The master of…

Working with people who are trying to lose weight, I’ve noticed something:
People are either a master at making progress or they’re a master at making excuses. Some excuses are so clever, so well thought out, that seriously, if there was a book made on the top 100 excuses of all time, these finely crafted gems would be at the top of the list, yup, they’re that good.
So let’s talk about you.

Are you making progress or are you making excuses?

It’s really that simple. No.. It really is.
Because when we really want something, we make a way. Don’t we?
Think about the last time you reeeeeally wanted something, (other than a smaller jean size), How hard did you work for it? What were you willing to sacrifice to get it? How well did you plan ahead to make sure it happened?
It’s really not about losing weight, (well it shouldn’t be) but working towards being the healthiest version of you. Weight loss will automatically come when we ditch the processed junk in our diets, eat whole foods, drink water, stop with our emotional eating/boredom eating and implement an exercise plan.
It’s really not that difficult. Really it’s not.
Unless…
We’re just not ready. In other words, we want something MORE than we want our health and figure back.
That ‘more’ could be anything.
We can say all we want that- we want to lose weight or we want to get our health back on track but the bottom line is this: if we aren’t quite ready to give up our comfort foods, learn new habits and get up and get moving, we will find every excuse in the book for staying exactly where we are.

So the question is this..
What do you want? No really.. What Do YOU Want?
(You KNOW what’s coming next.. yup, my favorite quote.)

“Decide what you want,
decide what you’re willing to give up for it,
establish your goals and get to work.” ~Hunt

Ask yourself- Am I making excuses or am I making progress?
(And here’s a tip.. you’ll grow when you get quiet long enough to hear the answer.)
Because we cannot do both. If you’re ready for change in whatever area of your life, you’ll find that excuses are no longer part of who you are. When they pop into your head, you will recognize them for what they are, get rid of them and keep moving forward. You will begin to look at obstacles as opportunities.

Can I tell you what you already know?
You can do this. Yup, you can.
So, lay down the excuses.. and pick up the keys to your future. :-)

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Surviving Super Bowl

Do you ever wonder how things get started.. like the origin of certain things?
Or… am I the only weird one… (don’t answer that.)
Like, what did the first Super Bowl party look like? Was it accidental?
OK that was random!
Well, anyways.. as we all know, it’s the first ‘big test’ of the year for many who are trying to hold on to their New Year resolutions/goals for weight loss.
So here are my top 6 strategies for surviving thriving during a Super Bowl party.

1. Bring along healthy foods.
The biggest trap of the party can be that you’re actually hungry (because these parties can last foreveeeeeeer), but there is nothing there that you can eat. So… bring your own! Plan ahead to bring a savory dish and a sweet treat, both that are within your guidelines for healthy eating. Don’t be offended if no one else wants any, it’s not your job to convince them that it’s healthy (or tasty), what isn’t eaten you get to take home.. more for you, yay!

2. Don’t park sit near the junk.
We’re more tempted to munch and keep munching when we are sitting/standing right next to the food. If it’s in your eye-line and keeps calling your name, move or move the food so it’s not beckoning you. I do this all the time, without apology, so much so that my husband doesn’t even ask what I’m doing anymore. He just knows —it’s tempting me and I want it to stop. Boom. it’s out of sight. Party on.

3. Get an accountability partner.
(Only do this if you’re serious, because it will absolutely help you to succeed.)

It can be your spouse, one of your kids, or that anal (uh, can I say that?) ehem, that person that is 100% ‘by the book’ at all times, who would LOVE to watch you like a hawk to make sure you’re not slipping on your healthy eating. Doesn’t everyone have ‘one of those’ in their circle of friends? Or two? (hey, don’t knock ‘us’, we make great accountability partners.) lol Tell them you’re serious and you give them permission to call you out in front of everyone.
Sound a tad intimidating? Uh.. do you want to be held accountable or not? Don’t pick someone who will say- it’s ok, it’s just a half gallon of ice cream, you deserve it.
You’re trying to thrive here, remember?

4. Don’t drink your calories.
I thought everyone knew this. But… I am a bit sheltered in some areas. Calories that you drink are more concentrated. Fill up on good foods and wash it all down with some refreshing water (and lemon/lime).
Water?!?!

She did not just say- “water.”
Oh yes she did.
It’s the absolute best thing you can drink. You have weight loss goals, right? Stand out from the crowd, set an example, stick to water.

