6 Ways to Change your Mindset regarding Weight Loss

As a plus size fitness motivator, I understand how difficult it is to lose weight.  Our society puts a LOT of emphasis on “perfect weight” making it that much more difficult for us bigger ladies (and men) to be able to actually lose weight.  You’d think those numbers would motivate us, right?  However, at least in my case, those numbers make it that much harder to get started because they seem almost impossible to attain.

There has to be a shift in your mindset regarding losing weight and getting healthy.  You have to want it for YOU and for no other reason.  I personally strive for better health, and by doing that, the number on the scale is slowly declining.  It isn’t a get skinny quick strategy, but we all know those don’t work anyway.

Here are 6 tips that I hope will help you shift your mindset and actually get on the road to healthy living:

1  Realize it takes hard work.  My mom used to always tell me that the weight didn’t get there overnight, and that it wasn’t going to be gone overnight either.  I’ve actually learned it takes about 2 or 3 times longer to get rid of weight that I gain that what it took to actually gain it.  Losing weight and living a healthy life style is going to take WORK and LOTS OF IT.  So gear up for it, there is no choice!

2  Food doesn’t have to be amazing.  Now I’m not saying to choke down kale even if you hate it, BUT, you have to flip the switch and start eating to live, instead of living to eat.  I’m a foodie, I LOVE FOOD and I LOVE REALLY GOOD FOOD even more, however, to stay on track, sometimes I have to eat things that aren’t top on my list of favorite foods.    I remind myself all the time that I’m fueling my machine (body) and the idea is to give it the best most amazing fuel ever, even if I have to sacrifice a little bit of flavor.  I think for me, not feeling guilty afterward is the reward; also not feeling crappy afterward makes a difference too.

3  It’s not about being “GOOD”  We like to give ourselves pats on the backs, and our friends like to comment about how “good” we are eating when we are shifting our nutrition.  It’s not about good or bad, it’s about HEALTH and eating HEALTHY choices.  No good or bad involved

4  Ignore the doubters and don’t let them derail your course.  Let’s face it, when you achieve any sort of success, there are always those few people who try to belittle it or steer you off course. We’ve all had friends who have doubted our methods or tried to sabotage our weight-loss efforts by encouraging us to “cheat” and eat unhealthy foods. We have to keep our mind focused on our health, and ignore their comments.

5  Adopt a “don’t” instead of a “can’t” attitude.  In the past, when trying different diets, the word “can’t” was high in my list of most used words.  I can’t have pasta, I can’t have sugar, I can’t have…. etc.  Now, because the way I eat is a choice I’m making to be healthier, my word of choice is I “don’t” eat processed foods… I don’t eat added sugar.  It’s a simple change that can make a HUGE difference.

6  There is no end to the shift.  In other words, this isn’t a 3 week diet, or a 6 week plan, this is a lifestyle change.  Eating healthy is FOREVER.  It’s about changing your attitude toward food once and for all. It is a lifestyle change for a healthier and happier you. More than that, it’s a lifetime deal. Sure it might get easier with time, but you must commit to sticking with it and staying motivated! Following these simple principles, you will lose weight, and you will became happier, more confident, and a healthier version of yourself!

Here’s to your health!

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5 Easy ways to get more sleep tonight

One of the many symptoms of Fibromyalgia is INSOMNIA… one of the worst parts of the disease in my own opinion.  However, you don’t have to have fibromyalgia to suffer from insomnia.  As a matter of fact, there are estimates that about 70 MILLION Americans suffer from sleep issues.

Here is a list I found from “Everyday Health” with some tips on how to get more sleep TONIGHT

1  We’ve all heard that eating a big meal at night is a bad idea.  However, we all also know that it’s the random hunger pains that strike at night, causing us to break that “rule”.  Next time that hunger strikes, reach for some cherries.  This delicious red fruit contains phytochemicals like melatonin, which is a known sleep aid that your body secretes at night to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. For insomniacs who need a melatonin boost, doctors can prescribe the chemical in pill form, but you can also find it in foods like tomatoes, olives, barley, rice and walnuts. Milk is also naturally high in melatonin, possibly to help give mothers a respite from fussy babies.

2  Listening to music before bed can help you to relax.  This is a totally chemical free way to help you to calm down and be able to sleep. Make sure to use soothing music or you can even try bineural beats.

