“Go Outside & Play!” Let the Broken Record Play on…

July 28th, 2015 2 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Let the Broken Record Play on – Focus on Free Play

Oh for the love of child’s play and activity in the peak of the summertime. School’s out and it’s time to enjoy all that summer has to offer. It’s every parent’s challenge to keep kids engaged and busy so you don’t hear the common mantra “I’m bored” until it’s back to school in September.

Who doesn’t love summer? It’s a perfect time to start a “movement movement” (as I describe in my book) and make a pact for the kids and parents to get and keep more active. As I sit here and write I can hear the birds chirping under the clear blue sky. It’s as perfect as any movie set, even better because it’s real.

Let’s reverse the abysmal stat that shows only a small percentage of kids meet the benchmark of one measly hour of activity each day. Given it’s the peak of summer let’s adopt some new behaviours that we’ll work on this season and each one following! It takes a conscious effort to “get your party started” to get and keep moving. However, if everyone in the household does it together each can lift each other out of the “lazy” part of the “lazy hazy crazy days of summer”!

The best place to start is setting a few limits. As much as I’d be tempted to suggest you pop a tube in your TV to get the kids outside, that wouldn’t be fair, would it? Set some limits around the time the kids (young and older) sit in front of any screen – TV, computer, game devises, phones.

Get outside and enjoy free play – throw the ball, ride a bike, play on the swings in the park, jump rope, play tag or hide and seek, run through the sprinkler, hit a tennis ball on the wall, climb a tree, go for a walk, you name it, just let your imagination run wild along with you!

Let the Broken Record Play on – Do What I Do

On the theme of “playing on” let’s focus on being a role model. The stats show that a child is very likely to participate in “unorganized physical activities” at age 4, they are likely to still be participating at 17. Having active parents reinforces that in spades. As a parent you might be very good at wagging your finger and telling the kids what THEY should do. I suggest you stop and take stock of your own activity level, then look in the mirror and do the same to yourself if you indeed are not active.

Light Your Own Fire Within
I blog often about setting goals, re-evaluating your activity level and giving yourself a much needed kick in the back side to vamoose and get moving. I might write it for you, but I certainly do it for myself as well. We all have days we want to just lie around – you know, as the song says “those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer”. We need to change lazy to blazing by lighting a fire under ourselves.

Play Together
I have divulged that my parents were active when I was young. We all took part in various activities and sports, including some lifestyle sports. We did our share of playing as a family. The great thing about that is that we can still do some playing together when I fast forward today by taking a walk or playing golf.

Destress Valve
Truly though as life becomes more stressful, I find activity is a proverbial valve that helps it release. I cope better after I get back from a walk then have to face the music of real life. And how great is this time of year to better appreciate the birds singing, the gardens flourishing, the kids playing, the sun shining, fresh air blowing. What’s not to love about this scenario, start and continue.

Stealth Moves
I have written about ways to sneak in stealth activity in my book if you’re going through a super-duper busy time. The key is to find 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there, another 15 minutes somewhere else and before you know it, you’ve chocked up a half hour of moving. I’m a bad parker so I routinely park further away – that’s 5 minutes right out of the gate. To work in an extra walk I take my grocery bag under my arm and walk to the store at times. A great dovetail of a few activities at one time. Find some of your own stealth moves and get going to show the kids you are truly a gamer.

Let the Broken Record Play on – Organized Sport
Continuing on the theme of “playing on” let’s focus on signing the kids up for activities. Let’s take stock of the school year that just passed. Were you stretched so far because of all of the obligations that you allowed the kids commit to? Let’s try to take the pressure off.

Family DISFunctioning & Signing Up
Sometimes organized sports can add to an existing DIS organized household. And, many of these cost money to sign up for in addition to the uniforms, shoes, equipment and more. I AM all for sports and teams, don’t get me wrong. But it’s ok as a parent to fallow the field for a season and encourage the kids to enjoy free play. We sometimes get caught up in what other families in our neighbourhood are doing and sign the kids up out of guilt. Free play is a perfect activity. I’m in your corner.

