Monday, December 27, 2010

Check it out!

Wow.  I am such a believer in this program...obviously, right?!  Anyway, I saw this article today & am so impressed.  If getting in shape, losing weight, feeling better, or just becoming healthier is one of your resolutions/goals/desires/wants/needs, for 2011, contact me!  {, 541.992.2464} It's worked for me and everyone I know who has done it.  And it works forever.  Please pass the word along to those in your life who might be interested.  And enjoy the article about a very successful woman!

Friday, December 10, 2010

You Fit Friday #6

Better late than never, right?!

This has been quite the week!  Our son had surgery Monday & that is one of the hardest things to go through as a parent...especially the part where they are taken away from you & there is nothing you can do about it.  The waiting part afterward is pretty nervewracking too!

While waiting, I was thinking about a lot of things.  One of the things I thought about was the following:

We were up super early.  We stayed at the hospital for several hours.  We traveled home after he was okayed to go home & I stayed glued to his side cuddling for the rest of the day.  And you know what?  I stayed on program.  I didn't eat vending machine food.  I didn't just not eat the whole day.  I took meals in my purse & I ate every 3 hours.  It was so awesome.  It was mindless & convenient and my blood sugar didn't spike & I felt great physically.  This was eye-opening for me that no matter what's going on, we can choose to make healthy choices.  We can be better.  We can choose health.  Anyway, it was pretty cool to me that I could be in a stressful & scary situation & still take care of myself in the least time consuming way so I could take the best care possible of my little guy.  Cool, huh?

Next topic: What are you giving for Christmas gifts this year?  To friends & family & neighbors?  I'm anxious to hear some great ideas-preferably non-food related items & ideas...but healthy options are a good thing too.  Please leave a comment & share for myself & other readers who are searching for something other than the regular sugary sweets we give each year.  

Here's the incentive:  should I choose to replicate your idea for some of my family & friends, you will receive a special prize!  Spread the word & share share share!

Friday, December 3, 2010

You Fit Friday #5

Two days ago I was reading a relative's blog and she had posted something that really got me thinking.  I thought it was profound and relates so much to what I struggle with in my relationship with food.  I totally have an inability to be still in my relationship with food & my emotions.  When I'm tired, stressed, or just too emotional, food is the thing I run away to.  I love this concept of working on being able to sit on things because we all know "things" are going to happen & I don't want to run to food for the rest of my life.  I want to be able to have & exercise my self control during those times.  So for today, ponder on the following & if it applies to any part of your life, think on how you might go about tackling & changing it.

"We're in the midst of a snow day here. 7 1/2 inches last night.
So--that means we're not going anywhere for the day. We've got enough milk, bread, and  dark chocolate to get us through (that last one is for me :) ). And of course, playing in the snow is always fun. So I'm OK with not going anywhere for a day...maybe two...but honestly, I don't think I could bare the thought of being stuck where I am for much longer than that.

And wow! if that thought didn't get me thinking this morning.

I am of the opinion that most addictive/compulsive behaviors result from the inability to be still. When you're hurt or angry or overwhelmed--can you honestly sit with those emotions without running to anything else? I know I have struggled with that all my life, being someone who FEELS so intensely as I do. In my early teenage years, I ran to alcohol (thank goodness I got that problem "fixed").  In my later teenage years to early 20's, I ran to some false sense of control I had created with anorexia. At other times in life, I have ran away to exercise, to men, to my computer, to television, to books, to shopping. Yeah. I'm OK admitting this because at least I've acknowledged this about myself and can try to keep ahead of it: I'm a runner-awayer. A cover-upper. A perfectionist. Moderation is not an easy concept for me to handle and I struggle with keeping myself away from addictive-compulsive behaviors.

I feel my 35  years have already been packed with a life or two worth of experiences. I feel like an old soul. Sometimes, I know, I even look it. So take this advice as if getting it from some wise man on a hill: Acknowledge a higher power than yourself. Obviously, for me, that is God, but I realize some people aren't quite ready to enter into a relationship with their Maker, and to them I say, find a thing you DO feel is greater than yourself, and get in contact with him/her/it. And then sit.

When everything inside you is screaming for you to get up, run away, do something, go somewhere, get rid of the discomfort...Just sit. And be still. And let that Higher Power talk to you. See if you can do it for 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. Until you reach a point where you are at peace and could sit there all day if you had to, or wanted to. Try it even when you're happy and want to eat a quart of Ben and Jerry's to celebrate or want to scream your accomplishments to the world. Just sit. Be still.

I can't always do it. It's a process that needs rediscovering and refining again and again because those trials and those temptations come hard and fast and are forever re-inventing themselves. But I know as I learn to master this process, I learn to master myself. And that's the most peaceful feeling in the world."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Come Join Us!

So Thanksgiving is over...and you may have overeaten.  It happens to lots of people.  Now you may be thinking it's time for a change.  Or, you might have done awesome & eaten really clean and now want to learn more about how to teach others how to be healthier.  Either way, come to the following event & learn more & ask questions.  Email me at with questions or for more details:

Healthy Weight Night
Tuesday, November 30th
Jolts & Juice-Upper Deck
Ontario, Oregon
5:00 PM

Friday, November 26, 2010

You Fit Friday #4

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day!  We had a great time with my family and today is spent with the hubby's side.  If you're married & both families live close, you might be like us & have 2 actual Thanksgiving meals.  In the past that's been quite a filling experience.  This year though, I decided to stay almost 100% on program (I had 2 bites of yams & a danish my dad made-and that was enough!) and was armed with a few things to help me feel like I was getting some treats in with everyone else: sugar free cider, diet soda, etc.  It helped me a ton and I realized that it really ISN'T about the food!  Pretty powerful.

