Last week I attended and lectured at IHRSA(International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) 2013 Trade Show. IHRSA is a trade organization serving the health and fitness club industry with over 14,000 club members from 80 different countries. If you want to know what’s going on in the health and fitness world, you’ll find it here.
I shared the platform with my co-presenter Lisa Taylor. Lisa is from the U.K. and owns an organization called Momenta. Momenta is probably one of the most practical, medical and science based weight management programs I’ve ever seen. It’s not in the U.S.yet, but Momenta plans to seek out pilot sites in the U.S. this fall. (If you’re a fit pro interested in piloting a program, visit their website).
Our presentation was, Reducing the Global Weight Epidemic: Delivering Successful, Evidence Based Weight Management Programs. The gist of our presentation was to provide insight in to the obesity crisis and what we’re missing. The really interesting thing is although I was co-presenting with Lisa and she’s from the U.K., she shared some of the most startling information about obesity in our country. Below are just a few of the stats she shared. Some may surprise you.
- 2011- 65% of US citizens overweight or obese, by 2018 -75% of US citizens overweight or obese . The US has the highest rate of overweight and obesity in the world.
- Obesity is affecting our national security- *Since 1995, the proportion of recruits that failed their physical exams because they were overweight has increased by 70%.
- *27 percent of 17 to 24-year-olds in the United States are too fat to serve in the military. That’s 9 million potential recruits!
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Ironically, health clubs and diet programs have also grown dramatically.
The bottom line is this, as someone who spent 30 years in the health and fitness industry we don’t seem to be improving the health of our country. In fact, the healthy are getting healthier while the obese are not being properly educated, inspired or invited in to health clubs. Clearly, the health and fitness industry is missing something. Don’t you agree?
As someone who lost 50 pounds over 30 years ago, I never felt welcome when I walked in to a health club. I still hear that from people today. I have always purported that the health and fitness industry turns away the exact people they need to attract. Again, how can health clubs continue to proliferate right along with obesity? It doesn’t make any sense.
I encourage you to keep an eye on Momenta. It is the first program that takes in to consideration, not only the nutritional and physical aspect of weight loss and weight management, but the psychological component as well. A triage for success.
In my humble estimation, something has got to change and it needs to start with how we’re educating and inspiring those that are not naturally active nor has access to practical, honest education about health. What do you think we’re missing? I have my thoughts but would love to hear yours.
Here’s to never wishing for more time rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On August 7, 2012 No Comments
Though the Olympics play a rather large role in getting people active again, it’s a bit of a paradox when these average every day folks see Olympians touting their devotion to fast-food restaurants and junk food, primarily McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. These companies are the proud Olympic Partners.
Wait, let’s see if I’m getting this right, the most stellar physical athletes in the world claim that junk food is their go-to food when training and performing? I’m not buying it, but unfortunately plenty of other people will because, “Heck, if it’s good enough for Olympic athletes, it’s good enough for me!”
In my opinion, there’s a sense of responsibility on behalf of the Olympics and the athletes. Remember the scuttlebutt over American Olympic uniforms being made in China? People were aghast. Doesn’t the fact that hamburgers, fries and soda are being condoned by athletes and the Olympics ruffle a few feathers, somewhere?
The athletes are doing their fair share of getting the junk food message into the living rooms of families watching the events. LeBron James, Loul Deng, Apollo Ono, Shaun Johnson and others are pitching foods that just don’t connect to their performance and physical fitness. It doesn’t make sense to me. Oh wait, I hear a “ching,ching” in the background- money. That’s right, that silly little thing that often trumps just about everything else, integrity, health of our country (which by the way has a huge obesity issue) and well, good old fashioned conscious.
Though we are incredibly proud of the performance these athletes have executed, the blatant promotion of “carbage” is somehow disheartening. I will say, Subway stays away from deep fried foods and does offer veggie sandwiches. But for the most part, junk food is NOT what allows these athletes to perform at such a high level. Basically, it’s false advertising.
