Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Life is like Riding a Bicycle...

"Life is like Riding a Bicycle.... You don't fall off unless you stop pedaling." - Claude Pepper

I've been thinking a lot about my fall back plan... It's always been there and it comforts me. My fall back plan is... Giving Up. In everything I've done in my life, I've always felt comforted by the fact that I can give up, I can throw in the towel, all is done... Finito!

This last month, I had a huge awakening when I lost my back up plan. Why can't I give up? I still whine to myself sometimes! Well, this is what I learned...

There is a person in my life who has had a hard few years. Things haven't been easy and their life seems to be one bad thing after another. At some point, they went to their fall back plan and what was their reward? Their life was HARDER... It didn't solve anything. I didn't see this for what it was until I had a second experience open my eyes...

Another person in my life talked to me about a period in their life when they did give up. When things got so hard, that seemed like the only choice. They went on to tell me how it had damaged them and their relationships. How it was still damaging others. And not just how sad it was but how hard it was to get back into living again. That's when it hit home to me. My backup plan was not just flawed, it was not an option at all anymore.

I believe in God and I believe in Satan and I can firmly say that Satan wants us to feel like the only choice is to GIVE UP. He wants us to think there is not even a choice. But what do we get from going down that path? What I've learned... it's only heartache, pain, and sorrow. And when we are at the point of giving up, that's the opposite of what we need in our lives anyway.

Now this may be old news to some of you but to me, who has a had a dear friend in "I can give up if this gets too hard/too much/if I can't anymore", it made me realize that even though I haven't given up on anything big, there are small things that I sometimes do give up on and if they are important, there is no worth in giving up on them. I have a CHOICE and I choose to RIDE MY BIKE! :)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The biggest set-backs I'd have when I was losing weight was when I'd DECIDE, "I'm never having "___________" (fill in any kind of treat) again. I remember thinking "okay, my diet starts tomorrow and I'm NEVER having ice cream again so I'm going to load up for the rest of my life right now..." It only set me up to fail and I'll just say, I've had ice cream plenty of times since then. I always felt the cravings stonger when I'd decide I could NEVER have them again.

The trick is moderation. Being moderate in what we eat, when we eat, the amount of food we eat. This is one of the "tricks".
WHAT you eat... you CAN have a "treat"
WHEN you eat... you can have your "treat" every once in a while (maybe once a week instead of every day)
AMOUNT you eat... you can have a SMALLER portion of your "treat" once a week.

This applies not just to treats but to all our meal habits. We want to be moderate in WHAT we eat. Whole grains, lean meats, good fruits and veggies these should be staples, although adding salt, oil or butter can be included in small amounts.

Having moderation in WHEN we eat means can mean eating 3 solid meals or eating small meals every 2-3 hours during the day. If you can do the smaller meals, more frequently and that works for you, that is a great way to keep your metabolism up. Getting 3 solid meals is also good if eating more frequently doesn't work for your schedule or your body.

Moderation in AMOUNT of food is pretty obvious. Go for smaller portions. To be more specific, eat about a fist size of WHOLE grains, a palm size of meat and as many veggies as you can (go light on any salt or butter if you use them).

This change will help you reach your health goals a lot faster.

Friday, May 21, 2010

website to help with your nutrition! YAY!!

Thanks to a wonderful friend, I was told about It's everything you've been wanting so you can see results fast! AND IT'S FREE!!!

It will ask your goals, tell you how many calories and how many grams of protein, fats and carbs. It is SO EASY to track your meals and shows you how many you have left to eat. It also lets you track your exercise. It doesn't get easier than this! I am still trying it out but so far, the only thing that was different was that it low-balled me how many calories I burn doing 60 minutes of exercise... only because it calculates for regular exercise (280 calories) not Zumba (600-800 calories). WOOHOO!!!

Being this easy (and free)... there is just no excuse! Where was all this helpful stuff when I was working so hard to lose my weight. THANK GOODNESS WE HAVE IT NOW!!!

Have a wonderful weekend.
Zumba Love - Sunshine

Sunday, May 9, 2010

How's Your Self-Control?

I've been thinking lately... I know, SCARY! :D

Are you working on your self-control or have you had a change of heart?

A story to illustrate my point...
My oldest child is the oldest by 4 years. When he was about 5 years old, we would take him with us to do landscaping work for a friend. It was a fun thing we could all do together and there was always something that he, even as a 5 year old, could do to help. In those years, he thought this "family time" was treacherous. He complained and decided to just mope around and go slow. Did he get his "job" done? Yes, but you would think we were torturing the child by the way he complained and moped around. He did it, he completed it but it was such a negative effect by him.

