Category Archives: Exercise and physical activity

Could You Lose 2 kg by Christmas Day? or How To Give Your Health and Weight Loss Program A Boost,This Festive Season


 

Editor’s note: This post is written to encourage and support anyone who has begun a weight loss journey and is concerned that Christmas and the holiday season might be their downfall! If this is not you, then Happy Holidays anyhow and I hope you enjoy your Christmas cheer! If you yourself have any tips or advice to help those who might still be struggling with weight loss issues then please share them with us all in the comment box. Thanks….

P.S. I have written this post according to the traditons here in Australia where I live. I realise that many of you have just celebrated Thanksgiving too. I hope you enjoyed yourself and perhaps you should read this post after you have recovered!!  Happy Thanksgiving to you anyhow – it sounds like a wonderful tradition!

The Big Question

Could you lose 2 kg by Christmas Day? Of course you could! With exactly one month to go till the big day, a weight loss of 2 kg is definitely achievable, given that the expected and healthy loss for anyone on a weight loss plan or program is about 0.5 kg a week.

Trouble is around this time a lot of people on weight loss journeys start to worry because they know that pretty soon, food is going to be a very big player in every social event and get together. But relax…..really…with a little bit of forward planning and decision-making the ‘food thing’ or our ‘impulse control thing’ does not have to get out of hand.

It does however, take some conscious thought.

Planning Ahead For Parties

First up here’s an idea that a friend shared with me some time ago. I’ve tried it and it works. It’s also extremely simple.

It involves ‘visualising’ (which is basically just creating a mental picture) of the food you know or think will be offered at a particular event and then ‘seeing’ yourself either saying ‘no thanks’ or just shaking your head. By doing this you are creating a conditioned response to the food instead of just reacting to. You are being a ‘mindful eater’ instead of the opposite. All good, so far.

But what about liquid calories? These also need to be taken into account, so choose your drinks carefully and dilute them with soda or mineral water where you can. Or don’t drink at all. There’s a thought!  I know, it is CHRISTMAS ….so go ahead and celebrate, just be mindful of all you consume though and trust me you can still have a great time!

The Real Focus

Christmas really is about sharing and getting together with family and friends. The food is part of the tradition, but it’s not the essence of the day. Good conversation, catching up with the lives of those whom you don’t see often enough and simply sharing some love and laughter can all take place with or without the food. So if you are serious about avoiding a ‘weight loss blowout’ this Christmas try to reflect on the real and important part of the Christmas message and the ‘food thing’ will have far less emphasis for you.

More Tips..

So, we’ve taken care ( at least a little) of those good choices you are going to make at your office party or get together.  Another tip would be to take your own plate. Everyone always appreciates a beautiful healthy fruit platter on the table which is fine to nimble from any time! Similarly, you can bring fish to a barbecue, some low fat snack items from the health food store or anything else that you know is going to prevent a blow out of your daily calorie count.

Forward planning all your snacks and meals is always a great idea when you are on a weight loss plan, but it is even more important now when you may be feeling that temptation is all around you. Stick to what has worked for you already and you’ll be fine!

New Shoes, New Routine, New Energy

This month leading up to Christmas is also a great time to give your exercise routine a bit of a kick in the butt!! Rather than start scaling back your workouts (because you’re going on holidays) why not rev it up a bit!!

 Find some new hills to climb, choose a new machine to use at the gym or just spent an extra 20 minutes a day being active. I’m going to!

While you’re at it, why not visit the shops and treat yourself to some new workout gear? Perhaps a new pair of runners or gym pants. Anything that will give your ‘fitness psyche’ a little pick me up, is helpful.

One More Thought….

Another great idea is to start sourcing some beautiful low fat and low calorie dishes and recipes. There are loads of alternatives to ‘traditional’ dishes out there to try!

Christmas and the holiday season can be a time when you really boost your weight loss efforts if you are willing to. And if you need any further support or just would like someone to tell you what a great job you’re doing (and you probably are!) then don’t hesitate to drop me an email or a comment!

 Love to help, if I can. 🙂

Do you find it hard to stick to your weight loss plan over the holidays? Maybe you’ve already lost weight yourself and understand how others might be feeling?

Perhaps we all should stay mindful of our food choices these holidays whether we are on a weight loss plan or not? What do you think?

Lastly, do you have any great low-calorie recipes for ‘alternative’ dishes for Christmas? Love to have you share them or any other tips or advice you may have….as always love to hear from you. 🙂

 

P.S.If you liked this post please share it !!

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Achieving Weight Loss Through A Healthy Respect For Your Body


 

Life outside of the blogosphere has been a little busy for me lately, so my post here today will be kind of brief (at least I’ll try to keep it that way, however no matter how I try, I never seem to meet that goal of staying ‘brief’. What can I say, I love talking!).

