Friday, March 30, 2012

Do something Friday

“For the greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clich├ęs of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
- John F. Kennedy, Yale University commencement address (June 11, 1962)

What are your weight management myths?  What behaviors are you holding on to that may not be serving you?

This weekend, spend some time thinking about what you believe to be true -- about yourself, what you think you should do, what you are capable of doing, what you're not capable of doing......

Listen to that internal (droning and constant) monologue spinning through your brain -- what do you hear?

Write those thoughts down.  Many times, the act of writing these thought out spread light on ideas that, once illuminated are seen as completely ridiculous.   But the writing part is crucial!  -- It takes getting them down on paper to give us enough perspective to see that they may not be true.  Once they may have been (or equally as likely, you just picked up those beliefs somewhere and they stuck).

But until you realize there are there -- you are living in the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Compliance bias

Recently, I read analysis of a research study (I can't remember where right now), that was talking about compliance bias.  Some of you may know, I'm taking a grad class in Epidemiology right now, so much of my semester has been spend talking about different factors that cause studies to show a result that isn't valid. 

For example, if you surveyed the heights of all the men in the NBA and averaged them, you would get a number that would be the average height of an NBA player -- but would not be the average height of a man in the same age group in the United States.  NBA players are screened for height -- that's part of the reason they are NBA players.  So the results you get from your study is not applicable to an unscreened group of people like the general population. (Selection bias)

Compliance bias occurs because human behavior is very complex.  Some people are just more compliant than others.  The article I was reading cited a study done in the early 70's investigating the effects of cholesterol medications.

What that study found was that those who took either the actual medicine or the placebo with the greatest degree of compliance to the instructions, had the greatest reduction in risk of death during the study.

Those who took either the medication or the placebo with the least amount of compliance to the instructions (took it less regularly) experienced an increase risk of dying during the study than did the compliant group.

Although those that took the medication as directed had a slightly decreased risk over those that took the placebo as directed -- even the placebo group experienced better results than the non-compliant medication takers.  Know why?

Because medication compliance says something about who these people were.  If they were willing to follow directions to take a pill regularly is it likely they were following other instructions to make healthy choices, as well.

The reason I bring this up is I just read another study saying those who eat the most blueberries and apples have the lowest risk for diabetes.  Is this because there is some magical compound in these two fruits that stave off diabetes?  Maybe.  But it is more likely that those who eat the most apples and blueberries are also making many other small choices that bring them greater health.  Perhaps they drink less (or no) soda.  They may be more likely to walk or bike somewhere instead of driving their car.  They probably have health insurance (blueberries and apples are relatively pricey and those that can afford more of them probably have better paying jobs that come with benefits) and those with health insurance are likely to be healthier than those without.  There are, likely, many more factors involved in the way blueberries and apples are related to a reduced incidence of diabetes than just a magic compound in the fruit.

Once you understand compliance bias, it seems to make more sense that processing down apples and blueberries into a pill and then taking that pill (on top of all the other behaviors you already engage in) may not be enough to significantly alter your risk of diabetes (or other negative health outcomes).  Adding more apples and blueberries to an already overflowing diet, also may not be the best way to reduce your risks.

Making health changes that are common sense (eat less, move more) will allow you to tap into some of the "magic" that the apples and blueberry study was actually measuring.

And all of this should be a reminder to us:

There are no magic beans for weight management -- you have to do the work!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dying for Sweets - handouts available

Hey, all!  Just wanted to let you know -- if you couldn't make it to the Dying for Sweets program the other day, I uploaded the Power Point here.  It's located on the right-hand side under the "Downloadables" section.  (There are a couple other presentations of mine there, as well).

What you may or may not know is, I do presentations for corporations on a number of subjects (all health/wellness related, of course).  So if you're interested in having me come speak to your group, let me know and we'll see what we can work out!

Once you're at the Performance site, feel free to take a look around and let me know what you think.  (you may notice that I write for that blog, as well)   Although the subject matter is different, you may find some of it interesting.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts -- I love that y'all are working on your mindfulness and making positive decisions for yourself!!!  Every time you do that, you're making the world a healthier place -- and that is extremely important work!


Make Better Decisions

I can across this post by Tony Schwartz at the Energy Project:

"Recently, I came across this startling statistic. Each day, we make an average of 217 food-related decisions. Is it any surprise we so often make poor choices about what we eat?