It also made me realize how much of eating for me is in the social aspect.  I found that as long as I'm eating something at the same time that everyone else is eating, I'm usually okay.  For instance: while everyone else ate a big Thanksgiving lunch with all the fixings, I ate my yummy salad with tons of veggies & some roasted turkey on the side.  But because I was eating & chewing alongside everyone else, I didn't even think about what I wasn't eating.  Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, this is a short post because it's a crazy busy weekend with family, but I wanted to end with some awesome motivation from my old high school friend.  She has done Take Shape for Life and has totally excelled (as you can see)!  I am so proud of her.  She is 5'2'' & started at 177 and is now 141!  She's still going strong, too!  I think it's completely amazing what this program can do for those who commit themselves to changing.  It's a journey, but it's a well worthwhile one.   Have a great Holiday weekend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

You Fit Friday #3

Today's topic is:


We've all experienced it.  Whether by or through another person, factors surrounding us (weekends, holiday's, etc.), or by doing it to ourselves.  Why do we sabotage ourselves or allow ourselves to be sabotaged? 

I am the absolute WORST self sabotager I know.  It's as if I think I'm undeserving of reaching my goals, so I sabotage myself just as I reach a new low, fit into a smaller size jeans, feel like I look good in the mirror, etc. etc. etc.!  So why do I {and most others} do this?  Because self sabotage is a destructive behavior that prevents one from accomplishing their goals, it's definitely something that needs addressing.  The most frustrating thing about it is that the one who is affected knows in the reasoning part of their mind that they need to make changes.  Their realistic self can say, "this is totally disgusting & unhealthy behavior" while the emotional & self sabotaging self says, "Who cares!" 

I recently asked on my You Fit Forever facebook page for other's experiences with sabotage.  I received a response from a friend that is similar to a behavior that I display often.  She said that occasionally she will eat something she perceives as bad {when in reality it may just be a small side step from her healthy eating regime} and then she feels like her whole day {and sometimes week} is shot...  Why exercise when the day is already screwed up.  Why waste healthy foods on a day that's already going downhill.  Then she proceeds to continue sabotaging herself & her efforts toward health for the rest of the day.  Totally something I do.  I'm such an all or nothing personality {yes, I realize this has to change to be truly successful} that if I cheat/mess up/eat something not on program early in the day, I often fail the rest of the day. 

I was reading up on self sabotage and came across this passage that spoke loudly to me:
"You will never overcome self sabotage if you cannot be honest with yourself about why you are doing it.  What is keeping you from focusing on your own health?  What keeps you from loving yourself enough to make YOU a priority?"
Powerful, isn't it?  In my mind I thought I was making me a priority because I was putting time & efforts into being healthier.  But by self sabotaging, I'm making it a selfish journey-one that I'll never have true & lasting success with-instead of a confidence building experience that will stretch me into a better person in every aspect of my life. 

I've been pretty good at overcoming other people's attempts-known or unknown on their parts-at sabotaging me.  Now I'm focusing on overcoming my own tendency to do this.  A couple helpful things I've found are the following:
1. Talk it out.  For the longest time I would avoid talking about my tendencies to cheat myself.  I wanted others to see me as invincible to some degree & I got away with it for the most part.  In fact, I never even talked to my husband about it and he thought I was the strongest person ever in that realm...never tempted.  Finally, I vented to him and guess what?  It helped.  A lot.  For example:  the other day we received some stressful news in regard to our business.  Not a huge deal, but one of those crazy things that comes at the wost & most unexpected times.  We were both running on high stress because of it & although we weren't irritated at each other, we were anxious to get the issue resolved and both felt the tension in the house.  I panicked & just snapped when I was alone in the kitchen.  I ate three mini brown sugar muffins that I'd made the day before for some friends.  What?  I immediately began thinking in self sabotaging terms and thought my whole day was shot & I should just keep eating to feel better.  Instead we got the problem resolved and felt the mood lighten up considerably.  I told my husband what I'd done and he said, "Okay.  So you ate three mini muffins.  You didn't 'go off the program.'  You just ate three mini muffins.  Just keep going like you normally would."  That was so empowering to think that yeah, I ate something I usually wouldn't while on the 5&1 plan.  So what?!  The growth comes from realizing that & moving on without binging, beating myself up, or continuing the sabotaging behavior. 
2. Setting mini goals.  This is huge for me.  I used to set large & lofty goals.  This is great & highly encouraged.  Now though, I also set mini goals.  Usually on a weekly scale, but sometimes day to day.  Something like, "Get 150 ounces of water every day this week before you can have any diet soda," or "Exercise five days this week for 25 minutes-try upping the intensity each time."  It becomes more like a competition with myself & I'm much more driven to reach these mini goals because they are close to me.  Right now.  Sometimes it's hard to make positive & healthy changes because eating a cheeseburger won't necessarily have a negative effect on us right now...and neither with running three miles or choosing a healthier food option.  But long term, those daily healthy choices really add up & we can become our optimally healthy the mini goals help me achieve those far out goals in a much more manageable way for me. 

Do you find yourself sabotaging or allowing others to sabotage your efforts?  I encourage you to dig deep inside yourself and find the real issues of what is going on.  Figure it out, write it down, and own it.  Start making an effort to change those negative behaviors so you can find positive results & finally free yourself to reach your goals.  I'm rooting for you & would love to hear about your experiences {}.

Have a happy & healthy Holiday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

You Fit Friday #2

1. I wanted to share one of the concepts that has helped motivate me recently more than anything else.  That is visualization.  My husband is famous for telling me to just visualize where I want to be and I'll get there.  But I often found it hard to visualize me in a place I'd never been before.  Because I've never been smaller {that I can remember} than I am now, it was a weird feeling to think about where I could get.  It just didn't seem realistic and I wasn't sure how far to reach.  This time around though, I've been visualizing.  Recently I heard a woman speak about an experience she had.  She and her husband were set to run the Boston Marathon.  The night before the race, they headed down to the course.  Together they ran the last mile of the marathon and crossed the finish line to an invisible crowd of fans.  They celebrated as if they'd just won the race.  She said that the next morning when they ran the full 26.2 mile race, she had times where she'd get tired or feel like she couldn't keep going, but she'd visualize herself crossing that finishline and be able to keep going.  My sweet mother-in-law gave me a great incentive.  These sweet "goal jeans" that I want to fit into.  I tried them on and was close, but not quite.  They were just what I needed to give me a much needed nudge of motivation.  Instead of folding them or hanging them in my closet, I hung them right out in the open in my living room.  I pass them hundreds of times daily as I am going to & from the kitchen/pantry/office/living room, and they are doing their job.  Each time I see them I'm a little more driven & excited to reach my goals.  Whether it's jeans, your progress pictures, your written goals placed in strategic places, or a new swimsuit you want to fit into for your reward cruise, set it out where you can see it.  Try it and it might just work for you as well!