Some will ask, “What’s the big deal with having junk food once in awhile?” Well, the fact is that there are those who understand moderation, but tell that to an 8 year old who loves the gymnasts and sees them promoting McDonald’s, suddenly that is what she’s going to clamor for. If he or she is lucky enough, she’ll have a parent that understands moderation. But for many others (remember the obesity issue I mentioned earlier?) not the case. Bottom line, it’s a mixed message, pure and simple.
I have to give kudos to Ryan Lochte, who obviously didn’t let the endorsement cash get to him. He gave up junk food two years ago. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard anyone praise his efforts not only from a physical fitness and health standpoint, but for someone who didn’t get sucked in by a multi-million dollar contract.
I’m certainly not a purist, but when it comes to inspiring the next generation of athletes, there is some responsibility that should be realized by the Olympics and the athletes. In my opinion, promoting fast-food restaurants and soda is no different than promoting Marlboro reds after a long workout. (Yes, junk food can contribute to cancer). LeBron, got a light?
Here’s to your health!
By Nicki On January 29, 2012 2 Comments
If they were looking for volunteers, I’d be the first one in line to help teach kids about healthy living. There is clearly a shortage of health education for kids these days, and if it is being taught, it’s not being taught well.
Full disclosure, years ago, I fed my kids fun fruits and fruit roll-ups. Yes, we went to McDonald’s and Burger King. I potty trained my kids with M&M’s, yes, I did all the things I shouldn’t have done. But that was before I knew something wasn’t right. When I was pregnant, I made every effort to eat whole, pure food. Why should I feed them differently now? So, I made the decision to educate myself on food and the ramifications of feeding kids garbage, I reigned in, much to their disappointment.
I have been working with obese/inactive adults for almost 20 years. In the last 5 years, I have had a surge in Mother’s coming to be me with their young daughters, 11, 12, 13. “They just won’t stop eating. Their siblings are thin, their friends are thin, so I just want her to feel comfortable in her body and lose some weight.” All of this said in front of their child. I often ask parents what types of foods they buy at home, “Well, the other kids know when to stop, they don’t over eat some of the junk food I buy. Plus they’re really active. She just can’t eat that stuff.” My reply, “Well, why do you buy it?” Mother’s response, “Why should I have to punish the other kids when they don’t have a problem?” Hmmm, punishment = taking away junk food. And this my friends is where the problem starts.
Recently, there’s been some controversy over a new ad campaign in Georgia (which has the 2nd highest obesity rate for children) utilizing obese kids to get a message across; fat is bad. Some people are mortified by them, while others think they will have a positive impact. Me, I’m not so sure. As an obese teen, I find the ads offensive and ineffective. First of all, the photos should be of the whole family, not just the child. Second, I think a child that is 8 or 9 years old is being exploited and stigmatized. You don’t think kids will be bullied or teased when they see these ads? One of the ads, “Big bones didn’t make me this way, big meals did,” will surely result in teasing on the playground. A more positive approach would be a picture of an entire family that says: “A healthy child is the result of a healthy home.” or “A fit child, comes from a fit family.” Bottom line, FAMILIES need to be educated on food and how they feed their children. Just because children are active in sports does not justify a run to a fast food restaurant following practice. Parents will tell me, “Well, we don’t have time to cook a big meal, drive-thrus are just easier.” Well, they may be easier, but that’s not setting your child up for success when the shopping is ultimately u p to them.
Further, most parents are bound and determined to see that their kids do well in school and in life, shouldn’t nutrition and exercise be part of their rearing? 40 years ago, it was different, but today, it should be mandatory for every family that has a kindergarten age child, go to a class that teaches families the value in raising kids with healthy food and lifestyle. Even in low income areas, you could get volunteers teaching famlies how to eat healthy on a budget. (A girl can dream, can’t she?) A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is far better than a fast-food burger, or jumbo sandwich.
We, the parents are responsible for our children, and it is up to us to see that our children learn the importance of eating well and staying healthy. What they learn about nutrition now, they will carry through to their adult years. They won’t always be playing soccer or running track, so introducing healthy eating and reasonable ways to stay active, should not be done just for inactive kids, it should be for ALL kids.