On the contrast today, as a 12 year old, he loves to help. He loves to go out to the garden, to help those in need, to clean the van. Do I still get complaints, yes, some, but most of them are because a friend is over and he wants to play so he wants to get it done QUICK! No more moping, "poor me" or slow, dragging work for him.

What changed? His attitude. He had a change of heart. Instead of resisting the things that needed to be done and do them all begrudgingly, he decided that it was something fun, of good value and if he gets it done quickly, he has time for more things.

How do you think of your health? of exercise? of eating right? Are you doing it begrudgingly, thinking of how tortured you are or how unfair it is that we need to work our bodies in order to be healthy? Do you dread thinking of eating healthy and complain about all the things you can't eat (even if it's to yourself)? Then you need a change of heart!

I struggled with this as I was losing weight. And it wasn't until I started enjoying and actually having that change of heart, that I actually had some BIG changes in my weight and in my life. Now things didn't go from bad to good in a day, I started just appreciating the little things...
I was grateful for my muscles, for the ability to go to the gym, for the opportunity to choose what I eat. Then I decided I would change my mind about exercise. I first loved cardio and didn't like lifting weights.... then I changed and loved weights but not cardio so much... So what's the point in not liking something??? It doesn't do us any good. Especially if it needs to be done anyway, right?

Little story break.... I LOVE doing laundry. Most people think I'm crazy. The truth is, not too long ago, I DREADED laundry. It was just so tedious and I felt it took my whole day. Just blah! So one day I thought to myself... "WHY do I dread laundry so much? What is it about laundry that is so bad?"... think... think... think... (my thinking sometimes runs about as fast as my 7 year old computer) let's see... "I have a washer and dryer in my house, so I don't even have to go anywhere. I can actually do them while in my pajamas. That's pretty good. I set aside a day to do the laundry, so I don't usually have to rush anywhere... I like not rushing around sometimes... I can sit and watch T.V. while I fold... and put away my clothes... that means I can catch up on my DVR shows that hubby complains I never get to....

so.... when I do laundry, I can be calm, watch tv, do it at home and even in my pj's if i want to, I don't have to get quarters and I can get other things done while I do it. What's so bad about that? And my attitude changed. I LOVE doing laundry. And now I've noticed it is so relaxing to do laundry and I look forward to it. Maybe I like it too much since I don't like it when my husband does it for me. :D hahaha

So how do you look at exercise? How do you look at eating healthy? How do you look at leading a healthy life? Do you resist it by TRYING to have self-control over the things you "can't" have or things you "have to" do? Positivity attracts positive results and Negativity brings about negative results. Resistance is a negative feeling. Is that the result you want?

People who've achieved their dreams, didn't start their path or keep on it by stating how impossible their task was and how difficult it was. They believed they could achieve it and they put their heart into it. That is how they achieved their dreams and how you can achieve your dreams and goals too. Love them, Nurture them, Be grateful for the ability you have to achieve them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Am I doing the basics?

Although everyone is different and each weight loss works differently for each individual, there are some basic principles that work for everyone...

First of all, are you doing the basics??? You can't reach the penthouse of achievement without starting on the bottom floor. And believe me, there is no elevator here. Before you climb the stairs, you need to walk and before you walk and need to crawl. In nutrition it is the same.

Here's the CRAWL: Not the watermelon crawl but The nutrition crawl... :D

Are you taking a multivitamin? Your body, especially in weight loss, should be eating less calories than you are spending which means you aren't getting all the vitamins and minerals you need each day. You need these vitamins to keep you strong, keep you energized, and keep your body losing FAT and not muscle. There are more reasons to taking a multivitamin but this is a great first step reason.

Are you drinking enough water? The basics of water is 8 cups of 8 oz. a day. That's 64 oz of water and more if you are sweating a lot. A few tricks... if you drink 8-16oz of water before you eat each meal, your weight loss will come faster... proven true. Water not only keeps you hydrated, it helps with satiety, it also helps curb cravings and helps your body process the food/nutrients to your body more efficiently.

Are you SLEEPING??? That's right... Lack of sleep creates A LOT of problems. First of all, your body doesn't recuperate the way it needs to so you can't create the muscle (remember lean muscle increases your resting metabolism) you are working to create. Also, it doesn't want to let go of the fat because it feels like your body is still in crisis mode*.

*Crisis mode is when the body feels it needs to protect us from ourselves. We are usually doing things to our bodies that our body feels it needs to protect us. Which usually means storing fat, since that has a great shelf life and can sustain us if we need it. It's like our own personal food storage. When we eat bad things, don't sleep enough, don't get enough vitamins, minerals, water. When we don't eat frequently enough or when we overeat. These things freak our body out and the body does what it can to protect itself.. basically, store fat. This is crisis mode.*

The other thing lack of sleep has shown in studies is... creating LOVE HANDLES!!! It's true. And you know, those aren't the easiest things to get rid of. Those little handles were hard for me to get rid of at least. I decided to keep the love and get rid of the handles! :)

Another problem with lack of sleep is.... FOOD!!! Let me explain. Food=Energy. Food is actually fuel that we use to get our bodies to function each minute of the day. So when we are low on fuel, our body sends a signal (((blink, blink))) LOW ON FUEL - NEED FUEL SOON!

When we are tired, our body sends a signal as well. The problem is, we are low on energy when we are tired so we tend to think the signal is (((blink, blink))) LOW ON FUEL - NEED FUEL SOON. When really, when we have lack of sleep, our body is really saying (((blink, blink))) LOW ON ENERGY - RECHARGE BATTERY! When we aren't used to listening to our bodies, or aren't able to sleep at that moment, we think "I'm dragging... I need some food"... at this point, if you are tired, you've got a double edged sword... "I'm low on energy, I need some food FAST, like right NOW! and... I'm tired so I don't want to MAKE something. I'm hungry now!" That's when we usually eat something we shouldn't eat or hit the FAST FOOD. That's why you have to be prepared! --- but that's another post. :) We'll get to that soon enough.

The basic principles for this post are: ARE YOU DOING THE BASICS???

Understand why they are important and decide right now "I WILL TAKE CARE OF ME"... Because no one else can.

Monday, April 26, 2010

IS that really what I eat?

So, a few things from last week. Now you know I am a regular person and don't always eat how/when/what I'm "supposed" to. We'll get more into the timing of meals (when) and the how later. For now lets keep looking at the what.

Now that we have a sample of what we eat for our regular life, it's time to dissect it a little bit. This week, take a day and look it up. Let's see how many calories we are eating each day (and each meal) and what makes up those calories. We'll only be looking at fat, protein and carbs for now so don't worry about vitamins, minerals, fiber etc...

First of all... a little nutrition lesson I wish I had when I started trying to loose weight...
Calories = fat+protein+carbs only they want you to do math to figure it out.
each gram of fat = 9 calories
each gram of protein = 4 calories
each gram of carbs = 4 calories

That's why the LOW FAT diets soared (and are still soaring).
For now, go to you can look up just about anything you eat. (if you have the wrappers or labels for any of the foods on your food log, just write that down, that will be most accurate). Just do I day or one meal at a time. You can even put in a recipe and tell it how many servings and it will figure it out for you. It does take some time but.... "IF YOU ALWAYS DO WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU'LL ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS GOTTEN."

Here's a nutrition label:

First... Notice the serving size. Many small items will actually have 2 serving sizes per package... Tricky! This means, if you eat the whole package, you must times your numbers by 2.

Next: Check the calories. Write that down as your calories, unless you ate more than one serving, then times it accordingly.

Next: Write down the TOTAL FAT number, the TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES number and the TOTAL PROTEIN number.

That's all. Write that down for everything you ate for that meal, or that day. I'll start with my last Monday....

Monday, April 19, 2010


Being a personal trainer for so many years, you know I've been asked just about every nutrition question in the book. I usually get something that sounds like one of these: "What diet should I be on?" "Is __________ diet good? I heard a lot of people talking about it." "How many calories should I be eating?" But basically they are all saying the same thing: "WHAT DO I EAT in order to reach my goals... and quickly if you don't mind?" :)

BUT... when I ask them if they even know how many calories they are eating right now... 99% don't know. So I say...
"You can't get where you are going if you don't know where you are."

Steps to Achieving Your Goals Nutritionally

Realize that what you eat accounts for at least 50% of you reaching your goals (and that's a low number, some figures are as high as 80%). So nutrition matters.... A LOT!!!

Before I start let me state something: When you desire a long-term goal greater than momentary gratification, that's when you are on your way to changing your life.

The steps aren't difficult at all but they do take some effort.

Here's the first step. It is simple and barely takes very much time.
Get a little notebook and write this down:

What am I eating (measuring is good)?
What am I drinking?
And What time is it?

Do this for 1 FULL WEEK! And don't wait for Monday or the morning. Just start right now. I am not asking you to watch what you eat. You want to get an honest reading of just exactly what it is you are doing RIGHT NOW!

You can't get where you are going if you don't know where you are. RIGHT? Exactly Right! That is why we want to see where we are to begin with.

I'll be posting mine this week... feel free to post yours as well. Accountability helps us reach our goals.

...Zumba Love... <3