Setting Goals in Weight Loss

What would you have to work for if you don’t set a goal? 
Many of us struggle with weight loss, right? Yes.  It’s very important to set GOALS!!

When I weighed 272lbs my first goal was to lose 50lbs by my friend Katie’s wedding.  Well guess what?  No lie, on the morning of her wedding I went to the gym and weighed in.  50lbs down exactly!! I was so excited!  My next goal was to be down 100lbs by the one year mark.  Did I accomplish my goal?  No I did not…..exactly.  One year and A DAY I was down my 100lbs.

My goals were a little drastic.  Not all goals will be this extreme.  But it’s still important to set goals to keep you going.

If you’re setting a goal to lose weight, set a goal for how many inches you are wanting to lose as well as how many pounds.  This will help you focus on losing fat as well, not just weight.  I would recommend only weighing yourself once a week.  I know personally that it’s so easy to get obsessed with the number on the scale.  It is very easy to get discouraged as well.  It may show on the scale that you haven’t lost any weight, when really, you have.  If you are working out, you’ll likely gain muscle weight – but that is a very good thing.  You have to remember that muscle burns more calories, meaning that you can eat more and still lose weight.

Timing is crucial as well.  Always weigh yourself at the same time each day.  I personally like weighing myself when I wake up in the morning.  I weigh myself before I have anything to eat or drink.

So lets do us all a favour;  lets focus on the long term goal of fat loss.  This way it will keep us in the right  frame of mind to not obsess with the scale.

When setting a weight loss goal, you will want to ensure you set a long term goal for your health.  Too much has gone on this year that has made me realize this is important.  I need to make sure I myself set a long term health goal.  Now, we know we can’t always prevent diseases such as cancer, but I don’t want to make a choice now that will jeopardize my health later.  I don’t want to die prematurely like my aunt and my Nan.  I want to live a long healthy life.  So it’s important for me to ensure I get a grip on my life choices, and ensure I am healthy long term for my family and friends.

So for instance, if you have high cholesterol, set a long-term goal for the range that you aim to achieve and keep. You may also do this for any other health concerns that you have. You will also want to set your goal number on the BMI chart; although that chart is highly questionable, it’s still widely used and can be another self-indicator to how far you’ve come. If you go to a gym, also record things such as your body fat percentage. Setting a long-term goal for how much of your body fat percentage you’d like to drop can be a great motivator as well.

What I’ll leave you with is this.  Don’t just set weight loss goals, but set life goals as well.  If this is your first attempt to lose your excess weight, you may not understand the difference between weight loss goals and life goals.  Those who have tried to lose weight before (and succeeded) can tell you that weight loss is not just about counting calories or dieting, but it’s all about making lifestyle changes that last long term.

HELLO!!! RIGHT HERE!!! ME ME ME !!! I KNOW THIS!! I know how hard it is to maintain the weight loss and the importance of changing your habits.  I found the weight loss was the easy part! But a year and a few months later after my big 100lbs loss, the maintenance part is hard.  So SET A GOAL TO MAINTAIN! Hard? YES.  Achievable…? Yes.  You need to know that every day will be a new battle, you’ll face new challenges.  But just set a goal to TRY YOUR BEST every day!!

Do NOT let the mean people bring you down.  ALWAYS be proud of your accomplishments.  Do not ever feel like a failure if you have a bad day or a bad week.. HECK even if you fall off track for a month! WHO CARES.. The fact that you get RIGHT BACK UP and at it as soon as you’re mentally prepared.. that’s all that matters.

This whole year has been an emotional rollercoaster for me.  I lost my aunt and I lost my Nan.  I’ve eaten my feelings and I’ve gained weight.  

But what I’m learning NOW is this.  I CANT get upset that I’ve gained weight.  I should still be proud of my previous weight loss success.  Wait.. I AM proud.  I have a little more ways to go due to the challenges I’ve experienced.  But I have my goal still set, and I’m going to do it.

So please, take from personal experience.. don’t ever give up.  Don’t take drastic measures to get there either, trust me.
Every challenge you come too, will be a challenge to be proud of because you overcame it.

I’m here for you, every step of the way.
Goodnight.

Tips to Survive the Cold & Flu Season

Yesterday unfortunately, I spent the majority of my day in bed.  I must have come down with something because I had the sweats and the chills.  I was vomiting and had horrible stomach pains and an absolute horrible migraine.  It was not fun at all.