3  There are a few essential oils that can help you fall asleep and calm down quicker.  Lavender is by far the most common.  Chamomile and ylang-ylang are also good alternatives

4  When you go to bed for the night, check your room temperature. People generally sleep better when it’s cool, about 61 degrees to 66 degrees Fahrenheit.  For normal sleepers, the drop in core temperature is marked by an increase in temperature in the hands and feet, as the blood vessels dilate and the body radiates heat,” reported the New York Times referencing a French study. So turn down the thermostat to save time falling asleep — and save money on your electricity bill! That is, unless you’re going commando, in which case researchers suggest cranking the heat to between 86 degrees and 90 degrees Farenheit.

5  Curling (and uncurling) your toes while lying in bed can help you fall asleep faster, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center,  The repetitive movement helps some people relax, shipping them off to dreamland. The exercise also works with other muscle groups like your legs, abdomen and arms. Give it a try next time you’re ready for bed!

Here’s to a GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP!

Using Tumeric for Health Benefits

Part of my natural supplementation for chronic pain and Fibromyalgia includes Tumeric.   I personally take it in a capsule form, however, there are MANY ways to incorporate it into your daily life.

What is Tumeric? 

Turmeric is an ancient spice known for its golden color. It comes from a flowering plant with a root-like stem that looks like ginger. Turmeric has long been a staple in Indian, Asian, and Central American cuisines, especially in curries. It’s commonly used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines to treat digestive issues, liver problems, skin conditions, and wounds. In fact, it has been used medicinally for more than 4,500 years.

Studies have shown that curcumin — the compound that gives turmeric its bright hue — is what gives it the healthy benefits.

Research indicates that turmeric, in various topical, capsule, or essential oil forms, may benefit heart health and may help reduce inflammation and ease the pain and swelling associated with several conditions, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.   Tumeric may also help with digestive issues, help prevent ulcerative colitis and also acts as a mood booster for people who suffer from depression.  Tumeric can also improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, and may help you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Here in the United States, people tend to use turmeric most often in its powdered spice form, but the root can be grated and used in recipes just like fresh ginger. Keep in mind that the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may be enhanced if you consume turmeric with black pepper.

How to use Tumeric to get its Health Benefits

  1. Classic curry: Turmeric is a key ingredient in yellow curries.
  2. Spice up lentils. Dal tadka is a popular yellow lentil dish commonly served in Indian restaurants.
  3. Make a rub. Mix powdered turmeric with ground cumin, ground ginger, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper, and then rub it on beef, lamb, chicken, or fish before grilling.
  4. Eat it with eggs. Turmeric can be a tasty addition to an omelet, a frittata, quiche, or scrambled eggs.
  5. Add it to roasted root veggies. Tossing some grated or powdered turmeric in with potatoes, squash, parsnips, or carrots before roasting can add an earthy, peppery flavor.
  6. Sip some “golden” milk. Warm a cup of milk in a saucepan with ½ teaspoon (tsp) of turmeric powder (or 1 ½ tsp of freshly grated turmeric) and 1 tsp freshly grated ginger. Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, strain, and stir in a tablespoon of honey for sweetness.

The Benefits to Whole Body Vibration

One of the many things that I use in my efforts to deal with chronic pain without any sort of chemical or prescription medication is whole body vibration.  I first learned about whole body vibration many years ago when I was first dealing with muscle cramps and spasms.  I went to an acupuncturist.  Each treatment would include the actual acupuncture (needles) with a TENS machine.  After each treatment, I would be put on a whole body vibration machine for 10-15 minutes.

At first I HATED being on that machine!  It was boring, and actually a little bit painful. I also almost always had to stop to run to the bathroom (even if I had gone before the session) and then have to start the session all over again.  It was miserable.  However, the after effects were amazing.  I started actually getting some relief from rock hard muscles cramping over and over.

After my acupuncture treatment ended, and my muscles started returning to their rock hard state, I began to do my research of whole body vibration machines that could be used at home.  I found there are ALL different kinds of machines in ALL different price ranges.  Two main factors to check are that the machine is at least a dual motor, and also check the reviews.

