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Life & Boxing Analogy

The 2 worst things you can do in a boxing match are: 

1.  Get mad. 

If you get mad in a boxing match and start trying to "beat up" your opponent you will start taking risks and making bad decisions: 

  • Throwing wild punches with no defensive move after the punch. 
  • Going to hard and running out of stamina, thus opening you up for your opponents offense.

 2.  Lose focus

If you lose focus in a boxing ring you will do one or more of the following: 

  • Not hold your hands up. Read: no defense. 
  • Move in the wrong direction Read: into instead of away from your opponents punches.
  • Not moving after scoring a blow. Do this and you will not only lose buy you may lose by knockout.

These same two principles apply to life.  The 2 worst things you can do in life are: 

1.  Get mad
When we start thinking things like: 
FML, Why me?, I'm terrible at X,Y, Z etc... This opens us up to more negative thoughts (blows from life) and soon we find ourselves down and out. In addition, we might start throwing wild punches with no defensive move after the punch (Example: quit your job, without a new job)

Don't get mad. Keep your defense up and counter punch with positive thoughts and actions:):):)  Examples: 

Negative blow from life: "You didn't workout today." 
Defense and counter: "True but my next meal is going to be super clean." 

Negative blow from life: "I hate my job"
Defense and counter: "Yes. So I will use my free time to find a new job, it's much easier to find a job when you have a job." 

Negative blow from life: "My workout sucked" 
Defense and counter: "No. The only workout that sucks is a missed workout, today is better than I used to be." 

2.  Lose focus
When we lose focus in life we do the same things as a fighter who loses focus in the ring. 
We don't hold our defensive (positive thoughts) up, we start moving in the wrong direction and maybe most important - we don't keep moving after a success. 

In boxing, no matter how hard you hit your opponent, you have to move afterwards. You can't just stand there. If you do, chances are you are going to hit back. In life we score our blows (get things done) but when we do, we just can't stand there.

We have to stay focused and KEEP MOVING, keep scoring (getting more things done) keep blocking negative with positive and counter punching life with positive thoughts and actions:):)

 

LIFE IS SPORT. WE ARE ATHLETES.

UUUURAH!!!:):):)

 

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Incremental Fitness for New Moms

It can be hard to find a lot of time as a new mom.  Exercise doesn't have to happen in a gym or for a dedicated hour. It can happen throughout the day.  

Here are some ideas: 

**ALWAYS obtain medical clearance before attempting ANY exercise program.***

  • Got 10 min? Take a fast walk around the block.
  • Put the groceries on one end of the kitchen/apt/house etc and then put them away...one item at a time.
  • Lose your remote control...ON PURPOSE:):):)
  • Stand up and walk to change the channel.
  • Walk with your baby in the stroller and make sure there is a hill on your route. Walk at a challenging pace.
  • Play "Mommy the Mountain Climber" with your baby. Use your baby harness to secure your child to you. Walk up and down the stairs in your home. Try for 10x
  • Use a resistance band. Attach it around the banister (if available) at the bottom of the stairs. Do standing rows to work your upper back/posture muscles.

Standing Rows: After securing the resistance band. Hold both handles. One in each hand. Back away from the anchor point (where the band is secured) until you have the appropriate amount of tension for you.

Start by standing tall. Chest out. Shoulders down and back. Feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.  Both arms are extended in front of you holding the handles of the resistance band. Keep your core tight throughout the movement.

Now pull the handles ("row") back toward your ribs. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement (when you can't pull the band any further).

Extend arms forward to the starting position to complete the rep. Try for 25 reps.

You can do this:):):)

Think about it. You had a BABY!

Working out can literally be child's play:):)

**Always get medical clearance from your doctor before attempting ANY exercise program.

***Listen to your body. Stop immediately if anything hurts or doesn't feel right. Once again. Only exercise after you have been medically cleared by your physician, and then exercise at your own pace.