I knew something was going on Friday because I barely ate – and I love food,  Says a previous fat girl. LOL.
Man oh man.  No, I have never gotten a flu shot and never had the flu.  That was the closest to the flu I’ve gotten in years.  But man did I feel horrible.

So I feel this is the perfect time to talk about different ways you can help prevent colds and flu in our transition from Fall to Wintertime.

The influenza virus causes a crazy 32 million missed school days and 100 million missed days of work. Symptoms of the flu are often hard to distinguish from those of a common cold; coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fatigue, general aches, fever and stomach complaints like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are all typical of the flu. And while the flu shot and antiviral drugs may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of influenza, their abilities are limited.

Here are five different ways I have for you to survive this winter’s cold and flu season!!

1. Take Your Vitamins

Both vitamin D3 and vitamin A are powerful players against infections like viruses and bacteria. A Vitamin D3 supplement in children decreased the rate of influenza infection by 50% which is far better than the effects of vaccines or antiviral drugs. Research released in 2011 showed that vitamin A is necessary for many different immune responses to both bacteria and viruses. Vitamin A was shown to inhibit the replication of the measles virus, demonstrating its powerful anti-viral ability.

Winter is the perfect time to add more vitamin A to our diets.  You can easily add more Vitamin A to your diet by eating these foods: sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens and butternut squash. As for vitamin D3, it’s a fat soluble vitamin that can accumulate over time, so you want to be sure to have the right age appropriate dose for you.

2. Consider Supplements

Recent studies demonstrate that elderberry extract has immune-modulating and antioxidant properties that offset the activity of viruses so they can no longer enter the cell and replicate. The berries also contain vitamins A and C, and the flavonoids quercetin, anthocyanin and rutin, all of which boost immune function. Elderberry comes in a great tasting liquid syrup form.  This helps people like me who HATES taking cough syrup because of it’s nasty taste LOL.

Probiotics have also been repeatedly shown to help prevent infection and decrease the duration and severity of symptoms during the cold or flu.  I personally take probiotics each day.  Because of working in Health and Wellness, I’ve personally seen a difference in those clients who took a probiotic and those who didn’t.  I seen those clients who were taking a probiotic maintain a healthier immune system over those clients who weren’t taking a probiotic supplement.  So I truly believe that every one should insure they include Probiotics into their daily lives.

Another great product to take is a Siberian Ginseng supplement.  I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE taking this product.  This type of ginseng is also very beneficial to the circulatory system. It helps maintain healthy blood circulation, distributing oxygen and other important nutrients efficiently to the body and brain.

This herb is a powerful immune system booster. Many people who take it regularly seldom get sick. It can help the body fight off illnesses like the common cold, flu and others. Without a strong immune system, there is little chance for good health. That’s why taking Siberian Ginseng does such a great job at keeping people healthy. It would be worth taking it for this benefit alone.

Siberian Ginseng is also very popular with people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other forms of exhaustion. It has the ability to relieve tiredness of the mind and body. This isn’t something that happens overnight. This herb should be taken every day, as the effects will increase over time.  So go to your local drug store and pick some up!! It’s not that expensive at all!

3. Get Enough Rest

We all know.  We have all heard this before.  Ensure you get the proper amount of sleep that your body needs.  I know we’re all busy, I know we have reasons we need to stay up late at nights.  But when it boils down to it… get your REST!  Stress is a part of our every day lifestyles.  Unfortunately, excessive stress can decrease our immune function, and make it easier for us to come down with an infection.  Adults need an average of 7 to 10 hours of sleep nightly while children, depending on their age, need anywhere from 9 to 14 hours of sleep each night to rejuvenate for the next day. Not getting enough sleep lowers the body’s defenses needed for fighting infections.

4. Eat Healthy

Our bodies require many essential nutrients to function properly. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps ensure you and your little one are getting all the vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy immune system.

Studies have shown that eating a sugary snack or meal can depress the immune system for several hours, creating a window of time during which it is easier to get the flu. Avoiding excessive sugar can keep the immune system working at the level needed to fend off infections.