The simple act of making decisions, says the researcher Roy Baumeister, progressively depletes our ability to make them well. We begin to experience something called "decision fatigue." Worse yet, we're often not even consciously aware of feeling tired and impaired.

Here's how the brain compensates: As much as 95 percent of the time, it makes decisions automatically, by habit, or in reaction to an external demand. So what would it take to intentionally make better decisions in a world of infinite choices?

The answer begins with self-awareness. Our first challenge is resist being reactive. Many of our worst decisions occur after we've been triggered — meaning that something or someone pushes us into negative emotion and we react instinctively, fueled by our stress hormones, in a state of fight or flight.
That's all well and good if there's a lion charging at you. It's not very useful in everyday life.

Most of the time, it makes more sense to live by the Golden Rule of Triggers: Whatever you feel compelled to do, don't.

If you respond out of a compulsion, you haven't made an intentional choice. It may feel right — even righteous — in the moment, but it's more likely to exacerbate the problem than solve it."

How many times is your eating triggered by something or someone else?  The clock, the kids, a spouse, or the spread on the break room table.  We respond without even thinking about how we want to respond.  Once the food is on our plates or in our hands, (or in our mouths), we might think "Rats!  I'm not even hungry!"  But by the time that realization hits, we've reacted to the food we're about to eat and it is much harder to put it down than it would have been to not pick it up in the first place.

How do we solve this?  Awareness.  That's what the 456 on the Eating Scale is for - not to judge you -- just to help you understand when and what your triggers are.  Once you can recognize some of them, you can prepare your reaction to the before they hit.  You can feel more confident and in charge of your decision making skills with just a little bit of understanding of what you are reacting to.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dying for Sweets encore

Good morning, all!!  Just wanted to invite any of you that might be in the neighborhood today to the Dying for Sweets presentation tonight at 5:30p in Classroom 4  at the Borgess Health and Fitness Center.  Even if you're not a member here at the FC -- come on in away (and bring a friend!) -- this presentation is open to the public.

I am going to be talking about some relatively new research that is pointing a finger at our sugar consumption as the culprit for our high blood pressure, heart disease and other components of Metabolic Syndrome.  This isn't a weight loss talk -- this is for your health!! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Do something Friday -- find a tribe

I love to talk about exercise -- very few things make me as happy as seeing someone, who wasn't sure they could accomplish something, accomplish their goal.

Young and old, I've seen lots and lots of people accomplish their first 5k, century ride, Zumba or Spin class.

I've seen people lose 300 pounds though diet and exercise (yes, lots of exercise).  I've seen them make friends, find a support network to see them through the tough times, and create a community that cares about their success.

Exercise does that.  It brings people together to do something physically uncomfortable -- and when you're all struggling under the some physical discomfort, it bonds you.  You become a tribe.

That's one of the strengths of Weight Watcher's, too.  You bond through the meeting, create a caring community.  The big difference I see between a Weight Watchers tribe and an exercising tribe (I'm sure there are many but stick with me for a minute) is that when the class or workout is finished, the physical discomfort eases.  You've accomplished something.  Nope - you have lost 12 pounds in that last hour but you did accomplish the workout you set out to do.

Success.  Small, yes, but success you can build on.

Weight comes off slowly.  People with a strong and supportive tribe are more successful than those trying to do it on their own.  Weight loss is contagious.  Making healthy choices, whether it's staying for an extra yoga class or trying a new vegetarian dish can be contagious. 

One of the most effective ways to ensure to reach your weight management goal is to find a tribe that is full of those working on a similar goal.  If you can do all that while you're moving, isn't that going to get you where you want to go faster than developing your tribe while you're sitting down?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Fat is the new ugly" -- this is an article highlighted on the Girls on the Run Facebook page yesterday.  The article talks about how kids as young as 3 are verbalizing diet messages like "this food will make me fat".  It points out how our dietary patterns have become synonymous with our moral character ("I was bad today, I ate two cupcakes!"). 

We are delivering these messages to our kids.  Sure, we can blame it on the media, magazines, Hannah Montana, and Disney Princesses -- but honestly, our culture is a reflection of us as much as we are a reflection of it.