Sporty Spice Through the Ages
If you DO have the time and the means, then go ahead and get the kids into activity programs and/or sports. Consider those that the kids can continue as lifelong activities in addition to the team sports. As an adult it’s not as easy to arrange a volley ball, base ball, soccer, ball hockey game when you need a dozen busy people to get together. If you have the flexibility consider getting your kids involved in tennis, squash, badminton, golf, bike riding, hiking, running, etc. which can be more easily continued through the lifespan.

Life Lessons in Sport
I will divulge that I played competitive tennis when I was a teen. When I reflect on that experience I realize that I learned many worthwhile life lessons. I learned that life isn’t always fair even when you do your best. I learned that some people (including parents) cheat to get ahead. I learned how to lose graciously. I learned more from losing than I did from winning. I was a slow starter on the court and learned how to bear down and take it up a notch right when my opponent thought they had the win in the bag….. I also learned that through life people don’t change all that much – from the sand box to the court to the office cubicle. I’m wiser from the experience and that’s a good thing.

Do it, Do it, Do it ’til You’re Satisfied!
You who know me well by this point know my view on this. Doing something is better than doing nothing so just get started already. Do something you enjoy and encourage the same for your kids. Avoid living your glory days through your kids in sports. You had your childhood and they have theirs and never the two shall meet. Follow their lead and gently encourage their participation in something they can call their own and enjoy.

Let the Broken Record Play on – Rainy Day Play

Continuing on the theme of “playing on” let’s focus on changing plans on a rainy day. Ahh yes just when I blathered on about getting active in the summer a thunder storm blows through! It’s times like these that reminds me how important it is to be flexible with our plans. Nothings carved in stone unless Mother Nature has the chisel.

Rules of Thumb
The first thing to remember on the weather change-up is that in most places it usually doesn’t rain all day, every day. So do try to get out when it’s over. Second thing is to remember that safety comes first, stay inside or ensure you take cover when there’s an electrical storm with thunder and lightning. And finally, rain without thunder storms won’t make you melt if you get sprinkled with rain. Really!

I rather enjoy walking in the rain. I have not melted yet. I have a trusty raincoat with a hood and it travels with me to many places to shelter me from the rain. Your kids won’t melt either and may love splashing in puddles and carrying on.

Board Game Help Ward off Boredom
I know a teacher who divulged that kids who’ve grown up without playing board games have more trouble with simple life skill, such as adding the dots on a couple of dice, for example. On a rainy day drag out some old games, blow the dust off of the boxes and get playing. When you get right down and think about it there’s a social aspect to game playing in addition to the simple counting thing, plus following directions “Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass Go and do not collect $200″. Like Snakes and Ladders we all have to cope in life with slipping on a proverbial banana peel, or a snake that sends you back 15 steps, only to recover in the near future. Yes, a metaphor of life.

If you have the odd rainy day inside, aim to get out when you can then play outside longer tomorrow when the sky clears.

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Clean UP on Aisle 3!

July 13th, 2015 No Comments Tags: ,

Did you read the article that appeared in the Globe & Mail last week about nutrition experts on staff in grocery stores? The writer made a boo boo lumping unregulated nutritionists together with Registered Dietitians while asking the question “…is their advice hurting more than helping?” hmmmm. It sparked a flurry of chatter among my fellow RD nutrition expert compadres. Truth be told, I had a case of indigestion reading it while trying to enjoy my breakfast. I have done my share of pondering, now it’s time to weigh in…

I cannot think of a more brilliant concept than having nutrition experts – Registered Dietitians in the grocery store setting, bravo! It’s the one place where the rubber meets the road to support optimal food choice propping up the health and well being of you and your family. Many times have I spied customers who look bewildered comparing products trying to figure out which choice is better.

I love the Metro “My Healthy Plate” program with a smile-symbol system right on the product shelves denoting what’s good and what’s better of the rows of offerings. It’s a solid scheme based on current scientific criteria mapped out by a team of sharp-minded dietitians. This system takes the guess-work out of grocery shopping by helping you make better food choices in every aisle of the grocery store. All of the nutrition figuring has been done for you, simply grab and go.

I get my knickers in a knot when unregulated nutritionists with healthy sounding titles promote unproven concepts tied to herbals, supplements, high priced organics and gluten free for non-celiacs. It bothers me to think that innocent consumers, especially seniors are being nudged into spending hard earned dollars on products they don’t need. It is THAT type of advice that is hurting more than helping.

Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. These days it seems that every second youthful-looking person is starting their own blog and tweeting all sorts of non-sense. Gwyneth Paltrow is a perfect example. Just because someone eats, bakes, takes a few courses, watches Dr. Oz and surfs the net doesn’t make them an expert of any kind. If something sounds too good to be true, remember… it is. To spot these imposters I wish you could just listen for that quacking sound, but alas it isn’t that simple.

What I have learned over the years is that young bodies can really take a beating when trying seemingly innocuous products. Beware though, because as we age our magical machine can’t hold up quite as well and things eventually start to break down.

Case in point, I heard a story about a woman who tried a cleanse, limiting her to only drink a high-priced, special elixir to help her find her fountain of youth. After a month on this bevy blaster her hair started falling out. That wasn’t exactly the special side effect she was seeking, good grief. That’s what happens when you don’t deliver all the nutrients your body needs consistently – it eventually breaks down. Unfortunately the wisdom of eating a balanced diet and regular food can seem unsexy and highly underrated when indeed this nugget is truly the Holy Grail… The moral of that story – don’t mess with the machine – your bodacious body, as I have written many times and explain in my ebook, Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

Some nutritionists spew all kinds of folksy stuff. Make sure whoever gives you advice can back up what they’re preaching using scientific evidence and NOT the popular press. If someone tells you “…well back on the farm eons ago everyone ate all ..… blah blah blah blah”. I love a good fairy tail too, but in reality the life expectancy back then was much lower than it is now thanks to the advances in modern medicine.

Listen folks, I am now north of 50 and I’m not talking latitude here, but age. I realize how important it is for me to rely on accredited, well-trained professionals to treat my body right. After all, your body IS your temple. If you want to shop around for different shoes or styles, go for it. But when it comes to your health heed the advice of accredited health professional like Registered Dietitians any time you can get it. The years of training, high standards and demands for them to consistently stay in the know to allow them to be registered by an accredited college to protect the public holds them to a higher standard. Isn’t that what you want? Why settle for anything less?

The next time you go to the grocery store make it a point to ask for a session with a Registered Dietitian. I’d like to hear on the overhead speaker “Call the Dietitian for clean up on aisle 3!”; yes clean up the misconceptions on food and nutrition issues that lurk in every aisle…

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Get Your Game Face ON!

July 9th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Construction… check, gridlock…. check, mannequins…. check, torch lit…. check, well those Pan-Am Games are almost upon us…. double check! Come on folks it’s time to stop complaining and make our inner light shine and plan to take it all in.

I love taking in all things sports. I did some pondering about what this means in our lives, hmmmm. Take the flame for instance. It’s a perfect symbol of motivation as it travels over hills and dales, towering snowcapped mountains and cavernous valleys to the host city. Each day that flame is passed represents that internal glow in our own lives to be better, go further, get stronger, don’t you think?

I chuckled when I did my mat routine recently with weights and flexibility exercises in deep contrast to those buff beach volley-ball players’ routines. I bent and stretched to just touch my toes and lifted those weights tightening my core, cause I too can do just a little bit better. How about you?

I won’t be joining a Viking iron woman team any time soon because tortoises don’t qualify. I will however be more mindful of how I can do my body right one baby step at a time. Maybe I’ll sneak out for an extra stroll at lunch in the day; perhaps I’ll forgo those excessive food offerings at special occasions; how about getting down on my mat an extra day or two in the week to tighten my core or make my lunch with the seasonal fare adorning my fridge. Every positive step in the right direction is a good thing.

Some Pan-Am Game food for thought, that’s for sure. Enjoy watching and ensure you take your routine up a few notches from the inspiration garnered by the athletes.

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Follow the Loser – Vacation Tips

July 2nd, 2015 No Comments

Canada Day has come and gone with more vacation days looming as the seasons unfold. Some might think it’s easier to stay on track with eating and activity goals with summer here and bountiful produce is around. Nay, nay I say! I think for many there’s a “party hearty” mood with more opportunities to eat, drink and be merry to the max. If you worked diligently to tone your beach body why not work in ways to stay in shape for the duration.

