Nicki Anderson
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Does the word “Step” diminish love?

By Nicki On October 19, 2014 2 Comments
Dad, giving me away.

Dad, giving me away.

 

I was 9 years old when I first met him. He was a loud, gregarious sort. His accent was funny, so were his clothes. Worst of all, he really liked my mother. My father had decided to set up house with his new wife and my mother was looking to set up house with a new husband. It was the 70’s, that’s how things worked.  This man came in to our lives through one of the most important men in my life, my Uncle Billy. If he was favored in the eyes of my Uncle Billy, he had to be a good guy.

I’ll never forget that Christmas Eve in 1971 and he was there.  My biological Dad was not happy and I didn’t get it. “Wait, it’s the holidays, aren’t we all supposed to get along?”  Clearly not.  So Jim, the new man in our life, took a back seat, let the emotions fly between my parents and looked at me and said, “It’ll be alright darlin'” Ugh, I hated that term, I hated that accent, I hated that man and the fact that he was in my home at Christmas.

My mother married, “that man” in 1972. My sisters cried, I was oblivious. He seemed decent enough, despite the accent and the fact that well, he wasn’t my “real” father. Shortly after their marriage, my mother, “that man” aka Jim and my middle sister and I moved to Texas. Talk about a culture shock. From a suburb of Chicago to the heart of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, it was tough. My sister was gorgeous, she was immediately a welcome Yankee and soon had a serious boyfriend. I on the other hand, was unibrowed, void of any self-confidence, and an awkward Yankee that had no idea  of what was to come. It was probably just as well. I, like my new “Dad” figured what ever will be will be.

As I grew into myself, which I thought would never happen, “that man” turned in to my father . Jim was attentive at all the right times and understanding of my painful teen years. Jim never doubted my talent and capabilities even though I did constantly. As my sister moved up and out, I stayed and graduated high school desperately wanting to be a singer, which I knew was my calling. Jim told me all the time, “Go for your dreams darlin’!”  The term that I used to hate, now became a term of endearment.  Jim never, ever lost faith in my abilities no matter what I wanted to do, he was my biggest cheerleader.

As I grew, married and had children he proved to be an amazing Grandfather. He loved my children as if they were his “blood” grandchildren. To him they were. He never missed a birthday or a graduation. He always boasted about his grandchildren and at every turn, bragged about his “daughter.”  How I used to hate when he referred to me that way. But as our relationship shifted, his role in my life gradually changed and I realized he wasn’t trying to prove anything, he was simply taking ownership of what be believed to be true. I was his daughter and my children were indeed his grandchildren. When he fell in love with the love of his life, she too became a wonderful addition to his world and to mine.

So that brings me to the question in the title, does the term step-parent diminish the quality of love, care, and devotion that is given to a step-family? In some instances perhaps, in mine, not at all. Jim stepped up to the plate regardless of my angst ridden teen comment, “You’re not my real father!”  He would patiently respond, “I know darlin’ but I will always love you as if you were my own.”  Who says that?  He did.

So here we are. I just spent a weekend with him as he’s waited for cancer to make the final call. Jim never like finality. Cancer consumption is a terrible thing to witness. The passion filled, optimistic, “things will work out” guy, was dying. A 250 pound strong, full of life man was now down to 140 pounds asking me, “Why can’t I get my energy back?”  I quietly shared, “Grandpa, cancer is tenacious and very selfish with its territory.” He didn’t buy it and I tried to.   He never once complained. When I’d ask  if he was in any pain, he’d calmly reply,  “No darlin’ I feel fine. It’s just these darned knees.” This was as the bag connected to his liver continued to drain.

During my last weekend with him, we talked about family, my kids, and his beloved grandchildren.

The gift of my last week with Grandpa/Dad/Jim

The gift of my last week with Grandpa/Dad/Jim

 

He mentioned time and time again how proud he was of me. I looked at him holding back the tears as I witnessed his daily deterioration. I wondered why technology continues to jump forward with incredible inventions, yet we still can’t beat cancer.  I wondered why cancer takes the good people? Likely not a fair statement, but mourning makes you think of all kinds of inappropriate thoughts. I know that cancer is not discerning as it takes old, young, strong, smart, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles,  artists and writers. It doesn’t discern.

