Halloween Survival Guide

With Halloween here, a lot of people are going to be torn between the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.  It doesn’t have to be a struggle as long as you are prepared.

So here is some Halloween survival tips:

  • Don’t go into the actual night hungry.  Fill up on veggies and protein so you don’t let your hunger get the best of you.
  • WORK OUT-  workout hard on Halloween!
  • Buy candy to hand out that you DON’T like.  Don’t buy your favorite candy, that is just a recipe for disaster.
  • If you are handing out candy make a bowl of popcorn to munch on so that candy doesn’t call your name as loud.
  • Chew gum while trick or treating or handing out candy that way the mindless eating can not occur.
  • THINK before you eat.  It happens all to many times, you eat one piece and without thinking and before you know it there is a mound of candy wrappers in front of you and you have no idea how they got there.
  • After Halloween, put the candy out of sight.  Don’t put it in the very front of the pantry or on the kitchen counter and for gods sake don’t feel guilty about throwing it away.

Here are some “better” choice candy.  Using the word “better” when referring to candy is kind of an oxymoron because candy is full of sugar and not good for you .  PERIOD!

  • Eat the dark chocolate (72% or more Cocoa) – the only candy I truly advocate.
  • Mini candy bars – less is more when it comes to candy
  • York Peppermint Paddies – 3 minis have 150 cal and 3 grams of fat
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Peanut M&M’s (snack size bag) – at least it has protein and more likely to fill you up

NOW keep in mind besides the dark chocolate, I don’t believe any of these are good for you or should be consumed in large quantities.  I however am realistic in thinking that the majority of people will eat candy this Halloween no matter what I say or believe.   Keep in mind that sugar is highly addictive and makes you more hungry.  Once you eat candy, your body craves more.

While I give you the better alternatives to binging  out on candy, here are the effects that sugar has on ones body:

  • Can decrease growth hormone (the key to staying youthful and lean)
  • Feeds cancer
  • Increases cholesterol
  • Can weaken eyesight
  • Can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children
  • Can interfere with the absorption of protein
  • Causes food allergies
  • Contributes to diabetes
  • Can contribute to eczema in children
  • Can cause cardiovascular disease
  • Can impair the structure of DNA
  • Can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children
  • Contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases)
  • Greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)
  • Contributes to osteoporosis

What are you going to have to do to work off that candy? Great question. Here are some quick stats from qcheakthnews.com:

  • 5 miniature Milky Way chocolate bars, 190 calories | 28 minutes of a zumba class
  • 4 miniature Snickers chocolate bars, 170 calories | A brisk walk with the dog for 50 minutes
  • 7 miniature Three Musketeers chocolate bars, 170 calories | Swim for 22 minutes
  • 3 miniature Twix chocolate bars, 150 calories  | Run at a moderate to strong pace for 10 minutes, or jog for 20 minutes
  • 20 pieces of candy corn, 150 calories | Hit the stair climber  for 25 minutes
  • 1 piece of licorice, 70 calories | 25 minutes of yoga
  • 1 Fun Size M&M packet – Plain or Peanut90 calories | 10 minutes of bike riding
  • 1 piece pumpkin pie (1/8 of 9-in pie), 180 calories | 1.8 mile walk or 3600 step

Leg Exercises You Can Do At Home

Legs have always been a challenge for me because I have knee problems.  It’s pretty known in the fitness world that it’s pretty close to impossible to do a good leg workout without doing squats or lunges.  Building your quadriceps will most definitely  help and take the weight and some pressure off your knees.  Once you build your quads it will be easier on your knees when you do things like squats or lunges.  I still struggle with lunges and are selective about what kind and how much I do them.   I have always had very big thighs and calf’s so these are the muscles that build the fastest and biggest on me.  Everyone is different but if you do these exercises, they will strengthen, tighten, and give you nice legs.  The awesome thing about these are you don’t even need to go to the gym to do them!

SO here are some exercises you can do in your living room or even while you watch tv to help build strong sexy muscular legs.

Lunge: Start without weights and progress to holding weights

Wall Squats:  You can do with or without the ball.  For more of a challenge add hand weights.  If you have bad knees just sit in the hold and do not go up and down.  Hold for 40 seconds and stand.  Repeat.

