All Entries For goals
Most people who decide to make a lifestyle change will tell at least a few others about their intentions. All of a sudden you’re buying more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and you’ve dusted off those gym shoes to go for a walk a few times a week. Something is up, but how many people do you tell? Do you tell anyone at all, or just let them figure it out for themselves? New research shows that sharing your goals could negatively affect your behavior and success. Read More ›
If Cincinnati is known for anything (especially among its many runners and cyclists), it is known for its hills. You can't run, bike, hike or even walk very far in this city without encountering multiple inclines, some of which are very steep! That is partly what makes our Flying Pig Marathon so notorious! When I run outside or hit the road on my bike, there is no avoiding the hills. And while many exercisers despise hills, I've come to accept them—even appreciate them. And no, I'm not a masochist.
On my many long runs these past few months (I will be running the Flying Pig half marathon this Sunday), I've climbed a lot of hills and had a lot of time to think about each one. I've realized that we all have our own hills—in running, in weight loss and in life. Whether a hill slows us down or holds us back has less to do with its actual physicality (or our own) and much more to do with our outlook as we approach it. Read More ›
You started the New Year full of motivation and enthusiasm. You decided that this is going to be your year to make lasting changes and improve the quality of your life. Now that we’re almost a month in, perhaps your motivation has started to wane and a little doubt has crept in. Does this mean that you’re doomed to repeat the failed resolutions of the past? Definitely not! Take a few simple steps to ensure that your resolutions last from January to June to December—and for the rest of your life. Here's how. Read More ›
Do These Right Now
Tackle these to-do items just once in 2013 to boost your wellness.
1. Clock Your Sunblock
It's good for up to three years, but look at expiration dates and restock if necessary, says dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, M.D., a clinical instructor at the University of California, San Francisco. If you're using sunblock properly, you should need a new bottle every year. Read More ›
With the New Year just around the corner, exercise is on a lot of people's minds. So many of us are bound and determined to reach new fitness goals, hit the gym with vigor, and change our bodies once and for all.
Does this sound a lot like last year? What happens between January and December that causes so many people to fail, only to set the same fitness resolutions year after year?
No one wants to fail. When you start a fitness program, the hope is that all of your hard work (and sweat) will carry you to the finish line. A lot of people can start a fitness program, but very few can stick with it for the long-term. Why?
In my experience as a trainer and health coach, the excuses we use to miss a workout aren't the real reasons people fail. You don't have to be a fortune teller to predict who will be going strong next December and who will be starting over again. Most often, I can tell whether someone will succeed or fail based on four simple signs. Read More ›
When someone sets a weight-loss goal (or any goal), it needs to be realistic because that is what sets us up to succeed. If we set some wild and crazy goals for ourselves that is too difficult or that we know cannot be achieved, we are setting ourselves up to fail and that doesn't get us any closer to where we want to be.
When it comes to weight-loss, many people have a certain number in their mind of what they want to weigh, whether it is because we remember being that weight at a certain time in our life, it is what we think is ideal, or any other number of reasons. For me, I had a number in mind, but I honestly don't know where that number came from. So I had my goal weight in my mind and like many others, I wanted to get to that number fast. But after reading some articles on SparkPeople, I realized quickly that the weight wasn't going to be lost as fast as I would like. I was still feeling ambitious though and set the maximum weight-loss goal of 2 pounds per week. Was that a realistic goal for me? No. Was I defeated? No way! Although, most of the time I was lucky to lose a half pound per week. Even though I did everything right (eating healthy and exercising), I never had a week with a 2 pound loss.
Read More ›
Instead of being thankful for the things I can do, it’s much easier for me to get frustrated about the things I can’t. I’d love to be able to run an 8 (or even 9!) minute pace comfortably. I’d love to be naturally flexible without having to work at it, and it would be great if I had endless energy for my early morning workouts. I demand a lot from my body, and honestly, it gives me a lot in return. I think I need to take a more positive attitude towards my body and my accomplishments. How about you? Read More ›
I don’t watch much T.V., but I have to admit I’m a big fan of the Olympics. I love seeing people push themselves to their limits (which is probably why I like running marathons) and reach goals they’ve been working so hard to achieve. I’m totally in awe of how in-shape these athletes are, and it inspires me to become a little more disciplined and focus on my own goals related to health and fitness.
Olympic athletes don’t get these bodies without a lot of hard work, which includes a strict fitness and nutrition plan. They are closely monitored by nutritionists who make sure they are eating the right amounts of food at the right times for optimum performance. It’s easy to assume that because they are being told what to eat and when to eat, it’s not as hard for them to stick to the plan. But is it really that much easier? Do you think that having access to someone like this would make your weight loss journey that much smoother? My guess is “no.” Read More ›
Big news! I'm beyond excited to announce that I have created a brand-new workout plan exclusively for SELF magazine's September issue, which is on newsstands now! This workout features a fat-blasting cardio plan, heart-pumping plyometrics, and muscle-toning strengthening moves to tone you from head to toe. All you need is a mat and a pair of dumbbells. It's one of my toughest workout plans ever, and I guarantee it will make you sweat--and torch major calories to help you lose two pounds per week! Sounds pretty good, right?
