Nicki Anderson
Archive for the ‘diabetes’ Category

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

 

 


A Personal Trainer’s 2012 Wish List

By Nicki On December 30, 2011 6 Comments

As the new year approaches,  gyms start gearing up for the onslaught of seasonal exercisers, while diet programs click their heels in glee, the money season is upon them, CHA-CHING! They are grateful for the over-imbibing, procrastinating, excuse-making, will-powerless customer.

Magazines hope for record breaking sales as the latest fad diet or successful weight loss story graces their cover. But at the end of it all, what will people get out of the money and energy they put in to their weight loss efforts? Unfortunately, all but 1-2% of those desperately seeking miracles will realize there are no miracles and the only thing left is hard work and dedication. But for some, that’s not what they bought.  So, come February they walk away, back to the lifestyle that hasn’t served them well, but seems significantly easier. By March, they’re regretting they gave up and by May, the cycle starts all over again.

I’ve seen this yo-yo pattern for years, so I decided to create my 2012 Wish List.

1. I wish diet companies would add to all of their commercials, brochures, and any other advertising the following:  “Look, this takes a lot of hard work. Sure, you see the success stories in our ads that makes it look easy, but the truth is that our program only works if you’re willing to work- hard. You in?”  That’s just honest sales.

2. I wish gyms would offer an incentive program at the beginning of the year as their way of increasing retention vs. making their money and running. I wish those “regular” exercisers and members would be more welcoming of newbies rather than rolling their eyes and saying, “God, I can’t wait til January is over so I can get my gym back.”  I wish gyms would offer a mandatory program in January that would serve as inspiration to keep people coming to the gym long after their resolutions have passed.

3. I wish magazines would stop putting on the front of their magazines – “6 Ways to flatten your belly, NOW!”  “How you can whittle your waist by the weekend!” “How you can lose 5 pounds in just one week!” None of these do anything to focus on ways to build esteem, self-acceptance or reality. I can flatten my abs right now by laying on my back on the floor, BINGO, flat! I can whittle my waist by wearing spanks and I can lose 5 pounds in a week by taking up a liquid diet for a day or two. But where is the long-term benefit? I wish for more education, REAL education that promotes women’s self-worth, talent, and beauty for REAL people not just the 20 something models that those of us over 40 will never look like (I’m speaking for myself of course).

4. I wish for women and men to rethink weight loss. In that I mean, don’t lose weight because of societal pressure, lose it because your health is at risk. Lose it because your quality of life is being limited by the things you can’t or don’t want to do because you’re carrying around extra weight. Believe that your health is the most important thing in the world and something as basic as walking most days of the week and focusing on whole foods more often can make a radical difference in your life. I so want that for you.

5. I wish health and fitness professionals would come together and STOP making claims that they can melt away fat, or shrink someone’s body. My job as a trainer is not to melt anyone or shrink anyone. My job is to educate. And the more that trainers perpetuate weight loss myths, the more our clients will expect unrealistic results. Speak the truth, healthy weight is a choice (I know, there are some medical issues, but work with me here), and they’re either in or out. I’ve seen too many trainers put people on ridiculous programs where they lose a ton of weight quickly, only to put it back on within the year, or worse yet get injured. My job as a trainer is to motivate and educate, not to perform miracles.

These are just a few of my favorite wishes.

Here’s to your good health in 2012!

Nicki


Conscience Eating

By Nicki On July 11, 2011 No Comments

There is a great article written by Craig Harper, “How to Become a Conscious Eater.” In the article he says, “Many people eat unconsciously. They eat on autopilot. They eat what they don’t need. Every day. And then they (strangely) wonder why they’re fat. And unhealthy. They eat processed crap. They eat socially. They eat because it’s expected. Because it’s there. Because it’s free (wouldn’t want to waste anything). They eat emotionally. Re-actively. They reward themselves with food. And their children too. Sometimes they bribe (motivate, manipulate, control) their kids with food. ‘If you do… (insert task)… I’ll take you to McDonalds for dinner’.  Awesome parenting. They fantasize about food. Lie about it. They eat to ease the pain. To give themselves instant physical pleasure. To numb out. To escape. To fit in. To forget.”

When I read this article the first time, I could relate to so much of what he wrote.  There were some things that hit me hard as at one point in my life, I did bribe and cajole my kids….. I used M&M’s for potty training. O.K., I admit it,  but my kids are no worse for the wear, but I get the point that he is making. We use food for all of the wrong reasons, and if I’m using food as a tool to bribe, it’s lost its true value.