If you have a resistance band (which I  HIGHLY recommend everyone has):

Kick backs

Plie squats (love them):  spread legs apart in a plie stance and raise up onto tip toes and repeat.
A normal squat:  You can add dumbbells or even barbell if you have them.  Do not let your knee extend over your toes.  Sit into the squat don’t lean.
Bulgarian split squat:  A more advanced move and one I have a love hate relationship with.  You WILL feel the affects the day after 🙂  Start slow and do it without weights first.

Perseverance and Dedication

Where does perseverance,  dedication, and the will to keep fighting come from?  Sometimes it takes more effort than other times.  Sometimes we just need to dig deep!  But no matter what kind of shape you are in, no matter what stage of your journey you are in, you still have bad days and good days.  Don’t let those bad days take over. Don’t let them ruin everything you have done and everything your are going to do.  OK, so you ate the cupcake.  It’s one cupcake. Don’t then think “OH well I ate that cupcake, the rest of my day is screwed the rest of the day doesn’t matter”.  IT DOES MATTER!

You need to find what brings out that “fight” in you.  What motivated you.  What brings you up from the ashes and you need to do it and don’t loose that perspective!

My husband made me watch this the other day, and no matter what your thoughts are on Arnold Schwarzenegger, he has overcome and persevered. He got to where he was today by digging deep.  Please take a few minutes to watch this video now. It is a little long at 12 minutes, but it is 12 minutes of your life well spent.

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Shorts – Arnold’s Blueprint

Are you Logging?

If you have been reading my blog you know I am a HUGE logging your food and workouts advocate!  I feel it’s important for newbies just starting out on their journey and for veterans.   I believe your journey starts first and foremost with how you eat, how much you eat, when you eat and what you eat.

It’s funny, well not really “funny” in a ha ha ha way, but funny in an ironic way.  People say they are doing “everything” they can to loose weight and they have hit a “plateau” or “don’t know why the weight isn’t coming off.”  In reality they are NOT doing everything it takes.

It takes:

  • eating right
  • exercising
  • logging
  • measuring your food

If you are going to take the time to exercise and  eat “right” (which are the harder steps) then why not take that extra little step and measure and log your food and exercise?!?!?!?!?  TOTALLY don’t get it.

Why I feel it’s so for those just starting out:

ALL the time I hear  “I don’t really eat that much” or “I watch what I eat”   If that’s the case why are you overweight?  Why are you struggling?  The point of logging is to make you aware and accountable.  If you log everything and eat within the calories/calorie deficit then there are no questions and no excuses why you shouldn’t be loosing the weight.

Why it’s important that veterans log:

We get complacent.  Period.  We think we are eating the serving size but over time it becomes more and more.  I still log to get me back on track.  We condition our bodies.  We gradually start eating more and our bodies gradually start needing more.

People are “food spoiled” and have the mentality of “I don’t wanna”.  It’s really not that hard to log.  If being healthy and loosing weight is important then take the time to do it!

There are tons of free food logging phone apps and websites few of my favorites are:

Daily Burn is one of my favorites because not only can you log online they also have a smart phone  app and a smart phone bar code scanner app so you don’t even need to type in the words.  They have an EXTENSIVE food and workout data base!  It syncs with the web site so if you log on your phone it updates on the computer.

A new one I just discovered and am loving is freeworkoutlog.com

myfitnesspal

Calorie Counter

There is NO excuses.  It couldn’t be easier to log what you eat. If you are really doing everything you possibly can to be healthy, loose weight, get back on track… whatever it is… you should be logging and be honest!

I CHALLENGE all of you to start logging your food daily!

Why Do You Do What You Do?

It’s all to familiar scenario. WHY?  Why do you do the things you do? Because it’s cool?  Because your husband or wife thinks you should?  Because that’s what your friend is doing? Because that girl on the treadmill is going faster?

OMG those jeans are so cute so I have to have them too!  OMG she got new cell phone I need one too.  He said I need to loose weight so I am going to.  She’s going fast on the treadmill at a 12 thousand % incline so I need to go that fast.  She is a smaller size so I need to loose weight….Who are you living for?  Him? Your friend?  Your neighbor who always has the newest cars?   That neighbor is probably in debt up to their eyeballs.  Your friend has a different body than you and most likely is not eating right or living healthy.  The grass is always greener.   The person you are wanting to emulate ISN’T YOU! Be you, be yourself, be an individual.  How can you stand out if you’re like everyone else?