 

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We Can't Be Perfect

We all love indulgent foods.

My favorites include chocolate cake and pizza:):):)

Let's call these indulgent foods "Special Occasion" foods.

There are 365 days in the year.

Even if we have the most active social life ever - most of us have less than 65 special occasions a year. And I'm counting watching sporting events, birthdays, anniversary, holidays, old friends in town, etc.

That is 300 or more days of eating clean:):):)

I LOVE that ratio!!:):))

The great Vince Lombardi once said:

"We can't be perfect. But if we chase perfection we will catch EXCELLENCE."

That's EMPT Eating Clean in a nutshell.

We can't be perfect. I'm not going to stop eating chocolate cake:):):)

But I only eat it on special occasions.

The weekend IS NOT a special occasion.

Let's stay in the game this weekend and keep improving on all the gains we made during the week:):)

I'm in this with you. The struggle is REAL.

LETS GET AFTER IT!!!:):):)

UUUUURAH!!!:):):)

#TeamEMPT

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Find your path

You don't have to change everything overnight. You don't need to be vegan, paleo, mediterranean or vegetarian. The goal is the find the (insert your name here) diet. Find the foods that work for you and eat those foods. We all have our own unique metabolisms and challenges. For example, I am not against eating meat at all - but I don't because I have high cholesterol. 

The Golden Rule of finding foods that work for you is this: Eating should not make you tired.

If it does you either ate something your system doesn't agree with or... and much more likely, your portion size was too big. Our metabolism for food works the same as our metabolism for alcohol. 


It's an accepted fact that everyone has a different tolerance for drinking. I want you to understand we also have a different tolerance for calories in general but starchy carbs and sugar specifically. Focus on you. Find your path. Use exercise to turbo charge the weight loss benefits of a healthy diet:):):) You can do this!

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the YOU diet

Your diet should not be named after someone else (i.e. "Paleo, Atkins etc.). Our metabolisms, especially for processed carbs and sugars are unique. We must find our what works for us.  

Here's how to find YOUR DIET guidelines: 

  1. Eating should not make you tired.

  2. Hunger is felt in the belly. Cravings are in your head. Remember that.

  3. Create a food journal and write down everything you eat. Make a note about how you feel after eating. If you feel tired, eat less of that item or scrap it completely. If it's a starchy carb (bread, pasta, rice, etc) - try lowering the portion and pair it with a protein.  

  4. Drink water all the time. And then some….

  5. There is really no such thing as too many green veggies in a day. 

  6. Fruit is a good thing.

  7. Fish is good thing

  8. Red meat and poultry are ok (in moderation) if you like it and ok if you don't.

  9. Dairy is ok 

***For #8 and #9: See your doctor and get your blood work. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, High or low blood sugar will largely effect what foods are good for YOUR DIET.

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"Change what you do to change who you are."

"Change what you do to change who you are."

That was my Facebook post this morning and I want to expand and explain it a bit here. We are not who we say we are - we are what we do. Actions speak louder than words. If there is something in your life you want to change you must change your actions pertaining to it. Want to lose weight? You have to eat less and eat better and you have to workout. These are placed in order of importance. Jack Lalanne himself couldn't draw up a workout plan that would outwork a bad diet. If you're eating too much or eating all the wrong things (processed foods and starchy carbs) exercise will not help you lose weight. At the very best, it will keep you for gaining more.You want a better relationship? Don't pester the other person to change. You change. What I mean by change is: "LOVE HARDER."

Just like anything that requires effort can receive more effort. So can a relationship. You can love harder. You can do more little things the other person likes. You can listen more. You can talk less. You can say "thank you" more. You can give more compliments. You can make up your mind to be a better partner. And if you're with a person worth being with, your actions will be noticed and you will notice change in your partner. The relationship will get better.

Change what you do to change who you are.  