I write with a heavy heart and a love for someone I initially thought had no place in my life. I write this realizing what an absolute privilege it was to know a man that despite the anger of this world, and the ugliness of it all,  always remained positive. Some (including myself now and again) accused him of being “pollyanish” but if that’s the worst of what he leaves behind, I consider myself a very lucky recipient of his love, respect and upbringing.  In my experience, “step” means a step up.

You will be missed, Grandpa Jim, Dad, Grandpa. I love you.

 

Nicki


How to Gift the Physically Fit Mam

By Nicki On December 16, 2013 No Comments

Signs-youre-a-healthy-man

 

(Guest post by Quinn McAdams )

The holiday season has arrived, and many people are thinking about Christmas gifts. Finding the perfect gift for anyone is difficult, especially for a man who is active and fit. Obvious items like running shorts and shoes are helpful, but do not make a statement. Below are some ideas of some unique gifts for the healthy man who has everything.

Weighted Vest

Adding extra weight during a cardio workout will aid in building endurance and strength. Giving a man a weighted vest will allow him to put on muscle as he does his cardio routine, whether by running or going to the gym. It is a gift he is sure to appreciate.

Golf Shoe Bag

Many fit men enjoy playing golf and wind up with dirty shoes after the last hole. This can cause a big mess if they are simply tossed into a car trunk. A golf shoe bag is a stylish way to solve this problem. It comes with vents, which allow the shoes to dry out while preventing mud and grass from spreading inside the car. I bought my husband one a few years ago from this site.

 

Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Fit people like to keep track of their heart rate while working out. A heart rate monitor watch is a great way to do this. The watch can determine target heart rates, whether the training regimen is focused on burning fat or improving fitness and find the right balance between activity and rest. The device can also conveniently push fitness data to a computer.

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Touchscreen Gloves

Nothing is more frustrating than being out on a run in cold weather and having to use a smartphone with standard gloves. This has caused some men to simply run without gloves, which is not comfortable. Touchscreen gloves have thinner material at the fingertips to allow the person to easily change music and answer calls while exercising.

Filtered Water Bottle

Staying hydrated during workouts is very important. Those who exercise outdoors often drink bottled water, and using a filtered water bottle is a smart way to save money and respect the environment. The bottle provides the convenience of being able to fill up anywhere, and it can be useful in emergency situations. Check out some filtered water bottle reviews here.
Giving the right gift requires thought and planning when it comes to the active man. The guide above is a good starting point for practical, useful gifts that will continue to please for years to come.

 

Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it.

Nicki


Celebrities and Diet Endorsements- Role Models or Partners in Crime?

By Nicki On January 10, 2012 No Comments

I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of the celebrity diet ambush that seems to be on every other television commercial. Hey, don’t get me wrong, Jennifer Hudson, rockin’ it (but her heavier self is off key at the end of the commercial, notice that?), Marie Osmond (8 brothers and she’s the only one with weight issues?) , Mariah Carey, subhuman (after twins, she looks like that? Really?), Charles Barkley (being that tall can hide a multitude of sins), Janet Jackson, serial dieter, yo-yo pro. And that’s just scratching the surface of the latest weight loss celebrities. But seriously, are these people solid role models?  My thoughts are, um, no.

I guess you can look at the commercials and think, “Well, it just goes to show celebrities have battles they fight too!” Yeah, well, they make more money than I’ll ever see in my lifetime. These stars can have people cook the food, order the food and if they want, spoon feed them the food without even having to think about it. The truth is, celebrity endorsements is yet another way that diet programs that are short lived find their way in to your psyche and eventually your wallet. And more important, let’s see where these “stars” are 3 years from now, 5 years from now, still fit and thin? TBD.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire anyone who can set their mind on a goal and achieve it. But when you start putting celebrities in to the mix, that changes all the rules. They are NOT regular folk. They make money based on their looks and they will do whatever they need to in order to get in to their million dollar costumes/dresses, etc.  Our lives are so vastly different including the things that motivate us as well as the things that allow us to make difficult changes. Mariah Carey just had twins, God Bless her, but my hunch is she’s got a bit of help with those babies.  For the average woman looking to lose weight after having twins, not only does she not have the gift of a nanny or two, she doesn’t have a diet company knocking on her door asking if she’d like to endorse them if she follows their program.  Imagine, getting paid to lose weight? However, that’s a double edged sword. You gain the weight back and you get just as much attention, you just don’t get paid for it.