Whenever you talk about hating exercise, you reinforce the idea that movement is bad.  Whenever you punish yourself for eating something by gutting out an extra 30 minutes on the treadmill (or when you spend any amount of time feeling guilty that you didn't make yourself get on that treadmill to "fix" what you ate earlier in the day), you reinforce the idea there is a price to be paid for eating food that tastes good.

We are blessed to have as much food as we do.  We are blessed to be able to move when we chose to move.  We are bless with children who are born with a love to move, eat, grow, explore, play and just be children.  Why are we spitting on those blessings?  And more importantly:

What can we do to change our mindsets to demonstrate how much we value these gifts?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A young traveler approached a river while on her journey. From all appearances, it was too deep to ford and too long to get around. After doing a bit of scouting around, she discovered a canoe that was left by another traveler. In haste, she grabbed the canoe and paddled to the other side.

As soon as she landed, she thought: “I’m lucky that I found that canoe! I couldn’t have crossed the river without it. I better take it with me just in case there’s another river along the way.” So she picked up the canoe and carried it with her.

After three days of travel while carrying the canoe, she was exhausted. She happened upon an old traveler who was bewildered by the young woman carrying the canoe.

“Why are you carrying a canoe?,” the old traveler asked.

“A few days ago, I came across a river that I would have been unable to cross without this canoe. I didn’t know whether I would come to another crossing, so I carried it with me.”

“Ah. The next river like that in the direction you’re going is fifteen days away. It would take you less time to build a canoe when you get there than to carry this one with you – it’s time to leave the canoe behind.”

With that, the young traveler dropped the canoe. She immediately saw that what got her here wasn’t needed to get her there.

So then the question becomes:  How many canoes are you carrying? 

Thanks to Charlie for the story.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You're missing the point!!!!!!!

Well...maybe not you personally -- but there are a lot of you out there missing my point! 

We can't keep doing what we're doing and expect different results!

Making healthful choices is a good thing.  I just watched a video (from a site I love but an not going to link because it made me so mad!)  with a dietitian talking about stress eating, how it can derail a healthy diet, and how to surround yourself with healthy options -- so you can stress eat healthy foods!!!???

Does anyone really think stress eating healthy foods is the answer to this issue???

How about putting all that energy into managing your stress more effectively?

Has anyone ever (EVER!) solved a stressful problem by eating?  Unless your stressful problem was malnutrition the answer is NO.  Food is not the answer to stress.  And I am going to throw out there that I bet stress eating increases your stress level after you recover from the food coma (which was the whole point of stress eating anyway -- to numb yourself to the discomfort you were feeling in the first place).

Solve your stress problems.  Go for a walk.  A walk will literally and measurabley decrease the muscular tension you feel.  You blood pressure will be lower when you get back -- literally, measurably lower!!  Use the walk time to notice what's going on around you -- the whole world is spinning by, how does your stressful situation stack up against that?  Gain some perspective.  Move.  Let your stress be a catalyst to positive health behavior change! 

Get out of the kitchen.  Put on your shoes.  No excuses....I know you don't want to.  Do it anyway.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thought for the Day....

.....we as a society need a complete and total overhaul of our dietary value systems, our paces of living as they pertain to health, the leveling of the playing field between the consumer and the food industry, and more, and we need to accept the fact that the road to better health, while there, is shrouded with tremendous uncertainty despite the simple truisms of energy balance.

Of course if we park the car simply because we can't see around the next bend, we're never going to get anywhere, and so long as we keep moving, even if we take a few wrong turns, we might even get where we're trying to go.  --Yoni Freedhoff

Friday, March 16, 2012

Do something Friday -- get rid of the clutter

Clutter -- I hate it.  I hate it in my office.  I hate it in my house.  I hate in my car.  Clutter drives me crazy!

How about you?  Do you like it, live with it, or are you struggling under the weight of it?

Have you thought about your eating behaviors in terms of clutter?  Are you eating lots of items because you just don't know what else to do with them?  It would be rude to throw that food out, right?  Wasteful?

Think about how your desk would look (or does look) if you keep every scrap of paper anyone gave you during the course of the day.  Not so much of a pretty picture!  And it makes it much harder to get your work done!!

It wouldn't work well for your desk -- and it doesn't work well for your body. 

Clean out the clutter!  Only eat the items you need to keep you going or the things you really, really love (and just a little of those). 