2. A friend shared something a while back that has stuck with me.  He is a trucker & is often on the road for hours at a time.   He said he does great at going on little sleep and staying alert when he's driving at night.  But the closer he gets to home, the less vigilant he becomes.  Because the terrain is so familiar, he often lets himself lose focus a little and has to remind himself that although he's close, he's not quite there yet.  It starts getting harder the closer he gets to home.  I feel the same way with our goals.  When we first start we are energized, motivated, and generally have a pretty big road ahead of us.  But the closer we get to our goals, the harder it gets to stay on task & keep our focus.  It can be done though, and that ties into #1.  That "close to home" feeling we get when we're almost there can be turned around into a positive rather than a negative.  Because we're so close we need to be even more vigilant than before so we can just finish what we started & feel the reinforcement that comes from doing what we set out to do!  Another HUGE help to me is keeping a food journal.  When I write things down, I am less likely to stick unhealthy things in my mouth. When I don't keep track, I often fill myself before realizing how much I've taken in. 

3. Lastly, I wanted to share some helpful holiday tips from Dr. Andersen & his wife, Lori.  The most important thing obviously, is to just decide beforehand what you're going to do.  Are you going to stay on program or stick with healthy choices?  Or are you going to splurge and have a piece of pie? 3 bites of each dish?  Just lean & green with 1 small serving of dessert?  Whatever it is, decide beforehand and don't let yourself be blindsided!  Most of all, remember that these Holiday's are best spent relishing the time with family & friends rather than food.  Focus on your relationships and stay as strong as you can while still maintaining a positive attitude!

Here are a few tips you can use when you are attending parties and giving gifts:
  • Don’t go hungry-try eating a Medifast meal or part of your Lean and Green prior to arriving at the party. This will help curb your appetite.
  • If you are invited to a party, which happens to be a potluck, this is a great opportunity to bring a healthy meal, that also fits with the TSFL program
  • You can check out our Lean and Green cookbook for some tasty ideas.
  • When you arrive at the party-and you want to partake or try food, use the smallest plate with healthy choices.
  • Be mindful of your Healthy Choices, fresh vegetables, lean proteins and salad.
  • Limit or skip foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value.
  • What happens when you are the host/hostess?? There are many tempting opportunities to “graze” when packing up leftovers.   Divide left overs into Lean & Green meals. Allow someone else to pack up the left overs and you offer to wash the dishes.
  • Develop a Plan of Action for Surviving an Event: Identify your personal barriers and strategy, write it down.
  • Take time for yourself!!  This is a very busy time to the year for people, take time to exercise and keep your body moving. Just taking a walk can give you that alone time you need to get your body moving and regroup.
  • In advance ask your family and friends to forgo food gifts. Examples: wine, cheese, candies. Other suggestions would be donations in your name to charities, gift cards or opting out of gifts. You may say this year, let’s get together and start a new tradition in giving to someone else.
Also a couple ideas I (Karli) gave to my clients were the following:
-Take three bites of every dish you want but don't want a full serving of.  The first three bites of anything are the most satisfying to our taste buds & this will satisfy your craving and help you not feel left out, but also keep you from indulging in many un-needed calories.
-Stick with the program and eat 2-3 hours before the "big meal."  Choose options at dinner or lunch that go along with your lean & green.  Then pick what you want more than anything that day and have one serving of that.  For instance, keep on program 100% and then have 1 slice of pumpkin pie as your treat.  Then just get right back on track as usual.
-Take gum, flavored water, or diet soda or tea to sip on before/during/after the event.  Fill yourself up with non-caloric beverages and enjoy chatting with friends. 

Good luck!  If you have any tips to share, please feel free!

Friday, November 5, 2010

You Fit Friday

Because this blog has been completely neglected, I've decided to start doing You Fit Friday posts.  They will be a hodge podge of things & will most likely contain different topics/recipes/debates, etc. each week.  This way you can know to check the blog each Friday and find something new! 

Today I'm doing a 5 on Friday theme:

1. Awesome article found HERE.  Totally cool to see Medifast at #1 on such a prestigious list...and to know it's largely in part because of their partnering with Take Shape for Life as the coaching arm of their company.  So so cool!

2. Ever wondered what the heck to do with brussel sprouts to make them taste edible?  I actually like them, but my husband & many other people I've talked to don', I set out on a mission to find a great recipe for them.  And, it turned out to be super simple!  And, delicious.  Yes, they even passed the husband test.  Try them out for yourself!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
-Set oven to 400 degrees
-Mix brussel sprouts in gallon size baggie or bowl with 1 T. olive oil, salt & pepper, and garlic salt.
-Spread sprouts out on a pam-sprayed cookie sheet
-Sprinkle with a little extra salt
-Roast in oven for 40 minutes
-Check, shake around on pan, roast an additional 10-20 minutes.  Delish!

3.  Each month TSFL sends out a great Healthy Habits E-Newsletter.  If you are interested in receiving this awesome informational health newsletter, let me know {} and I'll add you to the send-out list.  This month's letter had some great

4.  If you're on Facebook, definitely check out my new page: You Fit Forever.  Be the 100th person to "like" it and you win a free box of food.  Spread the word & encourage your friends to like it too because the 250th person gets something bigger...and if they aren't a personal friend of mine, the person who referred them to me gets a prize as well!

5. Lori Andersen is an incredible resource in the Take Shape for Life world {she's the wife of Dr. Andersen-author of Habits of Health}and I took the following from her blog post a  couple weeks ago.  I relate to this so much as I often use my emotional brain in instances where I should use my rational one.  Can you relate?  I know it's a little reading, but you won't be hearing from me for another week, & trust me, it's worth it.

"Why did I do that?...What was I thinking??"
"A simple way to look at this question is to understand two distinct parts of our brain that are responsible for two distinct types of thinking.  One part of your brain, known as the Limbic system, makes decisions based on emotions, and focuses on the quickest, easiest way to solve a problem.  Another part of your brain, known as the pre-frontal cortex, makes decisions based on logic, and looks for long-term solutions.   Let’s move away from discussion of the physical brain structure, and simply refer to what the brain does… it’s functions.