What I love most about his article is that he hits the nail on the head when he says, “We eat on autopilot.”  He’s right, I see it in my clients every day and during my dieting days, I too was guilty.  I just put food in my mouth and ate it without even questioning it’s benefits. Sure, I counted calories here and there (when I was trying to lose weight) but quality of the food? Who cares? It was low in calories and I was taught that was all that mattered. So sad.

Fortunately, since that time, I have learned and read so much more.  I have had the good fortune of knowing people who are every bit a conscious eater. I have also encountered those that are completely disconnected from the food they’re putting in their body.  I have observed and learned from watching both practices and find 30 years after losing 50 pounds, being a conscious eater is vital.  When I can “feel”  how the foods I eat allow me to be stronger and more focused, I’m grateful. When I used to snarf down a candy bar, I never gave a second thought as to how it made me feel.

In my opinion, food isn’t the culprit in obesity, it is the lack of knowledge about food and the disrespect of food that has taken obesity to the level it is at today.

Let me give you an example. When I struggled with weight, every day I counted my calories. Sure, I knew that vegetables and fruit were good for me but I was more interested in what was good for the scale, so I rarely paid attention to quality only quantity. I was sucked in to the “diet food” that promised to help whittle my waist down. So, I lived on diet food and I continued to feel lousy and deprived. During that time,  nothing ever really tasted good, but that was the price to pay for a svelte figure. Or so I thought.  Even as a young Mom, I would live on Rice Cakes (because they were low in fat) and skip meals in order to pig out at a big event. Ugh! It was what I knew and at the time what magazines told me, so I believed it!

Fast forward 30 years. Whenever I prepare a meal, I never put anything in my mouth (O.K., almost never) without thinking about the benefits derived from my food choices.  I have come to understand that the more I eat whole, nutrient dense foods, the better I feel, without question. I love learning about the benefits of fresh herbs and green leafy veggies. I love playing with new recipes and feeding it to my family and watching them enjoy every last bite. I love pulling that first leaf of lettuce out of my garden and tasting it completely. I love the first raspberries of summer, and popping them in my mouth right from the bush. Nothing tastes better.

I haven’t counted calories in 20 years. I haven’t counted calories because I realized I wasn’t learning anything about food other than which had the least amount of calories. Once I started learning about the quality of foods, and the benefits of eating “real” food, I was no longer worried about calories. You’ll find it’s very hard to overeat “real” food because it’s typically high in fiber and satiety.When’s the last time you ate 5 oranges in one sitting? But, I bet you’ve knocked off a whole bag of chips.  Get my  point?

Craig Harper defines conscious eating as follows,“Conscious eating is giving our body the nutrition it needs for optimal health, function and energy. Nothing more or less.” 

I couldn’t agree more. Eating is about giving your body what is needs to operate optimally. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, good-for-you foods were given a bad rap in that many believe healthy foods are typically bland. The truth is there is no better tasting food than that food that is fresh and nutrient rich. It’s just that so many people are used to the crazy amount of salt and fat often found in fast food. As a side note, you can season food with some unbelievable herbs and create far tastier meals than any fast food restaurant can offer.

If we continue to ignore the foods our bodies so desperately need and continue to buy packaged, processed foods, or jump onto the next crazy diet, we may never realize the benefits of eating really great foods. Once you are able to make the distinction between “diet” foods and really good-for-you foods, you will never diet again, yet you’ll be healthier than you’ve ever been. That’s my hope anyway.

In health,

Nicki


Creating Your New “Normal”

By Nicki On March 6, 2011 1 Comment

Seriously?

After working with clients for close to 20 years and keeping 50 pounds off for more than 30 years, I am all too familiar with the challenges weight loss efforts bring.  I feel confident in saying that much of the weight issues in our country stem from two very basic things, poor nutrition and little exercise. Yet as much as exercise and better nutrition is encouraged, motivation is still lacking for many.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, when you look at obesity numbers from 40 years ago, they pale in comparison to the numbers today, why? Lifestyle, pure and simple.  People eat too much, they eat too much of the wrong food (convenient, high-sugar, processed, fried foods) and move too little, thanks to the internet and modern conveniences. Given that most of you probably know all this, there is something that I feel is missing when educating people about developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and that is, the ability to create a new normal.

