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 . . .

Why the scale isn’t a good tool for weight loss

When clients come to me saying that they want to lose weight, I understand what they mean. If I were to be snarky, I could say, ‘oh, you want to lose 10 lbs? Let’s just chop off your right arm. Would that make you happy?’ …but that probably wouldn’t make a good first impression now, would it? When folks say that they want to lose weight, what they mean is that they want to lose body fat. We want to look ‘toned’ – like our muscles are flexing even when we’re sitting on the couch. The degree of muscularity desired, however is different depending on the individual, and what they perceive to be an ideal physique. What’s counter-intuitive, though is we say that we want to lose weight, even though we want to lose fat, but we’re measuring that success with a tool that only measures our gravitational pull to the earth – the scale. 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 . . .

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 . . .

Are fitness apps a waste of time & effort?

I’ve been reading a lot of news stories lately about the accuracy of fitness trackers, which has been debate in the fitness community ever since I started in fitness over 10 years ago. The calorie readouts on the treadmills, ellipticals, and heart rate monitors were all that were available, back then. Soon after I started personal training, the bodybugg was introduced (and if you’re a long time reader, you know that I loved my bodybugg sooooo much that I became a reseller). It was expensive, but it was a great tool, and I finally felt like it offered the missing side of the equation to my food logging; you can log your food all you want, but unless you know how many calories you’re burning, you don’t have the full picture. Even if you are logging your food, how do you know if you’re consuming too many? Or not enough? I 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 . . .

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 . . .

You’re not a freakin’ child! Eat your damn Veggies!

Last week, I met this woman, socially. I don’t remember how we got on to the conversation, but she said, “I don’t like vegetables. I don’t eat them. I don’t eat fruit or seafood. I like meat and potatoes.  And dessert! ” It’s not the first time I’ve heard an adult say ‘I don’t like veggies’. And sadly, I don’t think it will be the last. I usually don’t know how to respond to this. What I wanted to say is, “You’re freakin’ 60 years old! You’re not 5! Grow up & eat a freakin’ carrot! Pshaw!” It drives me nuts! Because, One – There are so many awesome, delicious veggies out there & so many ways to prepare them that are fantastic! And Two – How does this happen? How does a person grow into an adult and choose not to eat vegetables? They say that kids need exposure Read More . . .

What did I learn from a crazy kettlebell challenge?

Just last week I challenged myself to do an ungodly number of kettlebell swings for 8 straight days. Why on earth would I want to do that, and what would I learn? I don’t even think I was thinking about what I would learn. I was only wondering, ‘Can I do that?’ But I learned a LOT! I learned about my strength, how my body works, and also how a small shift in mindset can make a HUGE difference in my motivation.   Why It all started innocently enough, I guess. I was getting up from the kitchen table quickly. I wasn’t watching where I was moving, and I kicked the kitchen table with my little toe. OUCH! But I brushed it off – how many times have you jammed your toe into something without consequence? Not that I’m totally clumsy, but it happens, and it hurts, and I forget Read More . . .

Get Over Your Motivation Problems – 3 steps

Yesterday when I woke, I drank my liquid wake up potion, and headed to my workout room to get that started. It was supposed to be a simple workout – one that I had done before & it would be over in 30 minutes. But yesterday the weight felt heavier than it usually does. My body didn’t move as well as it usually does.  My push-ups and planks were harder. Everything just seemed so difficult. For some, this could have been permission to stop because I just didn’t ‘feel it’. I think that most people believe that we have to be motivated to exercise. Like every day I get up, jump out of bed with a smile on my face, and greet the day with a Tony the Tiger, “I Feel GGGRRRRRREEEAAT! I’m going to do lift weights with my TEETH!” Yeah – no. That doesn’t happen. I don’t even know Read More . . .