5. Wash Up!!!

Washing your hands is one of the best ways for you to limit exposure to the germs that spread colds and flu.  Frequent hand washing is recommended. Remember, antibacterial soaps are no more effective at killing germs than soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. In fact, antibacterial soaps may contribute to the bacteria’s resistance to antimicrobial agents in the soap, making it harder to treat the germs in the future.

Here’s to a healthy, happy wintertime!
Snuggle up and be warm!

Why do we eat our feelings?

My Nan died in July.  My Aunt died in January.  2013 hasn’t been a good one, emotionally.
I will come forward and say this:  I’ve gained weight due to emotionally eating.  I turned to food to cope with the pain I felt.  Late nights were horrible; those moments I was by myself.  The fridge and the pantry were my comfort, some days they still are.

From May 2011 to May 2012 I lost 100lbs.  Yup! 100lbs in one year.  It’s now October 2013.  I refuse to get on a scale to see where I’m at.  I’d probably guess I’m up 20-30lbs.  But why am I so upset by it?  I should still be proud of myself, right?  I feel that when I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, I’m obligated to tell them a long story WHY I’m larger than when they lost saw me.  WHY?? WHY OH WHY!!  It;s none of their business.  Even writing this entry feels like I’m trying to give you an explanation why I’m heavier then I was May 2012.

So many factors come in to play when someone loses a drastic amount of weight and regains some.  I really don’t think I have to sit here and explain to you all the different reasons why I’ve gained some weight back.  Sure, for my height I’m still extremely overweight.  But I’m sure healthier than I was at 272lbs, right?  But instead of ENJOYING my life, I constantly worry about what others think of me and I constantly worry about every thing I eat.  This has to be stopped. I will not feel badly anymore.  I go to the gym, I eat healthy choices.. but right now I need to focus on being HAPPY and healthy.  I have so much to be happy about, but I get in these ruts where I’m so down on myself (believe it or not) and I turn to food…

Most emotional eaters tend to feel powerless over their food cravings. When the urge to eat hits, it’s all they can think about. You feel an almost unbearable tension that demands to be fed, right now! Because you’ve tried to resist in the past and failed, you believe that your willpower just isn’t up to snuff. But the truth is that you have more power over your cravings than you think.

Why is it that we turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward? Unfortunately for us, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. It usually makes us feel worse. After we over indulge, not only does the original issue still remain, but we feel guilty for overeating.  What we need to do is recognize our emotional eating triggers.  It will be our first step to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive eating.  We need to change the habits that sabotaged our diets in the past.

Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed. You beat yourself up for messing up and not having more willpower. Compounding the problem, you stop learning healthier ways to deal with your emotions, you have a harder and harder time controlling your weight, and you feel increasingly powerless over both food and your feelings.

It’s a constant battle.  It will be a constant battle if you don’t recognize the problem.  I’m trying find other ways to cope.. you can too.  I’m going to ask a few questions.. if you answer yes to any of these questions, you’re probably an emotional eater.  Hey, it’s okay.  Now we just have to work on it.  We can do this – we’re in this together.

  • Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
  • Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
  • Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
  • Do you reward yourself with food?
  • Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
  • Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?
  • Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?

The first step in recovering from emotionally eating is admitting it to yourself when you’re in the moment.

Step away from the pantry, close the refrigerator.
Your butt and stomach will thank you later.

No need to consume those extra calories.
Call a friend, text a friend.  Go on twitter, check Facebook.

Find something to do other than eat.

All you have to do is put off eating for five minutes, or if five minutes seems unmanageable, start with one minute. Don’t tell yourself you can’t give in to the craving; remember, the forbidden is extremely tempting.  Just tell yourself to wait. While you’re waiting, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What’s going on emotionally? Even if you end up eating, you’ll have a better understanding of why you did it. This can help you set yourself up for a different response next time

Those days…

Ever have those days where it starts off GREAT and gradually as the day goes by, the greatness starts to fade?

Yeah… today’s one of those days.  I’m still truckin’..I’m unsure if it’s the rainy, cold day… But this sucks!! Ha! Ha!

We all have to get through these kind of days.  I just finished dinner, but I’m still hungry.  I downed a glass of water and I’m still hungry.  I’m not in a vegetable kind of mood today.  I stress how important it is to eat your vegetables… but I’ve only had one serving today.  I believe today is just an off day.  I’m still proud of myself that I got up this morning and went to the gym.  I’ve eaten healthy today – however, I do feel the portions were a bit larger than they should be.  But that usually happens when I workout first thing in the morning.  I prefer to actually workout in the evenings.  On the weekends, I tend to go to the gym first thing in the morning, or else sometimes the workout never happens.

My goal this coming week is to get to the gym every night.
I’m not pressuring myself to spend hours at the gym, but at least work on getting in 30 minutes of physical activity each night.  Physical activity is very important to get in daily.   It doesn’t have to be much, but aim for at least 30 minutes a day.  

I just LOVE when a friend texts me to tell me she’s getting ice cream.. damn you woman!! Now all I’m thinking about are those delicious ginger molasses cookies again. Haha

What I’m trying to get across by this blog entry is that everyone has these kind of days.  Sure, since my Nan passed away these kinda days keep happening unfortunately.  Emotions are something hard to control – however, what we can control is how we cope with these emotions.

I’m far from perfect – hense why the last three months my weight loss has been at a stand still.. BUT.. I chose not to give up!  I still went to the gym, drank my water, took my vitamins and tried to not emotionally eat.  Life is one big challenge, but we’re all going to die one day.  We need to ensure we live the best life.

Now with just saying that, a thought crossed my mind.
“If we are going to die one day … why WORRY so much if we gain a pound or two?”

I don’t have the answer for that.  I believe everyone has their own answer to that question.  I find myself asking that question to myself many days.  I ask myself “Why are you so hard on yourself when really, your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters..”

We live in a society today where appearance is a main factor on how you’re treated.
So all I can say is this, just be the best YOU you can be each day.  This way if you die tomorrow, you know you gave it your best shot.

Banish those Bad Habits!!!

I came across a great article, once again by Jillian Michaels.  She’s my mentor, so she’s going to be featured quite a bit on here.  Here’s her article summed up.

The key to breaking bad habits like overeating is to identify the things that are making you feel low or stressed. Here’s how to pinpoint your emotional triggers and establish healthy habits for life.

Unfortunately, we have all used food basically like a drug.  We use it to help ourselves cope with stress and emotions.  What we have to do is first IDENTIFY what exactly is making you feel the way you do..  These emotions can be feelings of pressure, sadness, anger or simply being anxious.  Now that you have done that, we can break down the cycle and start getting back in control of when, why and how you eat!

Identify Your Emotional Triggers

The best way to identify your own emotional triggers is through personal reflection. Facing your issues by bringing them out of your subconscious and into your conscious reality is the most empowering thing you can do. Take full advantage of a fitness diary. Write down not just what you eat every day but the emotional circumstances surrounding each meal and snack. From now on, every time you reach for a bite, I want you to stop and ask yourself the questions below so you can uncover the psychological and emo­tional issues that are triggering your unhealthy eating habits. Write down the answers so you can’t push them to the back of your mind when you’re done.

1. Are you hungry?

Are you experiencing physical signs of hunger? Is your stomach growling? Do you feel weak or tired? Has it been longer than four hours since you last ate? It’s not hard to figure out whether you’re genuinely hungry or whether you’re eating for a different reason like stress. If you’ve answered these ques­tions and determined that you are hungry, then eat. If not, it’s time for the next question.

2. Are you depressed or anxious?

Think of these following questions: Did you just get in a fight with someone? Anxious about a work-related or school deadline? Whatever it might be, make sure you write down in detail exactly what you feel and why you think you’re feeling it. If you don’t get in touch with your emotions and their cause, you’ll continue to stumble along in life with an absolute guarantee of failure.

3. Can you address whatever emo­tions you may have uncovered immediately and/or in an appropriate way rather than suppressing those emotions?

For example, if you had an argument with your mom, can you call her to talk it through? If you’re feeling anxious about a work- or school-related deadline, can you bust your butt a little more to make yourself feel more on top of it? If you can resolve the problem right then and there, do it! Facing these types of issues is tough — and it always seems easier to try and numb yourself with food. But once you start taking a closer look at your behavior and analyzing your feelings, it gets easier and easier. You might not always have the means to resolve an issue or a situation at the exact mo­ment that it’s triggering you to behave self-destructively, but it’s all about doing what you can, learning from your mistakes, and being self-aware.