40 years ago, normal meant being naturally active, people mowed their own lawns, cleaned their own homes, washed their own cars (if they had one), actually got up to change the television channel, (gasp!)  fast food restaurants were rare and most often was ice cream was eaten at birthdays only.

Compare that to today’s lifestyle, many people hire out so calories that were expended around the house are stored. Fast food restaurants have become the norm, (since the 70’s fast food restaurants available in the US has tripled). Processed snacks are advertised on television as if  a necessity. There’s no longer the need to change our televisions because many are watching it on their computer while playing games, or reading the paper or checking out sport stats. The new normal is inactivity and overeating. However, maybe it’s time to consider creating  a different normal, one that is realistic for today’s lifestyle, but necessary for improving the quality of health in this country.

Why not make regular exercise the new normal? Why not make eating more vegetables and seeking a more plant based diet your new normal? Why does everything have to be a “diet” to lose weight or always a structured form of exercise and activity? Why not simply change (gradually) the way you choose to eat and find ways to include more movement in your daily life, creating your new normal?

The truth is that we have made this 40 year lifestyle shift a money-making machine for a lot of people, i.e. diet programs, weight loss supplements, surgeries, and countless pharmaceuticals.   Global Weight Loss and Gain Market (2009 – 2014)’, published by MarketsandMarkets, said the total global weight loss market is expected to be worth US$586.3 billion by 2014.  Add in all the processed foods (which at times I think work in conjunction with weight loss programs,”We help people gain the weight, you have them lose it”). It becomes a vicious cycle and a win-win for these companies, and to what end? The weight loss and processed food manufacturers may be winning, but clearly we are losing everything but the weight we need to be healthy.

It really is about creating a new, healthy normal. Look at the “natural” activity that was the norm 40 years ago. Granted, you may not have time to clean your home, or wash your car or mow your own lawn, which is fine, but you’re going to need to make up that lack of activity somewhere. Find YOUR new normal, find YOUR way of becoming more active every single day which used to be the norm. Find ways to eat better food more often and realize that processed food is preventing you from creating a naturally, healthy lifestyle, your new normal. What are you going to do about it? Are you willing to take action and decide that it’s time to create your new normal or are you willing to sit back and continue with what has become our country’s normal, a disease based lifestyle.

Nicki


Dr. Oz – Just 10 lbs.

By Nicki On October 11, 2010 No Comments
Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz

This past week, I once again has the pleasure of  meeting with Dr. Oz and the Fox Chicago “Ozzer’s.”  Dr. Oz wanted to talk to the Chicago group about their weight loss challenges and successes since starting his weight loss challenge in January.  Dr. Oz offered everyone an opportunity to ask questions. Many of the questions were poignant and probably ones you might have wanted to ask as well. “How do I stay motivated when my family isn’t behind me?” ” I am 46 years old and exercise regularly, yet I still find myself gaining weight?” “I’ve only lost 35 pounds in a year, and I’m frustrated, it should be coming off faster.”  Dr. Oz, in his kind way, responded to these questions as I had hoped, with practical, insightful and reasonable responses.

Dr. Oz, like me, believes that weight loss and finding a healthy weight is different for everyone. In other words, not everyone is meant to be 5’8″ tall and 130  pounds, not the way we were designed. He believes that any amount of weight loss triggers positive changes in the body and results in improved health. Dr. Oz also noted that anything extreme or crazy is always going to be temporary and his goal, like me, is for people to find a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable.

There is so much misinformation about weight loss. So often, clients come in for the first time with their head spinning. With the profile that Dr. Oz has, it’s so nice to see that he is spreading the word that small changes can add up to better health. I’ve been touting that for years and finally, I have a respected voice that echoes that same sentiment.

So what can losing simply 10 pounds do for you?

Well, Dr. Oz stresses that even losing 10 pounds can make a huge difference in your health.

“The benefits of losing just 10 pounds are enormous for your heart, liver, knees, pancreas and blood pressure. The incidence of heart disease, diabetes and arthritis can be cut in half,” said Dr. Oz.

So there you have it, just 10 pounds can make a positive difference in your health and quality of life. If you’re local, hopefully you can join me either on October 13th or October 20th at 7:00 p.m. as I share my thoughts and insight into why weight loss alludes us and how you can begin and sustain a healthy, manageable weight and why just 10  pounds can be the start to a longer, healthier life!

