Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Five Daily Habits of Happy Women

I just read a great article that made me feel inspired and happy. It discussed how research shows that small, everyday habits make a huge difference in the ability to create a positive mindset. By adding a few easy choices into your daily routine, you can really change your attitude. I liked this so much I am going to make a conscious effort on my own part to do these as well.

9 AM - Start your day with green tea. People who drink four or more cups of green tea a day are 44% less likely to be depressed than those who sip it less often. There is an amino acid in it called "theanine" that may spur the release of seratonin, a chemical in the brain that makes you feel good.

12:30 PM - Detox your lunch. When you pack your lunch, pack it full of fresh, raw fruit and vegetables in addition to fish and whole grains. Women who eat these things have lower odds of depression.

4 PM - Take a power walk. Exercise endorphins are proven to lift your mood. A single session, even as short as 20 minutes, can raise spirits for up to 12 hours.

7 PM - "Pump iron at dinner." For best absorption, take your vitamin supplement with food and make sure it has at least 18 milligrams of iron if you are premenopausal. It has been proven that sufficient iron intake improves mood.

10 PM - Track the good stuff. I really loved this idea! Every night, write down three things that went well for you that day. Describe the role you played in making them happen. You'll be increasingly mindful of how much control you have over the bright spots in your life.

I'm really struggling with a lot of pain lately and I'm trying to find holistic and natural ways of healing. I've been doing yoga on my own and received a prescription from the doctor to take yoga class so I can add the cost of the classes into my medical bills to go toward taxes at the end of the year. I also see a chiropractor friend of mine once a week and should begin decompression therapy soon.

I also researched a diet that aids in relief of pain and have begun following those nutritional guidelines. Along with all of these, I am trying to become more mindful in general. Mindfulness meditation can help ease pain, manage stress, gain control over addictions and things like emotional eating, boost your immunity, strengthen relationships, improve memory, and the list goes on and on. I hope that this inspires someone else!
In Good Health, Natalie "FNT."

Disclaimer & Resource Information

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Q & A - "Healthy but Obese... HELP!"

Hello! I read your blog. I am in need of a program. :( I have reached a personal all-time high of obesity and need help. My blood pressure and everything is good. Do you have a suggestion of a healthy way for me to lose?"

-Client Kept Anonymous

If you were my client, in our initial meeting there would be a few things to discuss first. There is a form that you must fill out, not just for legal purposes, but also for your own safety & to let the trainer know any conditions you have at the moment so we can make a plan based around those needs (i.e. if you had knee surgery, the trainer would need to know that so he/she didn't start making you do lunges & squats & put you in the hospital!). This is also done because after a certain number of red flags come up, ANY trainer with a quality certification/education, would have to have a note from your physician in order to train.  The criteria include things like surgeries/rehabilitation, age, obesity, high/low blood pressure, joint problems, osteoarthritis/osteoporosis, etc. Different certifications dictate this a little differently, but the general rule of all of them is 2-3 positive criteria & the trainer will need a note from your physician prescribing exercise. This is NOT a big deal because most every physician wants their patients to lose weight in order to improve these criteria & their overall health in general. I personally use two positive criteria most often as a need for this prescription, but sometimes it's 3; it just depends on the severity of the criteria. 

Since I know this person, I am comfortable sharing this information with him/her. If you are not my client, be sure to read my Disclaimer & Resource Information page. Thanks!

Having gotten that out of the way, since you are healthy and just have some weight to lose, you can do pretty much anything! That's how I was when I lost my weight the last time (5 years ago). I've gained and lost the same 50-60 pounds at least six times. The last time in 2006, I got a trainer and NEVER missed an appointment. that's the key - you have to show up! It was when I was training with her that I realized, "I can do this, too!" and I never looked back. I was in a career change in my life and just took a desk job at the gym, started studying, got ACE-certified and the rest is history.

Other places I went for support included You can make a profile (called BodySpace) and track your progress and get support. The site also offers tons of articles on different workouts based on your needs. Of course, it also sells supplements and work-out aids, but always do your homework and be careful with those. I only ever used a 20-calorie energy drink powder that you add to a bottle of water before my workouts. I really needed a little extra pick-me-up to stay motivated. If you're trying to slim down, stay away from the supplements. Most of them are to build mass and bulk, the last thing we wanna do!

Including extra fiber (AND WATER!) in your diet is so good for you because it helps move waste, fat, and toxins out of your body; so the more frequently you go to the bathroom, the healthier you will be (better skin, brighter glow, less fatigue, etc.) and the more weight you will lose. Sorry if this is TMI for some of you, but everything that your body does is natural. I learned very quickly after starting at the gym that people who are seriously into taking care of themselves find none of these topics off limits. And where do you think that weight you lose goes? It goes out your pores and in the toilet.

The best thing that helped me move into a healthier lifestyle was by being at the gym all the time, I was constantly around positive influences. Working out, eating right, and being healthy was "cool" to everyone around me, so it was easier for me to adopt a new lifestyle. It takes 21 days to change your habits. You can do that! And the best way to do it is with a great support group surrounding you. It is proven that having a work out buddy increases your chance of success. Ideally, this is a trainer because sometimes using a friend can actually backfire because if they fall off track it is easier for you to, as well. Find some way to make yourself accountable to someone - it keeps you honest!

Finally, go to the archives in my blog back to the beginning of 2009. Start with the post "Detox 101: Getting Started" and work your way backwards. These posts include all the information you need to get started. There is a little math involved, but if you're serious about changing your life you will hang in there and do the work. As you work your way through, there are meal plans, workouts, and important information that will help you lose weight. This is all the information that you need to get started. You can change your life one day at a time. Set small goals and take baby steps. Good luck and don't give up!

~Natalie "FNT"