I’m not crazy about the ad campaign, I feel that there could be a much more tactful, effective way to get the message out about childhood obesity. The people who came up with the campaign believe that the “shock and awe” value is what’s needed to wake people up to the problem of childhood obesity. I’m not so sure I agree. I think the only thing that is going to help, is educating families on what constitutes healthy eating and it needs to start from birth.
We can’t blame schools, vending machines, ads, fast-food restaurants for the obesity epidemic, rather it’s up to us to do the research, understand how junk food and fast-food compromises our health and begin making positive changes for ourselves. That way, we will be better equipped to pass it on to the next generation without feeling the need to objectify kids to make a point.
Here’s to your health!
By Nicki On January 18, 2012 2 Comments
First of all, thanks for your years of smiles and serious comfort food. Thank you for your inspirational journey that got you where you are today. As a celebrity chef, you’re up there with Chef Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, and the other chefs who cook to entertain and teach us how make great comfort, amazing tasting food.I love watching them cook, but I know it’s not a part of my everyday menu. How’s about one of my favorites, Guy Fieri? There’s nothin’ healthy about his shows. But he’s an entertainer! Honestly, I think the fast-food industry has done more to promote obesity than cooking shows.
None of the chefs on T.V. have ever touted the nutritional aspects of their food (unless shows state it such as Elie Krieger), simply the goodness of their food. They have never talked about their weight, their pre-existing conditions, etc. Why? Because chefs cook! Julia Child? I’m not recalling a heart-healthy recipe that she made, she was a French Chef. Her cooking show was not designed to have people eat like that all the time, simply entertainment.
Football stars use drugs, movie stars go to shrinks, basketball stars have chronic injuries and the list of “hidden” issues with entertainers goes on and on. Chefs are no different. However, when entertainers get busted, it’s a solid opportunity to “make good” and teach, educate and hopefully motivate their followers to learn what they could have done differently to avoid their predicament. Unfortunately, Paula, you haven’t done that. For example, when an athlete or politician gets called on the carpet, they apologize, make nice and say what they would have done differently. Given your down home charm and candor, my hope was that you would have done that, though with far more sincerity. I expected something to come from your heart, not as a talking piece for a pharmaceutical company.
I wished that the chef that I’ve come to know would have been straight with the media and shared something like this, “Look ya’ll, I love to eat, it’s what I do, it’s what I know, and how I’ve made my life. My show is my profession, I’ll never stop sharing great recipes just as other chefs won’t stop sharing their variety of food. Perhaps I should’ve had a disclaimer for my viewers (insert laugh in here), but in fact, it is what it is. I’m not a big fan of exercise, and I love the foods that I make. But now I’ve realize I have to pay the piper. If I had to do it over again, I’d rather not be diabetic. Although it’s not a death sentence, if not monitored and maintained correctly via, diet and exercise, it can be fatal. I have to be on medication now, but with my changes in lifestyle, I may not have to be forever. Listen ya’ll, don’t wait to be diagnosed, nip it in the bud now so you don’t have to be on medication.”
You could have been the perfect spokesperson for changing your lifestyle. Unfortunately, it seems some talking heads got in to your head, and set you up for the possibility of losing your show. So, now you’re a spokesperson for some drug company, really? Bad call. Your audience is smarter than that, they would have understood, and perhaps that could have been your platform to inspire your viewers to be more proactive with their health. But instead, you’re touting medication over lifestyle. Watching you on the Today show made me sad. You never ONCE said, “Ya’ll I am just not a good exerciser, I need to quit smoking, but I’m gonna work on it and I’m gonna work on getting my lifestyle in check.” It shows you’re human. But you didn’t, instead you focused on the medication and praised the drug company (I refuse to give them any more attention) vs. talking about lifestyle adjustment. With all due respect, diabetes IS preventable, and you never said that. Shame.
I don’t think this would be the big deal it has become if you had only been up front, like the Paula so many have come to love. But instead, you sold out and didn’t speak the honest truth. It a shame that fame can make losing your fortune more important than losing your health.