I don’t know, I just have a really hard time seeing all of these celebrities saying, “If I did it, you can too!” No I can’t, whether it be money, time or support, no one is paying me to lose weight. I suppose some may be inspired to change and that’s a plus. But the real stars, the real celebrities are those folks that set their mind to get healthy once and for all, and do it the old fashioned way, and don’t  get paid for it.  30 years ago, I lost weight the old fashioned way, simply by making healthier choices and following my 80/20 rule, works every time.

Don’t let the pressure of unrealistic success stories get you down. There are plenty of real people with real life success stories that changed their life for the better, all on their own, no endorsements, no promises of fortune or fame, no nannies or agents to keep them on task, just good old fashioned desire and motivation.

Check out my most recent column. Now she’s a  real star!!

 

Here’s to your health!

Nicki

 

 


3 Words That Changed a Life

By Nicki On March 13, 2011 1 Comment

Patricia Buckely 6-Week Weight Loss Challenge Success!

As many of you know, I have been implementing a weight loss challenge at my studio that has turned out to be, well, amazing. Because of the incredible results our clients are experiencing, I am asking them to come back at the orientations we hold each month and share their stories. Let me just say, they are pretty incredible stories.

This past week at our March orientation, Patricia Buckley was our speaker. Patricia has been a client of ours for a number of years, but the weight loss part seemed elusive for her. She was dedicated to her exercise, but for years the weight never changed. When I launched our 6-Week Weight Loss Challenge, Patricia decided that it might be worth checking out.  She started the program at the end of the orientation back in November, she hasn’t looked back. Patricia has lost about 37 pounds which is fantastic.  But beyond the weight loss, she has changed her lifestyle. I have always said,  weight loss is incomplete without the lifestyle change. And that is what Patricia has discovered.

Here’s a bit from her story, “I’m a school teacher and I’m very busy. My husband and I used to eat out, a lot. I liked to eat a lot. Because of that, I have been on many diets and therefore, I wasn’t quite sure what would make this program different. To start with, it wasn’t a diet. Before starting the challenge, I figured because I was exercising that was all I needed to do. But once I came to listen to Nicki speak about her weight-loss challenge, and she kept using the word ‘sustainability’ something clicked, and I knew I needed to do something more.  Since starting the program I have lost 37 pounds, dropped 4 pant sizes, many dress sizes and I’m learning to cook. I was a pot-a-day coffee drinker and now I only drink tea. My energy, outlook and quality of life are all greatly improved. I have learned so many things on my journey, but 3 words that have become my mantra are, CAN, CONSCIOUS and CHOICE.  The focus for me is no longer on the four letter words diet and can’t, rather the fact that I CAN make good CHOICES based on the CONSCIOUS awareness of what is good for me physically and emotionally.”  Wow, well said.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nothing can change without your willingness to change. The hardest part for people that believe they want to lose weight is taking responsibility for long-term change. For some long-term is just too overwhelming.

So, just for today think about Patricia’s 3 words, can, conscious and choice. Can you make conscious choices that will serve to create a healthier you?  Start by looking at the changes you’re willing to make and implement them in to your long-term plan. Patricia is making changes that will be major contributors to long-term change. Diets are temporary and teach nothing. When you change your lifestyle in order to lose weight, you are creating a success story that will have staying power and that is definitely a story with a happy ending.

 

Nicki

 


Learning is Key to Success

By Nicki On December 5, 2010 No Comments

Book Signing with David Grotto, R.D. at Anderson's Bookshop

For those of  you that have read my blog for awhile, you know I’ve never romanticized weight loss, nor have I ever promoted diets. For 20 years, I have always maintained that a healthy weight is a by-product of a healthy lifestyle, and the scale does not necessarily dictate good health. In all my years of business, I would imagine that the average number of diets my clients have experienced go well beyond 50. Yet with all of those diets, none ever stuck. In fact, the only folks I know that have experienced long-term success, are those who made the decision to change their lifestyle, for good.  Hmmm. I really struggle with the success of the diet industry given the poor results. I really don’t get it. If I bought a product and it broke after one use, I’d bring it back. I’d probably try another figuring that maybe that particular one was defective. But if the second one didn’t work, I’d never use that product again. Sure, there are different diets so perhaps there is the hope that maybe one of them will be the winner. The one constant with every diet is that it’s one dimensional, i.e. weight loss only. So for most people, once they lose the weight, there is nothing is place to support the changes they’ve made and keep them motivated enough to sustain the weight loss. Additionally, and most important to me, real life skills  to  replace unhealthy habits are rarely taught yet they are mandatory to sustain weight loss.

