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Happy Anniversary!

21 Oct

Work It, Missy

20 Oct

Missy Elliott is one of the most talented people in music. She Pharrell-ed before Pharrell could. Many of her fans, myself included, miss hearing Misdemeanor randomly show up on a track, drop an earworm of a song or astound us with a new music video. Her recent spate of appearances have only made the clamor grow, especially with last week’s tweet.

You remember this Missy, right?

missy

That Missy is no more.

In 2011, Missy announced that she was diagnosed with Grave’s disease, which affects the thyroid system and can affect the nervous system. It caused her to gain a lot of the weight she’d lost and made her step back from the music industry spotlight for a while.

But now Missy is back, performing at Alexander Wang’s debut of his collection for H&M. And she looks fantastic. She said at the time of her diagnosis that she was taking radiation medication. But instead of being beholden to the pill, she took a more active role in her health. Working with her doctor, she’s found a way to manage the condition through diet an exercise.

Life happens. It will throw obstacle after obstacle at you, no matter how prepared you may think you are. An obstacle like an illness can really get you down. You may feel defeated at whatever is attacking your health. But that doesn’t have to mean you’re out.

Doctors, nutritionists and therapists are there to help people go on the offensive about health care. You can work with professionals to ensure that whatever may come, you are doing all you can to keep your health in check.

Is it worth it? I think we could all take a cue of Missy and see if it is. You may even surprise yourself at the things you can do naturally that no pill could.

So congrats to Missy on her 70 pound (!!!) weight loss. Hopefully this means she’ll get to working on an album soon (hint-hint, wink-wink).

Photo courtesy of People

Stuntin’ Is a Habit

15 Oct

The myth is that it takes 21 days for form a habit. I call it a myth because you don’t really know you’ve made something a habit until you’re much further along in the process. Think about it: What did you do 21 days ago that you’re still doing right now? I’ll tick them off for you:

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Working/studying
  • Going to the restroom.

You developed those habits so long ago they’re part of you. What I’ve found on my weight-loss journey is that making your good habits a part of you is key to meeting your goals. And it took much longer than 21 days for that to happen.¬†It’s not called a lifestyle change for nothing.

Making this lifestyle a part of the very fabric of your nature takes a lot courage. It’s easy to stay comfortable in your routine. Eating, sleeping and working are so much a part of you that you don’t realize you’re doing them¬†any more. The same can happen for you when you’ve developed a routine with diet and exercise.

Here are a few ways to make sure your good choices become habit forming.

1. Set a schedule.¬†A plan of action is a great first step toward meeting your goal. If you work a regular 9-to-5, then you’re better off than some freelancers. You know when you need to get up, when you need to get to work, when you get off and how much time you have left over in the day. You know how long it takes to get ready in the morning, how long it takes you to get to work and how to bypass traffic on the way home. That means you know where the pockets of time are for meal preparation, workouts and rest. Those of you without a set schedule are going to have to let life work its way into your weight-loss plan. You may need to first set your meal prep, workouts and rest times and¬†let the rest of your day fit in as needed.

2. Plan your meals. Rest day is the best day for meal prep. You’re not overly exhausted from the hurting you put on your body¬†in your workout. You’ve got time to really take inventory of what you have in your cabinets and what you may be in the mood for during the week. You have time to glance through your cookbooks and see what new recipes will work for you this week. And you have time to browse the grocery store instead of a rush job where you forget things. You may find a nice piece of fish on sale you can broil later. All of this is to say having your meals (especially lunch) ready¬†saves so much time when you’re getting ready to leave for the day.

3. Make your goal your No. 1 priority.¬†You love your family and friends. And being homeless isn’t on your list of things to do. Now that that’s out of the way,¬†take stock of what’s really important to you. Do you really want to lose weight? Do you really want to maintain? Are you looking for ways to cut the unhelpful things out of your diet? If that’s true, then you’ve already made your goal a top priority. Create a vision board or “Being Mary Jane” it and put Post-it notes all over your home. Keeping a daily reminder that you’re doing this for a reason will keep your eyes on the prize

4. Understand there are 24 hours in a day. So you’ve set your schedule and you’ve planned your meals. But life happened, and¬†you overslept¬†and missed your morning Zumba class. Someone at work ate your sandwich, so now you don’t have anything to eat. So what? There’s still time later in the day to burn a few calories. You may not ¬†be able to make it to the gym, but you can surely find a way to get moving around the house. Or you could take a long walk at lunch. Or you could to any number of things that you were supposed to do anyway. We all share the same time clock, and yours says there’s still time to get it in before the day is over.

5. Don’t accept failure as an option. Simply put: if where you are isn’t where you want to be, do what you have to do¬†to get there.

These good habits will become less and less stressful the more you do them. But you’ll be so pleased with yourself when you accomplish your goal.

What habits have you picked up or broken since you began your weight-loss journey?

Double the Fun

13 Oct

High school football season is almost over, but many of your quarterbacks, linemen and safeties spent many a day practicing twice a day. Not just menial practices, but full-on, balls out, grunting practices. They do this for endurance, stamina and to better prepare them for the real work that comes with a game.

On my weight-loss journey, I’ve learned the importance (and the pain) of two-a-days. When I began, I was using the “Extreme Fat-Smash Diet” plan, which is rigorous in both diet and fitness. For three weeks, you’re doing at least an hour of cardio a day, with that workout sometimes being¬†split in two. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks as I’ve returned to beast mode.

I like working out in the morning so I can have my evenings free. If I have a two-a-day, I’ve got to either sneak off in the middle of my work day to go to the gym (nearly impossible) or go after work, killing my social plans. Plus, you’re going in on a hard workout in the morning only to do it again later in the day. Then you’re likely working out again in the morning.¬†What no one tells you about the split workouts is that it can wear you out.

It’s a lot to take on, especially if you’re new to exercising. But it also offers you an opportunity to try something different. Let your two-a-days be the chance for you to switch up your routine. It is ridiculously easy to fall into the trap of doing the same kind of workout over and over. This not only stagnates your progress, but it makes the exercise portion of your weight-loss plan mind-numbingly dull.

There are¬†four types of cardio workouts that I usually do, but I’m always open to trying new things (you saw me hang my my hips from silk fabric). I’m primarily a runner, but I also go to spin class, use the cardio equipment at the gym and pop an exercise DVD. Whenever I have a two-a-day, I’ll do two¬†of these. But on the next two-a-day, I’ll switch out one for another.

But maybe you’re not on a cardio kick. One day could be leg day, then the next is abs. One day you’ve got kickboxing class, then the next is swimming. One of the keys to success with any weight-loss plan is shocking your body by¬†doing something different. If your body becomes to used to one thing, it won’t work as hard to burn the calories. Challenging yourself to try new things is very important.

Though I dread two-a-days because they’re a time suck‚ÄĒplus they funk up two sets of workout clothes, creating more laundry‚ÄĒI understand their benefit. If you find yourself stuck in a rut with your workout plan, a two-a-day could be the trick you need. Separating your workouts by at least six hours in a day helps to keep your metabolism up, which helps to burn calories. And isn’t that the goal on your weight-loss journey?

So, give it a try. You may find out a couple of quick workouts a day suit you better than a long slog in the morning.

Have you ever had to do two-a-days? What do you do to switch it up?

The Lighter Side of Shade

8 Oct

shade

On your weight-loss journey, you’ll hear lots of comments from the peanut gallery. Most will be positive.

  • “Good job, kid!”
  • “You’re looking really good!”
  • “Congrats on finishing that race!”

Many, however, will be shade in the guise of a compliment.

  • “God, don’t you eat anymore?”
  • “You’re just withering away.”
  • “You’re crazy to be working out that much!”

Nothing hurts as much as someone dismissing your achievements as an act of insanity. It takes a clear mind to dedicate yourself to¬†taking care of your health. There’s an obscene amount of planning and scheduling that goes into a weight-loss program. For a “friend” or “loved one” to say your actions are crazy is hurtful, dismissive and counter productive.

It’s common human nature to reject the unfamiliar. But your friends and family love you, so they’ll try to say encouraging things that in the end come out kind of douchebag-y. To help you make your way¬†through the muck, here are a few translations I use when someone says something completely idiotic as a complement.

1. “That’s all you’re going to eat?”=”Oh, you don’t eat as much to keep your weight down, right?”‚ÄĒOne thing people will notice in the beginning is your diet. If they’re not working out with you, they don’t know how much work you’re putting into your routine. But everybody eats. And if you’re eating with friends and family who are privy to your dining habits, they’ll notice that you seem to be cutting your portions in half and requesting doggy bags all the time. Don’d¬†despair . Explain to your dinner companion that you’ll just eat the rest later, which is true.

2. “You’re getting so small, you’re gonna just blow away.”=”It must be really windy out here.”‚ÄĒUnless there’s a tornado in the area, I highly doubt you’ll blow away. You’re definitely not getting that small. Blow into a building‚ÄĒmaybe (that’s happened to me a few times on gusty days). I’ve never¬†seen the wind pick someone up and move them.

3. “You run how many miles a week? That’s insane.”=”That’s incredible dedication you have to your program.”‚ÄĒA lot of the time, it’s just jealousy that feeds the shady comments people will make to you. They want to be able to do what you do. They want to be able to get up early to hit the weights or do a couple of laps in the pool. They want to lace up their shoes and just walk a couple of miles. You can. Try to be an encouragement to others who are interested in your good works.

” I just don’t have the time to do something like that. It must come really easy for you.”=”That’s really impressive and amazing that you’re so organized.”‚ÄĒOnce your weight-loss plan has become routine, it becomes¬†a task to fit other parts of your life into your plan. You’ve¬†scheduled your meals, planned what fitness classes you go to and gotten all of your other projects in order. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Your friend could do the same if they stuck to a plan. Help them figure out what plan works best for them. Go over your routine and see what fits into their schedule. Soon enough, they’ll be working life into their fitness routine, and not the other way around.

You are doing great work. I’ll tell you that if no one else is. Don’t let your closest naysayers do anything to take you off track. And know this: there is pure sanity in taking care of yourself.

What do do when people make shady compliments to you?

Gif courtesy of Tumblr

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