It’s Story Time!

Everybody has a story in them, a string of events that together forms a narrative and influences their choices and behavior.  Think about it, when you tell people that you are a good cook what does this mean?  You may reference several meals that you have prepared over the years and the praise you received from friends and family for your creations.  At a deeper level you might even remember the time you spent in the kitchen with your parents learning the nuances of putting together a meal.

You can wear a culinary badge of competence based on a history of success and you enjoy the confidence that goes along with it.  The thing is, story telling works in both directions and if you are still mastering the art of boiling water you have a pretty different story.  The stories we tell ourselves can both carry us forward or hinder our progress; you get to choose which one you want to listen to.

Creating a lifestyle where you achieve a healthy weight and confidence means learning a story that aligns with what you are trying to accomplish.  The thing is, if you have had a difficult time with weight loss in the past your story may need revisions.  In fact, you may need to do a bit more research and find co-author if you really need to make some significant changes.

Before you know where to go you need to write out where you have been.  Take the rest of the week and think about your healthy living story.  Who are the main characters, who are the villains, what plot twist caught you off guard and what successes did you experience.  Once you have this down you can start to write the rest of the story.

Note, you don’t have to write this story alone so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Check me out here: http://www.true-2-life.com

Tweeting Toward Healthy Living

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Everything is better with friends, including getting in shape and losing weight.  Technology has given us the opportunity to create and foster relationships with others from the comfort of our sofas.  Now, if the extent of your interaction with others on-line has been trolling pictures of your high school crush on Facebook then, it’s time to get more out of your internet time.

Twitter is a great place to get support and inspiration in 140 charters or less.  You don’t need to understand how to use hashtags and at signs (@) to get something out of social networking for weight loss.  Because of the limit on what you can write you can post and read quick notes that get to the point.  Bonus, twitter is also a free service and takes no time to set up, connect to friends and family and get started.

I suggest that you set up a twitter account with friends that support your weight-loss efforts or people that are also trying to get in shape.  Commit to posting daily updates, workouts, and barriers you bump up against.  I also recommend following people and organizations that will give you information that aligns with goal and motivates you.

Suggested Tweets to follow: iBehaviorCoach, Retrofitme, Men’s Health, Sparkpeople,

To find out more about me: iBehaviorcoach.com

Why Do You Do?

Here’s a scenario, you have the goal in mind to lose several pounds before the holidays because you have a trip planned to Brazil.  You get a gym membership, sign up for  a couple of group fitness classes and buy a juicer.  Your morning routine, choke down homemade beet/celery/quinoa concoction, pack bag with gym clothes, and grab a protein bar.  The first two weeks start off pretty well, you are hitting the gym three-times a week and you can set a timer to your bowl movements (thanks quinoa).

However, you will have to change some things around next week, project due by Friday and there are two after work functions planned.  No problem, you will get back on track next week. When next week roles around you only end up getting to the gym once because of some family commitments and more work functions.  Four-weeks out you are totally off track, tired of cleaning the juicer blades, and annoyed by the extra weight you have to haul around each day just so you can get to the gy

Quinoa is not a grass, but its seeds have been...

Thank you Quinoa!!

m.  Thinking back to those first couple of weeks you ask, “how did I make that happen?”

One of the more significant factors that separate those that are successful at weight-loss and those that aren’t is the ability to prioritize defined healthy behaviors.  Think about it, there are several non-negotiable throughout your day that support your personal, professional, and social lives.  For example, how long could you keep your job and friends if you didn’t attend to your personal hygiene?  Regular showers are a non-negotiable for most people that want to keep their jobs and interact with other individuals.

When you prioritize self-care you make it a non-negotiable to a certain extent.  This will require a better understanding of your world so you can make an AM workout happen if you have extra work to do in the evening.  This also requires not allowing yourself to make excuses and understanding this is a part of who you are.  When you really own healthy living as a part of your persona it permeates all areas of your life and losing weight becomes less about doing it will just begin to happen.

To find out more about me: iBehaviorcoach.com

Let The Count Down Begin

99 Problems

99 Problems (Photo credit: Lulu Hoeller)

There are 99 days left in 2013 and this gives us the perfect opportunity to set goals.  I do enjoy goal setting and I am even part of a group of Facebook where we post up a 30 day challenge at the beginning of every month.  Through these challenges I have learned that it not just about reaching a goal but what you discover about yourself along the way.  For instance, I wanted to cut down on eating out so I threw out the challenge of limiting restaurant visits to celebrations only.  Before you ask, yes, Sunday night football counts as a celebration.

I came to realize that I wasn’t just going out for convenience  but I was feeding my need to be around other people.  I am extremely extraverted and am energized by places crowded with other individuals even if I’m not interacting with them.  Because I work out of my apartment I was going out and grabbing a bite not because I didn’t feel like taking all that time to defrost that Trader Joe’s chicken burrito but to have some company.

