Posts Tagged ‘Weight Loss’

8 Attitudes That Cripple Your Health and Wellbeing

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Emma
Creative Commons License photo credit: Adam UXB Smith

Fitness and health is so much more than eating well and going for the occasional jog. In fact, fitness and health start with the mind. If your head is in the wrong space then it is very difficult to achieve any long term fitness, weight loss or health goals. In this post I am going to talk about 8 attitudes that cripple your long term health and well being. They might even be making you fat!

1. Jealousy
If you go to the gym you will probably know what I am talking about. The green eyed monster is extremely bad for our health and well being because we are constantly comparing ourselves to other women at the gym. Sometimes I actually feel like the gym is a lot like high school; everyone checking out what the other girls are wearing, talking about and how they look when they do certain things. It can be quite stressful. If you go to the gym worried about how all the other women look better than you do then you are going to set yourself up for disaster. You will end up quitting out of frustration.

2. Playing the victim
I hate to say it but most of my friends play the victim. Every time I see them for coffee or dinner they talk about how hard done by they are and create a thousand excuses for why they haven’t been going to the gym or eating healthy. The sad fact is that none of them know they are doing it. They all think it is normal. And to some extent being the victim is very normal in our society. The fact of the matter is you have a choice. You can choose to be a victim of your own circumstances or you can choose to make a change. And if you want to look and feel good, live a long healthy life and be happy with your own situation you are going to need to stop playing the victim.

Here is an interesting article about playing the victim in Psychology Today that has some excellent insights about where the victim game leaves you in the end.

3. Laziness
If you took a look back at the last 10 times that you skipped a work out or got take away instead of cooking a meal I would wager that at least eight of those times it was because you couldn’t be bothered. Laziness is probably the most damaging attitude there is when it comes to health and fitness because, unfortunately, health and fitness are so damn hard to maintain. Working out at the gym is not easy, shopping for the right foods each week is even more annoying. However, laziness is even more annoying because it will cause you to have future regrets. One of the most painful things you can ever imagine is getting to your 50s, 60s and 70s and realizing that you wasted your life being lazy. Stop today.

4. Stress
Stress is an interesting one because a lot of you will disagree with me that it is an attitude. Most people think it is just something that occurs that we have no control over. And while I believe that is true some of the time, I also understand that a lot of women out there use stress as an excuse. They say that they are too stressed to go to the gym or cook a meal. The funny thing about that attitude, however, is that going to the gym and eating healthy are two of the most powerful cures for stress!

- Despair
Creative Commons License photo credit: Juliana Coutinho

I also think that part of the reason women get stressed is because they are not achieving their weight loss goals. But if you made exercise a priority you would find that less stress occurs.

5. Insatiability
As a regular gym goer I constantly see women come and go. Some of them stick at it for a few months, other only last a week or so. And while there might be a whole host of reasons for this lack of consistency I understand that a lot of women are completely insatiable when it comes to exercise. In fact, I would go so far as to say that every single person (male and female) has experienced this when it comes to their exercise programs.

Insatiability means that you are impossible to satisfy. You become bored easily and as such you struggle to finish your goals. The fitness world is rife with this problem because fitness and weight loss goals take so long to achieve. After a week of the same workout you get bored and either move on or give up. I think this has a lot to do with our modern world of iPhones and Twitter and Facebook where we need to be constantly entertained. You can change your workout a few times but after a while you need to tackle the boredom otherwise you will end up giving up like everyone else.

6. Procrastination
We all do it and we all know its bad. Procrastination is an attitude that will send you to an early grave and an obese waist line because you simply never get around to it. Strongly linked to laziness, procrastination is much more sneaky. Why? Because it happens one omission at a time. Laziness is a general attitude that is very easy to spot but procrastination might only occur once or twice a week – just enough to sabotage your progress. You can bet your bottom dollar; the second you hear your mind saying “I’ll just finish this first” or “I’ll make up for it later” you are on your way to a lifetime of putting things off. Nip it in the bud as soon as you can.

lady sits, birds bathe
Creative Commons License photo credit: Looking Glass

7. Impetuousness
I have to admit being a very impetuous person. When I first started becoming interested in working out at the gym I just dived in as if I was an expert. Bad idea. Within a month I had obtained a pretty serious injury that plagues me to this day. Being impetuous means that you rush into things without really thinking them through first. This is a crippling attitude because, when it comes to health and fitness, you need to know a lot of information in order to do it correctly. If you go back and read our article on why you can’t lose weight you will see that it is extremely important to read and study and talk to experts before you try to play around with your body. Information is power and a lack of information is often crippling.

8. Impatience
Impatience is the final attitude that I want to talk about today. It is closely linked with almost all of the other attitudes and, like the other, it is extremely harmful for women who are trying to lose weight, get healthy and change their lives. The thing you need to realize really early on is that weight loss and fitness take a long time. They take years to really pull off in a long term way. And not only that, they take a long time on a daily scale. You need to exercise and eat healthy every single day if you want to make long lasting progress. If you are impatient you kill your progress at the very root because you just won’t stick it out.