This weekend, every time you start to eat something, picture it sitting on your desk.  Is it an item you need to keep going?  Is it delicious enough that you want it there just for decoration?  If you eat it, it stays on your mental desk -- how do you want your desk to look on Monday morning?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Slowing down

Yesterday, I quoted an article from The Energy Project.  I didn't want to bombard you with too many concepts in one post but at the very end of the post, Tony said something else I thought (and have noticed in my own life to be true) was worth pointing out to you:

Speed is the enemy of reflection, understanding and intentionality. When we slow down, we can begin to notice both what's driving us, and how to take back the wheel.

How true.  And how often forgotten.

We live busy lives.  And when they're not busy, we fill them up with noise and distraction (the Internet, OnDemand, 300+ channels of mostly garbage -- need I say more?)

We are in the unique situation of having so much available information and entertainment that we never HAVE TO slow down if we don't make the conscious choice to.

And the thing about it is -- if the thought of slowing down strikes fear into the very heart of you, you're not alone!  I talk to people all the time who keep themselves manically busy so they don't have to deal with what may happen when they slow down enough to think.  Scary stuff!

But I can tell you from my own experience, my creativity, zest for life, and will to get things done are all much greater when I carve out time to slow down each week.

How about you?  Do you even know how much slow time is necessary for you to perform optimally?

As Tony finished his post:

We each have an infinite capacity for self-deception — endless ways that the awesome power of our desires cause our prefrontal cortex to defend the indefensible and rationalize behaviors that aren't serving us well. The first step to building willpower and self-control is recognizing how little we currently have.

You can't change what you don't notice.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Have you ever noticed that life is made up of a weird set of contradictions?  Here I am, with one breath, preaching mindfulness -- life in the moment -- pay attention and in the next moment, I'm quoting an article entitled "Why you need to make your life more automatic"

...a raft of recent studies have shown that the capacity for self-control — even more than genetic endowment or material advantage — fuels a range of positive outcomes in life, including more stable relationships, higher paying and more satisfying work, more resilience in the face of setbacks, better health, and greater happiness.

And the weird truth is that both are right.  We're working on being more mindful so that we can create automatic habits that net us better results than the automatic habits we have right now.  --But you have to become aware of those automatic habits to be able to change them.  And then we have to exert effort (sometimes a lot of effort) in changing those behaviors.  All of which takes energy.  But the reward?  Think about this:

How different would your life be, after all, if you could get yourself to sleep 8 hours at night, exercise every day, eat healthy foods in the right portions, take time for reflection and renewal, remain calm and positive under stress, focus without interruption for sustained periods of time, and prioritize the work that matters most?

Hmmmm......sounds pretty good to me.  I know it won't happen overnight but it seems like a great goal to work towards!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The constant focus on weight makes me mad!!!

From your doctor to The Doctors and everyone in between, you're getting the message that weight (or more specifically overweight) is a huge problem.

But it's not overweight that's the problem -- overweight is a symptom of the problem -- A more highly visible symptom than the real problems.

Insulin insensitivity -- when you need your pancreas to release more insulin to do the same job it used to do with much less insulin.  Those insulin producing cells are wearing out -- they can only make so much insulin in a lifetime!

High triglycerides -- instead of burning the fuel that we eat, we're eating so much extra that it needs to be stored.  But in the meantime, it's floating around your body in your blood stream gumming up the works.

Hypertension -- the extra work your heart has to do to pump all that blood through arteries that are clamped down tight put extra stress on the heart.  Like the insulin producing cells of the pancreas, the heart wears out when it has to work this hard all the time.

Low cardiovascular fitness -- regular stimulation through exercise makes the heart able to pump blood more efficiently (use less energy to get the job done) and more effectively (able to pump more blood out with each beat).  Hearts that don't get regular exercise are less efficient -- that means they have to work harder and are doing a worse job -- all the time.

Stress -- stress literally causes the muscles to clamp down on your blood vessels causing higher blood pressure.  It makes us crabby and less able to enjoy our life which suppresses our immune function and increases our risk of getting sick (both with little things like a cold and big things like a cancer).  It throws our hormones (the ones that control sleep, appetite, energy regulation, etc) all out of wack.  Which, many times, leads to more stress, more eating, less sleeping, less happiness, less motivation....

