LOOOOOOOVE what I do. I love talking to folks about their health. The more I learn about it, I think the body is an amazing organism, and the way it works is brilliant. The body’s primary goal is to keep us alive. So, it will do everything that it needs to do to preserve our life. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, or is counteractive to what we want (like losing body fat. We want to look good, but the body sees that fat as storing energy for some famine-day when it might need it!), but most everything it does, it does to preserve our life. A few weekends ago, I was talking to a woman I had just met about her health. She was complaining that over the past few months, she’d gained almost 30 lbs! She was frustrated – and understandably! I don’t Read More . . .

How to use a life change to become healthier

Every once in a while, something happens in your life that will help you make the changes that you want to make your life healthier. In her book, Better than Before, Gretchen Ruben outlines how we can rely on the power of habits, and how those habits can help us to either make our lives healthier or not. Habits can be complex, or they can be pretty simple. But regardless, they can be broken down in to three distinct parts: the Cue, Routine, and Reward. Here’s an example of a very simple habit that I have: Every week night, my husband and I watch television on the couch after dinner. About a half hour after we’re sitting there, I get a craving for something sweet. Although I used to eat dark chocolate, I’d sometimes eat more than I intended. So, I switched to something more portion controlled – a protein bar. Read More . . .

Two tricks I use to avoid the “eff-its” over the weekend

We all work so hard during the week. And once Friday night rolls around, we just want to put on our sweatpants, sit on the couch, and be a vegetable – not eat vegetables. We are worn down from all the adulting that we do during the week, that all we want to do on the weekend is NOT be responsible. Weekends tend to be a bit more relaxed. We typically have more time, so we want to sleep in, hang out with friends, have fun & not have to think about our diet. Well, unless you have kiddos who are in soccer, baseball, basketball, go to birthday parties, and other activities. In that case, weekends aren’t such a relaxing time O.o When we finally get through the week, we feel like we deserve a treat – and one of those treats is to not think about it. So, there are a Read More . . .

How To Win Your Resolutions

As the calendar changes from December to January, it’s totally natural to want to put everything from the past year behind us, and look to the possibility and potential of the new year. What does this year have in store for us? It’s almost like Christmas morning – wondering how the year is going to unfold? What amazing things are we going to experience? A LOT can happen in a year. There will be births and deaths. You could be in a very different place, financially. You could have a new job (maybe you want that) or a new business. The potential is limitless! Its so exciting because we know that no matter what – we will not be in exactly the same situation we’re in right now. It might be pretty similar, but it won’t be exactly the same. The world is always changing. So, how much influence do Read More . . .

Why goals might not get you to your goal

There are no shortage of memes about goals. “A goal without a plan is just a wish” “Set your goals high, and don’t stop until you get there” “Goals that are not written down are just wishes” Aaaah! They’re endless! Not only were goals a huge part of my early success with my weight, but they were a cornerstone of my health coaching business for a long time. I would teach folks about SMART Goals. How to create them, and help them through the process. But I’ve changed my attitude about goals. I don’t think they’re necessary anymore. I have a client who’s daughter is one of the most disciplined kids that I know. Every year, she’d create New Years Resolutions, and actually complete them! I Know! Who does that?!? I think they were tests of her willpower. When she was in high-school, she created a New Years Resolution to perform Read More . . .

Why You Should Make New Years Resolutions in September.

Although I realize that January is the beginning of the calendar year, and folks like to make health resolutions at that time of the year, but I think it’s a terrible idea. It’s no wonder that by Superbowl weekend, most resolutions are broken and forgotten. There are many reasons why resolutions go by the wayside: often times they’re vague (I’m going to get healthy!), or overambitious (I’m going to start running every day – even though I haven’t run a mile in 5 years), or there’s just no real planning behind the resolution (HOW are you going to get healthy? What steps are you going to take to accomplish that?). When looking at people’s behaviors and what factors make them change their habits, researchers discovered that many folks changed their habits after a major life event. They didn’t even realize that they were doing it. But when their life changed due to Read More . . .

How can meditating possibly help me lose weight?

I don’t know why, but I’m reluctant to admit that I meditate. It just seems so new-agey, and I am so NOT new-agey.   Because it’s not like that. The vision that you have in your head right now? Yep – nothing like that. What is it then? I guess it’s just breathing to me. But paying attention to breathing with the intent that I’m not focusing on anything else.   About once a day, (but there have been periods where I’ve totally forgotten to practice – for like weeks!) I just sit, wherever I am, and pay attention to my breathing – and then, as I’m doing it, I’ll also check in with my body.   I start with trying to match the length of my inhale and exhale. Then I’ll try to make them last to a count of 4. Sometimes, to start, I repeat, “In, two, three, four. Read More . . .

How to prevent your diet (or exercise routine) from derailing

Life gets in the way. Doesn’t it? How often do you plan to do something, but then, something else comes up? And then that thing that you wanted to do gets put on the back burner?   I always kind-of laugh to myself when I make a big ‘life decision’ because it always seems like the universe conspires against me to make it not happen. What typically happens is that I’ll decide to make a change, and then 3 or 4 other events happen at the same time that make my situation that much more stressful.   The best example of this I can give is when I moved from Chicago to Austin to live with my husband, Gary.   Granted, moving across the country is already a HUGE, stressful event. But the reason I was moving was to be with my husband because we were in a long distance Read More . . .

5 Ways to Mindlessly Eat Less

Here’s the scene: You’re out to dinner with friends. It’s been a lovely dinner; you’ve really enjoyed the evening and have gotten completely swept up in the conversation. The server comes over to start clearing the plates & dishes. As he approaches you, and asks whether you’re finished, you look down at your plate. What do you see? What do you say? Is there food still on your plate? Are you finished eating? I am reading this great book called Mindless Eating. The author, Brian Wansink, a food researcher at Cornell, says that if you asked folks, “How do you know when you’re done eating?” or, “How do you know when to eat?” you’d think that most would answer these two questions with ‘I eat when I’m hungry; and I stop when I’m satisfied.’ But that’s not the case. Far too often we eat for other reasons. In the book, he exposes Read More . . .

What is your ‘Why’?

When I meet with clients for the first time, one of my first questions is always, “Why are you hiring me? Why now?” The range of answers is as diverse as my clients: some want to be able to play with their grandkids, some just want to be around to see their grandkids grow up, some have more aesthetic goals, like wanting to lose baby weight, or its spring (i.e.: bathing suit season), and some have an active vacation planned, where being in shape is definitely going to enhance their experience. None of these answers are better than another, BUUUUT…. Some motivations may create more lasting results than others. See, there are two different types of motivation: external and internal. External motivators are defined as behaviors that earn us a reward, or allow us to avoid punishment. Internal motivators are typically performed for the sake of doing them, or a Read More . . .