Anyhow first up I just want to say thanks to the people who commented last week and congratulations to Talitha from pursuittoflagom.blogspot.com who won a free copy of Reframe Weight Loss. The book is soon to be shipped further into cyberspace and soon will be reaching a number of online retailers. So congratulations Talitha and safe travelling to my ebook!

Some Food For Thought

Apart from the above news, the other snippet I thought I’d share today is an extract from a book called The Power of Intention. I came across the particular paragraph by accident and immediately thought of sharing it here, due to it’s relevance and hopefully usefulness, to those of you on your weight loss journeys.

I have paraphrased it a little but basically here is the paragraph as taught by Wayne Dyer. It is taken from a section in his book on self respect, specifically on respecting your body.

Respecting Your Body

“Regardless of it’s size, shape, colour or any imagined infirmities, you have been provided with a perfect body to house your true self….

You don’t need to work at being healthy; health is something you already have if you don’t disturb it. You may have disturbed your body by overfeeding it, under exercising it, overstimulating it with toxins or drugs, that make it sick, fatigued, jumpy, anxious, bloated or an endless list of maladies.

However you can begin to live a life of self respect for your body anytime. You know what to do. You don’t need a new diet, a personal trainer or another workout manual. Go within, listen to your body and treat it with all the dignity and love that your self respect demands.”

I hope these few thoughts from Wayne Dyer give you some food for thought today. Take care of yourself and hope to see you back here in the blogosphere soon.

What are your thoughts on the idea of health being something you already have if you don’t disturb it? Does this resonate with you? Do you have any thoughts about the book, The Power of Intention, that you would like to share?

Incidental Exercise Habits – Simple Ways To Add More Activity To Your Day


 

 

“Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

 Mark Twain quote.

Good To Have You Here

Hello and thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you have, but I must tell you that your very act of sitting here and reading (along with my very act of sitting here and writing) is the subject under scrutiny today. I just wanted to warn you in advance, but stay comfortable (I am) and let’s get into it.

Sitting

Yes, we are talking about sitting: that non physical activity, similar to lying down, that involves very little muscle use or movement. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not averse to either of those positions, per se, however, until someone pointed it out to me, I never really took much notice of how much incidental sitting I actually did in a day.. 

A Modern Day Ill

‘Sititis’, as I have come to know it, could even be classified as a widespread, modern-day ill, created perhaps by the increasing use of machines (like computers!), office desks, televisions, cars and countless other ‘labour saving devices’. 

And the trouble with all this sitting (as I see it) is that it removes the natural and incidental activity enjoyed by our predecessors (and I’m only going back a couple of decades here). Remember those people who didn’t have TV remotes and who did not jump in the car for every travel event in their day? Those people whose kids walked to school, who walked to the shops, who used stairs more than elevators and well….I think you get my drift. There was far more activity in their day.

What To Do?

As I myself need to sit for extended periods to write, I decided long ago, that I needed to combat this potential decline in my own physical activity levels, by getting up from my computer and desk at least once every hour.

Sometimes I just stretch a little, take a short (or long) walk, practice some yoga moves (which is kind of the same as stretching)…as long as I  do something to break up an otherwise long stretch of physical inactivity.  And I always return to my writing, a little more refreshed.

As I began to think about this subject more, I also came up with a few other simple ways to get more movement into your day that I thought I’d share. Of course, I am not advocating that this type of activity replaces any structured or group activities you may already enjoy. No, it’s just a few extra ways to get your body moving.

The Ideas

1. Park your car a longer than normal distance away from where your work, office, school, the shopping centre or whatever your destination is and walk the remaining distance. Simple.  Easy.  No need to change your routine much for that one.

2. Take the stairs, instead of the lift or elevator, wherever and whenever you can.  This can add many steps to your day and over the next several days and weeks you will burn many more calories than you would have done otherwise.

3. Take the kids to the park.  It’s fun….walk, chase, climb, play ball with them or run after them….just be that little bit more active and have some fun too!

4. I wasn’t going to add ‘chasing Bush Turkeys out of the garden’ on the list, but I just did, as it looks as though it is something that I will be doing at regular intervals today.

I have gotten up three times as I have been writing this to ‘encourage’ my noisy (and destructive) bush visitors away from our garden. Darn things!

Anyhow, do you have any ideas for something fun and different that adds activity to your day? Do you prefer incidental type exercise or a more structured approach to activity such as classes, routines or group training?

Perhaps at some time in your life, extended sitting (at a computer or desk) has caused you to suffer a sore back, neck or shoulders? Did you find that movement or exercise helped the situation? 

 

What Is Weight Loss – Just a Slim Body or A Healthy, Vibrant and Fully In Charge of Yourself Way To Be?