These are problems. 

Weight is a symptom of these problems. 

And yet, according to research by COMPsych, 43% of those they surveyed said reducing their weight was their top health concern this year.  (only 20% were concerned with getting more exercise and 18% were concerned about reducing their stress level)

At a glance, you may not think that the semantics matters.  But it matters a whole lot!  You can't fix a problem by tiptoeing around it.  And although you can improve you high blood pressure by losing weight, it's the behavior changes (eating less/moving more/managing stress) that play a huge role in how that blood pressure comes down.

Name your enemy!  Pick your battles.  But look in the right direction so you can win that battle.  Health is much more multifaceted than your pants size.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thought for the Day...

A few weeks ago I was tempted to put off a high-priority job because somebody needed something from me and said it was urgent. The truth is what they needed from me was urgent, it just wasn’t urgent for me. What they needed was going to help them get their job done. --Don Miller

What will be urgent for you today?  Your health?  Your happiness? (your Farmville farm?)  Being at the beck and call of anyone who needs something you can provide?

Is there a better way to balance those needs this week???

Friday, March 9, 2012

Do something Friday

Here's an interesting concept -- Chris Brogan just ask the question:

Who's setting your plate?

He was specifically talking about our seemingly pathological compulsion to grab our phones off our nightstands as our first act of business upon waking.

We need to check, right?  What if something happened while we were sleeping that requires our immediate attention?!  The quicker we know about it, the quicker we can fix it -- which means.....I'm not really sure what.

Ever watch a teenager try to suppress the reaction to check a text that rings in during dinner?  They're half way to their phone before it registers their phone shouldn't even be at the table -- let alone be answered.  Once this thought makes it all the way to their consciousness, they have to fight and squirm and stress that something might be going on that they should know about.  Sometimes it takes a great deal of willpower just to get through the rest of dinner!

Both of these situations are good examples of how we let others control our choices.  We actively reinforce the idea reacting to stimulus is the appropriate response to the world.

So then it is no great surprise when we engage in this reaction behavior in other situations, too.  Like when a commercial come on and triggers us to go get a snack.  We're not hungry -- but a commercial came on, so that's what we do.

Someone brings cookies into work.  Maybe you don't even like cookies -- but you eat one (or as many as you can get away with without embarrassing yourself) because they are in the break room.

A group of your friends decide to grab a bite after work -- you aren't really hungry but you order a full dinner away because that is what they all ordered.

Reactions.  It's exhausting.  Constantly assessing what we should be doing by what others are doing. 

Honestly, it's no way to live.  Yes....sometimes our behavior needs to be based on what others are doing.  But always?  Should we live like this is an appropriate state of affairs?

I don't think so. 

This weekend take some time to notice how many of your eating behaviors happen in response to something else.  If you can isolate your common triggers, you really only have to start changing a couple of them to make a big difference in the number of bite you consume each day!  Remember, we're only shooting for a 9 bite reduction each day.  (eliminate one break room cookie and you're 1/3 of the way there!)

Act.  Chose.  Decide for yourself.  You are the only one who is going to have to live with the body and life you create.  Others will be effected, sure.  But you have to live with you 24/7.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Here's a post I picked up from Zen Habits.  As you can see, it was a guest post at that site (a long and complicated track to get here!) but hopefully it will get you thinking about some of "reasoning" that has gotten you where your are (both the good parts of your life and the parts with room for improvement).

5 Excuses that Keep You Unhealthy (and How to Destroy Them)

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete.
Each and every one of us, as a human being, is hardwired to choose the path of least resistance. We’re programmed to conserve energy for when we might need it and to avoid risk wherever possible, because that’s what it took for our ancestors to survive (and reproduce) in a world full of unknown dangers.

Today, it’s why the status quo — tested, predictable, familiar — is so comfortable. And it’s why we find change so difficult, even when our very lives depend on changing.

I’m referring, of course, to our health.

As Steven Pressfield and Seth Godin have so gracefully written, we procrastinate because somewhere deep down, we’re afraid to start. The resistance, or lizard brain, will fight tooth and nail to keep us right where we are. Because change is risky, and where we are is safe.

But when it comes to health, where we are isn’t safe. Known, sure. But not safe.

