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.
By Nicki On January 1, 2010 2 Comments
Let me ask you a question. Do you know how much Americans spend on weight loss? Some research shows, well over 40 billion, that’s BILLION dollars annually.
Next question, is obesity in our country going up or down? Studies show that adult obesity was up in 23 states last year.
Last question, what individual took the popularity of Subway to a whole new level? That would be Jared Fogle. Yep, he’s the young man who catapulted himself in to commercial stardom by losing weight eating nothing but Subway Sandwiches. Plus, this fast-food chain figured if American’s were spending that much money on weight loss, why couldn’t some of that cash go in their pocket? Something tells me Subway had a very, very good year when Jared gave props to the fast-food chain. Unfortunately, since that rise to fame, Jared was spotted at the airport a few weeks ago carrying around a few extra pounds. My hunch is Subway got boring and life goes on.
This past week, a different fast food chain threw its hat in the ring vying for some of that weight loss money, Taco Bell. Someone in the marketing department took some serious notes from Subway. Welcome to the latest diet, “Taco Bell Drive Thru Diet” in which spokesperson Christine Dougherty claims to have lost 54 pounds eating off the Fresco menu. What a brilliant move by Taco Bell. Although, they make it very clear on their website that it is NOT a weight loss program? Huh? What? I’m confused then. Their whole push is losing weight while living on tacos and burritos. Imagine, being able to have your taco and eat it too! But you know and I know, this “diet” is yet another way for a company to make a lot of money while those that really need to get healthy, do not.
I think we can all agree that weight gain is the result of eating too much and moving too little, right? So sure, if all you do is live off fast food while keeping your calorie count in check you can lose weight, duh. It’s all about a deficit.
The problem I have with this whole thing is that number one, you know and I know fast food isn’t healthy. Although Fresco sounds so healthy, doesn’t it? Again, brilliant marketing. None the less, no matter how you slice it, fast food is typically higher in sodium and the quality of the meat and ingredients is one that I continue to question. Further, at what point does one take personal responsibility by making an effort to LEARN how to eat well sans a gimmick? A gimmick is a novelty and like all novelties, they eventually lose their appeal and all is forgotten.
So, Ms. Dougherty is all over the internet sharing her 54 pound weight loss thanks to the Taco Bell Fresco menu. But, I need to know more. Is that ALL she’s eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner (apparently Jared did that with Subway). Is she exercising? Does she drink soda since she’s at a fast food restaurant? Does she get in healthy fare any where else? And that my friends is the bottom line, WHERE IS THE HEALTH component? I know, I know, she’s lost 54 pounds and at the end of the day, that’s all most people care about. I would surmise thatTaco Bell is very, very happy thanks to someone who did their homework in the marketing department.
I lost 50 pounds, do you know how? Are you ready? I did it by giving up fast food and learning how to eat foods that I actually prepare at home. And you know what else? I’ve kept the weight off for close to 30 years. I have yet to see any of these crazy diets prove longevity.
I really hope that his new diet is short lived. Although sure, it’s great that this woman has lost weight touting fast food as the “secret” to weight loss does not sit well with me. By the way, you can see her on the website in her bikini. What? I wonder if all that driving to and from Taco Bell is what created those amazing abs? I can only hope that this painfully clear publicity ploy will not sit well with others. In fact, rather than trying the Drive-thru diet, my hope is that people will instead drive right on by.
By Nicki On December 26, 2009 No Comments
This past week, a young actress in the prime of her life, passed away. Brittany Murphy, just 32 years old died of cardiac arrest. I didn’t hear about it on the news, my daughter told me. The first thing I said when my daughter told me was, “I bet they’ll say she died from a cardiac related issue.” I was right. How did I know? I knew because I have watched this lovely actress go from healthy and energetic to skeletal and exhausted in the past few years. Some say it could be drugs, while others say she had an eating disorder. I simply see her as yet another casualty in the “perfect Hollywood body” syndrome. But my observation suggests an eating disorder was part of the problem. An eating disorder such as anorexia can cause hair loss, infertility, stunted growth, osteoporosis, heart problems, kidney failure, and death.
As women in Hollywood receive more praise for their “miracle” weight loss ( post babies) or praise for losing weight prior to walking the red carpet, it seems to be all that we read about. Who has gained weight and who has lost weight. Imagine those that haven’t yet developed the thick skin necessary to shrug off comments about their body? My hunch is Brittany Murphy succumbed to that pressure and struggled to become more successful with less weight.
Personally, I can’t imagine the pressure in Hollywood, it’s bad enough in the real world. I am all about finding your healthiest you, finding the lifestyle that takes you to a healthy place versus a place of obsession and depression. After losing close to 50 pounds almost 30 years ago, I can’t help but feel grateful that I took the healthy route.
I’m in an industry where you need to be fit, I’m a trainer and I probably wouldn’t get a whole lot of interest in my training if I didn’t walk the walk. But that’s just it, the walk I walk is to make healthy choices as often as I can. If I felt pressure to be perfect or achieve a perfect body, my choices would be dangerously different, of that I’m sure.