My good friend and colleague Cara Rosenbloom and I conducted a survey on successful weight losers years ago. We surveyed women who made it from Fat City to Slim Town. These women anonymously spilled a hill of beans on this (and many other topics) on how they approach vacationing. Let’s review some tips of the successful loser Slim Town-ites… enjoy the cornball names!

Eating, moderation and finding balance

“Plan ahead and have some of the things you love, but don’t totally overindulge.” – Pamela Prudence

“I never go to an eating occasion hungry.” – Edith Wise

“Lose the “all or nothing” mentality that comes with vacation eating and drinking ‘amnesia’.” – Debbie Dealmaker

“I make sure I have healthy snacks on hand.” – Nora Nibble

“Balance what you eat. My tip: eat before you go to those meals. The edge is off your appetite so you are less likely to overeat.” – Sandy Satiety

“I eat what I want, but small portions and in moderation. If I overeat, I exercise longer the next day.” – Patty Prioritize

“Maintain food limits 80% of the time and enjoy drinks or desserts 20% of the time.” – Fanny Figure

On activity and exercise

“Keep exercising, even on vacation. If you overindulge one day, eat better the next few days to compensate.” – Jill Jockology

“On holidays, I’m usually more physically active because I’m out of the office.” – Mina Move-It

“Exchange my regular routine with other things like walking on a beach, stretching and spot exercises.” – Chaz Changeup

“I actually like working out when I’m away. It’s a new gym or a new place to run. And I feel extra-proud of myself for having done it! Still, I’ll eat everything (in moderation), because… it’s a vacation!” – Amy Attitude-Adjustment

These women appear to have their routines down pat and priorities figured out – balance and moderation are keys to their success. They do partake in the holiday eating while continuing activity to offset the intake. Very wise words to follow as more vacation days unfold, don’t you think?

Check out Chapter 9 in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books with an array of tips and tricks for “Facing Routine Curveballs and Challenges” that everyday life brings.

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“I hate summer!” said no one EVER!

June 24th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I hate summer!
Said no one EVER!
Longer days
And better weather

Outdoor sports
Golf skorts
Bare feet and
Extreme weather reports!

Lovely breeze
Allergic sneeze?
Gardening and
Towering trees

Time to bike
Or take a hike
Roller blade or
Fly a kite

Take the #StepCountChallenge
And #SneakItIn
#MakeYourDayHarder
Hike up your routine!

Stay outdoors!
Try a new golf course
Take up tennis?
Perfect time to move more!

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Take Me to Your Leader, a Father’s Day Tribute

June 19th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I did some reminiscing about my Dad lately with Father’s Day right around the corner. He’s been such a positive force and stellar role model for me. This applies to all aspects of my life, but of course I’ll focus on the health related part, mostly. It’s a good time to toot his horn and turn the spotlight on my family’s silent soldier. He’s a silent soldier in part due to living in a household with 5 women who barely allowed him to get a word in edgewise…. When I hear about the importance of various family factors resulting in positive health outcomes for kids, it warms my heart to know how lucky I’ve been.

Family MealtimesHe knew about prioritizing what was important in life despite being a busy accountant (and still does). We consistently ate meals together as a family – breakfast and dinner. Fathers can play a very important role in the health of their family by scheduling work accordingly. It was our time to eat a home cooked meal together, catch up on our day and connect.

Family Activities – We learned activities we can all do together – tennis, swimming, badminton and made time to do them.

Leading by Example – He is a master time compartmentalizer even when work was super crazy. He had a very busy job yet always made time for physical activity. He was in good shape and used to jog a few miles a day and play squash. My sister and I took up jogging too, following his lead. We figured if He can do it, we can too!

Showing Tough Love, Setting Limits as a United Front – My Mom and Dad always worked as a team and he supported my Mom with the limit setting. They weren’t our best friends, they were our parents and secure enough not to cross that line.

Encouragement with a Reality Check – My Dad encouraged us to be the best we could be in whatever we chose to do in life. He didn’t flower up reality and would give you the straight goods when you needed it. He expected we get part time jobs and work, save money and pay for what we could. We learned the value of a dollar and not to spend what we didn’t have. All important life skills.

What does all of this have to do with eating and lifestyle… well, everything??!! When your life is properly balanced, wisely prioritized with good examples to follow it’s easier to make sound decisions. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book reflects how my Dad conducted his life naturally.

