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13CommonWeightLossMythsDiscover The 13 Simple TRUTH’s You’ve Been Searching For About Weight Loss…

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  • The single most important ‘trick’ to reducing your cravings and lose weight faster than ever..
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  • Are you drinking this ‘Healthy’ Drink? STOP! It’s ruining your weight loss attempts because..

Start Your New Year’s Resolution NOW

New Years

As I sit and type these words, it is early October.

In less than 30 days, many people will begin celebrating what I consider to be the first of three holidays that lead to weight gain and overall poor health.

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And if you haven’t yet noticed, what typically follows this scenario is an emotionally driven desire to undo the damage done during this time as quickly as possible.

Now I don’t know about you, but I personally find that starting the new year with a set of unpleasant chores to be a drag.

Not to mention, the activities that usually go along with these weight loss techniques are usually extreme, expensive and are often met with failure.

So on that note, I’d like to offer a different call to action.

One that if followed, could enable you to wake up on January 1st feeling empowered, inspired and eager to start your day.

That call to action involves…

Staring Your New Year’s Resolution NOW

The idea behind starting your New Year’s resolution right now is to begin a healthy living agenda today.

There are a few ways to make this work, and all of them can be relatively easy and stress free.

The only requirements would be:

  1. Desire
  2. A realistic routine
  3. Consistency

If these three components are present, the chances of you waking up on January 1st feeling a sense of appreciation, rather than dread, are pretty high.

Desire

The truth is, when we want something bad enough, we usually find a way to get it.

In this case, if it’s a weight loss resolution that you have finally grown sick and tired of, your desire to free yourself from it will become your motivating factor.

When the desire to wake up on January 1st free from the burden of having to drop a bunch of weight becomes the loudest voice in your head, you’ll start to look for ways to take action so you don’t have to continue to deal with the insanity of the pain of broken resolutions in the years gone by.

The idea of starting your resolution NOW is to get you on a wellness program before the months of gorging happen…which will leave you in a position to already have a safe and structured exercise routine and a well-balanced nutrition program in place to help you to not behave in ways that would promote unhealthy behavior that you would be forced to “make up for later”.

It’s much easier to maintain a level of WILLpower when you are already treating yourself well than it is when you’re in the middle of being a victim of your circumstances (aka – surrounded by food and activities that lead to weight gain without a wellness plan in your life to balance out your mindset and behavior).

If your desire to start your new year feeling a sense of freedom and self-respect becomes stronger than anything else, you’ll understand the importance of taking immediate (but strategic and intentional) action to make this a reality…and you’ll do so with a healthy outlook.

A Realistic Routine

By getting started on your New Year’s resolution NOW, you are in a position (since this is more of a lifestyle shift rather than an intense clean up) to take your time and do things the right way.

When you seek to change your body “the right way”, you understand that physical activity and healthy nutrition are a LIFESTYLE as opposed to a way to practice damage control.

Your mindset is completely different as it’s focused on well-being for a lifetime. This means taking your time and finding out how to incorporate a food and fitness plan that is perfectly suited for your tastes, schedule, current level of fitness and the ability to realistically stick with it.

When this is how you approach wellness, you choose behaviors that work in your favor because you are acting from deliberate intention as opposed to reacting from a place of emotional turmoil.

Your routine becomes a realistic one that you can implement for a lifetime…which places you in a position to not have to worry so much about weight loss in the future.

Consistency

When well-being is the “goal”  in and of itself, consistency becomes natural.

This is because it’s far easier to behave in ways you are mentally and emotionally in agreement with than it is to try to force yourself to be someone you aren’t.

If you begin your New Year’s resolution NOW, you do so from a place of wanting to be well.

Period.

When this is the state of mind in which you base your diet and exercise habits off of, you are doing so from a place that represents what is most natural for you and therefore, behaving with consistency is simply a reflection of what you actually think about wellness rather than a action taken to fix a problem.

