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 . . .
3, 4 or 6 Meals a Day?
I grew up learning that we should be eating 3 ‘square’ meals per day. I remember being taught in Home Economics class (6th grade) that a square meal consisted of Meat, Vegetables, Dairy, and Grain. So basically, a cheeseburger could be considered a ‘square meal’; it contains meat, lettuce & tomato make up the veg, cheese would check the dairy box, and the bun is a grain. Huh. As I entered my 30s, we started to get a little more sophisticated with our food. The low-fat craze was in full blown effect, vegetarianism was becoming more mainstream, and the new advice was to eat 6 smaller meals per day – so that you could keep your metabolism ‘revved up’ throughout the day. The thinking was that if you ate often enough, you could use the Thermic Effect of Food to help you burn calories for you (although that’s true, it doesn’t quite Read More . . .
If some is Good, is more Better?
I teach a class at the ungodly hour of 6AM on Mondays. It’s an hour. Its pretty intense. My client, who I typically meet later in the day, arrived as class was ending, and said, “Oh! That’s what I need to be doing.” Me: “Why?” Client: “Well, it’s an hour instead of 30 minutes, and I need that.” Me: “Why do you think you need that?” Client: “Because it would be better for me, to do more.” And isn’t that so true about what we’ve been taught about exercise? If some is good, more is better. Move more, eat less. That might be true for some folks – folks who aren’t moving and who aren’t really paying attention to their food choices. But what happens, is that advice falls on deaf ears, and the ones who hear it, aren’t the ones who need to. Its like when you get an 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 . . .
Why the rules are bullsh*t
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 . . .
What do elephants and cancer have to do with my fat-loss journey?
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 . . .
How to dump crappy habits
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 . . .
Why diet plans give me anxiety
Me: “So, are you making any changes with your diet?” Her: “Well, I don’t know. I was thinking about that last night. I’ve been walking, but I don’t know if I should do Paleo, or cut out carbs, or what. What do you think?” Whenever I hear someone mention a certain ‘plan’, whether it’s The Paleo Diet, The Zone Diet, or even The Eat Clean Diet, or even make drastic, sudden changes, I always cringe. Yes, I know it’s easier when you have a list of ‘rules’. This is what you can and cannot eat. There’s no grey area; that grey area where you’re unsure, “Am I on plan? or off?” It’s definitely easier to say yes or no to food if you know where the line of on and off are. We understand the rules. I basically have rules for my diet. But I’ve created those rules myself. And they’re not rules. They’re barely guidelines. And Read More . . .