Love harder.You want a better relationship with your colleagues at work? A better work environment? Change what you do. Be better. Make the extra effort. Bitterness loves more bitterness. It gives the negative person justification for being negative. Fire plus fire (angry passive aggressive actions and words) makes more fire. Fire plus wind (gossip) makes BIGGER fire. But fire plus refreshing water (being nice, going the extra mile, giving the benefit of the doubt) equals no fire. Just like in a personal relationship, if you're dealing with people worth dealing with they will notice your efforts and their energy towards you change. Warning: Some people are beyond repair on a professional level. These people have deep challenges on a personal level you may never know about. In short they are miserable in ways you can't imagine. It's ok. Work around them.

We are what we do.

We're a product of our actions.

Change what you do to change who you are.

UUUUURAH!!!!:):):)

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Don't Waste Time

Many times we say to ourselves or we hear someone say, "I just don't have enough time" or "There are not enough hours in the day." We are a busy population, but are we really as busy as we lead ourselves to belief? I say: "Not really." 

We are in charge of how we spend every minute of every day. If you think about the time you spend that is dedicated to someone's else's wishes and subtract it out, I think you might be surprised at how much time you have to do whatever you want.

If you're reading this I assume you want to change your life. You want to be more fit, more happy, more balanced. That's who I am writing to. I am writing to the busy people who could be more effective. And I am writing to myself as much as I am writing to you. In order to reach our goals in life we must constantly be working towards them. Every little bit of time put towards our goals matter. And this statement counts for all goals: fitness, personal, and career. As I always say: "We gotta get it in." 

Getting it in can be a quick blog post at 6am that will one day be part of a book (career).

It can be a quick walk around the block to take a break from the computer and burn some extra calories (fitness).

A quick trip to take out the trash and do the dishes so your spouse will walk into a clean kitchen (personal).

It all matters and it all adds up. Any little thing you can do for yourself or someone else matters.

You might be wondering how cleaning the kitchen and taking out the trash equals "me time." 

I say to you this: Doing nice things for your partner is working ON YOU. The better your relationship, the better you feel. But just like everything good in life, you gotta work at it. And it's not all roses (as in buying them). It's "roll up your sleeves" up and get after it in the kitchen, in the yard, etc. Whatever it is you know the other person would like to see you do without them asking... Do that. It will help you. 

I know I want to publish a book someday, and in a perfect world I would take 6 weeks off. Go to the mountains, set up shop in my father in law's cabin and write. But…that's not reality. That will never happen. I have too many things to do. And even if I did do that, I would probably procrastinate  and not get anything done. So what I am going to do? Give up? NO WAY. I gotta get it in! I gotta write whenever the spirit hits me. I gotta get the good stuff in my head down on paper. And you know what - It will all be a book someday:):):) It will all add up. So I challenge you.

What is your goal? What is it you want to do, and why aren't you working on it right now:):):) 

UUUUURAH!!!:):):):) 

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Eat Clean Grocery List

Eating clean is eating real food from nature. Avoiding processed food. What is real food? Food that spoils. The old adage says: "If it doesn't spoil, you shouldn't eat it." There are more clean eating food choices than the list below but the list below is a good start. 

You can say with some certainty that if the food you want to eat grew on a plant, tree or in the soil and it looks the way it did when it was harvested, it's clean eating. 

With respect to eating animals: We've always heard that "We are what we eat." This is true. The fact that many overlook is that rule applies to animals too. Many times the animals we eat (fish, cows, pigs and chickens) are fed a diet that doesn't consist of their natural food choices and a diet that is filled with injected hormones and drugs to make the animal grow bigger. Keep that in mind when shopping. The best choices are always the ones that have been tampered with as little as possible from the farm to the table. 

