Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dirty 4 Letter Word: Diet!

Whether you realize it or not, the word “diet” could be hindering your weight loss progress. “Why?” you ask. Because diets simply don’t work! You may see results in the short term but they won’t last long. The studies and statistics are there! If you want long lasting weight loss success then you need to change your vocabulary. No longer will you say “I’m dieting” or “I’m on a diet”, but “I’ve changed my lifestyle.” Because that’s exactly what you need to do.

Change your lifestyle.

How do you change your lifestyle? Well, it’s not going to be easy, it is a life time commitment to yourself. A commitment to change your lifestyle for the better, so you will look, feel, and be healthy for the rest of your life time.

You are going to have to change your relationships with food, your body image, and exercise. Most people don’t realize that we all think about, see, and feel differently about food consumption. Some of us realize that food is fuel and if we fuel our bodies properly, then we will be able to function (performing daily tasks, exercise, and even sleep) easily. It’s important to know how to read food labels, and understand that if you don’t know what’s in your food then you shouldn’t eat it. Knowing how to prepare food in a way that is tasty, filling, and healthy is also important, along with knowing how much protein, fat, (and yes) carbs. you should consume during each meal. I will be blogging more on this in the future because nutrition is not a simple subject. I will also be continuing with changing relationships with food because some people do tend to go too far with their “dieting”.

Your body image. Everyone hates something about their body, and some of us even hate our bodies period (trust me; I know….I have been there). And if you don’t come to terms with yourself and your body then nothing is going to work for you. You have to accept yourself for the beautiful person you were bore to be. Once you fully love and accept yourself, others will follow suit, and you will be able to drop pounds, be confident and stay at a healthy weight for the rest of your life. (This will also be discussed further in future posts, so stay tuned!)

Exercise. It’s hard. It hurts. And you are going to either want to or you actually will give up at least once. It’s necessary though. Exercise won’t only strengthen your body but also your mind. You will build endurance, muscle strength, and learn that you can do anything you really want to do!!! (Obviously, this is a fitness blog so there will definitely be a lot more on this!)

One good way to get things going is to create a mantra to help get you going when you feel like you don’t want to or you simply can’t. It can be anything you want….mine is:

I am strong
I am fit
I am focused
I will succeed!!

Good luck on your weight loss journey, and keep checking back for more tips, tricks, information and advice.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Children and Obesity

It’s no secret that America is the fattest country in the world or that obesity is the second leading cause of avoidable death. There are hundreds if not thousands of articles dedicated to this growing trend. Why? Because it’s not only affecting adults but also our children! More and more children are falling into the obese and even morbid obese range. It’s scary to think that they can lose their life because of something avoidable, before they even begin to live.
Obesity among children between the ages of 6 and 11 has tripled since 1980! According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 16% of kids 6-19 years of age are overweight or obese. In the past 3 decades the obesity rate for preschool children (2-5 years old) has more than tripled! These children have a 70% chance of being obese, morbid obese or super morbid obese adults.
If those statistics don’t scare you then the health problems associated with obesity should.

Children who fall into the overweight, obese and morbid obese categories may suffer from:

· High blood pressure

· Sleep Apnea

· Insulin Resistance

· Type 2 Diabetes

· Bone and Joint Problems

· Tendency to Mature Earlier (overweight kids may be taller and more sexually mature than their peers, raising expectations that they should act as old as they look, not as old as they are; overweight girls may have irregular menstrual cycles and fertility problems in adulthood)

· Depression

· Social Anxiety

These are all serious problems that can greatly inhibit your child’s health and life as a whole! It’s important that parents understand that this is a serious problem and not something that all kids will outgrow or over come on their own. This isn’t a problem that can be solved with fad diets; it’s a problem that can only be resolved with support from friends and family, proper nutrition, and proper exercise. The best thing for these children is to form a team of specialists including a pediatrician, nutritionist, and certified trainer that specializes in youth fitness.
There are now clinics and boarding schools opening up around the country that specializes in solving this problem. One such school is the Wellsprings Academy in California and South Carolina. The Wellsprings Academy has been featured on several shows such as Dateline NBC, CNN, and the Today show. All the programs are designed for children, teens, and young adults ages 11-24, students at the Academies demonstrate the best documented outcomes of any non-surgical weight loss intervention for any age group. They have helped hundreds of children lose weight and transform their lives without surgery. For more information on the Wellspring Academy’s visit their website at
Like the song says “The children are our future”, but they won’t have much of one if they continue down an unhealthy path. As adults, members of a community, and parents it’s our duty to help these children and teens learn how to live a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about childhood obesity log on to (The Center for Disease Control).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Health and Fitness on TV

In the second instalment of "Health and Fitness on TV" I will be profiling ExerciseTV.
ExerciseTV is a free VOD (video-on-demand) network, "dedicated to the hottest workouts, fitness trends and sports training from top instructors and trainers. With ExerciseTV users can workout on their schedule to hundreds of fat burning workouts like cardio, abs, yoga, dance and more!"

I love this network! It highlights quick, easy, effective workouts that can be done from the comfort of your own home. The selling point is that this feature is totally free and most exercise programs require little to no equipment. It's great for those who want to be fit and fabulous on a budget.

ExerciseTV also offers something for everyone. From yoga to the workouts by Jillian Micheals, you can find something that will peak your interest and make you sweat. There is even a Seventeen workout for girls getting ready for Homecoming or Prom. These video's even highlight the importance of proper nutrition, hydration, and exercise safety.