My recommendation for an end of the year challenge, go big, put something out there that you really want to accomplish and set monthly goals that align with what you are trying to accomplish.  So, if you want to lose 15 lbs. set your 30 day goal at getting in 10,000 steps each day or making sure you get your daily serving of vegetables.  Focus on the small stuff and set up a daily check-list of healthy living task.  Also, it would help if you came up with some system to keep you accountable. Things like purchasing some classes, signing up with a coach, or getting your friends to withhold your favorite pillow until you accomplish your goal kick in that little extra motivation when you start to flag.

As always, more about me: iBehaviorcoach.com

 

Yes, it’s That Simple

The other day one of my friends shot me a note on Facebook asking how I felt about weight loss supplements.  She was looking to lose about 10 lbs. and was a bit frustrated with what she was seeing on the scale after a significant push.  My response: So, whenever you consider something like this think how it will work long-term. Sure, it might help you get to a place where you lose weight initially but, unless you make some habit change along with it chances are you will gain right back.

Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to consider a weight loss pill, crash diet or extreme exercise program ever again?  That is why I promote habit change and creating a lifestyle that supports weight loss.  Friends, the formula is simple, eat less, move more, that is it.  I have seen people drop hundreds of pounds using this formula they walk and pay attention to the food they eat.

Best practices for weight loss success:

  • Journal your journey: Love the blogs I see where people put themselves out there and push forward.
  • Utilize Technology: Take a look at the apps that are out there and get in the habit of logging food and workouts.
  • Weigh-in:  My successful clients weigh in daily and own both the weight gain and weight loss.  They understand that the number on the scale is just feedback and not a judgement of their success.
  • Team Player: Don’t do this alone.  The successful people I work with lean on their team for support and to get better insight into this process.

As always learn more about me and what I do: iBehaviorcoach.com

The Restaurant Dilemma

Screenshot of Pitfall! on the ColecoVision

Oh crap! Is that a scorpion or the letter “C” with claws?

I do love me some video gaming.  Along with the throw-back nostalgia of less complicated times, gaming is one of my go-to non food related boredom busting activities.  One of my favorites Atari games (Yes, I’m that old) was Pitfall, your 16 bit Indiana Jones like character jumped over traps of 16 bit alligators, 16 bit spiders, and 16 bit mummies.  Fall into any of these pitfalls and you were done.

Creating a healthy lifestyle has a lot of pitfalls, one of the more significant areas that many of my clients really struggle in are restaurants.  Now, having worked in the restaurant biz both as a cook and a waiter I am here to tell you they don’t make it easy.  A good rule of thumb for many places, the cheaper the food the higher the calories and the lower in nutritional value.

Think about it, when you go to higher end restaurants more time is given to the food, spices and preparation techniques are utilized to bring out the flavor.  Now, take a place like The Cheesecake Factory or Chili’s, food at these places tend to be a lot more processed.  Chain restaurants take short cuts to the pleasure centers of our brains by using more fat, salt, and sugar for flavor.

Now, the last thing I want to do is take away a fun family outing to Outback Steakhouse every Friday night but to navigate the pitfalls of this occasion you do have to plan.  Do yourself a favor and just look up the menu at the restaurant before you go and see what items make sense for what you are trying to accomplish.  If you find yourself heading out for an inpromptu meal with friends make sure you have an app that you can utilize on your phone (I recommend loseit and myfitnesspal).

If you are trying to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle you have to be completely honest about what you are consuming.  Don’t make excuses, this is about lifestyle change, you can’t keep giving yourself permission to cheat a little here and a little there.  A commitment to your health means making the choices in favor of your health.

Taking Fitness on the Road

Two girls, teens perhaps... these young ladies...

Oh, hey, come here much…  

Travel can be a significant barrier for those of us that are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  But you say, “Matt, I’m on vacation, that means I check the diet and exercise at the door so I can make room for Pina Coladas and long days of pool-side lounging.”  BS!! Ask yourself how you felt the last time you spent several days of drinking and eating like crap combined with inactivity.

When you look at vacation and travel through the lens of the healthy person you want to be it becomes difficult to imagine that high school spring break where you lived off of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch and Beer.  Like everything we are going for a balanced lifestyle no matter where you are.  Keep the basics in mind, find a reason to be active every day and watch the higher calorie foods and drinks.

I have developed the habit of looking for something fun and active to do when ever I go out of town that allows me to experience the place I am visiting.  This has resulted in some pretty fun experiences like paddle boarding in South Caroline and a 5K scavenger hunt in New Orleans.  There are just as many things to do as a family if you are committed to your self-care and plan ahead just a little bit.

Have a great Monday!!

Learn more about me: iBehaviorCoach.com