Nicki Anderson, Health and Fitness Advocate
By Nicki On December 26, 2011 No Comments
I’ve been involved with the health and fitness industry since 1979. For some that was a hundred years ago, for others, it seems like yesterday! I got involved with the industry after losing 50 pounds that found its way on to my unsuspecting body. I had always been a “toothpick”. My sister used to say to me, “Some day all of that ice cream you eat will catch up with you.” She was right, it did.
When I lost weight, I did it the old fashioned way. I went from a completely sedentary lifestyle to riding a bike most days of the week. I gave up my penchant for fast food and started cooking at home. I was only 17, but knew that if I didn’t make a change, it was going to get ugly. I made the change.
Over the last 20 years (I got back in to the business after my kids were older), I have committed myself to inspiring others to get healthy, to change their life and experience the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Little did I know how hard it would be, and how many snake oil sales men/women out there would tempt, cajole and lie their way into those lives of people desperately seeking a weight loss miracle.
My first book came out in 2000, and the message in that book is no different than my message of today, “If you want to lose weight, focus on lifestyle change as weight loss is a byproduct of healthy changes.” If weight loss was truly a motivating factor, obesity would be a non-issue.
So here is my promise to you as we enter 2012:
1. I promise never to tell you that I can help you “melt” away fat.
2. I promise never to tell you that you can lose 20 pounds in 20 days.
3. I promise never to tell you that weight loss is fast and easy.
4. I promise never to tell you that without changing a thing, you can lose weight.
5. I promise never to tell you that fad diets work.
6. I promise to educate you on the steps necessary to make change.
7. I promise to assess your readiness and be honest if I feel you’re just not ready to commit to change. I can’t force anyone to make changes, it has be of their own volition.
8. I promise to support and encourage you to make healthy changes, but I cannot make the changes for you.
9. I promise to always give you the latest in health and fitness education, and if I don’t know the answer to something, I will find it for you.
10. I promise to never give up on you, even when you do. Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy, it takes time, patience, desire and hard work. I promise to take the time, have the patience and desire to support your hard work!
As a health and fitness professional, it’s my job to steer you away from the dangerous, short-term programs out there. And this time of year, the diet predators are out in full force. The ONLY way, and I mean the ONLY way to recover your good health and a healthy body is dedication to regular exercise and a whole food diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. There is no secret, there is no magic, never has been, only the truth, and that is what I promise to tell you each and every day!
Here’s to a healthy you in 2012!
By Nicki On September 5, 2011 No Comments
When I got up this morning and the thermometer read 58 degrees outside, I found myself excited about the arrival of fall. Some of you may think I’m nuts, (I SO love summer), but there is something about the fall air that brings a different kind of energy to great walks or runs. The crisp air seems to energize me and the first smell of a fireplace burning, well, nothing better. Though I look forward to the changing leaves, and gorgeous fall scenery, it’s important to consider exercise plans for the fall/winter season. After all, as the seasons change so does our lifestyle.
Truth be told, once winter weather hits, I’m a wimp. If the temperature drops below 35 degrees F, I’m subjected to my dreary basement and the mundane treadmill run, (yawn). But my best bet to stay motivated is to lay out my goals for spring which conveniently dictates my fall/winter exercise plan. Not only does this strategy help to keep me consistent during a challenging time of year, when spring rolls around, I’m ready to realize my hard work through either a faster run, a further bike ride or my most recent discovery, a better triathlon. (I tried a Tri and I liked it!) The point is, if you have something specific that you’re planning for, you’re far more likely to stay on task and consistent with your exercise routine. We’re all too familiar with the New Year’s resolution dissolution come February, right? The best way to avoid that is to PLAN for something special. It could be your first 5k walk. Plan for a specific time that you’d like to complete the walk, or seek to reach a certain number of walks per month.
Along with staying focus on exercise during the winter months, don’t forget about nutrition planning as well. As seasons change, so do the foods people crave. (For those of you lucky enough to be in warm weather 365, it may not be the same ). If you’re a gardener, consider canning or freezing your harvest. If you’re not in to that, pay attention to produce that is seasonal. There is nothing better than that first roasted butternut squash!
