Archives for the month of: November, 2012

image via smoothfitness.com

The above infographic pretty much took the words right out of my mouth. Check out those numbers! AND those are for correct serving sizes- you know no one follows those, especially not on Turkey Day, where your plate is so overflowing that the dog gains weight just by following you around with his mouth wide open. You can see just how much exercise it takes to burn off each thing you put on your plate.

Knowledge is power. The least you can do is stick to proper serving sizes so you know exactly what the damage is. From there, a few simple changes can lighten it up even further.

Let’s start at the top:

Turkey
Serving: 6 ounces for 340 calories
What it looks like: a deck of cards
Lighten it up: White meat has less saturated fat, but dark meat isn’t necessarily terrible for you. It actually contains vitamins A, K, B6, B12, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, minerals as selenium, phosphorus and zinc than white meat. To avoid unnecessary fat and calories, just skip the skin. If you are cooking, don’t deep fry- you’re soaking it in extra fat and the oven will save you a call to the fire department.

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Let’s take a moment to be grateful for what we have.

It is important to remind yourself of what is truly important to fully appreciate everything that you have. When you take away everything that can be taken away – the material, the money, the gadgets- when it really comes down to it, the only thing that you truly have is your health. Without, you have nothing.

We are pretty terrible to ourselves. We spend so much time doing terrible things to our health, filling our bodies with junk food, chemicals, smoke, alcohol, and defeating thoughts, blaming our bodies or the way they function for why we don’t feel good about ourselves. Your body is fine. It does exactly what you ask of it. It’s your mind that needs your focus.

We spend so much time putting our bodies down, mostly for the way they look and often for the way they perform. It’s unfair. We’ve all only got one body and they do amazing things for us every second of the day in spite of how much time we spend putting it down.

In this happy holiday season where we make an effort to show gratitude for the things we hold dear, take some time today, and learn to take some time every day, to thank your body and your health for everything it does for you. It’s all you have.

Be thankful for your legs, fast or slow, they get you exactly where you need to go.

Be thankful for your arms, jiggly or firm, they can wrap around your loved ones to show them how much they mean to you- including yourself.

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Sometimes it takes getting back to the basics for something to really make sense.

You hear from fitness pros all the time that you need to “make exercise a lifelong habit.” And doesn’t that sound wonderful? One day, you wake up naturally at 5:00 am, and before you know it your shoes are tied and you are at class ready to sweat. You have little to no memory of how you got there – you just did it. Instinctively. Like covering your mouth when you sneeze. It has become a habit just like your foot hitting the brake when you see a red light.

But, does anyone really do this? How can something as complicated and broad as working out become a habit? And how long until it (finally!) happens for you?

Let’s look a little deeper into what a habit actually is and how you can use this knowledge to make sure exercise becomes second nature.

What is a habit?

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines habits as:

1. an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary
2. the prevailing disposition or character of a person’s thoughts and feelings
3. a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior
4. a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance

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We are right at the cusp of everyone’s favorite and simultaneously most feared time of year: the holidays.

While it’s a happy time that most look forward to, it is also full of stress, distraction and temptation. Everywhere you look, for the next 3 months, there will be nothing but parties, drinking, baked goods and junk as far as the eye can see.

These distractions are usually enough to cause most people to throw their workouts out the window, eat whatever is in arm’s reach (Half a candy cane you found in your purse? You know you’ve done it) and plan to pick things back up in the New Year. Well, this thinking, my friends, is what has kept your new Year’s resolution “to lose weight” the same for years. You can, however, come out of the holiday season still able to fit into pants without an elastic waistband. You can easily say no to tempting goodies and food pushers while still managing to keep a consistent exercise routine AND enjoy all the holidays have to offer. How? With a little planning, a lot of resolve and few simple tips:

Take time to relax. It’s the holidays, so enjoy yourself! Stress is harmful to your health, so be sure to find ways to unwind (exercise is great for that, by the way.)

Learn to say no. You will be invited to a million functions, parties and get togethers. Each one, without fail, will be fraught with poor choices waiting to be chosen. Don’t feel like you have to say yes to each one. Prioritize your nights to avoid overextending yourself and spending too many late nights drinking and eating, and too many mornings hitting the snooze button.

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