  1. water (tap is fine in most places)
  2. blueberries
  3. watermelon
  4. broccoli
  5. spinach
  6. asparagus
  7. salmon
  8. tuna
  9. apples
  10. extra virgin olive oil
  11. greek yogurt
  12. cherry tomatoes
  13. walnuts
  14. grapefruit
  15. almonds
  16. eggs
  17. cottage cheese
  18. tilapia
  19. red peppers
  20. quinoa
  21. kidney beans
  22. avocado
  23. cranberries
  24. blackberries
  25. cantaloupe
  26. grass fed beef
  27. kale
  28. beets & beet greens
  29. arugula
  30. oatmeal

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Knowledge is POWER

There is no greater knowledge than the knowledge of knowing our bodies. In previous post, I have talked about the importance of tracking calories - especially at the beginning of weight loss effort. But let's play it forward. Let's start from the finish. Let's say you have achieved your ideal weight or a weight that your comfortable with. How do you avoid your weight creeping back up again? 

Establish a Red Flag Weight.  This is the weight that you absolutely refuse to go above. I believe in weighing myself everyday. It's the first thing I do every morning after going to the restroom. The number on the scale is a great motivator on how my day will go. If I am at my Red Flag weight or within 2 pounds of it. I am 100% going to the gym, going for a run or jumping rope. Also, a high number makes me think back on what I ate the day before. Not only "what" but "when?" Thinking about how food choices and meal times affect our individual metabolisms is one of the smartest things we can do. Not all calories effect all people the same way

Weighing yourself everyday and analyzing how different foods effect your weight, mood and sleep patterns is key in keeping the weight off. 

When I first started tracking calories, I weighed 217 pounds. My goal was to get to 180 pounds. I discovered that once I got in the 180's, I liked the way I looked and I could maintain that weight without killing myself. My red flag weight became 190. Recently, I have decided to take it up a notch and my new red flag weight is 183. This morning I weighed 181:):):)

I realize for many people the idea of weighing themselves daily does not sound like a good idea. However not weighing yourself daily when you're not working out everyday is like not opening your mail. The bills are still there. They are not going to pay themselves. Establish your Red Flag weight. Weigh yourself every morning after going to restroom and before drinking water (hydrate before you caffeinate). If you're below your number maybe you don't have to workout that day. If you're above your number - you gotta pay the bills:) 

One note for women: Your weight will fluctuate pretty drastically with your monthly cycle. Know this and don't stress over a few days of high numbers dispute exercise and clean eating. It's a sure indicator that "Girl Time" is on the way. 

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Incremental Fitness

One question I get often is: "So when do you workout Errick?" 

Obviously, I workout but not as often as you would think - if you're counting a "workout" as a dedicated half hour to an hour by myself. That rarely happens. I workout with my athletes. I do what I've come to call Incremental Fitness. Getting results from working out and eating clean  can be very similar to saving pocket change in a jar. Have you ever done that? Have you ever thrown your pocket change in a big glass jar everyday till it filled up and then were totally surprised at the amount of money in the jar when you took it to the bank? 

Burning calories works the same. You don't need a dedicated hour to workout and see results. But you do need a hour of exercise 5-6 times a week and a 80% or better clean diet to see results. Incremental fitness is dividing that hour of exercise into short burst of activity throughout your day. Just like you don't need to deposit large sums into your saving account to see results. We don't have to despot large sums of calories to see results.

But just like with saving money, you have to deposit consistently.  

I am a huge believer in calorie tracking. You must keep track of what you eat and the calories you burn via exercise - at least in the beginning. You to really learn what your body needs from you to lose the extra weight, give you energy and make you happy.

Using a calorie tracker is an excellent way to motivate yourself to exercise often. Knowing what you need to accomplish at the bringing of the day and having a plan to do to so can be a powerful motivator.  

At the beginning of your day choose an activity that you can do in 5 min increments throughout the day at your job. You're increments can be longer or shorter as time allows. Let say you choose walking up and down stairs for five min. Enter it into your calories burned and see what you get. I call this: Prelogging.  My favorite calorie tacking website is Livestrong.com. Using the MyPlate calorie tracker on the site I see that I will burn 56 calories if I walk up and down stairs for 5 min. WOW! Just knowing that is motivation to break away from your office for a "quickie" 5 min walk up and down the stairs. You won't work up enough sweat to need a shower and you got it in! Set your goal to do that 5 times throughout the day and you have just burned 280 calories! This is just one example of how incremental fitness works:):):)

 Thank you so much for reading as always: Eat clean. Drink water. Workout and attack your day!