Thank you Dad for being such an amazing father and role model to me. I kept the family name as a testament of my pride for what you built on our branch of the family tree. You’re the best and I love you bushels full!

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Proposed Food Label Changes – Good From Far BUT Far From Good

June 12th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Mandatory food product labelling in Canada was introduced many years ago. At a glance the Nutrition Facts panel and Ingredient List allow consumers to learn about what’s in the food they choose. Not all countries have mandatory food package labelling, so I feel lucky that Canada has this. Spoiler Alert! …. this information is still needed for restaurant food given consumers are eating out more than ever mounting a significant proportion of our intake. I have written in my ebook and this blog that awareness is bliss, simply put, people will do better when they know better.

The Nutrition Facts table has come under much scrutiny as it potentially confuses consumers. There was a public consultation on this last year and today Health Canada has announced this Canada Gazette 1 proposal of changes to the label. There is a 75 day response period where Canadians can provide comments on their proposal before it goes to the Canada Gazette 2 stage.

As I sat to pen my thoughts on Health Canada’s proposed changes to the food label, the skies became dark, thunder rumbled and rain teemed down. Here’s an overview of the main proposed changes that I feel Canadians really care about outlined in Dietitians of Canada’s press release:

  • Mandatory standardized serving sizes for the Nutrition Facts table
  • Improved legibility of the Ingredients list on the label with consistent placement for allergen information
  • Sugars grouped together in the Ingredient list plus a %Daily Value for total sugars in the Nutrition Facts table
  • Updated % Daily Values to reflect the most recent nutrient recommendations
  • An exemption for requiring a Nutrition Facts table on pre-packaged vegetables and fruits before making a Health Claim

Here are my preliminary thoughts:

Uniform Serving Size
Standardizing serving sizes is a great idea. This will make comparing various brands easier. I cannot stress enough, though, that we need to get this right.  We live in an era with multiple health epidemics – namely obesity and diabetes. If Health Canada rounds UP the sizes too much I fret what message this will give to consumers about diet quantity. I was at the Dietitians of Canada conference last week and an RD friend and colleague of mind said the company she works for is worried about this as some of the proposed serving sizes are too large. When big food industry is worried, then I become increasingly worried….

Sour About Sugar Labelling
In last year’s consultation with Canadians the notion of having an extra line on the Nutrition Facts table to highlight added sugar was a fabulous idea. Sadly though, this did not make the cut in today’s recommendation. What they have proposed appears more confusing to me as an RD and probably to consumers at large.

Firstly, cutting back on added sugar has been raised as an issue by none other than the World Health Organization and the Heart & Stroke Foundation suggesting no more than 6-12 teaspoons of added sugar daily. Our current labels AND the proposed labels make it impossible to discern the amount of added sugar in any product.

Right now the ingredient list positions ingredients from most to least by weight. Consumers can review that to get an idea what the product is made of. In terms of sugars in various forms they are scattered among the list based on amounts. What has been proposed is to group them all together in a bracket in the list. That is all fine and good to do this but consumers still don’t know how much added sugar is actually in the product. I fret for a product like milk which has natural lactose that people might cut back because they’re not really sure.

Also, adding a % Daily Value after sugar on the panel sends me the message “…that although 15% might be deemed as “a lot” I can have more to make it to 100%…” when this is the last thing we want consumers to think. If consumers are told simply by WHO and HSF to eat no more than 6-12 teaspoons of added sugar each day throw them a bone and help them discern this without the need to play Where’s Waldo? making it impossible to figure out. At least in Where’s Waldo? you can eventually find him, on the label you have no clue whatsoever….

What Can YOU DO?
Take advantage of the comment period and weigh in on these recommendations by August 26, 2015 when our window of opportunity closes. Don’t lose heart!

I love our country but it’s times like these I find myself saying “OH Cana-DUH”! Let’s get this right, shall we?

