Consistency. At least once in a while.

Start… stop.
Start again.. stop.
Start and go a little bit longer and stop.. again.
How many times have you stopped and started a healthy eating plan or exercise routine?
Ok, I won’t make you answer that question.
But answer this for me.. tell me about the success you’ve had when you stayed with a ‘program’ for at least two months?
If you’ve stayed with something for that amount of time, you likely have a success story of SOME level, right?
Let me answer that for you- yes. :-)
Success doesn’t come overnight. If we want results we’re going to have to STAY WITH SOMETHING longer than a few days or a week.
Yes, I know, this is crazy obvious. And yet, I hear people complaining ALL THE TIME that X, Y or Z doesn’t work for them and they NEED to try something else.
(What they’re really saying is- X, Y or Z is too hard, and they don’t want to do anything hard so they need to find something easier.)
Yes, I know there are a lot of reasons WHY it’s difficult, but the bottom line is, we cannot say that eating right and working out doesn’t work if we haven’t really given it a fair chance.

Try this: Challenge yourself. Seek accountability. Stay the course. See the results.

Challenge yourself-

Set a goal date that is 2-3 months from now and commit to eating healthy whole foods (protein, healthy fats, veggies and some fruit and nuts) and exercise 3-4 times per week until then. Take measurements and photos, weigh yourself and most of all- don’t quit.

Seek accountability-
Ask someone that you KNOW will keep you accountable and give you a seriously hard time if you even consider quitting. Ask them to contact you once or twice a week to see how you’re doing. Give them accountability questions to ask you to cut to the chase, questions that you can’t answer- generally. Even better, find a buddy who will do this with you, 100%.

Stay the course-
Plan out what foods are going to be allowed in your diet and which ones are not. Put this list on a wipe board or somewhere you will see it every day. Don’t buy these foods, these items are non-negotiables, don’t bring them into your home. Plan how many times a week you’re going to exercise and what you’re going to do. Seek out encouragement and motivation and walk away from those things that are discouraging (i.e. a desserts board on pinterest, lol) Stay focused on your goal of- finishing.

See the results-
(Barring any serious medical conditions,) you WILL reap the benefits of all your hard work. Go 2-3 months longer and you’ll reap even more benefits. Make it a lifetime decision and you’ll see ongoing results.

It’s not that hard. We make it REALLY hard though, don’t we? :-)
It boils down to consistency. To which there is no half-way. Either we are consistent with healthy eating and working out or we’re not.
When I am consistent with my healthy lifestyle, I see results. I suspect it’s the same for you. The best part about all of this? We can change at any moment! Isn’t that awesome?!
If we are chronic quitters and/or we have a history of being inconsistent with our healthy eating and workouts, that can end- TODAY.
Yes it can.
You can do this.
Consistency is your friend, embrace her, she’s your ticket to success.

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The master of…

Working with people who are trying to lose weight, I’ve noticed something:
People are either a master at making progress or they’re a master at making excuses. Some excuses are so clever, so well thought out, that seriously, if there was a book made on the top 100 excuses of all time, these finely crafted gems would be at the top of the list, yup, they’re that good.
So let’s talk about you.

Are you making progress or are you making excuses?

It’s really that simple. No.. It really is.
Because when we really want something, we make a way. Don’t we?
Think about the last time you reeeeeally wanted something, (other than a smaller jean size), How hard did you work for it? What were you willing to sacrifice to get it? How well did you plan ahead to make sure it happened?
It’s really not about losing weight, (well it shouldn’t be) but working towards being the healthiest version of you. Weight loss will automatically come when we ditch the processed junk in our diets, eat whole foods, drink water, stop with our emotional eating/boredom eating and implement an exercise plan.
It’s really not that difficult. Really it’s not.
Unless…
We’re just not ready. In other words, we want something MORE than we want our health and figure back.
That ‘more’ could be anything.
We can say all we want that- we want to lose weight or we want to get our health back on track but the bottom line is this: if we aren’t quite ready to give up our comfort foods, learn new habits and get up and get moving, we will find every excuse in the book for staying exactly where we are.