THE Theory of TWO BRAINS…as mentioned earlier… two different parts of your brain, serve two different functions… we’ll refer to them as the RATIONAL BRAIN and the EMOTIONAL BRAIN:
  1. Your Rational BRAIN: Uses logic and is responsible for Planned Behavior; is factually based;  considers Long-term consequences; is more “Parent”- like …and is “willing to wait”
  2. Your Emotional BRAIN: Uses feeling/emotions, and is responsible is responsible for Impulsive/compulsive behaviors; considers fulfilling Immediate needs/desires;  is more “Child”-like… and wants WHAT IT wants… NOW!
Why DO we sometimes behave in ways that are not in our own best interest?
Usually, when we are making a decision, or solving a problem, we get input from both parts of our brain (both the Rational BRAIN and Emotional BRAIN make a contribution). Depending on our current mood, or the situation, we may follow the lead of one part of our brain… over the other.
The Emotional BRAIN has a distinct advantage in that it can come up with answers very quickly.  Whereas, the Rational BRAIN is more methodical and deliberate, offering answers only after careful consideration of the consequences.  So as it turns out, the “first” answer to pop into our head is often offered up by the Emotional BRAIN.
When the Emotional BRAIN dominates the decision making process, we will make decisions based on the quickest and easiest way to solve a problem.  Later, after the fact, our Rational BRAIN “kicks in” and asks “Why did I do that… what was I thinking?”  Have you ever experienced anything like this? …most of us have.
Which BRAIN are you using to make decisions about EATING?
Of course, some decisions are best left to the Emotional BRAIN: when we are being spontaneous, or need an immediate answer.  However, the Emotional BRAIN can also get us into trouble.  Sometimes when we make a decision, based on the quickest/easiest solution… we later regret that decision.  The challenge is controlling which BRAIN, makes which decisions.
Like any thought or thinking process, the more we think in a certain way, the easier and faster that way of thinking becomes.  We form “habitual” ways of thinking.  This can be a problem when we are in the “habit” of using our Emotional BRAIN to make decisions that have long-term consequences.  If we use our Emotional BRAIN to make too many decisions about what to eat, this can have a long-term impact on our weight.
When we use our Rational BRAIN to make decisions about what to eat, we are likely to get better long-term results. The Rational BRAIN is not interested in the quickest/easiest solution: it is interested in long-term consequences.  Using this way of thinking to make decisions about what to eat (like any thought or thinking process); can be developed into a habit.  Developing the HABIT, of making rational eating choices
Practice asking yourself these questions, before you put anything into your mouth:
  • Which BRAIN am I using right now (Rational or Emotional)?
  • Is eating this… in MY best long-term interest?
  • If I eat this… how will I feel an hour from now?
  • How will I feel tomorrow, about the decision I am about to make?
  • How will I feel a year from now, if I continue to make decisions like this?
  • How will you feel TWO years from now, if you continue to make decisions like this?
Practice listening to the Rational BRAIN, before taking action.  Practice NOT acting on the “first” idea/solution that pops-up… give careful consideration to these questions before you act.
Watch Your Language: Developing a Healthy Inner Dialogue
We ALL talk to ourselves: we have an “Internal Dialogue”.  We’re continuously asking ourselves questions; making comments to ourselves; talking things through, to make decisions.  The language we use, during these “discussions”, may be helpful, or MAY be hurtful.  Please, pay attention to the kind of language you use, when you are having an internal discussion.
You cannot win the battle if your enemy has outposts in your head!
If the majority of your Internal Dialogue is negative, and you use strong language, you may be talking yourself into a very negative place. Monitor the language you use; monitor the “tone” of your words; monitor the kind of questions you ask yourself.  Some of us have gotten into the HABIT of speaking to ourselves quite harshly… almost in a punishing way.  As if, we speak harshly enough to ourselves… that will make things BETTER?
A good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t say certain things aloud to your best friend, don’t say them silently to yourself.  Listen to the way you talk to yourself… would you talk to your best friend like that?
When you DO talk with your best friend, you are probably supportive, patient and compassionate… why not extend this type of dialogue to yourself?  Make every effort to “speak to yourself”, in a way that is supportive and patient… and shows that you care…
Have fun with this… as you monitor, and re-phrase as necessary, notice how differently you feel… when you talk with yourself like YOU… are your OWN best friend…"

Monday, September 6, 2010

What's your trigger?

We've all heard of triggers, right? Certain times of day or moods you hit that make you want to eat anything & everything in sight?  Have you discovered what yours are?  

For the longest time I thought I had myself pegged in this area.  I used the cop-out phrase, "I am an emotional eater.  I use food for comfort..."  Well, duh, doesn't everyone?  This was also a convenient justification to explain away any and all food related trasngressions: 

"I was so sad because my favorite show was canceled & I just kept eating that whole bag of chips!"
"I had the worst headache from being so stressed I had to eat those 3 donuts from M&W!"
"I'm just always snacking between these times" {When I wake up to when I go to sleep!}
"Got in a fight with my husband and I was so mad, so I ate a whole pan of lemon bars."
"My sister got engaged and I had to celebrate with her by eating 3 cups of ice cream because we were so excited!"

...and the list goes on & on!  Anytime I'd completely jump off the semi-healthy bandwagon, I'd blame or justify it on some emotion.  Every single time.  Never really stopping to think about why I was really eating what I was, or what my real & true triggers were.  

This time around, I've been paying attention.  And I've discovered some interesting things. 

Each time I've been really tempted to cheat-or the times I've given in and cheated (taking full responsibility while doing it & then feeling totally crappy after!), I've taken note of what I'm feeling, thinking, doing, and what circumstances are in my life and around me at that time.  And, I've been journaling.  In the past, I haven't documented during those cheat periods of time because I don't think I wanted to face up & take notice...and mostly I'm not sure I wanted to change!  Now though, I'm ready to kick myself in the rear-end and figure it out-and become better prepared to face my personal triggers & kick them in the butt too!

