Friday, January 4, 2013

We're Moving!

Come visit me over at my new site,

I figured it was easier to consolidate my book stuff and blog posts all together. There are still all the old posts and new ones to come as well. See you soon!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Downward facing dork

Today I filmed a yoga workout routine to put on my website in January, to coincide with the book launch.

I had a budget of zero, and used a Sony handycam. I learned a few things, the main one being that it is painful to watch yourself on screen at any size.

Teaching my regular clients is one thing, but trying to coach a camera through downward facing dog is just awkward. The more I watch the clip, the more I notice what isn't just perfect. We tend to be our worst critics. I know what I am most concerned about, trouble areas, chin wobbles, etc. So of course those are the things I focus on when rewatching the 45 minute routine. The experience is fairly excruciating.

I suppose it's time I took my own lesson from the book. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to finish. I made a yoga video that people can download starting Jan. 8th.  It's not the most professional quality and I certainly don't look like one of those Cirque De Soleil performers, sniffing my toes as they arc past my head. I'm just an average woman, mom of two, trying to stay fit and share my love of yoga with people. I think I'm the only person who was hoping it would magically transform into p90x yoga or some other workout dvd.

So my word of advice for the day would be to recognize what thoughts are coming from our own insecurities, and what fears we project onto other people. I'm sure my own fear of dorkiness and being mocked are mostly in my own head. But even if one or two nuts in the peanut gallery feel the same way, the most important thing is to reach my goals. And today that was filming a beginning yoga routine to share with the masses.

Goal achieved.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Does the gym make you get hot flashes and break out into a sweat? Before you even walk into the door, that is.

Many people suffer from Gymaphobic tendencies. Twitching uncontrollably at the thought of spandex in full length mirrors. Random turret-like swears at the high tech weight machines. Nasty thoughts directed at the Barbie doll on the elliptical.

It's okay. You're not alone.

Getting to the gym is tough. Not only do I have to commit myself to a specified time of torture, but I also have to worry about looking good while doing it. You think losing seventy-five pounds would assuage these fears. Not so much. Now I feel like everyone's watching me. Plus, in the high intensity classes, even with all the pants sizes I've lost, I'm still the big girl in the room next to the dancing twigs with sports bras and abs.

Thing is, the only one looking at me, is probably me. Everyone else is too worried about their own backside jiggling to even notice mine.

When we build up an imaginary obstacle, the climb to get over it feels every bit the real thing.

So here are my two tips to push past the gym phobia.

Realize that even those tight bodies have bumps and lumps they want to get rid of. Otherwise they wouldn't be there.

And if you are wearing a tank top, always make sure to shave your underarms and add deodorant. Guys too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Even good people say stupid things

Tis the season, let all something or others be forgot, and all that jazz.

Sometimes it can be tough to move past the sticks and stones. But you have to remember, even good people say stupid things, so let it go.

Last Saturday, I had a boatload of these people talking to me. My father in-law got remarried. At the reception, there were people I haven't seen in a good long while. As in 75 pounds ago.

One relative actually went up to my husband and said, "So how do like it having a beautiful wife now." My hubby, bless his heart, said, "I've always had a beautiful wife."

A friend of the family came up to me, "I had to do a double take. You look so good that I didn't recognize you." I thanked her during the rather awkward hug, then hit the punch table.

Some people mean well, but they don't have an anti-idiot filter from brain to mouth. Though annoyed, I can't let it get to me.

I want to share my rule of thumb. You should spend no more time worrying about what was said, than it took for the person to consider saying it.

That being said, take this season to let go of old wounds and start to feel lighter emotionally and that can help you be lighter physically.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

9 Tips to Keep Holiday Weight Away

In most every survey, losing weight and getting fit is at the top of the list of New Year’s resolutions. For thirty years, it was number one on mine until I decided to make a change. In my book, Finished being Fat, I went on a journey to lose seventy-five pounds and learned to finish what I started. The first year after the weight-loss, it felt like the holiday season was out get me: the feasts, the parties, and the endless parade of neighborly homemade fudge and treats. But I was determined to never make that weighty New Year’s resolution again. Here are a few tricks I've found that help me survive the holidays -- with both my buttons and my sanity intact.

Stick to the Budget
The secret to weight loss is not so secret. Take in less calories that the body is using. That’s how I lost the weight and that’s how I've have kept it off. My budget doesn't take a holiday vacation. If I have an important party or dinner to go to, I make sure to save most of my calories for that.

This stands for bring your own bananas. It doesn't really have to be bananas, but if I’m going to a party where I knew there will be lots of fattening finger foods, I bring something a little healthier. So I’m a good guest and bring a veggie or fruit tray. The party host is usually grateful for the extra offering and I’m not stuck with an empty plate.

Daily Present
It’s the holidays, so I give myself a present everyday. In my daily budget, I make sure to save room for a little piece of one of my favorite indulgences. I'll feel less like a miser when I satisfy my cravings. And since it’s in my budget, I don’t even have to feel guilty about it.

Pretty Plates
I eat with my eyes first. At big family dinners with lots of food, I focus on making a pretty plate. In the case of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, I put the food with color on first -- the leafy greens, the vibrant orange carrots or some sweet potato. Then I’ll add the protein onto the plate. That only leaves a small portion of my plate for the beige stuff like mashed potatoes and gravy.

Float Away
Wherever I am, there’s plenty of water nearby. I try to drink a full glass before every meal. It serves two purposes: First, I feel fuller and I’m less likely to overeat. And second, it helps my digestion to flush the fat.

Earn More
When I've already spent my calories for the day, but that pumpkin pie is calling my name, I earn more calories for the budget. I go for a run, hike, or walk. Sometimes I’ll play in the snow with the kids. With an hour of exercise, I can earn an extra 400-600 calories for the day.

Deck the Halls
I try to stay busy and off the couch. Boredom snacking doesn't add to my enjoyment of the holiday, but it does add to my waistline. I plan activities for me and my family that aren't centered around food. Like going caroling or making holiday cards. It keeps my hands and mouth occupied with something other than eating.

Peace on Earth
The holidays can get crazy. I de-stress and avoid emotional eating through meditation. Every time I want to reach for the tub of ice cream to soothe my frayed nerves, I take a few minutes to breath and meditate instead. I prefer a couple of yoga boxed breaths. Inhale for four counts. Hold for four counts. Exhale for four counts. Then hold again for four counts. Works like a charm to focus my brain on what I really want, rather than the momentary satisfaction of what I think I do.

Forgive and Forget
Everybody has bad days. After I've had one, I look at what went wrong and why I went over the budget. Then I commit to myself to do better -- then let it go. It doesn't help to beat myself up over past mistakes. That’s one of the tricks that has led me to lasting weight-loss -- banishing the Ghosts of Fat Past.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stacking Up a World Record

Today is Guinness World Records Day. And hopefully, I had a small part in breaking one.

There is something called sport stacking. It's where you take a bunch of brightly colored plastic cups and stack them quickly into specifically ordered pyramids and towers. When done competitively, it's timed. It's even an event in the Junior Olympics.

Today, the World Sport Stacking Association sponsored their 7th annual Stack Up. They asked people around the country to play this sport for 30 min today so that they can beat the World Record for Most People Sport Stacking in Multiple Locations on One Day. (Yes, I didn't realize there was a record for that either)

They hope to have 450,000 people participate, mostly children from schools. It turns out, this sport is great for kids. Stacking enthusiasts claim the sport engages both the left and right sides of the brain, is great for hand eye coordination, and improves attention and focus.   

The Stack Up came to my attention through my newfound job, working as a correspondent for the local paper, the Daily Herald. I went out on the assignment and met a PE teacher who was just about the coolest lady ever. I wished I had someone like her as a gym teacher when I was a kid. As part of her curriculum, Angela Anderson, has the kids practice sport stacking. She said it's great because any kid can do it. With a little practice and a timer, it is a great way to help kids find success and show them that they are improving. She believes it gets gets involved and engaged in a fun way, teaching them focus and discipline.

I went to Coach Anderson's school for her Stack Up, and I was blown away by how much fun these kids were having.

I interviewed a few of the kids, and they were all so excited to be involved. Many of them practice at home and will keep playing after today.

These kids are building a sense of accomplishment already without even knowing it. They are finishing things and working through play. 

I've talked a lot in my book and on this blog about building up accomplishments or "finisher medals" and how that helped me overcome my poor self image, esteem and depression. When the results of the Stack Up are verified, kids around the world will know they had a hand in breaking a World Record -- me too.

 That's a pretty awesome finisher medal if you ask me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Last day of Goal Rush

Today is the last day of my month long goal rush. I gave it my all, but some days were better than others. The thing is, even it didn't go perfectly, I feel great.

Sometimes it's not the end result that is the reward. It's the effort it took to get there. I've learned I feel much better without the Halloween candy (If I'm gonna gave chocolate, it better be the good stuff). I slept way better on the days I found the time to exercise. And I once again confirmed that Life cereal is a gateway snack for me.

When I look back at this past month, I will not be counting the days I screwed up. I will counting the days that I tried my best. Plus the fact that I made it the whole month without just saying, "Screw it" and eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

How did you do and what did you learn? And for anybody that got through the month alive and tried their best, you deserve a finisher medal!


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