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A Wee Nudge to Help Me Budge

June 3rd, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ahh for the love of keeping active.  It’s a perfect time of year to get yourself outside to play, don’t you think? The temperature is lovely, the days are lighter longer and the possibilities are endless. I admitted in a recent post that I am a self proclaimed tortoise of sorts. My motto is “slow and steady wins the race…. my race.” Although I’m delighted when others make lofty activity goals, my heart sinks when they fall off the wagon for months on end until they get inspired again. From a behavioural standpoint it helps to create a love affair with activity so you look forward to doing it daily, weekly, monthly and throughout every season, not just spring and summer.

Healthy & Stealthy Interval Training – I know I sound like a broken record when I encourage you to do your “interval training” by finding a few 15 minute intervals every day to move more, creating your own “movement movement”. Easy peasy, right? Why make it so hard on yourself? I found just the tech toy that provides a wee nudge to help you budge, so listen up!

Get Moving with Tech Support – I got my hands on a sporty Apple watch recently. My tech support has been in India lately so I’ve fumbled around with it at the start. I instantly took to the Activity App features. Although I’m already inclined to move each day, since sporting it, my watch serves as my personal conscience and coach especially when I’ve become engrossed in long bouts of sitting at my computer.

Activity App to Nudge You – The Activity App touts “Live a better day by achieving 3 daily fitness goals.” These include goals to move (in calories), to exercise (in time) and to stand for one minute (number of times/day). The first day I wore it I received a gentle nudge on my wrist with a message “Time to stand!” When I complied, I received a follow up message “You did it!” How great is that? Very!

Friendly Reminders from Your Personal Coach – At various intervals in the day I receive updates on how my activity goals are progressing. I just received a nudge that I was at 57% of my Move goal encouraging me that I was “…having a solid day. Keep it going into the evening…” One evening I received an update showing me that I hadn’t yet reached my daily activity goal. Instead of settling in to couch-potato-dom I snuck out for an evening stroll that was both refreshing and enjoyable and not the least bit onerous.

I particularly like this because for me, like for many people, time can simply slip through your fingers with good intentions. Good intentions don’t get results, actions do! These reminders help you find another 15 minutes to move so your daily goals are met, very healthy and stealthy! At the end of my first week of wearing it, I received a summary of my performance. In my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books I discuss the importance of doing the 3 R’s - Review, Reflect, Reframe so good on you #AppleWatch. This summary helps me to make activity goals for the coming week after reviewing and reflecting what I actually achieved.

I am not, nor will I ever be an Iron Woman Viking, but I walk and work out regularly so I can face each day with zest. This new toy gives me an elevated level of mindfulness with encouragement to motivate me “just for today“.

I am enamoured with these friendly reminders to help me fight inclinations of inertia, like a supportive personal coach. All it’s taken is a wee nudge to help me budge! Is it time to stand up again?

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Twitter Taddler: Crash diet? Don’t try it!

May 27th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

You know that it’s spring not only when the blossoms have bloomed but also when the crash diet industry’s false promises are on the airwaves. While on Twitter recently, I noticed a barrage of attention grabbing “before and after” photos with promises to get you skinny in a jiffy, good grief. When I looked closely some “after” shots didn’t even look like the same person. What gives?! Whatever you do, don’t fall for it. And yes Dr. Oz, one of those tweets was yours!

I made a conscience decision to begin this year posting a series to help you to jump start your regimen to propel you into a slow and steady behaviour modification “change project” to a healthier you. What’s the rush? If you are now ready to make some changes, press the “start” button and consider some basics first. Avoid getting sucked in to those claims with empty promises that seem too good to be true.

Take a look at my ebook to support you in your quest: Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books Here are a few of the posts to help you get started:

Save your money, like magic – Do you believe in magic? The child in me would like to. But my adult brain knows full well about illusions. Many plans, pills, procedures and products promise mystical results. That’s what desperate dieters want: fast, easy, magical solutions to solve their weight problem. Don’t fall for them!

Super starvation nation – I divulged the ultra-low-calorie diet blunder that twisted my eating into a tailspin for years in my ebook so I understand the allure of “quick fix” promises. The physiological truth is when anyone goes on an ultra-low cal diet, they will lose weight, and fast, especially the first time they try it. The inconvenient truth is that we humans are biological beings with a penchant for survival. Once you go on a fast like that, guess what? The next opportunity you get to eat freely you won’t be able to stop until a week next Sunday —of next year, probably longer. Yes those food floodgates will surely fly open.