I thought today I’d pose a few questions to you, about what we conceive the journey of weight loss to be.  So many of us think of weight loss only in terms of the slim, attractive body we may gain. Yes, one plus. However, in my humble experience, it has been so much more.

Active Aging

One of the most wonderful benefits, in changing your lifestyle to a more active and nutritionally centred one, is the anti-aging effects it has on your body.  We all know some older people who do things in their later years that amaze us and seem to defy their ‘years’. Similarly, we all know young people, who simply seem to have ‘gotten old before their time’.  Regular activity and exercise seems to be the differentiating element here.

Furthermore , did you know that:-

1) Nutritionally nourished skin sags less. 

2) Regularly exercised muscles get stronger and do not atrophy (NB: muscular atrophy is a common and debilitating ailment of old age).

3) An exercised heart pumps more effectively and efficiently. 

4) An regularly exercised body will cause blood pressure to drop and cholesterol levels improve.

More Energy, Better Moods

Your body’s positive responses to exercise do not end there, however.

Two of the less known side effects are the release of neurochemicals that enhance your mood and the corresponding reduction in stress hormones, both which lead to greater feelings of wellbeing.

In short, take up regular physical activity and you will be more energised physically and emotionally! One of the further benefits is that this leaves you more time for other life enriching activities, which you previously avoided or simply, ‘didn’t have the energy’ for !

Biological Age versus Chronological Age

In addition, all of the individual enhancements when amalgamated and calculated as a whole, can also define your new biological age. Yes, that’s right – a healthy, active lifestyle can reduce your age (biologically speaking)!!  Now you may be thinking – nah, a 40 year old is a 40 year old, end of story.  Well, not really.  When the determinants of health which we have described above – ie blood pressure, cholesterol readings, heart health etc..are collated and examined,  no two 40 (or 50) year old are ever the same!

A healthy, fit and active 40 year old can have readings and reports that equal that of the average 25 year old, whilst his inactive and overweight counterpart may have results that equal that of the average 70 year old!

As a motivational tool on your weight loss journey then, my humble suggestion is that next time you have a “I need to lose weight” thought that crosses your mind, allow yourself also to reflect on the long-term and wide ranging benefits to your longevity, your well-being, your energy levels and quite possibly, your personal happiness. 🙂

 

How old were you when you took up fitness training or a new physical activity? Do you agree that age is something not defined by the calendar but rather our attitudes and behaviours regardless of our age ‘number ? Do you know any older friends or relatives (or maybe it’s you!) who are defying the expectations of their age and doing something extraordinary?

Fitness Training With Zero Motivation: Is It Possible To Achieve?


 

 

It’s Late Afternoon

I raise my arms to my car’s steering wheel and I can hardly lift them. My arms are heavy and every muscle quivers with a familiar, pleasant fatigue.  For a minute, I pause to acknowledge the warm  energy running through body and then slowly, I start the car’s engine. I feel good.

One Hour and 18oo mls of water, earlier……

I didn’t really want to work out today. At least, not all of me wanted to. My mind was the enthusiastic one. My body, a little fatigued from a late night looking after sick children, didn’t agree.

I began slowly, focussing on the loud, upbeat music playing in the room. In a few minutes my energy had lifted as another gym goer began working out beside me and  it didn’t seem long till  fifteen minutes on the cross trainer was gone. I looked at the workout record – 160 calories and 2 kilometres. Okay, I thought that is a start.

My first bottle of water was empty, so I refilled and moved to the weights room.  Weights, my mind began to groan. They’re heavy.

The Body/Mind Thing

My body was energised a little now, so thankfully it took over and I found myself pushing the chest press. Three sets of 12 reps.  And half a bottle of water.

My body wasn’t noticing it’s fatigue so much now. Good. Maybe I’ll get this done after all.

Onward and Upward

One weights exercise I have always loved is leg presses. Weird. I don’t know why I enjoy it so much, but when I recently pressed  60 kg of weight I was happy. Deliriously and ridiculously.  Maybe it’s because each time I add a little weight I remember this fit and energetic girl (younger than me) whom I met on my first gym visit. She was pushing 100 kg at the time and I was in total awe of her. I guess it was then that I began a subconscious desire to the same. And I’m getting a little closer each week.

There’s more??

Bicep curls aren’t much fun sometimes, but I did them anyway. A few sets on the high low pulley then saw my caesarean section scar nearly pop right open!! My abs were certainly being worked, as well as my triceps ( the muscles the machine is intended to target).

By now I was two bottles of water down and watching the clock. I am usually on a time restriction when I visit the gym, but I wasn’t leaving till I’d finished the workout. The fact that I’d forgotten my iPod was still annoying me though – I needed something to tune out the ads for funeral plans ( I know, what are they thinking???) that kept playing on the cable tv.