5. Don’t graze.
If you don’t eat beforehand (which I would recommend) and by some chance there are healthy foods at the party, get ONE plate and take your time eating it. Don’t scarf it down and don’t make a return trip to the buffet. Give that food time to digest, for pete’s sake. If all you do is pick from this platter and that platter and nibble on a little of this and a little of that, you will quickly lose track of how much you’ve eaten, which will doom your goal of surviving thriving at a Super Bowl party. And by the way, stick to your normal eating schedule and portions for best results. :-)

6. Make the day about the people and/or the game.
If you’re not really into the game (it’s ok, you can say it here, I won’t tell) then enjoy your company, engage them, help clean up (your hostess will love you for life), or play with the kiddos. So many of our big traditions revolve around food. If we’re going to start getting back on track with our health, we’ve got to start reversing that and making our gatherings about relationships and interacting with one another, that we also, by chance serve food at.

Bonus: Check out these AWESOME sites for tasty treats that won’t kill your goals.
Fastpaleo.com
Yourlighterside.com
Civilizedcavemancooking.com

What are your plans for staying on track? Do you allow yourself a little treat or stay as far away as possible? Do you have support from your friends and family?
Drop me a comment here or on the facebook Hungry! page.

Happy game day!! :-)

It’s only week #2 and I’m ready to quit.. help?

What is it about the two-week point in your quest to eat clean and lose weight that is so tough to get past? I’ve heard from many of you that you do GREAT for two weeks and then ‘something’ happens, and before you know it- you’re off track (again?).
We could talk forever about the reasons why… but can I just encourage you for a bit? Thanks, thanks (this is my favorite part). :-)

So…
Look how far you’ve come.
No really, do it. When you started two weeks ago, did you think you could make it this far? It’s TOUGH to let go of junk food and sodas and sugary coffee drinks… etc..
VERY tough.
But you did it. YOU did it.
YOU started (which is the toughest part of all) when everyone else was still making excuses. (Do you need to reread that last sentence? It’s HUGE.)
YOU stepped up and took control of your life and your eating habits in spite of a very busy life.

Remember this.
Remember how hard it was and how much you worked to overcome the obstacles.
Remember every time you chose something healthy over something unhealthy. Remember how hard you worked to plan your meals so you would have good food to eat.
Remember.. and be proud of yourself.

Now let’s look forward.
You have a goal, whether its a number on the scale, a certain size pair of jeans, running a marathon, you name it.. but YOU have it. It’s all yours.
See that goal, take a few minutes to see yourself THERE. Finished.
No matter how you’re feeling right now, let me just tell you..
That goal.. YOUR goal is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY possible. Did you hear me?
It’s possible.
You just need to do one thing.

Keep going.

Don’t quit. Don’t try to figure out how you’re going to ‘do this’ for months or years.
Think about your next meal and making it healthy.
Think about kicking some serious butt in your next workout.
Take it one choice, one action, one decision at a time.

Don’t quit.

Take a deep breath (or six) and focus on your goal and do what it takes to stay in the game.
This is your life, and your goal and they are worth fighting for.
You can do this.
Yes, YOU can.
Now, go be the awesome, motivated, hard working, WINNER that you are.
Yeah, you can do that, too.

A Strong-end or a Weak-end?

So, hypothetical scenario here..
Monday rolls around and you’re ready for it. You’ve done your meal prep for the week, lined out your workouts and workout days, refilled your five gallon jug of water… man, you are READY!!
Skip forward to Friday.. you’re on a serious “healthy lifestyle high,” in fact you’re glowing and people are asking you if you got a raise or if you’re in love, WOW, you feel great! Not only did you get in all your workouts and all your water, but you successfully avoided Mary’s  3 dozen donuts “gift” to the office and politely turned down your brother’s insistence about ‘just trying’ some birthday cake and ice cream AND…drum roll… you dropped 2 pounds.
Can life get any better? I mean, can it?!?
Woo hoo! Cart wheels! High fives!

Then 5 o clock happens and it is officially the weakend!!
Oops, typo. That should’ve read ‘weekend,’ right?
It’s the end of the week, work is over, it’s time to play, its the WEEKEND!!
But so often and for so many of us it becomes a ‘weak end’ to an otherwise strong week, right?!
So, what happens?
What it is about letting our hair down and loosening the tie at work that also seems to carry over to our healthy habits.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Time off work does not constitute time off from a healthy lifestyle, or at least it shouldn’t. Either you believe the way you’re eating and taking care of yourself is healthy (good for you) and long term or you don’t, and your actions will prove it. I know, because I used to do this..uh, A LOT.
Up and down, up and down, tightening up, loosening up, back and forth…

Imagine telling your Dentist that you only brush your teeth Monday through Friday and the weekends.. you just, you know, kinda play it by ear, if it happens, it happens but you don’t want to over do it, because that’s like, fanatical to do it everyday.