The excuses we use to justify one more pack of cigarettes, one more TV show, or another quick spin through the drive-through window (it’s convenient, and I had a rough day) are the tools of this fear. What we say to distract ourselves, to make it feel alright for now, is nothing more than a smokescreen.

It’s time to cut through the haze. What follows is a list of five of the most common, most debilitating excuses and fears that keep people unhealthy and powerless to change. Find the one that’s holding you back, and see it for the sham that it is.

1. “Before I can start, I’ve got to plan.”

Sure, planning is important. But right now, it’s just procrastination.

You know how it goes: “Before I start, I need to get workout clothes that fit. And shoes. And join a gym. And load some new songs on my iPod. Then I’ll get a meal plan and go shopping, and I’ll be ready to start!”
Maybe you do need all that stuff. But first, just start.

It’s easy: go outside and start walking or get on your bike. Go in one direction for just five minutes — fast when you want, slow when you want. Enjoy yourself — play — then turn around and come home. Do it again the next day, and the day after that, feeling free to gradually do more as your body allows you to.
Build some momentum by doing something small every day. Then, and only then, should you think about planning.

2. “I’m so out of shape, it’s overwhelming to think about getting healthy.”

Right now, don’t focus on getting in shape. The important thing is to take the first step.
Look at it as an experiment: commit to eating well or exercising for just one week, to see how it goes. Be curious and be playful, but really commit to it: set some ground rules, tell other people about it, and don’t cheat.

Forget any long-term health goals right now. Just take note of how you feel, paying particular attention to your mood and mindset — that’s where the changes will show up first.

When the time is up, congratulate yourself for sticking with it. If at this point you’re not excited to keep going, you can stop without feeling guilty and change your approach.

But maybe you feel lighter. More energetic. Happier. These incremental benefits are immediate, no matter how far away you are from whatever your ideal is.

So what would happen if you did this again for two weeks, or 30 days? Try it again, with the same strong commitment, and evaluate again when you reach the end.

The great thing about this approach is that it shifts the focus to the process, not the outcome, and at the same time prevents you from ever feeling like you’re locked into something that you don’t enjoy.

3. “I don’t know how to cook, nor do I have time for it.”

I believe you. You don’t have two hours each night to spend preparing a gourmet meal for your family, nor are you a master of matching flavors and textures to create beautiful, perfect dishes that are also healthy.
But I bet you can follow instructions. Find five minutes to search this site and others for simple recipes. Many won’t take you even half an hour to prepare.

Here are just a few examples of delicious, nutritious meals that don’t take much active time to make:
  • Smoothies
  • Beans and rice
  • A grain, a green, and a bean
  • Soup
  • Slow cooker stews
Look at cooking as an opportunity to work with your hands and to be present in the moment, focusing on that one thing only.

Enjoy the smells, the textures, the process. The occasional Sunday when I spend three hours in the kitchen making pasta or vegetable lasagna from scratch is the most meditative time of my entire week.

4. “People will laugh at me when I exercise because I’m out of shape.”

A few might laugh. They’ll do so because of some insecurity of their own. But most people are so distracted and focused on their own lives that they won’t even notice you.
Of those who do pay attention to you, the vast majority will be inspired, and they will envy your determination. No joke.

Five-million-plus people watch The Biggest Loser each week. Are they doing it for laughs? No, they watch because it motivates them, even if they never take action.

When people see you working hard to get in shape, it reminds them that somewhere, they’ve got that fight in them too. Without realizing it, even if you’re doing this only for yourself, you become a leader by example. People are drawn to that.

I know, it feels like everyone’s watching you, judging you. But trust me: inside, they’re cheering for you.

5. “I’d like to exercise with a group or class, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up.”

The quickest way to get better at something is to hang around people who are getting the results that you want. (You’ve heard it before, right? If you want to know your weight, add up your five closest friends’ weights, divide by five, and you probably won’t be far off.)

But with groups comes the fear of being “the weak one.” The one who can’t keep up, the one holding everyone else back. Most of us have been there at some time, and it’s no fun.

So how do you get past this fear?

Accept it and face it. Let the group know, beforehand, that you think you might have trouble keeping up. Tell them that if they need to go ahead, you won’t be offended, you’re just thrilled to work out with them and learn from them.