UUURAH!!!:):):) 

 

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Tracking & Logging Calories

If I were a financial advisor I would tell you to write down all your expenditures and I would then advise you where our challenges are. I am not a financial advisor. I am a personal trainer and I will tell you - if you want to be serious about losing weight we need to be serious about tracking our calories - at least in the short term.

Think about it. We know that weight loss occurs when we use more calories than we take in. If we don't know how many calories we're burning during our workouts (approximately), and we don't know how many calories we're taking in, and we don't know the amount of calories we need to net each day to reach our desired weight…we're just doing guess work.

 There are a million calorie tracking apps and sites out there. My favorites are: MyPlate (www.livestrong.com), Lose It, and My Fitness Pal. These are free apps that will change your life. The reason I say this is because "knowledge is power." the more information you have about what you're doing both in the gym and at the meal table the more likely you are to succeed.

When tracking calories always err toward the conservative. If the exact item you've eaten isn't in the database, choose the item most similar.

For example: You ate a hamburger at your buddy's BBQ. A hamburger from your buddy's BBQ isn't going to be in the database. Type in "hamburger" and a zillion options come up! Don't worry. Look for a plain hamburger from any fast food restaurant. And I mean a basic hamburger not one of the restaurants signature (SUPER HIGH CALORIE) burgers. A McDonalds "hamburger"not a McDonalds "Big Mac." Thats what you would log. Although you will be surprised. Many items you don't think would be in the database are. Plus, if you're tech savvy you can add items to the database (on MyPlate).  In addition, logging gets easier over time because most apps remember the foods and activites you've tracked previously so you don't have to look it up again. That's why we only have to track calories in the short term - the beginning of our fitness program. Remember: The idea is to track calories in the short term and me mindful of them forever. The ideal short term would be one month. The best way to do it is to log foods right after eating them or the completion of the meal. Only log calories for the day you're in. Do not backlog. It's frustrating and might demotivate you.

When you go to a restaurant, write down what you order on a piece of paper and log afterwards. When logging food from a restaurant, start with the name of the restaurant. Chances are it's in the database. If not, then look for the entree by name, then match what you ate to the correct portion size. 

One other thing I should mention. It's just as important to keep track of how you feel after you eat as it is to log what you ate.

There is a saying: "Eat less. Move more." That's catchy right? That pretty much breaks it down to it's simplest common denominator - what it takes to lose weight. But it's a little more complicated that that. All calories don't effect us the same way. We must learn to manage our hormones. Without going into it much detail in this blog I will sum it up by saying: "Eating should not make you tired." If you eat something and you feel less alert than before, either the portion size was too large or the food you ate doesn't work for your unique individual metabolism. Not all foods work for all people and our mission is to find the foods that work for us and eat those foods. 

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Monday is the best day of the week:)

Monday is the best day of the week! Everything starts over today! 

Reset! Our workouts. 

Reset! Our diet. 

Reset! Our personal lives and career. 

I send out this text message or some version of it every single Monday. The idea of the reset is an important one. When I was a kid, I loved video games but if I was losing I would always hit the reset button before the game was over and start again. This is a philosophy I have adapted to fitness and life. We can always hit the reset button. On our diet. On our gym habit. And maybe most importantly on our personal life and professional life. 

There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. As long as we're alive we can hit the reset button and start again. We never lose the game, if we never stop trying. Have a wonderful Labor Day holiday and, as always: 

Eat clean.  Drink water.  Workout and attack your day! UUUURAH!!! :):):)

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Total body workouts for total body improvement

Let me just start by saying if I could have all the money I've spent on supplements in my life back, I could probably buy a new car.  Here is my opinion: 

You don't need supplements to get the body you want. 

