Category Archives: Weight Loss Resources

It’s a New Day!

From time to time I’ll be posting weight loss articles, tips and plans on this blog. This blog is more of a diary for me than anything else, so if you happen upon it and want to share something with me, I’d be happy to hear it! If you want a weight loss buddy, I’d be happy to be there for you!
My first article was one I found in the Parade magazine in Sunday’s paper. I’ve heard some of this info recently at TOPS and it really made me think or rethink weight loss. I hope it gives you something to ponder as well.
You can find the article in it’s entirety at Parade.com.

IT’S A NEW DAY
Make Changes That Last
by Chip and Dan Heath
published: 01/03/2010

We all begin the year with the best of intentions. We write a list of worthy resolutions and we follow through on them for a while. But as inevitably as February follows January, most of us end up slipping back into our old habits.

Making changes that last isn’t easy. Yet after analyzing decades of scientific research and case studies, we’ve discovered that there are simple things you can do to snap the cycle of busted resolutions.
4 Ways to Stop Procrastinating

First, you need to know how your mind works. Your brain has two independent systems: the emotional side, the instinctive part that feels pain and pleasure; and the rational side, the analytical part that deliberates and plans. We like to use the analogy of the Elephant (the emotional side) and the Rider (the rational side) from psychologist Jonathan Haidt. Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be in charge. But because he is small, he’ll lose to the Elephant whenever they conflict. You experience this whenever you act against your better judgment and hit your alarm clock’s snooze button, have one drink too many, or procrastinate.

When your efforts to change fail, it’s because of the emotional Elephant. He likes instant gratification, and most changes require making short-term sacrifices for long-term payoffs: say, skipping potato chips today for a better body come summer. But the Elephant isn’t all bad. He has energy and drive, the power to get things done. Those are the opposite of the rational Rider’s weaknesses: overanalyzing and overthinking. For changes to last, they must appeal to both sides of your mind. Here are the basic principles.

You Can Learn to Make Better Decisions

Give yourself crystal-clear directions. Vague resolutions like “Be healthier” or even “Lose weight” are doomed, because there are endless ways to interpret those commands. When your brain is given too many options, it’s easy to feel paralyzed. With too many choices, your emotional Elephant tends to gravitate toward the most familiar path, so you’ll fall back on going to your favorite place for a pepperoni pizza. Instead, you need to create a specific goal that leaves nowhere to hide, like “No wine ever,” “Gym every other day,” or “No more cookies.”

The drawback to these black-and-white objectives is they’re not inspiring. It helps your emotional and rational sides to find what we call a “destination postcard”—a vivid image from the near future to show you what’s possible. If your goal is to work out three days a week, find a picture of yourself from a year or two ago in which you look fantastic, and use it as your screensaver. Or hang up the dress or suit you’d love to wear if it weren’t so tight. Just keep the destination reasonable. You’ll be setting yourself up for frustration if you tape up a photo of an Olympic athlete or display jeans you last wore in college.

3 Tips for Handling Big Changes

Keep yourself motivated. A central challenge of pulling off any switch is getting yourself to start—and keep—moving forward. A destination postcard helps; another trick is to shrink your change. Take housecleaning. We all love a clean home, but most of us dread cleaning. But what do we dread? Tossing a shirt in the hamper? Putting a glass in the dishwasher? Nope. We dread the enormity of the task. Cleaning house means taking on closets, rooms, and toilets, and it all feels like too much. To conquer your resistance, try the “Five-Minute Room Rescue” from home-organizing guru Marla Cilley. Get a timer and set it for five minutes. Pick a room, closet, or drawer, and as the timer ticks, clear a path. When the timer buzzes, stop with a clear conscience. Repeat the next day. You should have no trouble conquering these micro-milestones. As you pass them, you’ll begin to feel less reluctant and more hopeful. And hope is essential for making any change stick.

The same principle applies to tackling change on a larger scale. In one town in Canada, the police wanted to create a safer environment. Faced with such a huge goal, they decided to shrink their change. They started by asking all residents to turn on their exterior lights at night. This act made people immediately feel safer after dark, and it was also a clear sign of hope, which said, Yes, things can be different here.

Make your environment support your change. Many of us are blind to how much our situations actually shape our behavior. In countless ways, our surroundings have been carefully designed to make us act in a particular fashion. Traffic engineers want us to drive in a predictable and safe way, so they paint lane markers and install stoplights and road signs. Banks got tired of us leaving our ATM cards in the machine, so we have to remove them before we can get cash. You can also act as your own engineer and tweak your situation so that the right behaviors are easier to do and the wrong ones are harder.

As writers, our bad habit was letting ourselves get constantly distracted by e-mail. To solve the problem, one of us turned off the volume on his computer so he couldn’t hear the enticing bing of incoming mail. The other bought an old laptop that had no wireless Internet access.

You’re probably full of ideas for changes you’d like to make to yourself, your workplace, and your community. Just remember: Change isn’t an event; it’s a process. Think about a child learning how to walk. There’s no single moment when he learns how to do it. He staggers and struggles until, finally, one day he takes a few steps—and then falls down. But he doesn’t give up. He tries again and again, and before too long, he’s running.
Adapted from “Switch: How to Change When Change Is Hard,” by Chip and Dan Heath. To be published by Broadway Books Feb. 16.

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Operation Motivation Day 7

Today is day 7 of Operation Motivation! There are 8 of us for this challenge! I doubt I will win, but I really hope that between the 8 of us we can lose at least 10 pounds! If we can do this, I will restart the challenge when I get back from spring break! If not, I’ll have to leave it up to someone else to take the next round. How’s that sound?
I really should have been updating this blog with each day’s motivation and tips. I’ve found some great articles and resources on-line as I have prepared for each days email to the participants.
I’ll add today’s info here!