I tell my clients every week, “Focus on being the best you that you can. A healthy you that is attainable, not through crazy diets or obsessive exercise routines, rather finding your center. Yes, you need to exercise and yes you need to eat well to have a healthy body. But you need to pay attention to how you FEEL. Unhealthy weight loss efforts will rarely leave you feeling good, strong and healthy. So, seek healthy options, NOT just weight loss options.” Unfortunately, in the world of Hollywood, healthy options are few and far between as most are seeking perfection. It’s too bad Brittany didn’t realize that perfection doesn’t exist in the real world.
By Nicki On December 20, 2009 No Comments
January must be very close, because the push for weight loss products is everywhere. “20 pounds in 20 days!” “Drop 30 pounds with just 5 minutes a day!” “Weight Loss Made Easy, Drop as much as you want in just 30 days!” “We can help you lose that fat belly and cellulite in just 3 minutes a day!” I could go on and on, but you get the gist.
I want to ask a question. How many of you have been to a restaurant with bad service or a store with bad service and swore you’d never return? My hunch is that you’ve stuck to your guns and not returned, why? Because it was a bad experience and you didn’t get your money’s worth, right? That’s what I don’t understand about the success of the dieting industry. Year after year, millions of people diet…again, and the result is the same, quick weight loss, short-term success. Failure is imminent yet people go back year after year expecting something different. Quick weight loss and fad diets continue to sell in the billions of dollars a year, I don’t like it. Quite honestly, the fact that playing to people’s desperation creates the success of the dieting world, well, I like it even less.
Someone asked me the other day about writing a column and offering something new and innovative for weight loss and I had to be honest, “There is nothing new, only the way it’s communicated can be new. Moving more and eating less and eating healthier is the ONLY route to permanent weight loss, There is NOTHING new.”
It’s unfortunate that sometimes that answer isn’t good enough. I don’t care how many new diets are introduced there is NOTHING new and amazing in the world of weight loss. Sure, each year diet company’s may change their packaging or the name of their program to make it sound new and innovative, but no matter how it’s packaged or sold, the result is the same, false promises, real failure.
What can I do to prevent you from being a repeat customer for the diet industry? You KNOW diets don’t work, you KNOW there is no truth to 2o pounds in 20 days (without taking something that puts your health at risk) and there is NO truth to getting a healthy body in just 3 minutes a day, none of it is true.
What is true is regular exercise and healthy nutrition habits are key to weight loss, no more, no less. One has to be willing to make changes to create change. But if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will continue to get what you’ve always gotten. So dare to be different January 1st. You want to make a REAL resolution? Resolve to stop dieting and slowly, gradually, realistically, change your lifestyle. Move more, eat less and opt for healthier choices and that will make weight loss happen once and for all. Nothing new, just the facts.
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.
By Nicki On November 1, 2009 No Comments
This past week my daughter called me from college in a panic, “My roommate has Swine Flu! What am I going to do? Should I scrub down my entire room?” I reminded her that her best defense against getting the flu is common sense which includes, getting plenty of rest (yeah right, she’s a freshman in college), washing hands before eating, rubbing eyes or nose and eat well. I reminded her that every desk she sits in, every bit of change she gets after paying for her meals, every button she pushes to get to her dorm room has been touched by someone else. So, you can put yourself in a bubble OR you can get back to basics.
Of course this got me to thinking about weight loss. How many of you have obsessed about losing weight? So much so that you eliminate 80% of the food you normally eat. One of the most common reasons people gain weight back is due to initial, obsessive weight loss efforts. Your best defense against gaining weight or struggling with weight loss? Getting back to basics. Eat regularly(being mindful of portions), include plenty of veggies and fruit, lean protein and whole grains, exercise regularly (not obsessively) and drink plenty of water.
By Nicki On September 13, 2009 1 Comment
In my 25 plus years in the fitness industry, the most common comment I hear from clients that seek me out for weight loss guidance is, “Well, I did ‘such and such’ diet and that really worked for me. I lost 50 pounds.” But in truth, the diet DIDN’T work, because if it did, the client wouldn’t be seeking me out to lose weight, right?
Let me ask you a question. If someone told you that they had the secret help you lose all the weight you wanted, would you be interested? Now, what if they provided
By Nicki On August 11, 2009 5 Comments
I mentioned that my daughter is heading off to college in the fall, so I’m getting plenty of mail
By Nicki On August 1, 2009 No Comments
My youngest child heads off to college in just a few weeks. I’m definitely melancholy about it, but she’s not, she is so ready for college. I guess it was my job to prep her for an independent, productive life and well, she’s definitely ready. She’s ready for something new and different and an opportunity to be an adult on her own.
This major life change for both of us got me to thinking about change, and how we may wait for the right time to make changes. But the truth is, well, is there ever a perfect time? Change happens all the time, sometimes with your permission, other times not at all. Deciding to change habits starts off as a challenge, but the more you choose healthy change the easier it becomes.
You see, the reason people often jump the diet ship so to speak, is because the strict dieting lifestyle isn’t conducive to long term success. Success happens when you are ready and willing to make small changes. The small changes start adding up and becoming more natural. There is no doubt that change is hard, but if you wait for it, you may just miss it. Nothing worse than change happening without you.
So be proactive, choose to change your lifestyle toward a healthier you today. Be the change you want to see and enjoy the process.
Here’s to healthy changes and a healthier you!