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January 29, 2014

Skin-tastic!

10:26 am - Posted by Gregg

As people who are either working on losing excess weight or making sure we keep it off, it should be our goal to be healthy across the board. This means skin that glows (in other words, skin that reflects how healthy we are on the inside) — no matter how cold it is outside. So here are some helpful tips on making the most of your winter skincare:

H2O a go-go
Just because you’re not feeling as hot (temperature-wise) doesn’t mean you should ease up on the necessary amount of water you should drink per day (depending on your individual needs). Consuming water is good for your internal system year round. When that’s operating at peak capacity, your skin (and everything else) is going to reflect it with a healthy glow. So even if you’re not feeling as parched as you might in the middle of July, keep up the water drinking habit 24/7/365. (Well, not while you’re asleep — but you get the idea.) To help calculate how much water you should be drinking a day, click here.

Kiss Better
When it comes to protecting your lips, not all lipbalms are created equal. Look for a formula with shea butter, which goes on soft (as opposed to waxy). If you’re wearing color on your lips, choose a lipstick with lip balm built in (you want to moisturize while you glamorize).

Hair Care
Most hairstylists will tell you that during the winter your hair doesn’t need washed as often as it does during the warmer months of the year. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t “clean” your hair. But try using shampoo on one day, conditioner on the next and then just hot water (along with a vigorous scalp massage) on the day after. Try this routine out and your hair just might thank you for it — by looking healthier (please don’t expect a verbal thank you from your hair).

Give Yourself a Hand
Hands have fewer oil glands, which means they get drier faster than the rest of your body. Thus, it’s important to moisturize your hands often during winter months — especially if, like me, you’re constantly washing your hands (sometimes with harsh soaps) in order to avoid winter-related germs. And if the temperatures are especially frigid outside, don’t forget the gloves (needed as much for comfort as they are for protection).

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave the house without your SPF in place on your exposed skin. Look for moisturizing formulas with an SPF of 15 (a more reasonable amount recommended for winter months, as opposed to SPF 30, which is recommended by dermatologists during the summer). Don’t forget that when the sun is shining, cancer-causing UVA rays can even pass through car windows — no matter how cold it is outside.

Lather Up
With moisturizing lotion, that is. This reccomendation applies to your face as much as it does to your body. The same moisturizer you use during the summer doesn’t offer the necessary protection you need for winter’s chill (and winds) — no matter what your home turf’s version of winter is. When it comes to a skin moisturizer for the body, (again) look for something with shea butter listed in the ingredients. As for the face, skip the gel-based formulas you might use in the summer and look for something with a creamier base.

Toot(sie) Sweet
Most skin care specialists recommend not painting your toe nails if they’re going to be covered up during winter months (more to give your toe nails a break from harsh polish removers than anything else). A sweet evening footcare routine can include moisturizing your tootsies with foot cream and then putting on your favorite pair of wooly socks to help encourage the cream to do its best work.

Do you have any winter rituals you put into play for your own skincare routines at this time of year? If so, I’d love to hear them. Until then, please stay warm — weather you’re facing a Southern California winter (like me) or something a little more extreme.

Photo Source: 7 Beauty Tips

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January 15, 2014

Warming up your mood

10:43 am - Posted by Gregg

Are you or is someone you know suffering from the post holiday blues? These days it seems lots of people are complaining about the weather, holiday shopping bills, their weight or a number of other stresses. But we don’t have to get caught up in these “Winter Blues” ourselves.

No matter where you’re living, cooler weather (however you define it) can take its mental toll. But there are things we can do to cheer ourselves up and keep our attitudes in a positive mode. After all, the better our attitude, the better we do in all areas of our life – including our continual efforts to Just Stop Eating So Much! So next time Old Man Winter is nagging at you, try some of these tried and proven methods to chase the Winter Blues away:

Work it out!
There are no excuses when it comes to exercise. Even if you’re at your goal weight, working out helps your metabolism, your immune system and your state of mind with endorphins that actually increase your good feelings. There’s always something you can do – even in “lousy” weather. For those of you who have a copy handy, my book, Just Stop Eating So Much!, features a complete exercise program you can do at home (no gym necessary ) on page 67. Or for a list of the ‘Top 10 Indoor Exercises for Winter’: Click Here

Picture this!
Finally tackle that task of organizing the family photos. I don’t mean just the ones from this past holiday season. I’m talking about the ones you’ve been keeping in shoeboxes for years. Sure, it’s a big task and might take days to accomplish. But “accomplish” is the key word. By making albums (digital or otherwise) for yourself (and maybe even friends and family members) you’ll feel like you’re really accomplishing something and that will really motivate you in other areas of your life as well. For some helpful tips on organizing photos:Click Here

Rediscover the great outdoors!
Even if there’s tons of snow on the ground, you can still get outside for a quick (if slushy) walk around the block. The fresh air is good for you – even in small, blustery doses. Plus, the change of scenery (from inside to outside) does a lot for our mental well-being. For a guide to preparing for and enjoying winter weather walks: Click Here

Sleep tight!
Believe it or not, it’s not always lethargy that leaves us feeling anxious and depressed. It’s important to get plenty of rest during the winter months. When you’re overtired, you’re overwhelmed. And sleeping late one day does not make up for sleep lost during the rest of the week. So make sure to get all the sleep you need – every night of the week. For some ideas on how to get a better night’s rest: Click Here

Laugh it up!
Change your mood instantly with a funny book or DVD. There are lots of great TV shows on DVD or via online streaming services that allow you to check out several episodes all at once. For Reader’s Digest’s list of the Best Sitcoms Ever: Click Here

There are also some amusing books that can “take you away from it all” and can tickle your funny bone at the same time. To check out a list of what some consider to be very funny books: Click Here

Photo Source: ZME Science

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January 8, 2014

Resolution savvy

10:28 am - Posted by Gregg

It’s that time of (new) year when I’m bombarded with questions about losing weight. When learning that I took off and have kept off 250-plus pounds of excess weight over a decade ago, friends, family members and strangers all want to know my “secret.” When they hear it was accomplished through old-fashioned eating less and moving more, they register a look of disappointment (having wanted the “magic wand” answer). But they still commit to losing weight and getting into shape for the New Year — resolutions I whole-heartedly support via Just Stop Eating So Much! as well as my blogs written for The Huffington Post.

But no matter what your resolutions this January, you might be surprised that when it comes to the common “Out with the old and in with the new” attitude, I actually encourage people to hold onto the old.

There are lots of reasons for this — beginning with the unhelpful notion that we’ve been doing things “wrong” up until now. Fact is, now is where we’re at. This month. This day. This minute. And everything we’ve gone through (even the seemingly mistaken decisions) has made us who we are today. And this includes being someone who’s ready to initiate real and lasting change.

When we start bashing ourselves, mentally, or even deciding that we’ve been living life incorrectly, we fall into a trap that can actually lead us back to the bingeing (or whatever) cycles that got us into this need for change predicament in the first place.

Instead, I suggest not only accepting your past, but embracing it. Keep it as a part of who you are — and wear it as a gold medal ribbon that indicates you’re not only a survivor, but a thriver.

There are actually some very good lessons to be found in our past mistakes. For example, I remember when I used to overdo it, food-wise, and would wake up in the middle of the night in terrible pain, sweating profusely and tasting the remnants of the previous night’s meal in my throat because the food in my overstuffed stomach was virtually bubbling over. I also remember what it was like to have an important meeting (whether for business or even with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages) and having to say a “Hail Mary” (even though I’m not Catholic) in order to get my jeans up around my hips. (Side note: Mary often did not come through and I had to opt for sweatpants with a more forgiving waist.)

Remembering these things helps me in the now — even over 10 years after I took off all of the excess weight. It’s a part of who I am. I know these are situations I never want to have to experience again. Thus I now reach for an apple more often than a donut as a result. And on that same note, I even keep the reasons that I started overeating in the first place with me (abusive parents, sexual predator, my love of ice cream — the list goes on). To deny or suppress that any of these issues happened might lead the same kind of behavior that had me overeating in the first place — stuffing down these memories with food in an effort to try and block them from my psyche.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t wear these life events as scars, but as merit badges… As proof that I have what it takes to survive. And that means I have what it takes to meet any goals (whether food-, health- or otherwise-related). Sometimes “Well, that happened” can be the best kind of therapy. With acceptance comes peace. And with peace comes the real ability to ask yourself, “Where do I want to go from here?”

So as January progresses and you look in the mirror with determination to accomplish whatever goals you’ve carved out for yourself, remember to look at your whole self… Every inch of yourself (both physically and metaphorically). You have made all the right decisions in the past — even if you would make some of them differently today. But just the very fact that you know this proves that you learned from those supposed “incorrect” decisions — and that you can make more productive decisions from here on out.

Own your “old.” Embrace it. Accept it. And choose to move forward — hopefully with not only determination, but also grace, gratitude and a sense of humor (all of which will, thankfully, add no additional calories to your New Year eating plan).

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December 31, 2013

You matter

2:34 pm - Posted by Gregg

It’s that time again… And no one likes a new beginning as much as those of us with a “dieter’s mentality.” And here we are at the grand slam of new beginnings — the first week of a new year. If misery loves company, we can take heart in the fact that almost everyone is getting on the scale right now, vowing to take off at least a couple pounds (“Welcome to our world, suckers!”).

But in actuality, none of us has to be miserable about it at all.

So often we think of dieting and losing weight as a punishment of sorts. When, really, it’s a choice. A choice that offers freedom, better health, more happiness and looking damned fine in our skinniest jeans. It’s all about changing that mental channel from ‘deprivation’ to “elation.”

Yeah, that’s right – elation.

In other words, I challenge you to be happy about your choice to take off a few (or a 100+) pounds this year. Do it with pep. With zest. And with the knowledge that it’s really not about deprivation at all.

When it comes down to it, you can eat anything you’d like while working to take off excess weight. The key, of course, is portion control. And I know that can be a tough thing to wrestle with after allowing one’s self to drink a whole vat of eggnog during the previous week since we knew we’d be starting (or re-starting) diets after the first of the year. But that was then. This is now.

As for your favorite foods, you might know that you can’t eat a single cup of ice cream right now because you’d be too tempted to make it 8 or more cups. Same could be true for French Fries, potato chips or whatever your “trigger foods” might be. So in that case, you might choose to forego these foods for a little while. But this isn’t deprivation either. Again, this is choice.

I urge you to abandon the concept of “I can never have ice cream (or whatever) again.” That’s just simply not true. You can have your favorite foods at anytime. But you can also not have them for a while, in an effort to encourage a little self-control. Once again, with feeling: This isn’t punishment. This is choice.

And perhaps when you’re down a few pounds, breathing easier, sleeping better and putting on your pants without having to offer up several prayers to get the waist fastened, you can then choose to have some ice cream – in a supermodel portion size (because that’s what you are… A supermodel). After all, even those skinny folks choose to have ice cream (or whatever) from time to time, rather than every day — and in a reasonable portion size that couldn’t feed a small nation.

Remember, you’re what matters. Your health. Your looks (no false vanity here, folks). Your happiness. And the key to all this isn’t going to be found in angst, in guilt or in the concept of being punished. Last year was then. Those eating habits were then. The vats of eggnog were then. This is now. This moment. And this is what matters most.

Not totally convinced? Then take a look at the belt I used to wear (shown above)… A belt made for a 60-inch waist…. A belt that I was wearing out at the last buckle hole… A belt that I haven’t had the need for in over a decade — other than as a reminder of what I’ve accomplished. If I can do it, you can do it. No, check that… We can do it!

So take a deep breath and commit to the choice of being your true, amazing, fabulous self this New Year. The choice can happen right now, in this very moment. Let’s make this choice together — at the same time — and move forward with vitality, vivaciousness and an attitude that lets the world (and ourselves) know that this time we mean business!

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December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

7:54 pm - Posted by Gregg

Thank you for being such an important part of this blog. Your comments, ideas and insights provide so much joy and inspiration to my life! Merry, Merry Christmas!

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