Here’s to your healthy living success!

Nicki

BTW, it’s not too late to join the Fox Chicago “Oz” group.


Weight! You’ve Got It All Wrong!

By Nicki On July 31, 2010 2 Comments
I love my garden!

I love my garden!

For the past 20 years, I have worked to inspire others to start and maintain a dedication to healthy living. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s a passion of mine that makes what I do very rewarding. Since I started in this business,  much has changed. If you’re like me, you’ve probably jumped on the fat-free bandwagon, the oat bandwagon, low-carb, high-carb and any other “health” fad that came across weight loss radar. Like millions of people, if news was reporting that fat-free could save your life, by God fat-free was for me! However, in the last 5 or so years, I have come to understand that health and wellness information is like anything else we read, there are a hundred sides to every story. This means that it’s ultimately up to us to read, research and find out what is best for us and our body. What’s good for your sister, might not be the same for you.

In 20 years, the one constant I have found that is that weight loss is elusive for many because of nutrition. Yeah, yeah, exercise is certainly part of the equation but if push comes to shove and I have to pick, I would say that poor nutrition, or better said, confused nutrition is the reason that so many people struggle with weight. C’mon, how many times have you started an exercise program only to find that within 6 weeks the weight you’d lost was marginal and soon after tiring of the “diet” the weight came back, and then some?

I recently started training a new client. He’s very out of shape and for a young man, has lost control of nutrition. Additionally, like many other Americans, his job prevents him from keeping a regular exercise schedule alive. He’s pushing 50 and has been told by his doctor that changes need to be made or he’ll be on meds within 2 years. He came to me for exercise assistance and though we discussed the options for exercise, when it came to nutrition he said, “Well if I’m exercising, it really doesn’t matter, right?” WRONG!  He believed that he would be burning off calories so that anything he ate wouldn’t matter. There’s two things here, first, people don’t often exercise hard enough or regular enough to create a consistent deficit = sustainable weight loss. That’s a common misconception. Second, no matter how much you exercise, the fuel that you put in to your body DOES matter. It’s no different than saying it doesn’t matter if you pour a gallon of paint in to the gas tank of your car. Um, yeah, it might make a difference. Same with food, you put junk in, low quality food and that’s what you get, feeling “icky” and low energy.

When I shared with my client that food was the majority of the weight loss puzzle he said, ” I wouldn’t know where to start, further, I have a very busy job.”  I understand that all too well. So I encouraged him to first write down for a couple of weeks what he’s putting in  his mouth. I think we can all agree that very often we’ll pay little attention to the quality of food we’re eating as long as we’re satisfied, right? Once he has an idea on  his eating habits, where, why, what, THEN he can begin to address small changes here and there that don’t seem catastrophic to his current lifestyle. The truth is that many people aren’t willing to be inconvenienced by healthy changes, so the changes have to be small enough that they don’t seem that life altering. Make sense?

We are country that’s in a mess when talking about diet and exercise, there’s no doubt. But there is so much garbage, and promises of “easy” weight loss, that so many simply give-up because the task to lose weight and get healthy is daunting. For starters, ask yourself, “What do I want to change and why?” If you can answer that question with a response that will keep you focused, you can start making small changes. Start with something as basic as drinking more water. If you’re a diet soda drinker, strive to eliminate soda gradually from your diet. If you eat a lot of meat, try cooking some meals without meat (the internet is full of great recipes). If you’re a snacker, what is the quality of snacks you’re eating? If it’s chips, opt for a handful of almonds, or some rice crackers (not cakes, crackers) and a small bit of hummus.  A bowl of fruit. We have gotten so far away from the foods we’re meant to eat and instead ended up in the land of processed foods and it’s killing us. Start paying more attention to ingredients in your foods, sodium amounts, additives and quantity of food, we eat waaaaay too much food. If you’re a sugar person, how can you start today, by reducing the amount of sugar in your diet? Do you eat plenty of vegetables each day? If not, how can you begin to incorporate more. These are a lot of questions, but start with just one thing, when you feel you’ve mastered it, move on to another change and so on and so on.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you cannot expect to change unhealthy habits in a week, a month or even a year. I personally still strive to improve my diet and knowledge of nutrition every single day. I am a firm believer in “food and mood,”  when I eat well, I feel well. There is so much confusion about weight loss and nutrition it can make your head spin. Take it slow, listen to your body after you eat, what is it telling you? Your body is an amazing machine, trust that it has the ability to tell you what it needs and then be kind enough to respond positively.