Don’t let a change in weather derail your best intentions. A healthy lifestyle isn’t seasonal, it’s constant. Lay out your exercise and nutrition plans today to help you stay on track and get through what to some, is the most challenging time of year!
Cheers to your health,
By Nicki On March 6, 2011 1 Comment
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.
By Nicki On February 10, 2011 4 Comments
This morning while I was doing my run on my treadmill (-5 makes outside running no fun for me), I was channel checking and came across the Oprah show. She had Jennifer Hudson on her show so I stayed glued as I listened to her weight loss story. Jennifer shared how she’s lost her weight and even included some family members that have experienced their own weight loss success. Jennifer has found success with Weight Watchers, but beyond that Jennifer has found success through a strong support network and most important she is making her exercise FUN! It was a great show because it discussed the natural challenges that come with weight loss as well as the importance of taking it slow, believing you can change and having a strong support system.
So last night, I was thrilled when I hosted my monthly 6-Week Weight Loss Challenge and had a guest speaker, Diane Mayr who is one of our clients that has been through the challenge. She told her story to the group of people coming to learn more about our 6-Week program. When Diane started sharing her story, going back to before she started with the challenge, I was blown away. Even though I’ve been working with Diane since October, hearing her story, reminded me once again of her transformation. I must admit, that our 6-Week Weight Loss Challenge has been an amazing success, but when you hear individual stories, you’re reminded why HEALTHY weight loss is the only way to go.
Diane shared that to date, (it’s been 16 weeks) she has lost a total of 30 pounds. When she came to me she was using a cane to walk because her knees were so bad. She said, “I can skip up a flight of stairs now.” She shared how she has learned to LIVE healthy not diet. Her husband joined her and shared what he has witnessed with Diane and how proud he is of her. She chalks up having support and journaling as key ingredients to long term success, much like Hudson has. But above and beyond Diane’s moving story, the 2 things that she pointed out that really are key with any program, “You have to be ready. You cannot change if you’re not ready. You can do anything for 3 or 4 weeks like I did and lose a little bit of weight, but if you want REAL change, you have to be willing to make some hard decisions. As for my exercise, Nicki gives me new things to do all the time, so I haven’t gotten bored like I did with other programs. When boredom sets in, I quit.”
At the end of the day, whatever route to take to discover the healthiest you, you must be ready to make changes. You must take the path that makes the most sense for you and one that you know you’ll continue. With Jennifer Hudson’s program and Diane’s program, they both found a solid support system, they were ready to change and they made exercise fun.
There really isn’t a miracle “diet” out there, it’s just the willingness to change and the determination and committment to be your best. Are you ready for change?
Congratulations Diane, we at Reality fitness are SO proud of you. By the way, I will be sharing other success stories from our clients. So far our program has helped our clients lose over 130 pounds (the numbers keep going up and the success stories keep coming. How exciting is that?)
By Nicki On February 2, 2011 No Comments
Since I lost my weight close to 30 years ago, I find that the biggest culprit of successful, long-term weight loss for people is unrealistic expectations. People see magazine covers or television shows, or award shows and assume that the way the models and stars of Hollywood look is the way they should look. It’s unfortunate that this has become the goal for many of my clients including kids, not good.
When people are setting weight loss goals, I often remind them that the best “goal” weight is a living weight. What is a living weight? It’s the amount you weigh that is sustainable, healthy and realistic. In other words, if you lose weight and have to starve yourself and exercise 24/7 simply to maintain the weight, that’s not your living weight. If you find that you’re constantly weighing yourself and skipping meals just to stay at your “ideal” weight, it’s not your living weight. If you’re constantly obsessing over your weight, it’s not a living weight.
If you’re in the process of or considering losing weight, it’s important you keep reality at the forefront of any positive changes. Consider the following:
- Remember, if you’re starving yourself to lose weight, it’s not going to be sustainable.
- If you’re working out for 2-3 hrs or more a day, 7 days a week, your weight loss will not be sustainable.
- If you’re embarking on a dietary change, make sure that the changes you’re making are manageable. Now keep in mind, most people eat too much, but gradual changes are more likely to be permanent changes vs. cutting down to 1200 cals per day.