I've determined that my two biggest triggers are:
1.  Being Tired
2. Feeling overconfident

Surprising?  To me they were.  I had NEVER attached being overly tired to binging, overeating, or just plain junk-food eating.  Nor had I seen any correlation between feeling good about myself and choosing to eat junk.  It's the truth though.  This past month and a half or so, I've struggled to be 100% on the program-in mind, body, spirit, and choices-and I've also been extremely sleep deprived.  Having two small kids does that to a person anyway, and I've always enjoyed time with my husband after our kids are in bed, but it's been extreme lately.  We haven't been to bed before 11:30 (and usually much later) more than 3 times in the past 45 days.  Add to that the fact that I'm up with one or both boys at least 1-2 times a night, and don't get a nap during the day and that leads to one tired mama!  I've definitely noticed this being a HUGE trigger in my desire to eat non-nutritious food.  Secondly, lately people have been complimenting me.  I'm getting close to my goal and am feeling pretty good.  I am enjoying clothes shopping and trying on smaller sizes...and just feeling confident in the clothes I do have.  However, I've noticed that the days I struggle are usually the days I've been noticing how much my body is changing, someone compliments me, I reach a new personal best in weight/size, etc., or I get a great workout in.  Crazy, huh?  This phenomenon will be addressed in my next post, so stay tuned!

For now though, try it out yourself.  Be more present in your food situations.  Be aware of what you're feeding yourself and when.  Write down what's happening in your life and how you're feeling before you eat, while you eat, and afterward.  Pay attention when something like that experience happens again and make yourself busy so you're not tempted to give in again.  Make each trigger experience less painful & less heavy.  Keep track & kick those triggers in the butt!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On or Off

TSFL has an awesome resource available to people who are using their program.  It's called Support in Motion.  I am a huge advocate & believer in the power that comes from journaling-and always have more success myself when I write down what I eat each day.  For the past 8 years, I've kept a food journal about 85% of the time.  I have many different sizes & colors of notebooks filled with what & when I ate certain foods.  It's guaranteed that the times I was feeling good & reaching my goals, I was also keeping a food journal.  Accountability-even to ourselves-holds us to a higher standard & helps us become more fully able to accomplish our goals. 

Support in Motion is essentially a glorified food journal.  You keep track of what you eat each day, but also have the capability of journaling how you felt, keeping track of your exercise, logging your weight/measurements, etc., and also joining & reading the community member boards.  There are many helpful topics pertaining to the Take Shape for Life program and I started reading a thread about people who have a hard time getting back on the program after they go off (before they reach their ultimate goal). 

One person said something that struck a chord within me and had me thinking for a long time after.  She said she had been struggling with this herself and she talked to her coach about it.  Her coach said, "You're either on the program or you're off."  Simple as that.  She then said that after she'd heard that, she evaluated her behaviors and how she'd been acting.  When honest with herself, she realized she'd been off the program for about a month. 

This resonated so deeply with me because July was quite an off month for me if I was being honest with myself.  I got kind of hung up on a few things in my mind & lost focus for a while.  I started making small off decisions; I let myself snack a bit when I shouldn't have, didn't take care of myself by getting enough sleep, didn't start exercising regularly, drank less water & more diet coke, and just made some bad-albeit conscious-decisions about food.  I recognized I'd been telling myself I was doing all I could, when I really wasn't.  I needed to recommit & re-decide to be fully on the program or off of it, but I couldn't be both & I needed to make a decision one way or the other.  I decided that night to be on and August started off with a bang again.  July wasn't my biggest losing month (only 5 pounds the whole month), but it may have been my greatest learning month yet and that makes it pretty valuable. 

Decide today to be on or off, but don't straddle the fence or do it halfheartedly.  Just go full force & do it!  I promise you'll see results & your hard work will pay off.  And if-like me-you have one of my July months in August, recommit yourself for September {or even better, for tomorrow!} and get back on track.  And remember, if you want to be somewhere specific in a year, you have to do something about it today!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Muscle versus Fat

I started a more comprehensive exercise program last week.  I'm working on being consistent & getting adequate cardio mixed with weight training.  Right now I'm using a system of lighter weight/higher reps & not spending more than 25 minutes on a weight training workout and 45 minutes on a cardio workout.  I'm alternating cardio/weight days and feeling good.  And I'm keeping track of this by having my bodyweight percentage tested every 4-6 weeks.  This number is vital to letting me know where I truly am in my health journey.  However, it's been a long time since I've done anything with weights.  

A really long time...  
Like over-a-year-long.  
And my body has felt it.  
I have been sore!  

It always amazes me how quickly we can get out of shape.  I love the feeling I get from a great workout and love the look my body begins to get when I'm cutting fat out and gaining muscle, but sometimes the price that we pay with soreness seems pretty high!  

Anyway, I've been contemplating muscle versus fat for a couple weeks.  First, because I'm focusing on building more muscle to replace the fat I'm losing and second, because I think we often get obsessed with our weight being a certain "perfect number."  I want to clear up a few misconceptions & shed a little light on this subject.  For a long time I wanted the scale to say 130 when I climbed up on hasn't said that since about 5th or 6th grade so I thought that was a good goal.  Anyway, in 2006, before my babies came along, I worked hard at getting into the best shape I'd been in at that point.  I ate a super strict diet, worked out hardcore 6 days a week, and paid attention to every detail.  I felt pretty dang good and got down to 21% body fat which is the leanest I've personally achieved to date.  I fit comfortably into every size 8 jean I tried on.  Wanna know what the scale said?  156 pounds. At that point when I went to the gym there were girls who weighed 130 pounds.  They spent their time strictly on the cardio machines.  They also had higher body fat percentages than me.  Maybe around 28-30%.  (I called this body type skinny-fat).  And guess what?  They looked bigger & heavier than me.  Standing side by side, people would have guessed our weights being opposite. 

Wanna know why?

Because pounds of muscle take up less volume than pounds of fat. 
Want a comparison?  

These replicas show us the difference between carrying extra fat or extra muscle.  Which would you rather have occupying space in your body?  Many times I've heard the phrase, "muscle weighs more than fat."  It doesn't.  5 pounds is 5 pounds is 5 pounds.  The number won't change based on what's taking up space inside you.  But, the appearance changes drastically because muscle is so dense.  This is why a muscular 150 pound woman standing next to a skinny-fat 135 pound woman can look leaner & smaller.  Pretty cool, huh? 