So the question is this..
What do you want? No really.. What Do YOU Want?
(You KNOW what’s coming next.. yup, my favorite quote.)

“Decide what you want,
decide what you’re willing to give up for it,
establish your goals and get to work.” ~Hunt

Ask yourself- Am I making excuses or am I making progress?
(And here’s a tip.. you’ll grow when you get quiet long enough to hear the answer.)
Because we cannot do both. If you’re ready for change in whatever area of your life, you’ll find that excuses are no longer part of who you are. When they pop into your head, you will recognize them for what they are, get rid of them and keep moving forward. You will begin to look at obstacles as opportunities.

Can I tell you what you already know?
You can do this. Yup, you can.
So, lay down the excuses.. and pick up the keys to your future. :-)

Surviving Super Bowl

Do you ever wonder how things get started.. like the origin of certain things?
Or… am I the only weird one… (don’t answer that.)
Like, what did the first Super Bowl party look like? Was it accidental?
OK that was random!
Well, anyways.. as we all know, it’s the first ‘big test’ of the year for many who are trying to hold on to their New Year resolutions/goals for weight loss.
So here are my top 6 strategies for surviving thriving during a Super Bowl party.

1. Bring along healthy foods.
The biggest trap of the party can be that you’re actually hungry (because these parties can last foreveeeeeeer), but there is nothing there that you can eat. So… bring your own! Plan ahead to bring a savory dish and a sweet treat, both that are within your guidelines for healthy eating. Don’t be offended if no one else wants any, it’s not your job to convince them that it’s healthy (or tasty), what isn’t eaten you get to take home.. more for you, yay!

2. Don’t park sit near the junk.
We’re more tempted to munch and keep munching when we are sitting/standing right next to the food. If it’s in your eye-line and keeps calling your name, move or move the food so it’s not beckoning you. I do this all the time, without apology, so much so that my husband doesn’t even ask what I’m doing anymore. He just knows —it’s tempting me and I want it to stop. Boom. it’s out of sight. Party on.

3. Get an accountability partner.
(Only do this if you’re serious, because it will absolutely help you to succeed.)

It can be your spouse, one of your kids, or that anal (uh, can I say that?) ehem, that person that is 100% ‘by the book’ at all times, who would LOVE to watch you like a hawk to make sure you’re not slipping on your healthy eating. Doesn’t everyone have ‘one of those’ in their circle of friends? Or two? (hey, don’t knock ‘us’, we make great accountability partners.) lol Tell them you’re serious and you give them permission to call you out in front of everyone.
Sound a tad intimidating? Uh.. do you want to be held accountable or not? Don’t pick someone who will say- it’s ok, it’s just a half gallon of ice cream, you deserve it.
You’re trying to thrive here, remember?

4. Don’t drink your calories.
I thought everyone knew this. But… I am a bit sheltered in some areas. Calories that you drink are more concentrated. Fill up on good foods and wash it all down with some refreshing water (and lemon/lime).
Water?!?!

She did not just say- “water.”
Oh yes she did.
It’s the absolute best thing you can drink. You have weight loss goals, right? Stand out from the crowd, set an example, stick to water.

5. Don’t graze.
If you don’t eat beforehand (which I would recommend) and by some chance there are healthy foods at the party, get ONE plate and take your time eating it. Don’t scarf it down and don’t make a return trip to the buffet. Give that food time to digest, for pete’s sake. If all you do is pick from this platter and that platter and nibble on a little of this and a little of that, you will quickly lose track of how much you’ve eaten, which will doom your goal of surviving thriving at a Super Bowl party. And by the way, stick to your normal eating schedule and portions for best results. :-)

6. Make the day about the people and/or the game.
If you’re not really into the game (it’s ok, you can say it here, I won’t tell) then enjoy your company, engage them, help clean up (your hostess will love you for life), or play with the kiddos. So many of our big traditions revolve around food. If we’re going to start getting back on track with our health, we’ve got to start reversing that and making our gatherings about relationships and interacting with one another, that we also, by chance serve food at.

Bonus: Check out these AWESOME sites for tasty treats that won’t kill your goals.
Fastpaleo.com
Yourlighterside.com
Civilizedcavemancooking.com

What are your plans for staying on track? Do you allow yourself a little treat or stay as far away as possible? Do you have support from your friends and family?
Drop me a comment here or on the facebook Hungry! page.

Happy game day!! :-)

It’s only week #2 and I’m ready to quit.. help?

What is it about the two-week point in your quest to eat clean and lose weight that is so tough to get past? I’ve heard from many of you that you do GREAT for two weeks and then ‘something’ happens, and before you know it- you’re off track (again?).
We could talk forever about the reasons why… but can I just encourage you for a bit? Thanks, thanks (this is my favorite part). :-)

So…
Look how far you’ve come.
No really, do it. When you started two weeks ago, did you think you could make it this far? It’s TOUGH to let go of junk food and sodas and sugary coffee drinks… etc..
VERY tough.
But you did it. YOU did it.
YOU started (which is the toughest part of all) when everyone else was still making excuses. (Do you need to reread that last sentence? It’s HUGE.)
YOU stepped up and took control of your life and your eating habits in spite of a very busy life.

Remember this.
Remember how hard it was and how much you worked to overcome the obstacles.
Remember every time you chose something healthy over something unhealthy. Remember how hard you worked to plan your meals so you would have good food to eat.
Remember.. and be proud of yourself.

Now let’s look forward.
You have a goal, whether its a number on the scale, a certain size pair of jeans, running a marathon, you name it.. but YOU have it. It’s all yours.
See that goal, take a few minutes to see yourself THERE. Finished.
No matter how you’re feeling right now, let me just tell you..
That goal.. YOUR goal is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY possible. Did you hear me?
It’s possible.
You just need to do one thing.

Keep going.

Don’t quit. Don’t try to figure out how you’re going to ‘do this’ for months or years.
Think about your next meal and making it healthy.
Think about kicking some serious butt in your next workout.
Take it one choice, one action, one decision at a time.

Don’t quit.

Take a deep breath (or six) and focus on your goal and do what it takes to stay in the game.
This is your life, and your goal and they are worth fighting for.
You can do this.
Yes, YOU can.
Now, go be the awesome, motivated, hard working, WINNER that you are.
Yeah, you can do that, too.

Staying on track at a party

Even if you didn’t know what the date was, you would know the year-end holidays were right around the corner by all the articles that pop up about surviving holiday parties when you’re dieting. They’re everywhere. But as I’m writing this, we’re heading into Summer, which for my family means lots of back yard birthday bar-b-ques, etc.
So what do you do when you’re heading to an event where you know there’s going to be lots of forbidden foods? Do you just say, “oh, well.” and plan on getting back on track the next day? Do you try and tough it out? How much is too much?
So here are some standard tips:
1. Don’t go hungry.
2. Don’t drink your calories.
3. Don’t hang out by the food/snack table.
4. Allow yourself one small treat so you don’t feel deprived.
5. Offer to bring food to the event so you’ll at least know you have something to eat.
These are all good tips, but lets break these down a little bit..

1. Don’t go hungry.
I happen to think this is a really great tip (this also could be applied when going to the grocery store, by the way), because when we’re hungry, our defenses our down, we pretty much want to eat everything in site because, dang-it we’re hungry! Something happens when we get to that level of hunger, we don’t think as clearly, we stop thinking about our goals and all our hard work because all that’s on our mind is eating. This seems like such a simple tip, one that would be so easy to do, just grab 2-3 ounces of protein or a handful of nuts before you walk out the door so you’re not starving when you get there. But I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard people (who are trying to lose fat) say, “oh well, I can start over on Monday.” Or a hundred other ways to say- “I have no self control.”
You already know this but do you mind if I say it again?

