Tag Archives: exercise benefits

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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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? 

 

Eating, Weight Loss, Cravings and Addictions – A Self Determined Way Out


 

The Yo Yo Lifestyle Syndrome

Do you struggle with cravings, emotional eating, or dieting ups and downs?

Many of us have or will in our lifetimes. Which is okay, ‘cos it means that we have been presented with a challenge and  (apparently) learning to overcome difficulties is what leads to positive growth in our lives. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

And, these days, it is what I have come to believe. Some spiritual followers even ask for such challenges to be thrown their way – so that they may learn and reach a higher level of functioning and living.

Self Limits

To us mere mortals, talk like this, can sometimes sound like complete claptrap.  Airy, fairy – pie in the sky kind of stuff.

But for me, I think there is some wisdom in there. I mean, basically if we leave the spiritual aspect out of it, why wouldn’t we want to learn new skills, achieve better habits and behaviours that can transport us out of the continual cycle of overeating  and the pain and regret the follows that behaviour. Who really wants to live in self-imposed misery? Of course, the answer is none of us do.  And each of us must search for our own ‘way out’.

The BIG GOAL Effect

I know there are many ‘paths’ we can take to overcome these challenges and each can be effective and motivational in their own way. But today I just wanted to share with you the one main reason that I follow a ‘good health plan’ (for want of a better description and I’m sure there is one).

Basically (and I can’t believe that I am actually going to write this thought down, but anyway, here it is)…. I want to live forever.

Huh? Okay, so I do know that the ‘forever’ bit is probably stretching it a bit, but I figure why not go for the BIG GOAL to keep me motivated and adhering to a life of good habits.

Old Age or New Awareness

The reason I have chosen this as my BIG GOAL is that I have observed so many people in older age that seem to live unhappy and restricted lives, that I know beyond a doubt, that I don’t want that. Whilst I have the deepest compassion for these friends who do suffer frailty and disease (I worked for several years in a rehabilitation ward), I know that some (maybe more than we realise) of the fragility we  habitually associate with aging, is actually avoidable. 

The Plan

So this is what I’ve decided:

1) When I am 80 I still want to be active – maybe not in the ‘let’s go for a 5km run’ active, but who knows?

2) I also know that when I am old, I don’t want to be under constant medical supervision, because of a ‘lifestyle disease’ that was totally preventable had I taken the appropriate lifestyle interventions decades before (bear in mind, I am talking about ‘lifestyle diseases’ here, not something that is totally out of an individuals control).

3) Lastly, I also want to be intellectually stimulated and still contributing to the world in a positive and meaningful way, when I am old, rather than sentenced to an existence of ill-health and struggle.

In short, I want a full life. An abundant life. An interesting life. And I want it to go on for a very long time.

Call me crazy, but I kinda like it here on the Big Blue Ball.

Longevity and Well Being

So that in brief, is my main motivation for wanting to learn, explore, develop and live a life that is centred around healthy eating, an active lifestyle and a conscious awareness of all that I can be and do.

Some people call it ‘living out your potential’, others call it ‘discipline’, others may even call it ‘obsession’. Whatever….labes aren’t important. Loving and living life to the full is all that really matters to me.

***********

Do you have ONE BIG GOAL that keeps you motivated and achieving your goals? Do you think ‘a healthy lifestyle’ is all it is cracked up to be? Maybe the adage ‘we’re here for a good time, not a long time’ is more apt to the way you think and live? I would love to hear your thoughts.

You certainly don’t have to agree with my musings to share a comment or thought. We’re all different (and what a boring world it would be if we weren’t) so please feel free to share whatever thoughts you have on this topic. Love to hear them 🙂

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?

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

Start Losing Weight Today – The Office Of Positive Change For Weight Loss is Now Open


The Quick Fix

We all know the ‘quick fix’ solution to weight loss doesn’t work, right?  I hope you said, “yes”, because it doesn’t! Yet that doesn’t seem to stop that the flood of diet pills and overnight detox systems that are popping up everywhere in social and mass media alike. It surprises me that people buy into that stuff, but then again I realise how desperate we all feel when we want something to change and we want it now!

Trouble is that when the diet pills don’t work, you then feel bad. You then eat more. You then get mad. And so the cycle goes. But let’s stop. Let’s slow down for  a minute and take a look at what’s really missing in your life (if anything). 

The Office Of Positive Change

What I’d like you to find is a healthier mindset.  A more positive outlook.  A stronger belief in yourself. I’d like you to start viewing yourself as someone who is powerful, productive, capable, tenacious and knowledgable.  I’d like you to see yourself as someone who can find the answers to your weight loss goals by looking within.  By being open to change. By being willing to learn new habits, new behaviours and new ways to view the world.  A pill can’t do that. 

Maybe more information is what you’re looking for. Then, great, do some research. Find a mentor. Learn more.

Or just maybe you already know what to do and are just waiting for the right time to do it. With most of us, this second possibility is often a reality. Okay, so maybe the waiting time is over. That’s it…your name has been called and you are now officially, inside The Office Of Positive Change.  Take a look around.  Say “hi” to the others here. You’re not alone.

Furthermore now that you’re here, recognise that you’re actually way ahead of  the herd.  Way ahead of all those people, who haven’t even started searching for a solution to their weight loss issues.

Committment

So stay here!  The Office Of Positive Change doesn’t close.  It’s door is open 24/7.  You have your own clipboard here too.  Somewhere you can record every little change you make. I can’t see anything on your clipboard yet, however.  Relax, it won’t take you long though. In fact, if you take a walk today….just 20 or 30 minutes or even just 10 minutes, your body will have started to respond and you can notch this positive change up on your clipboard!

Or you could skip that chocolate tonight. Or maybe that glass of wine.

I’d love to hear what small changes you may have decided to make today. If you’d like to make a public committment to that change then drop me a comment and declare your committment!

That can be a little scary, I know, but it is also an extremely effective way to stay accountable and make the change stick. You can then let us all know in perhaps one week’s time, how you’re still going with that habit change. How ’bout it? Can you think of one bad habit you’d like to change?

If you’d like to share your positive change action, just click on the comment box below….

Hugs,

Mon