4. How can you turn this problem into an opportunity?

Maybe you’ve recently ended a relationship with a long-term spouse or significant other. Or say you’ve just been fired from a job. Instead of seeing these kinds of scenarios as permanent blows to your self-esteem, view them in a different light. Sure, you’re probably in a lot of pain right now, but maybe the relationship had been over for a while and there’s someone better out there for you. If you’re dealing with unemployment, tell yourself that losing your job doesn’t change the fact that you’re a kick-ass, smart, capable person who’ll have plenty of future offers. Stay positive. Accept that sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees, and you’ll be able to stay strong through the low moments and find meaning in the pain.

Establish Healthy Patterns

Now you have the tools for identifying, acknowledging, and bringing to the surface the emotions that have sabotaged you in the past. Next, find some activities that comfort and interest you so you’ll have the power to combat your emotions without resorting to food. Think about what (apart from eating!) soothes you. What makes you feel beautiful or sexy and desirable? If you steer yourself toward feelings of self-worth, you’ll pick activities and behaviors that inherently contradict self-loathing and self-sabotage. Take a bubble bath and listen to tunes you love. Go for a longer-than-usual walk with your pup. Go out dancing with friends. Get a massage or a mani-pedi. Learn to reward and nurture yourself with things that make you feel happy to be alive, and you will break the cycle of self-destruction caused by emotional overeating!

From Jillian Michaels

So you’re wondering, what is the right attitude and how can it help you lose weight? Having the right attitude is so important because thought is behavior — the power of mind is total and the way you think of yourself becomes your reality.

So you’re wondering, what’s the right attitude and how can it help you lose weight? Having the right mental state is so important because thought is behavior — your mind is your strongest tool, and the way you think of yourself manifests as your reality. We all know how easily negative thoughts about ourselves can lead to poor self-image, lack of confidence, hopelessness, and depression. You’ve heard about self-fulfilling prophecy, right? Well, if you tell yourself that you’ll always be fat or that you’ll never find happiness, chances are you will always be fat and you won’t ever be happy. But imagine what could be possible if you harnessed your mental power with positive thoughts.

A key element of changing your attitude is changing your self-talk — your internal monologue, the chattering conversation you have with yourself constantly all day long, whether you’re aware of it or not. It’s the voice in your head that says, “I can’t exercise because I’m fat and lazy” or, “I’m worthless because I have no self-control and will always be this way.” It’s this kind of useless negativity that’s holding you back, keeping you from being the best you can be. Now is the time to turn it around once and for all.

Imagine what would happen if you changed the dialogue so that it sounded more like this: “I can lose weight and be healthy” or “I’m going to eat well today, and I’ll feel good about myself as a result.” Your self-talk can make the difference between self-assurance and self-doubt, happiness and despair, success and failure. If you start making your self-talk more positive and affirming, and less defeatist and self-deprecating, your whole life will change for the better.

Now let’s take a close look at the things you say to yourself on a daily basis, identify where you’re being pointlessly, uselessly negative, and pinpoint where you can make improvements to achieve your goals.

To find out exactly what you’ve been telling yourself, answer the following questions. Write your answers down so you can look back for a reality and motivation check down the road. You may need a reminder of why your goals matter and why you deserve to achieve them.

1. Do you have a negative self-image?

Do you constantly say things like, “I’m fat and ugly,” or do you pick yourself apart and beat yourself up when you look in the mirror?

2. Do you lack self-confidence?

Do you doubt your ability to achieve your goals, weight related or otherwise? Do you dwell on your perceived limits or fears? Do you doubt your ability to accomplish the things you want to accomplish?

3. Do you feel powerless?

Do you feel like you have no control over your life, or do you make excuses like, “I’m genetically predisposed to being overweight”?

4. Do you label yourself in negative or self-deprecating ways?

Do you think and talk about your failure to lose weight as a foregone conclusion? Do you refer to yourself mockingly or otherwise as the happy/funny fat person?

Now, look back at your responses. How would you describe the tone of your answers? Are they affirming and constructive, or are they downbeat and destructive? It can be hard to let go of these negative patterns of thought and behavior; often they are the result of years of self-loathing and internalizing the negative opinions and judgments of others. Release the past, focus on the present, and open yourself up to the possibilities that await you in the future.

❤ She’s my inspiration and mentor.