Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don't make a "New Years Resolution" make a lifestyle change!

It is getting to be that time of the year again where we all eat till our hearts content, feel horrible, don't get off the couch, cold weather or family time prevent us from getting in our workouts, and then come January 1st we all see the gyms packed with people.  But what happens that second week in January when they all fall off their New Years Resolution wagons??? This is why I say, don't make a New Years Resolution, make yourself a lifestyle change.

We all set goals and expectations beyond what we can achieve.  We don't get fat or overweight overnight, so why do we expect things to get better overnight?  When we don't meet those goals and expectations, the easiest thing to do is quit!  It took me 2 years to lose my 140 pounds, and it was not easy, there was no magic bullet that made everything easy and quick.  It is still a daily struggle to pass up the peppermint chocolate bark, the mashed potatoes, or the fruit cakes (Well maybe not the fruit cakes).  It takes hard work, and most of all a lifetime committment from you to yourself to make the changes. It’s also not just that one commitment you must make to change your life, it is the 1000 plus choices you make daily to support that commitment.

So what is it you tell yourself, what excuses do you make about why you don’t exercise regularly, eat healthy, drink too much or smoke in the face of overwhelming evidence that you are literally killing yourself?  So what can you do to make and keep your commitment to a healthy lifestyle?

Here are a few things you need to know about commitments, especially commitment to a healthy lifestyle: it can be hard, no kidding.
  • Commitment can be inconvenient.
  • Circumstances change, people change.
  • Commitment is a promise against an uncertain future: you may not feel like it next week, you may have extra work to do or it might be raining.
  • Become aware of what has stopped you in the past.
What’s your excuse as to why you can't sustain a healthy lifestyle?
  •  I will never be thin, everyone in my family is heavy.
  • Diets just don’t work for me, I have tried everything.
  • I hate exercise.
I know that’s your story and you are sticking to it.  It’s your story and really it is only a story, you can change it to a story that will support your goals.

Do you suffer from lack of planning, thinking I will just squeeze it in? The truth is you do need to plan. So make a realistic plan about what you can do with the time and resources you have and just stick to it, one step at a time, one day at a time. Plan to get up 30 minutes earlier, walk to meetings or other activities that you might usually drive to, take the stairs, take a walk at lunch, etc.  STOP looking for the closest parking space and get off that elevator!!!  In just under 4 weeks I had my 63 year old mother, who never ran a day in her life, competing and completing her first 5K race!

Do you procrastinate? I will get started next week, after vacation, I don’t want to start unless I have the perfect opportunity, etc? Today is the perfect day to start regardless because as my father told me as a child, TOMORROW NEVER COMES!  As Nike says,” Just do it!”

Maybe you are so busy serving others, you don’t find time for you and you think that is OK. Be accountable, own your own NO. Really it is OK to take care of you and to say NO.  Stop being your own enabler!

You give up quickly; you think you will never be able to accomplish your fitness goals. Every journey starts with the first step and then the next and so on. The key is to keep going, even if you have a bad day or miss your goals for today or tomorrow or took a week off because you were sick, lazy, too busy, etc. Just start today.  Set yourself up for success, small yet achievable goals!

Do you get tripped up because you don’t like being told what or how to do something? Are you resisting the structure required to sustain a healthy lifestyle? Be honest with yourself, take charge and make a conscious choice, make a different choice, a choice that will support your goals.  Go to the gym and hire a personal trainer to start, give yourself someone to hold you accountable other than yourself.  Learn the workouts and proper techniques, then if you choose go off on your own!

Are there people in your life that aren’t supportive of your goals for living a healthy life? For some people it is a threat if you get healthy. Don’t share your goals with people who will not support your effort.  You unfortunately must step away from those people.  Still today I have people trying to force me to drink alcohol or eat things I know I shouldn't, they are only hindering your success!

Do you fear failure or success? Quiet the Lion of terror with Action.  You will never be as fit, thin, disciplined, dedicated, as fast, as someone else? Compete against yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others, strive to improve you daily.  Keep a journal and track your personal success.  I took a picture of myself before my journey in a doorframe, they never change, but you will!!

You may have a very large pile of excuses and thoughts that will justify your actions. Simply own your choices. You get to choose.  So here are a few tips to build that commitment muscle:
  • Be Present and make conscious choices about what you commit to and what is worth your commitment and the effort required to support that commitment.
  • Be Intentional about your commitments. Only make commitments you truly intend to and are able to keep.
  • Be Comfortable saying no; learn to establish healthy boundaries.
  • Be Aware of what you are telling yourself about your ability and willingness to keep that commitment.
  • Be Realistic about what is possible with the time, resources and energy you have and what might be required for you to keep that commitment.
  • Be Willing to keep all of the commitments and agreements you make-no matter how difficult or how costly. This will build your “commitment muscle”, strengthen character and inner trust.
  • Announce your goals so others can support, encourage and hold you accountable. But do avoid the naysayers
Learn to recognize when you are resisting for resisting sake, when it gets in your way of making healthy choices: keeping your commitments, exercising regularly, eating healthy and most importantly getting enough sleep.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Losing a friend.....

Today life has taught me that you should make the most of your days.  You never know when the opportunity will no longer be there.  I lost a great friend, while I only knew him for a short amount of time he made a lasting impression on me and those all around him.  He was dealt a bad hand, but he made the most of it.  Everyone of us should be out there making the most of our bad situations.  Stop wasting energy making excuses and get out there and do it.  What do you tell those that always seem to have an excuse as to why they CAN'T when we all know they CAN?!?!?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free Sweet Potatoes

Here is the recipe for the Agave sweet potatoes and Ginger gravy

5 cups of Peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons of Ground Ginger
1 cup of Splenda
4 tablespoons of EVOO
2 teaspoons of pepper
1 teaspoon of
1/4 cup of Gluten free flour
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of soy/hemp/almond/coconut milk
1 teaspoon of Thyme
1/2 teaspoon on Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Minced Garlic
5 tablespoons of Agave

Start with 5 cups of Sweet Potatoes
Peel and chop to equal sizes and then boil for about 15-20 mins or until fork tender.
Drain sweet potatoes and return to same pot. Mash Sweet Potatoes in pot with hand masher or hand mixer
Add 1 teaspoon of Ginger and non-dairy milk, 1 teaspoon of thyme and 2 tablespoons of agave and pepper to the potatoes for a creamy texture.

To make the gluten free Ginger gravy.

Mix flour, oil and 3 tablespoons of ginger in a sauce pot. Make a "rue" buy cooking picture on low. A paste will form, this is what you are looking for. Brown this paste (Rue) and in the sauce pot until golden brown. Once the desired color is reached, turn heat on high and slowly wisk in the water slowly and 1/2 cup of Splenda, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic. This will create your gravy. Note that gravy can be thinned with additional water. Gravy will thicken as it cools.