The reasons I didn't stay at that healthy & lean weight are many & more appropriate for another post, but mainly I didn't change the way I thought & felt about food, and didn't learn the habits of health which are vital to maintaining a healthy weight.   

Now though, I have all the tools I didn't have before & I'm not worrying so much about a certain number.  Instead I am working on changing my body composition by achieving a state of more muscle & less fat.  Would a part of me still love to see that magic 130 pop up on the scale sometime?  Well, yeah...sure.  But only if I'm lean & muscular while there-not just skinny fat.  Otherwise, I'll take my higher number and my smaller/fitter/leaner me anyday! 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tough Love...It kinda hurts.

Melissa Urban & Dallas Hartwig are some pretty insanely strong individuals.  Like jump-over-cars and lift-twice-their-body weight strong.  They are also super healthy & really into a whole foods eating movement which I totally admire.  I can't quite imagine doing it right now, but I'm thinking it might fit in nicely after I reach my goal weight with my Take Shape for Life maintenance plan since it's eating really good whole foods all the time and because I know by then I'll have even more control over my issues with food.  Anyway, they are hardcore.  About everything.  They tell it to you straight.  Their clients are not coddled, babied, etc.  They both kinda scare me, actually!  Just teasin-I totally admire them & can't wait till my body is as rockin & strong as theirs.  Anyway, I recently came across a blog post by them with a portion called "Tough Love."  I laughed while reading it because they were not giving people an inch to complain.  I had to share because I agree with so much of what they're saying, so enjoy: 
{taken word for word from this post}

"Here comes the tough love. This is for those of you who are considering taking on this life-changing month, but aren’t sure you can actually pull it off, cheat free, for a full 30 days. This is for the people who have tried this before, but who “slipped” or “fell off the wagon” or “just HAD to eat (fill in food here) because of this (fill in event here)”. This is for you.
1. It is not hard.  Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard.  Drinking your coffee black.  Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”.  Because if we (Dallas and Melissa) can do this while living out of a car on our road trip,  relying on a restaurant or a cooler for 90% of our meals, while constantly socializing for business, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. So suck it up and join us.
2. Don’t tell us you “slipped”. Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a box of Krispy Kremes, you DID NOT SLIP. You made a choice to eat something of poor quality. It’s always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident.  Commit here, 100%, for the full 30 days, or go somewhere else.
3. You never, ever, ever HAVE to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. Toughen up. Learn to say no (or make your Mom proud and say, “No, thank you”). Learn to stick up for yourself. Just because it’s your sister’s birthday, or your best friend’s wedding, or your company outing or the Fourth of July does not mean you have to eat anything.   It’s always a choice, and we would hope that you stopped succumbing to peer pressure in 10th grade."  Dallas Hartwig & Melissa Urban

What do you think?  Too harsh?  Maybe for some.  I think, though, that sometimes a little harsh is what we need.  I think oftentimes we have a hard time just being accountable to ourselves and we act like toddlers, justify our bad food choices, whine that it's too hard or takes too long to lose weight, look to people who will tell us what we want to hear {like that it's okay to shove an entire pan of brownies into our gut in one sitting}, point fingers & blame others, or get upset that what we're doing isn't working...all the while not doing what it really takes to make it work.   I think it most always comes down to commitment.  If you're not committed-no matter what it is-you will most always fail.  If you are committed-no matter what it is-you can most always accomplish it.  It may take more time than you'd planned.  It may be more of a sacrifice than you'd thought.  You may not always like the food {or the exercise, or fill in tbe blank _____, etc.} You may have to stick up for what you're doing, ask others to help you along, make tough choices, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, and be patient.  If you are fully committed though, it will happen.  
Now my style of coaching falls somewhere between the too soft approach and the too hardcore.  I think that it can be hard to live a healthier least at first and sometimes later on.  As I type there are brownies cooking in my oven that I was asked to bring to a church function tonight and the smell is heavenly & tempting, I'm not gonna lie.  I totally agree though that if I did eat one {which I won't} it would be my choice, my responsibility, and that I could blame no one else for the effect it would have on my mind/body/scale.  It would not have been a slip or an accident, it would have been a conscious choice.  I also agree that you-and I-never have to eat anything we don't want to {or want to but that won't help us achieve our goal}.  With all this said, I have been there.  I am there.  I am experiencing this change of lifestyle firsthand...and although it can be painful at times-as all growth experiences are-it's so totally worth it.  And, it helps to talk about it with people who are experiencing the same things.  So reach out & let me know how you're doing.  I will listen & commiserate, sympathize & empathize...and then I'll tell you to get your butt back to work.  It's the only way we'll reach our goals & become our best selves.

So weigh in.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just Get Back Up

This past weekend a good friend & mentor told me about an experience she'd had with her 19 year old son recently.  It struck a chord within me & resonated in my heart all weekend, so I thought I'd share.  She and her son were having a conversation about leadership qualities they both had or admired in others.  Her son-who is generally an extremely confident individual-talked about how he felt he had many leadership qualities and had the ability to really make a difference in people's lives, but that he often held back because he was afraid he would fail people.  He let the fear of failing others keep him from stepping up and being a leader which happens to be one of his great gifts.  My friend then said a profound thing to her son.  "We will always fail people.  It's whether or not we keep getting back up each time we've failed that defines us."

Isn't this so true?  We cannot let the fear of anything keep us from participating in this great life we've been given.  No matter the context-losing weight, leading people, becoming more organized, being a better parent, increasing our spirituality, being a better friend, etc.-the fact of the matter is that we have an obligation to live our lives to their fullest potentials.  To not let our fears determine our actions-or lack of-in our lives.

We will always fail people.  Sometimes no matter what we do or how hard we try, it won't be good enough for everyone else.  But we don't always have to fail ourselves.  As long as we get up each time we fall & learn from each stumble, we are moving in the right direction.  Can you imagine if everyone who failed another person stopped taking risks?  If you have a bad day & yell at your kids, start fresh the next day.  If you fall off your healthy eating program & eat a 1/2 gallon of ice cream by yourself, start anew the next day.  If you let someone down because you did something that didn't quite meet their expectations, don't let it get you down. Others will continue to have higher expectations in us than are sometimes realistic.  Oftentimes we feel like a failure in our own minds and let that thought keep us from moving forward.  Don't do that.  Keep taking chances.  Keep believing in yourself.  Get back up each time you fall...It is in doing this that you really won't have failed at all. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Recently I received some news that turned my world upside down for a couple days.  I felt completely blindsided by this turn of events and was kind of in shock for a few days while processing the information I'd received. 