In my research, I also learned that there are MANY benefits to using a whole body vibration machine.   The recommended use is 8-15 minutes at least 3 days a week.  With that the following are some of the many benefits of using this form of treatment:

~  Pain reduction (such as that associated with fibromyalgia)

~  Increase muscle strength, especially explosive strength

~  Increase in fat loss in conjunction with resistance training in menopausal women

~  Those using whole body vibration are less likely to regain weight after weightloss

~  Increased flexibility and mobility

~  Improves balance

~  Decrease cortisol levels

~  Help improve fitness levels in the elderly population

~  Counteracts age-related muscle wasting

~  Reduce cellulite; In a study conducted, 8 to 13 minutes of whole body vibration, two to three times per week for six months was shown to reduce cellulite by 26 percent. When combined with 24 to 48 minutes of cardio, cellulite was reduced by more than 32 percent

~  Improves blood circulation, which can also stimulate tissue healing. Three minutes on a vibrating platform doubles blood circulation for at least 10 minutes

~ Increased lymphatic drainage

~  Speeds up recovery from injury

~  Improves neurological conditions

As always, if you have any questions about anything I post, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  I’m all about helping others live a healthier more fulfilling life

Here’s to your health!

The Benefits of Drinking Spring Water

In theory, drinking spring water is health promoting. But as is the case with all types of drinking water, the water source is the key.  I’ve actually spoken to some older people when collecting spring water at our local artesian well who swear that the water keeps them healthy and young.

True spring water is captured from a natural, mountain, or artesian spring. When harvested properly, spring water is sparkling clean.

Due to the fact that water is one of the most important components of the human body, even slight dehydration can lower your sports performance and the bodies ability to recover from any type of exercise.  The reason is simple, water composes about 75% of the muscle tissue and about 10% of the fatty tissue.

 

More importantly, water regulates body temperature, aids digestion, protects vital organs, cushions joints, facilitates cellular communication, transports nutrients to the cells, and removes waste, including lactic acid (the primary cause of exercise-related muscle soreness).

Health Benefits of Drinking Spring Water

One of the key benefits of natural spring water is that it comes from water that flows to the surface from a clean underground water source.  Therefore, the water is considered to be free of most contaminants typically found in drinking water.

It also contains a level of minerals that is beneficial to health for most living things. Mineral-rich water will usually have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH.  Drinking alkaline water will help to neutralize acidity in the body and can help reduce the amount of damage caused by free radicals.  It will also help to keep bones and teeth dense and strong.

Many people who drink spring water do so because the water has such a clean, refreshing taste that is unequaled by other types of water. People generally tend to drink more water if it tastes good.  If you can get drinking water from a local natural spring that is tested regularly for contaminants, you are lucky.  Collecting and drinking your own spring water is your best choice—in terms of both water quality and expense.

When purchasing bottled spring water, there is no way to know the quality of the water, or if it is actually spring water.  Unfortunately, a lot of bottled water is just tap water.

So how do you find natural spring water?  Check out www.findaspring.org  Many springs from around the world are registered here.  There is also a lot of great information about how to bottle and store your natural spring water.

Here’s to delicious drinking water!

 

Living with Chronic Pain is an EVERYDAY thing

In my last blog post, I told you guys of many things I do to help with pain management.  I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends on Facebook and Instagram deal with chronic pain.  Many even fall into deep depression over it.

I’ve taken a much different stance against the chronic pain in my body.  I WILL NOT LET IT STOP ME from having the life that I love.

I’ve heard it all before… you’re just stronger than I am, your pain isn’t as intense, you just have more will power.  I’m here to publicly call BULL SHIT!

I’m no one special.  I’m a girl who simply refuses to let pain cause me to QUIT on this life.  I actually enjoy working out.  As a matter of fact, I tend to get quite addicted to it the more I do.  I get addicted to those feel good endorphins that are released during each sweat session.  What does frustrate me like anyone else is the pain.  I try to just keep my focus on the good feeling, instead of the pain feeling.

Yesterday (and the day before, and the day before that…) in yoga, my left foot cramped randomly while doing the spine strengthening series of Bikram Yoga.  This is SUPER random, and is what frustrates me most.  I just never know when it’s going to hit, how long it will last, or how intense it will get.  I’ve learned in yoga the power of the breath.  So… when a cramp hits, no matter where I am… I remind my self to just breathe… breathe…. breathe….

Today I went on a walk.  My right leg was hurting when I left and I knew it might be a short walk, but at least I was getting out of the house and moving.  The more I restrict myself to the house and/or bed, the worse I can make myself feel.  My leg wasn’t happy with the hills at the park, and my calf cramped several times.  Again, I used the power of my breath to get me through.  I made it home, did the full body vibration machine and some stretching. My leg is still pissed at me, but I AM NOT QUITTING!

