Saturday, January 30, 2010

Love Your Body by Brooke Parker

Brooke Parker has written an amazing book on becoming the best you and feeling good about yourself. Win your free copy of Love Your Body
If you're struggling with body image issues or just want some great tips from an amazing dietitian and motivational speaker, this book will make a difference in your life.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sleep (Or the lack thereof)

Lately I'd rather stay in bed than go to the gym. Maybe not the smartest weight loss move, but if you're lacking on sleep you could be hurting yourself in more ways than being irritable.

You should sleep 7 to 9 hours a night. Here are the benefits if you do:

Fewer colds - rest improves immunity, too little impairs it.

Lower number on the scale - People who slept 7-9 hours had an average BMI of 24.8, almost 2 points lower than those who slept less.

Lower risk of heart disease and diabetes - those who slept less than 5 hours per night had a 500 times greater risk of high blood pressure and were 3 times likelier to have diabetes.

So don't skip your workout to sleep, but do go to bed at a decent time (easy to do with small children, haha), dim the lights before bedtime, avoid the TV and computer before bedtime, and try some yoga or meditation to help you sleep more deeply.

Now if I could just figure out how to keep my boys from interrupting my night's sleep, maybe I could make it to the gym!

"Sleep! It's Non-Negotiable," Prevention Magazine, February 2010,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Don't be afraid of hard work

"The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary." Vince Lombardi

If one of your goal's this year is to lose weight or accomplish something else that is difficult and monumental, I have some advice. Work hard. Mediocre people can accomplish amazing things through hard work. Whatever your dreams or goals you can make them happen if you map out your plan and stick to it.

Often when I want to lose weight I tell myself I can do it, that's it going to be easy because I'm so motivated. But then I lose sight of that motivation and I get depressed and think, "Why am I doing this to myself?" But the truth is, it is not easy to lose weight or accomplish any other worthwhile goal.

Here's my tips for effective weight loss tools that are hard work but will make a difference for life.

1 - Push yourself with cardio - intervals (speeding up and slowing down) burn the highest number of calories. They are also one of the hardest things you can do. But honestly if you're just going through the motions on the elliptical day after day and aren't pushing yourself you're not going to see results.

2 - Variety - Your body gets used to the same cardio, weight-lifting routine, etc. very quickly. Change what you're doing and you'll get past that plateau.

3 - Lift heavier weights. It's been proven time and again that lifting light weights and performing numerous repetitions is ineffective. If you want to see results you have to lift a weight that challenges your muscle within 8-12 reps. Don't worry, you won't bulk up.

4 - Lift slower on the eccentric or lowering phase. Slow down as you lower the weight or lower your body into a squat. The eccentric phase is when you build strength without increasing size which also increases your metabolism.

5 - Don't starve yourself, but do be accountable for what you're eating. Write down what you eat. Focus on veggies, lean proteins, high-fiber carbs, low-fat dairy, fruit for a treat, and loads of water.

6 - Set one goal a month. Make a healthy change into a habit before moving onto another healthy fix. I write a goal a month on my calendar, then when I turn to a new month I'm excited to focus on my new goal.

Good luck with all your goals and keep up the hard work,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Weight Gain

I had my first doctor's appointment yesterday and I haven't gained any weight yet. Happy day! I know I shouldn't have gained any weight at ten weeks along, but the only time I feel good is when I eat. So I'm eating far too often! Luckily, I can't eat sugar (makes me more sick) so at least I've eliminated the chocolate and ice cream consumption.

Do any of you have a goal to lose weight this new year? Even though I always tell myself that the scale doesn't matter and the only important thing is how I feel and how I fit in my clothes I still monitor that darn number on the scale. It is good to know if you're getting too far away from your happy number. Luckily for me, the scale is completely unimportant this year (as long as I don't break 200 pounds, which I did with my second son).

My goals this year are:

#1 - Have a healthy baby

#2 - Enjoy my wild boys and sweetheart

#3 - Polish and submit two novels (before the baby comes)

#4 - Serve More

I'm so proud of myself for finally writing some goals down. I'd love to hear your goals.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Be a Leader

In spin class a few weeks ago I noticed if I sprinted with gusto, the other participants in the class would keep up. If I took it easy, they’d slow down as well. The funny thing about this? I’m not the teacher. I try to stay in the back row. There’s nothing wrong with using another person to help you push yourself, but why not be the leader yourself?

It's easy to say, well, I'm doing better than the lady lifting weights next to me, but that just degrades her and you. It's okay for someone else to be stronger than us. It's okay for us to have different goals. My challenge is for you to be the best you. Push yourself, improve yourself, and know that it doesn't matter what your neighbor is doing. It matters how you feel about yourself and what you're doing to reach your goals.

Every single body is different. I will never be a hundred pounds. That used to bother me. Now I love my tall, strong body. Please don't tear yourself down by comparing yourself to others and don't tear someone else down to feel better about yourself.

All you can be is your best you. Let's do that in 2010. Be the leader of your own life. Here's to all of you!