If you want to learn to become more patient you need to really work on yourself because it is a long held habit. The article in the link is a great starting point for everyone out there.

Conclusion

Everything that you do in life starts in the mind. If you have a healthy attitude with a good motivation you will find that you can achieve all sorts of successes. If, however, you live your life choked by poisonous attitudes you will end up failing at everything you touch. Really examine yourself and see whether you are harboring any of these 8 attitudes that cripple your health and well being. Recognizing them is the hardest part.

7 Reasons You Are Fat and Why You Won’t Change

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

A Matched Set
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tobyotter

If you stand in a room with 10 women it is statistically probable that six of them will be fat. That is a very frightening image considering the health implications of being overweight; heart disease, diabetes and, yes, even cancer. In this post I want to look at seven reasons why you are fat and then talk about why you will never change.

Fat Lies: size zero vs plus size

Some of you who are still reading might be a little bit offended at the use of the word “fat”. I can understand why you feel that way. I too used to be upset when women called other women fat. These days there is a lot of work going in to helping women feel better about their body image. A lot of women now consider “bigger” to be better than the old runway stick figures that everyone used to aspire to look like. And this is a good thing.

Sort of.

While we may be feeling a little bit better about our body image there is also something else to remember. Being overweight is unhealthy. In fact, the diseases that relate to obesity and being overweight and unfit kill more people in America every year than anything else. Yes, it is unhealthy to kill ourselves with diets that make us look like a size zero, but it is also unhealthy to let ourselves go in the name of loving our body more. I think it is important to accept what your body looks like, but to recognize that certain fat levels are unhealthy. The point is not to get upset and worried about it, but to help you change your diet, exercise and living habits.

7 reasons you are fat

KFC Double Down
Creative Commons License photo credit: j.reed

Now that I have finished my little political correctness disclaimer we can get into the juicy part of the post. Here are seven reasons why you are still fat, often despite some of your best efforts. After this I will look at the hard stuff – why you will never change.

1. You don’t exercise, really
Okay so you go to the gym twice a week. That’s a good start. That will give you a nice base level of fitness. But if you want to really lose weight and get healthy you need to be exercising every single day. Period. Science is now showing that in order to lose weight and maintain that weight you need to give yourself about an hour a day. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do, but you aren’t doing enough of it.

Write down exactly how much exercise you do for the next two weeks. At the end of it I think you will be surprised that you aren’t really doing as much as you thought you were. We need to change this habit fast.

2. You go back for seconds
I have been really pushing this idea lately because I know a lot of women out there who just don’t respect the idea of portion sizes. In this post on losing weight I talked about the fact that over time those second helpings and large portion sizes make you fat. Really fat. Why? Because every time you eat a bigger meal than you should or go back for a second helping you are taking in calories that you can’t burn off. And over the months and years those extra calories add up to kilos and kilos of fat.

Again, write down how many second helpings you have in a two week period. Take note of how many meals you eat that are much bigger than they should be. You will notice that these amount to hundreds and hundreds of extra calories that you just aren’t burning off at the gym.

3. You don’t eat natural
As long as you are eating man made foods you are going to be overweight. The human body has been evolving for thousands of years to function perfectly on natural foods like fruits and vegetables. And then, all of a sudden, about 40 years ago everything went processed. We stopped eating the things that grow in the wild and started eating processed foods like chips, pastas, take away, frozen dinners and so on. The body doesn’t know how to handle these things.

The level of sugar, salt and preservatives in these man made foods make it impossible for you to stay at a healthy weight. If you are serious about long term health and staying at an ideal weight you need to get back to eating a natural diet.

4. Your emotions control you
Don’t worry, we all do it. Food becomes a comforter on those days that are just a little hard to get through. There is nothing more satisfying than driving to KFC for a big packet of fries when we are feeling depressed or stressed. But if we are realistic, our emotions control us. And if you want to lead a successful and healthy life you need to turn that around, you need to control your emotions.

Too many chips
Creative Commons License photo credit: _K_E_E_G_A_N_

A lot of women are just never told that they are in control of their own mind. The emotions that arise and the feelings that depress you are nothing but your own thoughts that you can work on and control. Don’t let your emotions control you, control your emotions. If you can do that you will eat a lot less of the food that makes you overweight.

5. You don’t weight train
A lot of women are afraid of weight training because they think it will make them bulky. Well, as I say almost every post, it won’t. In fact, weights will burn more calories than you can imagine, keep your metabolism cooking during the day and help to shape and tone your muscles. It is high time that the women of the world realized how beneficial weight training is for weight loss and muscle toning. If you can mix weight training with your cardio session you will, in a few short weeks, look better than you ever have before. Essentially you are turning your body into the perfect fat burning environment.

6. You watch too much TV
I reckon if you interviewed 1000 people about their post work habits 900 of them would say they spend the night watching the TV. And while I understand that TV is a great way to unwind after a hard day, I also understand that it is a complete waste of time. You get nothing done except for passing the hours. And you know one thing that is better for de-stressing and winding down? Exercise. An hour at the gym after work will do more for your happiness, productivity and relaxation than five hours of television.

If you are overweight I want you to take a look at how many hours of TV you watch per day. If it is more than one or two then it is time to turn off the box and get out and do something for your body. Don’t waste your life away watching gossip and bad plots with a bigger tummy than you deserve.

7. You haven’t read enough
Here it is. The final straw. Now I am attacking your education. Well, not really. The thing about this point is that most of the information out there today is wrong. Most of what we are being told in the media about weight loss is just incorrect. For example, the idea that fat makes you fat. It doesn’t. Some fats are 100% essential to your health. Without them you will end up sick and unhealthy. The sad thing is that I see so many women attempting to lose weight based on false information. They haven’t done enough reading and as such they are suckered into the latest fad diet or the latest sound bite that they hear on some talk show.

If you are serious about weight loss you need to study. A lot. Don’t just read this site either. Read studies that have been done by scientists and look at information that is independent – that is, it isn’t trying to make anyone any money. And that doesn’t necessarily mean Government studies either because, as happened Australia, one Government diet book was sponsored by the Beef industry. If you read a lot I guarantee you will discover a lot of diet mistakes that you have been making.

Why you won’t change

St. Paddy's 5k-1061
Creative Commons License photo credit: soaringbird

Here is the clincher. Around 98% of people can’t lose weight because of bad habits. And if they do, they revert back to their old weight within a year. This is a devastating statistic for many weight loss hopefuls out there. Science has shown that the human body gets “comfortable” with being overweight and struggles to lose it. When you starve yourself of calories you make it even worse because your body goes into “famine” mode and starts to store as much as it can.

But there is good news, 2% of people can lose weight and don’t go back once they lose it. And it is my firm belief that that figure can go up and up with the right information. You see it is mostly about information because, like I mentioned, many of us are doing the wrong things to lose weight. This makes progress hard.

The main reason people revert back to their old weight is habit. We have been eating the wrong things and doing no exercise for such a long time that once we reach our ideal weight we go back to the old easier life. If this is what is happening and you aren’t prepared to change your habits then there is nothing that can be done.

Conclusion

The point of this post is not to depress you. It is to give you inspiration. It is to encourage you to become one of the 2% of people who lose weight and keep it off by reading the right materials, changing habits for the long term and maintaining a disciplined focus. Its time to make a change. A permanent one.

The Busy Woman’s Guide to Staying Toned, Sexy and Healthy

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

_MG_0037
Creative Commons License photo credit: jk+too

Take a poll of 100 women who have strayed off the weight loss track and 90 of them will tell you they are just too busy. It is an extremely common problem in today’s modern world where women are expected to be super women; cleaning the house, caring for the kids, going to work and then trying to find time to exercise. But there are some solutions. All is not lost. This article is the busy woman’s guide to staying toned, sexy and healthy.

How busyness kills exercise

The first thing we need to look at, obviously, is why being busy kills your exercise, weight loss and health goals. Why is it that most of us aren’t able to maintain the routine when we are run off our feet. It is an interesting question that doesn’t have a straight forward answer. Some women find that by the time they are free to think about working out they are completely zapped of energy. Others find that they are just too busy to even put aside 20 minutes for a jog around the block.

But the thing that ties all of these problems (excuses) together is actually very simple. It is what Oprah would call and “ah ha moment”. The reason you aren’t working out is not because you are tired or don’t have enough time; it is because you have not made it a priority. If exercise, eating healthy, etc. was a priority you would make sure you had time for it, just like you do for other important tasks. And here’s the real kicker – your workout is one of the most important things you do because it plays a big role in your quality of life. Without exercise you will put on weight, become unhealthy and feel miserable. But it’s still not a priority.

Making exercise and health a priority

led intermediate class with guruji NYC 2001
Creative Commons License photo credit: gbSk

If you are a busy woman you need to make exercise a priority. If you continue to put everything else before your workout then you will never get toned, sexy and healthy, no matter how much you long for it. Making exercise and health a priority is a mental act as well as a physical one, it is important that we acknowledge that.

How to make exercise a priority
If you want to make these things a priority in your life in order to allow yourself to achieve them there are a few things you need to do:

  • realize that you need to exercise
  • realize that you need to exercise regularly
  • realize that without exercise you cannot be healthy
  • realize how important being healthy is to you and your loved ones
  • realize that if you don’t make time you will never achieve the results you desire
  • actually make time, today

The most important one here is the last one; make time today. Today is the time you need to start because if you don’t do it today, the word tomorrow will always be in your mind. So many women out there promise themselves that they will start their new life tomorrow. But tomorrow is too late because it usually means never.

How to stay toned, sexy and healthy

IMG_1663
Creative Commons License photo credit: marko8904

Now that we have looked at the important preliminary items of why busyness kills exercise and making exercise a priority we can get into the main ideas of this article. What follows is a bunch of ways that busy women can stay toned, sexy and healthy. Adopt as many as you can and you will be well on your way to success.
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