Sunday, July 24, 2011
I have a confession to make. I am one of the least motivated and thrifty people that I know. So when people tell me that they cannot embrace a healthy lifestyle because of time and/or money I assure them that they CAN.
Fitness: My lazy and thrifty fitness plan began with an old pair of sneakers and brisk walks around my neighborhood. I walked an hour every day until I had to adjust my exercise time to fit my demanding schedule. In effort to cut the time in half I began to run. To this day I run an average of 30 minutes a day having increased the amount of miles throughout the years. Once I get home I work on toning with weights and spot training for about 10 minutes.
Food: It will not surprise you that I am not much of a cook but all of my meals are delicious. They are lean and require little prep and cooking time. Chicken, fish and meats are seasoned and baked in the oven then served with a side of quinoa and spinach salad. I use a variety of vegetables to season the food, keeping costs down and nutrition up. I also replaced many foods with their healthier equal. Salads are now made with spinach instead of lettuce. Rice and pastas are now replaced with quinoa. I use olive oil for everything, even baking cakes. Sports drinks are used sparingly and my after training drink is a splash of tart cherry juice with no added sugars in a tall glass of water and ice.
Your health should be your top priority. The most responsible thing you can do with your time and your money is to strive for a healthy lifestyle. If you are healthy you will not only add years to your life, but quality to those years. And think of the money you will save when you do not have to spend it on medicines to control the variety of illnesses brought on by poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
One of the biggest challenges I have encountered is getting my friends and family to change the terminology they use when talking about their fitness. Whether we realize it or not, words not only communicate our thoughts to others but also send a message to ourselves. Those messages are powerful and can either motivate you or sabotage you. It is for this reason that the words I choose are both realistic and encouraging.
Not Diet – Live it!: I do not use the word “diet” in relation to weight loss. Fitness guru, Richard Simmons said many years ago, “it’s not a diet, it’s a live it.” The word “diet” immediately evokes thoughts of deprivation. Dry toast, bland tuna and lots of grapefruits.
Boring “healthy” foods or exciting “Power foods”: When people ask me how I maintain my weight I tell them that I eat anything I want in moderation while incorporating “power foods.” The term “power foods” is my way of saying healthy foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, oils. The word “healthy” is just not flashy enough for me so I choose to use a term that truly defines what these foods do for the body and the taste buds - power it up while tasting good.
Skinny or fit?: The word “skinny” has always made me uncomfortable because it conjures up images of waifish models parading on a stage with a far-out look in their eyes seemingly brought on my hunger. Being naturally slim is one thing but striving to achieve a weight that will not properly nourish your body is unwise. The word “fit” suggests to me that an individual has achieved their ideal body weight by eating well and exercise. They are strong and lean.
When it comes to my health and fitness I function best when I feel empowered and energized. By keeping my inner and outer dialog inspiring and strong I am better equipped to achieve all my fitness goals.
Friday, July 15, 2011
One of my good friends has been diligently working on adopting a healthy lifestyle. For almost a year she has been focusing on non-processed, fresh and lean foods. She also abandoned her couch potato ways and has taken up walking and salsa dancing. Her hard work has paid off, as she is leaner and fitter and within her recommended ideal weight. So when I spoke to her the other day I was surprised to hear that she is attempting to lose an additional twenty pounds. She quickly assured me she had read about an actress with a similar build and height to hers that is her new goal weight. This concerned me so I did a little research and presented her with the following.
It is a common practice to not reveal your true weight, especially in the competitive world of Hollywood. Even the most beautiful and fit actresses do not reveal their true weight and even if the low weight they reveal is true, it probably is not a healthy amount.
Case in point, celebrity A (shall remain nameless) is 6 feet tall and she reports her weight is 135 pounds while celebrity B (Gabrielle Reece) is 6’3 and reports she is 172 pounds. Both look almost identical. They are slender and have an athletic build so one is clearly not being forthright with her true weight.
It is situations like this that remind me that I cannot put my fitness and health goals on someone else’s results. When determining my ideal weight I do not just take my height into account but also my body type and my level of activity. The same is true for my fitness routine. My fitness goals are constantly adjusting and changing because I am challenging myself, not competing with anyone else.
While athletes and celebrities can provide inspiration and motivation make sure that you do not lose sight of the real super star in your life – YOU!
Check out if you are at a healthy BMI level here http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bmi-calculator/NU00597
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Whether you are just starting your weight loss and fitness journey, are midway through or you have been living the lean life for a few years you need to keep yourself motivated by dressing for success.
I made the mistake of putting my life and looks on hold when I began working towards my new fit life. Frumpy and baggy clothes were my style du jour. I figured once I lost all the weight I would indulge and purchase body conscious work out and stylish clothes. The problem with my approach was that every time I looked in the mirror I did not see the new me. The vibrant and energetic woman that I was becoming was hidden behind ill-fitting clothes. Even though I was still a good 10 pounds away from my goal I headed to one of the super stores in my town. I shopped inexpensively and replaced my oversized novelty t-shirt and loose shorts and purchased a running bra, a 3 pack of men’s tank tops and two pairs of size appropriate but comfortable bright shorts. I then went on to improve my office wardrobe and invested in a couple of knit tops, skirts and pants.
The results of my transformation paid off immediately. Wearing the tank top on my run I noticed that I no longer slouched, my form improved dramatically. The baggy t-shirt would weigh me down but now I felt light and airy – like an athlete.
My office clothes garnered me compliments from co-workers who were now able to see the results of my hard work. Their comments spurred me on to continue on my journey giving me the motivation I needed to eventually meet my goal.
Health and fitness does not begin in your body, it begins in your mind. The journey really is as simple as making the decision to live healthy and then committing to it daily. By surrounding yourself with all the positive influences to keep you on your path, it makes the work and reward that much easier and sweeter!
Friday, July 1, 2011
Most of us equate the idea of beginning and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with lots of bland foods and loose fitting clothes. I made the mistake a lot of us make by putting my life on hold until I was at my ideal weight. But now I understand that we do not need to reach a magical number before we can start enjoying our life and bring some fun into our food, wardrobe and work out.
My friend Beth has been a huge influence in my life. The sassy senior lives a full and happy life and her secret is simple, she lives as if she resided in a spa.
For starters Beth eats lean and fresh foods served on white plates. The colorful blend of spring lettuce with a variety of chopped vegetables and a piece of mahi begs to be eaten. Lunch is served with a slice of whole grain bread loaded with bits of nuts and seeds. Dessert is a tiny ramekin with one scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and fresh raspberries. A glistening glass filled with ice, sparkling water and a thin slice of lime transport you out of her tiny 1920’s bungalow and to a fabulous expensive resort.
Her influence is evident in not just what I eat but also in my work out. Gone are the frumpy clothes. I wear body conscious clothes that are not just stylish but also conducive to my work out. No more baggy shorts to slow me down when I run, or loose t-shirts that keep me from seeing my biceps when I lift that dumbbell. I now dress for success.
The thing that appeals most to me about Beth’s lifestyle is how simple and serene it is in spite of her busy life that is filled with grandkids and travel.
A healthy lifestyle does not have to be costly or complicated. It can be as simple as just keeping all you consume lean while serving it beautifully for yourself.