If you live your life wanting what everyone else, has your going to spend your life never being enough.  Never having enough.  Never being good enough.  Never being satisfied in the morning when you wake up and look at … WHO?  THEM?  NO YOU!

You need to be you.  You need to loose weight for yourself, you need to workout for yourself,  you need to buy clothes for yourself, you need to live your life for yourself.  Stop caring or trying to impress everyone else. Stop wanting and getting things because someone else has it. True happiness and peace are found within. Searching for these things on the outside is a never ending journey, that is destined to fail.

If we go about life caring so much about what other people think, then who really matters (me myself and I) you get lost and caught up in doing things for others….. see where I am going with this?  DING DING DING for those of you who guessed, YES it’s a vicious cycle.

I know it’s a challenge to get into that mind set.  But as with anything in life, working out, relationships, eating right, it’s work, but it makes you a better you!

I am going to say it again because I feel it is important!  Be you, be yourself, be an individual.  How can you stand out if your like everyone else?  AND for gods sake, stop caring what everyone else thinks about you.

 

Fitness Gimmicks

Fitness gimmicks seem to be everywhere. Everyone wants a quick fix, and an easy way out.

Ironicly, the other day I was working out and happened to be doing abs when this commercial comes on-  Tummy Tuck Belt.   You just put on this cream, wear the belt for like 10 minutes and while you read or relax, and your belly is  slimming down?!?!?! WTF.  I am amazed! This is what their web site says:

  • No added exercise or diet needed
  • Simply follow the 10 Minute Tummy Tuck Method
  • Gradually melts away belly fat, even without significant weight loss

OMG and who is buying this crap?  REALLY?

This isn’t the only B.S weight loss / workout crap I have seen.  I cannot believe how much there is, and people are actually buying it!

Let me break this to you:  There is no such thing as easy weight loss.  IF (and it’s a big “IF”) you do happen to loose weight by any of these rediculous methods, you WILL gain it back.

Part of the magic in loosing weight the hard way is your learned lessons, your earned your weight loss, you and you alone have made yourself and your body better!

        

You can not live off a liquid diet, or eat cabbage forever, or go carb-less for the rest of your life.  There is no such thing as wearing a belt and cream and getting a six pack, or holding a little bar in your hand and getting awesome arms.   And while I am not here to judge those who have had gastric bypasses or lap-bands, even them, unless learning how and why they got to where they got will gain the weight back.  If it were easy, there would be no obese or overweight people.  Nothing in life worth having is ever achieved without effort.  Is marriage easy?  Is raising kids easy?  Is work easy?  I can go on but I think you get the point.  It’s not easy but it is worth it!

Diet vs Life Change

Indeed there is a difference between eating healthy and a diet.  Diet is a dirty word.   A diet is a “fad”.  It is something that is not sustainable for the rest of your life, which wont be as long as it could be if you do a diet and not a life change.  Diet is temporary, as opposed to a state of mind. Change your life, not your “diet of the week”.

 

When you diet, you’re more likely to put the weight back on.  Yo-yo dieting is almost as bad for you as being overweight.  That’s why “fad” diets are so terrible for you.  You can not go without carbs your whole life, or get meals in the mail forever, or eat cabbage for a certain amount of time and not expect to gain the weight back. You need to reach deep down inside and figure out why you have gained the weight, and not only get your butt in gear, but also get your eating straight and your mind together.  They ALL work together. They are all important keys to success.

Before you change your eating you need to change your way of thinking.  Stop having that “spoiled” food mentality of “I don’t wanna”.   I don’t want to measure my food.   I don’t want to get the lower calorie dinner at the restaurant.  I don’t want to have fruit instead of a candy bar.  Instead of thinking of it as a punishment think of it as a reward for your body.  A reward for a healthier, stronger you!

 

As my reader/follower I would like you to do one thing for me.  Eliminate the word “diet” from your vocabulary.  In fact it’s not about words at al,l it’s about actions and living.

 

 

How Do I Get Started?

Easy, well kinda.  Easy if you are mentally ready.  Getting mentally ready can be the hard part.   “I’ll start Monday” and while mentally preparing for “Monday” you go on a binge eating spree.  Why must it be Monday?  Start today, even if it is a Friday or Wednesday!   OMG yes I said it.  It’s OK to start on a day in the middle of the week.   I know your thinking, “she has lost her mind”, but it can happen and it should happen.