What nonsense. We don’t take 2 days off from this healthy habit, so why should we do it with our eating and exercise?
Now, I’m not talking about scheduled carb loading or having one ‘off plan’ item or meal, I’m talking about figuratively letting your hair down and throwing out what you know to be healthy.. for a few days in the pit. And it is a pit that has to be crawled out of, right?

So, here’s some things to think about that may help with this vicious and self-sabotaging cycle.
1. Lose the “I deserve it” mentality.. well, kinda. You’re right, you’ve done really well all week and you deserve… something, but eating a bunch of junk is NOT a reward and can often set you further back then where you started from. I’m not sure when along the line we started to ‘reward’ ourselves with bad stuff but seriously, that’s like a child winning a track race and you say, “Awesome, way to go, you’re the best.. here, sit down and start eating this 5 pound bag of sugar, you deserve it sweetie!!” Ridiculous? Uh, yeah! Yet, I used to dip my foot (and sometimes my whole leg) back into the sugar laden junk on the weekends, all the time. You’re right, you deserve a pat on the back, you have taken steps to improve your life and get your health back on track, it’s very tough to do, so reward yourself with a verbal, “Good job!” “Way to go!” (I do it all the time), and stay the course. Be kind to yourself, reward yourself by staying on track.

2.  Is this a diet or a new you? A diet is something you go on and off, right? I tried nearly every diet out there, I went on them and theeeeen I went off them. But when you decide to clean up your eating habits, get rid of the processed junk and start getting some exercise on a consistent basis, that’s a life style change, it’s not something you go off of, this is a new you. Do you cease being you on the weekends? Of course not. This is who you are now, you are healthy, strong, and focused, you don’t want to take a break from that.

3. The best way to never have to deal with the dreaded Monday “regrets and hangovers” is to not fall off the wagon on the weekend. That was crazy, overly simplistic, wasn’t it… I’ve never had a ‘real’ hangover, heck, I’ve never had a drink, but I could write a book about food hangovers, I’ve had enough of them for all of us. Again, you’re eating really well, and suddenly the temptation is greater than your resistance and BAM! You’ve eaten something you shouldn’t have. It was all fun and games for the 4 seconds it took you to eat it then… THEN, maybe moments later, maybe a day later, it hits you. And you get to walk around for a good day or two trying to rid your body of that substance that you don’t normally eat or drink. It stinks. Plain and simple. Your head hurts, you may be lightheaded/dizzy, feel nauseous, sleepy, etc.. Yuk.
So, how can we avoid it? Uh.. don’t eat a bunch of junk that’s not part of your eating plan.  I haven’t done this in many months, and guess what? No Monday morning regrets and/or hangover. Wow, what a concept.
(And yeah… it’s going to happen sometimes, and when it does, the important thing is get right back on and get moving in the right direction again.)

4. Failing to plan.  We’ve all heard the saying “Failing to plan is just planning to fail” and yet we do it all the time. We all KNOW that fresh food and produce doesn’t last as long as processed junk but we still try to make it 7 days without going back to the grocery store. Try planning on going every Sunday and Wednesday or whatever days work for you. Plan to have two days out of the week where you do meal prep. Just plan for it. Put it in your schedule. If you go into the weekend and you have none of your healthy foods prepped and ready to go you’re just planning to fail (fall off the wagon). Also, plan when you’re going to get some exercise in. Unless the weekend is your scheduled rest days, they should not be taken off from exercise. Plan a hike, or swim some laps, but plan something to keep you focused on staying fit.

5. Lastly, if your eating plan is so strict it has you pining for the weekend to get some relief, you might want to take another look at it. I try a lot of things in my diet, taking stuff out, adding stuff in, constantly changing things up. But one thing I won’t do is make changes that I can’t live with forever. I’m not into quick fixes and temporary weight loss ideas, I want to eat in a healthy way that’s sustainable for me. When I was pondering the decision in February 2011 to take out grain and dairy, I thought about it long and hard, weighing pros and cons. I decided to ‘try’ it, and haven’t looked back, I love it. And I can eat this way for life. Finding a plan that is healthy and works for you won’t feel like a diet and will likely eliminate the ‘need’ to cheat, so do some research to find a good healthy fit for you.

And here’s my bottom line.
What do you really want?
No seriously. Stop for a minute and answer that question, just so you and your body are on the same page.
Do you want to be healthy and fit or do you want to eat a bunch of food that you know is unhealthy and will leave you feeling miserable and a few pounds heavier? It’s that simple really. Once you get this clear in your heart and mind, it will remove a lot of the questions of should I or shouldn’t I?
Here is one of my favorite quotes:
“Decide what you want, decide what you’re willing to give up for it, establish your priorities and go to work” -Hunt
I hope you have a great weekend, or should I say, I hope you have a strong-end to a great week.