I have always been a control freak. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always tried to manipulate the situation so that it would turn out as I had expected it to. Looking back, its a bit embarrassing thinking about how I strong-armed my in a few situations. One example I recall was when I first moved to Austin, Texas, and my dad came to visit me. There’s a restaurant near us that serves amazing tex-mex food. One of their specialties is Chicken Fried Steak. So, for anyone who is unfamiliar with what Chicken Fried Steak is, it’s a steak that has been breaded & deep-fried – like you would do to fried chicken – and then covered in cream gravy. I hadn’t had it. It was waay too unhealthy for me to even try. But everyone raved about how good it was. And because everyone else liked it, Read More . . .
Is it possible to separate calories burned from calories consumed? I know that it seems like a weird question when diet and exercise are inextricably linked. We hear it all of the time: Eat Less, Move More! Clearly we know that the calories in versus calories out equation is true (to a certain degree). So, if you eat more calories than you burn, you should gain weight; and if you burn more calories than you eat, you should lose weight. But the advice of Eat Less Move More is flawed for much of the population. Sure – it might be true for folks who are neither active, nor paying any attention to their diet. But when you’re already active and restricting calories, and plateaued, that advice doesn’t work anymore. But yet, we’ve bound eating and moving together as if one cannot exist without the other. When we overeat, we immediately Read More . . .
Overwhelmingly, the thing that I hear over and over again, is ‘Elizabeth, I want to work out (or eat healthy, or go to bed on time), but when it comes to actually doing it, I just don’t. I don’t feel like doing it.’ I can totally relate to this. In the light of day, I have the best intentions to eat vegetables all day, go for long walks, and lift heavy things, but when it comes to actually doing it, I have a hard time motivating. This time of year can be especially difficult: it’s getting darker earlier; there is so much going on, it can seem easier to just say ‘eff it! I’ll start new in January!’; it’s cold – which breeds hibernation, and starchy comfort food. Its not surprising that motivation is the thing that folks struggle with. We think that we need more information – so we go out and by books, Read More . . .
I recently volunteered to host a screening for a movie about women’s body image. It started innocently enough; I heard about the movie; it sounded great! But it wasn’t being shown in general theaters. The only way to see it was if someone volunteered to host a screening. I hopped on to the web to see if it was showing anywhere locally, and it was, but it was a bit of a drive – which was a bummer. I didn’t want to do it. So I got all mopey for about 2 minutes, until I decided that I could host a screening! I knew enough women around town who were interested in their health – why couldn’t I do it?!? The movie Embrace is great! It covers a huge breadth of topics that all influence women’s body image – and the media, societal, and other messages that we receive about Read More . . .
It wasn’t long after Gary & I got married that we started questioning the tradition of gift giving for the holidays. Because we don’t live close to our families, it was difficult to stay up do date on what everyone was into, and notice what they needed. When you’re physically around someone frequently, you notice what things are getting worn, or if a gadget or subscription to a service would make their lives easier. But we really didn’t have that since we live over 2000 miles away from our nearest relative. So, unless we were able to pick up through a conversation that Dad needed a new drill, or visiting that Mom’s bake wear was really in need of an upgrade, we – like many others – would ask for a list. And since our families visited us less frequently, they’d ask us for a list too. The problem that Read More . . .
We are now full blown into the holiday season. OMG! I can’t count the number of Black Friday sales emails I’ve gotten! And it’s interesting. Isn’t it? Because every year, I say, ‘Not me. Nope. I’m not going to overeat, or drink too much alcohol. I’ll get enough sleep, and keep to my workout schedule. I’m not going to succumb to the holiday season weight gain.’ And yet, every year, I find my kitchen teeming with holiday goodies (which is totally weird since I don’t really bake), rich winter foods, and wine. Lots of wine. And when food is around and available to you, you eat it. It’s just a fact. I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve heard from so many of you that, like me, you’ve had this same mindset in previous years too – the holidays aren’t going to get me. And yet they do. So, Read More . . .
Body image – we don’t really like to talk about it, and yet, we all feel like crap about ours. The beauty, fashion, and fitness industries count on the message that we aren’t good enough without this product that they are trying to sell us. Over the course of the past few years, there’s been a rise in the body image movement. Proponents of this movement state that no matter what your size, you should be happy with your body. You shouldn’t hide or live in shame if you don’t identify with the narrow definition that are portrayed in the images we see, that really only represent a small percentage of women – what color we are, shape and size. Opponents of the body acceptance movement fear that if we are happy with our body, then that means that I won’t be driven to be healthy, eat nutritious food, or exercise. Somehow, they attest Read More . . .
Losing weight is hard. But keeping it off seems to be even more difficult. When I started my weight loss journey, I was resolved to not become one of the statistics of folks who would regain their lost weight back. I had decided that I couldn’t afford to regain my lost weight. It was going to stick. That doesn’t mean that the road to my success was linear. I certainly had set backs, I did a lot of stupid things (and learned from them – you can read ALLLL about them here In the 7 Mistakes I made during my weight loss journey & the fixes to prevent you from doing the same). I emptied my wallet to buy supplements; I scoured every magazine to find my magic bullet (there isn’t any). I was tenacious. And for about 10 years, it was what I was singularly focused on – my weight. It really Read More . . .
We all have exercises that we like, and therefore do a lot; and there are exercises that we dislike, and don’t do, unless we’re forced. I have them too. We tend to gravitate towards those bodyparts that we enjoy training, and steer clear from those that we don’t. The problem with doing the same exercises over and over again (and not doing others ever) is that you risk injury. When one group of muscles is significantly stronger than another group, you will move differently than if your muscles are balanced in strength. Strong muscles pull on other muscles in the body, and weaker muscles stretch out. An example of that might be if you have weak lower back, the stronger muscles in the glutes and hamstrings will pull on your lower back muscles. That could pull your pelvis out of alignment, and cause pain not only in your lower back, but also Read More . . .
So, here’s the scene: It’s after dinner, and you want something. A banana. But you don’t eat it. Because you heard that it’s got a lot of starch in it. And sugar. And they can also have a lot of calories! And all of that is bad to have before you go to bed. So you eat a handful of almonds. Because even though they can be higher in calories, at least they don’t have any starch or sugar. And that’s good because you’ve heard that at least it won’t raise your blood sugar before bed. But the almonds don’t really hit the spot. So you find some fat free Greek yogurt. And you put a touch of honey in it to sweeten it a little. But that’s okay because you read that you should always eat carbohydrates with protein – because protein slows down the spike in blood sugar. And Read More . . .