July 23, 2017

I Believe You CAN Get Off the Roller Coaster of Eating and Bingeing

 

roller coaster capture


My client Jan (not her real name) once said, “I do good for two weeks and then I fall off the wagon. I am eating well and then I get invited to dinner with friends, go on vacation, or attend a baby shower and it all goes downhill. It feels like…

“I am on a roller coaster of eating and bingeing.”

So why do Jan (and so many others) fall into this trap?

  1. She was trying to follow a meal plan that is unrealistic to follow; and had not learned how or what to eat if she needed to deviate from the plan.
  2. She attempted to cut ALL sugar and carbohydrates and then binged because she did not know how to eat them responsibly.
  3. She was attempting to eat healthy for one reason only—just to lose weight—which led to giving up because she no longer cared.

In a recent article, A nation of weight watchers: Is our obsession with thin making us fat?, Siri Steinmo, a health psychology practitioner said, “If you spend your life dieting and bingeing, you fall into the eat, repent, repeat cycle.  You don’t eat any carbs all week and then at the weekend have the ‘what the hell effect’ and then you’re repenting again and hating yourself throughout the whole cycle.  This is something women identify with more than men, but men are also under a lot of pressure with body image.”

Boy, did he get it right on the money!  Often times I am asked if I write meal plans and the answer is “no.”  I teach women how to incorporate healthy eating habits and live in the real world as well as how to budget in their favorite foods instead of bingeing one day a week until the point of nausea.

For example, here are two strategies I teach my clients:

  • How to budget in an occasional favorite food, and make allowance for it in other places.
  • How to follow the healthy plate design whether preparing quick healthy meals at home or dining out.

I believe if you can make 2-3 healthy behaviors a HABIT, you can get off of the roller coaster of eating and bingeing. For today, begin with just one new habit.

In Good Health,
Crystal

Do You Have an “All or Nothing” Attitude?

all or nothing
This weekend, I had the most amazing get-away with my husband.  Obviously, it was a time where we did splurge a little on food.  While it was enjoyable, I was glad to return to normal eating habits and exercise routine.  Those occasions are going to happen and we have to keep it mind it is not a sign of failure if we do not follow a perfect eating regimen for a few days.  It does not mean we have blown it forever.  Having an ‘all-or-nothing’ attitude is what leads to feeling defeated and then giving up completely.

I have worked with so many women who feel that if they indulge on occasion, it is useless to pick back up and keep on going.  The key to staying healthy and fit is consistency.  What we do on a consistent basis (or 80% of the time) is what matters.  These small, continual, consistent steps are what build us to be healthy women inside and out.

First, remember that perfection will never be attained.  Our health and fitness is a lifetime journey.  Instead of attempting perfection by trying to make so many changes, focus on one or two new behaviors that will lead to a lifetime of good health.

For example:
• Choose one day per week to get up an extra 30 minutes early to exercise or have a quiet time…it does not have to be an early morning every day.
• Cut out one Coke a day instead of trying to quit all together.
• Commit to 2 days per week of exercise instead of 7 days.
• Decide to bring a healthy lunch to work one day each week instead of eating out.

Pick one thing and become consistent with that behavior. Even when you fall off the wagon, pick yourself up and get back to your one consistent behavior. When you do, you will be confident to add another one.

For today, be nice to yourself and focus on your progress, not your imperfections.  Let’s remember that God looks at our life in much the same way. He doesn’t expect “all or nothing” in order to receive His love and grace.  Why should we?

In Good Health,
Crystal

My Crazy Diet and Views of Exercise

crackers

Ok, we have all done it..thought some ridiculous diet would help us lose weight and KEEP IT OFF or had crazy ideas about how we should exercise.  I am not sure where these crazy ideas come from or why they become ingrained in our brains, but it seems during each stage of life there is a new way of thinking about how weight loss and getting fit should be done.  We have all fallen subject to them.  I have had my own crazy diet and views of exercise over the past 25 years.

Starving Myself
My earliest memory of these, unknown to my mother, was in the 10th grade. After gaining quite a bit of weight one summer while moving to a new town, I thought the only way to lose weight was to restrict my calories. My mother sent me off to school with lunch money only to spend it on a pack of crackers and a diet coke from the vending machine, all equaling about 150 calories of nothing nutritious.

I later recall hearing and feeling my stomach growl continuously while practicing piano in the afternoon and staring at the clock wondering when we would eat dinner. Of course my mother was so proud that I inhaled everything that was on the table and saved no leftover’s…but I was famished!

What I Thought About Exercise
As a Kinesiology major in college I taught “aerobics” (as it was called back then). But my one fitness ambition was to be a runner. It did not come easy for me, but I was determined to accomplish it.  I remember attempting to go for a run the fall before turning 21 years old and thinking, “If I don’t condition myself to run a whole mile straight before my birthday, I will never get it. I will be getting too old.” Ha!  (Did you laugh out loud reading that as I did?)  How crazy was it to think I would never be able to get in shape at an “older” age.  Today, at age 42 I think I could run circles around that young 21 year old girl.

college step  me running

 

 

 

My Point
To truly learn how to have a healthy lifestyle, we have to develop a healthy mindset.  Romans 12:2 says,

Do not conform to the things of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND so that the perfect will of God may be done.

When we start my praying for God to transform our mind, we may have a new view of how we should eat and exercise to take care of them body He has given us.  And perhaps learn what good nutrition is and break the perceptions we have of exercise and view of self.

With the right mindset and healthy way of living, I am happy to say I no longer follow a crazy diet and view of exercise.  I am curious: what is the craziest thing you have ever done and how have things changed for you?  Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

In Good Health,

Crystal

Three Mistakes to Avoid to Have a Consistent Exercise and Healthy Eating Program…#3

Avoid

Over the past two weeks, I have shared two mistakes to avoid in having a consistent exercise and healthy eating program. The third mistake, in my opinion, is the most important and can be a game changer.

Not Identifying the Right Motivation

So often, I hear women say, “I just can’t seem to stay motivated.” Have you ever said that? If so, you may be trying to stay motivated by something that does not even motivate you. Stop for a moment and think about that statement.

Let me give you an example. Maybe you lost weight and exercised regularly 15 years ago because you were trying to get fit for a class reunion, beach trip, or wear a certain size pants. However, today, those things are not that important to you if you really think about it. If you struggle to stay motivated, take a few minutes to write down all of the benefits you could receive from exercising and eating healthy.

For instance,
• Having more energy for your children and husband
• Managing your stress
• Having confidence in yourself
• Honoring God with your body and food
• Living a longer life to enjoy your family

Remember this: What motivated you at one time in your life may not be motivation for you today. Dig deep in your soul and think about why you really want to change and allow that to become your new focus and motivation.

Imagine what it would be like if you had the following:

  • A weight loss plan for your unique lifestyle
  • An exercise program that fits your busy schedule
  • Guidelines to organize your time for healthy eating, exercise and personal faith
  • A plan to maintain a healthy weight and balance with all of life’s professional and personal responsibilities

By setting realistic goals, following a plan that works for you (and not someone else), and identifying the right motivation you will have a consistent exercise and healthy eating plan.

In Good Health,
Crystal

Three Mistakes to Avoid to Have a Consistent Exercise and Healthy Eating Program….#2


stick with it

Last week I asked if you have stuck with your exercise and healthy eating program that you started at the beginning of the year? If not, you may have made one of the three mistakes to avoid in order to have a consistent exercise and healthy eating program. I shared how setting realistic goals and expectations will lead to success as well as motivate you to keep going.

The #2 mistake to avoid is…

Attempting to Follow What Works for Someone Else

Your Exercise Program
Let me be honest, if someone told me I had to swim every day to get into shape or I had to exercise in the evening, it would not happen. Although other people may get results by swimming or working out in the evening, I would be setting myself up for failure if I tried. My highest level of energy is in the morning and swimming does not fit into my schedule or interest. To stay consistent, which is the key, running and lifting weights keeps my interest and is adaptable for MY personal schedule.

Have you been guilty of trying to do something just because you see someone else doing it, only to discover it did not work for you? I do believe in, and suggest, trying new things to discover your niche and avoid boredom. You may even need an exercise partner or a coach; but find and stick with what works for you.

Your Diet
I am often asked if a particular diet will work. My simple answer is this—Can you do it for the rest of your life? Trying to follow something that is unrealistic such as special meal plan that someone else follows or omitting certain foods completely from your diet never works for long. Learning HOW to eat a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet and knowing HOW to prepare quick healthy meals and snacks (even with things getting busy) leads to continuous success.

Attempting to follow what works for someone else is definitely one mistake to avoid in order to have a consistent exercise and healthy eating program

In Good Health,
Crystal

Three Mistakes to Avoid in Your Exercise and Eating Program

Avoid
Think back with me for a minute…Did you decide at the beginning of the year to start exercising again and eating better? Maybe you bought the new socks, shoes, workout clothes… purchased all of the food and ingredients for the diet which you heard gets results?  If so, here is my question: Did you stick with it or did you make one of the three mistakes that need to be avoided in an Exercise and Eating Program to be successful?

Over the past 20 years in the fitness industry, I have seen so many who start out with good intentions to exercise and eat healthy, but quickly throw in the towel when it seems to be too much. If that sounds familiar, have you ever felt:

  • Overwhelmed because it feels impossible to work for your schedule?
  • Frustrated because you cannot maintain a healthy weight when things get too busy?
  • A lack of confidence in making the right food choices because you follow a prescribed “diet”?
  • Unclear of HOW to take the knowledge you have and actually do it?
  • A lack of peace and balance because this one area of your life is affecting so many other areas?

If you ever felt that way, I would like to share three mistakes to avoid which can lead to a consistent program and give you results.  This week, we will focus on:

Setting Unrealistic Goals and Expectations

It is too much of a shock on your body and lifestyle to go from no exercise to attempting to exercise 5-7 days a week; nor is it realistic to try and change everything in diet.

Before writing an exercise plan for my clients, we look at their schedule to assess what type, intensity, and duration would be best for them to meet their fitness goals as well as accommodate their lifestyle.  Do you evaluate your goals and plan to assess if they are realistic and doable for your schedule as opposed to setting out to exercise with no rhyme or reason?  For example, you may have been able to work out at the gym every day at one time in your life, but now it is more realistic to exercise at home 3 days a week.  With the appropriate type and intensity, you can still get results.

Instead of trying to eliminate everything you think is unhealthy from your diet all at one time, consider making minor changes that are doable and will build your confidence to continue.  Small changes may look like:

  • adding 2 servings of fruits and vegetables a day,
  • preparing a healthy lunch to take to work instead of eating out,
  • cutting out just one unhealthy choice

Be realistic and avoid this mistake in your exercise and eating program by  setting realistic expectations that fit into your schedule.  You will see that you can have  CONTINUOUS success.

This week, I challenge to you think about how you can set realistic expectations for yourself.  Next week, I will share the 2nd mistake to avoid to have a consistent program.

In Good Health,
Crystal

Get Results in Your Weight and Fitness in this Season of Life

photo (3)

“I have been doing this work out for the past ten years, why am I not seeing any results?”  Have you ever felt like that like?  Trust me; if anyone likes routine and schedules, it is me.  But even with a routine, workout and exercise programs have to change or our fitness level and weight begins to plateau.  Don’t get in the habit of doing the same thing over and over—that will get you stuck. Change the type, intensity, or duration of your exercise.

Have you ever said, “When I used to work out, I did _______; now I can’t stick with anything…”?  The reason is your life and body may be different now. You are a busy woman. Think back…how was your life when you were consistent? How is it different from today? If you get into the habit of thinking you have to exercise the way you once did, exercise may never become a habit for you.

Over the past couple of years, my life has gone through some major changes. Prior to these events, I had a set schedule and, although I changed my exercise with intensity and type, my schedule and routine were consistent. With a new schedule and different responsibilities, I had to change my way of thinking of when I should exercise (if I wanted to get in any type of work out). If I tried to do what I had done up until this point, I would have quit. It simply does not work now.

The Bible tells us,

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

I am in a new season of life and my old way of thinking needed to change. I can’t get frustrated because I can’t do what I once did. It’s a season to create new habits.

I’m curious…

What season of life are you in? Is it time to start forming new habits that will allow you to get the results that you want?

Never Give Up!

never Give Up

I blew it…again.  I am a failure.  Why should I even bother?  I will never get it.

Any of these sound familiar? I’ve been there, experienced and felt it. What I am learning and continue to learn is that “blowing it” gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate how to do it next time.

For example: It’s Saturday night, a group of friends call to go out for Mexican food. Dinner is great, but the next morning you wake up feeling bloated. Not only that, but you feel guilty and like you are the world’s biggest failure (which is a common feeling for many women).

You have two choices:

1.  Continue in the same pattern because you feel like there is no use in even trying

OR

2.  Evaluate how you could have done it differently and have a plan for the next time you go out for Mexican food

My advice to get over the feelings of guilt, is option number 2. You have never messed up so bad that you can’t get back up and try again. Need some more words for encouragement?  Listen here to one of my favorite songs by TobyMac, Never Give Up.   Read these words.

 “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  Thomas Edison

Honey Corn and Scallion Quinoa….an Easy Side Dish

quinoa

Eating out does not have to be the only option during a busy week.  There are simple strategies and recipes that you can implement at home to save money and calories. One of my new favorite dishes is Honey, Corn, and Scallion Quinoa.

If you have followed me for a while, you know that I love quinoa.  It is easy and higher in nutrients than the typical rice or pasta side dish. Once again, I love it because I can cook quinoa in my rice cooker which makes it easy and quick to prepare this delicious dish of Honey, Corn, and Scallion Quinoa.

While preparing my meals for a busy week ahead, one of my strategies is to cook enough chicken for a couple of meals. I then change up my side dishes with simple healthy choices that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Here is what a mid-week meal may look like after a busy hectic day.

photo (5)

The chicken was ready to eat and my only task was to roast zucchini and eggplant in the oven and prepare my quick and easy Honey, Corn, and Scallion Quinoa side dish.  It CAN be that simple.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of  “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter”
  • 4 Scallions
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 Directions:

  • Prepare quinoa according to directions (I cook in rice cooker)
  • Melt butter and mix all ingredients together
  • Pour over and mix well with quinoa
  • Salt and pepper

Nutritional Facts:

  • Makes 8 servings
  • Calories – 160
  • Fat – 3gms
  • Protein 6gm
  • Fiber 3gms

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

In Good Health,

Crystal

Get This Workout for Results in Your Weight and Fitness

change

Have you ever said things like this? 

  1. “I have been doing this workout for the past ten years, why am I not seeing any results?”
  2. “When I used to workout, I did…….,  now I can’t stick with anything?”

What is going on?  What is happening?

First, if you are like me, you like routine and schedules.  But even with a routine, workout programs have to change for there to be results in your weight and fitness.

Second, the reason you may not be able to stick with your workout is because your life and body may be different in this season of life.  Think back how your life was when you were consistently exercising.   How is it different today?  Consistency is what gets results in your weight and fitness goals and, if you are trapped by thinking you have to exercise the way you did in the past, consistentcy will always be a struggle.

If you cannot fit in a workout to your schedule or you have hit a plateau in your fitness or motivation, look at changing one of four things.  Try these suggestions for your workouts:

Your TYPE of Exercise

  • 1 minute intervals of jogging during your walk every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.  This will save time by allowing you to accomplish more during a shorter period of time.
  • Replace one day of cardio with strength training.  Be sure you are lifting the appropriate amount of weight to get results and think outside of the box. After designing a strength training program at home for a client, she is more consistent because she does not feel the pressure to get to the gym for a workout.

Your INTENSITY or How Hard You Work

  • Decrease your exercise time and work a little harder by either walking faster or increasing your intensity on an exercise machine.
  • Increase your weights in your strength training program.  If you are lifting the same amount of weight as you were last year, it is time to increase your weight by 1-5 lbs.

   Your DURATION of Work Out

  • Pick one day a week to add an extra 15 minutes to your cardio time.  Avoid putting this pressure on yourself to do it for every workout which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and giving up.

Your FREQUENCY or Number of Days You Work Out

  • Add one more day of exercise to your schedule.   What?  That can’t happen, right?  Think about this, decrease your time of exercise so that you can fit it in, work harder during that time and add another day for a quick workout.

The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1,

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

As women, we go through different seasons of life. It may be time for you to change our way of thinking to get results in your weight and fitness.

In Good Health,

Crystal