Going back to high school, I have taken pretty much every legal supplement sold in the major supplement stores. Like most men, I wanted to be big and ripped. And like most men, I read bodybuilding magazines. Since I got my workout ideas from those magazines, I worked out like a bodybuilder. I worked in "splits." A split in bodybuilding refers to your training schedule. Workouts are broken down into muscle groups. There is a "chest day," "leg day," "back day," etc. The idea is you train one or two muscle groups per workout but you work them to exhaustion, then let them recover while you train other muscle groups the rest of the week. 

This method of working out WORKS…if you're a bodybuilder. What I mean is: if you have the time to hit the gym 2 hours a day, 5 days a week and you want to get really big and strong -- train like this. But wait! There's more. In bodybuilding there are 2 phrases: 1) the growth phrase (getting big). 2) the cutting phrase (getting ripped). It's the second phase (getting ripped) that most men never get to. Anyone wants to go the gym, throw some heavy weights around and then eat tons of food and protein shakes, etc. all under the guise of "getting big."  

Getting ripped in the bodybuilding world requires hours and hours of mind-numbing cardio, usually walking uphill on a treadmill. Not fun. The idea is that if you run or do something more active you will lose your hard earned muscle (muscles are always "hard-earned" in the bodybuilding magazines). 

So what happens is people like myself keep repeating the same cycle. Getting motivated. Getting supplements. Getting to the gym and getting stronger but never really looking any better with our shirts off due to lack of diet and not enough caloric burn during the workout to accommodate all the extra calories we are taking in. 

In fact, what really happens is the "working out part" of your latest motivation dies off but the "eating big phase" is slower to leave. So in many cases people end up gaining weight (I did). It took me 34 years to discover for myself what I am about tell you. If you want the most amount of muscle tone with the least amount of body fat. If you want to look better naked and you have only an hour a day 3-5x a week to spend in the gym, using a bodybuilding style workout may not be the right choice for you. If you want a total body improvement it is key that you do total body workouts including cardio - for most of your workouts. No back day. No chest day. No leg day. Work all your major muscle groups - every workout and do cardio.  

UUUURAH!!!:):):)

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Food/Life Balance

We all understand how when it comes to alcohol, we can't drink the same.  It's common to hear people say things like: "I don't drink brown liquor" or "I don't drink 'FuFu' drinks - they have too much sugar."  In fact one of the first signs of aging is our diminishing ability to recover from alcohol.  People say it all the time-- "I just can't drink like I used to." 

Well, newsflash: You can't eat like you used to either. The hard truth is that as we age we have to adjust our diet. The old saying goes: "You can't outwork a bad diet." It's the truth because just like we don't recover from drinking the way we used to, we also don't recover from "cheat eating" the way we used to. 

It's interesting that we understand alcohol but we don't understand food. The same metabolism that processes alcohol process food. The same way we can't drink like all of our friends we can't eat like them either. I say this because it's rare to see two friends out drinking the same cocktail, everyone has their thing when it come to cocktails. They know what works from them - what gives them the feeling they want with as little after effect (hangover) as possible. We need to think the same about food - especially starchy carbohydrates and sugar. Foods like bread, pasta, tortillas are starchy carbs and when you eat them they turn to glucose (sugar) in your blood. Everyone has a different tolerance  for these foods just like alcohol. The test is: are you tired after eating it? If so eat less or experiment with other foods. There is no one diet for everyone -- we must learn our body and then master it. 

So what should we do? Throw our hands in the air and give up? Relegate ourselves to believing that because we are older or have gone through childbirth or both, we should just be soft and give up on having the bodies our youth? NO. FREAKING. WAY. 

But just as it took hard work to get you everything else worth having in life, fitness is no different. It's worth more than anything else you can work hard for in this life, except a good relationship (all we really need is love and fitness). Notice after "hard work" I left out the word "sacrifice." 

To quote from one of my favorite trainers, Kerena of Tone it Up: "Being healthy is all about balance, not sacrifice." 

Here's the thing: To lose weight, you have to give up giving in ALL THE TIME. But you can give in sometimes. And once you reach your goal weight, you can give in to your cravings on a pretty normal basis just not everyday. The first step is finding out how many calories you need each day to achieve to your goal weight. There are numerous calorie trackers on the internet. My favorite is MyPlate on the www.livestrong.com website.

Next you need to track your calories for 21 days minimum. It sounds like a lot - but we need to understand our bodies better to really reach our goals. Also keep track of how you feel after each meal. Eating is not supposed to make you hungry. If you feel sleepy after a meal it's because you ate too much or you ate the wrong thing. This comes back to what I was saying earlier about how we understand alcohol but we don' t understand food. 

We will talk about exercise next -because working out is a key component in achieving your goals, but we should all focus on starting with what calories we consume on a daily basis and use exercise to sharpen that focus and start to really make gains (or losses!)

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Nutritional Checkbook

My mother used to say:  “You can have anything you want but you can’t have everything you want.”  She was talking about material possessions but I have applied her philosophy to diet. You can have anything you want, but you most assuredly cannot have everything you want. Losing weight and keeping it off requires understanding your individual metabolism and learning how to operate within your unique boundaries.

My life is an example of this — I’m a personal trainer, but I am not perfect (but I work on it every single day). I love chocolate cake and pizza. Those are my two biggest diet challenges. However, because I make choices and constantly think about balancing my “nutritional checkbook,” I am able to enjoy these foods on occasion and keep my weight at a “shirts off” level.

If you were to see a Financial Advisor the first thing he or she would tell you is to record your expenses. That way you both can see where the money is going and how best to meet your goals. The first step in balancing your own nutritional checkbook is to do just that.  If you want to lose weight, keep it off and be happy doing it, you start by recording calories. I recommend online calorie tracking as opposed to writing it down (although you can do both).  My favorite calorie tracking website is www.livestrong.com. The free calorie tracker is called MyPlate and there is also a smart phone app.  Programs like these take into account your activity level, age, height, current weight, weight loss goals and help calculate your ideal calorie intake.  These programs are great because they also “add” calories when you exercise, so you can balance that occasional slice of pizza with a long run or a vigorous workout.

We all understand that not everyone has the same tolerance for alcohol.  A roomful of adults knows that not everyone can do tequila shots all night long – we all process alcohol differently, and behave differently when drinking.  The same is true about food, but most people don’t make the connection. If you eat something and it makes you tired – that is NOT a good thing.  Food it supposed to give you energy and if something makes you tired, you’ve either eaten too much or the wrong thing.  Listen to your body, and that will also help you customize your diet.  Start at home – if you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.  (MyPlate also has a feature called “Food Diary” that can help you track your moods so that you can see if you felt awful and if it relates to bad food, too much food and/or lack of exercise…)

Since today is Valentine’s Day, this is especially important.  Holidays bring sugary treat, parties with drinks and snacks and lots of temptations to that will put our nutritional checkbook in the red.  We have a dysfunctional relationship with food; we see food that clearly is bad for us and/or makes us feel tired, grumpy or irritable as “treats.” Don’t reward yourself with something “bad” – unless you are prepared to work off the excess calories in order to get back to balance.  As I said before, no one is perfect, but you have to understand your boundaries and work within your limits to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

–Vince Lombardi

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The Good Stuff

Don't stress about the bad stuff. Your current problems. They will go away. You'll work through them. You always have and you always will. 

The good stuff. Your spouse.  Your family. Your friends. These things don't go away and they're good for you :) 

FOCUS ON THOSE. 

A year from now, you'll be laughing about whatever is challenging you today. And chances are you'll be laughing about it with the "good stuff." 

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