Unpack the mental baggage.

Woman-meditating-on-the-beach-at-sunrise

One of the most important things we can do to take care of ourselves, and in turn others, is to mentally “unpack”. Humans get jammed up with the everyday tasks, to do lists, problems and whatever else is taking up space in our heads. In order to function with clarity and walk with more confidence and grace we need to unwind and clear our heads.

Meditation is a wonderful way of doing this. I heard someone recently compare it to when you delete items from your phone or computer and it starts running a lot faster. A brilliant analogy. But, there are many other ways to accomplish this that you may find more effective. I am not that good at mediation. I try to do it for a 10 minutes (even 2 minutes makes a difference) each night but sometimes that doesn’t happen or I just can’t seem to relax enough to get into the zone.

Here are some other ways you can “mentally unpack” that might be helpful:

  1. Yoga. Focusing on different poses and breath work help to get your mind focused.
  2. Read a good novel. This is fairly simple, but getting your mind hooked on an intriguing story can make you forget about life’s problems.
  3. Acupuncture. Many people I’ve spoken to who have trouble with meditation find acupuncture to be a great alternative.
  4. Cooking. Find a recipe that you’ve never tried before and throw yourself into the process of making it.
  5. Exercise. My tried and true method, when all else fails getting in a good workout always makes me feel better about the world.

Basics of weight loss…

 

I’m really excited to get started on our “8 to Great” slim down challenge starting this Saturday! To gear up for 2 months of intensely focused health & wellness, I wanted to go over a few basic facts about weight loss.

1) Start by counting calories. This is not something you need to do forever, but it’s a good way to gauge how much you’re actually consuming. When you realize your calorie intake per day you will be encourage to cut back on some things.

How many calories a day should you be consuming to lose weight? Here are some numbers that will be helpful for you to achieve your goal:  1,200 / day = 15 pounds, 1,500 /day = 10 pounds, 1,800 / day = 5 pounds

2) Recognize your “triggers”. For example, I always want sweets at night-time after I’ve put the kids to bed. Many a night I have devoured a large ice cream sundae as a way of “rewarding” myself for getting through the day. I know this is a tough time for me so I need to figure ways of combatting it. Sometimes I actually just go to sleep in order to avoid tempation! And that’s perfectly fine, I get good rest and wake up feeling great that I didn’t eat a ton of calories in sugar the night before.

Here are some ideas on how to control binges: 

Workout instead. Go to the gym, take a walk, perform some yoga poses to get your mind off of food.

Meditation. This practice is so good for you for so many reasons, check out my post on the benefits here. One being that it’s a way of clearing your head of distractions, like food.

Substitute. Find foods that are healthy and low in fat, calories and sugar to substitute the unhealthy craving. Since I have such a sweet tooth I’ve been buying a lot of dried fruit to keep in my house when I’m itching for something sweet. Dried cranberries, mango and pineapple are delicious and satisfying.

2) Invest in a food scale. I know it sounds daunting, but weighing things like fruits, vegetables and meat are a good idea to know exactly how much you are consuming.

3) Get a pedometer. Start implementing some moderate exercise into your day. A good way to know you’re getting the right amount of exercise is by having a pedometer on you to keep track of your steps. It’s suggested that you take 10,000 steps per day to maintain good cardiovascular health and burn a fair amount of calories.

4) Plan ahead. Many people want to lose weight for a special event and attempt to crash diet and rely on very unhealthy ways of losing weight in order to do so. Here’s an idea, plan ahead! Look at your calendar and see what you have coming up so you can be prepared for those times when you want to look especially fit. Crash diets play a number on your health and have a very negative affect on your metabolism.

5) Prepare yourself to make permanent changes. It’s been said over and over again that if you want to lose weight and keep it off you need to make lifestyle changes.

The next 8 weeks I’m going to show you ways to live a healthier, thinner and happier life. These are all suggestions that if taken seriously and implemented into your daily activities as “habits” will make you look and feel your best everyday.

Do you have anything to add to this list? Do you have any questions for me or my nutrition consultant before we begin our 8 week slim down?