I talk about weight loss on my blog a lot. But, to be honest, the topic of weight loss has become less and less interesting of a topic to me. I’m much more concerned with how my clients think, feel, move, and their general health. However, our weight is a really good barometer for our health, and for that reason, I still think that it’s important to discuss. If we are taking good care of our body, that means feeding it properly and in the proper amounts, exercising it, giving it enough rest, (and since our brain is inside our body) not stressing out, and having a healthy attitude towards our relationships and the world around us. Our weight is a symptom of our lifestyle. Many folks like to manage the symptoms without addressing the root cause. Knee hurts? Get an injection. Can’t sleep? Take a pill. Low energy? Take Read More . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
It seems like balance is a never ending quest that we seek in our lives. Oftentimes, our lives feel ‘out of balance’. What does that mean to have a life that is out of balance? Spending too much time at work? Not enough time with your family? If one person feels like they have balance, if you spend the same amount of time in each of those areas as that other person, will you have balance too? Is balance a certain percentage of play, work, family/friends, health, creativity or spirituality? I think that balance is so elusive because it’s different for everyone. Introverts and extroverts would certainly be different in the amount of social time that they each need. Additionally, someone who is an entrepreneur, who is completely excited and energized by her growing business is going to feel very differently about spending 60-80 hours per week at work than the Read More . . .
One of the things I love about going on vacation (other than the obvious) is that I get to talk to people who I’ve never met before: people who are completely different from me, who have different life experiences, and know totally different things! Of course, when they hear that I’m a Health Coach, they either they tell me how much they know about health and fitness, or they start confessing their diet and exercise sins as if I’m a health-priest, with the ability to absolve them of their fitness sins. Ha! But the other thing that I get is a TON of questions. Which I LOVE! Because A) I could talk about health and fitness all day long (just ask Gary) and B) There is SO MUCH misinformation ‘out there’ that I get to clear up – or at least, give folks another perspective. As I was talking to Read More . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
I don’t have time to do a full workout, so I’m just going to skip it. Does this sound familiar? I know that there was a time in my exercising life that I had this mindset: “Well, I can’t do the workout that I’m supposed to do, so why do it at all?” And so I get it. You want to be all in. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to doing it, it’s not worth doing. But here’s the thing: This mindset is holding you back. Because exercise doesn’t work that way. Health doesn’t work that way. Consistency is the true contributor to progress when it comes to exercise, eating, and your goals. I posted this on FaceBook the other day: Many folks feel that they need to be ‘on’ all the time, or follow their plan perfectly to get results. Yes, you do need to be ‘on’, Read More . . .
You’ve seen the memes on the Internet, or heard the phrases: “What’s your excuse?” Or heard the phrase, “if it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” I actually like this second quote – and not because of the judgement that’s implied with it, but rather the truth that it conveys. We all have priorities. A list from 1-100. And we can’t do everything. On our list of priorities, we all have the same things: family, partner relationship, travel, money, career, health, and self-care, to name a few. They’re just in different orders. My list is in a different order than your list. Only one thing can occupy that top spot. Only one thing can occupy the second, and so on. As a health coach, I would love for everyone’s list to have ‘health’ as their #1 priority. But the truth is that it Read More . . .
Do you have rules around your eating habits? They might be something like, “I can only eat sugar on the weekend.” Or “Bananas are loaded with calories and starch. So, I can’t eat bananas.” Whatever they are, do they help you? Or do they hinder you? I think most people create these rules because the grey area of our food can become so… GREY. H*ll! I don’t even know if there IS any black or white when it comes to food anymore! With all the media hype, and misinterpreted studies, something that you would think should be intuitive is now confusing. There’s so much fear and uncertainty when it comes to our food. What’s good for us? What’s not? And once we’re in that grey zone of ‘Eat these foods in moderation’, how do we know where we are in that moderation scale? How do we know when we’re slipping? If Read More . . .
One of the exercises that I have my Health Coaching clients do in their first habit is to describe their perfect day. I love hearing what folks love to do: spend time with their families (or not ;), pampering, what their favorite meal is, activities, what makes them feel good, and what their priorities are. And it got me thinking about what elements I would need to have a perfect day everyday. Sure! There are always things that we don’t want to do: chores, conflict, maybe errands, and things like that. But what key elements would be present in order for the day to be pretty close to perfect? How can you construct your life so that it’s pretty darn close to perfect? I came up with four elements that I can add in to any day to have a pretty awesome experience. I’ve tagged it #TAGY Treats – Everyday needs to have a treat in it. Read More . . .
In thinking about how the cancer had destroyed my mom’s body, it occurred to me that in order to avoid this disease, I needed to prepare my body so that it would be able to fight off any disease that it might encounter. Not only did I need to get down to a healthy weight, but I also needed to eat better quality of foods, become active, and well, become a responsible adult. Read More . . .
Anyone who says that the issue of obesity, weight management and fitness is all about knowing what is/is not good for you, or about willpower is over-simplifying the problem, and hasn’t fully grasped the gravity of the issue. It is a hugely complex issue because it all starts in the brain, and the brain is a hugely complex organism. We all do things that we know don’t serve us in our goals, and yet, we often find ourselves powerless to change. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about eating habits, spending money, smoking, or some other habit that we want to change. In Kelly McGonigal’s audio program, The Neuroscience of Change, she talks about our destructive habits. Destructive habits are things that we do that either don’t serve us any longer, or are getting in the way of things we do want in our lives. It could be smoking, eating Read More . . .
Everyone has a “thing”. Right? Gary & my “thing” is pizza and red wine. It all started 15 years ago, this Valentines Day. I was still living in Chicago, but I was already planning on moving to Austin, and we were house hunting. His mom had given him a bread maker for Christmas, I think we had attempted making pizza on a sheet pan, but I recall, it was that Valentines Day that I bought him the pizza stone set. At the time, I was still working in high tech. I was about three years into my own fitness journey, but no where near thinking that it might become part of my future. I think it was at that time that we started having pizza on Saturday nights – or at least, it became a tradition to have pizza on Valentines Day, for sure. Our pizza making journey is almost as winding Read More . . .