Your success will be equal to your work

Little work will always equal little success and lots of hard work will always equal great success. This doesn’t just apply in the gym where we tend to think of the ‘work’ it also pertains to what we don’t do and what we don’t eat.  For me, that’s just as tough. But I approach an event or party the same way I approach a workout, with determination and grit. It’s no different to me. I want to succeed in my workout just as bad as I want to succeed in not getting off track at a party.

I’m sure you’ve probably heard that once you’ve tried something that’s forbidden (and this can apply to anything) it gets easier and easier to give in to it, till your defense is completely gone. Well, the opposite is also true, when you resist something that’s forbidden you get stronger and every time you resist it,
it gets easier and easier to do so, till it’s no longer a temptation.

Off the top of my head I have successfully stayed on track through 7 events in the last 2 months. What, am I counting? Uh… yeah! I love being able to say that. While so many around me are making excuses and already regretting, I’m holding the line. I’m just as proud of that number as I am for new personal records I set in my workouts.
So, that got a little long winded, bottom line: eat something healthy before you go (no really.. do it!) and approach your eating with the same determination that you do your workouts.

2. Don’t drink the kool-aid, i.e. stick to drinking water.
You’ve heard it a thousand times- don’t drink your calories, don’t drink your calories, don’t drink your calories. Right? You know that, right? :-) They’re more concentrated and you can easily go overboard with one sugary beverage (and who drinks just one soda?). So… what are you doing… drinking your calories? Try sticking to ice cold water (Yum!) or unsweetened ice tea with lemon to get you through, you’ll be glad you did.

3. Don’t hang out by the food/snack table.
This  is pretty obvious, but in case it’s not, let me explain. You’ve heard the expression- out of site out of mind, right? Well, that makes the opposite, also true. If its right there within eyesight and you can see the food and smell the food, etc. it’s almost impossible to resist getting seconds or thirds, or grazing when it’s so close by. It’s also, nearly impossible to stop thinking about the food and focusing on it and telling yourself- one more wont hurt. Just try getting your food, walking away from the table, sitting down with some friends and making the event about relationships and good times without the food being the focus. After all, it’s usually the conversations that make a get-together memorable, not the food.

4. Allow yourself one small treat so you don’t feel deprived.. well, maybe.
If you’re someone who can eat just one cookie or one small handful of chips, this tip is for you. If you’re not, it’s not. Some people can eat a very good meal even in the face of great temptation if they know they will get to have a small treat afterwords. Small being the key word. While others, cannot have that treat without it sending them into a downward spiral. So basically you need to be honest with yourself. You know you best. For me, it just depends on the day and I have to be honest on that day about which category I fall into. Typically though, I steer clear of all goodies and bad foods and go with an extra portion of fruit salad. While fruit is allowed on a Paleo/Primal diet, I don’t eat very much, so this would be a treat for me. This decision can really make or break your success, so decide before the event what you’re going to do and ask someone to hold you accountable for it.

5. Offer to bring food to the event so you’ll at least know you have something to eat.
This is a fantastic way to prepare a delicious dish that everyone will love AND make sure you have a side to enjoy with the meat that’s served. When you tell everyone it’s healthy and that YOU made it, they just might stop looking at you funny for eating your hamburger without the bun. Well, maybe.
Here are some great sites  that I use for delicious, healthy recipes:
http://www.yourlighterside.com/

http://fastpaleo.com/
http://www.civilizedcavemancooking.com/
Don’t be put off by the fact that these are low-carb or Paleo/Primal recipes, that just means that they use real, whole ingredients instead of processed ones, i.e. they’re healthy for you. :-)
So there you go, have a great time at your next event and approach it with confidence that you can not only survive but thrive with these tried and true tips. I would love to hear your strategies, and don’t forget to tell me in the comments below or on facebook how it went!