There’s nothing more valuable than learning about healthy habits that can positively impact your life. Trial and error is part of  the process, but if you don’t try, you’ll never know what opportunities are out there just waiting for you!

Here’s to a healthier you!

Nicki

Some of my favorite books: An End to Overeating by Dr. David Kessler

101 Optimal Life Foods by David Grotto, RD, LDN

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Second Nature, A Gardners Education by Michael Pollan


Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the “Weight” Basket

By Nicki On February 21, 2010 3 Comments

This past week I met with a client that I have been working with for a couple of months. He came in and shared his disappointment at gaining 7 pounds despite his level of hard work.  What do you say to someone who is looking to feel successful through weight loss only? How do you encourage someone to get past “the weight” and focus on all of the other accomplishments that have been made over the 2 months? Education.

When starting to lose weight or embarking on a weight loss program you’ve got to remember some very important things folks, you cannot expect a body that’s been mistreated for years to turn around in weeks, it doesn’t work that way. Further, after years of inactivity and poor nutrition, every one has a different point at which their body finally trusts the positive changes and begins to respond, i.e. metabolic weight loss.  In other words, building muscle and improving overall performance takes time. The  most important thing you can do is be consistent. If you start exercising like a mad-dog and eating only carrots and celery, sure, you might lose weight right away, but where will you be in 3 or 4 weeks? Back where you started, why? Because who can subsist on carrots and celery and hours of exercise? Very few people.

Look, when you’re looking to lose weight it’s got to be because you want to GET HEALTHY! Remember my friends, weight loss is simply a by-product of changing your lifestyle. People have it backwards, they put all of their eggs in to the weight loss basket when in reality they should be distributing their eggs in the nutrition basket, exercise basket, stress-relief basket and finally weight loss basket. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, you’ll never find the balance or the secret to long-term success.

From a practical perspective, what is the reason most people want to lose weight? Too feel better, right? So consider changing your priorities around and let lifestyle changes take the driver’s seat. You see if you focus on the things that change positively, consistency is more likely to follow. If you’re just looking at the weight loss piece, and it’s not forthcoming (in the unrealistic way many believe it will) you’ll quit and go back to bad habits. Yet bad habits are exactly what you’re trying to get rid of if you really want to lose weight. Are you with me?

So, bottom line, you want to lose weight, start making the changes necessary to make that happen but rather than focus on the numbers on the scale, focus on the everyday improvement you can notice right away. If health isn’t an issue, that go ahead and stop eating for a week, you’ll lose weight. But if your real goal is to feel better and change the quality of your life, there is no argument, lifestyle changes are the most important strategy. Just make them appropriate, realistic and measurable. Keep a journal, celebrate your progress and you may find that all of those lifestyle changes over time have not only greatly improved the quality of your life, you’ve lost some weight too!


The Truth Lies in Experience

By Nicki On January 10, 2010 No Comments
Jimmy Moore after losing 180 pounds
Jimmy Moore before discovering Livin La Vida Low-Carb

Jimmy Moore ...Before and After

I have been in the health and fitness industry for over 25 years. And the one thing I have found is there are thosein the industry that spend their life trying to educate you honestly on realizing a healthy body, while others tell you what you want to hear, rarely delivering.

In addition to understanding the black and white of the health and fitness world, I have had an opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people, one of those is Jimmy Moore. You may have heard of Livin’ La Vida Low Carb and if you have, it all started with Jimmy Moore who has lost 180 pounds and has kept it off for more than 5 years now! Between you and me, those are the kind of people you want to listen to. And in his new book, 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb:How the Healthy Low-Carb Lifestyle Changed Everything I Thought I Knew, Jimmy shares his journey, some amazing insight and most of all honesty about the process and his desire to change the weight of the world.

As a fitness professional, it is my job to communicate honestly and without false promises. I’m a realist and although some of my thoughts are boring, the fact is that like Jimmy, I lost weight (50 pounds) and have kept it off for close to 30 years. I tell it the way it is, and so does Jimmy. I love that about him, you can hear his Southern warmth in all of his words, honest and passionate. But even more, Jimmy doesn’t just spout off his philosophy without backing it up, he does his homework. And whether you agree with his philosophy and findings or not, you will be impressed by the research information in his book. It’s all thought provoking.

