Cast Your Vote for a Healthy Life

Healthy LifeToday’s post was prompted by a Calorie Myth podcast by Jonathan Bailor.  This particular podcast featured an interview by Krista Scott-Dixon.  This podcast really spoke to me.  I have struggled with doubts about coaching others since my own progress in fitness is so slow.  I have put so much work in but sometimes it is not as outwardly apparent as I would like it to be.  This sometimes makes me doubt myself and what I am doing.  But then my passion to inspire others and help them improve their health kicks in and I know I need to continue pursuing my dream.  I am reminded that I don’t have to strong in every area all the time.  Sometimes my weaknesses and vulnerability speaks to others in the midst of their own journey and struggles.  It is not about being perfect, but more about balance.  It is more about finding the essentials and doing those things while clearing the clutter of non essentials in my life.  It’s about the journey – getting stronger physically, mentally and spiritually along the way.

In the podcast, Krista mentions that she asks herself the question,

What am I doing today that’s essential and that casts a vote in favor for living a strong and healthy life?

We tend to try to be our best self and we usually let ourselves be guided by external standards.  We want to be a certain size or weight for example.  But the real power comes when we are driven by a deeper intrinsic value.  When I pursue health because of an external value (my size, my weight) or by a set of rules, I set myself up for failure.  Instead, I want to make changes toward better health because it is the right thing to do.  This puts in words the feeling that I’ve had for the last year or so.  The feeling that the changes I have made are not because I’m following a set of rules that will result in weight loss, but the changes are a part of something deeper.  The changes I’ve made are permanent because I am learning what is right for my body and what aligns with my beliefs and values.  Yes, those things start with a set of guidelines, but then I learn what works for me and my body. I want to be guided by the results and not by a set of external rules.

In the podcast Krista suggested two ways to know if you are on the right track.  One is by listening to “somatic cues.”  This simply means listen to your body.  If you eat something and later you have a stomach ache and feel tired, your body is telling you that you didn’t make the best choice in nutrition. If you make changes in your diet or exercise routine and you find that you have more energy and feel better then you are headed in the right direction. The other measure she mentioned was to ask yourself if your life was shrinking or expanding.  If you are hounded by the rules and by the “I shoulds” it causes you to be a fragmented version of yourself.  This is an example of your life or your world shrinking.  If your life is expanding you are enjoying new experiences, meeting new people and you will feel like you are a part of something larger.

Krista threw out an interesting challenge at the end of the podcast.  She said that she asks her clients something to the effect of

What can you do in the next 3 minutes to show your commitment to better health?

So I’m going to toss out the same challenge to you.  Do something right now that moves you towards better health.  Comment below and let me know what you chose to do.


Kick-Start Your Home Workout Program

Now where is that home workout program  I bought?

Have you ever bought a home workhome workoutout program and then left it sitting on a shelf or in a drawer to gather dust.? If so, then this challenge is for you!  I’m putting together a 30 day challenge to help you start a fitness habit that can make a difference in your health and wellness.  This group with capitalize on the fact that there is power in community and in accountability to others.  We will challenge and inspire you on a daily basis.  Studies show that this type of accountability increases the chances of success.

How does it work?  If you decide to take on this challenge message me or leave a comment and you will be invited to a private Facebook group.  Groups will be limited to a maximum of 5 participants.  This allows everyone to get to know each other and build a community of support.  Let me know what home workout program you will be using.  You can use ANY program, not just Beachbody programs.  If you don’t own a program I can make some suggestions for you based on your current fitness level.  I will post daily motivation and you will post your progress daily.  This will help you to develop a habit of fitness.  There will be mini challenges that you can choose to participate in as each week to help skyrocket your progress.

When does it start?  If you already own a program we will start as soon as we have several members to participate.  For those that do not own a program already, we will start on March 1 to give you time to receive your order.

I Have a Wheat Belly!

After reading the beginning chapters of Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, Bill and I were convinced without a doubt that we needed to eliminate wheat from our diet.  I love bread and pasta.  My husband is an avid sandwich fan.  The thought of no bread, no noodles, no crackers and on and on and on seemed a bit daunting to say the least.  As I read further through the book it only confirmed that we were on the right track.

Previous to this I had been working on cutting out most processed foods from my diet so I didn’t eat much wheat on a daily basis anyway.  On the day before we made this change I had a great breakfast and relaxed all morning.  Late morning I did my workout and since we were going to have a late lunch I ate a piece of peanut butter toast.  I hadn’t had any bread in a while and peanut butter toast just sounded so yummy.  Within about a half an hour I started feeling a little queasy.  Soon I was having belly cramping and kept having to excuse myself to go to the restroom.  I thought it was weird since I didn’t feel ill or anything.  Later that evening I read this quote from the book Wheat Belly about his patients who had eliminated wheat from their diet,  when they “permitted themselves a wheat indulgence” “within minutes, many would experience diarrhea, joint swelling and pain, or wheezing.”  The author says that the greatest benefit for weight loss or just plain old feeling better will come from the elimination of wheat – even more powerful than the elimination of sugar.  That statement rocked me.  It falls right in line with what I have been learning from Jonathan Bailor at  the Smarter Science of Slim. Wheat products are not SANE foods.  Eating “inSANE” foods contribute to my “metabolic clog” so it only makes sense that I choose more nutritious options and stop adding to the problem.  I will write more on SANE foods in a future post.

I have made so many healthy changes over the last year and I just couldn’t believe the weight doesn’t come off.  In fact, my abdominal circumference was bigger.  I committed more than a year ago to stop yo yo dieting and make changes for my health regardless of what the scale says.  So the fact that the scale was not moving and the fact that it sometimes moves in the wrong direction will not deter me from doing what is right for my health.  But I would be lying if I said it wasn’t discouraging.  I exercise 5 – 6 days a week.  I’ve eliminated most sugar from my diet.  I’ve eliminated all artificial sweeteners (even my formerly beloved treat the Diet Coke).  I eat 6 to 7 cups of vegetables per day.  I stopped eating potatoes so often.  I still have them but not as much as before.  So, why is my progress so pitiful?  Maybe wheat was the answer.  The more I read the more I thought this may be the key to jump start my progress again.  It was a challenging thought because wheat is in so many foods.

The one thing that is helpful in this challenge is that my husband is doing this along with me.  As with any idea of eliminating something from your life, you naturally start thinking about it all the time. In the beginning we kept having moments where we exclaim something like, “oh, no, this means we can’t have spaghetti,” or “Yikes! No more deli sandwiches (especially not  the one I call the “crack sandwich”).  So, we are re-thinking our menu.  We tried spaghetti with brown rice pasta.  It was good – the texture was a little different, but not so different that we couldn’t enjoy it.  I think it would even be yummy to have the marinara meat sauce poured over vegetables instead of noodles.  And I think when I get my sandwich next time I will put the ingredients over a salad instead of eating it on bread.  The other issue is that there is wheat or wheat derivatives in so many products like seasoning packets or salad dressing.  I will be reading labels for a while to figure out all the little places it’s hiding.  Eventually I will work on getting the kids to eat less wheat, but for now I will learn and practice it myself.

My wheat belly results:

After one month wheat free I lost 5 pounds and 4 inches off my waist.  Eliminating wheat was the only thing I had changed that month.  Losing inches in my waist tells me that it is FAT that I’m losing and not water weight or muscle tissue.   I am so motivated now that there is no way I’m adding it back in to my diet.  If that was truly the key to starting to burn fat again, I am sold!  I will continue to track my progress and continue to learn to eat foods that are the most nutritious.  You can take my word for it but I highly recommend you get the book and read it for yourself.  You can get it here:
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health