You can say my will power is stronger than others.  I truly believe it isn’t.  I’ve just spent years of my life, hours upon hours, listening and reading personal development books.  I’ve learned that I create my reality with my thoughts.  So, on a day like today when the pain is real, I’m just reminding myself… pain is “temporary” … or at least temporarily flared… and I am NOT A QUITTER.

You have this same power in YOU.  I believe in YOU.  YOU deserve it.  You are strong enough.  You have the will power.  You just have to learn to flex those “muscles”  It takes 21 days to form a new habit.  Start today!  Start with positive affirmations that YOU’VE GOT THIS!  You are strong, you are ENOUGH!

Here’s to a long life of never quitting!!

10 Tips for Natural Pain Management

As some of you know, I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in August of 2014.  The symptoms of course were active and in my face way before that.  Anyone who has dealt with chronic pain or chronic illness understands that the “finding out” what you have can be the most difficult part of the journey.  Once I knew what I was up against, I could take action.  Although, even before the actual diagnosis, I was taking action.

Here is my list of the 10 things that have helped me and continue to help me deal with the random flare ups of chronic pain:

1  Hot Epsom Salt Baths~  This by far is one of my favorite and I use it often.  I make sure and get the water as hot as I can stand it and I stay in the tub until the water is cool.  The Epsom salt helps to calm my muscles, so I’ve even been known to get up in the middle of the night and take a hot bath to calm down my restless leg syndrome

2  Tumeric ~ I personally take Tumeric in a capsule because I’m not a huge fan of the taste of this spice.  HOWEVER, you can definitely add this to food if you like the taste, the more the better.  This is not something you can take too much of.  Tumeric helps with inflammation in the body

3  Total Body Vibration ~ I learned the power of using a total body vibration machine from a center where I used to do acupuncture.  They would have me stand on the machine after every treatment.  I did my research, and found one on Amazon for about $300.  I try to use it at least 10 minutes a day, usually 15.  This also helps keep my muscles from getting so tense and painful.

4  Foam rolling ~ Foam rolling is great for achy muscles and joints.  Warning: it does take some getting used to, and depending on your pain levels can be a little intense for sure.

5  Bikram Yoga ~ I will never ever forget when the doctor who finally diagnosed me prescribed yoga.  I literally LAUGHED in his face!  Me?  Do Yoga?  It wasn’t happening.  And it didn’t happen for several months.  Once I did start going, I haven’t stopped.  I can’t always do all the postures, or all the sets of the postures, however, between the heat and the postures and the ENERGY in the room, Bikram Yoga is definitely one of my favorite things to do for pain control.  Sometimes I even do 2 classes in a day

6  Physical exercise ~  This is one that for me is absolutely a MUST every day.  Even if its just a walk around the park with my hubby, I have to move.  I have to get physical activity even if it hurts.  This is what keeps me from getting really stiff and being completely unable to walk.  I’ve spoken to many people with chronic pain and they always say they can’t.  YOU CAN!  If you want to be pain free bad enough, you will do anything to get there.  30 minutes a day of physical activity will help in so many ways, mind, body and soul.

7  Cutting sugar ~ I try to stick to only natural sugars found in fruits (and some veggies).  When I eat foods high in added processed sugars, the pain level goes up every single time.  Sugar is my enemy!

8  Limit alcohol intake ~  I love wine.  I love beer.  I love drinking beer with my hubby.  HOWEVER, I have learned that I need to drink in moderation.  The more I drink, the more pain I am in the next day, no exceptions.

9  Eat cleaner ~ The food I eat directly affects my pain levels.  Eating whole foods, nothing processed keeps my pain levels fairly low.  Once I start adding in processed meats, cheeses and breads… pain skyrockets.  The saying that food is medicine is no joke!

10  Personal development ~ I’ve learned over the years about the power of personal development.  I read or listen to a podcast (or both) every day.  This helps keep my mindset in the right place.  It is very EASY to start feeling sorry for yourself when chronic pain is a reality for you.  I’ve learned it’s also really EASY to start feeling proud of yourself for all you’ve accomplished in spite of the pain in your body.  It’s all about mindset.  I tell my hubby all the time, if I wasn’t in the mindset, I could be bed ridden in NO TIME FLAT.  I just won’t let it happen

I hope these tips help you on your journey with chronic pain and/or illness.  Please know you are NOT alone!  There are so many great resources available to us as we continue this journey, USE THEM!

If you know someone who would benefit from this information, please feel free to share it with them.

Here’s to a healthy pain free week!