Super low-cal regimens can have long-lasting negative effects on many levels. I learned the hard way and I don’t want you to do the same. Some people try these scary schemes over and over again and tank their metabolism and self-esteem. Each rebound results in a greater amount of weight gain. Each time you try again, the weight loss is harder and harder to achieve. Do you know why? Our masterful machine is protecting itself by becoming more efficient. Your metabolism will slow down which is exactly what you don’t want when you try to lose weight.

Experts say that the lowest daily energy we should ever fall to is 1,200 calories for women and 1,600 for men, a far cry from this delinquent dietary quota.

You may lose weight because of the ultra-low calories prescribed. You will not, however, keep the weight off because you will eventually revert to your previous ways. From now on when you hear the word “fast” in the name of a diet you’re enamoured with, that’s the speed you should travel in the opposite direction away from it!

So folks, take your time and make small changes. You will eventually succeed. Your physical, mental, emotional health and wellbeing depend on it. Spot the snake in life’s game of Snakes and Ladders and move on.

A bigger part of me – grab some flab – Let’s have a reality check, shall we? Take a moment and grab your tummy roll or flabby thigh or arm flap – look at it, pinch it, realize it. This extra fat is part of your very body. It is integrated throughout your complex systems with your circulation flowing through it in every appendage, all over your torso, your neck and head, everywhere.

Losing this excess fat like that junk in your trunk isn’t like emptying a pot of tea (“turn the handle and pour me out”). Don’t you wish? It’s much more complicated than that and needs time. Your self-image is affected in part by this excess fat too. So losing weight affects you deeply both physically and mentally. It takes time to lose it safely without compromising your temple. Be kind to your “body as temple” and as I like to say “Don’t mess with the machine, your bodacious body!”

Yes spring has sprung folks and if you were slow out of the gate to build your beach body in the New Year, relax and take stalk. Slow and steady is the name of the game to successful weight loss taking the trek to Slim Town if you want to make one last trip and stay there!

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If you don’t use it….

May 20th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Oh for the love of spring activities. I found myself moseying down to the centre of town in Kelowna, BC recently. A mile in any direction sports about from beach volley ball, mountain or trail walking, running, biking, paddling, swimming, golfing – you name it, people of all ages were doing it! Seeing so many “movers and shakers” participating in their own “movement movement” inspired me. My heart smiled as I passed through.

I too was a runner many decades ago. Well a jogger, really. I participated in a multitude of 10 kilometre (10k) fun runs and a couple of 20ks. That’s the extent of me actually doing a marathon – adding smaller races together to equal one big one. I would aim to beat my personal best time. I usually ended up in the last quarter of the group. Truly though, I’m not very athletic, not flexible enough to touch my toes on the first try, not really strong with my spaghetti arms as appendages. Nonetheless, I move, I stretch, I lunge, I burpee and I lift weights. I’m more like a tortoise, using the slow and steady strategy to win the race – my race.

When I took up jogging in my “big-boned” teen years, I distinctly remember that first time out. My Dad mapped a one-mile route to get me started. What I thought would be a cinch in the car felt like a one-mile marathon on the street – feet pounding, thighs rubbing, sucking in wind with a sharp stitch in my side. Am I there yet? What, another block to go? Oh the pain!

Being a hard-headed Italian, I was too proud to stop. As the weeks passed during those early stages, jogging that one-mile became easier. Soon, I yearned to do two miles then three, then four…

Jogging taught me the importance of setting goals and the euphoric sense of accomplishment when I reached them. It’s symbolic for any goal you make in life. If you are standing at the starting line of a marathon-long type challenge, break it down into blocks and tackle one block at a time. In time you’ll be meeting personal goals that add up to significant change over time and will stick with you for good.

My exercise regimen has morphed through the decades. I used to jog; now I walk. Whether you’re an iron-woman Viking or someone content with walking, the important thing is that you do something, anything. Our bodies were meant to move; we’re meant to run, walk, jump, dance, ski, rollerblade, swim and saunter, although some better than others. Neighbourhood malls are safe-haven walking trails for fair weather types. If you haven’t already done so, join in. There really isn’t any excuse not to participate especially this time of year. Because at the end of the day, it’s true: if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my ebook, Skinny on Slim, the Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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