If your cable provider doesn't offer VOD (video-on-demand) then you can check out ExerciseTV online at . There site provides all the videos that are offered on demand and them some. You can narrow the videos down by choosing the length of time and equipment available to you. Other great features is the Mobile Trainer, Lifestyle articles and tips, and the Fitness Finder. The Fitness Finder is a great tool that will help you find the perfect workout for you by finding you Fitness Personality.

So, if your looking for a good workout that's both challenging and fun then definitely check out ExerciseTV!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Digestion begins in the Mouth!

We live in a fast paced society, we want instant gratification, and there is no exception when it comes to eating. With the rise of fast food restaurants and microwavable meals, we get our food fast and eat it even faster. Digestion begins in the mouth. If we aren't chewing our food properly then we aren't getting the maximum nutritional value from our meals! By slowing down and chewing properly not only will we get the most from what we're eating, we'll also feel full faster, eat less, and not feel tired or bloated afterwards.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bored with your Workouts?

Are you getting bored with your fitness routines? Well, I am. Even trainers need to switch things up every once in awhile. It's important to changes and try new things before the boredom gets so bad that you decide to quit; especially during the winter months when all anyone wants to is stay at home and out of the cold.

Here are a couple things that I am going to try and one that I have decided to rediscover.

  • Kemetic Yoga. I have done yoga before, but never Kemetic Yoga. The first thing that drew me to this class is the word Kemetic, it's root is Kemet which translates to Ancient Egypt. I have always had a love for Ancient Egypt, and I have the tattoos to prove it. SO needless to say, when I heard about this class the first thing I thought was "I have to check it out!". Here is the description of the class from the flyer: "Come and experience the yoga of the ancient Egyptians. Kemet is the original name of the enchanted land of ancient Egypt. Kemetic yoga aims to harmonize the energy center of the body through the cultivation of life force as well as incorporating a series of postures aimed at enhancing balance physically and spiritually. Kemetic yoga also promotes the consumption of raw/living food and we will treat you to a snack at the end of class!" Interesting! :) and only $10 a class.
  • Indoor Rock Climbing. I am not the most coordinated person you'll ever meet, and I wouldn't be surprised if I fall off a lot, but I'm super excited to learn how to climb! It's a chance to learn something new and exercise at the same time. I found this great place in my area that offers beginners class for $30, and that includes all the gear needed.
  • Pilates. When I first started my weight loss journey I did pilates at lest 3x a week. It really helped me build confidence and muscle. So when I saw that the same place that's offering the Kemetic Yoga classes is also offering Pilates for $10 a class, I decided that this would definetly kick me back into gear!!

So if your feeling lethargic and bored with your workout routines, just get out there and learn something new. Step out of your comfort zone, break through those boundries, and get back to work(ing out)!!

I will post more on these classes as I begin participating in them.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Not Losing Weight?

For some reason many people workout for a week or two and just give up. Some think that exercise alone will help them drop pounds and don't realize that they are being counter productive when they order a large pizza and eat it by themselves after each workout. Then there are those who exercise and diet, but only do it half way. It's easy to give up and say "I tried.", but much more rewarding when you go the extra distance and really work for what you want and need.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when your thinking about quiting your exercise program:

  1. You must recognize fear as a restrictive force. Your emotional and experiential memory creates this resistance to change due to this fear. It's up to you to get to the root of the problem and conquer it head on before you can truly adapt and accept a new, healthy lifestyle.

  2. Have you tried hundreds of fad diets and believe that nothing will work for you? Expensive fad diets don't work!! For effective and long lasting weight loss it's important to consult the professionals (doctor, certified personal trainer, licensed nutritionist).

  3. You must take a risk to achieve the proven outcomes. You find a trainer with great credientals, and hundreds of rave reviews from clients, but your the type that won't believe it till you see it? Well, call up the trainer and see if you can set up a meeting or even free session just to test the waters. Just remember you can't be an after until your willing to take that risk and trust a trainer.

  4. You need to accept responsibility! Not only for your failures but also for your success. By keeping track of what's going in your mouth and the amount of work your putting in at the gym you will succeed and you should take full credit for all you've accomplished. On the other hand, if your not staying on track, you have to take full credit for not losing weight or even gaining weight.

  5. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Yes, you have to walk before you can run but you have to run!! You'll have to do push-ups, pull-ups, leg lifts, crunches and what ever else your trainer demands of you, even if you think you "can't". "Can't" is just going to hinder your progress. Your trainer knows best and wouldn't ask you to do an exercise that will injure you in any way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Good Posture can improve your Core Strength

Everyone wants the perfect abs now and will buy all sorts of products trying to attain them. The problem with actually seeing those perfect abs may not only be an ineffective product, but also our body fat percentage. Lack of proper exercise is also a factor. A simple way to improve your abdominal strength is to sit-up straight, and this is an exercise you can do anywhere! Good posture will not only strengthen your core, but will also help prevent injury, aid in breathing, improve digestion, and even reduce stress.

One of the first things I do when assessing a new client is check their posture. Many people don't realize that core doesn't just pertain to our abdominal....there are many other muscles that need to be worked in order to get that "perfect" midsection. Such as the lower back. It's important to have a strong back to support the rest of the core.