I hope everyone is doing good and feeling motivated.
Only 3 more days left in the challenge!
Today’s tip is on eating less and feeling full. Click here for a good article  I found on this topic.
We’ve all heard the advice on eating slowly. I don’t know about you, but that is not one of my strengths. I guess I started eating fast as a young mom and never stopped. But, chewing your food slowly really can help you eat less. If you eat too fast, you won’t have time to feel satisfied.
One thing I have learned recently is that that most people don’t have near enough fiber in their diet. Foods high in fiber can help you lose weight by making you feel fuller. If you have some time, here is an article on how to increase fiber in your diet and the advantages of doing so.
I recently purchased a chewable fiber supplement called Fiber Choice.

I plan on eating one of those instead of a snack in the evenings!
 
Have you started exercising? I’m off to get my 5 miles in!
I hope you’re feeling motivated today.
~Angel

Operation Motivation Day 6

Good Morning!
How is everyone this Monday Morning? It’s raining here in South Carolina. A good day to get my housework done!

Today’s Tip- You know you were going to hear it. It’s called EXERCIZE. I am one person who can NOT lose weight without it. I know that some people can just lower their food intake and lose weight, but that is NOT me. I started doing Walk Away The Pounds tapes back in 2005 and I’ve been using them for the most part ever since. Exercize gives me energy and is a natural anti-depressant. On the days when I don’t walk, I find it hard to get motivated to do ANYTHING.
If you have the time, here is a great article on some of the benfits of exercize:
http://www.healthtalknow.com/
That being said, even if you can’t find the time to do an exercize tape, there are little ways of adding in some exercize to your day.
Here are a few I have tried:
~Park as far away as you can and walk… at work, at church, at the mall, at the grocery store…everywhere you go!
~Take the stairs. A LOT. Here is a trick I would do when we lived in Wichita. From the main level, we had stairs going downstairs to the basement and upstairs to our bedroom. Each time I needed to make the trip up or down I would double the steps. So instead of just going up, I would go up, come back down and then go up again. Sometimes I would triple it.
~Make it a habit to go for a walk after dinner or maybe during your lunch hour.
~Dance while you’re doing your housework.
Here are some ideas I found online:
http://www.joanprice.com/articles/25ways.htm
Anybody else have a good tip to add exercize to your regular routine?

~Angel

Operation Motivation Day 5

Today’s Tip:
Write it down!

This is something I am REALLY not good at myself. But, I’ve heard it can really help to journal your eating habits and write down everything that goes into your mouth!

You can
Keep a little notebook in your purse,
Use a magnetic notepad that you can keep on your frig,
Keep a Word document on your computer,

OR 
There are several websites that offer you a place to do this!

The Daily Plate and My Calorie Counter are just a couple that I have found.

Have a great Sunday!

Blessings~
Angel ^i^

Operation Motivation Day 4

My weight loss tip for today:
Try not to eat anything after 7 pm.
While eating after this time in the evening will not necessarily interfere with you losing weight, it may just help you to lose weight.
I’ve done a little research on the subject and here is what I found out:
 
Q. I’ve read you shouldn’t eat after 6pm if you want to lose weight. Is this true?

A. This is a popular idea that continues to pop up from time to time. And you might be surprised to hear me say that it can indeed work! However, there’s no magic behind it – it’s simply another gimmick to control your overall calorie intake. For example, a typical evening meal may easily contain 500 calories if not more. Meanwhile, many of us spend the evening nibbling on high-calorie snack foods such as crisps, sweets and biscuits while watching TV.

By imposing a ban on eating after 6pm, we automatically slash our calorie intake, sometimes by as much as 1,000 calories. And in all probability, while we might eat a little more food throughout the day to compensate, chances are we won’t completely make up the calorie deficit! Ultimately, if you want to lose weight, the most important thing is to stick to your daily calorie allowance. It doesn’t matter what time of day you consume these calories, although I’d recommend spreading them evenly throughout the day to prevent hunger from kicking in. For most of us, eating in the evening is the norm and an important part of our social life – and there’s no reason why you can’t still do that AND lose weight!

To figure out how many calories you should be consuming to reach your ideal weight, check out this website I’ve found.

By the way, the water winner was myself. I was able to drink 151 ounces- almost 19 cups of water
!

Blessings~

Angel ^i^

Operation Motivation Day 3

Today is Day 3 of Operation Motivation!

I’ll be sending a bit of info or a weight loss aid of some sort each day. Today’s topic is sleep. (I know at least one of you who isn’t getting enough sleep and it really can’t be helped.) But, I recently read this article online that made a lot of sense. It was something I had not heard before. A lack of sleep can cause weight gain! To lose weight your body needs sleep— 7 hours a night is best. 
Here is another article from WedbMD that has even more input on that subject.

Do your best to get some sleep tonight and don’t forget to keep drinking that water!!!
Until tomorrow~

Blessings~

Angel ^i^

Operation Motivation Day 2

Good Morning!!!

Thank you all for joining me on this challenge. There are 8 of us participating. There probably would have been more if I hadn’t wanted to start it right away. But, that is okay too. I hope it will catch on and keep going! The only thing we have to lose is weight. Right?

The first mini challenge of our 10 day competition is to drink a LOT of water!!! Water is key to weight loss. Track your water consumption today and email me in the morning how much water you drank on Thursday, April 2. Whoever drank the most water is going to get a little something in the mail from me! (I had to make this fun!)  My goal? To drink the most water, of course! If I drank the most water, I’ll save my little gift for the next mini challange!
ETA- The water drinker was me with 19 Cups!
Click here to find a little education piece on drinking water to lose weight. You can read it if you’ve got the time!

This is only 10 days… give it ALL you’ve got!

 Blessings~

Angel ^i^