All Entries For changes

Body Acceptance at Any Size

I’ll admit that I’ve always been somewhat critical of my body.  The older I get, the more I try to embrace my flaws instead of always fighting them or being unhappy that I don’t look like a model on the cover of a magazine.  I look different than I did in my 20’s, before having three kids, and before sleepless nights with newborns have left me looking more tired than anything else.  As long as I’m healthy and fit, that’s what matters most.  But I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have those days like anyone else where my imperfections start to bug me and I wish I could change things about my body. 
Posted 11/29/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 53 comments   10,099 views
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Want Kids to Eat More Fruit? Just Move the Bowl.

When I was in high school, there was an area of the cafeteria called the “Ho Ho Room”.  It was full of candy, cookies, ice cream and any other treat you might want for lunch.  I’m not sure if the Ho Ho Room still exists, but it was always a popular destination for those looking for something sweet to go with their meal.  When I was that age, the idea of eating fruit as the sweet part of the meal never even occurred to me.  But maybe it would have if the fruit were in a different part of the cafeteria.  A new study showed that moving the fruit bowl to a different spot increased fruit consumption by over 100%.
Posted 11/11/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 23 comments   10,247 views
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How Well Do You Adapt to Change?

I've always been a creature of habit.  I remember when I was young, I was reluctant to learn how to drive.  I had a very hard time moving out of my parents house on my own.  Any time there have been big changes in my life, it's usually taken quite a bit of adjustment.  I've always been slightly envious of those people who are able to just "go with the flow" and take change as it comes.  I've never been able to do that easily.
Posted 8/4/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 61 comments   18,234 views
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Jen's Goals for the New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! Hopefully 2011 has gotten off to a great start, and you've been thinking about how to make this year even better than the last. I'm not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions. I think it's good to make positive changes in your life just because you think you should- not because the calendar says it's time to try again. But I've been thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, and hopefully I've come up with some goals that will help me become more of the person I'm always striving to be.
Posted 1/4/2011  6:21:52 AM By: Jen Mueller : 40 comments   11,061 views
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I'm Injured. So Now What?

Iíve blogged many times about how running is an important part of my life and something I really enjoy. For the past 6 weeks or so, itís been anything but enjoyable. I started having pain in my Achillies after a particularly hilly run. Instead of resting like I knew I should have (and like I would tell any SparkPeople member who asked for advice), I decided to just keep pushing through the pain. After a few weeks it was obvious that the pain wasnít going away, so I made an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor. It took three weeks to get an appointment, so silly me kept running.
Posted 10/22/2010  3:06:52 PM By: Jen Mueller : 102 comments   22,247 views
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Maybe I Just Donít Get It

A few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with two of my close family members. They are sisters who have both struggled with their weight for a number of years. Both have been able to lose weight and change their lifestyles temporarily, only to gain the weight back (and sometimes more) within a year or less.
Posted 9/7/2010  6:01:53 AM By: Jen Mueller : 370 comments   32,849 views
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Will Improving School Lunches Affect Childhood Obesity?

I've done numerous blogs about children and healthy eating. The topic has always interested me, but even more-so now that I have children of my own. Every day we hear statistics about the number of obese children in America and strategies for how to solve this growing problem. I wasn't familiar with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver until a few months ago, when I saw his new show being promoted on network television. I was curious to see if his approach to tackling childhood nutrition and obesity was going to work. Some say "yes", some say "no way".

Posted 7/9/2010  6:16:57 AM By: Jen Mueller : 161 comments   21,231 views
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Every Wrong Turn Leads to Something Right

Believe it or not, working in the health and fitness world wasn't always my dream. Sure, I enjoyed playing sports and being active as a kid and teen. I even worked out regularly when I moved to college. But it was simply something I had enjoyed—a way to stay in shape. I didn't plan to make it a career. I actually started my undergraduate studies in art and design, first attending school for architecture, then transferring to an art school, and later switching schools a third time to double major in architecture and interior design and be closer to home.

But when my own health, fitness and weight became an issue during college, I knew something had to change.
Posted 5/7/2010  3:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 98 comments   18,711 views
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Confession: I'm Breaking My Sugar Addiction

My love affair with sweets goes back many years. I enjoy foods like French fries and chips, but if I never had them again that would be okay with me. However, if you take away my cookies, candy and cake, we've got a problem. The more I eat sweets, the more I want them. And usually I end up feeling guilty afterwards, knowing that I could have opted for the small dish of ice cream instead of the giant sundae. Too much sugar makes me feel sluggish, and for a long time I've wanted to break my sugar addiction but felt like I didn't have the willpower to do it. Recently I had the opportunity to make a serious commitment to cut back on sweets, and so far it's going better than I expected.
Posted 5/4/2010  1:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 166 comments   21,906 views
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Tracking Your Numbers

I canít tell you how many times after I started my own healthy living journey I would step on the scale and the minute the number was not what I expected my motivation began to falter. For me, the scale became the be-all-end-all to my success. However, having vowed that I would never diet again, I looked to other benchmarks to help me measure my success.

If you do not currently track these numbers, now may be the time to do so, especially when you are struggling to get those last few pounds off.

Posted 3/24/2010  5:57:07 PM By: Nancy Howard : 87 comments   18,360 views
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How I Found My Passion

I was never one of those kids who knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Even in college when it was time to pick a major, I picked business because it seemed like I could do a lot with it. I really didn't like business more or less than anything else. But my parents encouraged me to finish college and then I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

Posted 3/23/2010  2:19:10 PM By: Jen Mueller : 200 comments   23,554 views
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The Secrets of Success: Look Forward, Not Back

When we were researching and writing our best-selling book, The Spark, we discovered 27 secrets of success that thousands of successful SparkPeople members have used to reach their goals, lose weight and keep it off.

We're sharing 15 secrets from the book on the dailySpark from March 1-15.

Secret #14: Don't look back.
We define "successful" members as the people who have reached their goal weight OR lost at least 100 pounds but are still on track to reaching their ultimate goal. Of all of the most successful members we surveyed, literally ZERO percent said they let setbacks derail their efforts. How did they get back on track?
Posted 3/14/2010  6:01:27 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 49 comments   15,965 views
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Will Front-of-Label Nutrition Information Make a Difference?

Those of us that are nutritionally aware have become quite competent at reading the nutrition label as we make purchasing decisions at the supermarket.

Last fall, Coach Dean shared his concerns with the Smart Choices labeling program when Froot Loops was considered a smart choice. The Food and Drug Administration also warned the food industry to standardize the proliferation of symbols and ratings used to highlight nutritional claims on the front of food packages. Last year the F.D.A. shared with manufactures the belief that front-of-pack labeling is a promising way to help consumers make informed food choices. They also shared concerns related to their "research which found that with such labeling, people are less likely to check the Nutrition Facts label on the back or side panel of foods." Because of this, the front-of-package information they seek is more than just a symbol. Because of the risk of decreased use of nutrition information labeling, the F.D.A. is now encouraging manufactures share important nutritional information such as complete calorie per container especially for single serve food and snack items. Coca-Cola Co. began putting calorie counts on the front of most of their drinks but it highlighted a new problem related to calorie reporting and portion sizes. So how would front-of-package labeling relate to portion size nutrition?

Posted 2/9/2010  3:39:04 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 111 comments   12,011 views
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Coping with a Loved Oneís Diagnosis

A few months ago I wrote a blog on how to cope when caring for aging parents; little did I know then that this was just the beginning of a new set of challenges. Last month my mother-in-law called me on a Tuesday morning complaining of a mass in her abdomen. She was not experiencing any pain, discomfort or any other symptoms, but as a former Registered Nurse, this was something we could not ignore.

Posted 1/27/2010  5:01:44 PM By: Nancy Howard : 255 comments   14,742 views
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Is It Time To Relax When It Comes To Your Health?

I see this scenario pretty frequently at this time of the year: A person decides it's time to get healthy. So they start reading about all of the foods they should and shouldn't eat, all of the habits they should and shouldn't have, and they are ready to completely change their life. There are so many different things they could focus on, so why choose just one? Right away they start drinking more water, eating lots of fruits and veggies, tracking how much fat they are consuming (and what kind it is), getting more sleep, burning exactly 325 calories per day through exercise, wearing sunscreen daily- whew! The list goes on and onÖ.

A week later, they are totally stressed out and ready to throw in the towel because it's too many things to think about. Does this sound familiar? Have you ever fallen into the trap of feeling like you have to become perfectly healthy and do everything exactly the way the experts tell you to? With so much information out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed with what you should and shouldn't be doing when it comes to your health.
Posted 1/19/2010  5:41:03 AM By: Jen Mueller : 110 comments   13,405 views
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