One great thing about this challenge (dubbed the SELF Diet Club) is that it builds in social support, and provides step-by-step workout instruction along with delicious meal ideas--the perfect combo to take your weight-loss to the next level this fall. You can follow along with the magazine alone--but I encourage you to sign up online. Why? It's FREE, it sends you email reminders, you'll get a special video I created demonstrating all the exercises, you'll be entered to win tons of cool prizes--and well, because it would just mean a lot to me (and SparkPeople)! Read More ›
Planning ahead is a common key ingredient to a successful story, no matter what the goal may be. Having a plan will not only help you reach your goal(s), but it can help you stay on track with your goal(s) a lot easier. Something that I have experienced and greatly believe in is having a plan, along with having alternative plans for those times of "just in case." Similarly, Coach Nicole has blogged about developing a Plan B, which has helped numerous people, including myself when times get busy or tough. I'm sure many of you have experienced those times when unexpected things come up and catch you completely off guard. When you have a plan, plan B, and maybe even a plan C, you are more likely to stick with your goal(s), which will make you happier in the end and you will have given yourself a perfect recipe for success.
Read More ›
Do you ever find yourself wondering why you should keep trying? Are you considering giving up because your progress is slow or nonexistent? I'm specifically talking about continuing to get and stay healthy, but the thoughts I am sharing could also be used in other areas of your life.
Getting out of a rut can be hard work. You get tired of fighting to change yourself or the ''thing'' in your life that needs changing, and you just want to lay down in the rut and give up. Accepting "what is" becomes easier than struggling to get to "what could be." The vision or dream becomes lost in the midst of everyday life.
I’ve seen hundreds of posts during my time on SparkPeople where people ask variations of the same question: "Why should I keep trying?" Hope has faded and they’ve lost their way momentarily. We all go through that. How do you gather the energy to suit up and get back in the game? Why should you? One of the things that has kept me pushing forward is the opportunity to experience more in life. When I was heavier, it took all of my energy to get through the general tasks of each day. There wasn’t anything left for finding the "what could be" in my life. Read More ›
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about how I normally work out alone, whether I'm at the gym or at home. I also shared my concerns that I had about taking fitness classes and asked for recommendations for getting over those concerns. I was impressed by the amazing amount of positive and supportive comments, along with the fitness class recommendations that were made on that blog and I truly thank each and every one of you that left a comment! In response to those wonderful comments that you all left on that blog, I wanted to write another blog to let you know what I have done since then.
Read More ›
I used to feel like running was a big part of who I was. I was always looking forward to the next race and training for something. Even though I had days where the run was rough, I didn’t feel good or I was tired and didn’t want to go, I always felt good when it was over. That feeling is what kept me going and what kept me motivated to continue challenging myself through the sport.
Recently, I’ve been struggling to remember what it was like to love running. I’m still a regular runner, but going out for a run just isn’t what it used to be. I’m currently training for a half-marathon so I feel like I need to stick to the schedule. But most of the time I don’t really want to go, which is unusual for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m so busy, I’m tired (3 young kids will do that to you), or because I miss training for events with a group (which I just haven’t had time to do since baby #3 arrived.) Maybe it’s a combination of those things. Read More ›
Have you ever seen any of the X-Men movies? During an action-packed scene in the latest movie, the Captain of a naval vessel shouted out a line that really spoke to me. As things heightened to a climax in the standoff he turned and yelled to someone else in the room, ''Gun Boss, prepare to fire!'' Why on earth would that ''speak'' to me, you wonder?
For almost four years, I have been personally engaged in a battle to fight my way healthy from a state of morbid obesity. I embrace the idea of having lots of weapons at my disposal to aid me in the battle. (I mean no offense to anyone by using a military example of a battle. It’s just something that is very clear to me in my mind.) What if that Gun Boss had been unprepared to engage in the battle? What if he had forgotten to load the missiles onto the ship when it was in harbor? What if he had failed to prepare his staff to know how to maintain them, and load them when the time came? That crew wouldn’t have stood a chance to defend themselves. There wasn’t time in that moment to go back and do any of those things. Either he was ready or he was going to lose.
The position of Gun Boss was critical in that scenario, and it reminds me that I am in a similar position in my own struggle to health. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll know that I consider preparedness to be critical to success. Using all that is available to us to be prepared in that moment when you need to be your own Gun Boss. What can you do to be prepared on a day to day basis to fight the battle against the bulge? Read More ›
Throughout the years of being a member and employee of SparkPeople, I have seen many success stories on the site. While a lot of those success stories started out being weight-loss related, they turned into so much more. As many of those members lost weight, they also gained much more than that: confidence. Confidence is not always something that comes easy for many, including myself.
When I embarked on my weight-loss journey back in 2004, I never imagined that I would get so much more out of reaching my goals. For me, I gained confidence in myself and the ability to do whatever I set my mind on. After reaching some of my goals with SparkPeople, I started doing Tae Kwon Do and stuck with that for several years (until I moved to a new state where there isn't a place to train nearby). That was a huge step for me as I could never imagine all the things that I actually did when I was training in martial arts.
Read More ›