- If you’re obsessed with your weight loss and weighing yourself every day to see if you’ve gained back any weight, that’s not a living weight.
- Living weight is all about the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time exercise most days of the week as well as eat more healthfully. 20% of the time is life, vacations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
- Living weight is not about perfect, it’s about potential. Every one has the potential to make healthy changes to achieve a healthy, living weight.
- Living weight is a reasonable weight. Remember, height and weight charts are average and miss certain variables, including one that I consider to be most important, genetics. It’s not to say that if you come from family that is obese, you can’t change the cycle, but if you’re large boned, you have to take that in to account and not shoot for a weight that someone the same height, although small boned would weigh. It’s unique for everyone.
- Living weight is not about comparing. If you’re eating well most of the time, (eliminating fried and processed foods), exercising regularly, you’ll be where you need to be.
Living weight is just that, striving for good health but living in the process.
Here’s to YOUR living weight!
By Nicki On January 23, 2011 No Comments
Since implementing our 6-week Weight Loss Challenge at my studio, I have really enjoyed the dramatic changes some of our clients have made and continue to make. In my 20 plus years in this business, creating this challenge is simply a culmination of all that I have learned both personally and professionally about successful, sustainable weight loss. So what is it that has made this challenge work for our clients? It’s a number of things, but most important I believe is the emphasis on real life changes.
For years, people have been dieting and begrudgingly exercising all in an effort to lose weight. And one of two things happens, they either lose the weight and then go back to their previous lifestyle (which caused the weight gain to begin with) or they give up because change is not coming fast enough. Why? Because they never learn real life strategies, simply dieting strategies which is not sustainable. People need a whole different approach to weight loss. See, the thing is that people KNOW how to lose weight, but how do they sustain it? Only by learning practical strategies to change their lifestyle for good makes weight loss sustainable. It means teaching folks to be more active on a day-to-day basis in addition to formal exercise. Remember, most folks are sitting about 16 hours a day, not good. Go back a few generations when people cleaned their own homes, mowed their own lawn, walked or biked more than drove, etc. I call that active living. People MUST get back into being more active on a daily basis otherwise this horrific trend of diabetes, obesity and other weight related diseases will continue.
Next is food, look, we are a mess in this country when it comes to food. The book that best describes our food debacle is Mark Bittman’s Food Matters, read it. If you don’t change the way you eat after reading this book, I’d be surprised. We eat too much and too much of the wrong things. Processed foods dominate our daily intake and most people are getting their vegetables when served on a hamburger or as a garnish. People walk down the street carrying their gargantuan sugar laden or “pretend” sugar, no-foam, half-half, fat free flavor of the day coffees. It’s all about quantity and rarely about quality. This needs to change and that’s how I educate my clients. I tell them, “Don’t say, ‘No’ to junk food based on just weight, say, ‘No’ to those foods because it’s just plain bad for you. You may as well smoke a cigarette.” People have GOT to be more conscious and respectful of what their body needs versus what commercials tell them they need. 95% of the clients I meet with are regularly downing copious amounts of processed, sugar laden foods. Our approach with the 6 week challenge is to simply re-think what you’re putting in to your body. Diets don’t teach, lifestyle changes do.
Finally, the support. I don’t know about you, but before I figured out this weight thing, I did every diet in the world. But half way through the book or “class” if I had a question or felt like I was losing control, I had no one to turn to. Our program is called a 6 week challenge for a reason, change is hard, it’s a challenge and striving to replace old, unhealthy habits with new healthy ones is a challenge, but we help our clients do that. We ask them questions they need to know how to answer, “So, how are you going to handle Super Bowl weekend?” “What are you going to eat on vacation?” “What are your plans when going out to eat with friends?” It’s about being prepared and knowing what to do because old habits die hard.
Being successful at weight loss means getting back to basics, creating more activity in your daily life (it used to be that way naturally), eating whole, healthy foods (it used to be that way YEARS ago) and finding a solid resource for positive change. Getting back to basics, trusting what changes you know you need to make and finding the right path for you is the surest way to a healthy living weight. I’ll discuss “living weight” in my next blog.
Here’s to your health!