This past summer, more than usual, people were asking me about diets. Given my business, I always have people asking me, “which diet is the best?” I always respond with, “Whatever diet works for you and keeps you healthy.”  As I started seeing more and more advertisements about weight loss, “Lose 15 pounds in 15 days” I thought more deeply about my efforts with clients to assist them in creating their “own” diet.  I realized that’s a really hard thing to do because most people are looking for fast and easy, it’s the way of the world today, people want change NOW, not tomorrow, not next week, NOW.

I talked to a few clients and asked them what aspects of a diet “pulled them in” and what elements prevented them from keeping their weight loss efforts consistent? The aspects that were most helpful was the structure of a nutrition program. In other words, it’s sort of like personal training. People love training because they don’t have to think about the exercise, they show up, I train them and they leave. They didn’t have to give any thought to how the program was laid out, the method behind it, etc. They just did what they were told. It’s the same thing with a diet, you’re told what to eat, when to eat it and you don’t have to think about it. I get it, and like you, it is nice not to have to think about what you’re going to eat next or what exercise comes next in your repertoire. However, the truth is that like a bike with training wheels, eventually you’re going to have take the training wheels off and go it alone. Same with weight loss, eventually you need to LEARN what you need to do in order to gain independence and sustain your efforts. That is why people shift from diet, to diet, to diet, they never LEARN what they need to do forever, for the long-term.

The elements that many people said were missing from diet success was accountability. In other words, when there were challenges with a diet, there was no one they could go to and ask questions. If the scale crept up, who was going to let them know that as long as they’re consistent, they will be fine, weight fluctuates, it’s normal. When struggling with a nutrition program, if there is no one standing in your corner cheering you on and helping you weed through what makes sense for you and what doesn’t, success is highly unlikely. One of the reasons my business remains strong is that I have created a positive, educated source of accountability for my clients.

With all the this information, I finally decided this past fall to put all that I have learned over 20 years together and created a program for my clients that offers all the elements necessary for successful, long-term weight loss and healthy living. It’s funny, necessity stimulates innovation and I know for  me, my desire to help my clients feel better, live stronger and more confidently was the secret behind creating one of the most successful programs I’ve ever put together for my clients. But more than anything, my clients are winning not only at the weight loss piece, but the LEARNING piece and for that, I am thrilled. Finally, I can offer something to my clients that helps them achieve the weight loss that they so desperately seek, yet all along they are learning what’s necessary to not only lose the weight, but to sustain it, and that  my friends is the real secret to success!

I hope you can join me on December 8th or January 5th at 7:00 p.m. at my studio as I share the program that’s helping people discover an alternative to diet hopping. My goal has always been to EDUCATE people on sensible weight loss and how to implement a program that works for their lifestyle and their personal goals. It’s helping people realize that change is possible AND sustainable, you just have to be ready and have the right source of support.

Here’s to your health!

Nicki


Change Your Mind About Weight Loss

By Nicki On October 24, 2010 No Comments

mind

After 20 years in this industry the one constant is people who want to lose weight want to lose it NOW! No matter how often I may remind people that fast and easy is never a solution to long-term weight loss, somehow it doesn’t matter. It seems that the more shows depict weight loss as nothing more than a beginning and an end, it makes it tough for people to understand that in order to be successful, changes need to be constant, forever.

Why do diets fail? Because diets have a beginning and an end. Think about books, dates, television shows, movies, parties, etc. There is a beginning and there is an end, once it’s over, it’s over, done, kaput. This is what’s happens with weight loss, people jump on a diet to lose weight, they may or may not be successful but  once they’ve reached the point of either success or frustration, it’s over, done, kaput. Diet’s fail because there is no sustainability, there is no education, there is no practical long-term strategies, instead the mind says, “I want to lose weight, I’ll stop eating until the weight is gone.” Bad idea.

I’ve recently implemented a new 6-Week Weight Loss Challenge at my studio. Why? Because I figure if people are going to be jumping in and out of diets, I’d rather have the privilege of helping them get started, while teaching the strategies for a lifetime of healthy habits. There have been some people that believe that the only way you can lose weight and keep it off is to get rid of EVERYTHING that tastes good; there is no truth in that. After almost 30 years of successful weight loss, I still “treat” myself to things that I like but know it would not be good if I ate them every day.  I don’t punish  myself when I have an ice cream cone, I eat it and move on.

I tell clients to start their challenge by thinking about food as “fuel” vs. calories. In other words, people will often be on a calorie restricted diet and want to stay under 1200 calories, so they don’t always choose healthy foods, or foods that will allow their body to run optimally, it’s more about staying within their chosen calorie count. How about choosing a food not based on calories, rather the health benefits?  You see, I don’t eat french fries, but it’s not because I’m afraid I’ll gain weight, I don’t eat them because they’re nasty.  Why would I want to put something in to my body that I know is low in nutritional benefits and potentially harmful to my health? Take smoking. Why don’t I smoke? Because it’s bad for me. The same goes with eating unhealthy foods consistently, why?

I’m a believer in balance and being realistic when changing your lifestyle, but television and the  media have placed such an emphasis on size that health rarely enters the weight loss equation. In my 6-week weight loss challenge, I encourage my clients to think about their health, to think about the benefits of choosing more healthful foods and moving their body more. I encourage them to stop thinking about weight loss the whole time and instead, focus on the healthy habits they can  begin to change. The truth is that slow and steady still applies to long-term weight loss success, it’s just a matter of getting those that have been brainwashed with bad diets to buy into the slow and steady belief system.  Unfortunately, the mind has been tricked in to believing weight loss at any cost is good.  Maybe it’s time to start changing your mind and believe that weight loss will never be successful if it’s not realistic.

Why not start today thinking about what small steps you can begin to make to change your life and your health? Weight loss isn’t a contest, it’s an opportunity to reclaim your health and engage more fully in your life. I can’t think of a better reason to change your mind about weight loss.

Here’s to your health!

Nicki


Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!

By Nicki On July 23, 2010 No Comments

It’s unbelievably “thick” here in Chicago today. The humidity is so high that the heat index makes it feel like it’s 104 degrees outside, ugh! I found myself drinking a lot more water both pre and post workout. I was reminded how very important it is to keep yourself hydrated, not only during the obvious time of year, summer, but year ’round! Whether it’s winter, fall, summer or sping, our bodies need to be kept well-hydrated. Given that the human body is about 75% water, this nutrient is obviously an essential part of any healthy diet. Water serves several functions, including to help flush our systems, especially the kidneys and bladder, of waste products and toxins. In fact, majority of Americans go through life dehydrated. Then, as the aging process progresses, the internal trigger for thirst dissapates. As a result, the “cue” for thirst diminishes and people often eat thinking they’re hungry versus reaching for a glass of water because they are simply thirsty. Very often you will find that your sense of hunger passes once you’re well hydrated.

The best way to make sure you’re getting enough water in your daily diet is to keep it readily available. Keep a bottle or thermos accessible. Keep water at work, in your gym bag, purse, briefcase, etc. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, mid-morning, before lunch, after luch, mid-afternoon, before dinner and after dinner. Some evidence suggests that poor hydration can cause feelings of fatigue and lethargy. So next time you’re feeling a little “blah” try a glass of water!

More tips are available in my book, Nicki Anderson’s Single-Step Weight Loss Solution; 101 No-Nonsense Tips for Healthy Living, Weight Loss, and a Diet-Free Life!

Have a great week!

Nicki


The Reality of Aging

By Nicki On July 3, 2010 No Comments
Yes, I really went to see Cher. It was a vacation!

Yes, I really went to see Cher. It was a vacation!

This past week I joined my hubby for his conference in Vegas. Vegas, not one of my favorite spots, mainly because you’re either sweltering in the “blow dryer” air or freezing with the blasting air conditioning in the smoke filled casinos. But hey, it’s time away and you can’t scoff at that no matter where you’re going.

Whenever my clients tell me they’re going on vacation, I always remind them about the opportunities that abound to be active and eat well, despite the whining telling me it’s not possible. 🙂

So when it was time for my vacation, I decided that this trip was going to be a real vacation. What is a real vacation? It’s when you go somewhere and do nothing except what you enjoy vs. a trip which is where you do what everyone else enjoys, big difference!!