Putting It All Together

As I have discussed in just about every single post I have written on the subject of health and wellness, the way to lose weight and keep it off (unless there are additional factors involved such as medical conditions, etc) is to simply decide that well-being is the goal in and of itself.

So in regard to putting an end to the New Year’s weight loss resolution, if you start implementing a wellness program RIGHT NOW…, you will not only be free from overindulging throughout the next few months to begin with, but you won’t have to wake up on January 1st with a sense of dread about what lies ahead of you.

When you combine the desire for freedom with a realistic plan that naturally inspires consistency, you will no longer be someone in need of an article such as this one.

This is exactly what I did.

I began my journey to wellness on some random day throughout the year and by the time the holidays rolled around, my mindset was already geared toward well-being.

I simply wasn’t attracted to overindulging any longer because what I wanted more than anything was to be free from the insanity of the negativity that I would experience once the festivities were over and I had to look at cleaning up the damage I had done to my body.

It’s a disempowering way to live in general – and it’s especially depressing to start the new year off this way.

But for the last six years, it has no longer been an issue for me…and through these words, I am offering you the same wisdom I followed in the hopes that you’ll free yourself as well.

For more detailed information on how to incorporate a safe and structured wellness program into your life through nutrition and exercise, read my other posts on this blog. In them you’ll have the tools needed to get you started on how to go about healthy living the right way….and this includes mindset (the most important factor of all).

Does it make sense to start your New Year’s resolution now? Do you want to be free from this insanity once and for all?

How to Handle Those Annoying Plateaus

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It’s frustrating isn’t it?

You’ve been working so hard and doing all of the right things.

You have made significant improvements to your eating habits while sticking with a consistent workout schedule.

And for a while, you were reaping the rewards of your efforts in the form of seeing some significant results.

But now, it seems that you’ve reached a plateau.

You’re still eating right and exercising, however, the scale hasn’t moved in a while and quite frankly, you’re feeling frustrated.

So what happened? Why aren’t you seeing any further progress?

And is there a solution?

The answer is yes, there is. There are a few things you can do to bust through these annoying plateaus. Part of it has to do with your mindset while the rest involves physical action.

In this post, we’ll discuss all of these factors – which will help bring about the results you’re looking for.

How to Handle Those Annoying Plateaus

Tip 1 – Shift Your Mindset From Weight Loss to Well-Being

Generally speaking, we seem to be a results oriented society.

This means that we typically take action in response to a problem because we aren’t happy with the results we are currently experiencing.

Our discomfort in the “what is” of our lives…whether it’s career, relationships or body image forces us to make a change in our behavior…and with it, we want to see the efforts of our labor as quickly as possible (especially if we’re REALLY unhappy).

So when it comes to weight loss, when we hit a plateau, it’s especially frustrating because…

… we want what we want when we want it!

We’ve been putting forth effort in order to reach a goal (cause) and when the effects of this slow down (unwanted results), we label it as negative.

However, when we shift from a perspective of wanting to lose weight to one that reflects an overall desire for well-being…then instead of focusing on the results, we connect to the process.

The difference is being present as opposed to looking to the future for some means of happiness.

The ‘agenda’ behind the desire for weight loss is –

“I’m unhappy with where I am now and I want things to be different as soon as possible”; whereas from a desire for overall well-being, it’s more like “I know I’m doing all of the right things and this will inevitably lead me to a desired result. In the meantime, I’m feeling pretty good about how I am treating myself and what I have done so far on this journey”.

So when it comes to hitting a plateau, take a look at the mentality behind your feelings of frustration and see whether or not you’re focusing on results vs. actually becoming the change you want to see in your body.

Tip 2 – Change Up Your Workout and Confuse Your Muscles

This is a pretty easy tip.

The truth is that the body quickly adapts to the amount of stress being placed on it with exercise. This means that in order for it to make the physical changes needed to produce a new result, it has to work harder to adapt to the new demands being placed on it.

An exercise routine should be changed about every three to four weeks once you have become acclimated to your current workload. Exercise should be challenging, even if safe and structured.