Argghh, I needed my music.

A Distraction

Thankfully it soon became a bit easier to ignore the intermittent ads as two rather strong (okay and good-looking) muscular guys entered the room. They smiled and even politely offered to carry a weight to my next machine for me. Thanks, but no thanks guys. I know I’m a woman, but I’m here to lift weights, so I will.

Still it feels good  to be treated well by your fellow humans and at a time when I may have been tempted to stop, I kept going.

A few distractions are good.

The Last Bit

The rest of the workout wasn’t hard at all. I refilled my water bottle for the third time and then did another 10 minutes on the cross trainer.

Yep, my muscles shook a little at the end, but my energy levels were high. I was glad I came.

Have you had days like this? Have you tried to get through a workout when motivation was low? Or perhaps  you’re still wondering whether weights and workouts are the thing for you?

Create Your Own Fun Run: A No Fan Fare Way To Increase Your Fitness Levels


 

 

The Challenge of A Fun Run

People who run Fun Runs are super fit, right? They have reached a certain level of endurance fitness that many people wish they could also achieve. ‘I’d love to be able to do that,’ many say upon hearing of a friend or colleague who has run a 5 km event on the weekend.

I used to say that too! A couple of years ago it was one of my fitness goals – to run a 5km event. I was training regularly as I still do now – both cardio and strength workouts – and a 5 km Fun Run was a definitely on my ‘to do’ list. However, it just so happens that two of the biggest Fun Run Events here in my city are held on Mother’s and then Father’s Day – two pretty important and significant days in our family.

Despite my desire and intent, I have not run in these events (as yet). When the time came, my choice was to spend a day with my family and some quality time away from their respective busy schedules. I was always happy with the choice I made on those days.

The Me Five K Event

The funny thing is I knew I could do it. My training had been consistent and I regular jogged several kilometres in good time. So, I thought to myself, how ’bout seeing if I could just run My Own Five K Event. I could do it any day I liked. No entry forms to fill in. No special time to get to the starting line. No special arrangements to make for child care. No people to disappoint on Father’s Day.

So I did.

Slowly and methodically I increased the distance I did on the treadmill. Sometimes I would increase the incline, sometimes the distance, sometimes the pace……making each workout slightly more difficult than the last. I also bought myself a pair of new comfortable runners like Lindsey.

Me and The Treadmill

Then came race day – an arbitrary day I had picked on the calendar. I told no-one about this small marathon I was to undertake, but kept the routine at home simple and the same.

It was just me and the road, as they say.  Or in my case, me and the treadmill.

Just Doing It

As race day came closer I was just as excited as anyone else planning a 5 km event. No big fan fare, no fellow competitors to meet and greet, but the excitement level was the same.

And the outcome? I did my first every 7 kms (without stopping) on  the treadmill. Not five as I had originally intended but seven. I couldn’t believe it.

A Runner’s High

After that day, I think I truly understood the term ‘Runners High’ – the feeling being a result of increased endorphins produced by the exercise itself and also my own psychological satisfaction from having completed (and exceeded) the distance of  Fun Run Event.

So how about you? Could you plan for, train for and complete your own Fun Run Event?

Even maybe just one kilometre, say in one month from now?

Start following a good plan like my fellow healthy living blogger Jess is and you can get there. Even if it’s one k at a time!

  • Incidently, I have nothing against organised Fun Run Events. At all. I think they are great. But competing in an event is not the only way to increase your fitness levels. You can also do it your own way, in your own time and produce the same desirable outcome (an increase in fitness levels) .

Ciao friends,

Mon

A Motivational Weight Loss Talk: Will Your Decisions Effect Your Weight Loss Potential


Hello friends,

Hope this post finds you well and enjoying your weekend. It is election time here in Australia, so we are all out at the polls today. Gotta say that politics isn’t really my thing, but it has got me thinking about my decisions.  We all have to make them at some time or other and whether it is a decision about the nation or a smaller more personal one, the long-term impact of our decision-making can not be denied. It is the substance which shapes our lives. 

Will I exercise? Will I make lifestyle changes ? Will I go to that seminar, read that book, join that club ?  Every decision we make now will affect our lives, for better or worse, some time later on.  Even avoiding or not make a decision is a decision.

The following video (or link) discusses this reality and as it is presented by a very entertaining motivational speaker, I thought I would share it with you today. I think you will enjoy watching the speaker and hope you will also draw some motivation from the experience.

It is a brief video, but definitely worth watching. 

I have also included another video which is equally uplifting and inspiring, albeit in a different way. Watch them both if you have the time or if you want to choose one, well that’s a decision for you to make!  

Hope you continue to have a wonderful weekend, folks. Talk to you next week,

hugs,

Mon

Video 1:

Video 2: