Posts Tagged ‘monitor’

How are your goals taking shape?

February 4th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Well, well, well, the calendar page has turned to February already. So how are your goals taking shape now that we’re well into 2015? If you were planning to make some significant changes in your regime this year and have slipped up a bit, don’t lose heart; that’s part of the journey to a healthier you. Let’s review, reflect and reframe!

Journalling Journey – Have you considered starting journalling your eating and activity journey this New Year? As you get into the groove of jotting details in a journal you will begin to uncover your eating and activity finger print. If your one major goal for 2015 is to create a love affair with eating and activity then let it all hang out in your journal. After all it’s for your eyes only. Let’s get to the bottom of what’s been holding you back. It doesn’t need to be January 1st to start, every day is a perfect day to make a goal or two. Press the “start” button today!

3 x 3 Triad to Success – I wrote about working on changing 3 habits x 3 weeks starting with the easiest ones first. How’s that going? Beginning with the easiest behaviours to master first is a brilliant way to get your motivation soaring, even if you haven’t totally bought in to all of this yet. Don’t take any shortcuts and stick out each 3-week interval to ensure you fully adopt new positive habits. If you need more time, take it. If you want to only work on 1 new behaviour at a time, then go for it!

Focus on Behaviour, Not Food – I love encouraging people to focus on non-food goals, allowing all food to fit. I’m a food loving Italian after all, remember? This will get you focusing on your eating experience more completely and in time will help you lose the guilt of eating your favourite foods. You’ll even enjoy your food more. This approach is essential if you truly want to love your food more. We can all use more love in our lives, keep at it!

Getting to Love Your Moves – I also want you to build a loving relationship with your activity too. Some people have sour memories of being picked last for dodge ball in gym and hate the thought of being humiliated when doing sports and exercise. I get it! I want you to take the pressure off, no Lululemons needed for you. Work on healthy and stealthy “interval training” by finding 15 minute intervals to begin your personal “movement movement”. In time you will build up the number of intervals you do each day because you’re feeling good and your body is yearning for it. No need to get ahead of yourself at this point, but let’s press the re-start button and lose the old adage of “no pain, no gain”. Who needs more pain? No one, that’s who!

Stoke Motivation with Rewards & New Habits – Whether you’re aiming to lose weight or get more fit this year let’s use a positive approach. Working in ways to get and stay motivated is worth your time and effort and everyone around you will be happier too! Have you started that endorphin diet too? Help make yourself happier every day by flooding your senses and staying pumped.

There you have it folks, here’s a positive beginning to your year without restrictions and pressure. Find out more details in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books and let’s keep the momentum soaring!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »

Weighing In On Weighing In

January 16th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I have been focusing on myriad ways to keep motivated for the start of 2015. I featured creating your own personalized reward system then highlighted more ways to stay pumped too. I now want to discuss weighing yourself and staying positive. I divulged in my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books my salacious relationship with my bathroom scale decades ago. Weighing yourself is necessary, but find a schedule that isn’t going to make you nuts. Listen up!

Consistent monitoring – getting a reality check
Three quarters of successful weight losers weigh themselves regularly. Keeping tabs on your weight or dimensions is key.

Ignorance isn’t bliss; awareness is! Whether it’s on a Monday, before and after a vacation or during “eating marathon seasons” like Christmas, it’s important to have a reality weight check using the same scale or clothing to keep a handle on your handles.

Weighing in doesn’t necessarily mean tracking pounds or kilograms. I didn’t own a scale for years after breaking up with mine after our relationship went sour. During that time, I used my trusty skinny jeans instead as my reality check and got weighed at my annual physical.

Monitoring makes it near impossible to fool yourself; you can’t argue against facts.

However you choose to monitor yourself, do it regularly. It’s easier to get back in check after gaining a few pounds rather sliding with a ten-pound spike.

Motivation consternation – got that bloated feelin’ ladies?
I’m not a big believer in weighing yourself too frequently while you’re gunning to lose weight. Many gals retain water during those two “weeks of bloat” before the first day of your period (day 1 of your cycle). Why does every diet program ever created dictate you weigh yourself daily or weekly is beyond me? All you’re doing is demotivating yourself when you hop on the scale and witness the needle tilt upward due to bloat. As if we need another reason to get cranky. “Ok just hop on that scale 14 days in a row while you’re retaining fluid, sister.” Stop the madness!

Following this makes no sense whatsoever. This is why I suggest you only weigh yourself on days four and 10 of your cycle. Then do yourself a favour and stay away from anything that resembles a weigh scale in between. Not following my advice will give you consternation, just what you don’t need while you’re PMS-ing. When I think back to my heated obsessive relationship with my bathroom scale I’m surprised I didn’t go totally off the deep end when I weighed myself daily, especially during those two weeks of bloat.

I have been weighing myself every day this past week as an experiment of sorts while drafting this blog post. Case in point, my weight has fluctuated up and down, sometimes over 3 pounds in one day. I have been eating and exercising fairly regularly and I have not eaten out at a restaurant since last weekend. Despite that, my weight has gone up and down like a yo yo. Time for me to abort that mission now that this has been posted… Take a breather ladies, follow my advice and weigh yourself less often to help keep your motivation UP!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »

Motivation 6 Ways

January 13th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Hey baby, it might be cold outside, but hey, each day is getting a little brighter. They say that mid-January is when most New Year’s resolutions fizzle. Who’s “they” anyhow? If you’re adopting new lifestyle habits, doing the 3 x 3 or if you want to just feel jazzed every day work in a wide array of measures to keep your motivation sizzling and not fizzling. Don’t ever give UP!

Dress to Inspire Success & Joy – Dawn an outfit everyday that fits properly and makes you feel fab right from your undies to your coat. I don’t know about you, but slump-wear brings me down. How about you? Get some trusty ironside jeans and create your outfit around them. If you find yourself mindlessly eating, that tug on your tummy is your reminder to rein it in a little. Whether you’re working to achieve a lower weight or to just feel more inspired awash your outfit with colour too. That rainbow will lift your spirits as you take on the world!

Thought Stopping – What’s the tone of your inner voice? Are you loving yourself or berating yourself with criticism? Pay attention to those voices in your head and stop yourself when you’re about to self deprecate. Replace those thoughts with prose of kindness. You ARE enough!

Visualize the Prize – Have you spent a lifetime trying to lose weight when deep down you really don’t believe you can reach your ultimate goal? Not believing in yourself is the biggest barrier to success. Find time in a quiet place to meditate and visualize the prize daily – you at your goal weight. After all seeing IS believing!

Reward Building – For people who set realistic goals, reaching your ultimate weight loss goal will take many months. Work in small rewards to treat yourself for good behaviour throughout your journey and stay stoked.

Lead, Don’t Follow – When you make your personal goals aim to stick to them even when those shallow saboteurs try to throw you under the bus. Hey soul sister, we’re surrounded, so find strategies to block them. If you’re a consummate pleaser, start pleasing yourself first!

Just For Today – If you’re really feeling in a slump, don’t fret! Sometimes we plan so far in advance – for next month, next season, next year which seems soooo overwhelming and far from this moment. Take a breather and reframe your thinking to focus on the here and now “just for today”. When you just focus on today, all of your tomorrows will fall into place.

Finding ways to supercharge your motivation and attitude will help you sail through the rough spots we all face. Check out my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books for more strategies to keep you sizzling to success at Slim Town!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Breaking Bad Habits? Do the 3 x 3!

January 6th, 2015 1 Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s game time folks and back to reality from living in La La Land of late. For many the past month has been chocked full of fun, food and frolic without the fitness. At some point, something’s gotta give as you plan to get back on track. Don’t you think?

Journalling Journey – Have you decided to start a food & activity journal instead of hopping on to that fad diet treadmill of old? Good for you, that’s a perfect way to start the New Year off right! Instead of putting your food under the microscope, put your eating behaviour under it and take the pressure off. Listen up as I explain an easy approach to nudge you in a healthier direction:

The 3 x 3 Triad - Research shows that it takes about three weeks to adopt a new behaviour to the point where it feels natural. If you choose to change one every three weeks, in one year you’ll change 17 habits. Research also shows we can change up to three new behaviours at any one time. Theoretically that means you can take on and change three things every three weeks. Think about it: if you follow this 3-by-3 religiously, in one year you can trade 50 unsavoury foibles for positive ones. Imagine!

Be Flexible – Although scientists say it can be done, you don’t have to be so rigid. Let’s be realistic and take the pressure off. When working on easier challenges, take on three at once. For the more difficult ones, though, focus on one at a time. Be good to yourself and use a moderate approach. You’re looking for small successes to beget larger ones. You’ll eventually feel like you’re soaring.

Easy Approach – If you’re seriously pondering making some changes this 2015 consider keeping it simple by doing the 3 x 3. Don’t give dieting another thought. Review any diet: most are so dramatically different from your current regimen, they are almost impossible to adhere to for the long haul. There are often so many restrictions you feel hungry, listless, cranky, deprived plus most don’t pass my Thanksgiving Dinner Test while they have you make 10 – 20 (or more) significant changes that feel so unnatural to do all at once. Ditch dieting for good!

Make a List, From Easy to Hard – Review your journal and create a list of behaviours you feel you need to change, from easiest to hardest. Review your list and plan to start with the easy ones. Years ago when I tried this, I wasn’t ready to make any changes to my food choices so I focused on eating behaviour instead. This totally kept me motivated, on track with zero feelings of deprivation!

Time to Make Goals – Decide how many new habits you want to change – up to three – and write out goals for each in your journal. Focus on accomplishing these until they feel second nature for at least three weeks. Review and reflect how you are progressing weekly.

Review, Reflect & Reframe – If after three weeks you feel these new behaviours have become second nature to you, congratulate yourself. You’re ready to move on and set new goals to adopt new behaviours – again, up to three. If you’re not quite ready, reframe your habits and keep working on them until they become automatic. Continue following this process on an ongoing basis.

Food For Thought, Ideas to Propel You Forward – Consider working on some fundamental behaviours such as daily visualization, thought stopping and dressing presentably to keep your motivation sizzling. Ensure you include an activity goal as you progress. Ensure you also address your hunger and fullness cues, sitting down when eating, using a dish and utensils and slowing down your eating pace. These are key if you routinely eat on the run with distractions.

For more details on using this approach refer to my ebook, Skinny on Slim The Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 1 Comment »

Journaling Journey to Create a Love Affair with Food & Activity

December 26th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

How many times have seen the top lists of books to buy for the coming year? Here’s a fresh idea during this downtime between Christmas and New Year: buy yourself a book with empty pages and start your eating and activity journal today! Check out my ebook, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books that explains how to do this in detail. You cannot change what you do not realize. Awareness is bliss after all, right?!

Many studies have been done on the benefits of journaling your weight loss journey. Writing down everything that passes your lips, every crumb, sip and nibble makes you aware of what’s going down the hatch. One study followed 1,700 people on a weight loss program and found participants who journaled lost twice as much weight within 6 months as those who didn’t. Who needs to join a boot camp when you can be your own leader which could lead to a smaller booty?

These days eating happens in so many places: on the fly running to work, to working at the computer, to nibbling at your secretary’s desk, during food preparation, watching television and more. So much eating happens when people are concentrating on other things resulting in missing out on its ultimate enjoyment. Consider the following:

  • I Spy with My Little Eye – Train your eye and measure initially as you jot down the details, plus add your baseline activity each day
  • Let It All Hang Out - Jot everything down to get a clear picture, after all it’s for your eyes only
  • Daily Double – Do it daily either keeping your journal with you or by your bedside to complete before you turn your lights out before you lay your head down to sleep
  • Follow the 3 R’s: Review, Reflect and Reframe – This will heighten your awareness, get you thinking about what you truly need to adjust and get you on your way to making small goals each and every week as the days and weeks unfold in 2015

It’s helpful to take stock of what you eat and drink when you’re trying to lose weight. Once you get in the groove of journaling it’ll become second nature. These days you can track your intake electronically or the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Each page will hold the personal clues to what you need to change. Start now, why wait for the New Year….

Commit to creating a love affair with your eating and activity for the coming year… truly a noble goal that will enrich your life for years to come. Start today!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 1 Comment »

Awareness is Bliss on Menu Labelling, Headway to Enlightenment

November 26th, 2014 3 Comments Tags: , , , ,

Did you hear that the FDA announced new requirements of chain restaurants, movie theatres and pizza parlours to post calories on their menus of their food and drink offerings? Did you hear the alleluia chorus that followed, “fa la la la la, la la la la”?! That’s a little something more to be thankful for this US Thanksgiving week.

In Canada and the US consumers have been accustomed to having access to the ingredient and nutritional information on food package labels for more than a decade. You might have heard about plans to improve this back in July. This information needs to be available for consumers for ALL food they access whether from a food package or a fast food outlet. Don’t you think?

Data shows that consumers now eat out more and more. About a third of the calories consumed come from outside of the home. That’s a significant proportion of energy eaten blindly without a clue of what’s in it.

I have written many times and explain in my ebook Skinny on Slim The Little Black Dress of Diet Books that awareness is bliss. When we know better we do better. I have been in line in a coffee shop in the US and changed my order because I didn’t realize how energy dense the choice I was about to make was. Consumers deserve to know. On the flip side, it has been shown that restaurant outlets will reformulate their products when they need to reveal these nutritional nuggets to the world, hmmmm.

I strongly believe that just fessing up to the calories in offerings is not good enough. They need to disclose the SAME information the food package industry has provided us for years. Revealing the calories is the first step down a long road to consumer enlightenment. In this era of technology why not create an app for that!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Eating Vortex, Policy for the People, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | 3 Comments »

Who’s winning the war on “healthy” at schools? Garbage cans perhaps

October 17th, 2014 2 Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I have been mulling over study findings showing healthy food served in school food service departments has been feeding the garbage pales since the school’s cleansing of less healthy food. These findings and a healthy debate with colleagues got me thinking more deeply and blogging about what might be happening in this regard.

I used to work with a passionate paediatrician Dr. Bob Hilliard many years ago at Sick Kids Hospital who often asked our team “Are we winning?” I have often asked myself this question through my career to do a gut check: are we are taking the right measures and achieving the planned outcomes? Are we winning?

I’ll be honest, my heart sank when I heard this study’s findings presented about healthy food wastage in school cafeterias, good grief. When I think about these kids having unique energy and nutrient needs, many going through growth spurts, I wonder what on earth are they eating to make up for what they’re discarding to fill that hunger void?

I recall having one-on-one sessions with teens many years ago who would openly admit to me that when they have a limited amount of money on hand what they seek is food that’ll fill the hunger void economically. The word “healthy” was rarely used to my recollection, sadly. Unfortunately, what they can afford are fast food offerings. So many schools I pass are surrounded by these places. So are we winning?

Could we the experts be exacerbating even worse eating habits after this less healthy food cleansing we’ve done in schools? I have heard about positive experiences where some schools had kids involved in the decision making of food service options. I love Brian Wansink’s healthy and stealthy approach to setting up a healthier cafeteria, described in his new book Slim By Design check it out.

The bottom line for me is the importance of doing further research on this to ensure there are no unintended consequences. After all we don’t want another wave of an epidemic on top of those we already have and add psychological eating issues to the mix, which would be more difficult to fix. For kid’s sake, let’s make sure we ARE winning and make necessary changes as needed.

Something to knaw on, that’s for sure….

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Francy Rants, Miss Behavin', Policy for the People | 2 Comments »

Thanksgiving Musings

October 10th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Time for (Canadian) Thanksgiving
Are you taking time?
To ponder your many blessings
Or following through blind

Is it just a day off?
Or do you take time to dwell?
On special people around you
And the stories they tell

Do you plough through the day
Like a freight train at high speed?
Or take a few quite moments
To just stop and take heed

A deep breath is a blessing
A warm abode is too
Does this fill you with appreciation?
Or do you just sit and stew?

Do you have legs to walk with?
And eyes that gleam bright?
A heart that beats loudly
And a strong will that ignites?

If you woke up this morning
On the green side of the grass
Make the best of Thanksgiving
Help your gratitude last

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

High Action Thriller Filler

September 3rd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Another interesting study has been published by the Cornell Food & Brand Lab led by Dr. Brian Wansink. This time this savvy research team looked at various types of TV programming paired with eating. They found that people eat double while engrossed viewing a high action thriller, compared with watching a talk-show. They had the same findings whether they used M & M’s or with veggies. They also found people still ate 36% more when the volume was nixed on the thriller program. Hmmmm.

All of this got me thinking more deeply about eating with distractions which led me to impart 1 main message, and that is to avoid paired eating activities especially those involving TV viewing of any kind. One of the articles I read mentioned how it would be a good way to get “non veggie eating kids” to eat their veggies – NOT! That is a slippery slope of a strategy NOT to consider EVER as this would indelibly ingrain this bad habit.

Numerous studies have been done looking at eating with distractions that show time and time again that viewers can eat so much more mindlessly. Think about it folks, we’ve all been caught at one time or another eating with distractions whether it was a mother-load-tub of popcorn at the movies or noshing while working. Instead of focusing on the wonderful food, taste and eating experience your focus is elsewhere and that’s just a crying shame because eating enjoyment is one of life’s simple pleasures.

The take away message on this is to avoid eating with distractions at all costs, whether it’s TV viewing, driving, working. Prepare a plate of fab food, sit down at a table, eat and enjoy!

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Eating Vortex, Francy Rants, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

Mulling Over Menus…. Let’s Do a “Better Choices” Makeover

August 8th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Eating outside of the home has become a more popular pastime for many. The latest research tells us we eat more when eating out. However, who doesn’t love to eat out, have a fab chef whip up my food while a hospitable waiter tops up my wine glass? No on, that’s who! I find in the summer dining out, especially at an open air restaurant is just what the summer season ordered. There’s nothing finer than sipping an icy chilled glass of pinot blanc at an outdoor cafe on a wonderful summer eve, wearing strappy sandals and a cool flowy dress….. ahhhhhh

Let’s do the Surf & Turf - Let’s face it folks, as eating out becomes more and more a part of our routine, we can no longer use the excuse “…oh my, this is an occasional treat…” now can we? If your summer wardrobe has shifted into MuMu wear because of the whining after all of the dining, we need to take stock, now. I’m not being a Debbie downer saying stay home and nosh on cottage cheese on your deck. I AM suggesting you take stock of my “awareness is bliss” strategies from my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books advice and do some number surfing and choice turfing to sub in better choices. Sound good?

I did some number surfing, as an example using popular menu items from The Keg. Here are some of my findings:

Starters
Garlic Cheese Bread – 1193 calories, 79 g fat
Calimari – 466 calories, 17 g fat
Spinach Salad – 428 calories

Main Course
Sirloin Oscar – 899 calories, 66 g fat
Garlic mashed potatoes – 379 calories, 23 g fat

Dessert
Brownie Sundae – 1105 calories, 51 g fat
Chocolate cake – 889 calories, 50 g fat

Dinner Do-Over – Making Better Choices – Easy As 1, 2, 3

So let’s rewind this tape folks. If you indeed go out to eat more regularly AND want to remain in summertime shape, making better choices isn’t all that hard. Listen up:
1) For starters, have a little snack before you go out to take the edge off of your appetite. When you do that you won’t eat like a buzz saw when you sit down.
2) Next, wear something you feel fabulous in and focus on the fun time out. You’re not in contention for winning the pie eating contest at the county fare – so get chatty and enjoy the overall experience.
3) Start sipping bubbly…. mineral water, that is. You want to get hydrated AND have your wits about you as you deal with a waiter full of delectable “up sell” ideas and social saboteurs, so if you start into the alcohol too soon you will throw all caution to the wind before you put the napkin on your lap. Don’t do it to yourself! If you plan to order alcohol limit yourself to 2 glasses max.
4) Eat slowly and enjoy your food. Plan to take some home. You KNOW those serving sizes are enough for 2 meals so focus on having half right at the beginning, then you’ll bring home the rest to savour tomorrow. Double the pleasure!

Starters
Table Bread (1/4 loaf) – 140 calories
Mixed Greens Salad – 132 calories Or salad noted above and ask for the dressing on the side and make it half dressed (ooo-la-la!!)

Main Course
8 oz Steak – 321 calories, 14 g fat
Baked potato 385 calories, 10 g fat (ask for the fix ins on the side and proceed with caution)
Mixed Veg 132 calories

Dessert
Mint tea, finish the mineral water

Just a few more pointers:
5) I usually don’t have any bread as I figure why waste calories on this sort of thing. If it’s super amazing I’ll enjoy a piece with soup or salad, but will have 1 slice.
6) When my main meal comes I’ll cut my entree and potato in half as I make a conscious decision to take half home. As the wine flows I may finish it all unwittingly so doing this is my way of making up my mind first.
7) As dinner time lingers so does my feeling of fullness. I hate that “stuffed like a sausage feeling” especially when I’m all dressed up so decide to stop despite how amazing the waiter makes the desserts sound. I can have it, some other time. I use my “just for today” strategy, that I will forgo dessert today, but can enjoy it another time.

If you find yourself eating out more often because of the season, or because of business travel or you’re just a socialista, do some menu mulling and meandering to help you make better choices. Remember a lot of these are loaded with sodium so beware of that nutritional nugget too. Aim to get your full activity level up when you do eat out more often. Keep in mind, if you walk a 3 mile an hour saunter it’ll be a 3 hour, 9 mile walk to work off the calories of that piece of chocolate cake alone!

Learn to trade off by surfing and turfing and enjoy the entire dining experience, not only the eating part. Sound good?

Bookmark and Share

Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »