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10 Tips to Kick the Never-Ending Diet

“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.” Dolly Parton

When I think of Dolly’s quote I think of how my mother also tried every diet in the book before she finally lost her weight. I know she must have felt like she spent her entire life dieting. The truth is she just made a few common mistakes that just continued to prolong her results – and it happens to so many people. That’s why so many American live their all their life dieting.

10 Tips to Break the ‘Never-ending Diet’ Cycle:

  1. Avoid diet hopping. Some people never stick to a diet long enough to get results before they hop on the next diet that comes their way.  If you chose a diet plan, stick to it.
  2. Never attempt an unrealistic diet. I can’t help but think of the Cabbage Soup Diet, which I was on for all of four very long days. A successful diet is one you can stick with for the long haul.
  3. Don’t rely on the quick fix. We all know better, but our patience often gets the best of us. Don’t give in to weight loss gimmicks. A quick fix is just a temporary fix and only postpones the inevitable.
  4. Be realistic. If you are on a mild diet and exercise plan, expect mild results. The more intense the program, the faster the results. Be realistic when setting and working toward your goal.
  5. Be honest with yourself. People seem quick to recall all the healthy low-calorie foods they eat but get amnesia when it comes to unhealthy choices. The scale will tell on you so, in all actuality, you aren’t fooling anyone but your self.
  6. What you don’t know can hurt you. I find most people who have failed on their diet have been guessing their way through it all. Other people just don’t want to know the truth. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has taken a bite of something and as soon as I begin to read off the calories he plugs his ears saying “lalalalalalalala, I don’t want to know, lalalalalala”!  The fact is the calories are there whether we know it or not.
  7. If you aren’t dieting, you should be maintaining. Even if you lose the weight, you still have to be accountable for what you eat in order to maintain your new size. Many people who hit their goal end up right back where they started because they went back to eating poorly.
  8. The “Weekday Diet” doesn’t always work. Many people diet all week, only to erase their hard work each weekend with poor food choices. Although this may work while in maintenance, this diet faux pas is what makes people feel like they are dieting all the time and never reaping the reward.
  9. Never underestimate the power of the calorie. Weight loss boils down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. You can’t expect results if you are not sure how many calories you are eating.
  10. Commit to dieting the right way. A lack of commitment just prolongs the amount of time it will take to get results. You can live on a yo-yo diet for the rest of your life and get mediocre results, or you can commit to working hard for a while and live the rest of your life enjoying your results.

31 Days of Motivation: Nothing is Wasted

NOTHING IS WASTEDI recently heard 7 powerful words that I will never forget: “Nothing you’ve been through will be wasted“. These encouraging words mean even more as we approach the new year. Pastor TD Jakes totally turned the tables for me. No failure, no mistake, no loss, no pain, no hardship or no experience (no matter how bad it was) has to be wasted – and instead, it can actually be USED for good.

Yes, you heard right. Any mistake you made or any failure you experienced (EVEN if it was your own fault) can be used for your benefit, for others’ benefit, and even for God’s benefit. How? Here are 3 ways the failures of 2013 can be a success in 2014.

#1 The Lesson

mistakeFirst, we can LEARN from our mistakes. If you tried 10 ways to diet in 2013 and failed, you’ve successfully know 10 diets that are not for you. You probably also learned a few things along the way. You might have learned how many calories are in your favorite cheat meal – or you discovered a low-calorie snack you actually love. You may have discovered a workout you love, but now realize you can’t compete with what you eat – and now you know you need to try the same workout with new eating habits. Either way, you still have learned something.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  ― Thomas A. Edison

#2 The Testimony

write your storySecond, we have a more powerful testimony when we DO succeed. It may seem like some people succeed with ease (and they may). However, when someone succeeds in an area of their life that was truly challenging, THAT person can make even more of an impact on others than someone who easily reaches their goals. Whether your struggle is with your weight, or something else, when you finally do succeed, just think of the encouragement your story will give others who are dealing with the same stuff you have conquered. Your testimony can help someone have the courage not to give up.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan

#3 The Understanding

empathyLastly, our experiences allow us to see life differently, in order to relate to others. If I never struggled with my own weight, or struggled with laziness, weakness, injury or failures, you may not even listen to me right now. You may be under the impression that I couldn’t possibly understand what you may be going through. You may even believe it’s just easier for me than it is for you. You might even be tempted to think that what works for me cannot work for you too.

That is why I try to make it very clear in my blogs and posts that I am one of the laziest people I know – so you realize if I can do it, anyone can. Do I look lazy? Maybe not, but do I have to fight my lazy lame flesh every single day, and drag my sorry butt to the gym? Almost every single time! Hopefully, that encourages you! Hopefully, you will see that fitness isn’t a feeling or the result of insane motivation, but that it’s a decision. It’s a commitment, like a job, – and it pays off BIG TIME!

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” Booker T. Washington

Sure, you can waste your experiences by not learning from them, by not sharing them, and by not helping others who are going through the same thing you have gone through. OR, you can realize your experiences can make you stronger, wiser and better – and they make you a more effective leader to impact others in a way unimaginable.

Homework:

1.) Make a list of your 2013 failures, struggles and mistakes.

2.) Write your response on what you should have done differently.

3.) Make notes of how you can use those experiences to help you reach your goals in 2014. Focusing on USING your experiences (instead of WASTING them) may be the only thing that motivates you to not fail – and that may be exactly what you need to succeed!

4.) Journal your feelings, failures, victories and progress daily. Pretend you are going to write a story of your success. Even if you never write a book for millions to read, your story can help you stay on track, never forget what you learned and help you share your story with others in a special way.

3 Type of Dieters Who Fail: Beware of These Common Mistakes

Ladies share their diet struggles with me all the time. They tell me how they’ve tried every diet on the planet but never got results or how they used to workout but that didn’t work either. Most of the time they just didn’t stick with it long enough or their regime was just too unrealistic to maintain long-term.

My favorite complaint is the one where they tell me how they’re doing all the right things and still can’t lose weight. They say how hard they work out and how healthy they eat – but, honestly, they just can’t work out that hard, eat right and NOT lose weight. It’s just science. If you are taking in fewer calories than you’re burning – you WILL lose weight.

So what’s their problem? Well, it seems there are a few common scenarios.

The Weekday Dieter

eating healthyThere is the person that really does eat very well…..MOST of the time – and that’s their problem. This person eats very few calories during the week but completely blows it on the weekends.

This eating pattern is more for someone in the maintenance stage of their diet. If they want to lose weight, they need to eat right seven days a week until they lose a significant amount of weight. It may take a few weeks, but it is crucial for weight loss. After they lose their first chunk of weight they can celebrate and cheat a little but they have to get right back on their diet until they reach their goal.

The Clueless Dieter  

eating blindfoldedAnother type of dieter is the person that just has no clue what they are eating. They really believe they are eating well, but are just relying on guess work.

For example, I had a woman tell me that she was on a “No-Carb” Diet (which is a whole other topic to be discussed), but she couldn’t understand why she wasn’t losing weight. I asked her to give me an example of what she was eating and the first three things she listed were all high-carb/high-calorie items. She simply didn’t know any better. She thought carbs were basically only bread, pasta and french fries. Her knowledge was limited. In this situation it is imperative dieters get the knowledge they need to make the right choices.

The Healthy Dieter

frustrated-woman-cookingMany dieters eat healthy, but still eat too many calories. They avoid all the obvious high-calorie foods like ice cream, french fries and cream sauces, but still gets too many calories from other foods or overeating. They might not even count fruits and vegetables, or other items that sound healthy, even thought they still are calories.

The healthy dieter may fix healthy meals, but forget all the extra items like alcohol, sauces, dressings, etc. If they’d keep better track of what they are eating, they would find the lost calories.  To make things worse, this type of dieter typically works out a lot and feels they can “afford” more calories.

Keeping a diet journal and tracking calories with a calorie counter app like http://www.LoseIt.com is normally a big eye-opener. It not only helps people learn more about calories in food, but it also teaches them how many calories are really burned in exercise, so they can understand how to balance the two – calories in vs. calories out.

The Answer

The bottom line is calories are calories, no matter where it comes and whether you know you are eating them or not. When it comes to losing weight, it doesn’t matter if the calories are coming from unhealthy foods or healthy foods. Of course healthier calories are always better, but you will likely just end up a healthier, but still overweight, dieter.

Whether you try a fad diet or make up your own, success boils down to eating fewer calories than you are burning. It’s just that simple.

So You’ve Gotten Out of Shape Again?

This blog is for all of you who have slipped away – the backslidden gym member, client, runner, athlete or dieter. 

You’ve probably heard of the return of prodigal son. It’s a story of a son who, after making a ton of mistakes, comes home to his father’s open arms. The same way people backslide in life spiritually, people backslide in fitness. You may have once been that girl or guy who was doing all the right things. Then life happened, and it pulled you away from your ideal way of living. The question I ask is not how you got there, but what you are going to do about it now.

Definition of Backslide: 1.) Drop to a lower level, as in one’s morals or standards. 2.) Lapse into bad habits 3.) To revert to wrongdoing

You Can’t Hide Forever
I run into people all the time, who were once members of our gym, or did a boot camp, and the first thing they do is explain why we haven’t seen them. They begin vomiting excuses and beating themselves up for their weight gain, as if I am judging them for backsliding. Puhlease! If this is you, I will NEVER judge you for gaining weight or not going to the gym. I’m no better and I struggle just like anyone else. It’s not my job to judge, it’s my job to encourage you to return and embrace you when you come back.

Quit Beating Yourself Up
Most people have already beat themselves up for so long on their own – they don’t need other people to do it too. It’s a waste of time and energy on past decisions. People need to be received, encouraged, loved on and reminded that they succeeded once before, so they can do it again – and most people will be so excited to see you “back”, they will take you any way they can. This is especially true in positive environments like a gym or church. They are both in the healing business.

Stop Running
Unfortunately, it seems people will avoid the people and places they need the most during these times. Maybe it’s fear people will “remember when” they were more fit, but that is your own guilt haunting you – not their condemnation. You know good and well, they’d LOVE to see you back in the gym and support your decision to get back on track. The past is the past, and all that matters is what you are doing this very minute.

The fact of the matter is you know what’s best for you. You know when you were the happiest and healthiest. You even know what needs to be done to get back there. The only thing that maybe holding you back now is pride.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

Maybe it’s time to suck it up, put your pride aside, and go back “home”. Whether that is a gym, trainer, workout program, running routine, or diet support group – NOW is the time. Don’t say “tomorrow”. Don’t say “next week or next month”. Don’t say “when my son/daughter is…”. Don’t say “when I can…”. NOW is the time. NOW is always the RIGHT time.

*Thank you Rich Chaffin for inspiring my blog today. As always, scripture has the ability to hit home in more ways than one.

Subscribe to my blog for more tips and encouragement. 🙂

FITNESS: Avoid the Wrong Track to Nowhere

People are constantly asking me what weight routine to do. They ask me to critique their routine, as if changing a couple of exercises is going to change everything. Honestly, most people are spending too much time on stuff that really doesn’t matter and not enough time on the stuff that matters most.

Listen, I’d guess that 80% of the population wants to lose weight and tone up – not sculpt their rear deltoids and show more muscle separation in their quads. Just because some girl in the gym (who looks very hot by the way) does a certain workout, doesn’t mean that workout is for you (YET). Plus, I guarantee she is doing a lot more than lifting dumbbells.

Before you waste a lot of time and energy copying programs, trying new weight exercises and analyzing every exercise you see in the gym – ask yourself a few questions.

Fitness Checklist for Success:

1. Are you doing enough cardio? Listen, you can sculpt your muscle all day but if you aren’t actively and purposely removing fat, you’ll never see all your hard work.

2. Do you know how many calories you are eating every day? When people ask me for diet advice, 90% of them have NO clue how much they are eating. They can list off all these healthy foods to me, but that means nothing. That’s like me telling my husband that I bought 5 shirts and 2 pair of jeans. What the heck can he do with that? He sure can’t balance the checkbook with that. I can even tell him I bought them from TJMaxx, and that STILL won’t give him a clue how much to deduct from the checking account.  Read the rest of this entry

NO! I Won’t Tell You What to Eat!

Can you just tell me what to eat?

This is a question I get ALL the time. Although it’s my personal desire to help as many people as possible, my answer will always be “NO”. Here is why…

Why not just give out meal plans for people to follow?
There are many reasons whey we don’t tell people what to eat but my #1 reason for not just writing down a list of foods is because it would be a very temporary fix for a problem that needs a permanent solution.

I won’t tell you what to eat for your own good
People don’t know what to eat because they are not knowledgeable enough to make healthy decisions. There is more to managing your weight than just eating a certain list of foods. How many calories you eat, how you combine foods, and how many nutrients you are getting are all important factors when it comes to reaching your goals.

Telling someone what to eat is limiting but helping someone understand why they need to eat a certain way is totally freeing. It’s not much different than telling someone the answer to a mathematical equation. It’s fine and dandy long as you come across the exact same equation with the same factors, but if the factors change and you don’t have an understanding how the equation works, you will be completely lost.  Read the rest of this entry

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