Whether you’re doing cardio or strength training workouts, you’ll want to make some adjustments.

There are a few ways you can do this:

  1. Increase the duration (length of time – whether more often or longer workout sessions).
  2. Increase resistance/ intensity (heavier weights or add high intensity intervals).
  3. Rotate equipment (different equipment often allows for a variation of movements and muscles being specifically targeted).
  4. Alternate lifting methods (one day do slow motion training, the next go for speed and agility, etc).

It’s important to keep the body guessing when you want to see changes. The idea, however, is to be mindful and make these adjustments using proper progression while listening to your instincts and knowing the difference between ‘good and bad’ pain.

Tip 3 – Change Up Your Diet

In a similar manner to tip 2, your body can also get used to the same foods if eaten day in and day out.

Variety is the spice of life, and this also relates to nutrition for weight loss and can keep you from getting bored with your diet as well.

Consider experimenting with new recipes and fresh produce. Each fruit and vegetable offers its own unique set of health benefits – and this is a creative and fun way to keep from getting into a slump, both physically and physiologically.

Tip 4 – Check With Your Doctor

If you find you’re doing all the right things, have followed the previous three steps and you’re STILL having a hard time losing additional weight, it may be time to visit your doctor to see if there could be a medical condition to blame.

There could be any number of reasons as to why you may be holding onto additional weight such as hypothyroidism, certain medications and/or food allergies.

If you’ve been doing everything you know how to do and you’re still experiencing the effects of a plateau, I would suggest getting some blood work done to see if this could be the culprit.

Just Give it Time and Stick With It

Hey, I know plateaus are frustrating.

I’ve experienced them and so have many others I’ve spoken with as well.

I have personally followed the advice I am dispensing here, which is why I know it work.

You just have to stick with what you’re doing and remind yourself that this is a lifestyle you are creating as opposed to establishing a result that isn’t happening as quickly as you would like.

It’s simply a matter of shifting your mindset and making adjustments to your physical efforts along the way to keep your body working in an effort to produce change.

Have you ever gotten frustrated over reaching a plateau? Have you tried any of these suggestions?

[Ask Dana] – Motivation for Weight Loss and Strengthening the Lower Body After an Accident

questions and answers in wood type

In response to numerous requests, this month I am going to start answering your specific questions.

This will be the first of a new series titled “Ask Dana”.

I want to make sure you are getting the information you’re looking for, so I encourage you to contact me with any specific questions you have about health, fitness and wellness and I’ll be sure to answer them as quickly as possible.

This month, I’ll answer a couple of the questions I have received so far, however, the answers will contain information that will benefit anyone involved in a health and fitness program.

Ask Dana – Your Questions Answered

Question 1:

“I’m a 14 year old female and weigh around 11 stone (154 pounds). My goal is to lose weight by next May because I’m going on a netball tour to Malta with school and I need confidence to be in a bikini in front of friends. But at the moment I’m a heavy emotional eater and when I do start a diet I lose motivation so quickly.
Do you have any more tips that I can use to help me achieve my goal and to improve my self esteem?”

Answer:

Given that at the time of this writing, it is late September, I can assure you that you have plenty of time to lose a respectable amount of weight safely and properly by next May.

This is the good news.

I can give you simple tips about how to incorporate a realistic nutrition and exercise program into your life that you can start implementing today.

However, what will require the most amount of attention, in my opinion, is the emotional eating and lack of ongoing motivation. So on this note, this is what I’m going to focus on first.

As far as emotional eating goes, I will recommend doing two things:

  1. The next time you catch yourself emotionally eating, be in the present moment and investigate what your exact feelings are while you are doing it.  Ask yourself what problems (you think) the food will solve. Feel every possible emotion you can and write it all down. The idea is to be aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. This way, you will begin to recognize your patterns and will therefore, develop the ability to confront them as they begin to arise…which is much easier than trying to fight them once they take over completely.
  2. Ask yourself how you would prefer your eating habits to look like. How would someone who really cares about themselves eat? What kind of person do you want to be? Write these answers down as well.

Taking a good, hard look at your patterns involves a lot of work. It requires having the courage to face who you are and why you do the things you do. Then you decide what kind of person you want to be and what that individual would do if faced with the emotions you are experiencing.

It’s an exercise in taking a step back and assessing how you react to your thoughts. Doing this allows you to become a witness to yourself. You are then in a position to start taking action by behaving in ways that would most resemble the “you” you would prefer to become.

If you take this route and do this work, I can promise you that you will learn how to combat emotional eating for a lifetime.

As far as how to begin today, I would recommend starting a nutrition and fitness program that you would enjoy. Anytime you find pleasure in an activity, you are far more likely to stick with it and motivation comes naturally. You can read this post for some easy to follow motivation tips as well.

There are several workout options available through different posts on this website – and range anywhere from walking to chair exercises to following along to workout videos that incorporate strength training techniques. There are some useful workout moves in this post as well as this one. Just click on the links in this paragraph and decide what you would like to do.

Lastly, exercise like a beginner if you ARE a beginner – and follow the safety tips in this article.

You can also click on the links further down in the post for some information on how to eat healthy without following a diet. There are some fun ways you can incorporate sound nutrition into your life, such as healthy pot lucks and getting creative in the kitchen using high quality and nutritious ingredients.

I would also mention one last thing, and this is important…

What you see in the mirror may not be what others see. It’s pretty normal for most of us to be harsh and critical of ourselves while those around us do not see the negative aspects of ourselves that we focus in on.

I also want you to read a post about how the image of health and fitness can sway a person’s opinion of what healthy living looks like. If we were to stop comparing ourselves to the models we see everywhere and instead, base our decisions on living a life that consists of well-being…you will be in a body you will never feel the need to “fix”.

Please leave a comment below and let me know if this answered your question. I am hoping to help you to never have to be in this position again. This is true self-empowerment.

Question 2:

“What can I do to strengthen my legs and thighs. Had a motorcycle accident two years ago. Can walk, but nerve damage in my feet and equilibrium problems from brain injury make it difficult to do some/many things… And have gained 40 lbs!”

Answer:

Well, first of all, I’m happy you are ok – and I’m sure your loved ones are as well.

However, as far as answering your question, I will have to keep it general. The reason is because in the presence of a medical condition, your best (and safest) bet is to get specific medical advice from either your physician, a physical therapist (preferably one that you worked with post accident), or someone who is specifically trained in special populations and post rehabilitation exercise programming.

But for now, here is what I can recommend:

  1. Walking is a wonderful to help build strength. It’s extremely functional and since this is an activity that you will need to use on a day to day basis, it will not only help you to lose weight, but it will also benefit you in regard to being able to take care of your normal daily activities with ease. Click on the link in the 1st answer I had given in this post for more information about the benefits of a fitness walking program.
  2. Eat healthy. I know it sounds simple and this is because it is. Follow a diet filled with high quality, nutrient dense foods and keep your blood sugar stable. If you can, schedule an appointment with a well-qualified registered dietitian to see what nutrition plan might be right for you and what foods may influence or interfere with any medications you are taking, if any.
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of purified water and eating foods that have a high water content (such as fruits and vegetables). I will include links to a few other posts with more specific information on how to eat for health and weight loss below. If you aren’t in a hurry and are willing to do this the right way, you will lose the weight slowly, but safely and the effects may be more of a permanent solution – and one that won’t re-aggravate your injuries.

Check out these articles for more general information on incorporating a good sense nutrition program into your life:

I hope this helps. Please feel free to leave follow up questions in the comments section.

Future Question and Answer Posts

I am going to be answering questions at least once a month.

I’d love to answer yours, so if you have any, let me know through the contact form on the website.

Do you have any questions you want answered?

5 Motivating Workout Videos To Get You Moving

FF Inspiring workout videos

Now I don’t know about you, but I happen to enjoy working out to exercise videos.

I think they’re incredibly useful and can add a lot of variety to your fitness routine…as long as they are being demonstrated by fitness professionals who explain the exercises clearly and use proper form.

Today I’m going to share some of my favorite workout videos with you.

The good news is that they will range in length and intensity so that you can follow along regardless of your schedule or your level of fitness.

Five Motivating Workout Videos To Get You Moving

1 – Leslie Sansone’s Walk Indoors – Intervals

I’ve written about Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home programs in other posts, and have shared her info in my exercise safety book as well.

The reason is because I find her workouts to be not only motivating, but functional, inspiring and fit for all exercisers. Her style is friendly, upbeat, encouraging and non-intimidating.

She incorporates several additional moves in the workout so that you’re not only getting the benefits of the walk, but you’re also teaching your body to maintain a strong posture while developing coordination as well.

This particular walk at home workout includes intervals, however, if you are new to exercise, you can always walk at your own pace until you are ready to progress to something more challenging.

This video can be used as its own workout, or as a warm up to some of the other videos in this post.

Listen to your body and start at the pace that matches your level of fitness and work your way up from there.

2 – Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer Core Workout

I happen to love the entire 10 Minute Trainer workout program, so I guess it isn’t a surprise that I would feel inspired to share one of the workouts in this post.

In this video, you’ll get a 10 minute core workout that will REALLY challenge you. It’s short and intense – and can be used in conjunction with other workouts or on its own.

Each exercise is only 30 seconds long and can be modified if necessary.

Check it out.

3 – 10-Minute Travel Resistance Band Workout | Full-Body Workout | Class FitSugar

This is an excellent quick workout that includes low impact exercises and minimal equipment.

You’ll need a mat and a bowtie band. If you don’t have a bowtie band, no worries. A regular resistance band will work.

This video includes a full body exercise program that is perfect if you’re traveling, or if you simply want to do a short workout that will leave you feeling pumped and energized.

Now, while I happen to like this video, I did notice that a warm up wasn’t included.

I always recommend a 5-10 minute warm up to get the muscles loosened up and the heart rate ready for the stress of exercise before engaging in a fitness program.

You can also use the Walk at Home video above as your warm up and finish it off with the 10 Minute Trainer core video for a longer workout session if you so desire.

4 – How To Stretch for Beginners, Safe Stretches for Full Body Yoga, Back & Leg Pain Relief, Sciatica

I felt that this would make a useful addition to this post because I know that many of you out there suffer from back, leg and sciatica pain.

Anything that works to promote flexibility and strength in a slow and controlled manner will help in regard to other types of workouts, in addition to making life easier in general.

This video incorporates a gentle routine that gradually allows your body to adapt to new poses and stretches, which will be incredibly helpful for when it’s time to take your yoga practice (or any other exercise program) up a notch.

Yoga offers fantastic health benefits, but just like any other form of fitness, it’s a good idea to start slow and work your way up to a more intense program only after you have mastered form and conditioned yourself properly to handle a bigger challenge.

This video will help you to do just that, and it may also help to alleviate tight muscles and joints – which will come in handy when engaging in any other form of fitness.

Listen to your body and do not force any stretches. Modify if necessary and allow yourself to adapt to the poses as needed.

5 – Rocky Training Motivation

I couldn’t end a post about workout inspiration without including the most inspirational video of all.

Now I don’t know about you, but I am  HUGE fan of the Rocky series, and I love the training scenes. The combination of the music, determination and heart fueling these workouts are what makes them so motivating…and AMAZING.

So if you need something to help get you moving, I suggest watching this video.

Ideas and Inspiration Are Everywhere

I know how challenging it can be to stay motivated to exercise. This is why I find videos to be so useful.

Watching people work out makes me want to get moving, and I hope it does the same for you on the days you aren’t feeling naturally enthusiastic about doing so.

I also find it helpful to see other people doing exercises that I haven’t thought of, which keeps things exciting, in addition to keeping the body guessing.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the ones I have shared with you today.

Are there any workout videos you have found to be inspiring?

Image credit goes to Fitsugar

The Benefits of Shopping at Your Local Farmer’s Market

FF Farmers Markets

I have to tell you that I absolutely LOVE shopping at my local farmer’s market.

I get to interact with some of the local farmers and support their efforts while asking them questions about how to grow food. Farming isn’t a glamorous career choice and often enough, the individuals who put their time and effort into growing food with integrity don’t exactly rake in the big bucks.

Offering my support to these individuals with my wallet, and my words is the least I can do to bring awareness to the hard work they are doing..

…but the truth is that supporting your local farmers will benefit you in many ways as well.

The Benefits of Shopping at Your Local Farmer’s Market

When you shop at your local farmer’s market, you are positively impacting your health, your wallet and your community.

Your Health

Once a fruit or vegetable is picked (removed from its life source), it starts to lose valuable nutrients right away. When you purchase your produce from the grocery store, you could be looking at several days, if not longer between when the food was picked until it gets to your plate.

When you think about how far your produce has to travel in order to get to the store (sometimes from halfway across the country – or from a different country altogether), you can’t help but to realize that you aren’t getting the amount of nutrients out of your food that is required for optimal health.

On the other hand, when your produce was grown and picked from a local farm, your food wouldn’t have had to travel nearly as far, nor as long to get to you (perhaps only hours or a day or so in some cases). You are getting far more nutritional value out of food that is picked locally than if it had to travel a long distance.

The impact this has on our health is huge. Getting as much nutritional value out of our food is obviously important, which is why we choose to eat healthy in the first place.

So when it comes to the ingredients that go into that salad of yours…wouldn’t it be nice to know that it’s serving the purpose it’s intended for – which is to nourish you properly?

Of course it is.

This is why when it comes to buying produce – local is better.

Your Wallet

Now we have already discussed that when your food comes from the local farmer’s market, it doesn’t have to travel as far.

With less traveling expenses (and the middleman) out of the picture, there is room for a better price to go to the consumer.

Speaking from my own personal experience, I have seen red bell peppers sell at the grocery store for $3.99 a pound. At my local farmer’s market, I have picked them up for $1.69 or less a pound.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most local farmers usually stick with what’s in season. When your buying habits follow this pattern, your farmers are in a position to give you a great price since there is an abundance of product available.

To find out more about what produce is in season in your state, visit this site.

Some people stock up on whatever is in season and then freeze or can the extras to ensure there is plenty of affordable food in their home throughout the year.

This isn’t a half bad idea – and may be something to think about.

Your Community

Shopping from your local farmer’s market is an excellent way to support your community as well as the farmers themselves.

Think about it…

If the farmers have enough demand for their product, it will obviously create the need for additional help.

They would most likely look to hire local delivery drivers, help at the farm and people to work at the market themselves.

And who will they hire for these jobs?

Yep – you guessed it. Locals.

Shopping at your local farmers markets puts your dollars back into your community. When the people in your neighborhood have jobs, it positively impacts the economy in your neck of the woods – and naturally this is beneficial for everyone involved.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when natural disasters hit (and they do in most, if not all areas at least sometimes), food shortages happen.

I know it isn’t pleasant to think about, but it is what it is and we may as well face it.

Supporting your local farmers is an excellent way to keep food growing in your community. If/and/or when food shortages becomes an issue, having people around who know how to grow food will serve as an asset to everyone as long as humans maintain an attitude of cooperation and decide to work together.

It sure beats waiting around for help – which may or may come in time in some cases.

How to Find Your Local Farmer’s Market

Searching for a farmer’s market is relatively easy.

You can go online and do a search for local markets in your area.

Many cities hold “green” markets during the weekends where local people get together and sell produce in addition to other items such as baked goods, homemade sauces, teas, smoothies, soaps and other fun products.

If your neighborhood doesn’t have a farmer’s market yet, I encourage you to get one started. I would imagine you’ll find others in your area who would love to have access to fresh produce…and it just may take a few of you spark enough interest to get the ball rolling.

Do you shop at your local farmer’s market?

Image credit goes to Occupy.com