Have you ever had an experience like that?  Through this I learned a valuable lesson.   
It is imperative that we learn to protect our blindside.  
How do we do this when we don't know what faces us in our future?  The answer is preparation. We have to learn to prepare for the unknown.  Life is constantly throwing us curve balls.  How are you going to act-instead of react-when the next hard or unknown situation hits? 

For instance, what would you do if:
-You leave to go shopping and get caught up longer than you think
-You're with friends at a movie and afterward they ask you to go with them to dinner
-a loved one passes away
-You change jobs, move to a new house, have a baby, etc.
-You have company in your home
-You have a family reunion
-You're invited to a BBQ, dinner, birthday party, etc.
-You have a birthday
-You are busy, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, discouraged, excited, worried, anxious, etc.etc.etc...

The fact of the matter is-life never stops.  And, it's always changing.  If we don't change our habits now and learn to protect our blindside, we'll never change.  Because the well known fact that life IS always changing and unknown will never change. 

Let's go back to my blindsiding experience from just recently.  Throughout the day I found myself being more preoccupied than usual.  Because anything carbohydrate-loaded is my food of choice, I craved cereal, chips, cake & breads all day.  I did fine all day and stayed strong despite my feelings of anxiety.  That night though, we had a family BBQ.  This was probably the 10th BBQ I've attended since starting TSFL so I wasn't worried going into it.  I had my chicken kabob & veggies all ready to enjoy.  And I did...  But a couple hours later, when it was time for my next meal, I had a Medifast brownie.  And I added sugar free cool whip.  All this would have been fine, had I not then taken a spoon and eaten about 10 tablespoons worth of cool whip right from the container complusively.  Yeah, I did that.  And midway between carton & mouth, I looked at that spoon and realized what I was doing.  Handling my emotions & stress in the only way I knew how.  And, so I stopped, put the cool whip away, and went on with my evening. 

Here is the important thing to realize: it's not about the cool whip.  10 tablespoons isn't going to hurt me too badly or kill my progress.  It's not even about witholding myself from foods I love or being a control freak and never eating anything I want to again.  It's about gaining control over my emotional ties to food.  It's the fact that it doesn't matter what kind of food it is-celery or donuts-if we are bingeing on them when we are blindsided in our lives, we are not truly prepared or changed on the inside.  We are relying on food to bring us comfort. 

So prepare yourself.  Here are a few ways to do that:
-Think ahead.  Ask yourself what you would do if faced with those questions from above.  Go through different scenarios in your head and decide now that you would not turn to food
-Plan ahead!  Always keep extra small meals in your car, purse, suitcase, house, etc.  This way you'll never go over your 3 hour limit and be starving when you are faced with food-leaving you more likely to make unhealthy choices
-Let the people in your life know what you're doing and what your goals are.  Help them to help you make healthier choices
-Make the best choice possible.  You are caught in a situation where it's time to eat and you don't have your meals. You are faced with food.  Know beforehand what you'll order when faced with times like these and stay firm.  Call ahead to restaurants & ask what they have-know what you'll order BEFORE even stepping in the door which will allow you to be set in your mind and not tempted by other dishes.
-Take all your meals for the day in a bag, cooler, etc., and stick to your plan. 

Lastly, realize that sometimes we're going to slip up.  And that's okay.  The important part is realizing what we're doing, taking ownership for it, and becoming better through the experience.  If I had eaten the cool whip and decided, "I'm never going to change, I'm going to quit," I would have been right back where I started.  Instead, I realized I had received some crazy news, recognized my reasons for what I was doing, and got right back on track.  And you know what, those realizations helped me to enjoy the cool whip & not feel guilty!  And that my friends, turned a could-be opportunity to beat myself up & quit into an amazingly empowering experience!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Decide Now

I had an experience when I was about 14 years old that has always stuck with me.  It was a woman I admired giving a lesson about making good choices in our lives.  She said something to the effect of, "If you decide right now that you will never have a drink of alcohol, and I mean really really make that choice right now, then when you are faced with the decision later in your life, it won't even be a temptation.  You won't even think twice about it, you'll just say no."  I distinctly remember going home that day and writing down on a piece of paper the following:

I will never drink alcohol
I will never use any drugs or tobacco
I will not have sex before I'm married

That piece of paper soon got lost in the abyss of my teenage-self's messy room, but the words on that paper-and the internal decision that went with them-stayed with me throughout the rest of my life.  That wise woman was right.  There were times after that lesson when I was faced with questions about drinking-even teasing & pressure from friends-but I didn't even have to think.  I just said no thanks.  Soon people knew what my views were on the topic and they didn't ask.  Those things weren't even a temptation or appealing to me because I had made the decision a long time ago that I wouldn't participate.  It became easy & to this day I don't regret those choices.

Now think about this process in comparison to our relationship with food.  Food is as much a temptation and addiction for me as alcohol, drugs, and sex are to others.  Unfortunately, I can't just say no to all food and be okay.  I-like all of us-have got to find a balance & learn to enjoy food in a way that also allows me to maintain a healthy weight.  The week before I started TSFL, I worked on preparing myself mentally.  I knew that one of-if not the only-key factor to my success would be making the decision to commit 100% to this program.  Deciding that until I reached my goal weight, I would not have certain foods, I would not cheat on my program, I would not give in to tempting foods, etc.  Deciding that I would choose health.  Deciding that I was going to do this no matter how hard it got or what things crossed my path.  So I grabbed a sheet of paper and sat down with my husband and made a list.  I wrote down the following:

I will follow the take shape for life program exactly as outlined for as long as it takes me to reach my goal weight.  I will keep a food journal on a daily basis and realize that I will miss out on lots of my favorite foods this summer.  That's okay though...I'm deciding to be healthy and I'm choosing to do it for me.

Notice a couple things: (1) I didn't set a time limit.  I didn't say, "I'll stick to this for three months, but if I'm not to my goal, I'll give up."  I committed for as long as it took to get to my goal weight and learn be confident in the fact that I knew how to stay there.  (2) I also recognized-realistically-that there were going to be things I'd miss.  This didn't mean I couldn't participate at all, just that I knew I'd be faced with foods I love and wouldn't eat them because I'd made the decision not to.  It's so important that we are honest with ourselves.  We won't be caught off guard this way. 

And guess what?  8 weeks into my program and I've stayed firm to the decision I made.  I have been around a TON of good food.  I have had people tell me it's okay to just have a couple bites.  I have baked cakes/cookies/treats for friends & family, and made dinners for my husband that I chose not to eat.  Has it been tough?  Yeah, occasionally I crave different things. But as far as whether I'd give into temptation, there's never even been a moment's hesitation because I took a vital step 8 weeks ago in making that decision and writing it down.  Now it's easy to decline.  The decision is made before I'm even faced with the choice.  Try it yourself-decide now to make a change.  Choose now to be healthy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hydration keeps us happy

We've all heard time and time again how important it is to drink enough water.  But how much is enough?  And, why is it so important?  Water makes up between 55 & 60% of our body weight!  Isn't that crazy?!  Water plays a huge role in weight loss & helps our bodies in more ways than we can possibly understand.  For instance, did you know you lose about 12 cups of water a day?!  Perspiration, urine, breathing, and the soles of our feet take that away from us.  It's vital that we restore that water to our bodies.  One of the main reasons I've been focusing on hydration this week is because it's summer.  And it's hot.  The past week where I live the temperature has shot up into the 90's and we are definitely feeling it.  And, our air conditioner went out on us and won't be fixed for a few days.  I literally felt like I might melt today and knew hydration was more important than ever.

How much water is enough?  The rote answer is 8-8 oz. glasses a day.  This is a great start and if you've been drinking less than this daily, start with this amount.  A good formula to use is the following:

1. Divide your weight by 2.2
2. This equals the number of kilograms you weigh
3. Take that kilogram number and multiply it by 25-30 (I would aim for the higher & take 30)
4. This equals the number of cc's of water you should drink daily
5. 30 cc's equals 1 oz.
6. Divide the number of cc's by 30 & that is the total number of ounces you need for the day.
Here's an example using my weight:
1. 160/2.2=72.7

3. 72.7x25=1817.5        72.7x30=2181
6. 1817.5/30=60.5 ounces      2181/30=72.7 ounces
So I need to drink between 60.5 & 72.7 ounces of water daily

However, this doesn't take into account heat, exercise, etc., so I always aim higher. My personal goal is at least 100 ounces daily.  One easy tip for keeping track of how much water I drink daily is to keep a 16 ounce cup by my sink.  I keep two pitchers of water in the fridge so they stay cold.  Throughout the day each time I fill up and drink that 16 ounce cup of water, I put a mark on my calendar.  The goal is to have at least 6 marks at the end of each day.  Another thing that I know works for people is to fill up a pitcher with their 64 ounces (or however much their goal is) and to leave it out on the counter.  They know that by the end of the day that pitcher needs to be empty.  If you have a hard time drinking that much water at first, flavor it with sugar free/calorie free crystal light.  Another trick I try with myself if I'm struggling with getting enough water in is to not let myself have anything else to drink (ie: a diet soda) until I've had all my water for the day.  This encourages me to get my water in early and then I'm usually guaranteed to get more than my goal because I'll drink more later in the afternoon and evening as well.

Try getting your goal amount of water for 10 days straight and I guarantee you'll see & feel a difference in your body.  It takes about that long for our bodies to rehydrate themselves, so you might have to go to the bathroom a lot the first several days, but once your body starts to drink all that in & really use it, you'll adjust accordingly & feel more energized, have fewer headaches, and speed up your metabolism. Those are some pretty great reasons & I challenge you all to drink more water this summer!

Monday, June 28, 2010


57 days ago I started a journey.   It was a journey to lose weight, feel better, get healthy, and shape up!  But mostly, it was a journey about tackling the inside stuff-you know what I'm talking about-the emotions/feelings/reasons for what & why I eat.  In just 57 days I've discovered a lot about myself.  And I'm loving the journey.  I am changing inside & out and my mindset is becoming healthier.  I am learning more about myself than I could have hoped for & am excited about the future because of this.

For a long time I have loved health.  Since I met my husband 8 years ago, it's been one of our combined loves & hobbies.  I made a lot of healthy changes & conscious decisions to become healthier when I met Z {more on this to come} and I have enjoyed the process.  I acquired my personal trainers license and loved using that to work in a couple different gyms and was privileged to have amazing clients.  I have learned much about cooking healthy foods, the best ways to lose weight & keep it off, drinking enough water, and great exercise... But along the way, I never really delved in and addressed the deep rooted issues of why I struggle so much with food.  I definitely attribute this to something called "The Jonah Complex" which I'll cover more in a later post, but it's basically my fear of being my best.  I just haven't wanted to take myself too far out of my comfort zone to address those issues, so I've shied away from them.

Until now.

About a year ago, I became a health coach for a company called Take Shape for Life.  At that point I didn't do the program myself and my heart wasn't really in it.  I love helping people reach their goals & health & people really are two of my biggest passions, but I wasn't able to devote much time to it at that point, so I didn't see how awesome the program was.  After having our second baby a few months ago, I decided it was as good a time as ever to start the program myself.  57 days ago, I did.  And in eight short weeks, I haven't looked back!  I'm helping myself reach optimal health & finally addressing those deeply rooted issues that I've fought with my entire life.  I'm helping others attain their weight loss goals and getting to coach & challenge them on a daily basis.  They are making changes and feeling amazing.  My heart is happier because I finally feel like I know I'm in the right place-doing what I was meant to do.  And that is an incredible feeling.

This blog is for me to share my personal journey with TSFL & to allow others to share their success stories as well.  My hope is that it will be an encouraging forum for individuals who are on their own journeys to health-no matter what stage they're in. I also welcome questions and constructive feedback.  If you have questions about the program or are wanting to start and would like me as your health coach, please contact me at: or through my website at: