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10:08 am - Posted by Gregg

A brand new week is upon us. And for those of us with a dieter’s mentality, that often means it’s time to continue with and/or recommit to your dieting and healthy eating efforts. But what’s your take on this decision? Do you dread days like this? Do you long for a life without rice cakes? Are you angry that you can’t begin your day with a Triple-Super-Duper-High-Sugar-Latte? Are you starting your week with a mental spanking? Or do you realize what a wonderful gift you’re giving yourself by choosing (key word) to eat, live and be healthier?

Fact of the matter is that dieting does not have to equal torture. And yet often, many of us have gotten used to approaching our need to shed some excess weight with a “The glass is half empty” attitude – almost as if we’re being punished. Or, worse yet, like we deserve to be punished.

Well, let me be the first to tell you that this kind of “I’m a loser” attitude does not actually help you to be a loser. In fact, the opposite attitude offers you and your weight loss goals a greater chance of success. And the good news is that this doesn’t have to require repeated trips to a therapist and/or a shock therapy lab. You can simply decide – right at this very moment – to flip your mental switch and see your glass as half full (even if it is half full of skim milk instead of a milk shake).

Again, the key word here is CHOICE. Try keeping this word in the forefront of your mind today and, perhaps, every day this week – even if you have to write the word on a post it note and put it on your bathroom mirror, computer, dashboard (or whatever) to do so.

You are choosing to get healthier.

You are choosing to fit into jeans with a smaller waist.

You are choosing to exercise so that you can be healthy enough to walk across the room or even run a marathon without risking a medical malady.

You are choosing to show the world that you are in control.

And it’s going to be a lot tougher to reach these amazing and worthwhile goals if you’re down on yourself or see your plight as one filled with angst, torture and depression.

If you loathe rice cakes (or whatever kind of food), don’t include them in your eating plan. And if you’re craving carbs, then find a balanced (and healthy) eating program that allows for whole grains and other foods from all 4 food groups. You are in control here. And you don’t have to punish or deprive yourself to reach your goals. Check out some of the delicious and healthy recipes under the Food Section of this blog – and other blogs/foodie sites.

Dieting doesn’t have to be about ‘lack.’ It doesn’t have to be about ‘can’t.’ Instead, it can be about ‘This tastes good and I feel good – and this journey to better health that I’ve chosen is worth it.’ Why? Because you’re worth it.

Take it from someone who used to weigh over 450 pounds – and now weighs around 175 pounds (and has stayed at that weight for over a decade). I loved food then. I love food now. And yes, even I am constantly having to recommit to my overall goals of healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight. (Whose post it note do you think I took a picture of, above, anyway?) And guess what? I do it without rice cakes. And (mostly) without self-torture.

No more mental anguish, people. This healthier life is a choice. And the age old saying is true, ‘Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.’

So out with the old (tortured) attitude and in with the new (supermodel) one. And yes, that’s what you are. A supermodel. Right in this very moment. And you can tell anyone who questions your supermodel-dom, that I said you’re one – and I mean it.

Again, you are in control. And you are amazing. So let’s all have a kick-ass week together, shall we?

Photo Source: My Without Clothes Shopping

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12:35 pm - Posted by Gregg

No matter what the scale reflected (number-wise) this morning or how tight your clothes might feel today, you are kicking butt when it comes to reaching your goals. No need to beat yourself up if you recently experienced a slip, eating-wise. Or if you didn’t make it to the gym as often as you intended to last week. Today is a new day. And a new chance to reignite your momentum toward your goals.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, what hasn’t worked or why you feel “less than,” turn your thoughts to reasons you want to feel better, look better and be better. Imagine putting on a pair of jeans without worrying you’re going to cut off your circulation when you fasten them. Imagine enjoying a reasonable amount of food at a party without obsessing about eating before, during or after the occasion. Imagine walking past a mirror and not listing “10 things I hate about you.” Or imagine your doctor giving you news that your health is improving.

The more positive your mindset, the more reachable your goals become. Who cares if you’re on a bit of a slow boat? You’re on the boat. That’s what matters. Life is about the journey (as opposed to the destination) after all. So why not live life on the happy side today — reminding yourself that you’re well on your way to improving what’s already fantastic even in this moment: Amazing, beautiful, incredible YOU!

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January 27, 2016

What drives you?

1:25 pm - Posted by Gregg

Here we are… Almost a month into the new year, which begs the question: Where are you in regard to your current fitness goals?

The good news is that wherever you happen to be, today is a new day and the only question you have to ask yourself is, “Where do you want to go from here?” Even if you haven’t accomplished everything you set out to do this month, beating yourself up, mentally, probably won’t help move you any closer to where you want to be. Instead, give yourself a mental hug and remind yourself why you want to achieve the goals that you want to achieve.

Too often we focus on what we’re giving up rather than what we’re gaining (pun intended). Living life on the “healthy side” offers so much more joy, so much more happiness and so much more choice. Don’t rob yourself of everything you have ahead of you. And if that means dragging your butt to the gym or turning down a second helping of pasta, do it. Because it’s worth it. Put those “horse blinders” on and stay focused on the reasons you want to lose weight and/or get healthier.

The stronger your positive mindset, the stronger your chances of actually reaching your goals. And those of you who are familiar with my story know that I know what I’m talking about. I once weighed in excess of 450 pounds. I would become out of breath just from talking on the phone. One day I decided “Enough was enough.” And that was after a million different attempts at getting on the healthy bandwagon. So no matter how many times you’ve tried before, no matter what’s transpired this month — today is a new day. And you, my friend, can accomplish anything you set out to accomplish.

Ready? Set? Go!

Photo Source: Pinterest

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10:38 am - Posted by Gregg

I am completely enamored with singer and writer JJ Heller’s beautiful song, “This Year (Happy New Year)” and plan to make the song part of my daily ritual of reminding myself what’s important in life (and what’s not). Her lyrics are so simple, so pure and so freeing. I encourage everyone reading this to check out the song (below) and to really listen to the lyrics. It’s all about forgiving one’s self for whatever’s come before and embracing this moment for all that its worth. If that’s not a recipe for success, I don’t know what is!

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December 31, 2015

New year, new you

1:31 pm - Posted by Gregg

Here we are again… At the beginning of a brand new year. The dawn of the many promises we make to ourselves — the same promises we sometimes end up breaking.

If you’re like me, breaking promises you’ve made to yourself is a typical scenario for the month of January (not to mention sometimes for the first Monday of every week as well). After a number of years of making — and breaking – promises to myself (like the promise that I was finallygoing to lose my excess weight), I found that not only was I tipping the scales at more than 450 pounds, but I had also developed a very unhealthy self-loathing. This is when I realized that perhaps the fewer promises (or resolutions) I made for the new year, the better.

Back in the day, when I was wearing (out) a 60-inch belt, I would spend most of December telling everyone (even strangers) what I planned to accomplish in the new year. Not only was I going to achieve world peace, I was also going to get skinny, be a better person, stop slouching, always pause to pet small animals and help every old lady I encountered cross the street (whether she wanted to cross the street or not).

But come New Year’s Day (often as early as 12:01 a.m.), when I realized that all of these giant goals I set for myself weren’t instantly attainable, I would start to work against them with reckless abandon — carton of fried orange chicken in one hand, bowl of ice cream in the other (and a silly straw leading from my lips to a can of diet soda for added emphasis). I felt like everyone was watching and judging me — especially since I had just spent so much time trumpeting the positive changes I was going to instantly make. So I would subconsciously do everything I could to overtly break said promises (aka goals or resolutions) in order to give people something to judge (true story!).

Then, one year, I approached the concept of goal setting and making resolutions a little differently. Sure, some of my goals were still lofty, but others were smaller and more easily attainable. Instead of giving up ice cream for the rest of my life, I decided to give it up after just one single meal (and see how that felt). Instead of committing to never eating junk food again, I opted to have more salads to balance the junk food out. And when it came to transforming myself into a supermodel, I decided that could happen instantly.Poof! I was a supermodel. Granted, I was a plus-sized one, but still…

To my surprise, this smaller, quieter way of goal setting actually began to work — mainly because I’d broken the cycle of guilt that I’d always set into play by telling anyone who’d listen all the goals I was going to accomplish at the beginning of each year. By keeping quiet, I didn’t feel compelled to check in with people (or worse, explain to them why a goal hadn’t yet been met). Without this cycle of shame, I found my goals actually had a chance to gain more traction.

And no, accomplishing these latest sets of goals wasn’t instant. Nor did changes take place overnight. In fact, one year I set out to lose all of my excess weight and began the month of January with fierce determination. Turns out, that month wasn’t going to be the kick start that I’d hoped it would be. But because I hadn’t shouted this goal from the highest mountain top, I didn’t carry around as much shame when not attaining the goal right away. This goal was between me and my psyche. And, to my surprise, this goal did start to gain momentum in March of that same year. By the following March (a year later), I had dropped more than 250 pounds of excess weight (in a sane and healthy fashion). And this healthier weight was attained through smaller, quieter goals — all approached one step (not to mention one breath) at a time.

So as you design your vision of what 2016 will hold for you, your life and your health, remember to take it slow, keep it simple and (perhaps) keep it quiet (between you and the universe). Much like that carton of fried orange chicken and the bowl of ice cream I mentioned earlier, sometimes less really is more.

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