There are few things that I am willing to endorse based on my years of experience, but Jimmy’s book is an interesting, warm, straight to the point read. If you’ve been struggling with weight, remember, your inspiration comes from many sources. I encourage you to check out Jimmy’s book, read about his journey and learn how incorporating a healthy low-carb (or as I fondly refer to, low carbage) nutrition program can change your life as it has changed Jimmy’s.


Change Comes From Wanting It

By Nicki On December 8, 2009 No Comments

I started training a new client and as new clients often do, he asked me about nutrition. He started off his question by saying, “I know what you’re going to say, but what do you think about diet soda?” I smiled and asked, “Well, what do you think I’m going to say?”  He responded, “Well, you’re going to say it’s bad for me, right?”

The truth is that most people know what is  healthy to put in to their body, while others, not so much. When people are looking to lose weight or change their lifestyle, almost ALL of the people I have worked with know what they need to do but the truth is that, they simply aren’t willing to make the changes.Why? Because they’re over the top, unreasonable.

I believe the reason weight loss efforts are often unsuccessful is due in part to not wanting to change. After all, due to the diet mentality many people have, they feel that healthy living must be an all or nothing proposition, not true. Diets don’t work because they ARE all or nothing. Healthy living works because it’s real life. It’s good days with not so good days. But one bad day doesn’t deem you a failure, unfortunately, diets have instilled that belief, hence the short lived weight loss efforts.

So here’s my quarters worth. If you really want to lose weight, really want to make some changes, WANT the changes you’re making. For example, if someone told me I could never again eat pizza, I don’t know if I could do that, seriously. But if I knew that a couple of times a month, I can have some pizza, that’s cool. If changes are practical and will ultimately provide a return, you’re going to want to do it. But if you’re setting yourself up to make some over the top changes, you’re really not going to want to because you’ll feel deprived and know that ultimately you’ll fail. How is that enticing?

Bottom line, make changes that make sense for you so the changes are what you WANT to do. The more changes you make, the better you’ll feel, providing they’re reasonable. If you make realistic changes, you’ll stay consistent. My 80/20 rule is best. 80 percent of the time, eat well and exercise, 20 percent is life. You can make changes, just make sure they are changes that you’re willing to make, for the long term. That’s the secret to success!

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The Evolution of Thanksgiving

By Nicki On November 28, 2009 1 Comment

I hope you all had a great, great Thanksgiving. I had a great Thanksgiving, mostly because 3 of my 4 children were home, it’s the greatest.

As the food preparation ensued for the Thanksgiving feast, I heard people say, “Well, better eat all I can today, because Thanksgiving only comes along once a year!” Hearing that more than once got me to thinking. Given the obesity issues in our country, it seems that Thanksgiving is no longer a once a year occurrence but an every day one. How so? Well, people regularly eat large portions, high calorie, high sodium foods that aren’t necessarily healthy, but sure taste good. There actually was a time, where food in abundance (as on Thanksgiving) was truly an annual event. Unfortunately, in our fast-food world, the abundance of food is not only a common occurrence, it’s certainly isn’t met with appreciation rather a right.

Perhaps that’s the reason obesity is so prevalent, food is not appreciated or met with gratitude but simply expected- in mass quantities. It’s all about pleasing the palette vs. strengthening the body and giving the body what it needs. If you look back on history, the first Thanksgiving was all about the gratitude of the food that was available. Today, we take food for granted and eat without thinking about it, and shovel away.

I believe if we thought more about the ceremony and meaning of Thanksgiving vs. viewing it as an opportunity to pig out, we might look at the food we eat differently. Imagine, getting back to basics with food, only eating what can be hunted, caught, gathered from the ground or plucked from a tree or vine. If we had to “work” for food vs. drive-thru, our attitudes and selections might be different.

Unfortunately, it seems that for many, Thanksgiving is more about how much a human can consume in a day vs. the gratitude and appreciation for actually having food to eat. Not to be a killjoy, but rather than making the holidays about food, try to make it more about the reason for the celebration. Going through the holidays with the mindset of eating with appreciation vs. pigging out because it’s the holidays, may just save you from having to once again, use January 1st as your day of redemption.

Happy Thanksgiving!