With that, it’s out in the open, no longer something to be ashamed of. Gone are the pain and potential injury of pushing yourself too hard in attempt to avoid embarrassment. And it probably won’t be long until you’re helping someone else who is new and afraid.


The time to take that first step is today. If a flaw in your excuse has been exposed, take advantage of it now, before your fear can come up with a better one.

Getting yourself to start is the hardest part. As you begin to experience results and your new habits are reinforced, it becomes easy. You’ll discover that the more energy you use, the more you have, and being healthy is actually really fun.

Sure, it’s possible that you’ll stumble at first. Getting in shape isn’t as easy as watching TV, or eating whatever you want. But that’s okay.

The trick isn’t to never fall down, it’s to never stay down. When you mess up, use it as an opportunity to adapt and improve, not as a reason to quit.

And when the excuses crop up, step back, smile to yourself, and see them for what they are — a last-ditch effort by the old you, the comfortable, change-fearing you, to go back to the way things used to be.
Stop believing your excuses. Start.

Matt Frazier helps people discover their inner athlete and the simplicity of a plant-based diet. Get fitness tips and healthy recipes at his blog, No Meat Athlete, or sign up for his free series on getting started with plant-based fitness.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dying for Sweets

Good morning, all!  Just wanted to give you a heads up:

Today, I will be presenting a program entitled Dying for Sweets at the Fitness Center at 12p in Classroom 4.

We are going to be discussing some new research (layered on top of some older research) that points to sugar as a possible culprit in many of our common chronic diseases.  Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome (and obviously diabetes) may all be effected by our sugar consumption.

Think you don't eat much sugar?  Maybe or maybe not.  The trends we discuss may surprise you!

If you're going to be in the neighborhood, feel free to stop by and join us!  The program is free and open to the public.  And, as always, I would love to have you here!

Can't make it?  Feel free to click on over to Borgess Athletic Performance's webpage and download a copy of the handout!  (Under the "Downloadable" section on the right hand side)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Holy smokes! My thoughts exactly!!!

The ability to act is not something you’re born with. Change is a skill you can learn– as long as you have the guts to actually do it. --Julien

Hmmmm....this just distilled down everything I've said for the last couple years.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thought for the Day...

Important is doing the work that will make the biggest difference in your life or the life of others. Little distractions have a sense of urgency, but they’re not important. We tend to place other people’s requests as urgent and therefore give them more importance, when actually taking care of our own self, our destiny, our passion is much more important. It’s a really hard lesson to learn. --Derek Sivers

Friday, March 2, 2012

Do something Friday

How to stock your car with healthy foods -- this was the name of an article I just read.  Full of good tips on how to make sure you have access to healthy options when you're out and about, I am left wondering if this isn't exactly the advice that is making us fat.

Ok -- if you travel for business and are on the road all day this advice makes sense.  It's hard to find reasonable portions of healthier option foods when you travel.  But we're talking about being on the road all day long -- not running to the grocery store.

Even when I consider the weekend travel that many of us do (hauling the kids here, there, and everywhere while trying to fit errands in between), the advice seems a little overblown.

I remember packing snacks for my kids when they were little because, for them, unattended hunger led to emotional meltdowns.  But we're not children.  We should have a little better understanding of our bodies and our emotions.

Hunger is not a bad sensation to feel.  It should not be avoided at all costs.  You don't need to keep nibbling thoughout your normal commute to stave off  death by starvation.

This weekend, pay attention to how you commute.  Are you reflexively hoarding snacks in your purse, pocket or car because you are used to eating while you drive?  Perhaps it's time to unlearn that behavior.  Perhaps it's time to fully realize experiencing a little bit of the physical hunger sensation isn't something worth gaining more weight to avoid.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I want to be entertained!

Don't we all. 

That's the basis of television.  Entertain me!  Don't make me entertain myself -- that's too hard.

Sorry folks.  At some point (whether it's a number on the scale or a size you never thought you'd have to buy...), you need to realize it's not appropriate to entertain yourself with food.  Wrong tool for the job.

Talk a walk and see what the changes have happened in the world around you.

Call up a friend and see if they have any funny stories to share.

Eeekkk!  Even surfing the web is better than watching TV from a weight management perspective  (it's very hard to eat and type at the same time .... plus you get Cheeto dust on the keyboard -- gross!)

Mindlessly using food to entertain yourself is not going to help you feel better about your world.