At the hotel there was a Canyon Ranch Spa, HELLLOO! Eureka, I hit the mother load.  There’s nothing greater than being able to be somewhere that you don’t have to be in charge. I took classes I didn’t have to teach. I got to workout and didn’t have to clean up all the equipment when everyone was done. I could go right from my workout to the sauna or hot tub or igloo or experiential showers (that’s a whole other blog). I was able to eat some of wonderful, organic foods vs. the processed, crap boxed meal that some people actually called lunch.  Regardless, I felt very lucky to have the opportunity to get away and just be.

So on to my classes. After my first class I realized, “Wow, that was hard.” My second class, “Wow, that was really hard.” But I’m a fitness professional, right? I can’t whine, it’s unacceptable to whine. But by class three, I was whining. Why? Because my legs hurt so bad I was shuffling around like the Mr. Wiggins character portrayed by Tim Conway. My biceps felt like a blister ready to pop and my pride, almost beyond repair. I’m supposed to be fit, right?  But then I remembered what I tell my clients. “Don’t try to prove something. Just workout at a pace that’s smart and appropriate for you. Otherwise, you’re going to be sorry.” Yep, I was sorry for trying to prove that 49 can still do what an 18 year old can do. I was in a class with many that could be my children and I felt  it was my professional duty to keep up and prove what the “old lady” could do. Stupid move.

Here it is Saturday, and Wednesday was my last class before heading home. I’m still poppin’ ibuprofen for pain, still wondering what I was thinking and taking yet another day off of working out. Bottom line, the body changes and can’t always do what it used to. Now don’t misunderstand, I’ve never look for an excuse to take it easy, not in  my DNA, but what I did was just stupid. High intensity classes back to back in addition to doing cardio stuff following (Why? Because I could!) and well, I over did it. And now I’m paying for it. Isn’t it funny, that wisdom seems to come through gracefully except when there’s competition. Suddenly those competitive juices start flowing and all the wisdom goes out the door.

These aches and pains I’m experiencing humble me and remind me that no one is exempt to the aging process and the accommodations and considerations that need to be made as your body changes. Although I certainly held my own in the classes (had to throw that in), something tells me not a darn one of those kids was even phased by the workouts. Worse yet, they probably thought the class was a warm up class.

Lesson learned? Practice what I preach! Pay attention to your body, honor it’s limits but never shy away from gently pushing outside those limits. Just don’t push so far you lose sight of where you’re going and what you’re trying to accomplish.

Tomorrow, I’ll work out; after I take my ibuprofen.

Nicki


Learning about Healthy Eating Never Ends!

By Nicki On May 23, 2010 No Comments
Teri Gentes, A Certified Nutritional Consultant and Recipe Author of Gourmet Natural Foods Nutrition

Teri Gentes, A Certified Nutritional Consultant and Recipe Author of Gourmet Natural Foods Nutrition

As long as I’ve been focused on eating better and moving more, I always believe there’s room for improvement. As I head in to the last year of my 40’s, now more than ever I want to be the best I can and the way to make that happen, is to learn what  things I can improve upon.

When I look back 20 years ago, I too was sucked in to the whole “low-fat, high carb” diet. I read everything that came along on the subject and believed that I knew it all and that my nutrition was set. Little did I know that not only was eating that way not conducive for me feeling great, I was eating a lot of processed foods. You see, many choices that we make that seem healthy, are not always the best choice. But through brilliant marketing and deceptive labeling, it makes it awfully tough to know just what your eating and how it actually affects the way we feel and our overall health.

In the early 90’s it was all about Oat Bran, touted as the new miracle food!  In the late 90’s, The Atkins Diet resurfaced and we had a whole new generation following the Atkins philosophy. Unfortunately, it was rarely about the health, more about the weight loss. Here’s what I mean, whether it’s low-fat, high oat, or low-carb, if you’re eating junk which stays in the parameters of the diet, you may be losing weight, but what are you putting in to your body? And that’s where the lack of education comes in. A good example is 100-calorie packs. It’s basically processed bags of food that people are led to believe are more healthy. The truth is that folks may be getting less calories, but like a diet drink, what they save on the front end they end up making up in the back end, so it’s commonly a wash. I’m not making this up, I see this with my clients all the time.