Once you have gotten it out of your head that you have to “prepare” for a winter hibernation and pack on 5 pounds while waiting for “Monday” to start, start slow.  Start with eating healthy and a get up and moving workout.

You must start with what you are eating.  Loosing weight and getting healthy is 80% diet and 20% exercise.  You must change your eating habits.   Lets face it, those extra pounds did not appear magically and will not magically disappear, this is not a “will it to happen” kinda thing.    What you put in your mouth is a bigger factor than even exercising.

Then start  by just doing 20 min of cardio at the gym.   In fact… wait for it… you don’t even need the gym!  I know this post is just blowing everything out of the water, don’t forget to breath while reading this mind blowing information.

You can start off by doing a workout video.  7 years ago I started with Walk Away The Pounds.  A  few years ago I did  Jillian Michaels-30 day Shred, just to change up my routine a bit.

Fitness and healthy food is at your finger tips, and the lame excuses are just that, LAME and EXCUSES!  You don’t need to dedicate 2 or 3 hours to a workout.  20-40 min a day will help you live longer and live a healthier life!   There is a million workout videos that are great and effective.  Lets face it, reality is that most people don’t have 1,2,3 hours to spend working out a day.  30 minutes a day is better than nothing at all.   PLUS, once you get started, and see how great you feel, you will probably find the time to do a little more.

The most important thing is to just get started doing something… anything. Make a change today towards a better you.

 

Are You Being True To Yourself?

Not giving it your all during a workout, stopping at the fast food restaurant on the way home,  telling yourself your not eating that much, thinking that your jeans  won’t button because they shrunk in the dryer… who are you fooling?  Your friends?  Family?  Spouse?  Who cares?  Does that hamburger hurt your family?

 

When you do not give it your ALL at the gym, the only person your hurting is yourself!  When you eat that fast food, the only person you’re hurting is YOURSELF!  When you are lying about the tight jeans, the only person your hurting is?   You get the picture.  Look at yourself in the mirror, no REALLY look at yourself in the mirror,  and be honest with YOU!  At the end of the day, that’s all you have.

 

 

Accept everything about yourself–I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end–no apologies, no regrets.–Clark Moustakas

Work Out Your Workouts

I am always setting new goals and challenges for myself, so that I always have something to work for (added incentive if you will).  I am always tweaking and mixing up my workouts.

So,  for the past few weeks I have been doing a totally different workout regime that I have never done before.  I have ALWAYS done cardio!  Lately my body hasnt really been changing.  I decided I wanted to do even more weight lifting.  So I figured when in Rome, right? A lot of weight lifters/body builders do not do cardio the same day they lift because it has been said they “counteract” each other.  It’s something I have never tried,  so after getting out of my own head and convincing myself it’s ok to not do cardio every day, I jumped in head first and gave it a try.  I was planning on trying it for at least a month and see what would happen.  I most definitely notice a change in my muscles after a couple weeks which is what I wanted.

HOWEVER, and this is a bigggggg however, I also noticed a change in my energy level, I felt bloated all the time, my knees hurt like crazy, and I just felt like crap! It’s been a long time since I haven’t done cardio everyday, and the effects of not doing it for a couple weeks is crazy and mind blowing!  So, once again I am changing my workout.

So here’s my point, we read articles, hear from professionals, and know “the rules” to obtain certain goals, but in the end you have to listen to your body.  Experimenting with your workouts, eating, and even suppliments in the end make you and your workouts more productive!  While we should “follow” the rules, your workouts need to be fine tuned to YOU!

Also, setting new goals for your body is always a great idea.  It keeps you on track and focused on a goal.

In the mean time, while trying this new weightlifting routine, I got contacted my MuscleAndFitness.com  to be part of a supplement testing program.  I figured why not.  I love love love Muscle and Fitness magazine and their web site.

I got my first package and in the little brown box was and amazing pre-workout supplement called X Fit Trainer  pre workout formula.   It was awesome, and gave me that extra energy (that I wasn’t  getting from not doing cardio) to make it through a long weight lifting session.  If you are looking for a pre- workout supplement, I highly recommend this one!

Here’s a challenge to all my readers:

Set a fitness goal for yourself.  Email me your  goal and then email me when you reach that goal.  When I have heard from several people I will make a post featuring all of you who have met your goals.  Who’s down?

 

To be a part of Muscle and Fitness supplement testing program check it out here: Muscle and Fitness Sampling Program.