So, like you, I get frustrated with the information that comes out about nutrition and the confusion that comes a long with it. High Carb? Low Carb? High Protein? Low Protein? Low- Fat? Low Calorie? Fat-Free? Preservative free? And on and on the questions go.

In my search to learn more, I have just started working with a lovely lady, Teri Gentes,  someone you should know. Teri has taken me to a new  level in my quest to understand more about food and what constitutes a good choice vs. a misinformed choice. I love learning as I believe the more I know, the more I can positively grow. There are plenty of things she’s shared with me that many of us know, eat more veggies and fresh fruit, avoid processed, chemical filled foods, etc. But I’m also learning so much that I didn’t know. Although healthy eating can be very, very detailed, ultimately it’s about making choices that can make you stronger, healthier and happier. I’ve always believed there is a direct correlation between food and mood and as I make my way through this educational process, I believe it now more than ever.

I try and do my best with giving straight forward advice in my columns and blogs about healthy eating, and with that are some amazing resources out there that can help explain things in a way that’s easy to understand and implement bit by bit. Like anything, you can’t go and clean out your cabinets and expect that in a day you are going to completely alter your eating and it’s going to stick, it won’t.

Making small changes is the best way to alter and positively change your diet. It can be as basic as adding in a new vegetable each week. Working to move away from boxed foods and focus more on whole, natural state foods. Trust me, when I got in to this business I thought I had healthy eating all figured out. Not even close!  So as I learn, I will share with you. Following are just a few resources for you.  I’d love to know your thoughts about food deception and the confusion when seeking a healthy eating plan that you can stick with for life. After all, that’s what healthy eating is all about saving and enhancing your life!

Here’s to your health!

Nicki

Nicki Anderson’s Single Step Weight Loss Solution

An End to Overeating by Dr. David A. Kessler

DVD – Food, Inc.

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Jamie Oliver – Food Revolution

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Feeling Light- The Holistic Solution to Permanent Weight Loss and Wellness by Shoshanna Katzman and Wendy Shankin-Cohen w/ Melinda



As Luck Would Have It, I Knew This Great Man!

By Nicki On April 26, 2010 2 Comments

Phil Lawler

I can honestly say, one of  my biggest fears is death.  I know, there is the religious and philosophical side of it, but somehow, the idea of death doesn’t prompt any feelings of comfort. My fear? Losing someone close to me and realizing that I will never hear that person’s voice, be able to pick up the phone and call them with a question or  have a cup of coffee over a great debate.  This past week one of my fears came to pass. A friend, mentor and amazing individual passed away. His name was Phil Lawler and if you didn’t know him, how unfortunate for you. I was fortunate enough to not only know this man, but to call him my friend.

About 10 years ago, as I was trying to spread my “Fitness Rules” message throughout my community, I received a phone call from Phil.  Phil  had the greatest passion ever. His call was unsolicited, he just felt that maybe he could be of some help, so typical of Phil to help out. He said, “Say Nicki, you don’t know me but I’d sure like you to come over to Madison Junior High where I teach phyical education as I’d like to throw some ideas at you.”  If you know Phil, he was never short on ideas. From that moment on, he became my mentor and friend. He was one of the few people that believed in my mission to change the world to better health and he was willing to help me at any and every turn.  I will miss his boundless energy, his interest in anything new and relevant and his undying love for his family and students.  So much he gave yet he required so little in return.

Phil actually turned the Physical Education model around. He saw that it was broken and was determined to fix it to make sure that our children learned to love fitness in a non-traditional way. He brought “fun” to physical education and created a model for physical education that drew experts and teachers from all around the globe. His dedication to getting kids to move was powerful and triggered my passion into “family” fitness.  Phil’s Physical Education model even inspired Dr. John Ratey who wrote the book, “Spark.”  A must read if you haven’t read it.

My  heart goes out to Phil’s family, who are amazing as well. But my heart also goes out to those that never had the opportunity to meet this man. My heart is sad for those children that will never have the opportunity to “catch” Phil’s physical fitness enthusiasm. But one thing I do know is that those of us who loved and admired him will certainly do our best to continue pushing his passion forward and working tirelessly to get kids moving and families healthy. What an amazing legend he left behind.

Nicki